Latest Rail News

Amtrak said it is reorganizing and establishing a new department to pursue opportunities to develop new intercity high-speed rail service in select corridors around the country and to plan for major improvements on the Northeast Corridor, including determining the feasibility of increasing top speeds up to 220 mph.

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MTA Metro-North Railroad's new April 11 timetable will make temporary, minor schedule changes on all three lines to allow for track maintenance projects. On the Upper Hudson Line, schedule adjustments will allow for installation of concrete ties until June 2010. Poughkeepsie, New Hamburg and Beacon customers in all time periods will be affected by schedule changes requiring trains to depart earlier or later, and in some cases, to travel up to seven minutes slower or 10 minutes faster.

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Washington, D.C.'s Metro has a 15 mph speed restriction in place on the Red Line between the Friendship Heights and Bethesda Metrorail stations due to track work that is taking place during the overnight hours to change out rail and rail fasteners. 

The speed restrictions were installed late the week of March 15 after an assessment identified the immediate need to replace running rail and fasteners on both tracks between the Friendship Heights and Bethesda Metrorail stations.

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L.B. Foster Company and Portec Rail Products, Inc., said that they have each received a formal second request for additional information and documentary material from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice regarding the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated February 16, 2010 pursuant to which L.B. Foster proposed to acquire Portec through a tender offer and subsequent merger.

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The Winter Haven, Fla., City Commission approved the first reading for a land-use change enabling progress to continue on the proposed Integrated Logistics Center to be developed in conjunction with the CSX Intermodal Terminal planned for the southern portion of the city, the News Chief reports.

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Senior executives from Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern recently made their annual inspection trip across the Meridian Speedway to see the capital improvements that have been made to increase capacity and improve transit over the line from Shreveport, La. to Meridian, Miss., KCS News, the company newsletter, reports.

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Denver's RTD has reached a total $143.8-million agreement with BNSF that will move progress forward on two FasTracks corridors to Arvada/Wheat Ridge and Westminster, Colo., according to a column by Kevin Flynn in InDenver Times. The comprehensive agreement includes $102.7 million for the outright purchase of railroad right-of-way for the Gold Line and several miles of the Northwest Rail FasTracks corridors; a lump sum of $36.9 million in relocation funding for BNSF to move and replace its facilities that are in the way of RTD's projects; up to $4 million in direct reimbursements of BNSF's other costs for additional construction or relocation that may occur incidental to the projects and $200,000 for title insurance, closing costs and escrow fees.

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Metra plans to spend $100 million to install a high-tech system that would keep trains from colliding or prevent a distracted engineer from speeding through a warning signal to slow down or stop, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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Repairs to the Fredericksburg, Va., train station could be under way this summer, The Free Lance-Star reports. Virginia Railway Express received permission from its Operations Board to issue an invitation for construction bids to repair the drainage system in the station's railroad bridge.

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Momentum is building for running conventional passenger trains between Norfolk and Richmond, Va., as an interim step to getting high-speed rail, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The budget approved by the Virginia General Assembly last week waives a 30 percent match on state Rail Enhancement Funds, clearing a financial hurdle that will allow construction to begin later this year and for trains to run within three years.

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