Latest Rail News

After more than 11 years, TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said that he will be leaving the Portland, Ore., agency at the end of his contract to pursue other opportunities. He released the following statement regarding his announcement: "After 11.5 years at TriMet, I have decided to pursue other opportunities. And although the Board of Directors for whom I work hoped I would stay longer, I have informed them that I will leave at the end of my current contract, June 30, 2010.

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Workers were back at the Hump to clean up the recent trimming job that left vegetation looking "ragged," Peace Arch News in British Columbia reports. Phase 2 of trimming started March 1 - a year and a half after protests temporarily halted the first phase - upon requests from Hump residents.

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The biggest empty chunk of downtown Chicago is for sale, ready for somebody to take a chance on a future cycle of real estate growth, David Roeder wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times. Buyers should bring cash, great credit and patience.

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Employees with a sub-contractor for Norfolk Southern are making railroad track crossing improvements in Sandersville, Miss., the Laurel Leader Call reports. 
Workers with Tubbys Construction Company of Lancing, Tenn., worked at the two railroad crossings in Sandersville March 18 in an effort to make travel over those crossings smoother.


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The Chlorine Institute has called on the Federal Railroad Administration to reexamine its rule on the cost and benefits of implementing positive train control systems. The Chlorine Institute claims that the FRA analysis of the benefits of PTC was flawed and that positive train control systems result in business benefits to the railroads. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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The Florida Department of Transportation, through its newly created Florida Rail Enterprise, has selected HNTB Corporation and Wilbur Smith Associates, in a joint partnership, as its program manager for passenger rail in the state of Florida. The primary assignment for this team will be assisting with implementation of Florida's high-speed rail program, which recently received a grant award of $1.25 billion for Phase 1: Tampa-Orlando. This was one of the top awards in the Federal Railroad Administration's competition for $8 billion available in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through the Vision for High Speed Rail in America program. 

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When high-speed rail finally arrives in Central Florida, Orlando International Airport wants to be ready - with a "Grand Central Station" of terminals that could include multiple rail lines, food and retail concessions, a hotel and rental-car counters, officials said March 17, the Orlando Sentinel reports. There is no estimate yet on how much the terminal would cost or who would pay for it, though airport leaders said they think state and federal officials should provide most of the money.

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A waterfront rail line in Philadelphia moved closer to reality as the Delaware River Port Authority approved a $6.5-million contract for environmental studies and preliminary design, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The work, expected to take about two years, is to prepare the way for a proposed $500-million light-rail line in the middle of Columbus Boulevard between Pier 70 and Girard Avenue.

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Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. Said mine site development is near final completion and production has already begun at its Bloom Lake mine in Ontario. First shipments of ore from the port at Pointe-Noire will commence in May 2010. As of December 31, 2009, a total of C$463 million had been spent on the development of the Bloom Lake mine. 


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Freight railroad officials are wondering what happened to the tens of millions of dollars from a 2005 bond issue that was to be invested in rail and port improvements, Albany Times-Union reports. Just $70 million of the $186 million earmarked has been spent, none of that in the past two years. Instead, rail officials grouse, state officials continue to review $200 million in grant requests submitted before Oct. 1, 2008.

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