Latest Rail News

L.B. Foster Company Pittsburgh, Pa., was awarded a $5.3-million contract by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) to supply 5,561 tons of rail for the Downeaster-Portland North Project. NNEPRA is using a $35-million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help fund the project's 26.4-mile track rehabilitation and expansion between Portland and Brunswick, Maine. The new Downeaster line will offer improved Amtrak service within the area and south to Boston.

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Work on railroad crossings and rail lines near downtown Fort Worth, Texas, could begin as soon as spring if the Tower 55 project is awarded federal funding, officials told the Star-Telegram. Officials from Fort Worth-based BNSF and Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific appeared cautiously optimistic that the project will make the cut for federal transit grants. A decision is expected in Washington in the fall.

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Generators drown out the quiet, slow moving Elkhorn River these days. It's a dramatic difference from the roaring, rushing water as Norfolk, Neb., flooded in June, local media report.

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August 6-8, Metro in Washington, D.C., will upgrade its track on the Red and Green lines to improve reliability and service. As a result of this crucial work aimed at keeping the railroad in a state of good repair, riders can expect delays between 20 and 40 minutes. 



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Railroad maintenance activities are planned at Batavia Street between Angus and Walnut Avenue in the City of Orange, Calif., starting on Friday, August 20, at 8:00 p.m., and continuing until 8:00 p.m. Saturday, August 21. No service delays expected.

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Wright County, Iowa, Economic Development Director Dennis Bowman and Hamilton County Supervisor Doug Bailey talked to the Wright County Board of Supervisors about a proposed 280-acre business park in Hamilton County with access to the Canadian National Railway, the Belmond Independent reports.

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A Clinton County, Ohio, railroad crossing has been called "a dire safety hazard" and a "very dangerous intersection" by current and former railroad safety advocates, as well as by one Ohio foundation that works to make the nation's railways safer, the News Journal reports.

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The BART website (www.bart.gov) went live with new trip planning functions, including bicycle directions and station area points of interest that use the Google Maps API. In addition to walking and driving directions, visitors now can get bicycling directions between BART and any address using the BART QuickPlanner. They can also get more information about points of interest near BART stations, including directions, using the Neighborhood Map tab on any station page.

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The North Dakota Public Service Commission is working to arrange a meeting with BNSF, the City of Bismarck and Fraine Barracks after residents close to the barracks crossing complained the work to make the crossing private is taking too long, the Bismarck Tribune reports.

The train whistles are still blowing and some residents are frustrated that construction and legal work are taking so long after the commission signed its order May 19. The order doesn't make Fraine Barracks a private crossing by default, but it does make the crossing private once certain conditions have been met.

BNSF is working with the city to hash out a contract that will detail what maintenance the city is responsible for and what liabilities it will have once the crossing is private. The city is unable to start construction until the agreement is signed. City officials would not say Wednesday how long they've been working on the contract or when they received it. City Attorney Charles Whitman would not say what liabilities the city would be forced to take on through the contract. But in an e-mail to PSC staff, City Administrator Bill Wocken said it "indemnifies the railroad from almost all real or imagined events."

The commissioners set a tentative meeting with the three parties for Aug. 24.

Commission Chairman Kevin Cramer questioned whether BNSF was unhappy with the agreement and "stonewalling the process."

BNSF's attorney during the hearing, Stephen Plambeck, said, "No I don't think that what's going on at all." Rather, he said, the agreement was simply still being worked out.

BNSF did not appeal the commission's order, but Commissioner Tony Clark questioned, "how formally that opportunity was presented to them." Cramer said the company is sufficiently legally represented to be informed of the process.

Regardless of what is causing the hold-up, nearby residents want the whistles to stop.

"They're (BNSF) just dragging their feet on this and a lot of people in western Bismarck are upset," said Highland Acres resident Jim Christianson. "The agreement was signed over two months ago, and the needed improvements could be completed in less than a week."

Wocken said the contract has taken longer to work out than the city desired.

"To say we have not achieved any real progress at this point would be very close to correct, as the whistles keep blowing," Wocken said in his email to PSC staff. "We have not lost our resolve to continue to work of this process, but it is very slow going."

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In 1935, Cyrus Holland founded Holland Co, now Holland LP, to supply railroad car snubbers to the industry. Today, Holland is celebrating 75 years in the railroad supply business.

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