The American Public
Transportation Association and the International Union of Railways (Union
Internationale des Chemins de Fer, or UIC) will host three regional seminars in
early 2010. The goal of these seminars is to provide U.S. decision makers the
information necessary to implement high-speed rail.
Weekend motorists and
pedestrians using the intersection of Market and San Carlos streets in San Jose,
Calif., and VTA light rail riders traveling to, from or through Convention
Center Light Rail Station will be affected as three sections of aging light
rail track running in the median of San Carlos Street between Market Street and
Almaden Boulevard in downtown San Jose are replaced.
About 200 feet of railroad
track -- including 400 feet of rail and 160 ties -- along the Nickel Plate Road
rail line was damaged by heat during last week's tanker truck explosion at I-69
and I-465, the Indianapolis Star reports. That's the rail line that
transportation advocates hope to use for light rail service from Noblesville to
Downtown Indianapolis. The Nickel Plate runs underneath the I-465 East/West
overpass and alongside the I-69 southbound ramp.
Track maintenance on the Washington,
D.C., Metrorail Red and Orange lines Oct. 30-Nov.2 will cause inbound and
outbound trains to take turns sharing one track. Customers should add at least
30 minutes of time to their trips.
Metrorail customers traveling between the
Friendship Heights and Van Ness-UDC Metrorail stations should add at least 30
minutes to their travel time for their trips because Metro will replace rail
fasteners that stabilize tracks and make tunnel repairs. Trains will share one
track between these locations throughout the weekend from 9:30 p.m. Oct. 30, to
closing (midnight) on Nov. 1.
board of directors of The Whitmore Manufacturing Company appointed Jeff
Peterson, a director of the company, president and Chief Executive Officer
effective November 30, 2009. Peterson is Vice President of Capital Southwest
Corporation, the principal shareholder of the company, and has closely followed
Whitmore for more than eight years. He has gained a breadth of experience,
including serving as a director of 14 companies, overseeing the acquisition or
direct investments of more than 20 companies and working with rapidly growing businesses.
Additionally, he serves in a variety of operational capacities at Capital
Southwest and on the board of several industry trade groups, including the
National Association of Small Business Investment Companies.
St. Louis regional
transit leaders joined with state and local elected officials October 26 to
celebrate the grand opening of Metro's new paint facility that will be used to
repaint the MetroLink Light Rail Vehicles. Located in East St. Louis, Ill., the
new $4.3-million facility enables Metro to prepare and paint the LRVs in an
environmentally-controlled area that is healthier for employees and better for
Many of the 87 Light Rail
Vehicles in the Metro System have been in service since the 1990s, clocking an
average of 500 miles per day as they carry passengers back and forth along the
46-mile alignment. Not surprisingly, the heavily utilized trains require fresh
paint to maintain their structural integrity, extend the life of each vehicle
and keep them looking their best. While Metro has been manually repainting the
LRVs at its maintenance facility in St. Louis, the new paint booth will improve
the process through increased technology, and minimize the environmental impact
of maintaining the trains.
Event attendees had the
opportunity to tour the new operation and see the features that enhance the
process. The new facility is a 9,600-square-foot pre-cast panel structure containing
two distinct work areas, one of which is the totally enclosed paint booth. This
design enables Metro employees to clean and prepare the trains for painting on
one side of the facility, while other trains are simultaneously being painted
on the other.
The prep area includes a
dust collection system that is one of the "green" features of the operation.
Six separate work areas in the prep bay, where employees use various air tools,
are tied into a central vacuum system that will collect all the dust and other
particles and transport them to dust collection bags in a separate room.
The paint booth itself is
equipped with two automated "lifts" that give the individuals applying the
spray paint easy access to all parts of the train. Each lift can accommodate up
to two painters, further streamlining the process. The trains are painted with
low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, and an extensive exhaust system
helps to further minimize the environmental impact of the process, while also
reducing the risk of dust or other particles marring the paint job. Outside air
flows in through the ceiling, where filters remove particles from the air
before it enters the paint booth. Exhaust fans then return the air to the
environment, pulling it through filters in the paint booth pits. The filters
are designed to remove paint and other particles so that the exhaust air meets
In addition, 400 energy
efficient fluorescent lights illuminate the paint booth, enabling Metro
employees to apply the paint with precision, and allowing for careful
inspection of the completed paint job before the trains are put back into circulation.
"This facility will allow
Metro to effectively and efficiently restore the body of the Light Rail
Vehicles, extend the service life of each train and create a consistent image
for Metro's customers," notes Ray Friem, Metro's Chief Operating Officer of
Bob Baer, Metro's
President and CEO added, "We really appreciate the support for this project
from St. Clair County Transit District and the elected officials from St. Clair
Company of Highland, Ill., was the general contractor for the project, which
was awarded in September 2008 and included civil site work, utility work and
track work, in addition to the building and paint booth construction. Actual
construction was completed six months ahead of schedule and approximately 10
percent under the estimated budget of $4,783,821. Funding for the project came
from federal formula funds with a local contribution of $246,000 from the St.
Clair County Transit District. St. Louis County, Mo., also contributed funds to
the facility. The Light Rail Vehicles that will be repainted at the new
facility operate all along the entire alignment in St. Louis City and St. Louis
County in Missouri and in St. Clair County, Ill.
Norfolk Southern has
unveiled preliminary environmental data that will serve as the foundation of
its proposed intermodal terminal in Fayette County, where cargo containers will
be transferred between trucks and trains, The Daily News reports.
Canadian Pacific Railway sold
its historic Windsor Station in Montreal as the country's second-largest
railway continues to look at ways to improve its cash position in face of
declining volumes, the Montreal Gazette reports. CP said it had sold the
station and significant other related real estate, to Cadillac Fairview Corp.
Ltd. for C$86 million.
The city of Virginia
Beach, Va., has released the final draft of its comprehensive plan, which is a
blueprint for how the city will grow in the future, Inside Business reports. Included
in the plan is a section on light rail and how it could fit into the city's
transportation master plan.
Frankfort, Ill., is
moving full speed ahead before the freight trains really get rolling along the
Canadian National Railway tracks in its community, the Southtown Star reports. Village
officials have been working with engineers and residents to soften the blow of
what is expected to be 28 daily freight trains.
approved a quiet zone feasibility study detailing safety improvements at every
crossing from Harlem Avenue to 116th Avenue. It now goes to the Federal
Railroad Administration and the Illinois Commerce Commission for approval. Village
administrator Jerry Ducay said if all goes well with that approval process,
work could begin in the spring and be completed by this time next year.
Once all work is
completed, train engineers would not be required to sound the horn at each
intersection unless there is a danger present. CN is paying for all
Ducay said he has seen no
increase in rail traffic and figures CN has been operating four to six trains a
To date, the village also
has issued $400,000 out of a $2.7-million pot provided by the rail company to
landscape homes near the tracks to further reduce the noise level. Homeowners
are allowed to pick their own landscaping contractor, but must submit a plan
for approval and a building permit from the village.
To distribute the funds
among 300 homeowners, the village developed a four-tier system, with payments
ranging from $1,000 to $12,000.
"Our goal is to
spend $500,000 this season and gear up again in the spring," Ducay said.
"Most people will have all winter to prepare."
Even though the village
has five years to spend the money, Ducay said officials hope to use it all
within two years. Sound mitigation funds must be spent on landscaping walls,
fences, berms, trees, evergreens, shrubs, perennials and mulch or stone. While
some homeowners wanted a sound wall, it was not financially feasible, Ducay
Funding levels for
Frankfort homeowners impacted by the Canadian National Railway:
Tier 1: $10,000 to
$12,000 for properties adjacent to the railroad tracks.
Tier 2: $6,000 to $8,000
for properties separated by ComEd lines.
Tier 3: $4,000 to $5,000
for properties separated by another parcel.
Tier 4: $1,000 for
properties separated by a street.