Latest Rail News

Wheaton, Ill., officials have endorsed permanently closing one of its streets at a rail crossing as part of a $100-million plan to add new tracks and upgrades along the Union Pacific line, the Chicago Tribune reports. The City Council approved a resolution calling for closing the Chase Street crossing, just south of Wheaton College.

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The federal Surface Transportation Board directed Canadian National to come before the Board and explain the significant differences between information on street-crossing blockages in the Chicago area that the railroad has provided to the Board and the results of an independent audit conducted by the Board.

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The Delaware River Port Authority and PATCO have completed an extensive Alternatives Analysis study focusing on identifying mass transit transportation needs and solutions for Southern New Jersey. This study concluded with a recommendation for light rail transit along the Conrail rail right-of-way from Glassboro to Camden.

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Stressing that the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization bill should be "revolutionary, not evolutionary" when it comes to federal investment in intercity passenger rail, Amtrak testified before a Congressional field hearing in Chicago that "[t]he need for reliable, multi-year funding is our biggest policy challenge."

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CSX Transportation will move a regional headquarters from Chicago to North Baltimore, Ohio, early next year, according to railway officials, the Findlay, Ohio, Courier reports. Construction is under way on a $175-million intermodal rail yard near North Baltimore. The yard is scheduled to be completed next year, and the headquarters will be located at the yard, according to company officials.

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The first public open house to discuss the Springfield rail corridor study drew more than 220 people to the Prairie Capital Convention Center April 20, the State Journal-Register reports. City and Sangamon County officials pushed for the study after the Illinois Department of Transportation concluded the Union Pacific/Third Street line would be the best route for high-speed passenger trains between Chicago and St. Louis. Local officials contend the analysis will find 10th Street is a better alternative for consolidated train traffic, possibly also including trains that now use 19th Street.

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Money for noise mitigation that was part of Frankfort, Ill.'s, settlement with the Canadian National Railway will be used to buy insulated windows and doors for nearby residents, the Chicago Tribune reports. The village has received a $2.7-million grant for noise mitigation projects from the CN. Village officials have been meeting with residents who live near CN's tracks to determine ways to tone down railroad noise.

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Norfolk Southern is on track to break ground later this year for its new intermodal facility in Greencastle, Pa., a company official told members of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, local media report.

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Following a national search, TriMet has selected Shelly Lomax as its new executive director of operations. Lomax has served as the interim executive since January. She will have direct responsibility for the Operations division, which includes all bus, MAX and WES operations and maintenance, system safety and security, accessible transportation, labor relations, facilities and planning and development. Operations has 2,100 employees and a $300-million budget.

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Leaving a little earlier in the morning or a little later in the afternoon will help ensure a punctual, uninterrupted ride for Amtrak Missouri River Runner passengers through the middle of June. Maintenance work on the Union Pacific tracks near Sedalia is causing Amtrak to temporarily adjust its schedules from April 25 to June 16, 2010.

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