Latest Rail News

Showing how freight rail works to protect jobs, ease gridlock and make breathing easier are themes played out in the Association of American Railroads' latest Freight Rail Works advertising campaign. The "Messages" campaign consists of TV, radio, print and online components and mixes bold graphics with tongue-in-cheek wordplay to demonstrate the freight rail industry's positive economic and environmental contributions.

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Feb. 6-11, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. crews will be finishing up work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program. Work will take place at the following locations: in Burlingame at Oak Grove Avenue and Peninsula Avenue; in Redwood City at Main Street and Chestnut Street; in San Mateo at Villa Terrace Avenue and First Avenue; and in Menlo Park at Encinal Avenue, Glenwood Avenue, Oak Grove Avenue and Ravenswood Avenue

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Shuttle buses will replace trains on the Blue Line on Saturday, Feb. 13, reports the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The rail will be shut down in both directions, from Warrensville/Van Aken to Shaker Square, while construction crews remove an outside wall at the Lee Road Blue Line station.


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FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff announced federal funding for Denver Union Station, the centerpiece of the Regional Transportation District's FasTracks transit expansion plan. The Department of Transportation approved a $151.6-million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan and a $152.1-million loan application under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program for Denver Union Station.

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Hatch Mott MacDonald is providing construction management services for Metro-North Railroad for an $18.9 million design/build project at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The project will convert an interior space from its previous use as a tennis club to facilities for Metro-North train crews, fire brigade crews and building services staff. The current facilities for the train and fire brigade crews and building services staff have outlived their useful life and are in need of substantial upgrade. This project will relocate the crews and staff members to a better location with updated accommodations.

 

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The Santa Clara Valley, Calif., Transportation Authority Board of Directors unanimously adopted the 2010 Short Range Transit Plan Feb. 4. In compliance with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's requirement, VTA produced the 2010 SRTP to plan for transit service over the next 10 years. The Board's approval of the 2010 SRTP makes VTA eligible for federal and state transportation grants.

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Since mid-January, when MTA Metro-North railroad launched its new service, Train Time, more than 71,000 "hits" show it's a real hit with customers. And live demonstrations are now going to hit the following stations: Hastings on Tuesday, February 9; 
Brewster on Tuesday, February 16; Port Chester on Tuesday, February 23. From 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Metro-North Customer Service representatives will demonstrate how this convenient, real-time train status and schedule information is easily accessible via smart phones and computers.

They will show how, by using a web-enabled smart phone or computer, a customer can select a station from the user-friendly drop-down menu and simply click. So far, 67 stations across all three lines are on-line, including Grand Central and Harlem-125th Street, and more will be added this spring.

"This new service allows customers to check the status of train service in real time at their home stations or wherever they are traveling," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "It gives people the freedom to plan a trip and get up-to-the-minute information to make necessary adjustments while they are out and about. We think it's a technology whose time has come."

Smart phones and computers will show whether a train is On Time, Late, Canceled or Delayed, including the number of minutes it is late, also what track it will arrive on and what stops it makes.

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Ohio's planned passenger rail system could be on a collision course with another one of the state's key economic priorities - expanding its powerful, growing freight and logistics industry, Business First of Columbus reports. The state's plan for a passenger line calls for running passenger trains on heavily traveled freight tracks that crisscross the state instead of putting them on dedicated lines, as may be done in other states such as California.

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A Kalamazoo-based Michigan railroad is approaching its first anniversary of service on its Elkhart-to-Grand Rapids route, and officials with the Grand Elk Railroad say St. Joseph County is proving to be a critical part of its success and growth, the Sturgis Journal reports. After working out a long-term track lease with Norfolk Southern last March, the Grand Elk and its seven distinctive black and yellow locomotives began rumbling along the north-south route on April 1.

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The Jo-Carroll Depot Local Redevelopment Authority agreed to give Riverport Railroad a three-year option to buy a 400-acre industrial park at the former Savanna Army Depot 20 miles north of Thomson Correctional Center, Executive Director Diane M. Komiskey, local media report.

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