In February, U.S.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $100 million in American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act funds for projects to help reduce rail bottlenecks in the
Chicago region. On July 22, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the
Illinois Department of Transportation finalized a grant agreement for the
CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) program to
begin work on those projects.
Secretary LaHood said freight congestion
mitigation projects include new traffic control systems, track and bridge work,
a highway-rail grade separation and safety improvements on various rail viaducts.
The Surface Transportation
Board said its Section of Environmental Analysis has issued the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the R. J. Corman Railroad
Company/Pennsylvania Lines Inc. (RJCP) proposed construction, operation, and
reactivation of a 20-mile railroad line between Wallaceton and Gorton, in
Clearfield and Centre Counties, Pennsylvania.
The Seattle-area Sound
Transit board of directors took a major step towards delivering the Sounder
commuter rail expansions that voters approved in 2008 by authorizing the
purchase of rights to four additional south line Sounder round trips.
Steel Hardening Co. Ltd. of China has entered into a patent license agreement
with UNITRAC Railroad Materials, Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., to operate a
patented Explosive Depth Hardening Blast chamber at its headquarters in
Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province.
Dan Blocher replaces Neil
McFarlane, who is TriMet's new general manager, as executive director of capital
projects for TriMet in the Portland, Ore., area. Blocher, 49, will direct and
manage all aspects of planning, development, design and construction of TriMet's
capital projects, including the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project now in
the design phase. He has been with TriMet for 13 years over two periods of
July 23-25, Metro in the
Washington, D.C., area will make upgrades to its track on the Blue 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 of up to 30 minutes.
Transportation reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency to pay $11.2 million to clean up a former wood treatment plant site in
Desoto County in Southwest Florida, the Florida Times-Union reports.
The Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio has approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail
Development Commission directing Wheeling & Lake Erie, Norfolk Southern,
CSX Transportation and Indiana & Ohio Railway to install flashing lights
and roadway gates at six grade crossings in Auglaize, Champaign, Fayette,
Logan, Ross and Wayne counties, the Urbana Daily Citizen reports.
RailWorks Track Systems,
Inc., appointed Robert Rolf vice president and general manager of the South
Track division with responsibility for all operations of RailWorks Track
Systems - Texas, Inc. He succeeds Jack Wilt, who is retiring as vice president
and general manager of this division.
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), with co-sponsors
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), introduced
the Focusing Resources, Economic Investment and Guidance to Help Transportation
Act of 2010 (FREIGHT Act), a landmark bill, leading the charge to transform
America's transportation policy and investment by focusing on the freight
network that enables goods and commodities to move about and reach their
markets. The FREIGHT Act provides a visionary, comprehensive, systemic approach
to infrastructure investment that addresses the nation's commerce needs while
providing a solid foundation that will also help our nation meet its energy,
environmental and safety goals. The bill also calls for the creation of a new
National Freight Infrastructure Grants initiative - a competitive, merit-based
program with broad eligibility for multimodal freight investment designed to
focus funds where they will provide the most public benefit.