Latest Rail News

Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, which will enhance safety at 25 grade crossings in San Mateo County, will continue t week Fair Oaks Avenue, Atherton.

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At its January 28, Board meeting, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board of Directors issued the following two bid packages, seeking design-build-finance teams to construct Phase 2A (Pasadena to Azusa):  (1) the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Iconic Freeway Structure project and (2) the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Phase 2A Alignment project. These actions keep the Foothill Extension on schedule to break ground in June 2010 and be completed to Azusa in 2013.

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NJ Transit board members approved the appointment and contract of former Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein as the state commuter agency's new executive director Jan. 28, the Asbury Park Press reports. Weinstein was nominated by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this month. The contract is effective Jan. 30. Former executive director Richard Sarles is retiring.


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The governing board of Hampton Roads Transit has selected Philip A. Shucet as HRT's president and CEO. One of Virginia's leading transportation administrators, Shucet is the former commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation, where he imposed a series of reforms that greatly improved the agency's on-time and on-budget performance.

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(The following is a statement from Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger in response to President Barack Obama's award of $8 billion in federal grants to 31 states around the U.S. for high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects.)

"Moving more people and goods by rail is good for America. The Obama Administration's announcement recognizes the vital importance of rail to our nation's economic recovery.

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The Amtrak national route network is a significant beneficiary of President Obama's historic federal investment in intercity passenger rail as approximately $4.5 billion of the $8 billion awarded in grants are for state projects that support improvements to current or future Amtrak routes.

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A bill backed by Olmsted County, Minn., and Mayo Clinic seeking $8 million in planning dollars for a freight railroad bypass of Rochester got a rocky reception from lawmakers Jan. 28, The Rochester Post-Bulletin reports. Opponents blasted the proposal during a House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee hearing. That included Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston.

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The latest meeting between state authorities, local officials and concerned citizens regarding the possible construction of a parking structure in downtown Ayer, Mass., revealed not only that the groups were miles apart about the type of structure that could be built, but that one of the key sources of funding for the project might not be available, the Ayer Public Spirit reports.

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Irving Tissue is seeking state funding for a $1 million project that would repair 4,200 feet of railroad tracks leading to its Fort Edward, N.Y., plant, the Glens Falls Post Star reports. The repairs to the tracks are needed to accommodate the expected increase in train traffic to the plant when a new paper machine comes online in the fall, Fort Edward town Supervisor Mitch Suprenant said.

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Chicago Transit Authority Orange Line trains in the Loop will be temporarily rerouted to operate on the Brown Line tracks from approximately 5:50 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 31 due to track work. Orange Line trains will be rerouted from the inner track to the outer Loop track, and travel counterclockwise.

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