With a goal of speeding
freight between East Coast ports and the Midwest, CSX Transportation has
undertaken what it calls the National Gateway project - an $842-million
public-private upgrade of rail infrastructure to accommodate double-stack
container cars, The State Journal in Huntington, W.Va., reports.
This city (Chicago) was
built on railroads that moved meat from its famous packing houses, steel from
its mills, corn from surrounding fields. Today Chicago is still the nation's
leading rail hub, with about 37,500 rail cars passing through daily, the Washington
Post reports. But massive congestion on Chicago tracks costs millions of
dollars in shipping delays, and it causes substantial noise and air pollution
as trains idle for hours, waiting for track clearance. The problem threatens to
get worse since freight traffic is expected to double in the next 20 years.
(This editorial appeared on
the Boston Globe Website on December 21, 2009.) The Federal Railroad
Administration says it was just following the law in requiring a major environmental
review before Amtrak can seek money for improvements on its Boston-Washington
route. The review should be performed as quickly as possible, and, if it can't
be completed in time to qualify for some of the $8 billion in high-speed rail
funds in the federal stimulus bill, Congress should change the rules. The
Northeast Corridor is, after all, a century-old railbed, and environmental
risks stemming from fairly simple improvements aren't serious enough to
jeopardize the best chance in a generation to push American rail policy in the
Getting to and from Sea-Tac
International Airport got a lot easier Dec. 19 as the Link light rail extension
opened for passenger service.
RailAmerica, Inc. says its
subsidiary RaiLink Canada Ltd. has closed on a transaction with the Canadian
Pacific Railway to terminate its lease of the Ottawa Valley Railway line. Under
the terms of the agreement, RailAmerica, Inc. received C$73 million in gross
proceeds. The company estimates net cash proceeds after taxes and transaction
related expenses of C$69 to C$70 million.
The city of Yakima,
Wash., expects to break ground on the railroad underpass project next March,
thanks to some surprisingly low bids from contractors and political support
from local members of Congress who hope to bring back more money from
Washington, D.C. the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.
Drivers waiting for the
new $6.1-million Covell Road underpass in Edmond, Okla., will have to wait
awhile longer, local media report. Sherwood Construction, contractor for the
project, has requested another 140 calendar days to finish the job, which
started in September 2008, Edmond City Manager Larry Stevens said.
RailComm has successfully
commissioned a Centralized Traffic Control system for Capital Metro's commuter rail
service in Austin, Texas. The Track Warrant Control portion of the system was
launched just 32 days from the signed Notice to Proceed. Capital Metro contracted RailComm to expand the
initial DOC® Track Warrant Control system to include Centralized
Traffic Control functionality for signalized locations. RailComm was
responsible for the central office control system, as well as providing the
data communication network to the controlled interlockings and other field
The Link light rail
extension to SeaTac and Sea-Tac International Airport opens for passenger
service on Saturday, Dec. 19. The 1.7-mile extension completes the line from
downtown Seattle that opened July 18th.
Amtrak told local and state
officials that replacing the Niantic River bridge in Connecticut will take three
years and work on the much smaller Miamicock Bridge would begin Dec. 17, The