Latest Rail News

Maine transportation officials say they've taken new steps to resolve the potential abandonment of about 240 miles of railroad track in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties, after the track's owner indicated it plans to file a notice of abandonment in about the next two weeks, according to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

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The Obama administration's recent decision to award $38.5 million in high speed rail funds to New Jersey is the first step towards a stronger, faster rail system that will reduce congestion, oil use, and carbon emissions, but there is much still to be done, local media report. That was the message that New Brunswick's Mayor Jim Cahill and New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Program Associate Rebecca Alper made clear when they gathered at New Brunswick Train Station to release "The Right Track," a new research report from NJPIRG.

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Iowa Gov. Chet Culver met with Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph Szabo in an effort to get funding for Iowa rail projects back on track, especially a proposed passenger rail routes from Chicago to Iowa City and Chicago to Dubuque, the Mason City Globe Gazette reports.

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The Jackson County, Miss., Port Authority will provide $35,000 for a study on creating a rail line linking east-central Mississippi to coastal ports, the Hattiesburg American reports. The Regional Railroad Authority of East Mississippi would oversee about 45 miles of track from Waynesboro to Lucedale, where existing lines serve port facilities in Pascagoula and Mobile.

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Isanti, Minn., is moving forward with the Isanti Rail Industrial Park development process, the Isanti County News reports. During a recent Isanti City Council meeting, it authorized city engineer Bolton & Menk, Inc. to provide professional engineering services for the preparation of a conceptual layout and facility plan for the Isanti Rail Industrial Park.



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MTA NYC Transit said the next phase of a major $89-million construction project to reconstruct and rehabilitate five stations on the Pelham 6 line has begun. They are Whitlock Avenue, Elder Avenue, Morrison Avenue-Soundview, St. Lawrence Avenue and Parkchester.

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A portion of 14th Street in Greenville, N.C., will close next week and remain closed for approximately one month, city officials said Feb. 8, the Greenville Daily Reflector reports. The railroad crossing next to Beatty Street, between Dickinson Avenue and Evans Street, is undergoing construction to accommodate a new connector track. Vehicles will be detoured through the use of Dickinson Avenue, and 10th and 14th streets, a news release stated.

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In what is the strongest sign to date that it will abandon the Yucca Mountain Project, the Department of Energy on Feb. 9 withdrew 116 water applications it had filed with the Nevada State Engineer for building a rail line to haul nuclear waste to the mountain from Caliente, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

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Light rail trains will be running in the spring or summer of 2011, Hampton Roads Transit's new CEO and president Phil Shucet told Norfolk, Va., City Council members Feb. 9, local media report. It's the first estimate from HRT for completion of The Tide since a series of cost overruns and construction delays were revealed in December.

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Warren Buffett and Bill Gates face a roadblock on the route toward payoff on their investment in U.S. freight transportation, Bloomberg reports. Chicago, whose railroads made it hog butcher for the world a century ago, is a tangle of bottlenecks where a quarter of the nation's rail freight stalls while trying to navigate the city.

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