Latest Rail News

The city of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., has received a couple of mighty big gifts totaling $1.4 million in grant money to convert a historic swing bridge into a 670-foot public pier over the Mississippi River, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. And now, as they're getting ready to seek contractors to do the work, city officials say they're expecting that bids could come in 20 to 40 percent lower than anticipated by engineers -- thanks in part to highly competitive bidding during tough economic times.

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The recent sale of the Chamberlain, S.D.-based Dakota Southern Railway Company could result in lower shipping prices for area producers served by the line, according to its new owners, the Daily Republic reported. Mike Williams and Stan Patterson, who purchased the line, met in Chamberlain with the Mitchell-Rapid City Regional Rail Authority and laid out the broad strokes of a multi-year rebuilding plan.

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New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder lauded the completion of the first phase of the Number 7 subway extension at the Hudson Yards in Manhattan. The second of two tunnel boring machines has reached the southern wall of the 34th Street Station cavern after mining a combined 2,900 feet from their starting point at 26th Street under 11th Avenue. The $2.1-billion project, funded by the City and managed by the MTA, will help transform the Hudson Yards vicinity into a vibrant 24-hour neighborhood, containing a mix of commercial, residential, retail, open space and recreational uses.

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The Port of Seattle Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding with King County and BNSF that will result in the Port's acquisition and receipt by donation of the 42-mile Eastside rail corridor in King and Snohomish counties from the railroad. Acquisition of the southern corridor for the public is one of the largest and most significant in the history of the federal rail-banking program.

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Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, has expanded its manufacturing operations into McIntire, Iowa, by opening a new facility to handle its increased welding activities. The plant opening created about 40 welding jobs. IMT has also hired more welders at its main facility in Garner, Iowa.

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Construction of Norfolk's starter light-rail line is running as much as 41 percent over its original budget, and that has angry local leaders demanding an explanation from Hampton Roads Transit, which manages the project, The Virginian-Pilot reports. HRT officials said this week they need $38 million to $40 million more to finish the 7.4-mile transit system, which is just over 50 percent complete.

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Vancouver's TransLink's Board of Directors has approved a 2010 budget that will preserve its roads and transit program. Revenue increases and cost cutting initiatives have eliminated the structural deficit and TransLink will maintain services and keep equipment and facilities in a state of good repair. Funding levels do not allow TransLink to proceed with further expansion of the transportation system in 2010.

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Axion International Holdings, Inc., which makes plastic crossties, pointed to the release of a white paper on the overall state of America's railroad tie market by the editors of SmallcapInsights.com.

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Canada's Transport Minister John Baird and the Honorable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State said Marc Laliberté, of Boucherville, Québec, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of VIA Rail Canada Inc. for a term of four years, effective January 4, 2010.


 

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BART customers who subscribe to the five major mobile phone companies can now use their mobile phones and wireless hotspot devices to make calls or surf the web as they go under the bay between San Francisco and Oakland. Over the weekend Sprint/Nextel, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and MetroPCS turned on their networks inside the Transbay Tube. In fact, BART passengers now have a continuous wireless access from the West Oakland BART Station all the way to Balboa Park.

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