Latest Rail News

Houston METRO's Title VI program has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration - another step toward federal Full Funding Grant Agreements for the build out of Houston's light-rail system. After a thorough study, the FTA's Office of Civil Rights ruled METRO's program is complete and in compliance with requirements related to Title VI. This compliance is necessary to apply for the FTA's New Starts program - the federal government's primary financial resource for supporting major transit "guideway" capital investments such as light rail.

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The ripple effects of what would happen if funding hadn't been secured for the BNSF railroad bridge between Burlington, Iowa, and Gulfport, Ill., could have been grim, according to the Burlington Hawkeye.  On top of the obvious safety concerns -- despite daily inspections -- delivery of goods would be delayed as inspections took days and trains crossed the bridge one at a time.

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The State of Wisconsin has authorized a total of $30.6 million in loans and grants to help construct, preserve or upgrade rail-related facilities across the state, the Business Journal of Milwaukee reports. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said 10 state awards as part of overall efforts to support job growth and Wisconsin's agricultural economy.

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When BNSF employee Daryle Haugen decided to retire, his decision on timing wasn't based on stock price or some family trip he had been waiting to take, according to a story in the railroad's employee newsletter. It had everything to do with finishing one last project. Haugen, who was a Structures foreman, on the Twin Cities Subdivision when he retired in August, was preparing to retire when he was asked to take on the Delano, Minn., bridge.

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CN said it has completed of the $100-million multi-year construction project to reconfigure and modernize its Memphis rail classification yard.

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The Chicago Transit Authority will hold a third round of public meetings in September to receive input on the proposed Circle Line project. The meetings are part of the Alternatives Analysis study - the first step in pursuing federal funding for major transit projects. The Alternatives Analysis study is designed to examine all the transit options available and determine a Locally Preferred Alternative.


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Continuing its initiatives to maintain world-class facilities while improving air quality at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority said that two major components of the Port of New York and New Jersey's $600 million ExpressRail project have been completed. The projects will allow 1.3 million cargo containers to be shipped by rail, taking approximately three million trucks off state and local roads.

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to spend $28.1 billion to improve transit infrastructure in the region, including the tackling of major projects on the Long Island Rail Road, Newsday reported. At a Manhattan meeting, the board voted to adopt the MTA's proposed five-year capital program, which would fund large transit projects from 2010 to 2014. The proposed budget still requires approval from the four voting members of the state's MTA Capital Program Review board.

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Ft. Worth City Council members wrapped up a complicated deal with Union Pacific that will allow construction of an overpass for the Southwest Parkway over the Davidson Rail Yard along West Vickery Boulevard, according to The Star-Telegram.

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"On September 22, the National Transportation Safety Board made safety recommendations to officials at Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and Alstom Signaling, Inc., but the federal safety oversight agency still was not able to point to a cause of Metro's June 22 accident. 



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