Latest Rail News

Barrington and Aurora, Ill., officials met separately Nov. 4 with new Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott, a day after he toured the EJ&E rail line with representatives of its new owner, Canadian National, the Daily Herald reports.

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Construction work is finished on the railroad tracks that will carry freight trains through Novato, Calif. Now the tracks need to be inspected, and then freight trains are expected to start rolling by March 2010, the Novato Advance reports. Meanwhile, planning and design work is under way for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter train, and construction work should start in 2011.

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INVISTA, a global manufacturer of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers, and CSX Transportation celebrated the expansion of rail tracks and other infrastructure in a ceremony today at INVISTA's Spartanburg, S.C., plant. The capital investment will result in increased efficiency and improved customer service.

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Despite the national meager economic outlook, Levelland, Texas is on the right track for big business. Literally. After voting unanimously just over one year ago to commit $1.5 million to build an Industrial Rail Park in the 12,866-population town, the Levelland Economic Development Corporation's vision has begun to be realized.

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On November 5, BART will release its Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for an extension between the Dublin/Pleasanton Station and the City of Livermore, Calif. The goal of extending BART to Livermore is to increase mobility to, from and through the Tri-Valley region. As added benefits, a new station in Livermore would reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions; improve community livability and reduce congestion on the I-580 corridor. The DPEIR evaluates alignment options, environmental impacts and mitigation measures for extending BART to Livermore. BART is seeking public comment on the Livermore extension and its proposed alignments.

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Public safety around railroad operations is best promoted when there is participation from everyone involved. In public-private partnerships with Operation Lifesaver, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, The Kansas City Southern Railway Company is doing its part to promote safety at public grade crossings for motorists, pedestrians and the railroad operation.

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(The following opinion article, "Rail upgrade needed for passenger service, not freight," was written by Joseph Bateman and appeared Nov. 4, 2009, in the Springfield, Ill., State Journal-Register. Bateman is vice president for public affairs of Union Pacific.)

Contrary to the headline and opinions expressed in the Oct. 25 article "High-speed rail spending to be a boon to freight rail companies," Union Pacific does not need for its freight operations the improvements contained in IDOT's proposal for high-speed passenger service in the St. Louis-to-Chicago corridor.

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Work crews with heavy equipment were busy Nov. 3 repairing the historic Piedmont & Northern Railroad off of Ozark Avenue in Gastonia, but while the restoration of the rail line is moving ahead, the project's bottom line still has obstacles to overcome, according to the Gaston Gazette.

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The South Shore is extending its temporarily bus busing of passengers between South Bend and Michigan City, Inc., including Hudson Lake, through Friday, November 6 due to further flooding problems at the Galena River project.


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The city of Neosho, Mo., has no recourse other than to close two railroad crossings, City Attorney Steve Hays told the council Nov. 3, The Neosho Daily News reports. Mayor Pro Tem Richard Davidson asked the council to authorize Hays to speak to the Missouri Department of Transportation and Kansas City Southern Railway Company to see what alternatives there were, if any, to closing crossings at Daugherty Road and Park Street. Essentially, Hays told the council that they had no alternatives.



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