Latest Rail News

A top adviser for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be transferred Jan. 4 to a new job aimed at bringing a light-rail system to Los Angeles and L.A./Ontario international airports, the Los Angeles Times reports. Deputy Mayor Diego Alvarez will serve as the regional transportation coordinator for Los Angeles World Airports, which operates both airports, according to Villaraigosa's office.

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A key rail connection and capacity expansion project of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program is now operational in McCook, Ill. The $13.1-million federally- and privately-funded McCook Connection project (Project B6) provides additional connectivity between the Indiana Harbor Belt, CSX Transportation and BNSF rail lines. Trains that had to wait or travel at a maximum speed of 10 miles an hour are now able to proceed through the area at 25 miles per hour as they move onto mainline tracks near the United Parcel Service Willow Springs Distribution Center.

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Metra and community leaders marked the opening of expanded parking facilities at the Pingree Road Station on Metra's Union Pacific Northwest Line in Crystal Lake, Ill., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 28.

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After nearly six years of construction, the new entrance to the Long Island Rail Road's critical Atlantic Terminal at Flatbush Avenue is finally open to straphangers, according to The Brooklyn Paper. Commuters looking for the LIRR ticket office will find that it has moved to a new location on the concourse below the ground floor entrance, where natural light shines through glass that spans from the road to the ceiling, offering views of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower across the street.

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The newly installed elevators at CTA's Belmont and Fullerton stations will soon be available for customers' use by the end of 2009. The elevator at Belmont will go into service on Tuesday, December 29 and the one at Fullerton will begin operation on Thursday, December 31.

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Norfolk Southern Corp. paid nearly $12 million to purchase the 316 acres in McCalla, Ala., where it plans to build a $112 million railroad hub, according to county records, The Birmingham News reports. The railroad company bought land from six different property owners in transactions ranging in price from $72,545.40 to more than $5.8 million, the property records show.

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Amtrak has been working hard to lure more business travelers to its trains, with advertisements highlighting its advantages over air travel - roomier seats, power outlets on its Acela trains and fewer annoyances, the New York Times reports. And its efforts have borne some fruit: the number of riders on its Northeast corridor trains has been rising.

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In January, in addition to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday weekend closure of the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail station on the Red Line, Metro in Washington, D.C., will replace fasteners, make tunnel repairs, and make repairs to a rail switch that will help ensure reliable Metrorail service. Customers should expect travel delays during the weekends of Jan. 8 to 10, Jan. 15 to 18, and Jan. 29 to Jan. 31.





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As construction to replace the 80-year-old Vandeventer Bridge in St. Louis continues, work to remove the old bridge will require a MetroLink system outage between the Grand and Central West End MetroLink Stations from December 26 through January 3. During this time, MetroBus shuttles will replace MetroLink light rail service between these two stations, enabling passengers to navigate around the construction zone and continue their commutes.

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Construction is complete on the Kansas City Southern rail line and trains run through Victoria, Texas, daily, but there's still more to go, according to the Victoria Advocate. The next step is a bypass to offset rail traffic through major arteries. It's a work in progress and both KCS and the Texas Department of Transportation are working toward a resolution, Victoria County Judge Don Pozzi said.

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