Latest Rail News

Worldwide industrial services and engineered products company Harsco Corporation debuted its new logistics super center business concept for the Harsco Infrastructure - Americas region with the launch of its first prototype center in Las Vegas to serve the southwestern United States.

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In his first several months as New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie made it clear that he intended to cut the state's budget in ways that might surprise and upset some residents. But one big project - a train tunnel to Manhattan projected to cost $8.7 billion - appeared safe, according to The New York Times

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It won't include an overpass, but New Albany, Ind., is aspiring to begin improving a portion of Grant Line Road next year, The Evening News and Tribune reports. The Board of Public Works and Safety approved a formal agreement with CSX Transportation, which owns the railroad tracks that cross Grant Line Road near the General Mills-Pillsbury plant entrance.

The deal basically confirms that CSXT can begin forming design plans to improve the railroad crossing, with the city agreeing to pay the planning and construction costs. Due to safety concerns, CSXT rules that "no one can touch their facilities" except their crews, said John Rosenbarger, director of public facilities projects for New Albany.

The standard agreement "gives [CSXT] the green light to do whatever engineering work they need to do and to coordinate with our road engineers," Rosenbarger said.

Improving the railroad crossing surface and installing new gates and flashers are just some of the upgrades slated for Grant Line Road. The city will be using a portion of the $6.125 million it received from the state for taking over 4.5 miles of Ind. 111 in April to foot construction projects from Mount Tabor Road to McDonald Lane along Grant Line Road. Rosenbarger said that will include adding a lane near University Woods Drive along with the installation of sidewalks and pedways along the route.

An August preliminary design submitted to the board of works called for Grant Line Road to be stretched to five lanes from Mount Tabor Road inbound to the railroad tracks. The Indiana Department of Transportation had pegged Grant Line Road for a similar project until it relinquished control of a portion of the thoroughfare to New Albany.

The state had originally planned a 120-foot overpass to extend over the railroad tracks, but had scrapped that idea prior to transferring the road to the city's domain.

Mayor Doug England said in a phone interview he wasn't supportive of the state's overpass idea, describing it as a "monstrous project for the community."

"I think the overpass would have been horrendous with the businesses it would have knocked out," he said.

The city will have access to the right-of-way the state purchased for improvements along the route, England said. Rosenbarger said additional property will likely have to be purchased, but the city's project will not have the impact on businesses the overpass would have created.

England said the construction would hopefully alleviate some of the traffic flow problems in that section of Grant Line Road. The city is also working on extending Reas Lane to connect its industrial parks in the corridor as a way to keep much of the heavy truck traffic off of the busy thoroughfare.

Rosenbarger said the city hopes to have design completed by the end of 2010 or early next year, with work to begin next construction season.

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The Chicago Transit Board approved a three-year contract with Progressive Industries, Inc., to provide the agency with ‘green' general purpose liquid cleaner and odor elimination concentrate for use in the cleaning of buses, trains and facilities.

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October 8-11, Washington, D.C., Metro will install a new track switch, repair and upgrade its platforms and conduct make landscaping repairs on the Blue, Orange, Red and Yellow lines to improve long-term reliability and service. The track switch on the Blue and Orange Line that will close the Farragut West, McPherson Square and the lower level of the Metro Center Metrorail station is work that was recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board to improve rail safety. There will be no train service through those stations on the Blue or Orange Lines.

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As part of the Sound Transit 2 plan approved by voters in 2008, Sound Transit is starting the formal planning process for mass transit between Northgate and Lynnwood, Wash. Sound Transit invites the public to attend a hands-on planning session to learn and comment about:

• Project purpose and schedule

• Areas that may be served by future stations

• Criteria for reviewing alternatives

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October has special significance for the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), whose 10,000 members play a vital role in advancing the nation's transportation, water and energy infrastructure projects. October is International Right of Way Month, and in acknowledging the industry's role in bringing essential infrastructure projects to life, IRWA launched a Project of the Year Competition.

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Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 from 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008. Although highway, rail, aviation, deaths declined, pipeline and marine fatalities showed an increase.

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Union Pacific will continue its aggressive investment in American transportation infrastructure by reigniting its double-track initiative on the Sunset Route in the Southwestern United States. With an investment of roughly $18 million by the end of this year, Union Pacific will complete the double-tracking of nine miles of this premium line in Imperial County, Calif., and another nine miles in Maricopa County, Ariz., with more work planned for 2011. This project is part of $2.6-billion to be spent by Union Pacific in 2010 to support current and future freight transportation needs of its customers.

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Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said that a total of $3,009,763 will be coming to Iowa to cover the cost of repairing damage to some of Iowa's smaller railroads sustained during 2008's historic storms and floods. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration, and was initially appropriated in the 2008 Disaster Appropriations bill. Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds transportation initiatives.

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