Latest Rail News

Fulfilling a commitment to the PATH rail system's long-term growth, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners authorized more than $340 million worth of contracts to help replace antiquated mechanical train controls on the 101-year-old system with state-of-the-art, computerized signals.

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TriMet in the Portland, Ore., area is beginning work on the first of several stimulus-funded projects aimed at improving rider and pedestrian safety, security and convenience at Eastside MAX stations. TriMet is using federal stimulus funds to repaint six MAX stations, starting at the E 162nd Ave station in Gresham.

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The North County Transit District reached an agreement with AECOM (formerly DMJM+Harris) to settle all claims arising from the design services performed by DMJM+Harris for the SPRINTER light rail project in the San Diego area. The settlement allows each party to avoid future litigation regarding disputed claims. With this agreement, NCTD should complete the SPRINTER project well within its federally approved budget of $484.2 million.

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Hampton Roads Transit's board awarded a $3.96-million contract to build 11 light-rail stations, slightly under the $4.09 million projected budget, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The contract went to W.M. Schlosser Company Inc., which is already building the light-rail vehicle storage and maintenance facility. The company has done similar work for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

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Although it has been a part of our lives for more than 150 years, public transportation is one of the key investments to create jobs as we address the new emerging green economy, according to the American Public Transportation Association as it released a new report Oct. 23. With previous research showing public transit's significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases, the report, "Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment," demonstrates how increased investment in public transportation provides good green jobs, wages and business income in industries that have been particularly hit hard by the economic downturn.

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BMWED National Division President Freddie Simpson convened a meeting Oct. 21 for the purpose of reviewing membership surveys and finalizing bargaining demands that will be served on the nation's freight railroads in November. The national contract with most freight railroads will expire January 1, 2010 and the next round of bargaining will begin.

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North County Transit District leaders in the San Diego area floated the idea of refusing to pay for an expensive and federally mandated rail safety program, then did a quick about-face when they learned such a move could shut down the district's coastal railway, the North county Times reports. In the end, the district's board voted 8-1 to pay for a $332,728 study of how to install positive train control. The required safety technology could cost NCTD anywhere from $27 million to $90 million. To put that in perspective, as board member and Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts did, $90 million is about the size of NCTD's entire annual budget.

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On October 22, railway control and communications systems provider Invensys Rail, Brazilian engineering company Montagens e Projetos Especiais (MPE) and Spanish telecoms specialists Infoglobal have signed a milestone $418-million contract to upgrade the Signaling and ATC on lines 8, 10 and 11 of São Paulo's rapidly developing Metro system.

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Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, which will enhance safety at 25 grade crossings in San Mateo County, continues in Burlingame, Menlo Park and Atherton. Throughout the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open. Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction.

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Unitrac Railroad Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Healey Railroad Corporation and a specialty trackwork manufacturer and distributor of new and relay rail, has received the contract to supply 72 panelized turnouts for the Evansville Western Railway project located in North Baltimore, Ohio.

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