Latest Rail News

The Chicago Transit Authority Board approved a $1.27-billion budget for 2010. The budget proposes management efficiencies, elimination of more than 1,100 jobs and service reductions. However, due to an agreement brokered by Governor Quinn's office, a proposed fare increase was removed from the budget. To replace the $83 million in revenue that was anticipated from the fare increase, the Regional Transportation Authority will issue bonds in 2010 and 2011 that will enable the CTA to use eligible capital funds to support operations and replace those funds with the new RTA revenue. As a result, the CTA has agreed to maintain current fares for the next two years.

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The public is invited to attend the launch of Minnesota's first commuter rail service, communities will host local celebrations on Saturday, Nov. 14, at rail stations in Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley. Free train rides for a limited number of people will be available Nov. 14 at the Fridley, Coon Rapids-Riverdale, Anoka, Elk River and Big Lake stations. No rides will be provided at the Target Field Station that day. However, people may tour a Northstar train at the Target Field Station and receive a free Metro Transit ride coupon good for travel on Northstar at a later specified date.

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The Gold Line, a six-mile light-rail extension, which cost $898 million, will open Nov. 15 with free rides and entertainment. Here are some details from the Los Angeles Times.

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As steps proceed to finalize acquisition of the spur by Rusk County Rural Rail Transportation District from Union Pacific, District 11 state Rep. Chuck Hopson said he is behind the project, according to the Tyler, Texas, Morning Telegraph. And Sue Henderson, general manager of Henderson Economic Development Corp., declared the spur would aid future growth in the city.

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A nine-mile spur prevents a key West Feliciana Parish industrial site from linking to the remaining 2,900 railroad miles in Louisiana - and to business beyond the state, industry leaders claim, local media report. The spur runs west from Slaughter in lower East Feliciana Parish, crosses U.S. 61 at Delombre and enters West Feliciana Parish shortly before reaching the Renew Paper mill on the Mississippi River.

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Track maintenance on the Orange and Red lines in the Washington, D.C., area Nov. 13-15 will cause inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track. Customers should add 20 to 30 minutes to their trips. 

 Metrorail customers traveling between the East Falls Church and Ballston-MU Metrorail stations should add at least 20 minutes of travel time to their trips because Metro will replace crossties





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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said an agreement has been reached with the Chicago region's major transit agencies that will prevent fare increases for the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace paratransit services in 2010 and 2011. The agreement was made between the State of Illinois, the Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

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It is fitting an expansion project at the Newberry Rail Yard would be dedicated on Veterans Day, said Lycoming County, Pa., transportation planner Mark Murawski, according to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. The railroads were instrumental in helping the nation win its wars by transporting men and equipment vital to the war effort. Today, railroads still are vital to the nation, he said Nov. 11 during a ceremony marking the opening of a bulk transfer facility at the rail yard.

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Because of the recession, Union Pacific Railroad officials said plans for its proposed intermodal facility in Santa Teresa, N.M., are on hold until the economy improves, the El Paso, Texas, Times reports.

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After two embarrassing defeats, the SunRail commuter train could be on the verge of winning approval in the Florida state Legislature, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Supporters are lining up votes and drafting a bill for a special session that could be held in Tallahassee during the week of Dec. 7.

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