Latest Rail News

If Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has his way, Los Angeles County will soon embark on a commuter-rail building boom the likes of which the region has never seen, The Los Angeles Times reports. On Oct. 30, the mayor today will unveil an ambitious but politically risky transportation plan that fast-tracks several high-profile rail projects to be completed within the next decade. That's a big speed-up, because officials have generally been talking about completing them within 30 years.

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With the release of new Strategic Guidance and the FY 2010-2014 Five Year Financial Plan, Amtrak aims to continue the solid ridership growth seen in recent years and position itself to maximize this historic moment in federal and state support for more passenger rail service, including for the development of high-speed rail corridors.

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Rail service between the Blue Line's Clark/Lake and UIC-Halsted stations temporarily will be suspended from 10 p.m. October 30 until 4 a.m. November 2, as work to replace track in the south end of the Dearborn subway continues this weekend. Bus shuttles will operate as a substitute for rail service making stops adjacent to the Clark/Lake, Washington, Monroe, Jackson, LaSalle, Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations.

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On the fourth anniversary of the opening of the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line, Metro work crews have officially completed the first construction phase of the line's four-mile extension in the North San Fernando Valley: a parking lot at the Chatsworth Metrolink/Amtrak Station.

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The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's BART Silicon Valley Project exemplifies findings from the recently released "Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment" report, which demonstrates how increased investment in public transportation provides green jobs, wages and business income in industries that have been particularly hit hard by the economic downturn. 

Economic analysis of the BART Silicon Valley project by Wilber Smith and Associates estimated an overall return on investment of four to six dollars for every dollar spent on the $6-billion project.

By 2030, the 16-mile extension is estimated to generate an additional $11.42 billion in gross regional product and $3.27 billion in personal income, with 66 percent of those dollars staying in Santa Clara County and the remainder benefiting the Bay Area region. The national average of short- and long-term economic benefits of public transit investments outlined in the APTA report is for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns.



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Monterey County, Calif., residents are one step closer to riding light rail between Monterey and Marina after the Transportation Agency selected light rail as the locally preferred alternative for the Monterey Branch Line transit corridor.  The 16-mile corridor extends between Monterey and Castroville on the publicly-owned tracks adjacent to Highway 1.

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The American Public Transportation Association and the International Union of Railways (Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer, or UIC) will host three regional seminars in early 2010. The goal of these seminars is to provide U.S. decision makers the information necessary to implement high-speed rail.

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Weekend motorists and pedestrians using the intersection of Market and San Carlos streets in San Jose, Calif., and VTA light rail riders traveling to, from or through Convention Center Light Rail Station will be affected as three sections of aging light rail track running in the median of San Carlos Street between Market Street and Almaden Boulevard in downtown San Jose are replaced.

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About 200 feet of railroad track -- including 400 feet of rail and 160 ties -- along the Nickel Plate Road rail line was damaged by heat during last week's tanker truck explosion at I-69 and I-465, the Indianapolis Star reports. That's the rail line that transportation advocates hope to use for light rail service from Noblesville to Downtown Indianapolis. The Nickel Plate runs underneath the I-465 East/West overpass and alongside the I-69 southbound ramp.

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Track maintenance on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail Red and Orange lines Oct. 30-Nov.2 will cause inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track. Customers should add at least 30 minutes of time to their trips. 

Metrorail customers traveling between the Friendship Heights and Van Ness-UDC Metrorail stations should add at least 30 minutes to their travel time for their trips because Metro will replace rail fasteners that stabilize tracks and make tunnel repairs. Trains will share one track between these locations throughout the weekend from 9:30 p.m. Oct. 30, to closing (midnight) on Nov. 1. 




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