High-speed rail may be
coming down the tracks one day, but the Stanislaus County, Calif., Board of
Supervisors entered into an agreement to plan and develop a regional commuter
rail system that could soon share those tracks, the Turlock Journal reports. The
Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding to
enter a working group to collaborate with the California High-Speed Rail
Authority that will see the county partner with more than 20 regional entities
from Sacramento County to Merced County.
It's gotten a little
quieter for residents living along the Canadian National Railway in three western
suburbs, the Chicago Tribune reports. A long-anticipated quiet zone in Berwyn,
Riverside and North Riverside, Ill., went into effect Jan. 28, preventing
trains from sounding their horns at nine crossings except in emergencies.
Balfour Beatty Rail has
taken delivery of an Amberg Technologies GRP Track
Measurement System. The
system was purchased from Amberg's North American distribution partner, the Kara Company of
Countryside, Ill. Widely used throughout the rail industries of Europe, Asia
and many other parts of the world, the GRP track measurement system is the most
advanced technology available in its class, Amberg notes, and just recently
made available in North America.
A consortium of
Invensys Rail Corp. (formerly Safetran Systems Corp.), Siemens Mobility and D/A
Builders, LLC, will install ATC utilizing advanced Communications Based Train
Control technology plus a back-up conventional signaling system on the entire
PATH main line network including all central office, wayside and car borne
Incorporated has been awarded a major contract to provide new rail control and
passenger information systems for the 77-mile Caltrain commuter rail line,
serving the San Francisco peninsula and California's Santa Clara Valley. The
contract was awarded in December by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board,
the regional authority operating Caltrain.
MARTA has closed a majority of its escalators and is
conducting a comprehensive and independent system-wide review of all 149
escalators in its system. This action is being taken after MARTA recently
discovered that a private contractor had intentionally bypassed safety controls
on an escalator at the Dunwoody rail station.
An independent team of
consultants charged with looking at competitiveness in the U.S. rail industry
has found that railroad rates have been steadily increasing since 2004, with a
particularly steep increase in 2008. But Christensen Associates, Inc., of
Madison, Wis., found that the rate increases were driven by fluctuating fuel
prices and other costs and did not appear to reflect a greater exercise of
railroad market power over captive shippers.
national environmental group with deep pockets and specialized legal expertise
is joining the effort to block a permit for one of the area's biggest development
projects, The Kansas City Star reports. The Natural Resources Defense Council
filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 to halt the environmental permit issued for a rail yard
proposed for southwest Johnson County.
lawsuit is separate from one brought by Hillsdale Environmental Loss Prevention
Inc. and several other plaintiffs. Unlike the earlier lawsuit, BNSF Railway is
not named as a defendant.
defense council's entrance into the case is significant because of the hefty
resources at its disposal. During 2007-08, the organization raised $108
million, according to its tax returns from that year. As of mid-2008, the group
had assets of $186 million.
decision to join the legal dispute "guarantees there will be some funding at
least for the plaintiffs," said John Ragsdale, who has taught environmental law
at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
like the council have national constituencies with dues paid by thousands of
people, enabling the groups to assemble lots of money with small donations,
of these groups have staffs of attorneys ... that are very, very competent and
skilled," Ragsdale said. "They can bring a strong force to bear."
wants to build what's known as an intermodal hub for transferring freight
arriving on West Coast trains to trucks for shipment elsewhere. The railroad
plans to develop the hub on 492 acres while a private developer builds a nearby
distribution and warehouse complex to store some of the incoming freight. Overall,
the project promises the creation of 13,000 jobs when fully built in about 20
is seeking $50 million in federal stimulus money to get the project started.
Bayer MaterialScience AG
has acquired the worldwide marketing and usage rights for the DURFLEX® track
superstructure system from Hyperion Verwaltung GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
The two companies have signed an agreement to this effect. Financial details
have not been disclosed. The superstructure system stabilizes the ballast
stones under rail tracks, thus enabling more cost-effective railroad operation
in the long term. It is based on the flexible Bayflex® polyurethane foam system
from Bayer MaterialScience.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn visited
Moline, Ill, Jan. 30 to announce $45 million in state capital funds to establish
passenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities. The new service will
result in up to 825 new jobs, including 440 construction jobs.