(The following is a
statement from Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R.
Hamberger in response to President Barack Obama's award of $8 billion in
federal grants to 31 states around the U.S. for high-speed and intercity
passenger rail projects.)
"Moving more people and
goods by rail is good for America. The Obama Administration's announcement recognizes
the vital importance of rail to our nation's economic recovery.
Amtrak national route network is a significant beneficiary of President Obama's
historic federal investment in intercity passenger rail as approximately $4.5 billion
of the $8 billion awarded in grants are for state projects that support
improvements to current or future Amtrak routes.
A bill backed by Olmsted
County, Minn., and Mayo Clinic seeking $8 million in planning dollars for a
freight railroad bypass of Rochester got a rocky reception from lawmakers Jan.
28, The Rochester Post-Bulletin reports. Opponents blasted the proposal during
a House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee hearing. That included Rep. Greg Davids,
The latest meeting
between state authorities, local officials and concerned citizens regarding the
possible construction of a parking structure in downtown Ayer, Mass., revealed
not only that the groups were miles apart about the type of structure that
could be built, but that one of the key sources of funding for the project
might not be available, the Ayer Public Spirit reports.
Irving Tissue is seeking
state funding for a $1 million project that would repair 4,200 feet of railroad
tracks leading to its Fort Edward, N.Y., plant, the Glens Falls Post Star
reports. The repairs to the tracks are needed to accommodate the expected
increase in train traffic to the plant when a new paper machine comes online in
the fall, Fort Edward town Supervisor Mitch Suprenant said.
Chicago Transit Authority Orange
Line trains in the Loop will be temporarily rerouted to operate on the Brown
Line tracks from approximately 5:50 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 31 due
to track work. Orange Line trains will be rerouted from the inner track to the
outer Loop track, and travel counterclockwise.
Track maintenance on the
Red Line in Washington, D.C., Jan. 29-31 will cause inbound and outbound trains
to take turns sharing one track. Metrorail customers traveling between the
Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail stations should add at least
20 minutes to their travel time because Metro will replace rail fasteners that
stabilize tracks, and make tunnel repairs.
Area Rapid Transit and the Trinity Railway Express will receive nearly $7.2
million in federal funds to help complete the construction of a five-mile
section of double-track rail line between West Irving and CentrePort/DFW
Airport stations. The funds are from the Federal Railroad Administration's 2009
appropriation for passenger rail service.
Expanding on the
momentum it built throughout 2009, OnTrackAmerica (OTA), the Philadelphia-based
non-profit transportation consultancy is expanding its staff to fully develop
its comprehensive agenda for 2010.
There will be no train
service along the Long Beach Branch Jan. 30-31 due to the installation of two
new MTA Long Island Rail Road bridges over Powell Creek and Hog Island Channel.
The $24.5 million project, funded through the MTA Capital Program and Federal
Transit Administration grants, will also require the shutdown of train service
on four other weekends later this year - March 20-21, March 27-28, May 1-2 and