(The following column by
Michael Dresser appeared on The Baltimore Sun Website on August 9, 2010.) Baltimore
received a relatively gentle reminder last week of some unfinished business
that it can ill afford to ignore. A CSX Transportation freight train derailed
last Thursday in the Howard Street tunnel, the scene of the nearly disastrous
July 18, 2001, derailment and fire that paralyzed much of downtown for a week.
Thirteen cars of a 79-car train left the tracks - 11 of them in the tunnel
under Howard Street and two outside the portal at Mount Royal Avenue.
The South Shore commuter
line in northwest Indiana is alerting passengers to a series of planned
temporary weekend construction outages. The next weekend outage is planned for
August 28-30. During these construction related weekend outages, the South
Shore Line will not operate trains in either direction between South Bend and
Gary Metro Center beginning 2:30 a.m. Saturday thru 3:00 a.m. Monday. The South
Shore will operate regular weekend train service between Gary Metro Center and
VR Mergers &
Acquisitions - St. Louis is pleased to announce the sale of Central Illinois
Railroad Holdings to strategic railroad buyer, R & R Contracting. The sale
included substantially all of the assets of Central Illinois Railroad Company,
Central Railink Services and Central Railgroup Construction Services.
Union Pacific is investing
more than $18 million to improve the rail line that runs from Fremont to North
Bend, Neb. Also Union
Pacific is investing more than $11 million to improve the rail line that runs
from Jefferson City, Mo., to Wooldridge, Mo. Also in Missouri, UP is investing more than $2 million to improve the rail line
in St. Louis, Mo., that runs from Vandeventer Ave. to near Jefferson Barracks.
In Wisconsin, UP Railroad is investing more than $2 million to improve the rail
line that runs from Merrillan, Wis., to near Millston, Wis.
Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the Federal Railroad Administration is
soliciting research proposals to foster rapid development of high-speed and
intercity passenger rail service technologies in the United States.
A pool of
$25 million is available for basic and applied technology research, development
and demonstration projects to advance the state of the art in track and
structures, train control systems, operating practices and rolling stock. FRA
is seeking projects focused on accelerating development of technologies that
ensure safe, efficient and strategic deployment of integrated passenger rail
systems. The solicitation is open to all sources.
Governor Charlie Crist is
applauding Florida's application to the Federal Railroad Administration seeking
$1.1 billion in funding that will allow Florida to deliver high-speed rail
express service in the Tampa-Orlando corridor with operating speeds of 168 mph
by 2015, local media report.
Colorado has received
$400,000 and Vermont $500,000 under the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed
Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program grant program funded from fiscal year
2009 appropriations. Colorado will use its funds to develop a state rail plan,
a prerequisite for receiving additional HSIPR intercity passenger rail funding.
Sound Transit released
updated long-term revenue forecasts to the agency's Executive Committee that
show ST2 funding levels down by about 25 percent, or $3.9 billion. Last fall
Sound Transit estimated long-term revenue levels to be down by about 20
percent, or $3.1 billion through 2023. The latest estimates come from updated
forecasts the agency received showing an additional $767 million shortfall.
Federal and state
officials joined representatives of the Town of Normal and Amtrak to
ceremonially break ground for a Multimodal Transportation Center that will
serve as a station for Amtrak rail and motor coach passengers, local transit
buses and will include a multi-level parking structure.