(OneRail Coalition sent he
following letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee to support more funding
for railroads and rail transit.) As the Subcommittee prepares to mark up
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011, the OneRail Coalition urges a balanced
approach including equivalent growth in public investment for rail
infrastructure as well as highways and transit.
Massachusetts Department of
Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan joined state and local
officials for the groundbreaking for the $17.7-million Four Corners/Geneva
Commuter Rail station project. As
part of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line Rehabilitation Project, the Four
Corners/Geneva station is one of four new commuter rail stations to be built
along the corridor.
Metro's Safety Department
received approval from the Tri-state Oversight Committee to close 22
corrective action plans last month that address safety issues identified during
internal and TOC safety audits. Some of the plans closed in June included
identifying and marking tripping hazards near the tracks, evaluating and
updating communication procedures for track workers and developing standards
for allowable wheel roughness and wheel repair for rail cars.
presented these and other steps made to improve safety to the Metro Board of
Director's Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee.
For Florida's high-speed
rail, early work begins July 19 -- in a very geeky way, local media report. Crews
are starting "geotechnical exploration."
PBS Coals has invested in
its own stretch of railroad, and this summer work on the project is complete,
the Somerset, Pa., Daily American reports.
The Friedens, Pa., company now has
a 10-mile railway that will transport most of the coal to a Baltimore port to
be exported. The project cost "just shy of $1 million," according to Hank
Parke, director of business development.
Saturday, July 17 to
Thursday, July 22, crews will continue a project that will improve rail
crossings at Mary and Sunnyvale avenues in Sunnyvale, Calif. Crews will grade
and trench the site and install foundations for the improvements. They also
will make wiring modifications in the signal houses. The work is part of a VTA
project to improve safety at eight crossings in Sunnyvale, Mountain View and
On July 19, Sound Transit
will mark the first birthday of Central Link light rail, which during its
inaugural year of operations attracted an estimated six million riders.
Top officials with the
Michigan Department of Transportation and Amtrak joined representatives of the
city of Pontiac and Greyhound July 16 to break ground for the new Pontiac
Transportation Center, which will serve intercity rail and bus passengers. The
intermodal station project is funded with $1.4 million from the state's
Comprehensive Transportation Fund account.
A major program to rebuild
nearly two-dozen century-old railroad bridges on Metra's Union Pacific North
line is expected to start next month and will mean schedule changes for
thousands of commuters, the Chicago Tribune reports. Although the bridges are
on Chicago's North Side, the entire line will be affected because the project
will force northbound and southbound trains onto a single track at work sites,
While passenger trains are
still at least two years away from running on a "Three-C" corridor
for which Ohio has obtained federal stimulus money, state officials have begun
looking at what they hope will be a second phase, which would include two
Toledo routes. The Toledo Blade reports that the Ohio Rail Development
Commission has signed a $7.8 million contract with AECOM, a Los Angeles
engineering firm, to assess what would need to be done to institute 110-mph
passenger trains on four routes, including Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland and