Latest Rail News

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the Federal Transit Administration achieved a crucial milestone: it beat the September 1 deadline to provide all states and local communities 50 percent of their Recovery Act transit formula dollars. In fact, FTA provided nearly 90 percent of its $7.5-billion transit stimulus money to states and local communities. FTA is managing an additional $900 million in discretionary funds for New Starts projects, the Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction and Tribal Transit programs and oversight for a total of $8.4 billion.

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The collapse of the Union Pacific railroad bridge in downtown Waterloo, Iowa, during last year's historic flood has cost the Iowa Northern Railway, the primary user of the span, millions of dollars. Farmers, grain cooperatives and ag manufacturers have also suffered economic and efficiency losses due to costly detours, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

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Before highways, there were railroads - Houston's first circulatory system. Civic boosters bragged in the 1920s that Houston was the place "where 17 railroads meet the sea." The trains hauled cotton and grain. Downtown had three passenger stations, the Houston Chronicle reports.

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Northstar, the state's first commuter rail service, will offer five morning trips from Big Lake, Minn., to downtown Minneapolis and five return trips in the afternoon along a 40-mile corridor, with stops at Fridley, Coon Rapids, Anoka, Elk River and Big Lake. One reverse commute roundtrip also will be offered on weekdays, and three weekend roundtrips are planned on Saturdays and Sundays.

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The leader of the effort to build the proposed DesertXpress high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California said his company has launched a worldwide search for vendors and suppliers so that construction on the $4 billion project could begin by the end of March, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

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The Illinois Commerce Commission's Transportation Policy Committee will host a policy briefing on a proposed high-speed rail corridor from Chicago to St. Louis at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 9, in hearing room A of the ICC's Springfield office. The ICC is located at 527 E. Capitol Avenue.


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At a ceremony in Belleville, Ontario, Prince Edward-Hastings MP Daryl Kramp, Mayor Neil Ellis and Pierre Santoni, VIA Rail Canada's Senior Director, National Sales, announced VIA's plans for a new station with improved and expanded facilities. VIA estimates that it will invest as much as C$7 million for the new station and related improvements from recent capital funding for VIA announced by the Government of Canada. C$2.5 million of the project's cost will come from the government's Economic Action Plan.



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The V&T Railway Commission was told Monday that the latest section of tracks begins going down within the week, according to the Nevada Appeal. Project Engineer Ken Dorr said this extension takes the tracks into the canyon above the Carson River which, when completed, will be the most scenic part of the 17-mile ride between Virginia City and Carson City, Nev.

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The Village of Montgomery now has a plan in place in the event Metra commuter rail service is one day extended from downtown Aurora along the BNSF tracks into the village, according to the Oswego Ledge Sentinel. In a split, 5-1 ballot Monday evening, the village board adopted an ordinance to amend the village's comprehensive plan to include the new Transit Oriented Development Plan and Park-n-Ride Location Study.

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The historic railroad station north of 23rd Street could be back in service for customers under proposed passenger rail service in the region, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Other possible station locations being considered for Vero Beach include the area of downtown near Pocahontas Park and at the old Diesel Power Plant south of eastbound State Road 60. Possible start date for the service is October 2012.

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