Latest Rail News

Northstar train service is on track to begin on Monday, November 16, 2009. In downtown Minneapolis, Light Rail and Northstar system testing continue. Crews finished milling and paving the LRT track area. Communications system testing and programming continued at the LRT station. The overhead catenary system wires are now live.

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Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program will continue at Encinal, Glenwood and Ravenswood avenues in Menlo Park Sept. 8-10 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Throughout the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open. Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction. The work is part of a larger program to enhance safety at railroad crossings in San Mateo County.

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Railworks Track Systems and subcontractors continue to work in sections to remove existing track and spurs and rebuild the sections with new rail along the seven mile Sound Transit rail corridor between South M Street in Tacoma, Wash., to Bridgeport Way SW in Lakewood. For the next two weeks, track removal and replacement work is being performed between S. 48th and S. 56th streets. This work is being coordinated with Tacoma Rail to minimize or avoid any disruption to their customers for existing rail service. 

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Union Pacific's new Joliet, Ill., Intermodal Terminal will support customer growth by increasing the railroad's international and domestic container capacity and improving rail traffic efficiencies in Chicago, the nation's largest rail center. Once on line, customers from across Union Pacific's network will benefit from Joliet's annual capacity of 500,000 ocean-going containers. Officials and customers gathered Sept. 3 to celebrate the construction commencement of Union Pacific's nearly $370 million, 785-acre Joliet Intermodal Terminal and CenterPoint Intermodal Center - Joliet, a 3,900-acre state-of-the-art integrated logistics center.

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The Chicago Transit Authority has awarded a construction management contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for a rail replacement and tunnel rehabilitation project on the system's Blue Line subway, which connects the downtown business district with O'Hare International Airport.

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The Chicago Transit Authority has made significant progress replacing track in the Blue Line's Dearborn Subway. The $88-million project is funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, commonly referred to as stimulus funds, and involves the replacement of approximately seven miles-or 39,000 feet-of track from Division on the O'Hare branch to Clinton on the Forest Park branch.

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After an investment of $408 million and a year of rapid construction, the first coal train will leave the Signal Peak Energy Mine near Roundup, Mont., next week, carrying the first load of low-sulfur Montana coal east to an Ohio utility, the Billings Gazette reports. A new railroad junction near Broadview and the mine site south of Roundup were officially dedicated Sept. 2 by top executives from BNSF; FirstEnergy, an Ohio utility; the Boich Group of Ohio; Signal Peak Energy; and a corral of Montana politicians, including Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

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Boatright Enterprises, Inc., is finalizing a deal to build a new railway crosstie plant in Chilton County, Ala., by next year, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. The Birmingham-based railroad maintenance company is eyeing a site in Chilton County Industrial Park, between Clanton and Thorsby, for its newest plant, the company confirmed.

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A rail line between two salt plants in Watkins Glen N.Y., will be realigned with the help of a federal grant to improve safety and boost economic development, local newspapers report. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was in Watkins Glen Sept. 2 to announce the approval of a $349,000 Rail Line Relocation grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.

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If a seaport were built on dry land, it would look a lot like Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad's new Memphis intermodal facility, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Giant cranes loom over vast expanses of tracks, roads and parking, soon to be piled high with oceangoing shipping containers.

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