Latest Rail News

The federal Surface Transportation Board has completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Alaska Railroad Corporation application to construct and operate a rail line between North Pole and Delta Junction. Known as the Northern Rail Extension, the project would offer safe freight and passenger rail service to communities southeast of North Pole; support agricultural, mining and petrochemical industries; and provide year-round reliable access to military training areas.

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The St. Louis Metro's Board Chairman, Jeffrey Watson, said that the Board of Commissioners reached an agreement with Bob Baer to become the Agency's permanent chief executive.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation received nearly 1,400 applications from all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia vying for a share of $1.5 billion the department will award for innovative transportation projects that show significant economic and environmental promise for the nation, a region, or metropolitan area, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

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Canadian Pacific Railway has been quietly advancing plans for a new $400-million rail tunnel under the Detroit River and will probably start digging two years from now, the Canwest News Service reports. A construction permit for the tunnel has already been issued in the U.S., sources said, but the environmental assessment process has just begun on the Canadian side and will take up to 18 months.


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In the biggest move in decades to renovate Connecticut's freight rail system, the state is seeking more than $109 million in grants to refurbish or rebuild deteriorated tracks in Middletown, Hartford, East Windsor, Danbury and elsewhere, according to The Hartford Courant.

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On October 1, Union Pacific Chairman and CEO Jim Young, Director of Iowa Department of Transportation Nancy Richardson and Boone Mayor John Slight will officially open and name the new railroad bridge just west of Boone, Iowa, that is one of the highest double-track railroad bridges in North America coming in at 2,813 feet long and 190 feet high above the Des Moines River.  After remarks from Young, Director Richardson and Mayor Slight at the UP depot in Boone, officials and media will board a train to go look at the new bridge close up. The public is invited to attend the remarks at the UP depot.


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Revenue service testing for both the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line extension and Northstar Commuter Rail will begin in mid-October. The trains will run on the regular schedule, but will not yet be available to the public. Northstar and LRT extension service will begin on Monday, Nov. 16.

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In a move that places Los Angeles County in contention to receive its fair share of future federal rail funding, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted to pursue long-term funding agreements through the US. Department of Transportation to build the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects.

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Houston METRO's Title VI program has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration - another step toward federal Full Funding Grant Agreements for the build out of Houston's light-rail system. After a thorough study, the FTA's Office of Civil Rights ruled METRO's program is complete and in compliance with requirements related to Title VI. This compliance is necessary to apply for the FTA's New Starts program - the federal government's primary financial resource for supporting major transit "guideway" capital investments such as light rail.

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The ripple effects of what would happen if funding hadn't been secured for the BNSF railroad bridge between Burlington, Iowa, and Gulfport, Ill., could have been grim, according to the Burlington Hawkeye.  On top of the obvious safety concerns -- despite daily inspections -- delivery of goods would be delayed as inspections took days and trains crossed the bridge one at a time.

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