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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.