(This column by Rep. Bill
Shuster (R-Pa.) appeared at RollCall.com.) America has the greatest
freight rail network in the world. Our system is the most efficient of its kind
and essentially relies on no subsidies from the federal government. More than a
century ago, America's railroads ushered in the great advancements in industry
that sparked America's emergence as an economic power on the world stage.
America's railroads revolutionized transportation, gave promise to freedom of
movement and made business more efficient.
The Connecticut Department
of Transportation plans to apply for $400 million to $500 million in federal
grants this summer to upgrade the New Haven to Springfield rail line, the
Hartford Courant reports. Should the project receive funding, it would be a
potential bonanza for central Connecticut residents who use I-91 to commute to
Fairfield County or New York City.
It turns out that you can
fight CSX railroad - with a little help from your friends, according to an editorial
in the St. Petersburg Times. CSX, which owns tracks crisscrossing Pinellas
County, has a reputation for being difficult for local governments and
neighborhoods to work with. Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard ran smack into that
reputation for recalcitrance when he tried to get the company to change its
plans for repairing railroad crossings downtown.
Work begins Monday on a
massive logging project that will remove some 10,000 trees along Union
Pacific's right of way through the center of Winter Park, Colo., Sky-Hi News
reports. On June 1, Winter Park Town Council approved a contract with Willow
Creek Logging for the removal of trees within the 200-foot wide right of way,
stretching from Kings Crossing to Moffat Tunnel.
Frankfort and Mokena,
Ill., could become quiet zones for passing trains, but it's likely to take
months before residents get relief from the locomotives' blaring horns, The
Herald News reports. The Federal Railroad Administration agreed in a letter to
allow the villages to go ahead with plans to make the necessary railroad
crossing safety upgrades needed before trains on the Canadian National Railway
line can be prohibited from sounding their horns. The upgrades may take until
next spring to complete, Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland said.
Building on a policy
shift announced earlier this year by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood,
the Federal Transit Administration today asked for public comment on how to
change the way major transit project proposals seeking federal funding are
rated and evaluated.
has released a request for qualifications to pre-qualify and shortlist project
teams to design, build, finance and maintain a new maintenance and storage
facility for new light rail vehicles that will operate on the Sheppard East
Light Rail Transit and Scarborough LRT projects. The maintenance and storage
facility will be constructed on the corner of Sheppard Avenue and Conlins Road
Transportation Authority and New York Power Authority unveiled an advanced
rooftop-mounted solar thermal array that heats hot water used to wash subway
cars at New York City Transit's Coney Island Overhaul Shop and Maintenance
Facility. By lessening New York City Transit's need for electricity, the array
will lower the agency's power bill by $94,000 and avoid 86 tons of carbon
dioxide emissions per year.
Having obtained the
required permits and made the appropriate notifications, The Kansas City
Southern Railway Company said that it would begin staging equipment for the
demolition of its former locomotive maintenance facility at 1700 Stilwell in
Pittsburg, Kan., next week. The entire demolition process is anticipated to
take approximately three months.
The list of potential
routes for California's planned high-speed rail system in the San Joaquin
Valley grew slightly smaller June 3, the Fresno Bee reports. Meeting in
Sacramento, the state High Speed Rail Authority board approved further study on
three routes through Fresno. All of them adjoin the Union Pacific and all
include elevated tracks up to 60 feet high.