• News

LA Metro to update community on Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2

The Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold two community meetings/open
houses Tuesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 22 in Montebello and Pico
Rivera to update the public on transit alternatives being recommended to the
Metro Board of Directors for the environmental phase of the Eastside Transit
Corridor Phase 2 Project.

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Fort Worth to pay $1.5 million toward UP bridge

The Fort Worth
Transportation Authority has agreed to pay up to $1.5 million toward
construction of a Union Pacific bridge over the Fort Worth & Western
Railroad to ensure that the structure is long enough to fit not only the usual
freight train traffic west of downtown but also a future commuter rail line,
according to The Star-Telegram.

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Pan Am gets OK on project near pond

After allegedly failing
to follow environmental regulations for a construction site in Ayer, Mass., Pan
Am Railways was found to be in compliance at a Suffolk Superior Court hearing, the
Worcester Telegram reports.

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BART tests earthquake response as Loma Prieta anniversary approaches

BART conducted an
unannounced earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 16 in conjunction with a
statewide exercise called the Great California ShakeOut. For BART, the Great
California ShakeOut meant the Operations Control Center ordered trains to stop
and hold position. Once trains were stopped, an announcement was made to inform
passengers of the drill and then trains continued to their destinations. BART
System Safety staff observed and evaluated the earthquake response in the OCC
and will compare notes with OCC managers.

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South Shore sets final 2009 weekend construction outage

The South Shore railroad is
alerting passengers to the last in a series of planned temporary weekend
construction outages. The fifth and final 2009 weekend outages is scheduled for
October 31-November 2. South Shore trains will not operate in either direction
between South Bend and Gary Metro Center beginning 2:30 a.m. October 31 thru
3:00 a.m. November 2.

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Caltrain construction, maintenance Oct. 17 – 23

Work on Caltrain’s Grade
Crossing Improvement Program, which will enhance safety at 25 grade crossings
in San Mateo County, continues in Burlingame, Menlo Park and Atherton. Throughout
the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open.
Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction.

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Colo Railroad Builders Completes Baton Rouge Yard

Colo Railroad Builders has completed its Baton Rouge yard construction project for WATCO Companies. The yard contains more than 103,000 feet of track and 90 switches.  The yard serves Exxon Chemical and will allow in-transit storage and efficient switching of thousands of cars each year.

"We had a challenge, picking up a project which had already been started by another contractor. We had to stay within an existing budget and improve production. Our crew was able to finish the new construction safely and on time.  WATCO was a very good partner supporting us in every way.  We enjoyed working with and learning from their team," said Terry Benton, general manager of Colo. 

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N.J. train station groundbreaking scheduled

Construction on a new train station in Pennsauken to connect two of South Jersey’s primary passenger rail lines, the Philadelphia-Atlantic City line and the River Line between Camden and Trenton, is set to begin on Monday, October 19.

The $40 million Pennsauken Transit Center is located on Derousse Avenue, where the Atlantic City line passes over the River Line and is begin funded with money from the federal stimulus program. It is expected to open by late 2012.

Once completed, riders will be able to board either the north-south River Line or the east-west Atlantic City line and to transfer between the two lines. The station also will be served by NJ Transit buses and is expected to draw about 570 round-trip customers per weekday.

Two 300-foot-long platforms will be built on either side of the Atlantic City line tracks, with stairs and two elevators to provide access to the River Line below.

The work is to be done in two phases. A $2.1 million contract covers River Line elements of the project, including a 200-foot platform with a 60-foot canopy. The second-phase contract has not been awarded and will include the Atlantic City line platforms, a 280-space parking lot, ticket-vending machines, passenger communication equipment and resurfacing, curbing and lighting improvements to Derousse Avenue.

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AAR Reports September Rail Intermodal Numbers Highest in 2009

The Association of American Railroads reported that while U.S. rail intermodal traffic in September was down 14.6 percent (to 993,235 units) compared with the same month last year, average weekly intermodal units in September 2009 were the highest since November 2008. In the monthly Rail Time Indicators report and video, AAR noted that the relative improvement in intermodal traffic may be related to retailers restocking shelves for the upcoming holiday season.

The report, available at www.aar.org, comprises monthly rail traffic data framed with other key economic indicators to show how freight rail ties into the broader U.S. economy.

September’s monthly carload data showed a decline – down by 14.2 percent (at 1,380,684 carloads) compared with the same month in 2008. Weather may have played a role in this decline, with flooding in the Southeastern U.S. affecting traffic across many commodity categories. Lower natural gas prices and the relatively mild summer may also have been a factor in carload declines, since there was a drop in demand for coal – the single largest commodity shipped by railroads. Coal traffic was down 13.3 percent (to 645,843 carloads) compared with September 2008.