• News

CN: Train fears not a reality

Where are all the trains? When
Canadian National Railway won federal approval to buy the EJ&E line for
$300 million in December, suburbs worried about the effects of heavy freight
traffic, the Plainfield, Ill., Sun reports.


  • News

NS provides Grant for railroad engineering degree program

The Norfolk Southern
Foundation has given $100,000 to Penn State Altoona to assist in the
development of a four-year Rail and Transit Engineering (RTE) degree program.
This innovative Bachelor of Science program will include existing Penn State
civil engineering courses, coupled with new customized courses in rail
business, mechanical systems, track, operations, communications, and
regulation. The program is designed to produce graduates who will quickly
acclimate to the rail industry and its suppliers.


  • News

AAR urges FRA to stick to Congressional scope of PTC mandate

The Association of
American Railroads urged the Federal Railroad Administration to faithfully
follow the Congressional statutory mandate requiring railroads to implement
positive train control technologies across certain portions of the national
freight rail network. In 2008, Congress passed a law requiring the nation’s
freight railroads by Dec. 31, 2015 to implement PTC on certain main line tracks
used for transporting passengers or toxic chemicals. However, AAR notes that
FRA’s proposed rule would impose a financial burden above and beyond what Congress
intended, potentially adding hundreds of millions of dollars in additional cost
to the railroads as they face using private capital to pay for the federal PTC


  • News

NJ TRANSIT approves work on Plauderville Station

Construction of a new and
improved Plauderville Station in the City of Garfield, N.J., will begin this
fall, under a contract approved by the NJ TRANST Board of Directors that will
make the station fully accessible to customers with disabilities and will
provide more convenient access to the station from the parking area.


  • News

Canada Line Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge to open

Vancouver’s TransLink will
officially open the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge linking South
Vancouver with Richmond via a bridge connected to the Canada Line rail guideway
on Aug. 14. 

The linking of the communities will start at 12:30pm. Cyclists
and police bike patrols will accompany TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast and
Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs from the north side of the bridge, with
Richmond Deputy Mayor Ken Johnston, approaching from the south side. They will
meet at the centre and then carry on to the south side of the span for the
ribbon-cutting ceremony.


  • News

Spending on rail seen stuck at the station

Major U.S. freight
railroads and their advocates have argued for years that government investment
is needed in the country’s rail system to take freight off congested highways
and keep the economy moving, Reuters reports. But supporters say rail
investments have been largely ignored by Congress, suggesting political support
is lacking, despite warnings action must be taken sooner rather than later.


  • News

Sullivan City holds hope for U.S.-Mexico rail bridge

Sullivan City, Texas, Mayor
Rosendo Benavides traces his finger along a line on the map leading from Monterrey
to South Texas, The Monitor of McAllen, Texas, reports Abruptly, right before
it crosses the Rio Grande near his small town of 4,000, it jags straight east –
running near the river before heading into the United States near Brownsville. That
line – a Kansas City Southern railroad track that stops just across the river
from Sullivan City – offers the best chance his city has to secure an
international bridge, he said.


  • News

Rail workers blend old technology with new

Allen Jones has found out
that no matter how sophisticated the world is, working for the railroad still
requires the use of a sledgehammer and a switch broom, the Morning Sun of Blue
Springs, Mo., reports. These two hand tools are still the most frequently used
implements when doing track work. The sledgehammer, of course, is for driving
steel, pushing rails wider and setting flags. The switch broom has a hoe-like
end for removing rocks from between the rails at railroad switches. The broom
end of this tool is used to sweep dirt, leaves and snow from between the rails.


  • News

Decision on Huron Central expected August 13

An announcement will be
made August 13 as to whether a deal has been inked between Huron Central Rail
and its stakeholders to keep the rail line operational for at least another
year, the Sault Star reports. Meetings have been taking place throughout the
week with those stakeholders, including large users Essar Steel Algoma and
Domtar, the provincial and federal governments, municipalities, and the rail


Joe Fratesi, the city’s
CAO, who chairs a committee to broker a deal between Huron Central Railway and
the interested parties, said he’s "encouraged" by the continuing


"This all needs to
be pulled together by the end of the day Thursday," Fratesi said.
"Huron Central Rail has made it clear that there will be no extension of
the deadline that has been set and unless a deal is reached that it’s
comfortable with and concludes before the 15th, all things set in motion to
stop the line will continue."


Mayor John Rowswell said
the federal government has sweetened the pot with an offer to consider "at
great speed," a $1.5-million application to FedNor to contributed to a
short-term fix for the Sault-to-Sudbury line.


MPP David Orazietti said
earlier this week the province would be "supportive of considering
short-term financing," for the ailing railway to the tune of "several
million" dollars.


"Now, it’s a matter
of city council saving the day," said Rowswell.


The mayor said council
will be asked tonight to temporarily "backstop," a total of $3
million in pending federal and provincial funds, so that work on the railroad
can begin "now, this summer, this fall."


Council has called a
special meeting for 4:30 p. m.


"There are
implications for many communities if the railway shuts down, but (there are)
more immediate and larger ones for Sault Ste. Marie and its industries,"
Fratesi said.


Rowswell said saving the
rail line is crucial to the city’s future, including the its ambition to turn
itself into a multi-modal transportation hub.

  • News

CTA board approves proposed rail extension projects

The Chicago Transit Authority Board
voted to adopt the locally preferred alternatives proposed for the Red, Orange
and Yellow Line extension projects. Following the steps required by the Federal
Transit Administration in order to apply for funding, the CTA studied all of
the potential options available for each of the projects, and has narrowed it
down to one viable option for each proposed extension.