LA Metro to hold community meetings for Regional Connector

The Los Angeles
County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be conducting five community
meetings to update the public on the Regional Connector project the week of November
5 through 12. Members of the community are encouraged to attend one of the meetings,
all of which are available by public transit.

Will we ever learn?

Every person who is
considering buying a house needs to clip the following list and tuck it under a
magnet on their refrigerators, Guy Tridgell wrote in his column in the Southtown
, which serve suburbs south of Chicago. While we’re at it, real estate
agents need to print the same thing on the backs of those glossy business cards
with their Glamour Shots on the front to hammer the point home.

City spearheads effort to keep short line railway beyond 2010

Supporters of a
northeastern Ontario short line railway are laying the groundwork to keep a
vital Sault Ste. Marie-to-Sudbury transportation link open past next year, Northern
Ontario Business

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is spearheading a
regional effort to keep the Huron Central Railway operating beyond August 2010
or find another carrier willing to service industry along the 300-kilometer
(186-mile) long track.

AAR lauds FRA Preliminary National Rail Plan

The Association of
American Railroads applauded the Federal Railroad Administration’s Preliminary
National Rail Plan and its recognition that freight rail’s investment in
infrastructure maintenance and capacity enhancements meets national safety,
reliability and capacity needs.

VRE recommends operating, maintenance services contract with Keolis

The VRE Operations Board has
recommended awarding of a contract to Keolis Rail Services America for commuter
rail operations and maintenance services. The contract includes train
operations, locomotive and railcar equipment maintenance and repair, yard
operations and warehouse management. The recommendation is being made to VRE’s parent
commissions, the Northern Virginia and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation
Commissions, for consideration at their November 5, 2009, meetings.

Fight looms over LA Gold Line extension

San Gabriel Valley leaders
are preparing for a fight Oct. 22, when they’ll try to persuade the county
transit authority to include funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension as a
priority in its long-range transportation plan, the Whittier, Calif., Daily

Report discusses southern Montana Amtrak route

If you build it, they will
come. But it will cost you a lot of money, reports The Missoulian in Missoula,
Mont. That’s the conclusion of an Amtrak report released Oct. 16 on the
possible revival of the North Coast Hiawatha Route through southern Montana. It
notes the potential for nearly 360,000 riders a year. But startup costs are
estimated at a whopping $1.043 billion, "a figure that is subject to
significant uncertainty."

Glass installation completed on Fridley Station shelters, entrances

Work on the elevator at
the Northstar Commuter Rail station in Fridley, Minn., is continuing, as us installation
of handrails throughout the station area. Installation of glass for the station
shelters and east and west entrances is complete, while roofing on the station
shelters and east and west entrances continues. Landscape planting on the east
and west sides is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 19. Fence installation
around the station site continues. The majority of electrical work at the
station and the majority of work in the tunnel is completed.

Bids on Conn. commuter-rail yard lower than expected

The low bidder to build the
first phase of the New Haven rail yard submitted a $125 million bid to do the
job, well below the $291 million the state expected to budget to complete the
facility, according to the state Department of Transportation, The Connecticut


Northeast Corridor tracks re-energized

Amtrak is using $25 million
in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to replace
transformers and other electrical equipment – some of which date to before
World War II – at 40 substations that deliver the power needed to propel
passenger trains on the electrified tracks between New York and Washington,

Auto Truck Group begins CNG conversions

Auto Truck Group has partnered
with two leading
CNG conversion companies to convert Ford and GM work trucks to
operate on CNG (Compressed Natural gas). Their Fort Wayne Fleet and Louisville
Truck Equipment locations now offer CNG conversions for work trucks. Some
market segments would include municipalities, fleets, and utilities.

Bentley acquires gINT Software

Bentley Systems,
Incorporated, has acquired gINT Software. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, Calif.,
gINT Software has been a leader in geotechnical and geoenvironmental products
since its founding in 1986. The company’s newest product, gINT Enterprise,
maximizes the value of centrally managed subsurface data through multi-project
reporting and dramatically extended querying power. Offering a powerful and
efficient solution for transportation operations, engineering consultancies,
plants, campuses, and state and federal agencies with vast quantities of
geotechnical data, gINT Enterprise facilitates the valuable reuse of subsurface
mapping information to better serve civil, structural, geotechnical, and
environmental information processes for owner-operators.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.