Sound Transit construction update

Port of Seattle contractors
recently successfully installed the pedestrian bridge that connects the new
airport Link light rail station with the airport parking garage. Traffic was
temporarily detoured. The bridgework was a
significant step in the construction of the SeaTac/Airport light rail station.
Overall, work is coming along well and passenger service to the new station
will begin in December. Once that extension is made, passenger will be able to
ride a Link train from the airport all the way to downtown Seattle.

Montreal adds elevators at two 2 – Orange line stations

The Société de transport
de Montréal said Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM métro stations are now equipped
with elevators to reach the lower platform levels. As such, the STM is
providing better access to all clients traveling along the Orange line,
particularly those with functional limitations. The installation of elevators
in these two stations, in addition to Cartier, De La Concorde and Montmorency
stations, now brings the number of accessible stations on the Orange line up to
five. Henri-Bourassa, Bonaventure and Côte-Vertu stations will also be equipped
with elevators by early 2011.

LA Metro to hold hearings on Crenshaw Transit Corridor

After two years of
studying options for a new transit system for the Crenshaw Corridor, the Los
Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is encouraging public
comment on draft environmental documents at four public hearings scheduled
throughout the community in late September and early October.

Progress seen in LA train safety efforts, but there’s more to be done

One year after 25 people
died in a violent head-on collision between a Los Angeles Metrolink passenger
train and freight train, officials have cobbled together more than $74 million
to pay for an automatic train-stopping system along Southern California tracks
to keep it from happening again, The Riverside, Calif., Press-Enterprise
reports. Though they are pleased with the progress, a lot of ground remains to
be covered to meet a self-imposed 2012 deadline to install such a system on
passenger train routes.


New half-mile railroad bridge replaces historic Boone trestle

Freight trains have begun
moving across a new $43-million bridge over Iowa’s Des Moines River that
reportedly is the tallest double-track railroad structure in North America, the
Des Moines Register reports.

 The Boone High Bridge, which is 2,550 feet long
and 190 feet high, will improve operational efficiency and customer service on
Iowa’s busiest railroad corridor, said Mark Davis, a spokesman for the Union
Pacific Railroad, which commissioned the bridge project.

BMWED system federations merge

The governing bodies of
the Consolidated Rail System Federation and the Nickel Plate – Wheeling &
Lake Erie Federation, of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division
finalized a merger between the two federations. The newly merged federation will
retain the name, Consolidated Rail System Federation.

Park Forest, Ill., CN appear ready to finalize agreement

By now, those of us who
usually drive between Sauk Trail and Indianwood Boulevard on Orchard Drive in
Park Forest have found new ways to get from here to there, according to a
column by Jerry Schnay in the Southtown Star. The village is replacing sewer
pipes in the area, the start of a three-year project that will eventually
result in the complete renovation of Orchard Drive, including a center turn
lane north of Lakewood Boulevard and two left-turn lanes at the intersection of
U.S. 30 at the north end of town.

RTA floats proposal for 3 new streetcar lines in New Orleans

New Orleans transit planners hope to expand
streetcar service to the North Rampart Street and St. Claude Avenue corridor,
Loyola Avenue and Convention Center Boulevard, The Times-Picayune reports.
Armed with a $212-million financing plan for three
new streetcar lines that includes substantial local investment, Regional
Transit Authority officials are hopeful that federal officials will look kindly
on the ambitious project and agree to pick up more than half its cost.


Southwest Florida considers bringing back commuter trains

If you’re waiting on a
train in Southwest Florida, you might have a long wait – and when it does
arrive, it’ll be murder, reports the Naples News. The most consistent rail
service south of Arcadia is on the Seminole Gulf Railway Murder Mystery Dinner
Train. Those trips run a loop north from a station near Colonial Boulevard and
Metro Parkway to about the Charlotte County line five nights a week.

ICC approves rail safety improvements at three grade crossings

The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted
approval for the installation of automatic
flashing light signals and gates at the Triumph Road
grade crossing of Dakota
Minnesota & Eastern track near Leaf River, Ogle County. The total estimated cost to install the
new automatic warning devices is $162,363.
The Grade Crossing Protection Fund will be used to pay 95 percent of the warning device installation costs, not to exceed
DM&E will pay all
remaining installation costs, as well as all future operating and maintenance

Navistar, Caterpillar start Global Truck Joint Venture NC2

International Corporation and Caterpillar Inc. closed a joint venture
transaction resulting in a new company, NC2 Global LLC, to serve the global
commercial truck market.  Navistar
and Caterpillar first announced plans to form a joint venture in June 2008 and
have identified the leadership team of the new entity that will establish its
headquarters in the Chicago area.

CTA opens Fullerton entrance, continues Blue Line subway work

Although construction work
continues, on Saturday afternoon, September 12, CTA customers entering and
exiting the Fullerton station served by the Red, Brown and Purple lines will
begin using the new station entrance located approximately 75 feet west of the
existing temporary entrance. The temporary entrance was opened in October 2006
to allow crews to relocate the historic stationhouse to the north side of
Fullerton Parkway and build the new station in its place.

CN opens new C$14-million Toronto auto compound

CN celebrated the official
opening of its new C$14-million Toronto Automotive Compound at MacMillan Yard
north of Toronto. The new facility’s track layout will accommodate the
unloading of 60 auto-carrying rail cars at once, compared with 27 unloading
spots at the former compound at Mac Yard, and will have room to park up to
4,500 vehicles. A planned phase two expansion of the compound will provide
parking for 6,000 cars and/or trucks.

NM Rail Runner Express completes Lobo Special Events Platform

The New Mexico Rail Runner
Express is ready to open its Lobo Special Events Platform. More than a year
ago, the University of New Mexico and the Mid-Region Council of Governments
collaborated on an idea to create a special events platform for Lobo Athletics.
The MRCOG then worked with the governor and legislators to procure an
additional half-million dollars in funding, and UNM matched that funding with
another half-million dollars.

NJ TRANSIT slates track work on Pascack Valley Line

Beginning the week of
Sept. 14, NJ TRANSIT will adjust weekday midday service on the Pascack Valley
Line to accommodate necessary track work. NJ TRANSIT crews will make priority
repairs to the Essex Street grade crossing in Hackensack to address damage to
the crossing caused by a motor vehicle. While the track is out of service, NJ
TRANSIT will also perform regular track maintenance on the line.