Mississippi eyes port, rail expansion






Gov. Haley Barbour wants
Mississippi to create a transportation hub in Palmer’s Crossing to handle
increased container traffic from the Port of Gulfport, the Hattiesburg American
reports. But area residents say they’ll need to hear more details before they
consider the proposal a good fit for their community.

Nighttime light rail maintenance work set to begin on VTA






The Santa Clara Valley
Transportation Authority in California is set to begin a rail grinding project Jan.
16 that will see heavy equipment working on light rail tracks in Mountain View,
Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Campbell and San Jose for the next 20 nights between
the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.

New York MTA launches new Website






Metropolitan
Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder unveiled a new and
dramatically simplified Website that offers the MTA’s 8.5 million daily
customers access to better organized and far more detailed information about
their daily commute.

End of the line for OVR in using Ottawa Valley rail line






While Paul Dulmage has
never been on a train in his life, he still feels rail lines should be
protected, EMC News reports. And the mayor of Carleton Place, Ont., Canada,
will be doing his part to ensure that the Canadian Pacific former Ottawa Valley
line, which passes through the town, is not disposed of or torn up.

Newspaper supports Michigan commuter line






(This editorial appeared January 14
in The Michigan Daily.) Any new infrastructure that will help the environment,
students or the economy is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of.
And a new construction plan funded by the federal government encompasses all
three of these categories. The new public transportation – a railroad that will
run between Ann Arbor and Detroit with stops in the neighboring areas – will
benefit students and residents as they move between Ann Arbor and Detroit, for
business and pleasure, without excessive cost. This new route of transportation
is easy, cheap and environmentally-friendly and officials from both cities
should do everything possible to ensure that the plans come to fruition.

Crescent Corridor endorsed by Retail Industry Leaders Association






Norfolk Southern’s Crescent
Corridor Intermodal Freight Project has received the endorsement of the Retail
Industry Leaders Association (RILA). As noted in a letter dated December 16,
2009, from Katherine Lugar, RILA’s Executive Vice President, Public Affairs to
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood:

 

Groups ask NJ Transit to probe pollution






Two statewide environmental
coalitions are warning that soil under the rail bed of the proposed Lackawanna
Cutoff line in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties could be filled with
carcinogens and want NJ Transit to investigate that possibility, the Newark Star-Ledger
reports. But NJ Transit officials contended there is no such evidence.

FRA issues final rule for PTC






U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph
Szabo announced historic safety regulations requiring that Positive Train
Control technology be installed on the nation’s major rail lines, as well as
commuter and intercity passenger rail routes. PTC is an integrated set of
technologies that will help avert train-to-train collisions, derailments caused
by excessive speed, accidents caused by human error or misaligned switches and
harm to roadway workers.

New entrance to Grand Central being built on 47th Street






A new street entrance to
the underground corridors serving Grand Central Terminal in New York City is
being built on the south side of 47th Street midway between Park Avenue and
Lexington Avenue. The new entrance will include a reversible escalator
connecting the street level to the 47th Street cross passageway as well as a
staircase from the street to the platform between Tracks 11 and 13 and from the
platform down into the cross passageway. Currently the east end of the 47th
Street cross passageway has no outlet.

State of Amtrak is strong, CEO says






Amtrak President and CEO
Joseph Boardman said that the state of America’s passenger railroad is strong
and it had set a first quarter ridership record carrying nearly 7.2 million
passengers during the first three months of fiscal year 2010.

St. Louis region’s public transit plans moves forward






Residents of the St.
Louis region will have one last opportunity to help shape the next 30 years of
public transit by attending the final round of public workshops that begin on
January 19, 2010. Metro will present a draft of the "Moving Transit Forward"
plan that will address the region’s short-range, mid-range and long-range
transit needs at the January meetings. The draft incorporates suggestions from
the public collected during 18 workshops held in October and December.

Alaska Railroad open houses to discuss 2010 capital project plans






The
Alaska Railroad is inviting the public to a series of open house to provide an
opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects for 2010. The
open houses will showcase continuing and proposed capital improvement projects
that are in various stages from conceptual planning to engineering and
construction. Project managers will be on-hand to explain projects that are
located all along the railroad system from Seward to Fairbanks.

Amarillo, Texas, overpass moving forward






A proposed $9.1-million
project to alleviate railroad-caused traffic congestion on North Grand Street in
Amarillo, Texas, will move closer to starting Jan. 14 with a federally required
public gathering, according to the Amarillo Globe-News Online. The proposal
calls for construction of a bridge to carry Grand Street vehicle traffic over BNSF
tracks adjacent to Southeast Third Avenue.

Monroe, La., mayor to meet with KCS officials






Monroe, Ld., Mayor Jamie
Mayo, District 1 Councilman Jay Marx and city engineer Sinyale Morrison will be
in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 13-14 to meet with Kansas City Southern Railway
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Haverty to discuss multiple local
projects, the Monroe News Star reports.

Sound Transit begins work on Capitol Hill Station






In
early 2010, Seattle’s Sound Transit will begin construction activities for the future
Capitol Hill light rail station. 
Before the station excavation can begin there are some early work activities
that will be taking place over the next several weeks: 

Rapposelli joins ARINC’s surface transportation, security systems division






ARINC
Incorporated said that railroad industry veteran Rich Rapposelli has joined its
Surface Transportation and Security Systems organization. Rapposelli recently
spent nine years at Jacobs Engineering where he managed various communications
and physical security programs. Prior to that, he worked 21 years at Amtrak,
where he managed the Communications Control Center and worked as Technical
Director of Communications.  Most
recently he was responsible for Program Management on the Delaware River Joint
Toll Bridge Commission Electronic Security and Surveillance security
projects.