Town feuds with CSX over sign removal

The North Charleston, S.C.
feud with the CSX railroad line got a little hotter this week when an employee
cited during a sign-removal dispute last month apparently failed to show for
his court appearance, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. A bench warrant
was issued for a CSX employee who allegedly played a role in the railroad’s
attempt to remove a sign telling motorists where to direct complaints about
bumpy railroad crossings.


Sound Transit update: Yale Avenue on-ramp wall construction

weekend of August 22-23, Sound Transit crews in the Seattle area will install a
temporary wall comprised of interlocking metal sheets called sheet piles. The
sheet pile wall will be about 60 feet long by 20 feet high and will be vibrated
into place along the shoulder of southbound I-5 next to the Pike-Pine
reversible HOV ramp. The Yale Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 and the right
lane of southbound I-5 between Yale Avenue and Union Street will close from
8:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. on August 22 and from 8:00a.m.-1:00p.m.on August 23 to
create a safe work zone during the sheet pile wall installation. The off-ramp
from southbound I-5 to Union Street will remain open. This work is anticipated
to take up to two days to complete. 


Vital rail line gets one-year reprieve

Looking forward to
possible economic development in the South County, the Lassen County, Calif.,
Board of Supervisors, Union Pacific and Lassen Valley Railway, an affiliate of
V&S Railways, reached an agreement that will save the Wendel/Flanigan rail
line-a piece of infrastructure that could prove invaluable in the future-for at
least one year, the Lassen Valey Times reports. Union Pacific, the current owner of the 21.77 miles of rail
line, abandoned it in 2007, and planned to sell it for salvage and dispose of
the property.


Houston METRO receives design approval for North, Southeast lines

The Federal Transit
Administration gave METRO permission today to enter into Final Design on
Houston’s North and Southeast light-rail lines. The FTA’s approval is the final
prerequisite toward entering Full Funding Grant Agreements on both lines, which
signals the federal government’s commitment to fund its part of the projects.


ICC to award grants for rail safety education

The Illinois
Commerce Commission’s Railroad Safety Section has issued a Request for Grant
Proposals for local railroad safety education and enforcement programs. The ICC
recently received a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to continue
working with local communities and railroads in Illinois to implement railroad
safety education or enforcement programs.


New rail loop will enable BNSF to triple traffic capability

John Lanigan, BNSF’s
executive vice president and chief marketing officer, was a keynote speaker at
the groundbreaking of a new rail project to support Vancouver’s Port Terminal 5
expansion in the state of Washington, according to the company newsletter. A
crowd of more than 250 people made up of state and local officials, port and
transportation personnel and area residents attended the official


Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., company relocating facility

A local railway
communications company that has operated in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., since the
early 1970s has announced its closure, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
. Safetran Systems, on Seventh Street near Haven
Avenue, will close in seven to 14 months and move its operations closer to
headquarters in Louisville, Ken.


MBTA offers innovative access to schedule data

The Massachusetts Executive
Office of Transportation said an historic step toward openness and transparency
by releasing to the public the detailed scheduling and geographic data the MBTA
submitted for use in the Google Transit Trip Planner. The initiative is part of
the Patrick Administration’s commitment to comprehensive transportation reform
and creating a modern, efficient, and customer-friendly transportation system,


Colorado railroad seeks stimulus grant

The San Luis and Rio
Grande Railway will become a major mover of goods and people in the San Luis
Valley if a proposal for stimulus money gets approved, local newspapers report. Valley leaders and
representatives of Iowa Pacific, owner of the San Luis and Rio Grande Railway,
met with Colorado Department of Transportation Commissioner Steve Parker
yesterday for advice on how to successfully proceed with a proposal for
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.


Rail report pleases locals

The sale of a Canadian
National Railroad line to shortline operator Grenada Railway, LLC, has had
local businesses and officials concerned about the future of the rail in Tate
County, Miss., The Democrat reports But after a report by Larry Hart, current
Water Valley mayor and a former railroad employee, things might be better than
they first seemed.


UP marks silver anniversary of SPRB coal trains

Mid-day 25 years ago August
16, the first Union Pacific and former Chicago & North Western coal train
moved out of Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) coal field over a new
107-mile rail line connecting Union Pacific to the region. The C&NW merged
with Union Pacific in 1995.
Since the line was opened
between Joyce, Neb., and Shawnee Junction, Wyo., in 1984, several milestones
have been met including the operation of the 100,000th train March 17, 2001 and
the movement of the 200,000th loaded coal train May 10, 2009 out of the SPRB.


NJDOT to replace NJ Transit bridges

The New Jersey Department
of Transportation will be closing Sixth Street in Newark as construction
progresses on a project to replace the Third Street, Fifth Street, Sixth
Street, Seventh Street and Roseville Avenue bridge decks over the NJ TRANSIT
Morristown line in Newark, the Star Ledger reports.


VRE’s Fredericksburg Line is getting more triple track

Commuters on the Virginia
Railway Express Fredericksburg Line can see that construction has begun on
laying a third track over Franconia Hill, according to As
hills go, it’s not terribly high: 225 feet above sea level. Franconia Road is
near the crest of the hill in Fairfax County, and the Capital Beltway passes
along the side of the hill a mile farther north.


L.B. Foster wins $7.6-million Denton County rail contract

L.B. Foster Company has
been awarded a $7.6 million contract for 115-pound rail for installation on the
21-mile A-Train transit project linking Denton and Carrollton, Texas. Shipments
of 4,599 tons of 1,600-ft welded rail and 573 tons of 80-ft stick rail were
delivered to the North Texas Rail Group, a contractor joint venture between
Herzog Contracting Corporation and Archer Western Contractors.


Sounder track and signal project update

Sounder track and signal project


Railworks Track Systems
and subcontractors have mobilized and work is well under way on track and signal
improvements along the seven-mile Sound Transit rail corridor between South M
Street in Tacoma, Wash., to Bridgeport Way SW in Lakewood. Portions of unused
spurs and track have been removed while new track and rail ballast are being
delivered on site.


SFRTA opening new parking lot at Tri-Rail’s West Palm Beach Station

Palm Beach County, Fla.,
has completed a new parking lot adjacent to the west platform at Tri-Rail’s
West Palm Beach Station. The new parking lot provides 118 additional spaces for
passengers and 45 designated spaces for South Florida Regional Transportation
Authority/Tri-Rail and Palm Tran employees. The parking lot also provides
special spaces for scooters and motorcycles, along with bicycle lockers that
will be used as part of a new passenger program/amenity to be launched in the
near future. The new lot, accessible from Clearwater Avenue, opened to the
public on August 18.


Montreal Charlevoix Station reopens August 17

The Société de transport
de Montréal informed clients that, after 11 weeks of renovations aimed at
extending the service life of its systems and installations, Charlevoix métro
station once again opened its doors on August 17, as planned.



TriMet using stimulus to maintain reliable light rail service

TriMet and the city of
Portland, Ore., are using $1.6 million of federal stimulus funds to repair
bricks in 20 intersections on Morrison and Yamhill streets in downtown
Portland. As the backbone of Portland’s light rail system, the Morrison and
Yamhill corridors have experienced significant wear and tear and have not had
major repairs in the 25 years since the tracks went in.