Amtrak is using $115
million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve
tracks, buildings and control systems in Chicago this construction season, as
part of a $1-billion construction program to fund capital projects designed to
rebuild critical infrastructure.
Sealy, Texas, residents
could hear a few less trains blow their horns while passing through town within
a year as the city moves forward with plans to construct a quiet zone
stretching the length of the city, the Sealy News reports.
Balfour Beatty Rail, Inc., was selected as part of
the Denver Transit Partners (DTP) team by the Denver Regional Transportation
District (Denver RTD) to construct the 46-year, multi-billion dollar Eagle P3
commuter rail project. The DTP team, which will design, build, operate,
maintain and finance the Eagle P3 Project, is made up of a group of transit
industry experts including Balfour Beatty Rail, Fluor Corporation, Macquarie
Capital Group Limited, Ames Construction, Hyundai-Rotem USA, Alternative
Concepts, Inc. (ACI), Fluor/HDR Global Design Consultants, PBS&J, Parsons
Brinckerhoff, Interfleet Technology, Systra, Wabtec and many others.
Massachusetts and Worcester, Mass.,
officials have reached a tentative agreement with CSX Corp. on a $23-million
traffic improvement and neighborhood mitigation package that would accompany
expansion of the company’s freight yards between Shrewsbury and Franklin
streets, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports.
The key to getting federal
support for a railroad project is a solid study that supports it, a
Massachusetts planner told local business leaders, the Bristol, Conn., Press
reports. Tim Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning
Commission in Springfield, told an audience at the Central Connecticut Chambers
of Commerce the story behind the successful Knowledge Corridor rail line in his
(The following editorial
appeared on the Knoxville News Sentinel Website.) Railroads hold a unique
position in the American psyche, blending the symbolism of uniting the country
and the romanticism of a bygone era.
The Metro Gold Line
Extension is on track for a June 26 groundbreaking. But there’s still some
major business to be worked out to make sure the project, funded with $810
million in voter-approved dollars, is not derailed, the San Gabriel Valley
from Union Pacific Railroad, the City of Harlingen, Texas, and Cameron County plan
to reduce blocked crossings by streamlining railroad operations at the Union
Pacific rail yard in downtown Harlingen.
The Illinois Commerce
Commission has given approval for the removal and replacement of a bridge over
the Rock River and the Illinois Railway tracks at Morgan Street in Rockford. The
existing bridge was constructed in 1916 and carries Morgan Street over the Rock
River and the Illinois Railway tracks. The structure was reconstructed in 1956,
but a bridge condition report issued in 2000 recommended total replacement. Included in the proposal submitted to
the Commission by the City of Rockford were plans to consolidate the Illinois
Railway tracks with the Chicago, Central and Pacific Railroad line near the
bridge project in order to improve safety and reduce costs to the railroads. The
rail consolidation plan will also allow for the retirement of the Illinois
Railway Bridge across the Rock River upstream from the Morgan Street Bridge.
Business owners will soon
be able to submit proposals for more than $50 million of capital project work
to be completed by St Louis-area Metro over the next several years. The
majority of the funding for these projects is being made available to Metro
through the Federal Transit Administration from the American Recovery and
The Connecticut Department
of Transportation plans to apply for $400 million to $500 million in federal
grants this summer to upgrade the New Haven to Springfield rail line, the Hartford Courant reports. Should the project receive funding, it would be a
potential bonanza for central Connecticut residents who use I-91 to commute to
Fairfield County or New York City.
The list of potential
routes for California’s planned high-speed rail system in the San Joaquin
Valley grew slightly smaller June 3, the Fresno Bee reports. Meeting in
Sacramento, the state High Speed Rail Authority board approved further study on
three routes through Fresno. All of them adjoin the Union Pacific and all
include elevated tracks up to 60 feet high.
Fort Carson hopes to get
military equipment that soldiers need shipped overseas faster, local media
report. The Mountain Post wants to add a train track to an already existing
track. The new track would start at the Fort Carson rail yard and continue
about a half-mile off post.
CTA President Richard L.
Rodriguez and Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson said the agency opened
a new entrance to the Red Line’s Cermak-Chinatown station. Located
approximately one block north of Cermak on Archer Avenue, the new entrance will
serve as the primary access point for customers while the main entrance to the
station on the north side of Cermak is reconstructed and made accessible. The
south entrance on Cermak also will be closed to customers beginning June 4 at
Frustrated by the
clanging and banging of freight trains through their neighborhood near UC
Riverside, Calif., residents have demanded better sound protection and more
specifics on safety improvements before they support a planned expansion of
Metrolink service, The Press-Enterprise reports. But retrofitting more than 100
homes, adding underpasses and developing a community safety plan could cost
millions of dollars and potentially delay the Perris Valley Line.
The effort to fix a
dangerous and congested rail intersection near downtown Fort Worth known as
Tower 55 may finally be on track, the Ft. Worth Star Telegram reports. Texas
Department of Transportation officials said that they would formally endorse an
application for federal funding for the Tower 55 project, a $93.7-million
proposal to modernize crossings often used by children on the way to school.
Water may not be to blame
for the settling of light-rail tracks at the intersection of Brambleton Avenue
and Second Street, The Virginian-Pilot reports. Don Lint, Hampton Roads Transit
light-rail construction manager, said that once the tracks and the panels they
are bolted to are removed next week, the agency will have a better idea of what
The Los Angeles Metro
Transit Authority is exploring ways to provide commuters with an alternative to
the 405 freeway by extending the South Bay Metro Green Line. One option is into
North Redondo Beach, to many residents’ dismay, the Beach Reporter reports.