Railroad News

Transit-rail agencies implement crew, rider distancing measures

Rail News Home Security 4/3/2020 Rail News: Security
image Metra closed the cab car on all trains to passengers to protect train crews from potential exposure to COVID-19.Photo – CDC

Metra in Chicago yesterday announced it has closed the cab car on all trains to passengers to protect its train crews from potential exposure to COVID-19.

Last week, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) also installed plexiglass enclosures for booth attendants at Tower City Station to ensure distancing between riders and staff. Next week, GCRTA next will begin using ultra violet technology (UV-C) to enhance its disinfectant procedures at stations and on trains.

...
Continue reading

APTA calls for infrastructure bill in response to COVID-19

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 4/3/2020 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) endorsed U.S. Democratic House leaders' call this week for work on a fourth economic recovery legislative package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with the next bill focused on infrastructure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter Fazio (D-Ore.) spoke April 1 about their plan to address the nation's growing infrastructure needs through their Moving Forward Framework, an infrastructure package first proposed in January. The proposal calls for a $489 billion investment over five years in surface transportation, including $105 billion for public transit and $55 billion for passenger rail. The proposal would follow the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) that President Donald Trump signed into law last week. The CARES Act was the third in a series of bills that Congress passed and Trump signed to address the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the nation. "Increased investment in infrastructure creates jobs and strengthens local economies, and that is exactly what America needs right now," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a press release. "As the nation moves forward and works to address the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, renewed investment in public transportation infrastructure will provide a solid economic foundation for recovery." APTA has proposed a $178 billion investment over six years is necessary to restore transit and passenger-rail systems to a state of good repair.  

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/3/2020


Continue reading

FRA awards CRISI grants to four South Dakota rail projects

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 4/3/2020 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image The South Dakota Department of Transportation announced last week that four rail projects in the state have been awarded grants under the Federal Railroad Administration's Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program. The State Railroad Board approved grant request applications and dollar amounts for the following projects: • Dakota and Iowa Railroad's mainline replacement and crossing improvement project, $3.99 million;
• Ellis and Eastern Railroad's Sioux Falls area bridges, $3.9 million;
• Belle Fourche Industrial and Rail Park's project to expand rail-car capacity, $1.9 million; and
• Sisseton Milbank Railroad's Lake Farley Bridge replacement, $1.5 million. The funds were awarded under the CRISI program's Special Transportation Circumstances Grant Program, state transportation officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/3/2020


Continue reading

San Mateo County transit board OKs Caltrain sales tax ballot measure

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 4/3/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image If the measure is passed, it would generate over $100 million per year to support Caltrain’s operation.Photo – Caltrain Facebook

The San Mateo County Transit District's (SMCTD) board earlier this week authorized Caltrain to place a 1/8-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in California.

If passed, the measure would generate more than $100 million annually to support Caltrain’s operation and expansion of electrified rail service.

...
Continue reading

MTA HQ redevelopment revenue to support capital program

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 4/3/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City officials yesterday announced an agreement to dedicate future ground lease revenue from the redevelopment of MTA’s former headquarters site to the MTA capital program.  Redevelopment of the former headquarters on Madison Avenue in East Midtown into a transit-oriented development is expected to generate more than $1 billion in real estate taxes and other revenue over the life of the ground lease to fund approved transit projects.  The plan also calls for construction of a new entrance to the Grand Central Terminal and the MTA Long Island Rail Road terminal in 2022. The agreement helps New York City fulfill its obligation to provide $600 million from alternative non-tax-levy revenue sources as part of its $2.66 billion contribution to the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital program, MTA officials said in a press release. The Madison Avenue site served as the MTA’s headquarters from 1979 until 2014.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/3/2020


Continue reading

Washington Gov. Inslee signs minimum train crew bill

Rail News Home Labor 4/3/2020 Rail News: Labor
image Gov. Jay InsleePhoto – Gov. Inslee's Facebook

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on March 27 signed legislation establishing minimum two-person train crews on certain railroads.

H.B. 1841 authorizes the state's Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to issue fines for violations. Although the legislation called for the requirement to take effect immediately, Inslee vetoed that section of the bill to give the UTC time to develop rules governing the new law.

...
Continue reading

Illinois panel OKs funding for 1,400 grade crossing improvements

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 4/3/2020 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image An Amtrak train traveled through an upgraded high-speed rail crossing in Williamsville, Illinois, in September 2019.Photo – JJ11 / Shutterstock.com

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) earlier this week approved a five-year, $315 million plan for grade crossing safety capital projects across the state.

The funds will be dispersed by the Grade Crossing Protection Fund to help local communities and railroads pay for safety improvements at more than 1,400 crossings during fiscal years 2021-2025, ICC officials said in a press release.

...
Continue reading

FTA allocates $25 billion in virus aid to transit agencies

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 4/3/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allocates $22.7 billion to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas.Photo – dot.gov

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help public transit agencies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which President Donald Trump signed March 27. The act allocates $22.7 billion to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas. 

...
Continue reading

Rail supplier news from Gradall, MacAllister, FreightCar America and SENER (April 2)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 4/2/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Gradall Industries named MacAllister Railroad Machinery an authorized distributor for Gradall TrackStar Railway Maintenance Machines.Photo – Gradall

Gradall Industries Inc. has named MacAllister Railroad Machinery as an authorized distributor for Gradall TrackStar Railway Maintenance Machines, as well as factory-authorized parts and service.

FreightCar America temporarily shut down rail-car production at its Shoals, Alabama, manufacturing facility after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Employees will return April 7 after the company completes its cleaning protocol. The suspension of production is being done out of an abundance of caution, said FreightCar America President and Chief Executive Officer James Meyer in a press release .

...
Continue reading

Metra to begin Itasca Station platform project

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 4/2/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Metra's Itasca Station platform rehabilitation will increase accessibility for riders with disabilities.Photo – Metra

Metra on April 4 will begin a project to rehabilitate platforms at the Itasca Station on the Milwaukee District West Line in Illinois. 

The project is designed to increase accessibility for riders with disabilities, Metra officials said in a press release.

...
Continue reading

Sound Transit reviews critical construction projects

Rail News Home Security 4/2/2020 Rail News: Security
image Sound Transit has received a plan from each of its major contractors detailing how they will maintain safe environments.Photo – Sound Transit

Sound Transit last week began developing criteria to identify which of the agency's construction projects are critical and will continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The criteria is contingent on contractors maintaining compliance with public health guidance, including social distancing, Sound Transit officials said in an agency blog.

...
Continue reading

NMB names Brown arbitration services director

Rail News Home Railroading People 4/2/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image The National Mediation Board (NMD) announced Terri Brown has been appointed director of the Office of Arbitration Services. She succeeds Roland Watkins, who retired Oct. 1, 2019. Brown joined NMD in 2002 as a mediator. She was promoted to senior mediator in 2010. During her tenure, she successfully mediated complex cases in the railroad and airline industries. Most recently, she was responsible for coordinating the bargaining between the National Carrier Conference Committee and various unions and coalitions, NMB officials said in a press release. In 2015, Brown led the Arbitrator Utilization Program, an NMB-sponsored course aimed at providing training and education to labor arbitrators with minimal experience in railroad grievance arbitration.  Brown began her career in labor relations at Amtrak in 1988 as a labor contract administrator. Two years later, she was promoting to labor relations officer; in that role, she gained extensive experience in rail arbitration, NMB officials said. Created by the Railway Labor Act, the NMB is an independent agency that governs labor and management relations in the rail and airline industries.  

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/2/2020


Continue reading

Trinity Metro, health center offer COVID-19 testing to rail engineers, conductors

Rail News Home Security 4/2/2020 Rail News: Security
image The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth opened its drive-through testing site to Trinity Metro rail engineers.Photo – CDC

Trinity Metro yesterday announced it has partnered with The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) to offer COVID-19 testing to the agency’s rail engineers and conductors.

HSC runs a drive-through testing site originally opened only to first responders.

...
Continue reading

OmniTRAX offers rail-ready development sites in New Jersey

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 4/2/2020 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image OmniTRAX's new Rail-Ready Sites Program has 10 sites along the Western and Winchester Railroad in Cumberland County, New Jersey.Photo – omnitrax.com

OmniTRAX Inc. has kicked off its new Rail-Ready Sites Program with 10 sites along the New Jersey division of the Winchester and Western Railroad.

Located in Cumberland County, the sites have access to CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway. They are "ideal locations" for rail-served manufacturing, food processing, recycling and distribution facilities, OmniTRAX officials said in a press release.

...
Continue reading

Alaska Railroad posts revenue gains in 2019

Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) yesterday released its 2019 financial results, logging net income of $21.6 million, a 7.5 percent increase from 2018 net income. 

In a 2019 annual report, company officials described the year as "pivotal," with financial statements telling a "turnaround story."

...
Continue reading

AAR: March rail traffic reflects pandemic's impact on U.S. economy

U.S. freight railroad traffic trends in March show the hit the U.S. economy is taking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Association of American Railroads (AAR) data shows.

U.S. railroads logged 1,835,053 carloads and intermodal units last month, a 9.3 percent decrease compared with February's levels, AAR reported in a press release.

...
Continue reading

DART to test on-demand shuttle service in South Dallas

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 4/1/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image DART's GoLink pilot in South Dallas and Fair Park, Texas, will cost $50,000.Photo – DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit's (DART) board yesterday approved a six-month pilot demonstration of the agency’s GoLink on-demand shuttle service for areas around South Dallas and Fair Park, Texas. 

As part of the pilot, the GoLink shuttle will provide short trips for DART riders within the neighborhoods near MLK Jr., Fair Pair and Hatcher stations. 

...
Continue reading

Alabama port completes APM Terminals dock extension

Rail News Home Intermodal 4/1/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image An aerial view of the port.Photo – Alabama State Port Authority's Facebook

The Alabama State Port Authority last week completed its 400-foot container dock extension at the APM Terminals Mobile facility, port authority officials announced yesterday.

Three days after the extension was completed, the terminal simultaneously handled two container ships — the Belita and Cosco Santos, which used about 2,100 feet of berth at the newly finished quay, port officials said in a press release.

...
Continue reading

XpressWest advances Las Vegas high-speed rail plan

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 4/1/2020 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Rendering of XpressWest's proposed high-speed electric train.Photo – Brightline

XpressWest last month took steps to secure private debt funding for its $4.8 billion plan to build a 170-mile high-speed, electric rail line from Southern California to Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Owned by Florida-based Brightline, XpressWest officials told the LA Times the company has taken steps to secure private debt funding under bond programs operated by California, Nevada and the federal government.

...
Continue reading

PANYNJ preparing for China's post-virus factory output

Rail News Home Logistics 4/1/2020 Rail News: Logistics
image As the health crisis evolves, PANYNJ officials have been seeking the expertise of the Council on Port Performance for guidance and planningPhoto – panynj.gov

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) remains fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has taken steps to pursue enhanced protocols and follow health guidelines to protect frontline personnel, port officials announced yesterday.

As the health crisis evolves, PANYNJ officials have been seeking the expertise of the Council on Port Performance for guidance and planning to identify and address challenges to port efficiency, they reported in the authority's newletter.

...
Continue reading

Contact Us

VISIT US

35505 Cooper Road
Brookshire, TX 77423
View a Map of Our Location

OUR HOURS

Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday - Sunday
CLOSED

TALK TO US

Phone
281.392.4850

CONNECT WITH US