Railroad News

Denver RTD marks 50 years of transit service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/11/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image RTD Chair Doug Tisdale (far left), Chief Executive Officer Dave Genova and RTD board members toast 50 years of service.Photo – RTD Facebook

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver officials last week recognized the agency's 50th anniversary at an event at Union Station. 

To mark the anniversary, which officially is July 1, RTD officials unveiled an anniversary logo and redesigned website to showcase historical photos and an interactive timeline of RTD highlights. 

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New GO station to be built in Ontario

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/11/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The new station will feature passenger waiting platforms, a parking lot, passenger pick-up and drop off areas, and a bus loop.Photo – Go Transit

Metrolinx and Ontario government officials announced last week a partnership with Woodbine Entertainment to build a new GO Transit station on the Kitchener GO rail line.

Located in the Toronto area, the new station at Woodbine will increase transit access to nearby locations including Woodbine Mall, Humber College, University of Guelph-Humber and Etobicoke General Hospital, Ontario officials said in a press release.

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Sound Transit extends public comment period on light-rail extensions

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/11/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image As of March 8, 650 comments have been received regarding route and station alternatives for the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project.Photo – Sound Transit

Sound Transit and the Federal Transit Administration have extended until April 2 the public and agency comment period on route and station alternatives for the West Seattle and Ballard Link extension projects.  

The comments will help Sound Transit officials determine which alternatives should be studied in the next phase of its project development, the environmental impact statement (EIS). In May, the agency’s board will identify a preferred alternative and other alternatives to study in a draft EIS.

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Port of Virginia opens 12 new container stacks

Rail News Home Intermodal 3/11/2019 Rail News: Intermodal
image The new container stacks mark the end of the first phase of the $375 million NIT expansion project.Photo –

Twelve new container stacks have begun operating at the Port of Virginia's Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), port officials announced late last week.

The announcement marks the completion of the first phase of a project to reconfigure the NIT's south container stack yard, according to a port authority press release.

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CTA to invest $4 million to improve Red Line tracks

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 3/11/2019 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image Chicago Transit Authority’s Addison Station.Photo – CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will invest nearly $4 million into track improvements at Addison Station on the Red Line, one of Chicago's busiest rail lines.

Construction, which began March 8 and is scheduled to be completed April 1, includes track renewal on the two western-most tracks that carry southbound Red and Purple Line express service, and replacement of concrete plinths, plates, fasteners, contact rail chairs and mounting blocks. 

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Amtrak: Host railroads earn 'C' average for on-time performance

Canadian Pacific was the only Class I to receive an "A" for hosting Amtrak trains on freight-rail tracks, according to Amtrak's latest "Host Report Card."

Released last week, the card reports grades the six Class Is that host Amtrak trains based on how much the Class Is delay passenger trains. CP's "A" grade means that most Amtrak passengers traveling on CP tracks arrive on time at their destination, according to an Amtrak spokeswoman.

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Alberta transit grants to fund light-rail vehicles, electric buses

The Alberta Community Transit Fund will award a total of CA$215 million to communities for the purchase of light-rail vehicles, electric buses and a dedicated bus lane, the Alberta government announced late last week.

Of the total, the government awarded CA$101.8 million to Calgary Metropolitan Region, CA$95.4 million to Edmonton Metropolitan Region and CA$17.8 million to other communities, according to an Alberta government press release.

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CP, CN and Railway Association of Canada appeal emergency handbrake order

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 3/11/2019 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
imageCanadian Pacific announced late last week that it's appealing a ministerial order issued by Transport Canada last month that mandates the use of handbrakes during emergency stops on certain mountain grades. The order, issued Feb. 8, requires that trains must apply handbrakes during emergency stops on grades over 1.8 percent. Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued the order after a fatal derailment of a CP train near Field, British Columbia.CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel said the company is appealing the order out of a concern that it would add risk and have unintended consequences."Safety is one of our foundational principles and we remain laser-focused on continued improvement in this area," said Creel in a press release. "The application of handbrakes in accordance with the ministerial order introduces additional risks and will have unintended consequences. We are seeking a review of the ministerial order because we firmly believe safer options are available and we must get this right."CP will comply with the order while it seeks an appeal, which will be heard by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, company officials said.The Railway Association of Canada and CN also are appealing the order, according to CP.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/11/2019


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It’s taking a team effort for Union Pacific to roll out its version of PSR

UP aims to operate more manifest trains since the overall focus now is on moving individual cars.Photo – Union Pacific Railroad

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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It’s taking a team effort for Union Pacific to roll out its version of PSR

UP aims to operate more manifest trains since the overall focus now is on moving individual cars.Photo – Union Pacific Railroad

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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Valley Metro brings live theater to light rail

The Light Rail Plays, conceptualized and performed by a partnership of youth and professional actors, were designed for riders, passersby and scheduled audience members alike.Photo – Rising Youth Theatre, Carlos Lara

By Vesna Brajkovic, Associate Editor

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Rail supplier news from Collins Aerospace, Trainyard Tech, Hubner, Ekyrail, PTS and InStar (March 8)

Collins Aerospace has been awarded a $68 million contract by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to serve as the prime contractor for MTA New York City Transit's information management modernization project, according to a Collins Aerospace press release. This multiphase project includes an upgrade of the existing manual system to an intelligence-based computer system designed to provide consistent data regarding train locations and real-time status information. The company will also provide data analytics and management tools to monitor and analyze route operations. 

Trainyard Tech LLC has received a purchase order from Conrail to install the Classmaster hump yard process control system at Oak Island Yard in Newark, New Jersey. The system will include a rail yard reporting tool called TyT Reporter that will be customizable by all levels of Conrail users to simplify troubleshooting, analyze yard trends and review historical performance. Oak Island Yard has 30 classification tracks with three leads that may be routed to feed one master retarder, three intermediate retarders and five group retarders. 

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MTA begins underpass construction in New Cassel

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) temporarily closed Urban Avenue in New Cassel, New York, today to rebuild a railroad crossing as a two-way grade separated underpass with a sidewalk, MTA officials said in a press release. 

The crossing reconstruction, which is set to be completed in the fall, is part of the MTA Long Island Rail Road’s main line expansion project, which calls for eliminating seven street-level grade crossings from Floral Park to Hicksville. 

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Phoenix names Coleman light-rail administrator

Rail News Home Railroading People 3/8/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Markus Coleman has 23 years of experience with the city working on development projects and in transportation.Photo – City of Phoenix

The city of Phoenix has named Markus Coleman as its new light-rail administrator. 

Coleman has 23 years of experience with the city, working on development projects and in transportation, according to a press release. Prior to his new role, he was an engineering technician, plan review coordinator, project manager and had a previous rotation of acting deputy public transit director over transit operations.  

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Congressman's bill would strip California of federal high-speed rail funds

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 3/8/2019 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.)Photo – LaMalfa's Twitter account

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) earlier this week introduced a bill to require California to return $3.5 billion in federal funds the state received for its high-speed rail program.

H.R. 1515, the High-Speed Refund Act, would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to retrieve discretionary grant funds provided to California for high-speed rail development and return the money to the federal government for use toward "nationally significant freight and highway projects," according to the legislation.

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Las Vegas convention group, Boring Co. seek approval for autonomous transit system

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends 3/8/2019 Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
image An artist's rendering of a high-occupancy autonomous electric vehicle that could run between exhibit halls in Las Vegas.Photo – LVDVA

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is seeking approval from its board to select The Boring Co. (TBC) to design, construct and operate autonomous electric passenger vehicles in underground express-route tunnels around the Las Vegas Convention Center, the authority announced in a press release earlier this week.

Upon approval from the board on March 12, the project would have the potential to connect the Las Vegas Convention Center, downtown Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor and McCarran International Airport. Following approval, specific plans and contracts would be negotiated in a meeting to be held by June.

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Rail industry reacts to Boardman's death

Rail industry representatives are reacting to the news of former Amtrak leader Joseph Boardman's death, which the railroad announced yesterday.

Boardman, 70, died this week after suffering a stroke while on vacation with his wife and family in Florida, the Rome Sentinel reported. He led Amtrak from 2008 until 2016, when he retired. He also served as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) from 2005 to 2008 during President George W. Bush's administration.

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California agency awards $13 million in rail project funding

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/8/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
imageThe California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) yesterday announced the award of $13.1 million in Senate Bill 1 State Rail Assistance (SRA) funding to help advance nine projects.The projects are "focused investments" to expand intercity rail service across California, reduce air pollution and ease traffic congestion — with an emphasis on emerging corridors, CalSTA officials said in a press release.Projects receiving awards and the amounts include:
• $5.9 million to the Los Angeles-Coachella Valley Corridor/Riverside County Transportation Commission to build the Coachella Festival special event train platform in Indio to allow regular special events service;
• $3.4 million to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for four projects to advance expansion of statewide fleet and maintenance facilities, as well as integrated travel and piloting of new services to fill gaps in Northern California's rail system;
• $1.5 million to Central Coast Corridor/Coast Rail Coordinating Council and San Luis Obispo Council of Governments for pre-construction activities for a King City passenger-rail platform, which will allow service by the existing Coast Starlight and access to Fort Hunter-Liggett U.S. Army Garrison and Pinnacles National Park; and
• $1.4 million to the San Jose-SacramentoAuburn/Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority for pre-construction work of a new siding near Santa Clara-Great America Station.The projects will allow new rail services to be offered that serve the needs of new markets and customers, CalSTA officials said.About $27.6 million of additional program capacity remains until June 30, 2020. Applicants are allowed to propose additional investments on an ongoing basis to supplement those funds.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/8/2019


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UP announces new executive roles for Panzer, Hamann, Grosz

Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced executive appointments for Jon Panzer, Jennifer Hamann and Gary Grosz.

The appointments take effect April 1, according to a UP press release.

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UP announces new executive roles for Panzer, Hamann, Grosz

Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced executive appointments for Jon Panzer, Jennifer Hamann and Gary Grosz.

The appointments take effect April 1, according to a UP press release.

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