Latest Rail News

As the anniversary of the Sept. 12 Chatsworth train disaster approaches, officials with Southern California's sprawling commuter rail service are facing a vexing array of technical, financial and potential legal challenges as they struggle to deliver on pledges of trailblazing safety reforms, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Springfield, Ill., officials' public fight against additional train traffic along the Third Street corridor could derail the entire plan to provide high-speed rail service between Springfield and Chicago, a vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad told the State Journal-Register. Alternatively, railroad vice president John Rebensdorf warned in an Aug. 28 letter to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the railroad could carry out its plans unilaterally, and Springfield could "become the bottleneck of the new high speed passenger rail route."


Canadian Pacific and the Royal Ontario Museum celebrated the 100th birthday of the Burgess Shale and the Spiral Tunnels - two national icons in Yoho National Park of Canada. 1909 marked a year of incredible discovery and an awe-inspiring engineering marvel leading to 100 years of successful railway operations through Kicking Horse Pass in Yoho National Park.

Every day, 1,800 passengers head to the rail station next to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, local media report. Every day, they board more than 40 trains headed for Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and destinations all along the Northeast Corridor. It's the 15th busiest station in the Amtrak network. Now, the Maryland Department of Transportation wants to study the idea of doubling the station's size and recently applied for a $10-million federal grant for a detailed engineering study.


The South Shore is alerting passengers to a series of planned temporary weekend construction outages. The second of five weekend outages is scheduled for September 12-14, 2009. South Shore trains will not operate trains in either direction between South Bend, Ind., and Gary, Ind., Metro Center on the following weekends from 2:30 a.m. Saturday thru 3:00 a.m. Monday: September 12-14 and 26-28, October 10-12 and October 31-November 2. The South Shore will operate regular weekend train service between Gary Metro Center and Chicago.

The Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad said last week it is suspending its planned $6 billion project to ship Wyoming coal across South Dakota and Minnesota, due to the poor economy, noted an editorial in the Madison, S.D., Daily Leader. A controversial proposal for more than a decade, the DM&E's expansion was effectively put on hold when it dropped its condemnation lawsuits against some landowners where the trains would have run.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to spend about $25,000 to study what repairs are needed at the BNSF Depot at Seventh and New Jersey streets, the Lawrence, Kan., Journal-World reports. Commissioners agreed to hire Lawrence-based Hernly Associates to conduct the assessment.

Colbert County, Ala., Commissioners will not be writing a letter of support for a proposed project to relocate the Norfolk Southern tracks that run through Sheffield, Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia, according to the Florence Times-Daily. An item seeking support from the commission was removed from the Sept. 8 meeting agenda by Commission Chairman Roger Creekmore at the request of Commissioner Emmitt Jimmar, who questioned why the commission was even involved in the issue.

The coastal city of Eastport, Me., sees its future economic prosperity linked to a 30-kilometre (18.6-mile) railway connection leading to the Canadian border at St. Stephen, N.B., the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The Maine city needs a railway to carry cargo to and from its deep-water port to other markets in Canada and the United States.

On the Washington, D.C., Metro, the Waterfront-SEU and Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metrorail stations will be closed and the Green and Yellow Lines also will be closed at the L'Enfant Plaza Metrorail station from 9:30 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 9, through Monday, Oct. 12, with no Green or Yellow Line service at these three stations at that time. Service will resume at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13. There will be no Yellow Line service in the District of Columbia or Maryland during the Columbus Day holiday weekend, with service available only between the Huntington and Pentagon Metrorail stations. 

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