Latest Rail News

At a meeting September 8, the Burlington, Iowa, City Council is expected to approve a financial agreement with BNSF and the Iowa Department of Transportation for the closure of three downtown grade crossings, according to the Burlington Hawkeye. Under terms of the agreement, BNSF will pay the city $65,500, with IDOT providing $22,500 toward the closure of Third, Seventh and Eighth streetsCity officials had intended to address those crossings in 2010 as part of a plan to silence noise from train horns approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. The quiet zone plan also includes safety upgrades and modifications at seven additional downtown crossings.

The Washington Post's story, "Metro Scare Under Potomac," (September 6, 2009) revisited a 2005 incident that was covered at the time, Metro officials said. 

Metro has issued a line-by-line list of corrections, clarifications and comments to the article.

Environmental pressures are mounting on BNSF's proposed freight center in Johnson County, Kan., with experts saying it would contribute to the region's already serious air pollution problems, according to The Kansas City Star. Air-quality experts at the Mid-America Regional Council are suggesting that diesel emissions from the massive rail project near Gardner would worsen ozone levels, which already violate federal standards.

The Cocoa, Fla., City Council is expected to adopt a resolution September 8 acknowledging potential sites for Amtrak stations and pledging commitment to a project that would run a passenger train route along the state's Atlantic coast, according to Florida Today.

When Lisa Burley moved into her new southeast Bend, Ore., home in July, she thought she'd found a perfect, quiet spot to spend her retirement, local newspapers report. Then she heard the blast of a train horn, warning drivers and passers-by that the train was approaching a rail crossing. Then she heard another one, and another - usually three or four every night.

Northstar train service is on track to begin on Monday, November 16, 2009. In downtown Minneapolis, Light Rail and Northstar system testing continue. Crews finished milling and paving the LRT track area. Communications system testing and programming continued at the LRT station. The overhead catenary system wires are now live.

Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program will continue at Encinal, Glenwood and Ravenswood avenues in Menlo Park Sept. 8-10 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Throughout the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open. Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction. The work is part of a larger program to enhance safety at railroad crossings in San Mateo County.

Railworks Track Systems and subcontractors continue to work in sections to remove existing track and spurs and rebuild the sections with new rail along the seven mile Sound Transit rail corridor between South M Street in Tacoma, Wash., to Bridgeport Way SW in Lakewood. For the next two weeks, track removal and replacement work is being performed between S. 48th and S. 56th streets. This work is being coordinated with Tacoma Rail to minimize or avoid any disruption to their customers for existing rail service. 

Union Pacific's new Joliet, Ill., Intermodal Terminal will support customer growth by increasing the railroad's international and domestic container capacity and improving rail traffic efficiencies in Chicago, the nation's largest rail center. Once on line, customers from across Union Pacific's network will benefit from Joliet's annual capacity of 500,000 ocean-going containers. Officials and customers gathered Sept. 3 to celebrate the construction commencement of Union Pacific's nearly $370 million, 785-acre Joliet Intermodal Terminal and CenterPoint Intermodal Center - Joliet, a 3,900-acre state-of-the-art integrated logistics center.

The Chicago Transit Authority has awarded a construction management contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for a rail replacement and tunnel rehabilitation project on the system's Blue Line subway, which connects the downtown business district with O'Hare International Airport.

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