Latest Rail News

Sound Transit opened bids for work that will get under way next year to bore light rail tunnels connecting Capitol Hill and the existing Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. The apparent low bid was submitted by JCM U-Link Joint Venture, formed by Jay Dee Contractors of Livonia, Mich.; Frank Collucio Construction Company of Seattle; and Michaels Corporation of Brownsville, Wis. Its bid of $153,556,000 came in 12 percent, or $20.7 million, below the Sound Transit engineer's estimate of $174,304,700.


BNSF is pushing Congress to scale back a requirement for carriers to install automatic-braking systems on most of their tracks, reports Bloomberg News. "Heavy-handed" legislation enacted last year would cost Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF almost $2 billion, Chief Executive Officer Matt Rose said.

 Community leaders joined with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to break ground for a new $8.5-million Rapid Transit station on East 55th Street and the east end of I-490.The new station will continue to serve both light rail (RTA's Green and Blue lines) and heavy rail (RTA's Red Line). The station is also served by bus routes #2 and #16. The estimated completion is fall 2011. 

Union Pacific is investing nearly $11 million in track improvements to its Hiawatha-to-Upland, Kan., line. When the project is complete, crews will have removed and installed more than 72,000 ties, spread more than 30,000 tons of rock ballast, renewed road surfaces at 123 crossings and replaced rail in various curves on the line. Work began on the project August 26 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.

Traffic back-ups on Arlington Boulevard and on Howell and 14th streets in Greenville, N.C., should decrease when it becomes easier for trains to pass through those areas later this year, the Greenville Daily Reflector reports. Construction on a new connector railroad track near the intersection of 14th and Beatty streets should begin at the end of September, according to Greenville Public Works Director Wes Anderson.

Rail service between the Blue Line's Western/Milwaukee and Washington stations temporarily will be suspended from 10 p.m. Friday, August 28 until 4 a.m. Monday, August 31 as work continues in the Dearborn subway to reduce slow zones. In addition, a single track will be in effect between the UIC-Halsted and LaSalle stations from midnight until 2 a.m. on Monday, August 31.  Eastbound customers at the UIC-Halsted, Clinton and LaSalle stations must board and exit trains from the westbound side of the platform.

The Federal Transit Administration released $64.5 million in federal stimulus funds to Miami-Dade Transit for Metrorail and Metromover facility upgrades, the purchase of hybrid buses and other significant infrastructure projects for the transit system.

The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered BNSF to begin removing contaminated sediments in the upper reach of the Whitefish River by Sept. 25, the Whitefish Pilot reports. The order follows a finding that the company is responsible for the river contamination under the Oil Pollution Act, said David Romero, an on-scene coordinator from the EPA's Region 8 office in Denver. Romero said he informed BNSF of the finding in March.

ConnectUs, Inc., said that it and its coalition of business, labor and environmental groups had sent letters of support and endorsement to U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood in support of Florida's application seeking $30 million for the Preliminary Engineering and NEPA Environmental studies for the Orlando-Miami corridor.


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that 13 grants totaling $189.8 million in Recovery Act funds will go to improve state and local transit systems in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and providing much needed transportation options for millions.


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