Latest Rail News

Hundreds of poles that will carry electricity for Norfolk's light rail trains are going up along the 7.4-mile alignment, marking a construction milestone for The Tide, Virginia's first light rail system. A small group of poles were bolted into place last month along a section of track near Norfolk State University, and a larger group of them will be secured in place in the coming weeks.

Union Pacific Railroad will increase the speed of its trains from 10 mph to 20 mph on nearly 12 miles of its rail line located in Kennewick, Wash. The rail line generally parallels state highway SR 240 through Kennewick. The increased train speed will take effect September 1, 2009. Trains currently operate through the area at 10 mph due to track and operating constraints.  Recent track improvements will permit the higher speed.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is applying for more than 27 million dollars in stimulus funds to pay for a new steel railroad bridge in Osage City, Mo., local media report. This comes as a relief to many history buffs in Boonville, who fought for the past few years to save the Katy Bridge from demolition.


The North Charleston, S.C. feud with the CSX railroad line got a little hotter this week when an employee cited during a sign-removal dispute last month apparently failed to show for his court appearance, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. A bench warrant was issued for a CSX employee who allegedly played a role in the railroad's attempt to remove a sign telling motorists where to direct complaints about bumpy railroad crossings.


The weekend of August 22-23, Sound Transit crews in the Seattle area will install a temporary wall comprised of interlocking metal sheets called sheet piles. The sheet pile wall will be about 60 feet long by 20 feet high and will be vibrated into place along the shoulder of southbound I-5 next to the Pike-Pine reversible HOV ramp. The Yale Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 and the right lane of southbound I-5 between Yale Avenue and Union Street will close from 8:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. on August 22 and from 8:00a.m.-1:00p.m.on August 23 to create a safe work zone during the sheet pile wall installation. The off-ramp from southbound I-5 to Union Street will remain open. This work is anticipated to take up to two days to complete. 


Looking forward to possible economic development in the South County, the Lassen County, Calif., Board of Supervisors, Union Pacific and Lassen Valley Railway, an affiliate of V&S Railways, reached an agreement that will save the Wendel/Flanigan rail line-a piece of infrastructure that could prove invaluable in the future-for at least one year, the Lassen Valey Times reports. Union Pacific, the current owner of the 21.77 miles of rail line, abandoned it in 2007, and planned to sell it for salvage and dispose of the property.


The Federal Transit Administration gave METRO permission today to enter into Final Design on Houston's North and Southeast light-rail lines. The FTA's approval is the final prerequisite toward entering Full Funding Grant Agreements on both lines, which signals the federal government's commitment to fund its part of the projects.


SEPTA has started renovations to the Girard and Spring Garden stations on the Broad Street Subway, the transit agency's largest project funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


The Illinois Commerce Commission's Railroad Safety Section has issued a Request for Grant Proposals for local railroad safety education and enforcement programs. The ICC recently received a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to continue working with local communities and railroads in Illinois to implement railroad safety education or enforcement programs.


John Lanigan, BNSF's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, was a keynote speaker at the groundbreaking of a new rail project to support Vancouver's Port Terminal 5 expansion in the state of Washington, according to the company newsletter. A crowd of more than 250 people made up of state and local officials, port and transportation personnel and area residents attended the official groundbreaking.


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