Latest Rail News
Knoxville, Tenn., mayor defends NS confidentiality agreement


It has caused him no end of political heat, but Jefferson County Mayor Alan Palmieri says that signing a confidentiality agreement with Norfolk Southern was the right thing to do, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. He doesn't regret it and says he would do it again. While some residents who have concerns about Norfolk Southern's plans for an intermodal facility fear that the agreement cloaks behind-doors dealings, Palmieri denies this is the case.

The historic train depot at West Fifth and Orange streets in Chico, Calif., will see a pair of improvements due to federal and local projects, the Chico Enterprise Record reports.

Amtrak will use $509,000 in federal stimulus dollars to build a 550-foot concrete platform along the railroad tracks. The city of Chico is planning to use up to $150,000 in city transportation funds to rebuild the wooden deck that runs around the northern part of the depot building.


Track maintenance on the Red and Orange Line this weekend will cause inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track on the Washington, D.C., Metro. Customers should add 30 minutes of time to their trips. 

Red Line 

Metrorail customers traveling between the Medical Center and Friendship Heights Metrorail stations should add at least 30 minutes of travel time for their trips because Metro will make tunnel repairs, and replace rail and rail fasteners that stabilize the tracks. Trains will share one track between these locations from August 7-9. 

BNSF will conduct work along the tracks from Naperville, Ill., into downtown Chicago the week of August 10 and in September, the Clarendon Hills Doings reports. The work will cause minimal pedestrian and traffic delays in Clarendon Hills from Aug. 11-13 and Sept. 6-10. The crews will be in Hinsdale Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 7-10, in Western Springs Sept. 9-10 and 13, and La Grange Sept. 9-10 and 13-14.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development wants to give the town a raised median and safety gates at the Hwy. 22 railroad crossing, but some town officials don’t want it, the Gonzales, La., Weekly Citizen reports. DOTD engineer Bill Shrewsberry said construction would probably start late this year or early next, in an effort to improve safety.


RailComm has been selected to expand its wireless remote control yard system at Union Pacific’s Davidson Yard in Fort Worth, Texas. The U.S. Department of Transportation requested the redirection of the hump yard lead tracks in order to keep traffic flowing while a new highway overpass is being constructed.


Stimulus funding that the Tomah, Wis., Amtrak Station is slated to receive will be used to construct a handicap boarding ramp, the Tomah Journal reports.

One appeal of a controversial railway sale was denied this week, clearing the way for another -- this one in federal court, according to the Fox Valley Villages Sun. On August 5, the federal Surface Transportation Board rejected an appeal by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The ICC objected to Canadian National Railway Company's $300-million purchase of the suburban Elgin, Joliet and Eastern rail line, which the STB approved in December.

Federal regulators are underestimating the health threat posed by a railroad freight center proposed for southwest Johnson County, environmentalists charge, according to The Kansas City Star. They say that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t fully assess the cancer risk tied to the BNSF project and that the corps’ predictions of diesel emissions are much less than what’s generated at rail projects elsewhere.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released its latest quarterly milestone report announcing that it has met 19 of 20 second-quarter 2009 rebuilding milestones. Milestones for the second quarter included: the installation of more than 2,400 tons of steel for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the equivalent of 20 Statues of Liberty; the installation of 1,250 cubic yards of concrete - the equivalent of six miles of New York City sidewalk - bringing the plaza and main entrance of One World Trade Center to street level; and, competitively bid one of the largest and most critical work packages for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

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