Latest Rail News

Central Florida backers of the SunRail commuter train may be relieved of more than $11 million in annual debt payments that were headed their way, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The state Department of Transportation had intended to borrow $173 million to help pay for the $1.2 billion, 61.5-mile system linking DeLand in Volusia County with downtown Orlando and Poinciana in Osceola County.

Kansas City Southern Railway has Monroe, La., and northeastern Louisiana on its radar because of the V-Vehicle Co. plant and the Franklin Farms Megasite in Richland Parish, The News Star reports.

Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, which will enhance safety at 25 grade crossings in San Mateo County, continues, with work at Main Street, Redwood City, Jan. 18 - 21; Watkins Avenue, Atherton, Jan. 18 - 19; and Oak Grove Avenue, Menlo Park, Jan. 20 - 21. Throughout the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open. Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction.

Kansas City-based TranSystems said that Michael J. Sweeney, P.E., has joined the company's New York City office as National Transit Market Sector Leader/Vice President in support of the firm's passenger rail and transit group. Sweeney has extensive experience working on the largest and most complex rail/transportation projects in the United States.

Wisconsin transportation planners are on a lightning-fast track, feverishly preparing to build the 85-mile, high-speed rail corridor from Milwaukee to Madison when $817.7 million in federal stimulus funding is secured, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports.

The weekend of Jan. 15-18, Metro in Washington, D.C., will close the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail station on the Red Line while maintenance crews conduct a track overhaul between the Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail stations. Customers using the Red Line in this area should add 40 minutes to their travel plans to transfer to a free shuttle bus to get past the affected work area. Throughout the weekend, extra Metro employees will be on hand to guide customers to connecting shuttle buses. 

A federal lawsuit filed against BNSF and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hoping to force a more detailed study of the impact on the air and water by the railroad planned intermodal center in southwestern Johnson County, Kan., the Kansas City Tribune reports. The proposed site lies near the city of Gardner and along BNSF‘s Transcon mainline and Interstate 35, a major national north-south highway. BNSF is seeking to build a $700-million, high-tech, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly 1,200-acre intermodal site between Gardner and Edgerton. The site would include an intermodal center where shipping containers would be unloaded from trains and a logistics park made up of warehouses, distribution centers and shipping points.

Residents who live next to the Canadian National Railway tracks in Mokena, Ill., could see trees planted as barriers between their homes and the tracks as early as this spring, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Village Board approved a landscape buffer plan for the area in the southwest corner of the village.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a $155,000 grant that will pay half the cost of rehabilitating a railroad bridge in Toledo, local newspapers report.

In a dramatic change from existing policy, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposed that new funding guidelines for major transit projects be based on livability issues such as economic development opportunities and environmental benefits, in addition to cost and time saved, which are currently the primary criteria.

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