Latest Rail News


In the biggest move in decades to renovate Connecticut's freight rail system, the state is seeking more than $109 million in grants to refurbish or rebuild deteriorated tracks in Middletown, Hartford, East Windsor, Danbury and elsewhere, according to The Hartford Courant.

On October 1, Union Pacific Chairman and CEO Jim Young, Director of Iowa Department of Transportation Nancy Richardson and Boone Mayor John Slight will officially open and name the new railroad bridge just west of Boone, Iowa, that is one of the highest double-track railroad bridges in North America coming in at 2,813 feet long and 190 feet high above the Des Moines River.  After remarks from Young, Director Richardson and Mayor Slight at the UP depot in Boone, officials and media will board a train to go look at the new bridge close up. The public is invited to attend the remarks at the UP depot.

Revenue service testing for both the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line extension and Northstar Commuter Rail will begin in mid-October. The trains will run on the regular schedule, but will not yet be available to the public. Northstar and LRT extension service will begin on Monday, Nov. 16.

In a move that places Los Angeles County in contention to receive its fair share of future federal rail funding, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted to pursue long-term funding agreements through the US. Department of Transportation to build the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects.

Houston METRO's Title VI program has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration - another step toward federal Full Funding Grant Agreements for the build out of Houston's light-rail system. After a thorough study, the FTA's Office of Civil Rights ruled METRO's program is complete and in compliance with requirements related to Title VI. This compliance is necessary to apply for the FTA's New Starts program - the federal government's primary financial resource for supporting major transit "guideway" capital investments such as light rail.

The ripple effects of what would happen if funding hadn't been secured for the BNSF railroad bridge between Burlington, Iowa, and Gulfport, Ill., could have been grim, according to the Burlington Hawkeye.  On top of the obvious safety concerns -- despite daily inspections -- delivery of goods would be delayed as inspections took days and trains crossed the bridge one at a time.

The State of Wisconsin has authorized a total of $30.6 million in loans and grants to help construct, preserve or upgrade rail-related facilities across the state, the Business Journal of Milwaukee reports. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said 10 state awards as part of overall efforts to support job growth and Wisconsin's agricultural economy.

When BNSF employee Daryle Haugen decided to retire, his decision on timing wasn't based on stock price or some family trip he had been waiting to take, according to a story in the railroad's employee newsletter. It had everything to do with finishing one last project. Haugen, who was a Structures foreman, on the Twin Cities Subdivision when he retired in August, was preparing to retire when he was asked to take on the Delano, Minn., bridge.

CN said it has completed of the $100-million multi-year construction project to reconfigure and modernize its Memphis rail classification yard.

The Chicago Transit Authority will hold a third round of public meetings in September to receive input on the proposed Circle Line project. The meetings are part of the Alternatives Analysis study - the first step in pursuing federal funding for major transit projects. The Alternatives Analysis study is designed to examine all the transit options available and determine a Locally Preferred Alternative.

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