Latest Rail News

Some people like the haunted train station look -- the boarded-up windows at the Metra stop at 115th Street, or the eerie yellow light shining on the plywood fencing at Cicero, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Metra, however, is assuming that most riders prefer stations that don't look as if they're about to fall on their heads. So the commuter rail service is doing rehabs on 27 stations in the area.

Cortlandt, N.Y., Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, MTA Metro-North President Howard Permut and local and state officials held a ground breaking ceremony today to mark the start of construction at the Cortlandt Station for expanded station facilities including an extended overpass and new elevated waiting area, a new western parking lot and an access road connecting to a new Route 9A intersection.

Greater accessibility, better use of platform space and more natural light are features of the newly upgraded Commercial-Broadway Station on Vancouver's SkyTrain.

Cleanup of petroleum-contaminated sediment in Montana's Whitefish River is on schedule and so far has yielded "no big surprises," a federal spokesman said, according to The Daily Inter Lake. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing BNSF's efforts to remove roughly 36,000 cubic feet of oily sludge from a 500-foot-long stretch in the river's upper reach, upstream of the Second Street bridge to the northern boundary of the railroad fueling facility. About 100 feet have been excavated to date, to a depth of plus or minus one foot, EPA spokesman Jennifer Chergo said.

Workers will begin repairing train tracks this week after damage from September floods put a major kink in transportation lines in Walker and Chattooga counties in Georgia, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. While crews began repairing roads and buildings shortly after the waters receded, the rail line between LaFayette and Summerville remains unusable, according to railway officials. In spots, the heavy wooden ties hang over a foot or more of space where the ground has washed out beneath them.

Portec Rail Products, Inc., was recently named to the Forbes magazine listing of the 200 Best Small Companies. Forbes states that candidates must have annual revenue between $5 million and $750 million, be publicly-traded for at least one year and have a stock price no lower than $5. Rankings are based on earnings growth, sales growth and return on equity in the past 12 months and over the last five years.

Work on Caltrain's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, which will enhance safety at 25 grade crossings in San Mateo County, continues in Menlo Park and Atherton. Work will take place Nov. 15-19 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. at Fair Oaks Lane and Watkins Avenue in Atherton and Encinal, Ravenswood and Oak Grove avenues in Menlo Park. Throughout the project area, at least one lane of the impacted street will remain open. Flagmen will direct traffic and pedestrians around the construction.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced a start date of Saturday, Dec. 19, for Link light rail service to Sea-Tac Airport - 36 days and counting! 

At a ceremony in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, officials kicked off a major rail infrastructure project to increase and improve the safety, frequency and speed of passenger rail service all along VIA's busy Toronto-Windsor route.

The Chicago Transit Authority Board approved a $1.27-billion budget for 2010. The budget proposes management efficiencies, elimination of more than 1,100 jobs and service reductions. However, due to an agreement brokered by Governor Quinn's office, a proposed fare increase was removed from the budget. To replace the $83 million in revenue that was anticipated from the fare increase, the Regional Transportation Authority will issue bonds in 2010 and 2011 that will enable the CTA to use eligible capital funds to support operations and replace those funds with the new RTA revenue. As a result, the CTA has agreed to maintain current fares for the next two years.

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