Latest Rail News

Fort Worth officials and regional planners have long tried to get federal support behind solving the infamous freight train delays at a railroad intersection south of downtown, the Dallas Morning News reports. Mayor Mike Moncrief on Dec.21 seemingly made more progress with one phone call than North Texas politicians have made in years of lobbying federal lawmakers. Moncrief's audience: Vice President Joe Biden.

The Kansas City District Corps of Engineers with cooperation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, has concluded review of the proposed BNSF Railway Company's Intermodal Facility in Johnson County, Kansas. The Corps determined that the project is in the public interest, is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative and will not significantly impact the human environment.

With a goal of speeding freight between East Coast ports and the Midwest, CSX Transportation has undertaken what it calls the National Gateway project - an $842-million public-private upgrade of rail infrastructure to accommodate double-stack container cars, The State Journal in Huntington, W.Va., reports.

This city (Chicago) was built on railroads that moved meat from its famous packing houses, steel from its mills, corn from surrounding fields. Today Chicago is still the nation's leading rail hub, with about 37,500 rail cars passing through daily, the Washington Post reports. But massive congestion on Chicago tracks costs millions of dollars in shipping delays, and it causes substantial noise and air pollution as trains idle for hours, waiting for track clearance. The problem threatens to get worse since freight traffic is expected to double in the next 20 years.

(This editorial appeared on the Boston Globe Website on December 21, 2009.) The Federal Railroad Administration says it was just following the law in requiring a major environmental review before Amtrak can seek money for improvements on its Boston-Washington route. The review should be performed as quickly as possible, and, if it can't be completed in time to qualify for some of the $8 billion in high-speed rail funds in the federal stimulus bill, Congress should change the rules. The Northeast Corridor is, after all, a century-old railbed, and environmental risks stemming from fairly simple improvements aren't serious enough to jeopardize the best chance in a generation to push American rail policy in the right direction.

Getting to and from Sea-Tac International Airport got a lot easier Dec. 19 as the Link light rail extension opened for passenger service.

RailAmerica, Inc. says its subsidiary RaiLink Canada Ltd. has closed on a transaction with the Canadian Pacific Railway to terminate its lease of the Ottawa Valley Railway line. Under the terms of the agreement, RailAmerica, Inc. received C$73 million in gross proceeds. The company estimates net cash proceeds after taxes and transaction related expenses of C$69 to C$70 million.

The city of Yakima, Wash., expects to break ground on the railroad underpass project next March, thanks to some surprisingly low bids from contractors and political support from local members of Congress who hope to bring back more money from Washington, D.C. the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.

Drivers waiting for the new $6.1-million Covell Road underpass in Edmond, Okla., will have to wait awhile longer, local media report. Sherwood Construction, contractor for the project, has requested another 140 calendar days to finish the job, which started in September 2008, Edmond City Manager Larry Stevens said.

RailComm has successfully commissioned a Centralized Traffic Control system for Capital Metro's commuter rail service in Austin, Texas. The Track Warrant Control portion of the system was launched just 32 days from the signed Notice to Proceed. Capital Metro contracted RailComm to expand the initial DOC® Track Warrant Control system to include Centralized Traffic Control functionality for signalized locations. RailComm was responsible for the central office control system, as well as providing the data communication network to the controlled interlockings and other field equipment.

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