Latest Rail News

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.

Amtrak has awarded a $104.7-million contract to Cianbro/Middlesex VII of Littleton, Mass., for the replacement of the 102-year old movable bridge over the Niantic River in East Lyme, Conn.

Gov. Haley Barbour wants Mississippi to create a transportation hub in Palmer's Crossing to handle increased container traffic from the Port of Gulfport, the Hattiesburg American reports. But area residents say they'll need to hear more details before they consider the proposal a good fit for their community.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in California is set to begin a rail grinding project Jan. 16 that will see heavy equipment working on light rail tracks in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Campbell and San Jose for the next 20 nights between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder unveiled a new and dramatically simplified Website that offers the MTA's 8.5 million daily customers access to better organized and far more detailed information about their daily commute.

While Paul Dulmage has never been on a train in his life, he still feels rail lines should be protected, EMC News reports. And the mayor of Carleton Place, Ont., Canada, will be doing his part to ensure that the Canadian Pacific former Ottawa Valley line, which passes through the town, is not disposed of or torn up.

(This editorial appeared January 14 in The Michigan Daily.) Any new infrastructure that will help the environment, students or the economy is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of. And a new construction plan funded by the federal government encompasses all three of these categories. The new public transportation - a railroad that will run between Ann Arbor and Detroit with stops in the neighboring areas - will benefit students and residents as they move between Ann Arbor and Detroit, for business and pleasure, without excessive cost. This new route of transportation is easy, cheap and environmentally-friendly and officials from both cities should do everything possible to ensure that the plans come to fruition.

Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Project has received the endorsement of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). As noted in a letter dated December 16, 2009, from Katherine Lugar, RILA's Executive Vice President, Public Affairs to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood:

In the coming days, the local Ministry of Environment office can expect a terse communiqué from Kamloops, B.C. politicians, local newspapers report. The letter, sent by city council, will be reaffirming its stand against a proposed gasification plant in Kamloops.

Two statewide environmental coalitions are warning that soil under the rail bed of the proposed Lackawanna Cutoff line in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties could be filled with carcinogens and want NJ Transit to investigate that possibility, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. But NJ Transit officials contended there is no such evidence.

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