Latest Rail News

The Chicago Transit Authority has awarded a construction management contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for a rail replacement and tunnel rehabilitation project on the system's Blue Line subway, which connects the downtown business district with O'Hare International Airport.

The Chicago Transit Authority has made significant progress replacing track in the Blue Line's Dearborn Subway. The $88-million project is funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, commonly referred to as stimulus funds, and involves the replacement of approximately seven miles-or 39,000 feet-of track from Division on the O'Hare branch to Clinton on the Forest Park branch.

After an investment of $408 million and a year of rapid construction, the first coal train will leave the Signal Peak Energy Mine near Roundup, Mont., next week, carrying the first load of low-sulfur Montana coal east to an Ohio utility, the Billings Gazette reports. A new railroad junction near Broadview and the mine site south of Roundup were officially dedicated Sept. 2 by top executives from BNSF; FirstEnergy, an Ohio utility; the Boich Group of Ohio; Signal Peak Energy; and a corral of Montana politicians, including Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Boatright Enterprises, Inc., is finalizing a deal to build a new railway crosstie plant in Chilton County, Ala., by next year, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. The Birmingham-based railroad maintenance company is eyeing a site in Chilton County Industrial Park, between Clanton and Thorsby, for its newest plant, the company confirmed.

A rail line between two salt plants in Watkins Glen N.Y., will be realigned with the help of a federal grant to improve safety and boost economic development, local newspapers report. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was in Watkins Glen Sept. 2 to announce the approval of a $349,000 Rail Line Relocation grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.

If a seaport were built on dry land, it would look a lot like Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad's new Memphis intermodal facility, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Giant cranes loom over vast expanses of tracks, roads and parking, soon to be piled high with oceangoing shipping containers.

Starting Sept. 4, at 9:30 p.m., until closing (midnight) on Sept. 7, Metro will undertake a complete track overhaul on the Blue and Yellow lines that will close the Pentagon City, Crystal City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail stations. Customers using the Blue and Yellow lines should add 45 minutes to their travel plans to transfer to a free shuttle bus to get past the affected work area.

An area that had emanated objectionable odors could produce the sweet smell of commercial success along Bill Carruth Parkway, according to the Times-Georgian in Carrolton, Ga. Paulding's Board of Commissioners voted last week to transfer about 130 acres formerly used as sewage treatment plant spray fields to the Paulding County Industrial Building Authority, which will plan, design, construct and market an industrial park. The site across from the Water System building on the parkway is served by rail, and "rail spur projects have done well," said Blake Swafford, director of both the IBA and Paulding County Regional Airport.

Colo Railroad Builders has been awarded contracts to surface approximately 100 miles of track on two WATCO Transportation Services railroads, South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL) and Yellowstone Valley Railroad (YSVR). According to the company, the SKOL and YSVR selected Colo to execute its surfacing work because of their ability to perform quality, high-production surfacing both safely and at a competitive rate. 

The governments of Canada and Quebec gave the green light to the rehabilitation and development of the Outremont rail yards in Montreal. The total estimate of the project is C$120 million (US$117,016,080). The Government of Canada has earmarked up to C$30 million (US$29,254,020) for the project from the major Infrastructure component of the Building Canada Fund. The province will provide a further C$30 million (US$29,254,020), while Montreal will contribute C$60 million (US$58,508,040). Federal funding will be granted on condition that the project satisfies all federal eligibility requirements for the Building Canada Fund and that the Government of Quebec signs a contribution agreement.

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