Turning Over a New Leaf; Self-Made SEPTA Equipment Helped Significantly Reduce Slippery Rail Delays in 2004

January 31, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA — A drip followed by a slip often produces a late trip on railroads awash with trees all across the globe during autumn – also referred to in the industry as slippery rail season. But despite the abundance of foliage and higher than normal rainfall in the Philadelphia region in 2004, SEPTA accomplished its goal of diminishing service delays attributed to slippery rail from leaves falling onto its tracks. In 2004 between the months of October and December for six nights a week SEPTA scrubbed, cleaned, washed and rinsed its tracks to remove leaf residue. The result was a

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Awards Grants to Support Atlanta Belt Line Initiative

January 28, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA — As part of its commitment to preserve green space and improve parks for urban residents, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation today announced it is awarding grants to two organizations involved in making the Atlanta Belt Line – a proposed corridor of transit, parks and trails – a reality. The Belt Line concept, conceived by Georgia Tech graduate student Ryan Gravel in 1999, calls for turning more than 20 miles of old railroad tracks and other land into a linear recreation and transit loop, connecting 46 diverse neighborhoods, as well as city schools, historic and cultural sites, shopping

Nation’s Largest Taxpayer Group Urges Va. Railroad Board to Stand Up to Amtrak, Allow Competitive Bid

January 5, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board should stand up for Virginia taxpayers and commuters by standing up to Amtrak. That’s the view of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which sent a letter to Board Chairman John Jenkins today recommending the railway break free of Amtrak’s grip by competitively contracting out the system’s services. The citizen group has 8,500 members in Virginia. “Over the past thirty-plus years of Amtrak’s existence, the railroad has hindered, not helped, the development of rail networks,” said NTU Director of Government Affairs Paul Gessing. “Amtrak has repeatedly threatened commuter rail systems

New Year, New Look for The Cross-Tie

January 1, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

The Cross-Tie, celebrating its third anniversary in 2005 has been redesigned inside out. “I’m very excited about the publication heading into its third year,” Publisher Todd DeFeo said. “We have some great ideas and this redesign is the first of many to come.” The Cross-Tie, published by Railfanning.org, a HarpBlaster.com site, first appeared in January 2003. Ten issues were publised that year and another 12 followed in 2004. The publication has also switched to an eight-page standard issue. In January, The CrossTie will publish its first Railfanning Guide, a free supplement sent to subscribers of the newsletter. “We hope this

Intermodal Continues to Dominate in 2004

January 1, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The year ended with a bang for railroads — for the first time ever, intermodal volume on U.S. railroads has topped 10 million trailers and containers in a single year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said in December. During the week ending Dec. 4, railroads moved 232,798 trailers and containers, up 14.9 percent from last year, the AAR said. This brought the total for the year to 10,196,913 trailers and containers, an increase of 10 percent from the first 48 weeks last year when the previous annual record was set. Also for the week ending Dec. 4,