STB Releases Fall Peak Service Plans

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board has released letters from Class I railroads outlining their “peak season” service plans. In June, Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey sent letters to the chief executive officers of the seven largest railroads and to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), asking the railroads to inform the STB of their plans to ascertain the demand for, and to prepare for, the provision of peak-season service; their performance goals for the remainder of 2006 and their plans for achieving those goals; and their plans to communicate their service goals and plans with customers. In

FRA Starts ‘National Discussion’ on Improving Safety at Private Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will hold a series of public meetings across the country beginning in August to start a national discussion on the challenging issue of improving safety at the nation’s largely unregulated private highway-rail grade crossings, FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman announced. "The lack of a common safety approach at private crossings unnecessarily puts certain motorists at risk," Boardman said. "We need to learn all we can about private crossings in order to consider possible methods of reducing collisions and fatalities in the future." Establishing responsibility for safety at private crossings is one of the

Twin Cities & Western Railroad Marks 15th Anniversary

GLENCOE, Minn. — The Twin Cities & Western normally is freight service only, but on July 21-22-23 the 229-mile regional railroad celebrated its 15th anniversary by running a series of diesel-powered passenger trains. Regularly scheduled passenger service ended on the line in 1969. "It’s our way of thanking customers, employees, government leaders and railroad officials who helped make our railroad a success," says TC&W Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Wegner. The general public had an opportunity to ride similar trains on July 29-30 when the city of Cologne, Minn. marks its 125th anniversary. As a bonus, the

NTSB Wraps Up Initial On-Scene Investigation of CTA Wreck

CHICAGO — The National Transportation Safety Board has completed the initial on-scene phase of its investigation into the July 11 Chicago Transit Authority train derailment in a tunnel with a fire on the Blue Line. The 12-member team is continuing the investigation. As part of the ongoing investigation into this accident, the arc damaged wayside and car equipment, derailment area core samples of ties, and derailment area components of the rail fastening system have been sent to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, DC. CTA has also provided the NTSB with track inspection records for the past 12 months. The Safety

Georgia DOT Receives FRA Grant for Atlanta-Chattanooga High-Speed Rail EIS

WASHINGTON — A proposed high-speed passenger rail line between Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, TN will be studied by the Georgia Department of Transportation with a $6,690,857 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and $1,172,714 from non-Federal sources. The funding will be used to prepare a Tier I Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to review the need for the project, possible corridor and station locations, potential ridership figures, and whether maglev technology or conventional high-speed trains should be used. The project also involves coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Wabtec Awarded $8 Million Contract To Remanufacture Switcher Locomotives For New Jersey Transit

WILMERDING, Pa. — Wabtec Corporation on July 21 announced that its MotivePower subsidiary has been awarded an $8 million contract by New Jersey Transit Corporation to supply five "clean-diesel" switcher locomotives operating at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 emissions levels. The locomotives, which will be remanufactured at MotivePower’s Boise, Idaho facility, will meet new environmental emissions standards and be equipped with an automatic start/stop system to improve fuel efficiency and extend component life on idling units. The locomotives will be delivered in 2007. "Wabtec’s modern, environmentally friendly switcher locomotives offer our customers many operational benefits," said Albert J. Neupaver,

New York Sergeant Named Amtrak Police Officer of the Year

ISELIN, N.J. – Sergeant Kenneth Metz of Aberdeen, N.J., has been named the Amtrak Police Department’s Officer of the Year. Sergeant Metz received this prestigious, nationwide award in recognition of his many contributions to the corporation and the department. He has displayed exemplary performance of his duties. Sergeant Metz began his career with the Amtrak Police Department in 1990, working uniformed patrol in New York and New Jersey. Sergeant Metz was recently promoted to his current rank and is assigned to patrol duty in the New York Division. "Sergeant Metz has maintained a consistent and diligent effort to provide the

Union Pacific Announces Over $90 Million Investment in a New State-of-the-Art Intermodal Terminal in Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Union Pacific on July 20 announced plans to invest over $90 million in Southwest Bexar County to develop a new state-of-the-art intermodal terminal. The 300-acre rail port will serve as an economic development and job growth catalyst for the area. The new terminal will ship and receive containers and trailers with household goods and other items supporting retailers and distribution centers, as well as auto parts for the new Toyota plant in San Antonio. "Union Pacific is pleased to make a significant investment in Bexar County as we expect intermodal volumes to experience significant growth in

Death Toll in India Bombings Rises to 200

BOMBAY, India – The death toll in the July 11 serial bombings on Bombay’s commuter trains has risen to 200, with 714 people injured, according to the official estimate released by police. One hundred twenty seven victims have been identified and a further 56 remain unidentified, the estimate said. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. Indian authorities have said that the Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) may be involved. An LeT spokesman has denied any involvement. The day after the blast, schools, colleges and offices functioned normally in Bombay and the commuter train service targeted in

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