Acela Express Cafe Cars Introduce Wireless Processing of Credit Cards

August 4, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Enjoying a quick bite to eat on the train is now even more convenient as Amtrak has introduced wireless electronic credit card processing terminals to complete credit card transactions in all Acela Express café cars. Using the new devices, service attendants are now able to get instant authorizations from credit card companies. Previously, attendants needed to hand write ticket and passenger information on paper forms for credit card acceptance. The processing terminals accept all major credit cards, and there are no minimum purchase requirements. For purchases under $25, receipts are issued only when requested by the customer. Currently,

Amtrak’s Kissimmee Station Presented Award for Excellence in Safety

August 4, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Amtrak station here was recently honored with a special award for Safety Excellence in recognition of the station’s safety performance in maintaining an injury-free workplace for more than 25 years. “It gives the City of Kissimmee a tremendous sense of pride to have an employer in our community that has such an impressive track record and places a high premium on safety issues for both the public and its employees,” said Kissimmee Mayor Linda Goodwin-Nichols. The Kissimmee Amtrak Station serves two of Amtrak’s Silver Service trains – the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star, traveling between

WMATA Survey: Living, Working Near Stations Increases Transit Use

August 4, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – A new Metro ridership survey finds the closer people are to a rail station the more likely they are to use it. The Transit Authority surveyed 1,950 people who lived, worked or visited other businesses within a half-mile of 13 rail stations. The survey included 49 office, residential, retail, hotel and movie theater sites. The results suggest people are more likely to use transit in areas where they can live, work and shop close to a rail station. This was especially true for mid day trips to and from work places. The survey results also indicate that even

FTA Signs $700 Million Agreement to Fund Construction of Dallas ‘Green Line’ Rail Extension

August 4, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

DALLAS – The Federal Transit Administration and Dallas Area Rapid Transit have reached an agreement that will send $700 million in federal funding to begin construction of the “Green Line,” the northwest/southeast extension to the city’s light rail system. When complete, the line will give roughly 125,000 Dallas-area workers direct access to downtown. “Well designed transit projects such as this one are a critical component of the congestion solution,” Bushue said. “In addition to providing a vital link between jobs and workers, the Green Line will help ease gridlock in this city.” The 21-mile project consists of two segments that

Federal Transit Administration and Metro Sign Agreement To Purchase New Rail Cars

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Federal Transit Administration and Metro have reached a $173.3 million agreement to buy dozens of new rail cars for the transit system serving the nation’s capital. The federal government is committing $104 million in federal funds over the next three years so Metro can implement 20 percent eight-car train operations by the end of this year. The remaining funds will be contributed by the local jurisdictions that Metro serves. The first of the new 6000 series rail cars which are scheduled to enter passenger service later this summer, feature an interior that has been completely redesigned to

STB Seeking Public Comments on Railroad’s Fuel Surcharge Practices

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Surface Transportation Board is seeking public comments on several measures the agency proposes to adopt regarding railroad practices involving fuel surcharges. The proposals follow the agency’s May 11, 2006, public hearing about how fuel surcharges are calculated and charged by railroads and the extensive testimony submitted to the agency by the rail industry, the public and railroad customers regarding those practices. Specifically, the STB is proposing that: A railroad wishing to assess a fuel surcharge would need to develop a computation more closely linked to its increased fuel costs attributable to that movement Railroads would be prohibited

Engineering Begins on Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. – The Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel reached another important milestone Tuesday (Aug. 10). N.J. Transit Board of Directors approved a contract to begin engineering a project that will more than double commuter rail capacity between New Jersey and New York. The action comes less than two weeks after the Federal Transit Administration notified Congress that it would formally approve preliminary engineering of THE Tunnel project, following a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and funding review by the FTA, officials said. Last week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey committed up to $2 billion to fund construction of

Ridership on SEPTA Regional Rail Lines Continues Steady Climb

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA – As gasoline prices continue to hover in the $3 per gallon range, thousands of commuters in the Philadelphia region have turned to SEPTA’s regional rail system. During the fiscal year that ended June 30, daily weekday ridership on SEPTA regional rail routes is up by about 6 percent compared to 2005 fiscal year with ridership averaging 107,000 daily weekday trips. The ridership increase ranges across the regional rail system that operates throughout the five counties in Pennsylvania that comprise the SEPTA system as well as Trenton, N.J., and Delaware. The largest increases occurred on the R1 Airport line,

Florida Commuter Rail Now One Step Closer

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ORLANDO – Commuter rail in Florida is one step closer to reality, as Gov. Jeb Bush has announced a comprehensive plan aimed at improving freight service and bringing commuter rail to Central Florida. Under the agreement in principle between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT), Florida will invest $491 million to improve infrastructure and expand capacity on two existing rail lines, one of which will be used to establish commuter rail service through a multi-county stretch in the region. “Establishing commuter rail will ease congestion, which will improve the quality of life of people both

Norfolk Southern’s Shelocta Secondary Opens for Business

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA – Norfolk Southern Corp. today announced that the first train will run on the new Shelocta Secondary on Monday (Aug. 7), culminating a five-year, $44 million project The line establishes a direct rail connection from Norfolk Southern’s Conemaugh Line in Saltsburg, Pa., to the coal-powered Keystone Generating Station in Shelocta, Pa. “The Shelocta Secondary is a new link in our network providing the Keystone Generating Station with an efficient direct connection to western Pennsylvania coal fields served by Norfolk Southern,” said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern’s chief executive officer. “Norfolk Southern’s investment in this project underscores our commitment to improving

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