Landmark Study Puts Rail Infrastructure Needs at $148 Billion

September 22, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — About $148 billion must be invested to expand the nation’s freight rail infrastructure over the next three decades to make sure that adequate rail capacity exists to meet future demand, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind study to measure rail capacity needs. Released Sept. 20, the National Rail Freight Infrastructure Capacity and Investment Study explores the long-term capacity expansion needs of the continental U.S. freight railroads. “These investments will help the freight rail industry ease highway congestion, reduce stress on highways and bridges, significantly lower transportation-related energy consumption and emissions, and maintain existing capacity for Amtrak and

DOT Digest: FRA Grants to Short Line Railroads and for Rail-Related Research

September 21, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — BTS Releases 2006 Border-Crossing Data. The number of trucks entering the United States from Canada and Mexico was 11.4 million in 2006, 0.5 percent higher than in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration. More than 6.6 million trucks entered the U.S. from Canada and almost 4.8 million entered from Mexico. Border-crossing data posted on the BTS website includes numbers of incoming trucks, trains, buses, containers, personal vehicles, and pedestrians entering the United States through land ports and ferry crossings on the U.S.-Canada

FRA Proposed Rule Promotes Adoption of Advanced Train Braking Technology To Improve Rail Safety and Efficiency

September 20, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Advanced brake technology will enable locomotive engineers to significantly improve train control and allow trains to safely travel longer distances between required brake tests under new proposed federal rules, announced U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. “Trains with better brakes mean safer railroad operations and improved rail freight service,” said Secretary Peters, explaining that Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes provide improved train control through simultaneous and graduated application and release of the brakes on all rail cars, a significant safety improvement over conventional air brake systems. In addition, Secretary Peters noted that the proposed rule would permit a

Union Pacific Rail Yard Would Include Features Designed to Reduce Brighton Traffic Disruption

September 20, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Traffic disruption at four rail crossings in downtown Brighton, Colo., would be reduced as part of the development of a new Union Pacific (UP) classification yard and intermodal terminal proposed between Brighton and Fort Lupton, Colo. A classification yard and intermodal terminal currently located in Denver would be relocated to the proposed new site between Brighton and Fort Lupton in order to make way for two FasTracks commuter rail corridors, under a possible agreement between UP and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). Plans under consideration include new sidings – a section of track parallel to the main

Union Pacific Railroad Makes Track Improvements Between Des Moines and Kansas City

September 18, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad is spending $8.2 million this year on track improvements between Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Mo. Upon completion of the projects, crews will have removed and installed 55,400 ties; spread 10,700 tons of rock ballast to ensure a stable roadbed; replaced the surfaces at 31 road crossings, and replaced 2.5 miles of rail in various curves on the line.  Work began on these projects in January and is scheduled to be completed by January 2008. Crews are currently replacing 33,000 wooden ties between Williamson, Iowa, and near Chariton, Iowa, and are scheduled to

NTSB: Chicago Derailment Caused by Ineffective Management and Oversight

September 18, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the derailment of a Chicago commuter transit train in the summer of 2006 resulted from the Chicago Transit Authority’s ineffective management and oversight of its track inspection and maintenance program and its system safety program, which resulted in unsafe track conditions. At 5:06 p.m. (CDT) on July 11, 2006, the last car of northbound Chicago Transit Authority train No. 220 derailed in the subway between Clark/Lake and Grand/Milwaukee stations in downtown Chicago. After the train came to a stop, electrical arcing between the last car and

Busy New York Commuters Leave Thousands of Items Behind

September 18, 2007 Voice of America 0

NEW YORK — New York City’s metropolitan population of roughly 22 million people is the largest in the United States.   But only about eight million people actually live in the city. Millions of others commute from outlying areas, riding trains into Manhattan each morning, riding them home again each night.  In those journeys, some things get lost. Every day about 10,000 people ride on Metro North Railroads, a suburban and commuter railroad servicing New York City.  And every day, about 100 items are lost. “We get a lot of suitcases, tote bags, backpacks, laptops,” says Mike Nolan. He is in

Amtrak and Michigan Central Railway Reach Agreement to Support Michigan Passenger Rail Service

September 18, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Amtrak and Michigan Central Railway have reached an agreement concerning maintenance and investment levels on the rail lines between Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo, Mich., which are currently used for passenger rail operations. As a result of this agreement, Amtrak will support Michigan Central’s request for regulatory approval of the transaction now pending before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that would grant Michigan Central control over those lines. “When the Michigan Central transaction was announced in July, a number of constituencies expressed concern regarding the impact on passenger rail service in southern Michigan,” said Paul Vilter, Amtrak’s Assistant Vice

Norfolk Southern Whistle-Stop Train Delivers Safety Training to Emergency Responders in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi

September 17, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. — A special train will travel to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi Sept. 17-21 to provide emergency preparedness training to first responders as part of the 2007 Norfolk Southern TRANSCAER Whistle-Stop Tour. TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a nationwide program that assists communities in preparing for and responding to a possible hazardous material transportation incident. “The Whistle-Stop Tour brings emergency preparedness training to response organizations and educates communities near major rail routes about rail equipment, chemical transportation and the importance of planning for potential hazardous material transportation emergencies,” said Chuck Wehrmeister, Norfolk Southern’s vice president safety

GE Equipment Services Completes its First Rail Wagon Financing in India

September 17, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW DELHI, India — GE Equipment Services, the transport solutions provider of the General Electric Company, announced today that it has provided financing to ETA Engineering Pvt. Ltd. (ETAPL) for the purchase of more than 200 rail wagons for use on India’s railways. The wagons are designed to carry freight containers. Container cargo is the fastest-growing freight segment, increasing on average at approximately 15 percent annually. The increase in foreign trade and the containerization of domestic cargo are largely fueling this growth. Container flat trains are also part of the government’s new railway wagon policy that has led to the

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