India Suspends Rail Service to Pakistan

December 28, 2007 News Wire 0

India suspended its rail service with Pakistan following the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Officials would not say when rail service would be restored. The rail service was suspended because officials feared Bhutto supporters upset about her death might cross the border into India. In February 2007, terrorists firebombed an Indian train heading for Pakistan, killing 68 people. — News Wire

FreightCar America Closing Johnstown Facility

December 20, 2007 News Wire 0

CHICAGO – FreightCar America Inc. is closing its Johnstown, Pa., manufacturing facility that employs about 390 employees. The closure does not involve a closure of the company’s Johnstown administrative offices. Officials said the closure is in line with FreightCar’s strategy of optimizing production at its low-cost manufacturing facilities and continuing its focus on cost control. “It is critical for us to take full advantage of our lower-cost manufacturing facilities in order to produce our railcars with a competitive cost structure,” said Chris Ragot, president and chief executive officer. “Our Johnstown, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant is a higher-cost facility than our other locations. “Although

Amtrak Introduces New Menus for Overnight Trains

December 20, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Nearly all of the national network of Amtrak overnight trains offer a new and improved menu in the Dining Cars, effective this month. This includes the return of such items as prepared-to-order steaks, wine by the glass and premium ice cream, as well as improved variety and quality of menu options at each meal. The new menu was developed by Amtrak Executive Chefs with input from passengers, employees and others. Amtrak rotates its menu options with three different cycles that vary depending on direction of travel and particular route. “We are confident that these new menus will make the dining

Dozens Killed in Pakistan Derailment

December 19, 2007 News Wire 0

MEHRABPUR, Paistan — More than 50 people were killed in a train derailment Wednesday (Dec. 19) in southern Pakistan. The train was traveling from Karachi to Lahore when it derailed near Mehrabpur. Twelve of the train’s 16 cars derailed. In addition to the 50 deaths, more than 100 people were injured. Following the derailment, local villagers headed to the crash scene to help trapped passengers, officials said. After arriving, emergency crews rescued passengers from the mangled rail cars. Many of the train’s passengers were traveling for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice. Officials

Amtrak Partners with to Offer Passengers Carbon Offsets for Rail Travel

December 18, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak passengers can now travel even greener. Through a new partnership between the railroad and, passengers can offset the carbon emissions footprint generated by their individual rail travel by making a contribution to Selections start at only $3.00, a contribution which offsets 2,500 miles of Amtrak travel, or almost three round trips between Washington and Boston. All contributions are tax deductible and may be made online. “By choosing to travel by rail, Amtrak passengers are already a step ahead because the carbon footprint generated by their trip is smaller than that of most other modes of transportation,”

Governor Rendell Announces $20 Million Investment in Rail Freight

December 18, 2007 News Wire 0

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state of Pennsylvania is investing $20 million in taxpayer money to help seven railroads and five businesses undergo rail-freight improvement projects, stimulate economic development and reduce traffic congestion. “Dependable rail service helps businesses expand their markets, and this investment will help create and maintain jobs in communities throughout the commonwealth,” Gov. Edward G. Rendell said. “Moving products by rail also lowers the number of trucks on the roadways, which in turn reduces the wear and tear on our state’s highways, relieves traffic congestion, and improves air quality.” The State Transportation Commission approved the grants. Several of

New York, Amtrak Resolve Empire Coridor High-Speed Rail Project Dispute

December 13, 2007 News Wire 0

NEW YORK — Amtrak and the state of New York have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit over their plan to run high-speed trains between New York City and Albany, the state’s capitol. Under the terms of the settlement, Amtrak will pay New York state $20 million. In addition, New York and Amtrak will jointly invest $10 million in infrastructure improvement projects on the so-called Albany to New York City Empire Corridor, which was approved by the New York State Senate High-Speed Rail Task Force. “This settlement now allows both Amtrak and the State of New York to concentrate on

Federal Board’s Decision Shortchanges Michigan Rail Shippers and Passengers

December 12, 2007 News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. — The Surface Transportation Board’s denial of regulatory approval for an innovative joint venture involving freight and passenger rail service over 384 route miles in Michigan and Indiana represents a lost opportunity for the region’s shippers, passengers and communities, according to Norfolk Southern Railway Co. Norfolk Southern and Watco Companies had planned jointly to form a new regional railroad, Michigan Central Railway, to preserve and grow freight service in the region. Amtrak passenger lines would have benefited from an extended agreement ensuring continued maintenance and investment levels on the rail lines between Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo, Mich., Norfolk Southern

Ridership Rises Significantly on Caltrans/Amtrak San Joaquins Trains

December 11, 2007 News Wire 0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ridership on the tax-payer funded Amtrak San Joaquins Corridor service exceeded all expectations during the month of November with a dramatic jump of 13.1 percent, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced. In all, 78,577 passengers rode the line last month, compared to 69,450 in November 2006. Under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, rail funding for Caltrans’ intercity passenger rail program has grown to $79 million annually, making it the largest state-supported program in the nation. “This is great news for the traveling public,” Caltrans Director Will Kempton said. “Not only are we able to relieve traffic

GATX Corporation Announces New Railcar Order

December 11, 2007 News Wire 0

CHICAGO — GATX Corp. has agreed to buy 2,000 newly-manufactured tank cars from Trinity Industries Inc. over a two-year period beginning in early 2008, with an option for an additional 1,000 tank cars thereafter. GATX expects the Trinity order, together with other existing orders, to provide significant opportunity to enhance market share, meet customer demand and replace retired equipment with high quality tank cars, manufactured and configured according to strict GATX specifications. “We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Trinity,” said James F. Earl, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Trinity offers a full range of railcars

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