Amtrak Extends Coast Starlight Service

February 20, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

OAKLAND – Amtrak is adding Thruway motorcoach service on a portion of the disrupted Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight route, beginning Feb. 29. The Thruway motorcoach service will connect the Coast Starlight route segment between Sacramento and Portland, Ore., making connections with the Coast Starlight train at Sacramento and other Amtrak train service at Portland. The Thruway motorcoach will connect with the Chicago-Portland Empire Builder at Portland. Train service on the Coast Starlight route was suspended between Los Angeles and Seattle on Jan. 19, due to massive mudslides over the railroad north of Chemult, Ore. Union Pacific Railroad, the owner of

RMI Acquires Optimization Alternatives

February 20, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA — RMI has acquired Optimization Alternatives (OA), an Austin, Texas-based provider of transportation control systems for intermodal terminals. OA will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMI. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Since 1986, OA has been recognized as a provider of real-time control and decision support systems throughout North America. Its flagship product, OASIS, is a comprehensive decision support system that provides intelligent automation of intermodal terminal operations. It uses state-of-the-art algorithms for solving logistical problems that arise in intermodal railyards. OASIS is used at more than 120 intermodal terminals throughout North America. Founded in

New Grant Program Provides First-Ever Federal-State Funding Partnership to Improve and Expand Intercity Passenger Rail Service

February 19, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — For the first time ever, states will be directly eligible for federal funding to support intercity passenger rail service under a new grant program, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters said. “We want to encourage and support the kind of state investments that are making a difference for passenger rail services,” Peters said, noting that between 1996 and 2006, ridership on state-supported intercity routes grew by a robust 88 percent, vastly outpacing the 17 percent increase on all other routes combined. Peters explained that the $30 million capital grant program is designed to support state efforts to

Amtrak Launches New Security Procedures

February 19, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Amtrak today announced the deployment of its new specialized Amtrak Mobile Security Team to patrol stations and trains and randomly inspect passenger baggage. The Mobile Security Team supplements ongoing patrols already in place by Amtrak to enhance the safety and security of passenger rail travel. The deployment of the Mobile Security Team and the launch of random baggage inspection are further steps in Amtrak’s ongoing efforts to strengthen rail security as a means to minimize the risk of terrorist threats. The Mobile Security Teams will ultimately be deployed nationwide. “Keeping our customers and employees safe remains our priority,”

Union Pacific’s Diane Duren Named One of PINK Magazine’s Top Women in Business for 2008

February 16, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Diane Duren, Union Pacific Railroad’s vice president and general manager – Chemicals, is being honored as one of the Top 15 Women in Business by PINK magazine, the national magazine for professional women. PINK’s exclusive list in the March/April issue profiles the most influential women driving innovation and revenue in corporate America. “We scoured the upper echelons of corporate America to find the most significant women driving innovation in the U.S. – and adding major dollars to the bottom line in the process,” says Cynthia Good, founding editor of PINK. “These 15 women will soon claim the

California High-Speed Rail Authority to Study Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission

February 10, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board has authorized a study to determine the feasibility of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions for the power needs of the 700-mile electric high-speed train system. The study, timed to be completed by June of this year, will focus on costs, potential location of facilities and partnerships with utilities for on-site production of clean energy sources. “The proposed route of the system intersects with many of the state’s best location for wind, solar and geothermal facilities,” said Quentin Kopp, chairman of the Authority. “High-speed trains will help California meet the goals set

Amtrak Empire Corridor Train Service Disrupted in New York Due Possible Broken Water Pipe

February 10, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW YORK — Because of a possible broken water pipe causing water over the tracks north of Penn Station, Empire Service will be disrupted Saturday, Feb. 9 between Albany and New York City. As a result, two southbound and two northbound trains between Albany and New York ( Nos. 239, 259, 252 and 254) have been canceled. Passengers scheduled on those trains will be re-accommodated on other trains that will originate and terminate at Croton Harmon where passengers will be provided alternate transportation to/from Penn Station. The Lake Shore Limited (New York to Chicago) and the Adirondack and Maple Leaf

Amtrak Looking at $800M Budget for 2009

February 9, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s proposed $3.1 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2009 provides $800 million for Amtrak, roughly 40 percent less than the passenger railroad’s $1.3 billion budget this year. But that’s not enough, says Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure “In the last budget of his term in office, the President could have used the opportunity to make a bold statement about the state of the Nation and his hope, his vision, for its future,” Oberstar said in a news release. “Instead, the President stayed well inside his ideological comfort zone.

CTA: Ridership Increases in Nine of the Past 10 Years

February 8, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CHICAGO —  Combined bus and rail ridership increased by 4.7 million rides in 2007, a gain of 1 percent over 2006 ridership, for a total of 499.5 million rides. It is the highest ridership level since 1992. CTA has gained 60 million annual rides since the lowest year of 1997. Weekend ridership showed the strongest rate of growth throughout the year. Saturday ridership in 2007 increased by 1.1 percent over last year and Sunday/Holiday ridership increased by 1.9 percent. The CTA’s bus system posted particularly strong gains. The bus system provided 309.3 million rides, an increase of 10.8 million rides

New, Safer Brake Technology for Freight Trains Gains Traction as Second Railroad Launches ECP Train

February 8, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Utilizing advanced brake technology advocated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the BNSF Railway has launched its first revenue service train fully equipped with state-of-the-art electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. “We expect that these brakes can make rail operations safer and provide business benefits as well,” FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman said, noting that BNSF, along with the Norfolk Southern Railway, received FRA waiver approval last year to install and begin demonstrating ECP brake technology. In contrast to conventional air brake systems, which operate sequentially from one rail car to the next, ECP technology applies the brakes uniformly

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