CSX Transportation Launches Carbon Calculator

February 8, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — CSX Transportation today launched an online Carbon Calculator, giving shippers and others the ability to make the best environmental choice of transportation options. The user-friendly tool quickly calculates the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions savings of specific rail shipments, providing comparative data among transportation choices. The Carbon Calculator, accessed through the company’s Web site prompts users to enter their shipment’s weight and miles shipped and returns the estimated CO2 savings of shipping by rail. “Rail is the most environmentally-friendly and energy efficient land transportation option,” said Clarence Gooden, CSX executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “This tool

Amtrak Locomotive, MARC Train Collide

February 7, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — An Amtrak locomotive collided with a MARC commuter train Feb. 7 at Union Station, leaving seven people injured. The rear wheels of the MARC train derailed after the Amtrak locomotive crashed into it from behind. Seven people received minor injuries, officials said. Passenger were disembarking the MARC train, which arrived at Union Station from Baltimore, at the time of the collision. The Associated Press quoted Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero as saying the Amtrak locomotive was going to transport the MARC train to a maintenance center. However, the Amtrak locomotive was traveling too fast at the time of the

China Begins Slow Recovery From Snow Disaster

February 6, 2008 Voice of America 0

BEIJING — Roads, railways and air traffic are slowly returning to normal in China, where the worst snowstorms in 50 years have stranded millions of travelers trying to get home for this week’s Lunar New Year holiday. China’s main north-south freeway reopened Monday after weeks of snow and ice storms cut off transport and seriously disrupted supplies of food and fuel during the country’s peak holiday season. Authorities are still warning drivers about possible traffic jams on the Zhuhai-Beijing freeway. They say they need to leave lanes open for emergency vehicles and trucks carrying supplies. More than 10,000 vehicles had

FRA: Passenger Train Safety to Be Improved with New Requirements for Emergency Communication, Evacuation, and Rescue Features

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Commuter and intercity passenger rail equipment will be safer under a new federal rule that ensures improved emergency window exit availability, specifies additional emergency rescue features, and requires two-way communication systems, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman said. “These safety features will help rail passengers evacuate from a train more quickly and provide emergency responders additional ways to reach trapped or injured riders should the need arise,” Boardman said. The new regulations issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mandate that passenger rail cars be equipped with two-way communication systems that better help train crews inform and instruct

Federal Rail Safety Program Surpasses One Million Miles of Track Inspected

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP) recently surpassed the milestone of inspecting its one millionth mile of track for compliance with federal standards, announced FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. The custom-built inspection vehicles are equipped with state of the art technology to help identify track flaws that could lead to train derailments. The ATIP program uses a variety of technologies to measure track geometry flaws, such as whether the two rails are level, if the width between the rails is acceptable, and if the surface of each rail meets federal standards. Problem areas are

FRA Announces $4.6 Million RRIF Loan to Nashville and Eastern Railroad

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corporation (NERC) is receiving a $4.6 million loan under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program. The NERC will use the loan to purchase fifty new triple hopper railcars and two rehabilitated locomotives. The locomotives and 25 of the 50 rail cars will be used primarily to serve a major new customer, Lojac Minerals. The NERC will be transporting sand from Lojac’s mine in Monterey, Tenn., to its manufacturing facilities in Lebanon and Hermitage, Tenn., where the sand will be used to produce concrete, concrete blocks,

President’s Spending Plan Recommends $1.62 Billion for Transit Construction, Including New Projects in Nine Cities Across the U.S.

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 1

WASHINGTON — President Bush has recommended a $1.62 billion funding package for Fiscal Year 2009 that includes new projects in nine cities across the nation. This New Starts amount is part of a total public transportation budget proposal of $10.1 billion, a 6.8 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2008. “Well planned, cost-effective transit is crucial to relieving congestion, protecting the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil,” said Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. The budget proposes $200 million in funding for nine new projects in the “Small Starts” program, and four existing small starts projects. The spending plan also recommends

Feds Give ARC Tunnel Rating Boost

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has boosted its rating for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Tunnel project to “medium high,” improving the project’s rating and positioning for federal funding. In its New Starts ratings report dated Feb. 5, the FTA noted that the ARC Tunnel project has “put together an experienced design team and performed thorough analysis of project requirements.” The report also indicated that a final Record of Decision to advance the project is expected this year. “This rating recognizes ARC nationally as a critical transportation project and demonstrates why it is important to

Wabtec Receives Orders Worth $31 Million for MPXpress Commuter Locomotives

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WILMERDING, Pa. — Wabtec Corp.’s MotivePower subsidiary has received an order for 10 MPXpress commuter locomotives from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). In addition, UTA awarded MotivePower a four-year contract to maintain 11 other MPXpress locomotives, which have already been delivered. The total value of the locomotive order and the maintenance contract is about $31 million. “The MPXpress continues to be the locomotive of choice for commuter rail agencies in North America,” said Albert J. Neupaver, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re also pleased to be selected to provide maintenance services for the units, which demonstrate another way for

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