FRA Research Grant Awarded to UCSD to Study Rail Buckling

August 22, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $225,932 research grant to the University of California at San Diego to continue studying thermal-induced stress in Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) that can lead to rail buckling in hot weather. Being able to better understand and detect when rail buckling is likely to occur will improve safety and the operation of freight and passenger trains. The work to be performed under the grant involves development of a model that can reliably measure and predict the response of CWR as stress is applied to it. Future work will involve laboratory testing of the model,

Norfolk Southern Foundation Awards $2.2 Million in First Half of 2008

August 21, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va.  — Norfolk Southern Foundation — the charitable giving affiliate of Norfolk Southern Corporation — awarded grants worth nearly $2.2 million to nonprofit charitable organizations during the first half of 2008. The grants included $721,615 in employee and retiree matching gifts in support of 334 organizations. Grants other than matching gifts went to 104 organizations throughout Norfolk Southern’s operating territory. Excluding matching gifts, the Foundation contributed to various United Way campaigns and other health and human services nonprofits ($516,000), educational institutions ($301,800), cultural and arts groups ($525,750), and civic and community groups, including environmental organizations ($128,815). Of the $2.2

BNSF Reopens Chicagoland Rail-Served Terminal

August 20, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

FORT WORTH — BNSF Railway Company today announced the reopening of a rail-served building materials transload facility under the management of Partners Warehouse, LLC, at Eola, Ill. Operating as Partners Dimensional Services, the facility has received a complete track and maintenance overhaul to better handle dimensional (oversized) materials such as lumber, steel, and other building products. Security has been upgraded and lighting added for continuous operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “This is the only yard of its type close to the growing housing market in the western Chicago suburbs and with immediate access to major North/South

Amtrak Ridership Flying High: Soaring Sales for the Heartland Flyer Train

August 18, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

AUSTIN – The newest figures show people are increasingly opting for the Amtrak Heartland Flyer train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth and avoiding the higher cost of driving their own cars and trucks. For the 10 months ending July 31, ridership on the daily trains is up by more than 17 percent over the year-ago period (67,141 vs. 57,327), with growth of more than 40 percent in July 2008 versus July 2007 (11,721 vs. 8,362). Amtrak operates the Heartland Flyer (Trains 821 & 822) under contracts with the Oklahoma and Texas state transportation departments. These are two of the

Officials Tour Trenton’s New Transit Center

August 18, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — With the construction phase of the Trenton Transit Center project coming down the home stretch, Governor Jon S. Corzine joined federal, state and local officials today to tour the rebuilt, expanded and renamed facility — heralding a new era of transportation in the state capital. The newly expanded transit center comfortably accommodates more than 16,000 passenger trips each weekday, making it N.J. Transit’s third-busiest outlying station. “This attractive and functional facility demonstrates what we can achieve with the wise use of state and federal funds,” said Governor Corzine. “This project advances our policy of promoting public transportation

Rail Reregulation Rejected by Eastern Region of Council of State Governments

August 17, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments has come out against schemes to reregulate the nation’s freight railroads. In a resolution passed August 13 by the group’s executive committee, the Council warned that congressional proposals to reregulate the railroads “may significantly reduce income and in turn reduce the ability (of railroads) to raise capital needed for future infrastructure expansion.” The northeastern region of the U.S. “will require significant railroad corridor development through railroad company/state government partnerships to accommodate future goods and passenger movement,” according to the resolution. The resolution notes that expanding the capacity of

Freight Railroads Seek to Allow Risk Sharing as Condition for Transport

August 16, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Calling the safety of the American public of paramount importance, the nation’s freight railroads today urged the country’s shippers of highly hazardous materials or toxic inhalation hazards (TIH) to become full partners with the railroads in safely transporting those dangerous commodities. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and the communities through which we operate,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) during a hearing at the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on the railroad industry’s common carrier obligation as it relates to hazardous materials. “It’s only reasonable that

Multilevel Railcar Fleet’s Good Track Record Sets Stage for More Improvements

August 15, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Millions of new vehicles crisscross North America’s railroads each year on their way from assembly plants to distribution centers and dealers. Railroads now carry approximately 70 percent of all new vehicles manufactured in the United States. These vehicles ride the rails in a dedicated fleet of enclosed, streamlined tri-level and bi-level rail cars, all part of the National Multilevel Reload Pool. In 2008, the National Multilevel Reload Pool includes 55,000 rail cars, specially designed to transport new automobiles and light trucks safely and securely. “The Multilevel Pool is a remarkably effective and efficient system,” said David F. Julian,

Amtrak: July 2008 Amtrak Ridership Sets All-Time Monthly Record

August 14, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak ridership in July Fiscal Year 2008 increased to 2,750,278, nearly a 14 percent increase, marking the most passengers carried in any single month in Amtrak’s 37 year history. Total ridership for the Fiscal Year to date — October 1, 2007 – July 31, 2008 — reached 23.7 million, topping the 21.3 million from the same period last year. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year to date reached $1.4 billion, a 14.1 percent increase over the same period in FY07. For the month of July, ticket revenue increased by 18.6 percent to $168 million. “Increasing fuel prices,

N.J. Transit Buys Additional Multilevel Vehicles

August 13, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — The N.J. Transit Board of Directors approved the purchase of 50 additional Multilevel Vehicles to help meet increasing ridership demand on the corporation’s busiest commuter rail lines. “These vehicles have helped provide a near-term solution to capacity demands while we, in partnership with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, advance a long-term response to ridership growth through the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) tunnel project,” said Governor Jon Corzine, who this morning rode an MLV train on the Northeast Corridor. The purchase will bring N.J. Transit’s total number of the popular rail cars

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