FRA Calls on Railroads to Join in a New Safety Program Designed to Reduce Risks that Can Lead to Train Accidents and Employee Injuries

August 12, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON- Improving upon the historic levels of safety achieved in recent years by the nation’s railroads will require the use of a new risk-based approach to identify and correct safety issues before they result in train accidents and employee injuries, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman told industry leaders at a Rail Safety Summit. “Fixing something after it breaks or writing rule violation notices is increasingly unlikely to result in significant additional gains in rail safety,” Boardman said, who announced the Risk Reduction Program (RRP) which is aimed at supplementing current federal regulations, inspection requirements, and other compliance and enforcement

Man Convicted of Metrolink Murders

August 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES — A California man has been found guilty of multiple murders in a fatal January 2005 Metrolink train wreck. Juan Manuel Alvarez is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges. His trial could continue until July. Police said Alvarez parked his SUV on the Metrolink tracks with the intent of killing himself, but changed his mind, left his SUV on the tracks and watched the wreck unfold. However, prosecutors are challenging whether Alvarez was trying to commit suicide when he parked his SUV on the tracks and now say he may “have even been carrying out a

Ambitious State Proposals to Improve Intercity Passenger Rail Service Compete for Federal Funding Under New DOT Grant Program

August 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Twenty-five forward-thinking proposals from 22 states to improve intercity passenger rail service and help relieve traffic congestion in many regions of the Nation will compete for $30 million in federal funding under a new Bush Administration grant program, announced U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters. “Our goal is to achieve long-term improvements in intercity passenger rail service by supporting state investments that get real results,” Peters said. She said the Department is currently reviewing the proposals and will determine final grant awards in September. Peters explained that the state proposals received are generally designed to improve the

CSXT Names Central Florida Businessman to State Post

August 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  — CSX Transportation has appointed Bob O’Malley, a public affairs executive in Central Florida, to a new position as resident vice president-state government affairs for Florida. The role is new, and will complement the company’s efforts in the Southeast. In that regard, O’Malley will work in close partnership with Craig Camuso, the Atlanta-based regional vice president-Southeast. Both will report to Mike O’Malley (no relation), vice president-state government and community affairs, in Jacksonville. Bob O’Malley, who will maintain offices in Orlando, will be responsible for all Florida legislative and community initiatives. “We are pleased to have someone of Bob’s

BNSF Postpones Project in Western Illinois

August 5, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CHICAGO – BNSF Railway has notified Amtrak of the postponement of an infrastructure project in Western Illinois.  Although it was to begin this week, BNSF is now planning to conduct the track work this fall, on a date to be announced. Train 381, the morning westbound Carl Sandburg from Chicago, will operate on its normal schedule to Quincy. Train 382, the evening eastbound Carl Sandburg to Chicago, will operate on a modified schedule this week only, reverting to its normal schedule on August 9. The previously announced schedule called for passengers to arrive early for the departure of chartered motorcoaches

Lowcountry Open Land Trust Announces Largest Conservation Gift in South Carolina History

August 4, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Some of the most ecologically significant land in the U.S. will be protected permanently from development through a conservation easement donated by Norfolk Southern to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. The easement is thought to be one of the largest in the Southeast and the largest ever by a corporation in South Carolina. Norfolk Southern, through two subsidiaries, has granted an easement on 12,488 acres of its Brosnan Forest timber and wildlife preserve near Dorchester, S.C., 35 miles northwest of Charleston. The property is near the 15,000-acre Francis Beidler Forest, which is owned and operated by the

Alaska Railroad Receives FRA Grant for Rail/Highway Bridge to Military Training Area

August 2, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is awarding $44.2 million to the Alaska Railroad for a dual use railroad/highway bridge over the Tanana River to the U.S. military’s Joint Tanana Training Complex. The bridge, which is part of the Northern Rail Extension project, is part of the new 80-mile rail line from North Pole to Delta Junction. The grant funds are to be used to advance existing designs to contract-ready engineering documents; complete filings for all necessary permits; obtain required rights-of-way; build construction staging areas; and begin construction of the bridge and connecting roadways. However, no funds may be

STB to Hold Public Hearing

August 1, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced that it will hold a public field hearing on Aug. 21, 2008, in Eugene, Ore., to hear public testimony related to two railroad proceedings currently before the Board. One proceeding involves an application by the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad Inc. to abandon and discontinue railroad service over portions of a railroad line known as the Coos Bay Subdivision.  The other proceeding concerns a separate application by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay that instead would force CORP to sell those same portions of the line, as well as an additional line

Portec Rail Products, Inc. Reports 2008 Second Quarter and Six Month Operating Results

August 1, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PITTSBURGH — Portec Rail Products Inc. announced record unaudited net income of $2,403,000 or $0.25 per share for the three months ended June 30, 2008, a 27 percent increase over second quarter 2007 net income of $1,887,000 or $0.20 per share. Average basic and diluted shares outstanding were 9.6 million for both periods. Net sales for the second quarter 2008 totaled $30.2 million, a 4 percent increase over second quarter 2007 net sales of $29.1 million. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2008 grew to $3,747,000 or $0.39 per share, a 21 percent increase over net income

Congressional Leaders Introduce Bill Directing STB to Consider Public Interest in Proposed Rail Transactions

August 1, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board (STB) would be required to take into account the safety and environmental effects on local communities when considering a merger or acquisition proposal by a railroad, under legislation introduced last night by Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The Taking Responsible Action for Community Safety Act clarifies that, prior to approval of a merger or acquisition proposal by a Class I railroad of a Class II or Class III railroad, the STB must consider factors such as public safety, emergency response time, and noise impacts. The legislation

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