STB Approves CP’s DM&E Purchase

September 30, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board approved Canadian Pacific Railway Limited’s plan to buy the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corporation and its subsidiaries: Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad and Cedar American Rail Holdings. The official effective date of the final decision is Oct. 30. “The DM&E is an excellent fit for Canadian Pacific making this a strategic end-to-end addition to our network,” said Fred Green, President and Chief Executive Officer of CP. “This is also a positive development for CP, DM&E and IC&E customers. CP customers will have direct single line access to the Midwest US markets and the

Greater Baltimore Committee Urges Adoption of Red Line Plan with Light Rail, Strategic Tunnels

September 30, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

BALTIMORE — The Greater Baltimore Committee is urging state transportation planners to adopt a plan that would make the east-west Red Line from Woodlawn to Bayview a light rail system with two strategically-placed tunnels. The plan the GBC favors, called Alternative 4-C, would tunnel a light rail line under Baltimore’s downtown and Fells Point, and under Cooks Lane on the western leg of the route, said GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry. “The combination of light rail with these two tunnels at key points of potential congestion would offer the most efficient and most cost-effective practical option for the

SEPTA to Hold ‘Safety Blitz’ Along Route 101 Line

September 30, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA — SEPTA will conduct a “Safety Blitz” at its Woodland Avenue Station on the Route 101 Media trolley today.During the session SEPTA safety officers, Transit Police, and invited officials from local schools will be on hand to raise public awareness about safety, the dangers of walking along rail tracks and precautions the public should take whenever near a railroad. SEPTA, which periodically conducts safety blitzes throughout the year, is particularly interested in reaching local students with its message following the recent commencement of the academic school year.

Despite Recent Decline in Gas Prices, National Study Reports SEPTA Passengers Save Even More Money

September 30, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA — A recent national study of 20 cities with the highest mass transit ridership totals reported that although overall fuel prices have shown a marginal decline, commuters can save even more riding SEPTA, the agency said. In a comprehensive study titled, “Transit Savings Report,” the American Public Transportation Authority (APTA) outlined monthly and annual savings per household. The study was based on a household expenditure of $800 per month on fuel and factored in the average price ($3.67) for a gallon of gasoline. Although the median savings nationwide was just over $9,500 the report concluded SEPTA riders can save

BART’s Warm Springs Extension Gets Boost From Regional Measure 2 Cash

September 30, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) this week committed $91 million in voter-approved Regional Measure 2 bridge toll money to help finance an $890 million extension of the BART system to Fremont’s Warm Springs district. Construction of the 5.4-mile extension from the current terminus at the Fremont station — which would be the first leg of a planned $6.1 billion extension of the BART system to Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara — is slated to begin in the summer of 2009. MTC made the financing pledge as part of a strategic plan for implementing the $17.4 billion

Justice Department Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

September 29, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, alleging that WMATA is engaged in a pattern or practice of religious discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion. The complaint alleges that WMATA failed to reasonably accommodate and provide equal employment opportunities to employees and prospective employees whose religious practices conflict with WMATA’s uniform policy. WMATA’s practice is to deny all requests for religious accommodations to its uniform policy, regardless

Union Pacific Builds on Military Heritage by Supporting Guard, Reserve Employees

September 27, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Union Pacific is a company that is proud of its strong ties with the military. Hundreds of thousands of Civil War veterans helped build the first transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, which was considered vital to national defense. During World War I and II, the railroad canteen in North Platte, Neb., was a resting place for many troops on their way overseas. Union Pacific’s partnership with the military continues today and, in some respects, is stronger than ever, said Roy Schroer, assistant vice president of human resources. Of the company’s more than 50,000 employees, more than 7,300 serve

Rail Safety Focus of International Conference

September 27, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 2

WASHINGTON — Demonstrating an international commitment to railroad safety, senior safety professionals and government officials from around the world plan to convene in Denver, CO, October 5 thru 10, at the 18th Annual International Railway Safety Conference to discuss rail safety issues. The rail safety conference, which was first held in 1990, provides a forum for improving rail safety. Conference delegates will present papers and discuss different aspects of railroad safety, including accident prevention, environmental responsibility and international harmonization of infrastructure. “Safety is the railroad industry’s number one priority and this conference will help us better appreciate new methods for

House Approves Rail Safety Bill; Billions to go to Passenger Rail

September 27, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives has approved legislation that proponents say will improve the Nation’s intercity passenger rail system and the safety of the nation’s railroads. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 will increase funding for Amtrak over the next five years, require new safety controls on trains that help reduce crashes, allow states to regulate solid waste processing facilities along rail lines and allocate funding for improvements to Washington’s Metro transit system. The legislation sets “an aggressive deadline” of 2015 for implementation of positive train control (PTC)

Hurricane Ike Causes Rail Freight Downturn

September 27, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON —  Freight traffic on U.S. railroads was off sharply during the week ended September 20 in comparison with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported. Much of the decline can be attributed to disruptions caused by Hurricane Ike which struck the Gulf Coast Sept. 13. Total volume was estimated at 32.8 billion ton-miles, down 6.8 percent from the comparable week last year. Carload freight in the week totaled 312,662 cars, off 7.8 percent from last year. Volume was down 10.4 percent in the West and 4.3 percent in the East. Intermodal volume, which is

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