Disaster Assistance Grants Awarded to States to Cover Costs of Railroad Emergency Repairs Following Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON — Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo announced the award of $15 million to nine states for emergency repairs to damaged railroad infrastructure resulting from natural disasters.Funding from the Federal Railroad Administrations (FRA) Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Program (RRRP) will go to state Departments of Transportation to reimburse short line and regional railroads for the cost of repairs. “Freight railroads are critical to local economies and we are committed to helping them restore rail service after a major disruption,” said Szabo. “This funding will help the carriers defray repair costs and keep the trains running.” Funds awarded under the

UP: Special Train Focuses on Rail Safety Enforcement

PHOENIX — There is no such thing as luck when it comes to trying to beat a train. Federal Railroad Administration statistics attribute 2,373 crashes every year to driver behavior, which often involves trying to beat a train. That is why Union Pacific is partnering with Arizona Operation Lifesaver to host an “Officer on the Train” event May 22.A special passenger train will allow community leaders, law enforcement officers and education officials to learn about highway-railroad grade crossing safety and the consequences of trespassing on railroad property. “We want to offer community leaders the opportunity to see first-hand the risks

STB to Hold Hearing on ‘Rail Banking’

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced it will hold a public hearing July 8 to examine the impact, effectiveness, and future of rail banking under the National Trails System Act (Trails Act). Rail banking is the preservation of railroad corridors for possible future rail use.  In 1983, Congress amended the Trails Act to create a program to allow rail banking to permit rail corridors that otherwise would be abandoned to be used as recreational trails on an interim basis. Such trails are subject to restoration as rail corridors at any point in time. The Trails Act and the Board’s

Union Pacific and Progress Rail Services to Launch Initial Operation of Ultra Clean Diesel Locomotive for Intermediate Line Haul Service

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad and Progress Rail Services announced their plan to launch the initial operation of an ultra clean diesel SD40-2 locomotive equipped for intermediate line haul service. Equipped with state-of-the-art after-treatment, this customer evaluation unit will begin Union Pacific operations this month with an initial revenue-service run between the railroad’s San Antonio and Fort Worth service units, respectively. “We are excited about the prospects of bringing more environmentally friendly locomotives into service while still meeting our operational needs,” said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific senior assistant vice president, Safety and Environment.  “We know there are challenges ahead

Union Pacific Names Two Marketing Executives

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad has named Bernardo Ayala vice president, Mexico markets, and John Newman assistant vice president of the company’s newly formed network and industrial development group, respectively.Union Pacific is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico. The railroad delivers value to its customers by working to ensure seamless international border service and efficient operations between Union Pacific and connecting railroads in Mexico. Union Pacific’s International Customer Service Center processes and monitors customer shipments and trains, and assists customers through a bilingual call center. Ayala is responsible for the strategic and tactical management of the company’s

Willamette & Pacific Wins Harriman Gold, ASLRRA President’s Awards

GREENWICH, Conn. — Genesee & Wyoming Inc.’s Willamette & Pacific Railroad won the railroad industry’s top awards for 2008 safety performance. Today it was announced that the W&P, a short line freight railroad based in Salem, Ore., won the E.H. Harriman Gold Award for the best employee safety record among railroads working less than four million employee-hours in 2008. Harriman Award winners are selected by a committee of representatives from the transportation field and granted on the basis of the lowest casualty rates per 200,000 employee-hours worked, with a formula that accounts for volume of work performed as well as

BNSF Crews Begin $11 Million Track Maintenance Project in Montana

FORT WORTH, Texas — In June, BNSF Railway Company will send four maintenance of way crews to begin undercutting track (the removal, repair and replacement of ballast) and replacing ties and rail on BNSF’s mainline between Custer and Glendive, Mont. The crews are expected to undercut six miles of track, replace more than 75,000 ties and lay approximately 22 track miles of rail. “Our rail lines in Montana are essential for Montana farmers and America’s wheat harvest. Almost 150,000 bushels of grain came out of the state via our tracks last year,” said Dave Freeman, BNSF vice president, Engineering. “We

Union Pacific Moves Its 200,000th Loaded Coal Train From Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin

OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific Railroad moved its 200,000th loaded coal train out of Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) coal field since Union Pacific and the former Chicago & North Western completed a 107-mile rail line to the region in August 1984. The Chicago & North Western merged with Union Pacific in 1995. One rail car of coal provides the energy togenerate enough electricity for more than 20 homes for a year. Union Pacific’s 200,000 trains out of the SPRB have carried enough coal to power all the homes in the United States for 5 years. Approximately 50 percent

CP: Temporary closure of Boulevard Perrot Nord

MONTREAL — Canadian Pacific advises West Island area communities that the level crossing at Boulevard Perrot Nord will be closed on Saturday, May 23, 2009 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. due to “the necessary rebuilding of the road crossing,” the railroad said in a statement. All vehicular traffic will be directed to 1er Boulevard (Access Terrasse-Vaudreuil), in Terrasse-Vaudreuil, for the duration of the work. — CNW Telbec

Amtrak Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Auto Train Station in Sanford, Fla.

SANFORD, Fla. — Amtrak is beginning to put into place the last piece of a multi-year plan to bring increased convenience, improved service and more station amenities to passengers who ride our popular Auto Train.The new, larger and up-to-date passenger station being built in Sanford, Fla., fulfills our vision for the Auto Train which added new passenger equipment in the 1990s, new car carriers in July 2005 and built a new station and mechanical facility at the northern end of the route near Washington, D.C., in 2000. It’s a plan that is working. During fiscal year 2008, ridership on the

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