NJ Transit Reopens River Line Light Rail Service

October 31, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

The Christie Administration announced today that River Line light rail service will resume service starting at 3 p.m. today, making trips every 30 minutes between the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden and Trenton Transit Center. The restoration of this light rail service continues the Christie Administration’s ongoing storm assessment and restoration efforts related to N.J. Transit. Due to significant damage across the State’s public transportation network, N.J. Transit rail and Access Link service will remain suspended until further notice. Newark Light Rail and Hudson Bergen Light Rail service also remain suspended until further notice. While bus service within the

N.J. Transit’s Infrastructure Severely Damaged in Hurricane Sandy

October 30, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

Hurricane Sandy has greatly damaged N.J. Transit’s infrastructure across the state, officials said. “The N.J. Transit system has experienced unprecedented devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Destruction summarizes the impact to rails, rail yards, bus depot and critical operation centers,” N.J. Transit Board Chairman and NJ Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson said. “With the break of daylight, N.J. Transit began to inspect and assess the full extent of the damage. Our employees are committed to restoring the system as safely and efficiently as humanly possible.” Early inspections reveal damage includes but is not limited to the following: Two

Governor Cuomo Directs MTA to Move Forward with System-wide Shutdown

October 28, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

The MTA has been directed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to begin an orderly shutdown and suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service at 7 p.m. Sunday. The decision was made to protect customers, employees and equipment from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy as the strong storm continues its march up the east coast. MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota announced that service on NYC Transit subways will be curtailed beginning at 7 p.m., and the bus network within the following two hours. Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will start their finals trains by 7

MARTA Signs Contract With New GM/CEO

October 20, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA — MARTA has signed a contract with its next general manager and chief executive officer. The five-year contract with Keith T. Parker includes a $320,000 base salary with automatic, one-year renewable options. Parker is eligible to receive a $25,000 annuity for each year of his contract if he remains in the post until June 30, 2017, and could also receive compensation for meeting, or exceeding predetermined performance goals set by the MARTA Board. “I am honored and humbled to be selected as MARTA’s next GM/CEO and am eager to begin working with our employees, customers, and transit stakeholders to

Report: Drug, Alcohol Use Among Amtrak Employees ‘Trending Upward’

October 12, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

Drug and alcohol use among Amtrak employees “has been generally trending upward since 2006,” an alarming trend that increases the likelihood of a serious wreck, the railroad’s inspector general warned in a recently released report. In 2011, Amtrak’s combined positive test rate was roughly 51 percent higher than the industry average, its worst year since 2007, according to the report. The increase in drug use poses a risk to not only Amtrak employees, but also to the traveling public, the inspector general warns. The new report was released just before the railroad set a new annual ridership record, carrying more

Nigerians Skeptical of Rail Revival Plans

October 4, 2012 Voice of America 0

By Heather Murdock Voice of America ABUJA — Nigerian leaders have championed the revival of the nation’s rail lines for years. And with a recent boost in infrastructure funding, the leaders say new trains will create jobs and revitalize the economy. But some analysts say train projects are one of the Nigerian government’s biggest scams and they note that money for rail transportation in the past has disappeared. This town is only about 30 kilometers outside of Abuja’s posh city center, but it feels like another country. A few generators rumble in the marketplace because city power hasn’t been on

Amtrak: Book Early For Thanksgiving Travel

October 3, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak, anticipating its busiest travel day of the year, is urging passengers to book their Thanksgiving holiday tickets early for best availability and pricing. The busiest travel days that are likely to sell out are the Tuesday and Wednesday before and the Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving. In time for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, Amtrak will offer two new service expansions. Starting Nov. 1, the Downeaster will offer expanded rail service to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine. Tickets for this new service go on sale Oct. 1. In addition, tickets are now available for new Amtrak Thruway bus service

CSX Corp. Declares Quarterly Dividend

October 3, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Earlier today, the board of directors of CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) approved a $0.14 per share quarterly dividend on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on December 14, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012.

The End of the Southern’s Crescent

October 2, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

ATLANTA — While Amtrak started its operations in 1971, not all railroads gave up passenger service. Southern Railways’ Crescent route between New York and New Orleans was once such example. However, by May 1978, Southern was spending $560,000 per month operating the train, which passed through Atlanta. The railroad petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue the service, which at that point was the railroad’s only passenger route. In 1978, 195,000 people took the train, down dramatically from the roughly 9 million who used the service during World War II. On Dec. 13, 1978, Amtrak’s board of directors agreed to

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