Pacific Northwest Amtrak Service Disrupted by Mudslides South of Seattle

December 16, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SEATTLE – The BNSF Railway has imposed a curfew on passenger trains between Seattle and Portland, Ore., due to mudslides south of Seattle, Amtrak said. AMTRAK CASCADES: Service south of Seattle by Amtrak Cascades trains has been canceled through Saturday evening, December 16, with alternate transportation provided to and from Seattle and Portland. Service south of Portland to and from Eugene, Ore., is being maintained. COAST STARLIGHT: The Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight will originate and terminate in Portland, instead of Seattle, through Saturday evening, December 16, with alternate transportation provided to and from Seattle and Portland. This information is subject

FRA, New Jersey Transit Begin Study of Portal Bridge

December 15, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Public comments are being sought for a project to replace, repair, or retain a 96-year-old railroad bridge on the heavily congested Northeast Corridor connecting the Newark, N.J., and New York. The Federal Railroad Administration and New Jersey Transit will jointly prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), in cooperation with Amtrak, to study improvements to enhance capacity and operation of the Amtrak-owned Portal Bridge that spans the Hackensack River. Originally constructed in 1910, the bridge is nearing the end of its projected lifespan, officials say. “Because of the bridge’s critical role in the successful operation of the Northeast Corridor,

Service Restored on Missouri-Sponsored Amtrak Service on St. Louis-Kansas City Route

December 5, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Amtrak, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Union Pacific are celebrating the restoration of regular twice-daily round-trip trains on the St. Louis-Kansas City Missouri Mules route. “The interrupted service has been frustrating for several months for passengers,” said Missouri State Senate President Pro Tem Michael R. Gibbons. “We can all be thankful for the return of safer and smoother full service in time for the holiday season.” The celebration marks a $32 million rehabilitation of the 283-mile route, which is primarily owned by UP. Nearly 70 miles of track has been improved to make rail service

Amtrak Service Alert: All Illinois, Missouri Trains To and From St. Louis Will Operate Tuesday

December 5, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ST. LOUIS – All Amtrak service between Chicago and St. Louis in Illinois and between Kansas City and St. Louis in Missouri is restored as of Tuesday, Dec. 5, following a severe winter storm that disrupted Union Pacific Railroad portions of the routes northeast and west of St. Louis. All five Chicago-St. Louis round-trips will operate this Tuesday, along with both Kansas City-St. Louis round-trips. Service by Amtrak Texas Eagle Trains 21 & 22 between Chicago and San Antonio, Texas, via St. Louis, and service by Amtrak Southwest Chief Trains 3 & 4 between Chicago and Los Angeles, via Kansas

Amtrak Ticket Revenue Tops $1.37 Billion, Sets New Record

November 13, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Amtrak passenger ticket revenue increased in Fiscal Year 2006 to $1.37 billion, the highest annual ticket revenue ever achieved, and, at $132 million over last year, the railroad’s largest year-over-year increase. The railroad also served 24.3 million passengers — nearly 300,000 more than for the same trains in the previous fiscal year. Total ticket revenue for the period October 2005 through September 2006 was an 11 percent increase over the $1.23 billion in FY05. Ridership increased from 24 million to 24.3 million — a one percent increase over the previous 12 months. “These numbers are indicative of the

NTSB: Inadequate Response to Rough Track Conditions Led to Washington Derailment

October 30, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of an April 2005 Amtrak derailment was the BNSF Railway Company’s inadequate response to multiple reports of rough track conditions that were subsequently attributed to excessive concrete crosstie abrasion. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Railroad Administration’s failure to provide adequate track safety standards for concrete crossties. The abrasion allowed the outer rail to rotate outward and create a wide gage track condition. “This is a case where the railroad failed to respond appropriately to warnings of a track problem and where Federal requirements could have provided

NTSB to Consider Two Final Accident Reports

October 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public board meeting Oct. 17 to consider final accident reports about a pair of crashes. The first case involves an Oct. 15, 2005, collision near Texarkana, Ark. In that wreck, a westbound Union Pacific Railroad train collided with the rear of a standing UP train in a rail yard. The collision resulted in the puncture of a railroad tank car containing propylene, a flammable gas. An unknown ignition source ignited the migrating gas, exploding a house and killing the person inside. Approximately 3,000 residents within a 1-mile radius of the

Amtrak’s Carl Sandburg to Start Running Oct. 30

October 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Starting Oct. 30, Illinois’ partnership with Amtrak will include an additional train on the Quincy-Chicago corridor, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced.The expanded service comes after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2006; the expansion also includes additional round-trips on the Chicago-Carbondale line. Tickets for the new trains are now on sale. The expansion is part of a plan to more than double state-sponsored passenger rail service. Round-trips between Chicago and downstate will increase from three daily to seven daily by the end of October. “Amtrak is an affordable travel option,

Amtrak Saluki to Start Running Oct. 30

September 26, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CARBONDALE, Ill – Illinois’ partnership with Amtrak will more than double state-sponsored passenger rail service downstate, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced. Beginning Oct. 30, state-supported roundtrips will increase from three daily roundtrips to seven daily roundtrips between Chicago and downstate destinations – including the Saluki, the new Chicago-Carbondale train. The expanded service comes after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2006; the expansion includes an additional round-trip on the Chicago-Carbondale line. Tickets for the new routes went on sale Sept. 25. “Amtrak is an affordable travel option, and in many communities it’s

Veteran Rail and Industrial Executive Alexander Kummant Appointed Amtrak President and CEO

September 8, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Board of Directors on Aug. 29 appointed Alexander Kummant as President and CEO. The veteran railroad and industrial executive will assume duties Sept. 12. Kummant previously served as a Regional Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad, overseeing 6,000 transportation, engineering, construction, mechanical, and other employees supporting an 8,000-mile rail network. He also served as the Union Pacific’s Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Products, a $2 billion revenue business. In leading both units, Kummant was responsible for substantially improved customer service, on-time delivery of client products, and significant gains in financial and operational performance.

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