FRA: New Era of Rail Safety with Approval of First Positive Train Control System

January 9, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The first Positive Train Control (PTC) system capable of automatically controlling train speed and movements to prevent certain accidents, including train collisions has been approved. “This is a major achievement that marks the beginning of a new era of rail safety,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. “The steps FRA and railroads are taking show that applying PTC technology can work and will provide important safety benefits.” In 2005, FRA revised federal signal and train control regulations to facilitate and enable development and deployment of PTC technology, Boardman said. Specifically, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approved the

Service Alert: Amtrak Pacific Northwest Service Disrupted by Mudslides North of Seattle

December 28, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SEATTLE – BNSF has imposed a curfew on passenger trains between Seattle and Everett, Wash., due to mudslides. Here are service interruptions announced by Amtrak: AMTRAK CASCADES: Service north of Seattle by Amtrak Cascades trains has been canceled through Thursday evening, December 28, with alternate motorcoach transportation provided to and from Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Service south of Seattle to and from Eugene, OR, is not affected. EMPIRE BUILDER: The Chicago-Seattle Empire Builder will originate and terminate in Everett, instead of Seattle, through Thursday evening, December 28, with alternate motorcoach transportation provided to and from Seattle and Everett. This information

Pacific Northwest Service Resumes South of Seattle, Coast Starlight to Originate in Portland

December 17, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SEATTLE – BNSF Railway has opened the railroad between Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. following mudslides south of Seattle, and Amtrak service was to resume Saturday, Dec. 16, with the exception of the Coast Starlight, train No. 11. Train No. 11 will originate in Portland, with alternate transportation between Seattle and Portland. Amtrak Cascades will operate as scheduled. Passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com for schedule information and train status updates. – Special to Railfanning.org News Wire

BNSF: DM&E Plan Could Cause Delays

December 16, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

FORT WORTH, Texas – If the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad were allowed to haul coal over the Powder River Basin (PRB) along the former I&M Rail Link’s (IMRL) line, it could cause substantial delays to time-sensitive BNSF Railway Co. trains at Savanna, Ill., the company said this week in a filing with the Surface Transportation Board. BNSF’s transcontinental main line between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago crosses the former IMRL line at grade at Savanna en route to the Chicago Gateway, where delays could be substantially increased by the addition of PRB coal trains regardless of what route into

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

Veterans Welcome as Rail Industry Hires 80,000 Employees; Major Railroads Cited as Top Military-Friendly Employers

November 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The nation’s four largest railroads have all made the list of “Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers” as determined by GI Jobs magazine. The railroad industry is creating 80,000 American jobs over the next six years, and is one of the few industries that doesn’t outsource its jobs or facilities overseas. Thousands of those being hired are former military personnel, including both officers and enlisted personnel. The jobs they perform cross the entire spectrum of railroading, from locomotive engineers to conductors to civil engineers to information technology to marketing. “Today, railroads are going through a hiring boom as more and

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

BNSF, CSX Create High-Volume Intermodal Corridor

October 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

FORT WORTH, Texas – BNSF and CSX today announced plans to create a high-volume rail corridor for reliable intermodal services on the lines connecting California, Atlanta and the rest of the fast-growing Southeast Region. The planned service will initially include two intermodal trains each day between the West Coast and Southeast in each direction. Corridor volume on the line is expected to grow with the overall expansion of the West Coast to Southeast intermodal market. To support the planned service, BNSF will expand capacity on its rail lines connecting Avard, Okla., Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala. CSX will expand its

STB Releases Fall Peak Service Plans

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board has released letters from Class I railroads outlining their “peak season” service plans. In June, Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey sent letters to the chief executive officers of the seven largest railroads and to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), asking the railroads to inform the STB of their plans to ascertain the demand for, and to prepare for, the provision of peak-season service; their performance goals for the remainder of 2006 and their plans for achieving those goals; and their plans to communicate their service goals and plans with customers. In

BNSF Railway and New Mexico DOT Reach Agreement on Future Commuter Rail Line Between Belen and Trinidad

November 28, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – BNSF Railway Co. (BNSF) on Nov. 28 announced that an agreement has been reached with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to sell the nearly 300-mile BNSF main rail line between Belen, N.M. and Trinidad, Colo. The sale will be closed in segments for a total of $76 million to create a commuter rail line. Under the agreement, BNSF keeps on-going freight easement rights on the line, and NMDOT also has acquired a 13-acre portion of BNSF’s Albuquerque rail yard property. The sale and commencement of service are contingent on completion of other agreements anticipated by

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