Ridership on SEPTA Regional Rail Lines Continues Steady Climb

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA – As gasoline prices continue to hover in the $3 per gallon range, thousands of commuters in the Philadelphia region have turned to SEPTA’s regional rail system. During the fiscal year that ended June 30, daily weekday ridership on SEPTA regional rail routes is up by about 6 percent compared to 2005 fiscal year with ridership averaging 107,000 daily weekday trips. The ridership increase ranges across the regional rail system that operates throughout the five counties in Pennsylvania that comprise the SEPTA system as well as Trenton, N.J., and Delaware. The largest increases occurred on the R1 Airport line,

Florida Commuter Rail Now One Step Closer

August 3, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ORLANDO – Commuter rail in Florida is one step closer to reality, as Gov. Jeb Bush has announced a comprehensive plan aimed at improving freight service and bringing commuter rail to Central Florida. Under the agreement in principle between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT), Florida will invest $491 million to improve infrastructure and expand capacity on two existing rail lines, one of which will be used to establish commuter rail service through a multi-county stretch in the region. “Establishing commuter rail will ease congestion, which will improve the quality of life of people both

VRE Contracts for 50 More Bi-level Cars

August 2, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW YORK — Virginia Railway Express exercised its option order for an additional 50 bi-level passenger rail cars from Sumitomo Corp. of America and its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. The contract was executed on July 27. It is in addition to the current VRE order for 11 bi-level cars that was issued last May. The cars for the contract will be similar to the 300 Gallery type bi-level passenger cars that were delivered in 2005 to Metra in Chicago. Due to the expanding VRE system and increased ridership, these bi-level cars will have a much larger capacity for

N.J. Transit Approves 2007 Operating, Capital Budgets

August 1, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — The N.J. Transit Board of Directors today adopted a $1.5 billion operating budget and a $1.3 billion Capital Program for Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07) that funds the transit system through June 30, 2007. Without raising fares, N.J. Transit will offer three million more miles of bus and rail service than last year to support anticipated record ridership of more than 860,000 passenger trips daily. “Our transportation network is central to our mobility, our economy, and our quality of life,” said Gov. Jon S. Corzine. “We are working to keep transit affordable and encourage transit usage as a

Metro and Alstom Temporarily Stop Production of Railcars

WASHINGTON — Metro and railcar manufacturer Alstom have jointly agreed to temporarily stop the delivery of rehabilitated railcars to the transit authority until a safety reinspection is completed Alstom has rehabilitated 194 of 364 2000-3000 series Breda made railcars for the transit authority. Today’s decision comes after Metro mechanics discovered a safety problem during a routine maintenance inspection earlier this week. Mechanics found the railcar doors were open on a recently rehabilitated 2000-3000 series railcar even though a signal light in the train operator’s cab showed that the doors were closed. The railcar was not in service. Metro managers ordered

MARTA Posts First Profit in Nine Years

ATLANTA — The city’s mass transit system has posted its first operating profit in nine years, it announced today. For fiscal year 2005-06, MARTA finished in the black by $19 million, The Associated Press reported. Officials has expected an $18 million loss. "It’s a very positive picture going into the future," AP quoted Richard McCrillis, MARTA’s interim general manager, as saying. "MARTA has its financial picture together."

Georgia DOT Receives FRA Grant for Atlanta-Chattanooga High-Speed Rail EIS

WASHINGTON — A proposed high-speed passenger rail line between Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, TN will be studied by the Georgia Department of Transportation with a $6,690,857 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and $1,172,714 from non-Federal sources. The funding will be used to prepare a Tier I Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to review the need for the project, possible corridor and station locations, potential ridership figures, and whether maglev technology or conventional high-speed trains should be used. The project also involves coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Wabtec Awarded $8 Million Contract To Remanufacture Switcher Locomotives For New Jersey Transit

WILMERDING, Pa. — Wabtec Corporation on July 21 announced that its MotivePower subsidiary has been awarded an $8 million contract by New Jersey Transit Corporation to supply five "clean-diesel" switcher locomotives operating at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 emissions levels. The locomotives, which will be remanufactured at MotivePower’s Boise, Idaho facility, will meet new environmental emissions standards and be equipped with an automatic start/stop system to improve fuel efficiency and extend component life on idling units. The locomotives will be delivered in 2007. "Wabtec’s modern, environmentally friendly switcher locomotives offer our customers many operational benefits," said Albert J. Neupaver,

CTA’s Pink Line Service Begins

CHICAGO – The Chicago Transit Authority’s new Pink Line rail service begins June 25 at 4 a.m., providing more frequent service between Cicero’s 54th/Cermak station and the Chicago Loop. More frequent service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line also will begin on Sunday. CTA created the rail enhancements as part of a package of service improvements focused on the West Side and near west suburbs. The Pink Line will operate seven days a week from the 54th/Cermak station in Cicero to the Loop. Pink Line hours of operation are from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. from 54th/Cermak

Trolleys Return to Downtown Cleveland

March 29, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CLEVELAND – After a 60-year absence, trolleys will roll once again on downtown streets, offering a way to experience Cleveland’s past and future at the same time. Beginning April 10, office workers and tourists will be able to hop on one of two trolley lines developed by RTA to replace Loop bus service. The E-Line trolley will link entertainment and education venues. The B- Line trolley will connect businesses. Both lines serve Public Square, and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with 10-minute frequency. If the nostalgic green-and-gold vehicles complete with cowcatchers, wooden rails and brass bells, don’t

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