Marta Faces $6 Million Shortfall

April 10, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA – It’s a budget shortfall to the tune of $6 million. In response, MARTA officials are turning to the public, holding a series of hearing to gather input as the next budget year approaches. “We’ve reduced our costs, but the economic recession has left us with no choice but to propose service modifications,” MARTA General Manager/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. said in a statement posted online. “And unfortunately, MARTA could see more changes in the heart of its service next year and the year after if new sources of revenue aren’t identified.” MARTA says it will have to reduce

One Killed, Dozens Injured in Amtrak Derailment

YAZOO CITY, Miss. – One person was killed and dozens more injured when the northbound City of New Orleans derailed Tuesday (April 6). Meanwhile, members of Amtrak’s customer care team arrived at the wreck scene, about 25 miles north of Jackson, Miss. The team provided assistance for passengers, including accommodations, clothing, transportation and communication. At the time of the wreck, there were 73 people aboard the train – 61 passengers and 12 crewmembers. Injured passengers were taken to six area medical facilities, where most were treated and released; four persons were admitted. One person – 68-year-old Clara L. Downs of

Group: Calif. High Speed Rail Could be ‘Train Wreck’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A proposed high-speed rail system through California’s Central Valley could cause an agricultural, environmental and financial “train wreck” if it promotes more urban sprawl, according to American Farmland Trust. At a public hearing held in March, Edward Thompson, Jr., the organization’s state director, said the environmental report underestimates the impact the rail project will have on agriculture. Thompson called on local and state officials to step up their efforts to manage the state’s growth by getting better control on development and by protecting the “best farmland on the planet. … This doesn’t mean we need more laws

Swing Time Ending for Black River Railroad Bridge

March 31, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

LA CROSSE, Wis. – A century-old railroad swing bridge will soon get a lift. During the last week of April, Canadian Pacific Railway will replace a 307-foot truss swing span with a more modern rolling bascule span, turning its 1902 swing bridge over the Black River between La Crosse and French Island into a lift bridge. Improvements to the railroad bridge, which is a mile south of the Interstate 90 bridge, will allow train traffic to operate more fluidly between Wisconsin and Minnesota. “The new structure will substantially reduce maintenance costs in our current high axle loading environment and provide

CPR Gives Amtrak Best On-Time Performance in Country

March 23, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Canadian Pacific Railway dispatcher Jimmy Norris insists it’s a simple matter to keep the Hiawatha trains on time better than any other Amtrak route in the country. Don’t be fooled. Preparation and knowing the train crews and the territory are key, Norris acknowledges. “It takes a lot of planning when there are a lot of heavy freights to see when it will be clear for Amtrak,” said Norris, who will mark his 25th year as a dispatcher this May. Thanks to Norris and the other CPR dispatchers in Minneapolis, the Hiawatha service trains were on time 95.5

BNSF Targets Memphis for Intermodal

March 23, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company is planning to expand its Tennessee Yard, an intermodal facility in Memphis. The expansion project represents a $40 million capital investment and will create about 150 new jobs over the next few years. “This cooperative agreement with the City of Memphis and Shelby County is a critical step that will enable BNSF to successfully meet our projected growth demands for container traffic,” said Fritz Draper, vice president, Business Development. “As a result, we anticipate doubling our capacity to 400,000 container lifts within the next five years, and we also

Plan Emphasizes Timely Intelligence

March 15, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON — The nation’s freight railroads have implemented a security plan that utilizes intelligence data to ensure the security of the system, a Senate hearing on transportation security was told in March. Edward R. Hamberger, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads, told the Senate Commerce Committee that after Sept. 11, 2001, attacks the railroad industry “on their own initiative — with the assistance of outside security experts with a background in intelligence — conducted a thorough risk analysis of the rail network to identify vulnerabilities and develop countermeasures. This resulted in the implementation of an

CN, CAW Reach Agreement

March 15, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

MONTREAL — Canadian National and the Canadian Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement. CN, however, is withholding details of the agreement until it is ratified. The railroad said the agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2004. CAW shopcraft, intermodal and clerical members remain on strike at CN, as they have been since Feb. 20, pending ratification of new agreements. CN has also reached a tentative agreement covering owner/operator truck drivers represented by the CAW. These drivers are not on strike. CAW notified CN on Feb. 16 that it would launch labor action against the company starting Feb. 20,

OL, FTA and APTA Work Together To Develop Light Rail Safety Program

February 2, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

Seven transit agencies nationwide have received free packets of information for use in their marketing, education, and communications efforts for Light Rail Safety Education. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Operation Lifesaver (OLI) jointly developed the program, which meets a need identified by many light rail agencies, as well as federal policymakers, with significant assistance by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Light Rail Benefits Light rail is one of the fastest growing modes of transit in the country. As urban and suburban areas across America grapple with gridlock and air quality, an increasing number are turning to light rail.

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