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Short Line/Regional

Providence and Worcester Railroad Held Liable for Arrest

WORCESTER, Mass. – A jury has found the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company liable for more than $310,000, plus interest, in a civil rights violation lawsuit stemming from a February 1996 arrest. A subsequent motion for a new trial was denied May 25, 2004. A judge, however, reduced the award to $319,058.95, down from the $319,558.95 the jury awarded. The lawsuit stems from an incident in February 1996 when the plaintiff, George W. O’Leary, was arrested for trespassing on the Company’s right of way in East Providence, R.I., by a member of the Company’s police force, which was deactivated in

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Union Pacific

UP Announces Settlement to Class Action Suit

OMAHA, Neb. – A settlement has been reached in a class action suit filed against Union Pacific following a May 27, 2000, derailment near Eunice, La., the railroad announced Tuesday (May 25, 2004). Union Pacific, subject to court approval, has agreed to a payment of $65 million in exchange for a release of all claims for damages involved in this litigation. At the time of the settlement, over 10,000 formal claims had been filed. The railroad’s insurers will reimburse Union Pacific for this payment. The settlement will not impact the Company’s earnings, the company said in a news release. According

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Commuter Rail

Suspicious Device Placed in SEPTA Yard by Employee

PHILADELPHIA – An “electronic motion detector” discovered May 5 in SEPTA’s Powelton Rail Yard was placed there by an employee for personal use, the railroad and the FBI said in a joint statement. The unidentified employee, who works full time for SEPTA and part-time for a security alarm company, told the FBI he put the device by the tracks to alert him of approaching foot traffic, “presumably his supervisors,” the statement indicates. “In light of the high degree of attention being devoted to public transportation security, we consider this to be a very serious matter,” SEPTA and the FBI said

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Miscellaneous

Hamberger: Freight Business Booming, Intermodal Top Revenue Source

WASHINGTON ― Railroads are experiencing a surge in traffic volumes for all commodities, including coal, and, for the first time, intermodal freight is the industry’s top revenue source, Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger said in a speech at the National Press Club. Carload freight is growing at a rapid pace and is up more than 3 percent this year, with grain traffic rising 10 percent and coal up 3 percent. Coal remains the bedrock of the industry, accounting for the largest source of tonnage by a wide margin. “Freight railroads have crossed a new threshold

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Commuter Rail

SEPTA Employee Finds Suspicious Device, Not Linked to Terrorism

PHILADELPHIA – A device, described as a “commercial motion detector,” was found in a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) rail yard, arousing suspicions among officials. A SEPTA employee discovered the device on May 5 and a week later it was turned over to the FBI for analysis. SEPTA Transit Police, Philadelphia police and the FBI are continuing to investigate the device discovered along a track in a rail car storage yard near 30th Street Station. “The investigation, to date, shows no indication of any threat to the security of the SEPTA rail system,” SEPTA and the FBI said in a

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Terrorism/Security

Department of Homeland Security Announces New Measures to Expand Security for Rail Passengers

Washington – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on May 20, 2004 issued Security Directives (SD) requiring protective measures to be implemented by passenger rail operators. The directives, which will be administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will take effect on May 23 and apply to all passenger rail owners/operators. These include light rail systems, inter-city passenger rail systems such as Amtrak, commuter rail operations such as the Maryland Rail Commuter and Long Island Railroad, as well as subway systems nationwide. “Millions of Americans travel by rail every day and recent world events highlight the need to ensure they

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Miscellaneous

NEWSWEEK: ‘Perfectly Formed’ Fingerprint Found on Plastic Bag Containing Bomb Materials Hours After Madrid Bombing; Logged Unexpected Hit With FBI Computer Archive

NEW YORK – Hours after four railway bombs exploded in Madrid last March 11, Spanish investigators found a piece of evidence in a white van 20 miles from the blast that they did not reveal: on a plastic bag containing bomb materials, investigators found a “perfectly formed” fingerprint they couldn’t identify, a Spanish official tells Newsweek. Spanish police didn’t find a match for the print, but when the FBI ran it through its archive, the computer unexpectedly logged a hit: the mystery print, U.S. authorities say, belonged to Brandon Mayfield, a small-time lawyer who lived in Portland, Ore. Mayfield had

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Miscellaneous

Perth Public Transport Authority Selects Honeywell for Urban Rail Safe Project; Honeywell Digital Video Manager at Core of Centralized CCTV Monitoring System

SYDNEY, Australia – Honeywell Building Solutions on May 13, 2004, announced it has received a $7.1 million order from the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA) for the design and construction of a centralized closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring and digital recording system for Perth’s urban railway network. The new system is part of the Western Australian Government’s multi-million dollar TrainSafe Program to increase patron confidence in safety and security when traveling on Perth’s urban rail network. The order will see Honeywell connecting to 800 cameras across the network within the next 12 months, providing 24-hour, live vision to

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Miscellaneous

Railfanning.org Launches www.thecrosstie.com

ATLANTA – Railfanning.org has launched www.thecrosstie.com, a website for the e-zine The Cross-Tie. The Cross-Tie began its online publication in January 2003 and 10 issues were released in its first year. Five issues have been released to date in 2004. “This is a big step for The Cross-Tie,” Publisher Todd DeFeo said. “This web site will give people the opportunity to easily access the e-zine’s official web page.” Railfanning.org posts regular news updates on its News Wire web page. The monthly e-zine is available on Railfanning.org and through Train Kept A-Rollin’ – its Yahoo Group, which is open to the

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Miscellaneous

Air and Rail Machinists March to Protect Jobs in ‘Day of Action’

WASHINGTON – Airline and railroad workers represented by the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) participated in march and rally in Washington, D.C. on May 12 to bring attention to the union’s Fight for Transportation Jobs. Specifically, the IAM is protesting what it says are the government’s anti-worker policies and encouraging strong union member participation in this year’s presidential election. IAM members are also hand-billing passengers at major airports around the country. “The attack on transportation workers began within weeks of President Bush taking office,” IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger said. “Rail negotiations screeched to a halt. Elected