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Commuter Rail

NTSB Investigates WMATA Accident

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Transportation Safety Board has sent two investigators here to investigate an accident involving two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees. An empty train on the Yellow Line struck the employees, fatally injuring one and seriously injuring the other. The employees, both Metro track inspectors, were struck by a four-car Yellow Line train on an elevated track between the Huntington and Eisenhower Ave Metrorail stations at 9:30 a.m. today, Nov. 30. Leslie A. Cherry, a 29-year veteran employee from Maryland, died while conducting routine track inspection along the rail line. The injured worker, who is

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Commuter Rail

N.J. Transit Dedicates New Multilevel Rail Cars to Nine Communities

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — N.J. Transit dedicated its first multilevel rail cars to nine communities served by the state’s commuter rail system. At a Nov. 15 ceremony during the League of Municipalities gathering at the Atlantic City Convention Center, the cars were dedicated in recognition of the strong ties between N.J. Transit and the host communities of Trenton, Hamilton, West Windsor, Edison, Rahway, Woodbridge, Elizabeth, Newark and Summit. Each of the 234 multilevel cars will display a commemorative plaque in honor of a community served by the rail network as they are delivered over the next two years. “These municipalities

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FRA

Citizens Against Government Waste Names Sen. John Thune Porker of the Month

WASHINGTON — Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Porker of the Month for helping a railroad company secure a record $2.3 billion federal loan guarantee. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is seeking the largest federal loan to a private company in American history — a $2.3 billion in tax money from to finance a major rail expansion project through the Midwest. The loan guarantee from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow the DM&E to expand and improve a rail line that is used primarily to transport coal from Wyoming to Minnesota.

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FRA

Iowa Northern Railway Receives $25.5 million RRIF Loan

WASHINGTON — The Iowa Northern Railway (IANR), a short line freight carrier located in northeastern Iowa, is receiving a $25.5 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The funds will be used to: upgrade mainline track from Linn to Waterloo and from Cedar Falls to Manly; construct new sidings at Palo, Shell Rock, and Nora Springs; and rehabilitate rail yards in Waterloo and Manly. These improvements will allow the railroad to accommodate heavier railcars and move freight more quickly, safely, and efficiently, according to the FRA. Agricultural products account for most of the cargo carried by the IANR, but

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World

French Postal Service Back on Track

PARIS — The French postal service La Poste has reached agreement with SNCF, the national rail company, to create a joint rail-based high-speed courier service. The planned joint venture was announced on Monday by the two state-owned businesses. La Poste’s return to rail was prompted by stiff competition and rulings of the European Commission. In the late 1990s, mail train services were largely replaced by road and air shipment. Faced with European prohibitions on night flights, and the harmful effects of carbon emissions, La Poste changed its policy. There will be 3 TGV high-speed mail trains in the new fleet,

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Commuter Rail

Two Killed by N.J. Transit Trains

BRADLEY BEACH, N.J. — Two people were killed Tuesday, Nov. 21, by a pair of N.J. Transit commuter trains. A woman was killed just before midnight Monday, delaying rail traffic on the North Jersey Coast Line. About two hours, as a second train was traveling to pick up stranded passengers who were on the first train, a man’s clothing was caught in a passenger coach door. He was dragged and killed, The Associated Press reported. The news agency reported a N.J. Transit crew member may not have been in the proper place to watch the platform as the train pulled

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World

India Train Blast Leave Six Dead

CALCUTTA, India — Six people were killed Monday, Nov. 20, and more than 80 people were injured when a bomb exploded on a passenger train. Authorities suspect terrorists planted a bomb in one of the train’s cars. The bomb denoted about 6:20 p.m. local time near Belacoba, a station located about 345 miles north of Calcutta, The Associated Press reported. The explosion blew the side and the roof off one of the cars, according to published reports. Local authorities believe either Maoist rebels or Assamese militants might be responsible for the attack, The Associated Press reported. — Railfanning.org News Wire

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Amtrak

Amtrak Ticket Revenue Tops $1.37 Billion, Sets New Record

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

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Union Pacific

Union Pacific Opens ‘State-of-the-Art’ Locomotive Shop

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – A new Union Pacific locomotive maintenance and repair facility is designed to reduce the amount of time that coal trains spend at the Bailey Yard in North Platte, Neb., according to the railroad. Union Pacific and GE today commemorated the opening of yard in North Platte, Neb. — North America’s largest rail yard. The new locomotive shop will support GE locomotives which carry more than 95 percent of the coal handled by Union Pacific. “Our mindset is that coal is king and a significant part of our time is spent ensuring coal deliveries are moving as