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Federal Railroad Administration Announces Rail Inspection Technology Rule to Improve Track Safety

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“This rule will allow railroads to use the latest technology to continually monitor safety, which is a big step forward in strengthening safety and reliability on our nation’s railroads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Friday, August 28, 2020

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today submitted to the Federal Register a final rule allowing railroads to use ultrasonic inspection technology, augmented with global positioning system (GPS) technology, to employ continuous rail testing. These updated regulations are expected to improve safety...

IDOT, New Siemens Ventures Passenger Cars

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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun taking delivery on 88 new Siemens “Venture” single-level passenger cars. According to WSP USA Senior Engineering Manager Art Peterson, who supplied these photos to Railway Age, the first four arrived in Chicago in mid-August, and four more are en route.

The Siemens/IDOT contract dates to November 2017, when Caltrans and IDOT amended a $317 million contract for new passenger cars, replacing Nippon Sharyo with Siemens, which partnered with Sumitomo Corp. of America to fulfill a delayed multi-state order. The revised contract involved 137 single-level passenger railcars—49 for Caltrans and 88 for IDOT. Under the original terms of the deal, Sumitomo had subcontracted construction of bi-level cars to Nippon Sharyo of Japan. The revised pact substituted...

Massive Explosion Seen After Train Derails Near Rock Springs, WY

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Massive Explosion Seen After Train Derails Near Rock Springs

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. – A Union Pacific train hauling alcohol and liquid propane derailed near Rock Springs, Wyoming, according to Scott Kitchner, fire chief for Sweetwater County Fire District 1.

Purgatory Resort’s insurance company sues D&SNG

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Purgatory Resort’s insurance company has filed a lawsuit against the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for costs associated with the 416 Fire.

According to the lawsuit, Purgatory Resort sustained financial losses after it was forced to shut down as the 416 Fire burned nearby for nearly two months, consuming 54,000 acres mostly in the adjacent Hermosa Creek watershed.

“Purgatory’s property and business were damaged as a result of the 416 Fire, including but not limited to, smoke and ash flows, loss of business revenue, diminished property values and economic harm,” the lawsuit says.

Proposed Surface Transportation Bill Would Triple Funding for Amtrak

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A week after Amtrak officials said the railroad needed $1.4 billion to survive the ongoing pandemic, House Democrats revealed a plan that would triple federal funding for intercity passenger rail service. The funding proposal is part of a new surface transportation funding bill that would invest more than $500 billion in highway and rail projects over the next five years. The current surface transportation act, dubbed the FAST Act, was signed into law in 2015 by President Barack Obama and expires this year.
Chehalis railroad company reopens train rides in Washington
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Chehalis railroad company reopens train rides in Washington

After a month-long delay in wake of novel coronavirus restrictions, a historic Washington train is taking to the tracks once again as passengers journey through the Chehalis River Valley alongside blowing steam and billowing train toots.

The Chehalis Centralia Railroad and Museum recently announced its season start date, inviting friends, families, and railroad aficionados to nab their reservations for a weekend excursion on Saturday, June 20 or Sunday, June 21.
FTA Announces $891 Million for 12 Transit Infrastructure Projects Across America
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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $891 Million for 12 Transit Infrastructure Projects Across America

Friday, May 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration today announced a total of $891 million in federal funding will be provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to 12 transit infrastructure projects. The allocations of funding across the country will be used to advance the readiness of projects for a construction grant agreement or a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). Funding is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

FTA is allocating $27 million in appropriated Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 CIG funding, $526.5 million in appropriated...
BART releases 15-step plan to welcome back riders as region reopens
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BART releases 15-step plan to welcome back riders as region reopens

BART is working hard to reimagine transit service as the region begins to reopen and riders return. We understand the public is looking to us to provide reassurance that service is as safe as possible and social distancing is followed. To welcome riders back and regain confidence in public transit, BART is taking the following 15 steps while continuing to explore new measures and technologies that could assist in a safe recovery.

Step 1 – Cleaning
BART is using hospital-grade disinfectant in stations and on-board trains. Train poles are wiped down with disinfectant at the end of the line during service hours. Crews use electrostatic foggers on train cars that spray disinfecting mist that coats and clings to surfaces. Station touchpoints are wiped down multiple times each day.

Step 2 – Run Long Trains
BART is...
A Few Saturday Shots from SE Wisconsin

N&W 611's Return Home 2015

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With the 70th Anniversary of 611, we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate then to feature a re-edited version of 611's Return Home in May of 2015. We see the the crew on the night before making final preparations to the locomotive before departure on the next day, on the 30th we chase the train back home to Roanoke!

Don't forget to hit subscribe and turn on the notification bell!

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prorailprodu...

Pro Rail Productions 2020

LA Metro: 45-Day Public Review Set For $400B, 30-Year Transit Plan

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LA Metro: 45-Day Public Review Set For $400B, 30-Year Transit Plan

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors has authorized the release of an updated draft of its 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan (2020 LRTP), a $400 billion, 30-year transportation blueprint for the region. There is a 45-day public review period (through July 13, 2020) to gather comments.

The plan, Metro said “lays out a future vision and roadmap for bringing about a more mobile, sustainable and vibrant future for Los Angeles County. Through extensive public outreach during the past 18 months that included 77 community meetings, 28 public workshop meetings and 20,000 survey responses from the public, Metro has distilled the region’s desires into four goals: Better Transit, Less Congestion, Complete Streets and...

Stadler Hit With $6MM Ransomware, Refused to Pay

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Internal Documents Published After Stadler Refuses $6MM Ransom

Internal documents stolen during a cyber-attack on Stadler’s headquarters have been published online after the manufacturer refused to give in to ransom demands.

Stadler announced the attack on May 7, and said the hackers subsequently demanded a $6 million ransom, to be paid in Bitcoin.

“Stadler is not and was at no time willing to make payments to the blackmailers and has not entered into the negotiations,” the company told IRJ. “As a result, the perpetrators published internal documents of Stadler in order to harm Stadler and its employees.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum announces a phased reopening beginning June
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Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum announces a phased reopening beginning June 5.


“Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is looking forward to welcoming riders back after being closed since March 14 due to COVID-19 ,” said TVRM Spokesperson Steve Freer. “We are excited to be running our trains allowing visitors to experience Chattanooga’s rich history. We have worked hard preparing the museum to open in line with the guidance we’ve received from public health officials.”

This first phase includes our Missionary Ridge Local train ride and will begin operations on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Gift Shop, Depot Deli, and Outdoor exhibits at our Grand Junction campus will also be open. Dinner Trains, Georgia excursions, and Hiwassee rides will resume at a later date. Due to social distance requirements, we are not able to offer our Shop Tour experience.

Safety guidelines are in place, and the health and well-being of all who ride with...
U.S. Sugar Steam Locomotive No. 148 Hauls Sugarcane Train to Mill Ending Harvest Season, New “Sugar Express” Launched
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U.S. Sugar Steam Locomotive No. 148 Hauls Sugarcane Train to Mill Ending Harvest Season, New “Sugar Express” Launched
by Judy Sanchez | May 28, 2020 | Media Center

Clewiston, Fla. – For the first time in more than 50 years, a steam locomotive hauled a train of harvested sugarcane from the field to U.S. Sugar’s mill. To mark the end of U.S. Sugar’s annual harvest and the completion of a multi-year restoration of its 100-year-old steam locomotive known as Engine No. 148, the company called upon the vintage locomotive to haul cane on the last day of the season. The 2019-20 harvest lasted 239 days, and despite drier than normal spring conditions and the global COVID-19 pandemic, was completed safely as scheduled.

“Seeing No. 148 under steam and back on her home track is a heartwarming sight to see,’’ said Judy Sanchez, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for U.S...

May 2020 Photo Contest - Show us your best photo!

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Since this is the first contest in a very long time, we're going to make it easy for this contest.

The theme is: Hit us with your best shot!

No subject, no date requirements, just pick one of your favorites and post it as a reply.

The rules are simple:
1) Photos must be your own work. No exceptions.

2) You may enter ONE photo per contest. Pick your best. You may change your entry up until the contest closing date.
To enter, post your photo as a reply to this message. Please include a descriptive caption.
If you would like to have your real name featured if you win, rather than your user name, please include your name in your comments.

3) Photos should adhere to the theme, if applicable. Generally themes will be pretty general in nature.
For this month, it just needs to be railroad related, and suitable for general audiences.

4) The winner will be decided...
California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section
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California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section

CHSRA Press Release:
May 26 2020 Sacramento

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is releasing the project-level draft environmental document for another project section in Southern California. The document, which covers the approximately 14-mile Burbank to Los Angeles Project Section, will be available for public review and comment starting on Friday, May 29.

The Burbank to Los Angeles project section connects two key multi-modal transportation hubs in Los Angeles County, a new Burbank Airport Station in Burbank and the existing Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) in Los Angeles. These stations are intended to provide links with regional and local mass transit services as well as connectivity to airports and the highway networks in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Basin. This project section is also an important component of...

Facebook is rethinking its commitment to help fund Dumbarton Rail Corridor study

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Facebook is rethinking its commitment to help fund Dumbarton Rail Corridor study

Facebook may be backing away from funding a study that would bring the Peninsula one step closer to seeing the Dumbarton Rail Corridor revitalized.

Facebook is “reassessing this long-term commitment,” said a statement from Juan Salazar, Facebook’s local policy and community engagement director. Facebook, along with SamTrans, which owns the long-defunct trestle and rail spur, and Plenary Group, an investment group specializing in public-private partnerships, joined forces in August 2018 to begin the long-awaited environmental impact study for the project.

Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic

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Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic

The Union Pacific Railroad Tuesday laid off an unspecified number of workers in Bailey Yard’s mechanical department.

Raquel Espinoza, U.P.’s senior director for corporate communications and media relations, confirmed the first job reductions related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the North Platte classification yard, the world’s largest.

“Union Pacific is experiencing volume declines as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the country,” Espinoza said in a email. “We are operating fewer locomotives and rail cars, requiring us to reduce our workforce in the mechanical department today.”

Amtrak Continues Testing on New Acela Fleet

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Amtrak Continues Testing on New Acela Fleet

Amtrak’s new Acela fleet, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, continues to progress with its high-speed testing at Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., as the first Acela prototype completed another milestone by traveling at speeds up to 165 mph, although the train’s initial top operating speed will be 160 mph.

The first Acela prototype traveled from Alstom’s facility in Hornell, N.Y., on Feb., 17 and is expected to undergo six more months of dynamic testing, which will include the trainset’s pantograph, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, slip/slide and wayside protection, brakes, and train control management systems. Once complete, the trainset will return to Alstom for installation of its interiors.

Rocky Mountaineer Suspends Rail Departures Until July 3

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Rocky Mountaineer Suspends Rail Departures Until July 31

Rocky Mountaineer Press Release


Vancouver, BC – May 14, 2020: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and associated government restrictions, Rocky Mountaineer will extend the suspension of its 2020 travel season until July 31, 2020. This suspension is in addition to the previously announced suspended departures from April 13 to June 30.

“It is with much regret that we announce this extension of our travel suspension,” said Steve Sammut, president and chief executive officer, Rocky Mountaineer. “With numerous travel restrictions in place globally, airlines having limited flight availability, many of our operational partners having suspended their services, and other challenges, it has become impossible for us to start our operations in July.”