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Railroadforums.com is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

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.”


Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Completes Section 1 of the Purple Line Extension subway

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Soyeon, Elsie Complete Boring Task

Two TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) employed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)—one named Soyeon, the other, Elsie—have completed many months of work on Section 1 of the $9.3 billion, nine-mile Metro Purple Line Extension subway project by reaching the future Wilshire/Fairfax station near the La Brea Tar Pits in the Miracle Mile.

Tunneling for the first three miles of the four-mile initial section is now complete. Soyeon started at the Wilshire/La Brea station in October 2019 and broke through the eastern side of the planned Wilshire/Fairfax station site about one mile away on May 21. Elsie broke through to Wilshire/Fairfax on April 4.

U.S. carload volume tumbles 30 percent in Week 20

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U.S. carload volume tumbles 30 percent in Week 20

U.S. railroads logged 184,415 carloads in the week ending May 16, marking a 30.2 percent drop and the biggest decline in year-over-year weekly carload traffic since the Association of American Railroads (AAR) began tracking the data in 1988.

For the week, U.S. railroads moved 416,115 carload and intermodal units, down 22 percent compared with the same week a year ago. Weekly intermodal volume was 231,700 containers and trailers, down 14 percent, according to AAR data.

Full story at the above link.
Seattle Sound Transit Service Revisions and Recovery Fares
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Several Routes, Link light rail, Sounder North & Sounder South Temporary Recovery Fares and Service Revisions

Posted: May 18 - 2:05 p.m. (updated: May 20 - 5:36 p.m.)
Effective June 1, Sound Transit will offer temporarily reduced Recovery Fares in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the agency re-introduces fares on Link light rail and Sounder. Service on Link will also increase at the same time, with trains running every 20 minutes during the day until after the afternoon commute. Link will continue to run every 30 minutes during evenings and on weekends.
Link schedules will be posted on our Reduced Service page when finalized.

Temporary Recovery Fares come as the region prepares for the next phases of recovery and the expected gradual return of...
FTA Announces $1.68B In Grant Funding
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FTA Announces $1.68B In Grant Funding

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $1.68 billion in grants for transit agencies around the country.

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, two grants totaling $449 million were given to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) in California; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) received an $876.8 million grant; the Tri-County Metropolitan District of Oregon (Tri-Met) in Portland, Ore., received a $185 million grant; and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transportation Authority (Sound Transit) in Seattle, Wash., received a $166.3 million grant.

AAR: “As the COVID-19 Situation Evolves, Freight Railroads Will Remain Focused”

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AAR: “As the COVID-19 Situation Evolves, Freight Railroads Will Remain Focused”

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended May 16, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 416,115 carloads and intermodal units, down 22% compared with the same week last year.

American Heritage says it will work to find a new owner for Mount Rainier Scenic

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American Heritage says it will work to find a new owner for Mount Rainier Scenic

“It is with great regret and sorrow we make this announcement today, as everyone associated with this historic railroad has worked extremely hard to make it prosper and delight guests from all over the world,” said John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways, Inc. “With still many financial and operational unknowns to work through, AHR will announce further details in the near future regarding its plans for the facility, including finding a new owner and overseeing the divestiture of its famed locomotives and other important infrastructure assets. In the meantime, we wish to thank all of our loyal employees and volunteers who helped us celebrate the rich industrial history of the Pacific Northwest’s late 19th...

AHR emphasizes that Mt Rainier Railroad Closure is temporary, not permanent

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Because of operating difficulties caused by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, American Heritage Railways has temporarily ceased operations of another one of its historical railroads, the Mt. Rainier Railroad, for the foreseeable future.

John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways, said it is unclear when the Mt...

New York MTA Launches Pilot With COVID-19-Killing UVC

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New York MTA Launches Pilot With COVID-19-Killing UVC

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced an ultraviolet (UV) light pilot program proven to kill COVID-19, with the first phase set to launch on subways, buses and other New York City Transit facilities throughout the system early next week.

The MTA pilot will deploy approximately 150 dual-headed mobile devices from Denver-based startup PURO Lighting to test and evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of UVC technology in a number of settings across New York City Transit including trains, buses, stations and occupational facilities, using strict protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of the employees and customers. After evaluation, the pilot’s second phase will expand to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WI to reopen on 5/23/20

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NRM Press Release 5/19/20

Letter from the CEO
Updated: May 19, 2020
Dear Friends,

Last Friday afternoon, Brown County, Wisconsin rescinded the “Safer at Home” order, allowing businesses to reopen. This does not mean that COVID-19 has been eradicated; it is still spreading within our community. As a community organization, we have been considering the desire so many have to leave their home and resume the activities they enjoy against the current status of the pandemic in this area. It is important to me that all of our visitors remain safe and healthy, and in anticipation of reopening, we have been preparing the Museum for your visit over the last few weeks.

We will open to the public on Thursday, May 21 at 9:00 a.m. In appreciation of the ongoing work of our healthcare workers, police, firefighters, City of Green Bay, Village of Ashwaubenon, and Brown County employees, we will give them free admission to...

SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

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SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

San Francisco, CA - 5/19/20

A multimillion-dollar deal is in place to have SMART take over North Bay freight rail by buying out the region’s lone hauler, a move that would hand SMART unified control of the local track system and make it one of a small group of agencies nationwide that controls both passenger and commercial shipping service.
Under the proposed deal, Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co. would sell its track rights and equipment for $4 million, and the state would kick in almost $4 million more to repay debt owed to the company by a financially troubled state agency that oversees North Coast commercial rail operations.

N&W Y6a to return to St. Louis after five years in Virginia

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After spending the past half-decade in Virginia, former Norfolk and Western Y6a steam locomotive No. 2156 will soon return home to St. Louis.

Coby Ellison, curator at the National Transportation Museum, says the 2156 is being prepped for shipment back to Missouri after being on loan to the Virginia Museum of Transportation since 2015. Officials at the Virginia museum said in January that discussions were being held to potentially extend the five-year loan/lease of the 2156, but Ellison has confirmed that the locomotive will be returned in the near future.

Cleanup underway of freight train derailment in East Aurora, NY

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An investigation has begun into why a Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad freight train derailed Monday night in East Aurora.

The traveling from Salamanca to Buffalo derailed at 10:52 p.m. in the vicinity of Main and Elm streets in the village, police said Tuesday morning.

Fifteen of the train's 98 cars, including the engine, went off the rails.

NP 0-6-0 924 Steam Tested at the Northwest Railway Museum

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May 18, 2020 represents an important milestone for the 924: it returned to steam and operated under its own power in testing on the shop track. An inspection conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration observed that the boiler safety valves opened and closed at appropriate pressure levels, and the steam-powered air pump was able to deliver the required air flow. During the visit, Museum staff also demonstrated successful operation of both Ohio injectors, and the hydro-static lubricator, all of which were rebuilt by Backshop Enterprises. And an additional day under steam gave collections care specialists - steam specialists, really - an opportunity to perform additional testing and troubleshooting. Steven B., Josh K., Scott, and Gary performed most of the effort required to boil the boiler water, but dozens of additional volunteers and staff contributed efforts that allowed this to happen...

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...

Great Scenic Railway Journeys Special on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

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This is a segment of of our "Celebrating North America's Steam Railways" Special on the Mount Rainier.

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