Railroad News

Railroad News
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Clock is ticking for 110-year-old Hudson River rail tunnel

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NEW YORK (AP) — Myriad problems in the Hudson River rail tunnel must be addressed in the next few years to avoid what officials say are potentially catastrophic failures before a new tunnel is finally built, a soon-to-be-completed study by Amtrak spells out in stark detail.

The study by Amtrak, reviewed by The Associated Press, pinpoints a litany of problems in the 110-year-old tunnel, many stemming from saltwater inundation from Superstorm Sandy eight years ago.

Rocky Mountaineer Will Launch A New Train Journey In The USA For 2021

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Rocky Mountaineer brings its luxury train journeys to a new route in the Southwest United States in 2021.

VANCOUVER, B.C., Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Rocky Mountaineer plans to bring its luxury train journeys to a new route in the Southwest United States in 2021. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route will be a two-day rail journey between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

[IMG alt="Rocky Mountaineer brings its luxury train journeys to the Southwest United States in 2021 with the Rockies to the Red Rocks route, a two-day rail journey between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, with an overnight...

Trial accusing Durango railroad of starting 416 Fire to take place in Denver

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D&SNG attorneys pushed to have hearings held locally


A federal judge has ruled that a trial in which the U.S. government seeks to recover an estimated $25 million from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for fighting the 416 Fire will take place in Denver.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn issued an order this week for a jury trial to start Sept. 13, 2021, at the Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse in Denver.

The U.S. government filed the lawsuit in July 2019...

Amtrak Welcomes Midwest Thanksgiving Travelers Onboard with New Safety Measures in Place

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NOVEMBER 9 2020

Customers should book early due to limited bookings on reserved trains to promote physical distancing
CHICAGO – Amtrak continues to deliver on a new standard of travel by helping customers travel safely and comfortably throughout the Midwest this Thanksgiving. Passengers on Amtrak MidwestSM corridor and interregional trains can experience Amtrak’s newly enhanced safety and cleaning measures, with available seats added on many routes to maintain distancing.

As part of Amtrak’s partnership with experts from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, this includes required face coverings...

Statement from Amtrak President & CEO Bill Flynn on Biden Administration

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NOVEMBER 7, 2020

“Amtrak looks forward to working with President-elect Biden and Congress. To get the economy moving and help Amtrak and our employees through this unprecedented situation, Congress must act now on pandemic relief and economic stimulus funding which enables Amtrak to recall furloughed employees, restore service frequency on long-distance and state-supported routes, and make investments that will advance critical capital projects such as bridges and tunnels on the Northeast Corridor and new equipment, infrastructure improvements and major station upgrades throughout our network.

“As we look to the future, expanded Amtrak service is essential to decarbonizing our transportation network, which generates roughly 28% of the U.S. annual carbon emissions. With cars and trucks responsible for nearly 82% of those emissions, we need passenger rail alternatives throughout the nation. As we enter our 50th year of service, we stand...

Virgin Hyperloop first hyperloop test run with actual passengers inside

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For the first time, Virgin Hyperloop has successfully completed a test run of its high-speed hyperloop system with passengers inside.


Virgin Hyperloop gave the first ride on its test track Sunday in Las Vegas, but it will be years before the public can potentially take a high-speed ride on a hyperloop.

Virgin Hyperloop's pod only reached 100 mph on the track, according to the company, rather than the 600 mph that hyperloop advocates have long promised. Virgin Hyperloop says its track is 500 metres long, limiting how fast the pods can go.

Still, Virgin Hyperloop executives view the test as a major milestone and a step toward commercializing hyperloop technology.

Full story:

In final days, Miami-Dade commission taking up $12M rail payment to Brightline

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An outgoing Miami-Dade commission may instruct the incoming county mayor to continue pursuing a commuter-rail deal with a track access fee of $12 million a year.


The nonbinding Brightline resolution would establish a framework for a final deal that could come months later if the new administration agrees. It’s part of the Monday agenda for the commission’s final scheduled meeting before five newly elected commissioners and Mayor-elect Daniella Levine Cava take office.

At stake is a long-sought agreement with the for-profit companies that control the private tracks to launch a commuter rail system between Miami and Aventura, and then on to Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Cape Cod Railroad Tracks Damaged By Sinkhole

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EAST SANDWICH — After a neighbor heard a noise overnight coming from the nearby train tracks off Old County Road early last week, they realized something was amiss.


The next morning, Oct. 27, the neighbor called the administrator of Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, who relayed the message to the owner of Mass Coastal Railroads. The company decided to stop a trash train that was carrying empty containers on its way back from the Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility (SEMASS) out of caution, roughly 5 miles before the site in question.

Chicago Metra debuts Bike Car on MD-N Line

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(November 5, 2020) -

Metra on Saturday, Nov. 7, will introduce its first Bike Car, answering the call from bike enthusiasts to have more room for bicycles on its trains. The car can carry 16 bicycles instead of the usual five allowed on Metra’s accessible diesel railcars and will be deployed on the Milwaukee District North Line as part of a pilot program that will last into the spring of 2021.

In addition, beginning on Monday, Nov. 9, Metra will temporarily relax its bikes on trains policy and allow bikes on all trains across all 11 lines. There will still be limits to the number of bicycles allowed and cyclists should be advised there is no guarantee that bikes or e-scooters can be accommodated on an initial or return trip (particularly on rush-hour trains), and crews have the right to refuse bikes or e-scooters in the event of overcrowding or depending on the needs of customers with disabilities.

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“We’re committed to...

Bond Sale Fails, but ‘Work Continues’ on Brightline West

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“I’ll confirm that we postponed our bond sale but we will continue to move our project forward,” a Brightline representative told Railway Age, of the Las Vegas-to-Southern California high speed rail line. “Our work continues.”

Fortress Investment Group has failed to sell bonds to support its $8.4 billion Brightline West high speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, according to BloombergQuint. But the project will go forward, a Brightline representative says.
Brightline West Launches New Website
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Learn More About Brightline West:
A High-Speed Passenger Rail Service Connecting Southern California and Las Vegas


Brightline West is a 260-mile high-speed rail system designed to take cars off the road and offer millions of travelers an eco-friendly way to travel between Los Angeles, one of the country’s largest cities, and Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world.

Our fully electric, zero emission trains will reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Expected travel time between LA and Las Vegas is approximately three hours – twice as fast as driving.

Early works construction is expected to break ground in late 2020 on the High Desert Segment connecting Victor Valley and Las Vegas. Check back frequently for updates on construction, milestones, and more!

Brightline Holdings develops and operates high-speed passenger rail systems in the United States. Its first passenger rail...

KCS Derailment in Mauriceville, TX 10/29/20

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MAURICEVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A train derailment near the Texas-Louisiana border Thursday forced two schools to evacuate and motorists to scramble as the cars left the tracks in front of them.

Amazingly, a passing motorist caught the derailment on camera.



It happened in Mauriceville, a town of approximately 3,200 in Orange County on tracks owned by Kansas City Southern Railroad.

The train consisted of 25 rail cars, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. 15 of the cars were loaded, including five tank cars that were breached.

Biden, an Amtrak Evangelist, Could Be a Lifeline for a Rail Agency in Crisis

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Biden, an Amtrak Evangelist, Could Be a Lifeline for a Rail Agency in Crisis

Amtrak has reduced service and is poised to cut thousands of jobs. Rail supporters argue that, win or lose, the Democratic presidential candidate could shift the debate over the agency’s future.

Joe Biden says he loves ice cream, aviators and Amtrak. But if elected president, his love for the rail agency may be put to the test.

Amtrak is facing a crisis. The coronavirus has led to scores of riders abandoning its trains, causing huge drops in revenue. The agency has cut back on service to America’s heartland. It has furloughed over 2,000 workers. If it does not get $2.8 billion in emergency funding by December, another 2,400 employees could lose their jobs, Amtrak officials warn. High profile projects across the country, including those in New York and New Jersey, are facing delays.

Full Story:
[URL...

Railway Age - Are Railroads Genuflecting Too Much to Wall Street?

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Are We Genuflecting Too Much to Wall Street?
October 23, 2020


The six Class I railroads that practice the marketing-term model called Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR)—all of the “Big 7” except BNSF—are now reporting third-quarter financial results in the remaining days of October. There is, however, an opportunity for a more holistic quarterly briefing. There is an argument for a new checklist of service metrics that would be of interest mostly to customers and, perhaps, public policy groups. However, instead of a balanced scorecard from the carriers, we are mostly seeing accounting reports that cater exclusively to analysts.

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
www.transportation.gov/newsroom
News


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...

Updates to Amtrak Service

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Updates to Amtrak Service
AUGUST 17, 2020

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August 17, 2020

8:30 a.m. ET

Several Amtrak trains across the country are currently operating on adjusted schedules. The most up-to-date schedules are available when booking your trip on Amtrak.com and in the mobile app.

Operating on a reduced schedule:

  • Acela (Boston – Washington, DC)
  • Adirondack (New York – Montreal): No service north of Albany
  • Amtrak Hartford Line (New Haven, Conn. – Springfield, Mass.)
  • Amtrak Thruway Bus routes
  • Capitol Corridor (San Jose – Sacramento)
  • Carolinian (Charlotte – New York)
  • Cascades (Eugene – Vancouver, B.C.): No service north of Seattle
  • Downeaster (Boston – Brunswick, Maine)
  • Empire Service (New York – Niagara Falls)
  • Ethan...

Amtrak Statement: Aligning Services to Current Travel Needs

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Amtrak Statement: Aligning Services to Current Travel Needs
August 17, 2020

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Most Daily Long-Distance Services to be Changed to Tri-Weekly
“We are sharing with customers our new schedules for reduced Long Distance train frequencies that are planned to go into effect this October. Making these new schedules available now will help customers plan for future trips and adjust existing trips impacted by these changes. These reductions in frequencies are a result of the dramatic reduction in travel demand due to the Coronavirus pandemic and follow steps we’ve already had to make across our other services lines across our network,” said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer. “We are committed to assessing the travel needs continuously and to restoring service levels when appropriate.

“We regret the impact of these planned changes on our customers, employees, and...

Amtrak Announces Positive Train Control Completion

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Amtrak Announces Positive Train Control Completion
AUGUST 13, 2020

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All Amtrak-owned tracks have now implemented PTC

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has reached a major milestone in Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation on all Amtrak-owned or controlled tracks. The final piece of the project recently concluded with installation on approximately one mile of slow-speed track in the complex Chicago terminal.

“Completing PTC installation and implementation is a key component of Amtrak’s overarching commitment to the safety performance of intercity passenger rail for our customers, employees and the communities we serve,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President Chief Safety Officer Steve Predmore. “As leaders in PTC installation, Amtrak is pleased to achieve this milestone, and we will continue to work together with all of our partners to improve safety across the rail network.”...

Amtrak Releases FY2019 Sustainability Report

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Amtrak Releases FY2019 Sustainability Report
JULY 15, 2020

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak released its FY2019 Sustainability Report that showcases company performance against year-over-year sustainability goals and highlights sustainability projects across Amtrak’s regions and operations. In FY19, Amtrak achieved all energy, fuel, recycling and emissions targets with the support of more than 18,000 employees.

“Traveling on our electrified system in the northeast corridor emits up to 83% less greenhouse gases than driving and up to 73% less than flying. Across our national network, Amtrak is 47% more energy efficient than driving and one third more efficient than flying,” said Amtrak CFO Tracie Winbigler. “These numbers speak for themselves; Amtrak is fundamentally the better transportation option for those...

Amtrak Starts Construction to Increase Rail Capacity at Washington Union Station

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Amtrak Starts Construction to Increase Rail Capacity at Washington Union Station
JUNE 25, 2020

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No impact on scheduled train operations

WASHINGTON – A major construction project that will increase rail capacity is underway at Washington Union Station, the second busiest terminal in the U.S. The project is among other improvements to upgrade and enhance the customer experience at the historic transportation hub.

Skanska USA Civil Northeast was awarded the Track 22 Reconstruction Project at Washington Union Station. Under the contract, Skanska will rebuild the platform, rehab and restore the historic columns, and construct a new covered walkway to provide customer access to the platform via a new elevator, escalator, and stairs to the station. The track was previously used as a storage track for equipment with no access for customers...




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