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The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that traffic volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Dec. 5 added up to an estimated 31.8 billion ton-miles, down 4.8% from the same week last year, and off 7.6% from 2007.

The railroads originated 284,177 carloads during the latest week, down 5.4% from the same week in 2008 and 13.3 % from the same week in 2007. (The AAR notes that in order to offer a complete picture of the progress in traffic, it is now comparing 2009 volume with both 2008 and 2007.)

Intermodal traffic, at 207,242 trailers and containers, was down 4.25% from 2008 and 13.6% from 2007.

Increases were reported in nine of the 19 carload freight commodity groups compared with the same week last year: nonmetallic minerals (25%), metals and products (17.1%), grain (14.1%), chemicals (13.9%), farm products not including grain (13.7%), motor vehicles and equipment (8.95), grain mill products (8 %%), metallic ores (1.3%), and waste and scrap metal (0.7%). Declines ranged from 0.6% for food and kindred products to 21% for crushed stone, sand, and gravel.

Canadian railroads reported 62,576 carloads for the week, down 12.4% from last year, and 39,608 trailers or containers, down 13.5%. Mexico’s two major railroads originated 12,393 carloads, down 4.8% from the same week last year, and 6,241 trailers and containers, up 0.8%.

--> The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that traffic volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Dec. 5 added up to an estimated 31.8 billion ton-miles, down 4.8% from the same week last year, and off 7.6% from 2007. ...

Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Council will open the America Boulevard Station (at 34th Avenue) to Hiawatha Line light rail riders Saturday, after dedicating the station Wednesday, one month ahead of deadline.

The new stop is the final one of 19 planned stops on the original plans for the route, but construction of the $3.3 million station was deferred due to redesign of the southern portion of the 12-mile route, according to Bob Gibbons, director of customer services for Metro Transit.

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America Boulevard Station is northeast of the Mall of America and a short distance from Bloomington Central Station. Three hotels, an office complex, and large long-term parking lots are located nearby. The area, which is called Airport South, is slated for redevelopment, and Bloomington officials view the new station as a component to those plans.

The station opening follows completion last month of the north end of the line, when a new station at Target Field opened that serves both the Hiawatha Line and the new Northstar commuter rail line.

--> Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Council will open the America Boulevard Station (at 34th Avenue) to Hiawatha Line light rail riders Saturday, after dedicating the station Wednesday, one month ahead of deadline.The new stop ...
Four key executives at Union Pacific will be taking on new assignments as of Jan. 1, 2010. • Den ...
In a special session devoted to passenger rail matters, Florida legislators have approved a far-ranging statewide passenger rail program. The state Senate approved the measure 27-10 late Tuesday after a labor protection deal was worked out with the AFL-CIO. The bill went to the governor on Wednes ...
U.S. freight carload traffic was down 8.2% in November compared with the same month a year ago, and down 17.4% compared with November 2007. But if Thanksgiving week were excluded, the month would have been the highest volume month in 2009, the Association of American Railroads said. U. ...
--> Amtrak has awarded a software maintenance contract to Eta Phi Systems, Inc. for a legacy Automatic Vehicle Location and Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) used on the Capitol Corridor (Auburn-Sacramento-Oakland/San Francisco-San Jose), San Joaquin (Bakersfield-Sacramen ...
The Toronto City Council Tuesday adopted a C$2.5 billion (US$2.4 billion) capital budget for 2011, 55% (about US$1.49 billion) which is targeted at acquiring buses, subway cars, and light rail vehicles  for its "Transit City&qu ...

A passenger rail package that passed the Florida House on Monday would create a new regional rail system for Central Florida (SunRail), provide annual funding for for the existing Tri-Rail system serving southeastern Florida, and authorize a new venture into high speed passenger rail.

In the state Senate, however, the bill barely survived its first committee vote, winning 5-4 after a pro-rail senator replaced a member of the Transportation Committee who was absent due to illness. On a tie vote the bill would have died. 

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The main provision of the bill would authorize the state to pay CSX Corp. $432 million for 61.5 miles of track for the long-planned SunRail regional passenger system serving Orlando and other points in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties. CSX would retain the right to operate freight trains on the line under stated conditions.

The bill would also require the state to pay an annual premium of about $2 billion for $200 million in liability insurance for SunRail.

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For Tri-Rail in southeastern Florida, the bill provides $13 million to $15 million in annual operating assistance.

Through earmarks totaling $2.5 billion over 30 years, mostly in federal funds, the bill would set into motion planning for a high speed rail system in the Tampa-Orlando-Miami corridor.

--> A passenger rail package that passed the Florida House on Monday would create a new regional rail system for Central Florida (SunRail), provide annual funding for for the existing Tri-Rail system serving southeastern Florida, and authorize a new ven ...

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has learned that revenue from a new payroll tax for transit will run about $200 million short of expectations, a development that MTA's chief financial officer, Gary Dellaverson, called "shocking" in an email message to board members.

The payroll tax is part of an MTA aid package that the state legislature put together last spring.

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Dellaverson said the agency was concerned "both because of the magnitude of the underrun (20%) and the late date of its discovery." An operating budget of around $10 billion is to be presented to the board for its approval next week. 

The MTA had to cope earlier with a reduction in the support it receives from an urban real estate that was hard hit by the recession. Dellaverson said in November that to close that gap it would need to tap $150 million in reserves.

--> The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has learned that revenue from a new payroll tax for transit will run about $200 million short of expectations, a development that MTA's chief financial officer, Gary Dellaverson, called "s ...

Amtrak says its ridership during the Thanksgiving Day week this year set an “all-time record,” with ridership up 4%  compared with the comparable period in 2008; ticket revenue rose 1% compared with the year-ago period.

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Amtrak says 685,876 trips took place between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30, generating $44.1 million in ticket revenue, which it claims is “the best weekly performance in company history.”  

“Once again, our performance illustrates the growing popularity of passenger rail service, which is a credit to our front line employees who operate a great railroad,” said Emmett Fremaux, vice president, Marketing and Product Development. “To outperform our previous ridership record from FY08, when gas prices were much higher, is a great accomplishment.”

“On behalf of the entire executive team, I want to thank every employee for their dedication to safety and customer service during such a busy time,” said President and CEO Joe Boardman.  

--> Amtrak says its ridership during the Thanksgiving Day week this year set an “all-time record,” with ridership up 4%  compared with the comparable period in 2008; ticket revenue rose 1% compared with the year-ago period. ...
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