After being buffeted for years by fiscal concerns and by diverse opinion and critique enveloping the overall rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center site, the site’s Transportation Hub final design has been unveiled by architect Santiago Calatrava. A model of the design will be on display through Aug. 31 at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York, as part of an exhibition entitled, "Santiago Calatrava: World Trade Center Transportation Hub."
The Transportation Hub will serve the Port Authority’s PATH bistate rapid transit line, and serve as an access point for numerous subway lines operated by MTA New York City Transit.
The final design has emerged from a torturous political process launched in late 2003, as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey selected Downtown Design Partnership, a joint venture of DMJM + Harris, STV Group Inc., and Parsons Transportation in association with Santiago Calatrava S.A. to design the facility, as part of the larger effort in lower Manhattan to rebuild on (and under) Ground Zero.
Calatrava’s glass and steel structure allows natural light to flood the Transportation Hub during the day; at night the illuminated building will serve as a lantern for the plaza and the (still undetermined number of) office towers surrounding it. The roof of the Hub's freestanding structure will be fitted with an operable skylight located along the central axis. During good weather, and on September 11th each year, the skylight will open, providing the interior space with a slice of sky and its natural light.
In a statement, Calatrava said, “In its revised state the project retains all of its fundamental beauty and functionality.” He added, "It is my hope that the Transportation Hub will serve generations of commuters, subway riders, pedestrians, and local residents well into the years to come."
Flouting traditional routes taken by most state departments of transportation, Maryland transportation officials are emphasizing financing the proposed 16-mile Purple Line light rail project, traversing the northern Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., while demoting two “major” road projects in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Choosing the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. 2009 Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., as its announcement stage, GE Transportation on Tuesday said it has launched the Connection line of Positive Train Control-compliant products for rail networks operating in the United States.
The Erie, Pa.-based subsidiary of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. said the PTC-compliant line was in response to passage last October of the Rail Safety Improvement Act, which mandates PTC for most major rail routes throughout the U.S., and for all rail routes handling a mix of freight and passenger rail traffic.
GE said the Connection line addresses four issues railroads must prevent with a PTC system: train-to-train collisions; “over speed” derailments; incursions into established work zone limits; and movement of a train through a switch left in the improper position.
In a statement, GE Transportation said, “This means upgrades for approximately 100,000 miles of track, close to 90% of the total rail network, and 17,000 locomotives to make North American railroads PTC ready. Today, there are more than 100,000 wayside signal devices alone on rail lines throughout the U.S. and Canada. In some cases, larger railroads will need to add PTC functionality to several wayside locations per day, every day, just to meet the mandate within the specified timeframe.”
On Monday, GE Transportation unveiled its Evolution® Series locomotive Model ES44C4.
House Resolution [H.R.} 233, the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009, currently being considered by Congress, would damage the public interest and severely distort the relationship between regulation and antitrust laws, the Association of American Railroads said Tuesday.
CSX Transportation has chosen RailComm to to provide awireless remote control yard system at the Class I carrier’s Tilford Yard inAtlanta. The RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System will provideremote control to 17 GETS HydraSwitch machines and a crossing gate.
RailComm’sDOC® system will be configured to control all switches individually as well asprovide eNtrance eXit (NX) routing functionality.
RailComm’s 2.4 GHz RADiANTTM data radios will provide awireless communications network to link the office with the fieldlocations.
Mesa, Ariz., has approved a 2.7-mile extension of Valley Metro light rail into the city’s downtown retail district along Main Street.
The City Council backed the route despite concerns from some property owners and businesses seeking seeking alternate routes to the $194 million project; supporters of the Main Street route noted a reroute via either First Street or First Avenue, each one block away from Main Street, would add at least $17 million to the cost.
Both Valley Metro and the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council must also approve the proposal, with both entities expected to bestow their blessing.
Funding for the project comes from a half-cent sales tax that Maricopa County residents approved in 2004, along with federal matching funds. Construction is set to begin in 20122, with revenue service beginning in 2015.
Valley Metro, which opened in the waning days of 2008, crosses into Mesa from neighboring Phoenix, but the line’s eastern terminus falls short of the city’s primary business district. Mesa city officials, and even many opponents to the selected route, have made clear their desire for an LRT extension despite their differences, in contrast to other Phoenix-area municipalities, such as Glendale, which have balked at LRT proposals.