Breaking News

The Fiscal Year 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program will fund projects that address safety at highway-rail grade crossings (and deter illegal trespassing), and expand, upgrade or rehabilitate railroad track, switches, and yard and station facilities to increase performance and service delivery.

U.S. DOT Awards $320.6 Million for Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Projects (Updated)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it is distributing $320.6 million to 50 projects that improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of freight rail and intercity passenger service in 29 states.

RTD N Line Phase 1 Bridges Denver With Thornton

Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) inaugurated the 13-mile Phase 1 section of its 18.5-mile North Metro Rail (N Line) commuter railway on Sept. 21. The line connects Denver Union Station via Commerce City and Northglenn to 124th Avenue in Thornton, and offers an end-to-end trip time of 29 minutes. The north-south line also features five stations and 2,480 dedicated park-and-ride spaces along the route, as well as the two-mile Skyway Bridge, the longest bridge in Colorado.

Week 38: Intermodal Saves the Day—Sort Of

Intermodal gains mostly offset carload declines for U.S. and North American freight rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 19, 2020, reducing the weekly decline to less than 2%, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on Sept. 23. Traffic for the year’s first 38 weeks was still down significantly compared to 2019, however.

The North Carolina DOT (pictured) has received a grant to purchase right-of-way that will help it provide future high-speed rail service to the Southeast. It is one of many recently announced as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Another Step Closer to North Carolina/Virginia HrSR

A $47.55 million grant has been awarded to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the purchase of CSX’s S-Line rail corridor from Raleigh to Ridgeway, N.C., near the Virginia state line, which will eventually contribute to higher-speed rail (HrSR) service to the Southeast.

Rail Safety Week Kicks Off—Virtually

Social media and virtual messaging is spreading the word for Rail Safety Week (Sept. 21-27) due to the pandemic. The #STOPTrackTragedies campaign is encouraging safe behavior near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way, and raising awareness of the need for rail safety education.

Opinion

Rail Recovery Lags U.S. Economic Pace – But Merchandise Carloads Are Recovering

Railroads are fundamentally directly involved in heavy manufacturing, resource commodities, energy and industrial production. Not so much e-commerce—at least not as direct movers and organizers. With that in mind, let’s examine how the railroad merchandise carload traffic pattern looks more than halfway through the third quarter of 2020.

Rail Safety Week and Infrastructure Investments Go Hand in Hand

As a lifelong railroader, I’m especially pleased to join Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) and others across the nation in observing Rail Safety Week (RSW). In addition to Canada, this year we also welcome our colleagues in Mexico in helping all of us in North America to raise the profile of rail safety awareness.

Are Intermodal’s “Green Shoots” Signs of Recovery?

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE: The rail industry continues to twist as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. To say that the length of the pandemic either has or will exceed most people’s initial expectations would be an understatement. So as the market continues to scuffle along, “Financial Edge” tried to look for some “green shoots” to provide some sense that there will be a return to normalcy sometime in the future.

In Defense of the FRA

I don’t often feel the need to defend our industry’s regulator, the Federal Railroad Administration. Part of that is me. Like many who have stumbled into a career in this industry (and I literally stumbled my way into railroad employment, half-blinded and three-quarters frozen by a blizzard in Chicago), I’ve always had a problem with authority. Not that I begrudge anyone his or her authority, title, rate of pay—any of that stuff. I just don’t like other people telling me what to do, and I positively hate it when others think they need to tell me what to do.

Fourth in a Series: Amtrak’s Impossible Demands

Time is running out for daily operation of Amtrak’s long-distance trains. It could also be running out for the very concept that a train could provide reliable transportation between far-flung communities every day, with same-day connections to other trains, at least in this country. With various exceptions, this has been the basis of Amtrak’s long-distance train network for the first 49 years and five months of its corporate existence, as well as for nearly 140 years before Amtrak began operations in 1971.