Federal funding requests have been submitted for planning the return of Amtrak service between Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis, Ind.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, Bi-State Development, Metra, Metrolinx, Sound Transit

Will Amtrak service connecting Louisville, Indianapolis and Chicago return? Also, Bi-State Development advances the Jefferson Alignment MetroLink Expansion project in St. Louis, Mo.; Chicago’s Metra schedules Operation Lifesaver safety blitzes for 2023; Metrolinx installs traction power substations along Ontario’s future Hazel McCallion Line (formerly known as the Hurontario LRT project); and Seattle’s Sound Transit will receive millions in low-interest loans to support construction of the Hilltop Tacoma Link extension and a station along the Lynnwood Link extension.


Amtrak Adirondack Returning to the Rails

Amtrak’s New York City-Montreal Adirondack train, the only Amtrak service that was discontinued because of the COVID virus and has not returned yet, is coming back. Its first northbound run from Penn

(Amtrak Photograph)

Amtrak Releases G&L Annual Report, FY24 Grant Request

Amtrak has issued its Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 General and Legislative (G&L) Annual Report for Congress, in which it seeks $3.65 billion in total grant funding, including $1.70 billion for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and $1.95 billion for the National Network (NN). This is consistent with the FY24 annual appropriations authorized under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

(Photograph Courtesy of VIA Rail Canada)

Canada’s Auditor General Issues Accessible Transportation Report

While VIA Rail Canada, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the Canadian Transportation Agency have “taken steps to identify and remove some of the barriers faced by travelers with disabilities, many remain,” concludes a report released March 27 by Canada’s Office of the Auditor General. Transport Canada responds.

MBTA photo

Transit Briefs: MBTA, LA Metro, NYMTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announces Safety First program for South Coast Rail (SCR). Also, LA Metro approves hiring of Transit Security Officers, law enforcement contract negotiations and policies to improve safety for rail and bus riders; and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will receive $2 million in federal funds to expand a program that helps visually impaired riders, as well as commuters with limited English proficiency, navigate public transit.

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TCU & Shop-Craft Coalition Reaches Tentative Agreement With Amtrak

The TCU & Shop-Craft Coalition, which is comprised of the SMART-Mechanical Department (MD), the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), National Conference of Firemen & Oilers SEIU 32BJ (NCFO), International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Transport Workers Union (TWU), American Railway Airline Supervisor Association (ARASA), International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) and the Transportation Communications Union (TCU), announced March 23 that it has reached a tentative agreement with Amtrak to “settle each organization’s respective Section 6 notices for this round of bargaining.”

Sound Transit’s proposed 7.1-mile extension from downtown Seattle to Ballard includes nine new stations between the Chinatown-International District and Market Street and a new rail-only tunnel through downtown Seattle.

Transit Briefs: Sound Transit, WMATA

Seattle’s Sound Transit identifies the preferred alternative for the Ballard Link light rail extension and will conduct Rainier Valley safety improvements in partnership with the city’s transportation department using a $2 million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Also, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) police department launches a Body-Worn Camera Program.

Phillip Eng, incoming General Manager, MBTA

Phillip Eng to Lead MBTA

Former MTA Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng is heading to Boston. On April 10, he will become the next General Manager of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Massachusetts Gov. Maura T. Healey, Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll and Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca reported March 27.

First Look: Brightline’s Basecamp

Brightline on March 27 showcased Basecamp, the private-sector passenger railroad’s 135,805-square-foot state-of-the-art train maintenance facility in Orlando, Fla., which has begun commissioning new Brightline trains and servicing existing trains.