The Phoenix Valley Metro’s Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project is on track to open in February 2025. The agency hosted U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg (at the podium) and Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez (seated) for the official FFGA signing on Nov. 19.

Valley Metro Earns FFGA for Light Rail Extension

Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Valley Metro celebrated the signing of a $158.1 million Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project on Nov. 19.

Using National Network and Northeast Corridor grants, Amtrak will make Americans with Disabilities Act, state-of-good-repair and track improvements at the Pennsylvanian-served station in Johnstown, one of Pennsylvania’s poorest cities.

Amtrak Commits $16MM to Pennsylvanian Route Station

Amtrak is investing $16 million to update the 105-year-old Johnstown Station, which is served by the Pennsylvanian, a PennDOT-supported route between New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

“We’re proud to support these [90] great projects that will improve infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, make us safer, advance equity, and combat climate change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who announced the RAISE discretionary grants program recipients on Nov. 19.

USDOT Awards $1B in RAISE Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will distribute nearly $1 billion to 90 rail, transit, road and port projects through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program; California High-Speed Rail Authority and Genesee & Wyoming are among the grantees.

For Tom Prendergast, a New AECOM Role

AECOM has given Tom Prendergast a new role: New York Metro Executive, Design & Consulting Services business. Prendergast will be responsible for delivering projects across business lines and leading more than 3,000 staff within the states of New York and New Jersey.

GoRail: What IIJA Means for Railroads

On Nov. 15, President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), described by rail advocacy organization GoRail as “a momentous, bipartisan bill for fixing and improving U.S. roads, bridges, waterways, airports and other infrastructure systems, and reauthorizing surface transportation programs for the next five years.”

FRA Renews RSAC Charter

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has renewed the charter of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) for a two-year period. The renewed charter, or “recharter,” as FRA terms it, increases the number of represented organizations by three, from 23 to 26, and the number of individual voting members by 17, from 34 to 51.

Mountain Railways: Ground Zero for Canadian Climate Change (Updated—CP Building Back Fast!)

If there are no atheists in foxholes, then there should now be no climate skeptics left among Canadian railroaders, as they move rapidly on what they do best: rebuild to keep the trains running.

Long Appointed RSI Head

The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) has appointed Patricia Long as its new President. She assumes her role effective Nov. 29. Long and her family reside in the greater Washington D.C. area; she will operate out of RSI headquarters there.

For TEXRail and Amy Anderson, a First

Amy Anderson, who started her rail transit career on Trinity Metro’s TEXRail system as a conductor, is now the agency’s first woman engineer, operating Stadler FLIRT diesel-electric multiple units.

49 CFR Part 243 Training Costs: ROI Considerations

The costs railroads can save with simulation training recertifications are significant. Railroads have to meet recertification standards for FRA compliance, performing check-in training for safety reasons. However, if railroad workers aren’t able to accurately and immediately identify danger points, disaster is imminent.