Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority on June 14 held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of its West Portal facility, the future location of the Santa Clara Station and Newhall Yard & Maintenance Facility, and the site where the Tunnel Boring Machine will be assembled and launched to bore the five-mile underground tunnel for the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project. (SCVTA Photograph)

Transit Briefs: DART, Denver RTD, SCVTA, SEPTA, Valley Rail

Dallas (Tex.) Area Rapid Transit (DART) eyes fare structure changes. Also, Denver (Colo.) Regional Transportation District CEO earns a Women in Business Award; California’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) celebrates the West Portal groundbreaking for its BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) advances a subway station accessibility project; and construction kicks off for the Valley Rail program in California.

“The concentrated wind gusts at this location coming out of Abo Canyon [in New Mexico] have caused problems in the past,” reports Craig Rasmussen, BNSF Assistant Vice President of Engineering, Services and Structure. “Installing the wind screen will help by lowering the wind impact against the side of trains, which will help keep trains safely flowing through the area.” (BNSF Photograph)

Class I Briefs: BNSF, CN

BNSF crews install fencing at the Abo Canyon mountain pass to mitigate wind speed and boost safety. Also, CN Police signs the 30×30 Initiative pledge to add more women to the policing ranks.

Amtrak has released its 10th Sustainability Report, disclosing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities during FY 2023, from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023 (Photograph by Mike Armstrong for Amtrak)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MARTA, MBTA

Amtrak issues a Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Sustainability Report, detailing its progress to Net-Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. Also, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) adopts FY 2025 operating and capital budgets; and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) delays the launch of South Coast Rail.

(Courtesy of TSB)

TSB Releases Final Transportation Occurrence Stats for 2023

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has published its final annual statistical summaries from 2023 on transportation occurrences (accidents and incidents) in the rail, air, marine, and pipeline sectors, showing accidents were down from the previous year for all sectors but air.

Metra, Union Pacific, state, and local officials cut the ribbon to officially open the new Peterson/Ridge Station in Chicago. (Metra Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Metra, NJT

Metra launches its long-awaited commuter rail station in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Also, New Jersey Transit (NJT) advances its Brick Church Station modernization and Brielle Drawbridge replacement projects.

(Top) Last year, members of UP’s Engineering Department met to discuss safety accomplishments and opportunities to continue reinforcing a “safety mindset.” The nearly 600-member group—including employees in Tucson, Ariz., (bottom left) and Tucumcari, N.Mex. (bottom right)—recently marked one year injury-free. (Caption and Photographs Courtesy of UP)

Class I Briefs: UP, CPKC, CN

Union Pacific’s (UP) Southwest Maintenance-of-Way team reaches a safety milestone. Also, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) distributes iPads to conductors; and CN celebrates Pride month (June) with specially designed containers.

(TSA Logo)

TSA: STSAC Member Applications Welcome

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is seeking candidates to serve on its Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee (STSAC), whose mission is to provide advice, consultation, and recommendations on “improving surface transportation security

Atlas (pictured) is a 12-axle U.S. Department of Energy-designed railcar for transporting shipments of spent nuclear fuel weighing up to 480,000 pounds (240 tons). The $33 million project took 10 years to complete. (DOE Photograph)

Watch: Atlas Cleared for Operation

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) Equipment Engineering Committee (EEC) has certified the Atlas railcar system to run on all major U.S. freight railroads, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy, which developed it to transport the nation’s commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste weighing up to 480,000 pounds (240 tons).