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Freight traffic doldrums continue

U.S. freight traffic for the week ended March 14 fell 15% from the comparable week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported, though traffic was up 1.5% from the previous

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Indiana Rail Road to tap new coal business

The Indiana Rail Road Co. says it has signed an agreement with Peabody Energy to construct a 5.2-mile rail spur to Peabody’s new Bear Run Mine in Sullivan County, Ind., which it

St. Paul Council OKs Central Corridor LRT routing

The St. Paul, Minn., City Council Wednesday approved the proposed $914 million, 11-mile Central Corridor light rail line linking downtown St. Paul with Minneapolis and the existing Hiawatha Line LRT. The approval makes it more likely that the project will remain on schedule and also receive federal funding.

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Ward honored as Railroader of the Year

In front of a March 17 capacity crowd at Chicago’s Union League Club, CSX chief executive Michael J. Ward accepted Railway Age’s 2009 Railroader of the Year Award. During his acceptance speech,

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Obama Administration picks Szabo for top FRA post

President Obama late Wednesday, March 18, nominated Joe Szabo to head the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Szabo is the Illinois state legislative director of the United Transportation Union (UTU). Szabo is a

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Ontario offers grant to Thales Rail Signalling

Ontario is providing a C$12.8 million (US$10 million) grant to support a five-year investment by Thales Rail Signalling Solutions worth C$85 million (US$67 million) to improve the province’s rail transit signaling technology.

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Rail employment down 2.1% in 12 months

U.S. Class I railroads employed 159,511 workers in mid-January 2009, 2.11% fewer than in mid-January 2008, the Surface Transportation Board reported in new statistics posted Wednesday. The biggest decline was in the transportation (train

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UPS cites Kansas City Southern stellar performance

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, Inc. has recognized Kansas City Southern Railway Co. with an award for providing consistent, reliable service and achieving a perfect peak season for 2008. In the fourth quarter,

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Foam blocks added as part of TRAX bridge

Utah Transit Authority says its will begin installing a state-of-the-art bridge foundation made of 40-foot Geofoam blocks March 19, as part of its West Valley Light Rail line construction project. An inaugural ceremony

CSX goes “green” in Illinois

On St. Patrick’s Day, when many people are sporting the color green, CSX touted “green” by unveiling its first low-emission, fuel-efficient switcher locomotives deployed in Illinois.

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London’s Crossrail awards design contracts to Jacobs

Pasadena, Calif.-based Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., has been awarded design framework contracts by Crossrail Ltd. (CRL) for tunnels, shafts, and stations associated with a new rail line that will be built across London at an

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Francis P. Mulvey to head Surface Transportation Board

The Surface Transportation Board on March 17 announced that Vice Chairman Francis P. Mulvey has been named Acting Chairman of the agency by President Obama, succeeding former Chairman Charles D. Nottingham. Nottingham plans

GE Transportation wins $60 million Trenitalia contract

Italy’s Trenitalia has awarded a contract to GE Transportation worth an estimated $60 million for the design, supply, and installation of 400 onboard SSC (Sistema di Supporto alla Condotta) train-protection systems for passenger and freight diesel locomotives. Trenitalia is the operating company of Italian State Railways.

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Staten Island LRT study is upbeat

Systra Consulting Inc. has released some details of its ongoing study for light rail transit on Staten Island, in advance of the study’s completion, expected at the end of April. Systra is

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BNSF adds RailComm remote control derail system

BNSF’s Amarillo Yard in Texas has added RailComm’s automation system to control derails. RailComm’s outdoor-rated Operator Control Panel provides wireless remote control to severalbi-directional derail locations within the yard. Proximity Detection Loops

Federal funds back Milwaukee streetcar proposal

Federal funds may provide the fiscal spark for a streetcar line in Milwaukee denied the city by state and county planners. Wisconsin U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and David Obey, both Democrats, inserted language in the recently passed $410 billion federal omnibus spending bill identifying $91.5 million for Milwaukee, with roughly $55 million (60%) of that targeted for launching a streetcar project.

New Yorkers face steeper fares, deep service cuts

If the New York State Senate continues to balk at a plan to help the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority close a looming $1.2 billion budget gap, the agency’s millions of daily rail, subway, and bus riders face fare increases averaging 23% and deep cuts in service.

Flooding dampens debut of South Ferry Station

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened its $530 million new South Ferry Station in lower Manhattan to customers March 16 following the morning rush hour, with Gov. David Paterson the first official customer to pass through the station’s turnstiles.

Anacostia streetcar line construction looms

Three years after an initial construction attempt was aborted, the 1.3-mile Anacostia streetcar line in southeastern Washington, D.C., is nearing a construction start, according to the District Department of Transportation.

Austin rail debut (once again) faces a delay

The on-again/off-again scheduled debut of Austin, Tex.’s Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority service is off again, at least for regularly scheduled revenue service. Though a ceremonial launch is still slated for Saturday, March 28, regular service won’t commence until sometime in April.