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.

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Financial Edge: How is 2009 shaping up?

By Tony Kruglinski I don’t think it will be much of a stretch to tell you that nearly all of the questions I have been fielding lately have to do with the

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Rae named deputy FRA Administrator

Karen J. Rae, a transportation executive with nearly 30 years’ state and regional experience, has been named the Federal Railroad Administration’s Deputy Administrator. Rae is currently Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Planning

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Ansaldo STS gets Taipei Metro order

Ansaldo STS has received an order worth 220 million euros (284 million) to supply electromechanical equipment for the Taipei Metro in Taiwan’s capital. The project, which also includes AnsaldoBreda in the vehicles

Funds flow for Detroit’s M1-RAIL streetcar

Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority voted March 12 to contribute $9 million to help build M1-Rail, a proposed $120 million, 3.4-mile  streetcar route for Downtown Detroit that has incorporated details from two separate streetcar proposals.

As traffic stabilizes, re-reg concerns deepen

Railroad officers attending the JP Morgan Transportation conference in New York Wednesday expressed optimism that the slide in railroad traffic has been arrested, but in their presentations expressed deepening concern that re-regulation sentiment is growing in Congress and could slow railroad recovery.

March freight traffic: More lamb than lion

U.S. freight traffic completed the first week of March with an estimated volume of 29.2 billion ton-miles, off 13.9% from the comparable first week of March 2008, the Association of American Railroads reported. U.S. carload freight declined 15.0% for the week ended March 7 compared with the comparable period of one year ago, slipping 11.9% in the West and 19.5% in the East. U.S. intermodal volume declined 12.7% compared with year-ago levels.

Amtrak’s Boardman paints a bright picture

Following an infusion of $1.3 billion in capital (over and above the $13 billion over five years authorized last year) and indirect access to $8 billion in state-administered funds under President Obama’s economic stimulus program, Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman is faced with determining how best to invest this near-windfall within a relatively short time frame.

Arlington County presses streetcar preliminary design

Virginia’s Arlington County, west of Washington, D.C., is set to commit $3 million for environmental planning and preliminary design of the Columbia Pike Streetcar, expected to cost $120 million.  The county board is expected to approve the measure.

Antitrust bill “terrific,” says Obama nominee

Christine Barney, a former Federal Trade Commissioner who has been nominated by President Obama to be the chief antitrust enforcement officer at the Department of Justice, thinks legislation to take away the railroads’ remaining antitrust exemptions is “terrific.”

Grenade thrown at Kyiv rail station injures seven

An unknown assailant threw a handgrenade from a passing car into the Kyiv-Pasazhyrsky rail station in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine, early Wednesday morning, March 11, 2009, according to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Seven people were injured by the explosion, and were hospitalized, but no fatalities resulted, SBU said.

Bill to block Montana short line growth stalls

Montana House Bill 422, advanced by those seeking to weigh down short line Tongue River Railroad’s efforts to extend its right-of-way to coal deposits, has stalled. The bill, backed by some state landowners and by environmentalists, seeks to make eminent domain procedures more difficult.

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STB approves Pan Am Southern transaction

The Surface Transportation Board on March 10 approved the formation of Pan Am Southern LLC, which Norfolk Southern Railway Company and Pan Am Railways, Inc. (including Pan Am subsidiaries Boston and Maine