Rail Safety Week Initiatives Accelerate (UPDATED)

As Rail Safety Week (RSW) (Sept. 19-25), a collaborative effort among Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), state OLI programs and rail safety partners across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, continues to be observed, North American carriers and organizations are mobilizing to raise awareness about rail safety and to help stop track tragedies during this annual week-long event. Here is a roundup of the week’s initiatives.

Metrolink's discount program will be available for one year or until the grant funds are depleted.

Transit Briefs: Metrolink, WMATA, Valley Metro, MDOT, Metrolinx, LA Metro

Metrolink launches discount program for low-income train riders. Also, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s newly improved Orange Line stations will reopen on schedule featuring platform and customer upgrades; Valley Metro’s South Central Extension/Downtown Hub is halfway to the goal line; the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) releases $19.9 billion draft six-year capital budget plan; new reserved bike rooms are opening at five of Metrolinx’s GO stations; and LA Metro releases final limited edition TAP cards featuring rider portraits.

Amtrak will likely provide the intercity service on the proposed Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Service.

Proposed L.A.-Indio Passenger Rail Service Makes Headway

A plan for new passenger rail service that would span approximately 144 miles, linking the City of Coachella with Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS), has taken another step forward following a public

Environmental approval of the CHSRA’s San Jose to Merced project section through the Pacheco Pass will be considered at the its April 27-28 Board meeting.

CHSRA Advances Wildlife Protection Project

A $3.125 million California Wildlife Conservation Board grant will fund the planning, design, environmental review and permitting of a proposed wildlife overcrossing spanning State Route 152, near the San Jose to Merced high-speed rail project section, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) reported on April 19.

Three Los Angeles County area transit projects will receive a total of $39.3 million from CTC, including $27.8 million for new LA Metro LRVs.

CTC Allocates $27.8MM for LA Metro LRVs

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated $27.8 million for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) purchase of new light rail vehicles, as part of a $924 million investment to improve state transportation infrastructure.

The Short-Line Railroad Improvement Program provides funds to short-line railroad infrastructure projects “intended to improve freight mobility, volume thresholds and support modern rail freight traffic and the communities and industries they serve throughout California.” (BNSF)

CTC Allocates $6.45MM for Short Line Improvement Projects

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) will distribute $6.45 million to seven short line railroad infrastructure projects.

SJRRC will provide up to 50% off regular ACE commuter rail tickets to qualified riders as part of a one-year pilot program.

SJRRC Caps Fares With CAP

California’s San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) has launched the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) Community Assistance Program (CAP) as a one-year pilot “to address equity and enhance regional mobility.”

$100MM TCEP Grant For Stockton Diamond Grade Separation

A $237 million highway/rail grade separation project on what is described as “the busiest, most congested at-grade rail junction and rail bottleneck in California” has been awarded a $100 million TCEP (Trade Corridor Enhancement Program) grant from the California Transportation Commission (CTC).

First CalMod EMU on Test Track

As part of the Caltrain Modernization (CalMod) Program, Caltrain recently placed the first EMU (electric multiple-unit) trainset from Stadler Rail on the 25KV-electrified test track at the builder’s Salt Lake City manufacturing facility.

HNTB adds Chandran as project director, VP

HNTB Corporation has brought on C. Yoga Chandran, PhD, PE, GE, as a project director and vice president in Southern California.