A Trojan Horse of a different color

Way back in the day … I’m talking way back like 2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was about to award some eager, bright, inquiring minds some money to do a study of the challenges and problems of PTC implementation on commuter railroads. The purpose of the study was to identify these challenges, and develop some iteration of “best practices” that might be of help to other properties facing the challenge of PTC implementation.

HrSR coming to Illinois

Amtrak should begin higher-speed rail (HrSR) service between Chicago and St. Louis this summer, the result of a $2 billion project that is in the final phase of construction.

DOT approves Brightline PAB

Brightline, the in-process South Florida private passenger service operator, announced the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $1.15 billion Private Activity Bond allocation, and that Brightline also secured the final two South Florida Water Management District permits needed to construct the planned high-speed segment between Orlando and Cocoa.

Schumer a thorn in Thune’s side—again

On. Dec. 21, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.Dak.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, took to the Senate floor to voice his support and call on his colleagues for unanimous consent to confirm the nomination of Ronald Batory as Federal Railroad Administrator. Once again, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) played the spoiler.

MTA Genius Transit Challenge finalists selected

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Dec. 21 announced the names of 19 finalists for the agency’s “GeniusTransit Challenge,” an international competition launched in May “that seeks to identify innovative solutions to increase the capacity and improve the reliability of New York City’s subway service.”

Amtrak 501 Wreck

Remember that?

Anybody else here old enough to remember all the way back to June 2, 2015?

TTC Extension Map

TTC Line 1 extension opens

On Dec. 15, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, Toronto Transit Commission CEO Andy Byford and other officials to open the TTC’s 8.6 km (5.3-mile) Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) of the Line 1 Yonge-University subway to the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. The extension opened to the public on Dec. 17.

Pascal Baran

Keolis, MBTA driving toward drones

Drones (formally called UAS, for “Unmanned Aerial System”) are becoming an important tool in railroad engineering and maintenance. Keolis Commuter Services, which operates regional/commuter rail for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, is among the latest to adopt the technology.

UPDATED DEC. 20: Overspeed cause of Amtrak Cascades fatal derailment

Three people were killed and more than 70 were injured as an Amtrak Cascades train derailed early Dec. 18 while traversing a curve leading into an overpass at Interstate 5 southwest of Tacoma, Wash., sending a locomotive and passenger cars crashing onto the highway below.

LIRR 3rd track project goes to 3TC

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) board has approved a $1.8 billion design-build contract for 3rd Track Constructors (3TC) to complete work on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) expansion project.