Chicago’s Metra commuter rail agency on July 21 asked the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent Union Pacific from “taking planned steps that would degrade or halt” commuter rail service on the three lines—UP North, UP Northwest and UP West—the Class I railroad operates and maintains equipment under contract. Separately, Metra also asked the STB to rule on whether UP has a legal common-carrier obligation to provide commuter service. “UP maintains that it has no such obligation,” Metra said, adding that it “strongly disagrees” with UP’s position and that “settling that dispute is critical to determining how service will continue to operate on the lines and, more important, what it will cost the public.”
The Metra Board of Directors recently approved a $15.5 million contract for Railhead Corp. to install cameras inside the commuter railroad’s passenger cars.
Metra announced a record-breaking capital investment over the next five years. The financial boost comes with no increase in train fares.
THE FINANCIAL EDGE, MAY 2019 – In a recent TED talk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested that, in an attempt to combat abusive speech and harassment, Twitter would consider moving from threads written by individuals to topic threads. Dorsey suggested these interest networks would be easier to monitor for Twitter code of conduct breeches.
Metra on March 20 issued a request for proposals (RFP) for at least 200 new locomotive-hauled railcars, and the Chicago-area commuter railroad is allowing manufacturers to propose alternative designs that could reduce delays and suit Metra’s needs better than its bi-level gallery cars, some of which have been in service upwards of 70 years.
Chicago’s Metra has awarded a $70.9 million contract to Progress Rail for 15 remanufactured and repurposed diesel-electric locomotives to modernize its ageing fleet. The contract includes options for up to 27 additional units, which will be purchased if funding becomes available.
Work has begun on a project to modernize Chicago’s nearly 50-year-old Jefferson Park Blue Line Transit Center Terminal.
Chicago’s Metra will not raise fares in 2019, but could cut services beginning in 2020 if it doesn’t receive state funding.
Amtrak is on notice by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that should it discriminate against other railroads sharing access to Amtrak’s wholly owned Chicago Union Station (CUS), it could face regulatory discipline.
Officials in the Windy City want to unwind the nation’s most complicated railroad labyrinth.