MTA Metro-North Railroad

At 1:19 p.m. on Feb. 2, Grand Central Terminal’s 110th anniversary train—a local Metro-North Railroad train from Stamford, Conn., to Grand Central—arrived on Track 27. MTA officials greeted passengers and distributed commemorative stickers. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA)

Happy 110th, Grand Central Terminal!

New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials on Feb. 2 celebrated the 110th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, just days after it became the expanded house of the two busiest commuter railroads in the country, Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

Ahead of future service between Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, La., Amtrak engineers and conductors will soon begin required “familiarization” trips to learn the route’s physical characteristics.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MTA Metro-North, Tri-Rail

Amtrak advances crew training for Mobile-to-New Orleans intercity passenger rail service. Also, Connecticut lawmakers eye electrification of MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Danbury Branch; and south Florida’s Tri-Rail commuter railroad saw January ridership grow 30% over the same month last year.

New York MTA’s Metro-North Penn Station Access Project would bring MTA Metro-North commuter rail service to Penn Station and Manhattan’s west side, along Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line on the Northeast Corridor (artist’s rendering shown).

Transit Briefs: Brightline, NYMTA, OCTA, SacRT, SCVTA

Ahead of service to Orlando, train testing of up to 110 mph continues for Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad. Also, New York MTA’s Metro-North Penn Station Access Project faces delays; Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Metrolink unveil track and station improvements in Anaheim, Calif.; Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) in California begins station modifications to accommodate new LRVs from Siemens Mobility; and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) offers limited-edition trading cards.

In Massachusetts, the Joint Committee on Transportation on Jan. 3 released a report recommending that MBTA be charged with subway and bus operations only, not Commuter Rail, ferry and construction services, according to the Boston Herald.

Transit Briefs: MBTA, Metro-North, BART

A new Massachusetts Legislature report recommends changing Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) structure, leaving it in charge of subway and bus operations only. Also, MTA Metro-North Railroad marks its 40th anniversary; and San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) teams with Rapido Trains, Inc., to produce 1:87 (HO) scale models of the BART legacy cars.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Dec. 29 announced that construction work on the Hudson River rail tunnel project connecting Penn Station New York and New Jersey will commence “in the coming months on the Manhattan side,” according to the New York Daily News. (Amtrak Photo)

Transit Briefs: Gateway, LIRR, SMART

Construction on the Hudson River rail tunnels, part of the Gateway Program in New York and New Jersey, will advance with a $292 million Mega grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Also, MTA Long Island Rail Road’s Grand Central Madison will not open by the end of the year, as planned; and California’s Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will receive $1.8 million in Community Project Funding under the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 23.

Starting in 2023, the MTA says it is working to implement operating efficiencies yielding $100 million in savings in 2023 and rising to $416 million in savings by 2026.

NYMTA Sets 2023 Budget, Major Projects

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Dec. 21 that it has approved its 2023 budget and four-year financial plan; is taking action to reduce costs of capital projects, including Second Avenue Subway and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Third Track; and is awarding a $382 million contract for the Metro-North Park Avenue Viaduct rehabilitation project.

MTA Photo

Transit Briefs: NYMTA, DART, MBTA, CATS

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) transition to “tap and go” payment system, One Metro New York (OMNY), may take until June 2025. Also, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will provide free transportation to polling locations on Nov. 8; the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) expands Pay-Per-Use limited fare program to local employers; and the City of Charlotte approves $14.8 million to expand Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) rail yard.

Gov. Hochul, MTA Chief Executive Officer Janno Lieber, and Demetrius Crichlow, Senior Vice President of NYCT Subways tour a 7 train with newly installed high- resolution security cameras at the Corona Maintenance Facility in Queens, Tuesday Sept. 20, 2022. Eventually, all 6,500-plus subway cars in the NYCT system will be outfitted with two high resolution video cameras to ensure safety for straphangers. (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Transit Briefs: NYMTA, LA Metro, OKC Streetcar, RTD, Boston’s South Station, Metro-North, LIRR

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to install security cameras in every subway car. Also, LA Metro releases new photos of the K Line’s Hyde Park Station artwork; the OKC Streetcar reaches one million rider milestone; the Regional Transportation District (RTD) closes financial transaction reducing its annual debt service by more than $144 million over 200 years; officials celebrate the next chapter in the redevelopment of Boston’s South Station; and Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will get their own police detail.