Oklahoma Department of Transportation

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Okla., BIA Petition STB to Allow Emergency Operator for Blackwell Subdivision

The State of Oklahoma, by and through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the Blackwell Industrial Authority (BIA) have petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for an emergency order allowing the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, LLC (Rock Island) to provide local rail service on the Blackwell Subdivision, 35.3 miles of rail lines owned by ODOT and BIA and leased to the Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad Company (BNGR).

FRA Requiring BNGR to Discontinue Operation

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued an emergency order requiring Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad (BNGR), a Class III railroad headquartered in Blackwell, Okla., to “discontinue operation of all trains, locomotives and any other on-track rail vehicles or equipment under any circumstances,” stating that the short line is operating with “a complete disregard for the safety of the public.”

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have received federal approval to raise speeds from 90 mph to up to 110 mph for most of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, primarily between the Joliet and Alton stations. (Amtrak Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, Metrolinx, NYMTA, TransLink

Amtrak can now operate up to 110 mph through most of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, and awaits approval of a federal grant to plan an Oklahoma City-Newton, Kans., connection. Also, Metrolinx offers a new way to pay for transit fares in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reports nearly $500 million in upgrades to Brooklyn’s Broadway Junction subway station complex, and could consider re-instating Twitter to publish service alerts; and TransLink ridership in Metro Vancouver rebounds in 2022.