Starting May 21, a second daily Amtrak train will be offered between St. Paul and Chicago, via Milwaukee, the state-sponsored Borealis, whose name “was determined in a collaborative process,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Railway Age. “It is a reference to the north direction, in Latin.” (Amtrak Map)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NYMTA, SMART, WMATA

A second daily Amtrak train is launching between St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago, via Milwaukee, Wis., the state-supported Borealis. Also, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) unveil the Fair Fares pilot program; Northern California’s Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) logs record commuter rail ridership; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) announce a transit planning initiative for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s SEBconnect online portal and app connects small and emerging business owners in real-time with available contracting, purchasing and new business opportunities at the Convention Center, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and the Port of New Orleans.
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Small-Road Briefs: NOPB/Port NOLA, SMART

New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) and the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) join New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s online portal and app that connects small and emerging businesses with available contracting and purchasing opportunities. Also, SMART Freight in California mulls a return to storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank cars.

Brightline, South Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad, has received proposals from the city of Fort Pierce and Audubon Development and a joint proposal from the city of Stuart and Marin County to host new stations along the Treasure Coast, a region comprising Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties. (Brightline Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Brightline, PATH, Rail Runner Express, SMART

Florida cities submit Treasure Coast passenger rail station proposals to Brightline. Also, Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit in New York and New Jersey achieves record ridership in November; New Mexico’s Rail Runner Express makes permanent its monthly commuter rail fare discount; and Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will allow young people and seniors to ride free.

SMART East-West Rail Corridor Receives Federal Boost

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) announced Dec. 18 that its east-west rail corridor, connecting the City of Novato to Suisun City, has been designated for inclusion under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) program.

Screenshot Courtesy of SMART, via YouTube

Transit Briefs: SMART, Sound Transit, Project Connect, SEPTA, CTA

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) celebrates the groundbreaking of its Petaluma North Station. Also, Sound Transit expects to finish the planning phase for its West Seattle Light Rail Extension in 2024; Project Connect expects to wrap its initial light rail environmental review by next fall; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Transit Police vote to strike after rejecting the latest contract from the agency; and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) introduces “Innovation Studio” to address public transit challenges.

Amtrak on Sept. 21 celebrated the $1.4 million renovation of its Missouri River Runner-served station in Jefferson City. (Amtrak Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MBTA, NYMTA, SMART

Amtrak completes $1.4 million station-accessibility upgrade project in Jefferson City, Mo. Also, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) schedules fall service shutdowns for maintenance work; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reports post-pandemic subway ridership records and releases a Request for Information for subway platform cooling technologies; and Petaluma, Calif., receives $30.2 million for affordable housing at the future Petaluma North SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) Station.

On June 26, 2023, a CSX conductor trainee was killed during a shoving movement at the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore, Md. Shown above: an illustrated aerial view of the accident scene. (Source: Google Earth; Courtesy of NTSB)

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on Shove Movement Investigation Following Trainee Fatality

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report for its ongoing investigation of the June 26, 2023, accident involving a CSX conductor trainee, who was killed while riding the lead railcar during a shoving movement at the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore, Md. The terminal is managed by Ports America, and the track is owned and inspected by Canton Railroad.

MTA photo

Transit Briefs: NYMTA, VIA Rail, SMART, DART

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces 14 additional subway stations to be refurbished as part of New York City Transit’s (NYCT) Re-NEW-Vation Program and adds a second R211 train to the A Line. Also, VIA Rail Canada’s (VIA Rail) new President and CEO Mario Peloquin announces plans to renew trains 82 and 83; the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) secures critical funding for construction of extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg; and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) introduces new GoPass Tap Card retail network.

Pictured, left to right: Dana Salloum, Alstom; Lee Caragiale and Mike Washington, HDR; and Michael Coleman, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.
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People News: Alstom, HDR, SMART

Alstom elevates Dana Salloum to Chief Communications Officer. Also, HDR adds Lee Caragiale and Mike Washington to its Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice team; and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) elects Michael Coleman as General President.