The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report for the investigation of Norfolk Southern’s (NS) July 6, 2023, coal train derailment near Elliston, Va. The agency said future activity will focus on the wheelset and reconditioned bearings of the 71st railcar of the 105-car train; NS’s use of hot bearing detectors (HBD); and NS’s operating rules for defective equipment detectors.
Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
LA Metro continues to increase ridership with weekend riders driving growth. Also, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors approves new fare structure and equity analysis; ridership on the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority’s (VPRA) Amtrak Virginia service reaches all-time high; an early decommission of Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) line is possible following derailment; and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognizes HDR with 2023 Sustainability Commitment Award.
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is testing “no standing” zones on New York City Transit (NYCT) subway platforms to help eliminate rider assaults on conductors. Also, Seattle’s Sound Transit is beginning simulated service on the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension; Jacobs will deliver general engineering consulting services for passenger rail under the Transforming Rail in Virginia infrastructure program; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) mulls expansion options.
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) can now perform expanded commuter railcar and locomotive maintenance onsite at its new Lifecycle Overhaul and Upgrade (LOU) facility in Spotsylvania County, Va.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) completes renovation of the J/Z line section of the Sutphin Avenue JFK Airport subway station, as part of New York City Transit’s (NYCT) Re-NEW-vation campaign. Also, LA Metro launches Equity Information Hub; and the State of Virginia partners with Amtrak, CSX and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) on the Long Bridge project.
The Maryland Department of Transportation – Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) on April 13 signed framework agreements with Delaware Transit Corp. and Virginia Passenger Rail Authority for the potential future expansion of MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) Train service to Newark, Del., and Alexandria, Va.
Virginia’s New River Valley Passenger Rail Service Extension and Newport News Transportation Center projects will receive a combined $3.2 million in federal funding to move forward, the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) reported on Jan. 17.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has asked Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to resubmit 12 corrective action plans addressing required safety improvements. Also, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ) has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to replace AirTrain Newark with a new 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will offer Central Subway system riders wireless connectivity; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) form a strategic alliance; Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak celebrated 10 years of service between Norfolk and Washington, D.C.; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) long-awaited Potomac Yard Station is slated to open in May 2023.
Engineering, planning and consulting services firm Michael Baker International announced Nov. 17 that it has been selected by CSX, which operates more than 2,000 miles of track throughout the state of Virginia, to lead program and construction management for significant rail enhancement projects as part of the Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) initiative.
Amtrak’s Virginia route ridership hit record highs last month. Also, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) in Texas are launching a joint rail operations facility; Metrolinx is employing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design on its Finch West light rail transit (LRT) project in northwest Toronto; Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) riders can sit back and read on the new Library Train in California; and the Fare Ambassador program at Sound Transit in Seattle, Wash., is now permanent.