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POWER OUTAGE HALTS RAIL SERVICE IN TORONTO-HAMILTON AREA OF ONTARIO: A power outage at the CN Rail traffic control certer affecting VIA, Go Transit, and CN rail freight in the Toronto and Hamilton area of Ontario halted trains early Febr. 24. [680News website report, 2-24-17]

COMPUTER FAILURE SNARLS RAIL TRAFFIC AT UNION STATION CHICAGO: 'Computer signaling problems' at Chicago's Union Station early Febr. 24 snarled trains during morning rush-hour. Switches were handled manually, resulting in significant delays and a backup of traffic. [NBC Chicago website report, 2-24-17]

CONNECTICUT OK'S $50-M FOR CTRAIL HARTFORD RAIL LINE: Connecticut will provide $50-million in additional funding for the planned New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter-rail project, which is known as the CTrail Hartford line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-24-17]

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS ISSUED FOR TORONTO UNION STATION PROJECT: A request for qualifications for Toronto's Union Station enhancement project has been issued by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx. The project involves designing, constructing and financing the project for expansion of GO Transit. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-24-17]

ALSTOM LANDS GERMAN ORDER FOR FIVE CORADIA LINT DIESEL MULTIPLE-UNITS: Alstom has received an order from Germany's Bentheim Railways for five Coradia Lint diesel multiple-units as part of a project to restore passengers services on the 17.4-mile Bad Bentheim-Nordhorn-Neuenhaus line in Lower Saxony. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-24-17]

CLASS I R.R. EMPLOYMENT DROPPED IN JANUARY: Class I railroads in the U.S. employed 148,427 workers as of mid-January 2017, down 1.19 pct compared with mid-December 2016, and down 5.22 pct with year-ago figures, the Surface Transportation Board said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-23-17]

RENOVATIONS COMPLETED AT SACRAMENTO TRAIN STATION: A new and improved Sacramento Valley Amtrak station opened its doors Febr. 23. The $34-million project is a 'celebration of Sacramento's past and its future.' The redesign includes commercial space. [Capital Public Radio website report, 2-23-17]

FEDS GRANT $1.2-M TO NEWTON, MISSISSIPPI, RAIL ACCESS PROJECT: The U.S. Dept. of Commerce has awarded a $1.2-million grant to the city of Newton, Mississippi, to help expand rail access with a spur to the Newton Industrial park. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-23-17]

TUNNEL CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON TEL AVIV RED LINE: Tunnel boring on the Red line of the Tel Aviv metro started Febr. 19. Half of the 15-mile line will be underground. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-23-17]

CSX EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR BOARD NOMINATIONS TO MARCH 10: CSX has extended its deadline for board nominations once again, this time to March 10. The previous deadline was February 24. The move suggests the company may be continuing discussions with Paul Hilal's Mantle Ridge hedgefund, and wants more time. CSX has said that it wants shareholders to vote on the compensation and control demands Hilal and former Canadian Pacific CEO Hunter Harrison are making. In the meantime, current CSX CEO Michael Ward has announced plans to retire at the end of May. [Beloit Daily News website report, 2-22-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Rail freight traffic in the U.S. totaled 531,123 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 18, 2017, up 6.8 pct from the corresponding week in 2016, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 2-22-17]

BNSF PLAYING CATCHUP AFTER PACIFIC NORTHWEST WEATHER DISRUPTIONS: The major BNSF Northern corridor from the Upper Midwest is open and grain is moving to Pacific Northwest export facilities, although there remains a backlog of delayed shipments, BNSF said. [World-Grain website report, 2-22-17]

SOUND TRANSIT LIGHT-RAIL RIDERSHIP ROSE 65.8 PCT IN 2016: Sound Transit's Link light-rail ridership soared by 65.8 pct to more than 19 million total boardings in 2016, the agency reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-22-17]

COMMUTER RAIL MAKING PROGRESS IMPLEMENTING PTC: The American Public Transportation association says its members are making 'significant progress' toward implementing positive train-control, and are on schedule to meet the December 2018 deadline. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-22-17]

AMTRAK TO MOVE TO NEW HEADQUARTERS: Amtrak has signed a deal to shift its headquarters from D.C.'s Union Station to the National Guard Memorial Building, about a block away from the station. Amtrak will occupy four floors at the new location, beginning in the fall of 2017. [Washington Business Journal website report, 2-22-17]

FIRST REGIO 2N EMU FOR SUBURBAN PARIS NETWORK PRESENTED: The first of 42 Regio 2N double-deck electric multiple units for Transilien suburban network around Paris was presented Febr. 22. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-22-17]

TOP MANAGEMENT CHANGING AT CSX: Chairman and CEO Michael Ward, along with president Clarence Gooden, have both announced their retirement from CSX effective May 31. In the meantime, Fredrik Eliasson, chief sales and marketing officer, has been appointed CSX president effective February 15. He replaces Gooden who will assume the role of vice-chairman until his retirement. The changes are part of an 'orderly transition' of the company's senior leadership that the board of directors has been considering for more than a year, said CSX. The appointment of Eliasson as president is not intended to 'preempt or otherwise affect' any discussion CSX may continue to have with Hunter Harrison and Mantle Ridge regarding Harrison becoming the CEO at CSX, the company said. Eliasson, 46, has served as executive vice-president and chief sales and marketing officer since September 2015, where he is responsible for overseeing all customer service activities, growing rail-served markets and developing strategic plans for long-term revenue growth. He was previously CSX's chief financial officer from 2012 to 2015, and held several leadership roles across the company's finance and sales and marketing departments since joining CSX in 1995. [CSX, 2-21-17]

FOUR INJURED IN SEPTA COMMUTER TRAIN ACCIDENT: Officials are investigating an accident involving SEPTA trains early Febr. 21 in Upper Darby, Pa. The Market-Frankford line trains were traveling near the 69th street transportation center when the accident occurred. Reportedly, one of the trains rear-ended the other, and then the first train, which derailed, sideswiped a train running in the opposite direction. Four people were injured, one of them critically. [CBS Philadelphia website report, 2-21-17]

WABTEC REPORTS 2017 RESULTS: Wabtec reported sales for the year 2017 were $2.9-billion, with higher sales in the transit group more than offset by lower sales in the freight group. Income from operations was $458-million and net income was $313-million. [Railway Age website report, 2-21-17]

CSX PLANS TO LAY OFF 1,000 MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES: CSX plans to lay off roughly 1,000 management employees, mostly in Jacksoville, in March. The company announced the move Febr. 21 as the railroad faces pressure from hedge fund Mantle Ridge seeking to install Hunter Harrison as CEO. In the meantime, two of the company's top executives - Michael Ward and Clarence Gooden - have announced their retirement effective at at the end of May, and Fredrik Eliasson has been promoted to president. [ABC News website report, 2-21-17]

CONSTRUCTION IN MANHATTAN OF HUDSON RAIL TUNNEL TO LAST SEVEN YEARS: Construction activities in New York Citywill last seven years as Amtrak builds its train tunnel beneath the Hudson River, an official said Febr. 21. [Reuters website report, 2-21-17]

CP BRINGS BACK BEAVER IN UPDATED CORPORATE LOGO: The beaver is back at Canadian Pacific. The railway's latest logo incarnation, unveiled Febr. 21, restores the symbol of Canadian sovereignty to its corporate shield for the first time in a decade. [Calgary Herald website report, 2-21-17]

BNSF ANNOUNCES 2016 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RESULTS: BNSF says customers served by the company invested nearly $3.5-billion in 2016. These investments are expected to generate more than 3,000 new jobs in local communities, and this marks the sixth consecutive year that BNSF customers and local economic development organizations have invested more than $1-billion in a calendar year for new or expanded facilities. [BNSF, 2-21-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending February 19, 2017. The remaining 54 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 18 minutes late. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-20-17]

FEDS DEFER GRANTS FOR CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION: Caltrain has warned that the viability of its project to electrify the San Jose-San Francisco line may be in jeopardy after U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao ordered the Federal Transit Administration to deter federal funding for the project. The FTA says the grants were being deferred until the Trump administration develops its budget for FY-2018. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-20-17]

CERTAIN MINNESOTA LAWMAKERS LOOK TO TRANSFER RAIL FUNDING TO ROADS: A $1.9-billion rail-line extension project in Minnesota was recently granted $929-million in federal funding, and some lawmakers in the state want that money used for road and bridge work instead. A resolution has been introduced, and, if approved, the state would ask the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to allow the transfer. [Star Tribune website report, 2-20-17]

MAN KILLED, ANOTHER INJURED AS TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN N.C.: A man was killed and another man was injured early Febr. 19 in Fayetteville, N.C., after a disabled Honda was hit by a freight train. Two other occupants of the vehicle were able to escape prior to the collision and were not hurt. [WFMY News 2 website report, 2-19-17]

CSX TRAIN HITS CAR IN WOODBINE, MD.: Authorities in Carroll County, Md., say a CSX train struck a car whose 21-year-old driver passed cars stopped for the train and ignored crossing lights in Woodbine Febr. 18. The driver of the car was not injured, but he was cited for failure to obey a railroad crossing warning and driving on an expired license. [Fox5DC website report, 2-18-17]

PASSENGER TRAIN DERAILS IN BELGIUM, ONE KILLED, 27 HURT: One person died and 27 were injured, three seriously, when a train carrying 85 passengers derailed shortly after leaving Louvain, Belgium, Febr. 18. The accident is under investigation. [Inquirer website report, 2-18-17]

SWITCH PROBLEMS IMPACT MBTA SERVICE: Several MBTA commuter rail trains on the Providence-Stoughton line were canceled or delayed early Febr. 17, with some trains making additional stops to accommodate passengers. According to MBTA, the problems traced back to an Amtrak switch issue and train traffic near Canton Junction. [WCVB website report, 2-17-17]

ANNIVERSARY OF FATAL WRECK OF RED ARROW IN PA. MOUNTAINS: Behind schedule early Febr. 18, 1947, on a foggy morning, Pennsylvania Railroad's Red Arrow sped east on a slope of the Allegeny Front at about 65 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, when it derailed from the tracks and crashed down an embankment and into an area called 'Gum Tree Hollow.' That was 70 years ago. Two dozen passengers were killed, and more than 100 were injured. Excessive speed was to blame. [Altoona Mirror website report, 2-17-17]

CHINA TO ORDER 586 ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES, 40,000 FREIGHT CARS: China Railway Investment Corp. has issued requests for proposals for contracts to supply 586 electric locomotives and 40,000 freight cars. China's freight volume in 2016 totaled 2.65 billion tons, down 2.3 pct from 2015. [Railway Age website report, 2-17-17]

UNION PACIFIC SPECIAL TO OPERATE FOR NEBRASKA'S 150TH ANNIVERSARY: Seven communities have been selected as stops along the route of 'Nebraska150 Express' August 4-6, 2017. A Union Pacific streamliner locomotive will traverse the state during the tour. After leaving Omaha, the locomotive will travel to Columbus, North Platte, Ogallala, Sidney, Gering, Kearney and Grand Island. Each community plans to host a rally or festival to welcome the train's passengers. A' select group' of Nebraska's native celebrities and notable figures have been extended invitations to attend the tour. [Union Pacific, 2-17-17]

HIGH WATER BLOCKS BNSF'S LAKESIDE SUB IN WASHINGTON STATE: High water blocked BNSF's Lakeside Subdivision in the Hatton Coulee between Hatton and Connell, Washington, Febr. 16. Amtrak 27, the Portland section of the Empire Builder, stopped east of the affected area at Cunningham, and BNSF locomotives then pulled the train back to Spokane. [Railway Age website report, 2-16-17]

HEDGE FUND URGES CSX TO CONTINUE NEGOTIATING: Paul Hilal's Mantle Ridge hedge fund, owner of 4.9 pct of CSX stock, which is trying to force major changes at the railroad, is urging CSX to continue negotiating a deal inspead of waiting for a shareholder vote the spring. Hilal says he believes his investors are close to an agreement for Hunter Harrison to take over as CEO of CSX. [Beloit Daily News website report, 2-16-17]

BOMBARDIER SUPPLYING 14 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FOR WATERLOO, ONTARIO: Bombardier is supplying 14 Flexity Freedom light-rail vehicles worth $92.4-million (C) for Waterloo, Ontario, with an option for 14 additional vehicles. The first vehicle for the initial phase of the city's Ion network is being readied for delivery. The initial stage of the project involves building a 16-station line to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-16-17]

STB ADOPTS TENTATIVE MEASURE-OF-AVERAGE CHANGE IN RAIL INDUSTRY PRODUCTIVITY: The U.S. Surface Transportation board has adopted a tentative measure-of-average change in railroad industry productivity for the 2011-2015 period. The board tentatively adopted 1,020 (2 pct per year) as the long-run measure of productivity, up 0.6 pct from the average of the 2010-2014 period. Each year, the agency calculates the change, if any, in the railroad industry productivity by comparing year-to-year the average cost of producing a unit of railroad output. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-16-17]

MASSACHUSETTS SEARCHING FOR NEW CEO FOR MBTA: The Massachusetts DOT has begun a search for a permanent CEO and general manager for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-16-17]

'NEW ERA' OF AMTRAK INVESTMENT REQUIRED, AMTRAK CEO SAYS TO SENATE: The president and CEO of Amtrak, Wick Moorman, told Senators in a subcommittee hearing that a 'new era' of infrastructure investment is needed to ensure a healthy future for long-distance passenger rail travel. The benefits to the traveling public and the national economy are worth significant investment, he said. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-16-17]

CP TOUTS PREVENTATIVE USE OF IN-CAB CAMERAS FOR SAFETY: Canadian Pacific has launched an awareness campaign highlighting the safety benefits of the use of inward-facing cameras in the cabs of locomotives. The company, meanwhile, is urging legislation that would mandate locomotive video and voice recorder technology. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-16-17]

PARENT COMPANY OF FEC HAS BEEN SOLD: SoftBank Group Corp. has acquired Fortress Investment Group, parent of Florida East Coast Railway and TRAC Intermodal for $3.3-billion in cash. Florida East Coast was acquired by Fortress and taken private in 2007. [Railway Age website report, 2-16-17]

PORT AUTHORITY OF N.Y. & N.J. APPROVES $32.2-B CAPITAL PLAN: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a $32.2-billion capital improvement plan which includes construction of a new $3.5-billion bus terminal in Manhattan and $2.7-billion to fund the early phase of the Gateway rail project. [Various news reports, 2-16-17]

CSX CALLS SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS: CSX has called a special meeting of shareholders for March 16, 2017, to seek guidance on 'certain extraordinary requests' of Mantle Ridge and Hunter Harrison. Mantle Ridge owns 4.9 pct of CSX stock, and Harrison is seeking the CEO position of CSX. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-15-17]

CTA AWARDS $42.9-M CONTRACT TO UPGRADE THREE SUBSTATIONS: The Chicago Transit authority has awarded a $42.9-million contract for the upgrade of three substations that provide power to all eight of the agency's rail lines. Crews will upgrade and modernize the traction power equipment to improve service and reliability. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-15-17]

NEW AMTRAK CHARGER LOCOMOTIVES BEING TESTED ON CASCADES ROUTE: National certification testing of one of Amtrak's new Siemens SC-44 Charger locomotives is being conducted this month by the state of Washington. If all goes well, eight 4,400-horsepower units are scheduled to enter regular service later this year. The unit being tested is actually one from Illinois, which that state and Washington piggy-backed in an order along with California, Michigan and Missouri. [Railway Age website report, 2-15-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported combined U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Febr. 11, 2017, increased 2.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Railway Age website report, 2-15-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN KILLS MAN LAYING ON TRACKS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: A man laying on the tracks was killed Febr. 14 by an Amtrak train in Oceanside, California. [NBC San Diego website report, 2-15-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN OPENS LOCOMOTIVE SHOP IN CHICAGO: Norfolk Southern on Febr. 14 opened a new locomotive maintenance and repair facility in Chicago to enhance operational efficiency for trains moving through the nation's largest rail hub. The company's $9.5-million investment expands Norfolk Southern's repair capabilities in the region. [Norfolk Southern, 2-14-17]

VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY PROJECT BEGINS: A $320-million expansion project has begun at the Virginia International Gateway, which will nearly double the terminal's annual cargo handling capability at the Port of Virginia. CSX and Norfolk Southern provide on-dock rail service at the terminal. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-14-17]

CSX SEEKS SHAREHOLDER VOTE ON ACTIVIST INVESTOR'S DEMANDS: CSX turned the tables on activist investor Paul Hilal who threatened a fight for control of the railroad's board, revealing the investor's demands and calling for shareholders to vote on the matter. CSX said it made an offer to hire railroad veteran Hunter Harrison as CEO and allow Hilal to nominate five directors. But the company said talks fell apart over reimbursements and employment terms. [Marketwatch website report, 2-14-17]

OROVILLE DAM EMERGENCY DELAYING UNION PACIFIC TRAINS: The Oroville Dam emergency in California is causing delays of from 24 to 48 hours for Union Pacific freight moving between Oregon, Washington and Southern California. Recent rains have caused Oroville Lake's pool level to rise to an all time high, resulting in two spillways to become unstable due to overflow, with evacuations ordered from the area below the dam. [Railway Age website report, 2-14-17]

WINTER PARK EXPRESS SKI TRAIN A SUCCESS, AMTRAK SAYS: The new Winter Park Express weekend Amtrak train between Denver and the high-country ski resort has seen more than 15,000 passengers since it started on Jan. 7. Saturday trains frequently sell out, Amtrak said. [Denver Business Journal website report, 2-14-17]

WASHINGTON STATE TO STUDY HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINKING PACIFIC N.W. WITH CANADA: While linking Vancouver, B.C., with Seattle and Portland is not a new idea, the project is back on the metaphorical rails after Washington governor Jay Inslee set aside $1-million in his 2017-19 state budget to study the feasibility of the project. [CBC News website report, 2-14-17]

METER-GAUGE LOCOMOTIVES ARRIVE IN ARGENTINA: The first two of 30 new meter-gauge diesel locomotives built by Chinese rolling-stock manufacturer CRRC Ziyang arrived in Argentina Febr. 8. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-14-17]

DEADLY TOUR BUS ACCIDENT IN TAIPEI: At least 32 people were killed when a tour bus crashed near Taipei late Febr. 13. There were 44 people on the bus, which had flipped onto its side toward a hillside after it hit a road barrier when negotiatig a highway interchange curve. [Reuters website report, 2-14-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-nine percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending February 12, 2017. The remaining 61 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 28 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-13-17]

FUNDS FOR CHINA-RUSSIA RAIL BRIDGE COVERED: A joint venture formed by Chinese and Russian companies, supported by China Investment Corp., has offered $110-million for the construction of a cross-border rail bridge between the two countries. Construction began in 2014, but was put on hold because of a funding gap that is now addressed. With a total investment of $379-million, the bridge will conect Tongjiang with Nizhneleninskoye. [Railway Pro website report, 2-13-17]

ALASKA R.R. CUTS EMPLOYEES, COSTS TO ADDRESS OPERATIONAL LOSSES: Alaska Railroad has eliminated 49 positions and carried out other cost-cutting measures as part of a major corporate restructing due to a downtown in freight business. The railroad has recorded a 44 pct drop in freight tonnage since 2008, and its 2017 budget shows a loss of $4.9-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-13-17]

CTA TO BUILD RAIL STATION NEAR CHICAGO'S UNITED CENTER: The Chicago Transit authority plans to add a new Green Line rail station near the city's United Center sports arena. The station would fill a 1.5-mile gap between existing stops, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-13-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE DISRUPTIONS IN CALIFORNIA: Amtrak's California Zephyr is disrupted between Reno and Colfax through Febr. 16 due to mudslides, and the Coast Starlight is disrupted between Sacramento and Redding due to flooding. [Amtrak, 2-13-17]

FEDS WITHHOLD D.C. METRO FUNDS PENDING SAFETY PROGRAM CERTIFICATION: The Federal Transit administration will withhold five pct of federal funds to D.C., Maryland and Virginia until a new Washington Metropolitan Transit authority state safety oversight program is in place and certified. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-13-17]

WORK BEGINS ON ROANOKE AMTRAK PLATFORM: Crews started building a boarding platform for Amtrak in downtown Roanoke, Va., on Febr. 13, in preparation for the startup of daily train service to Lynchburg and points beyond. [Roanoke Times website report, 2-13-17]

TRAIN HITS SCHOOL BUS IN ONTARIO; OCCUPANTS ESCAPE IN TIME: Police say two adults and one student scrambled off a school bus just before a train crashed into it early Febr. 13 near Belleville, Ontario. The bus had stopped, as required, at the tracks, but the front wheels became stuck after it moved forward. Then, the driver, a school bus monitor and one student got off the bus before the collision. There were no injuries. [Global News website report, 2-13-17]

BANGKOK ORANGE LINE METRO CONTRACTS AWARDED: Thailand has signed $2.3-billion in contracts for construction of the metro Orange line in Bangkok. The 14-mile line will serve 10 underground and seven elevated stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-13-17]

RAILS TO BENEFIT AS CRUDE OIL PIPELINES REACH CAPACITY: A looming pipeline shortage could force more barrels of Canadian oil into rail cars over the next few years, as oilsands companies look for alternative shipping options amid a gradual rise in production. The earliest date of completion for any new pipeline project is around the end of 2019 - if there are no delays. With production expected to rise over the next five years, oil firms are tapping crude-by-rail once again. [Financial Post website report, 2-13-17]

FIRM TO DEVELOP MASTER PLANS FOR CSX-SERVED CAROLINA CONNECTOR: Dewberry, a professional services firm, has been selected by North Carolina to develop a transportation and freight master plan for the new Carolina Connector intermodal train hub in Rocky Mount, a major center for CSX in the southeast. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-13-17]

CINCINNATI UNION TERMINAL UNDERGOES $212-M RESTORATION: The Turner Construction Company started its $212.7-million restoration and renovation of Cincinnati's historic (1933) Union Terminal in July 2016. The project, which is receiving $175-million from a 0.25 pct sales tax increase over five years, is expected to be completed in Oct. 2018. The terminal houses museums, exhibit spaces, an archival library and a research center. Amtrak has been using the station since 1991. [Construction Equipment Guide website report, 2-13-17]

FEDS CONSIDERING ALTERING HIGH-SPEED RAIL PLAN THROUGH CONNECTICUT: The Federal Railroad administration has agreed to 'consider' additional input from those concerned about a high-speed rail route in Connecticut. At issue is a segment that would run through Old Lyme and other historic coastal towns, which many in the area oppose. [Connecticut Mirror website report, 2-13-17]

MAN RIDING ON TOP OF TRAIN CALLS 911 TO AVOID FREEZING: Cold morning temperatures on Febr. 9 forced a 22-year-old man to cut his free ride atop a CSX train when passing through Ohio, officials said. The train was eventually stopped in Ashtabula where the man was transported to a medical center. The man had reportedly boarded the train in Buffalo, at least two hours earlier. [Star Beacon website report, 2-11-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE DISRUPTED IN PACIFIC N.W. DUE TO MUDSLIDES: Amtrak services are temporarily disrupted between Portland, Oregon, and Everett, Washington, due to landslides. Host carrier BNSF has placed a 48-hour moratorium, suspending all rail traffic in the area until Febr. 11. The moratorium affects Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder trains. [Amtrak, 2-10-17]

CSX EXTENDS BOARD NOMINATIONS DEADLINE: CSX's board is extending the deadline for board nominations to Febr. 24, giving an activist hedge fund more time to try and install Hunter Harrison as CEO. [Railway Age website report, 2-10-17]

GROUND BROKEN FOR OKLAHOMA CITY STREETCAR PROJECT: Oklahoma City leaders have broken ground on the MAPS-3 streetcar project. The $131-million line will conect Bricktown with Oklahoma City's central business district, as well as the Chesapeake Energy Center, the Midtown area, and a future downtown park and convention center. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-10-17]

FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS NEAR SACRAMENTO: A freight train derailed more than a dozen cars Febr. 10 in Elk Grove, California, near Sacramento, with cars falling into the swollen Consumnes River. There were no injuries. [ABC News website report]

AVALANCHE CLOSES MONTANA RAIL LINE AGAIN: Rail traffic through the Rockies on BNSF became blocked once again by another avalanche, just a day after Marias Pass was reopened following an avalanche on Febr. 6. The latest avalanche occurred early Febr. 9 near Essex, Montana. Through service on Amtrak's Empire Builder remains suspended. [Railway Age website report, 2-9-17]

CN PLANS $2.5-B CAPITAL PROGRAM IN 2017: Canadian National is planning a $2.5-billion (C) capital program in 2017, down by $25-million from 2016. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-9-17]

FLOODING FROM BREACHED DAM IMPACTS RAIL TRAFFIC IN NEVADA, UTAH: The Twentyone Mile earthern dam in Elko County, Nevada, breached Febr. 8, causing a cascade of water to flood the town of Montello, compromising travel by road and rail. Flooding impacted railroad operations into the next day, delaying both freight and commuter trains, including some bound for Salt Lake City, which had to be rerouted. [Deseret News website report, 2-9-17]

PLANS SHARED BY CSX FOR INTERMODAL TERMINAL IN INDIANA: Plans for the development of what CSX is calling a state-of-the-art intermodal freight terminal in Crete, Indiana, were shared with residents at an open house for Crete and surrounding communities on Febr. 9. The company said the terminal will be one of the most advanced in the world. The facility could be up and running in 2020, according to CSX. [N.W. Indiana Times website report, 2-9-17]

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SEEKS FUNDS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: California Governor Jerry Brown is seeking more than $100-billion in federal transportation infrastructure funding with a big portion for building and improving the state's high-speed rail system. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-9-17]

BROKEN AXLE LED TO 2013 CRUDE-OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT IN N.D.: The National Transportation Safety board has determined that a broken axle set off actions resulting in a BNSF derailment involving two trains in which 476,000 gallons of crude oil spilled and ignited near Casselton, N.D., on Dec. 30, 2013. There were no fatalities or serious injuries, but nearly 1,500 people were evacuated from homes. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-8-17]

CHICAGO TRANSIT BEGINS $23-M RENOVATION OF ILLINOIS MEDICAL DISTRICT STATION: The Chicago Transit authority has begun work on its $23-million renovation of the Illinois Medical District Blue line station. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-8-17]

CONTRACTOR CHOSEN FOR TEX RAIL STATION AT DALLAS-FORT WORTH AIRPORT: A contractor has been chosen to build a new $28.5-million TEX Rail station adjacent to Terminal B at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport. The station will serve as the terminus for the planned 27-mile commuter-rail project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-8-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Febr. 4, 2017, was 541,474 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 7.3 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 2-8-17]

NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC BELT R.R. FOR SALE: A private operator is being sought for the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, which operates more than 100 miles of track connecting with six major railroads. [Railway Age website report, 2-8-17]

RAIL-TRAIL BEING CONSIDERED FOR SIKESTON, MISSOURI: Consultants have presented their vision for taking a former Union Pacific rail corridor in Sikeston, Missouri, into a trail. The corridor would run straight through town, passing parks, residential areas and businesses. The Sikeston Depot Museum would serve as the centerpiece of the trail. Seventy-five percent of the cost would be covered by a grant. [Southeast Missourian website report, 2-8-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING REPORTS 4-Q RESULTS: Genesee & Wyoming reported fourth-quarter 2016 operating reveue rose 0.3 pct compared with the same quarter last year, to $516.5-million. Adjusted earnings per share rose 1 pct to 99 cents, compared with 98 cents in the previous year's fourth-quarter. [Genesee & Wyoming, 2-8-17]

RUSSIAN RAILWAYS TO FINANCE NORTH-SOUTH TRANSPORT CORRIDOR: Russian Railways will allocate $32.1-million towards an ongoing project to reconstruct the Trubnaya-Verkhniy Baskunchak-Aksaraiskaya line in southern Russia. The line is part of the north-south international transport corridor and provides connections to and from Siberia, the Urals, Caspian Sea ports, Kazakhstan, the Caucasian republics and northwest and central Russia. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-8-17]

TRIAL OPERATION BEGINS ON NEW TAIPEI-TAOYUAN METRO LINE: Trial operation has begun on the new express metro link between Taipei and Taoyuan International airport, ahead of the start of limited service Febr. 16. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-8-17]

D.C. METRO BEGINS PHASING OUT 4000-SERIES CARS: The second-oldest rail cars in D.C. Metro's fleet, the 4000-series, are set for retirement beginning next week. This comes as the agency continues the retirement of its oldest cars, the 1000-series. A Metro spokesperson said there are only 100 of the 4000-series cars operating, which represents the smallest port of the fleet, and are the least reliable. [WTOP website report, 2-7-17]

HYUNDAI ROTEM TO SUPPLY 256 METRO CARS TO CAIRO METRO: Egypt has selected Hyundai Rotem to supply 256 metro cars for the third-phase extension of Cairo Metro in a contract worth $377.5-million. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-7-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING TO ACQUIRE HEART OF GEORGIA R.R.: Genesee & Wyoming has agreed to acquire the shares of the parent company of Heart of Georgia Railroad, which operates 219 miles of track leased from the Georgia Dept. of Transportation. It connects with G&W's Georgia Southwestern Railroad at Americus and G&W's Georgia Central Railway at Vidalia. [Genesee & Wyoming, 2-7-17]

TEXAS BULLET TRAIN DEVELOPER DROPS LAWSUITS AGAINST LANDOWNERS: Texas Central Partners, developer of a 240-mile high-speed rail line intended to run between Houston and Dallas, has withdrawn more than a dozen lawsuits against landowners seeking court orders allowing the company access to private property to survey land for the project. Instead, the developer said they are going to try and have an 'open dialogue' with the landowners. [Texas Tribune website report, 2-7-17]

RENOVATION OF BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT, TRAIN STATION COMPLETE: A $10-million upgrade and renovation project of the train station at Bridgeport, Connecticut, is now complete, the state announced Febr. 7. Serving 10,000 customers daily, the station is a hub for bus, ferry and rail connections to New Haven lines and Amtrak service to Boston, New York and Washington. [Bridgeport Daily Voice website report, 2-7-17]

SEVERE WEATHER INTERRUPTS EMPIRE BUILDER: Due to hazards created by severe weather, Amtrak on Febr. 6 suspended its Empire Builder between Minot and Spokane. The trains were stopped mid-route after an avalanche closed the BNSF line through the Montana Rockies near Marias Pass. Eastbound, the train stopped at Essex; westbound, the train reportedly stopped at Browning. [Railway Age website report, 2-6-17]

CSX BOARD TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE TAKEOVER: The board of CSX Corp. will consider a company takeover on Febr. 10. CSX, North America's third-largest railroad, is valued at $43-billion. Former Canadian Pacific CEO Hunter Harrison and his affiliated hedge fund, Mantle Ridge, are targeting CSX. Harrison approached CSX twice in recent years with an offer to merge with CP, but was rebuffed. It's now reported that Harrison wants to name at least three new board meetings at the Febr. 10 meeting, and effectively take control of the company and become the CEO, replacing current CEO Michael Ward. The board could vote to extend the deadline to name new board members, or it could accept or reject the takeover plan on the spot. [WJCT website report, 2-6-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-two percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Febr. 5, 2017. The remaining 58 percent, on average, arrived one hour and four minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-6-17]

HOUSTON-DALLAS BULLET TRAIN STARTUP DATE REVISED: Texas Central executives now plan to break ground and begin construction on its bullet-train project in 2018, and have the line be fully-operational in 2024. [Houston Press website report, 2-6-17]

R.I. PLANS NEW COMMUTER-RAIL STATION IN PAWTUCKET: Rhode Island is accepting proposals from firms to design and build a new commuter-rail station in Pawtucket. The station would open in late 2019. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-6-17]

GE TO FURLOUGH 250 AT FORT WORTH LOCOMOTIVE PLANT: Citing a slump in freight rail shipping, GE Manufacturing Solutions has begun laying off about one-third of its workforce at its locomotive plant in Fort Worth. In all, about 250 hourly and salaried employees will lose their jobs in a reduction to be completed in early April. Then, in June, the remaining employees will start working a 32-hour week, the company said. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram website report, 2-6-17]

CN TO REOPEN TUMBLER RIDGE RAIL LINE IN B.C.: CN says its rail lines servicing Tumbler Ridge coal mines in British Columbia will restart later this year. The line had been decommissioned after Tumbler Ridge operations shut down in 2014 and 2015. [CBC website report, 2-6-17]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN IOWA: A Canadian Pacific freight train derailed 26 empty cars near Massey Station, Iowa, south of Dubuque Febr. 5, shutting down the line. No injuries were reported. [KCRG website report, 2-5-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN SUFFOLK, VA.: More than 40 rail cars of coal derailed near downtown Suffolk, Va., early Febr. 4, damaging the tracks and nearby buildings. Dozens of train cars were crushed and flipped over on Wellons street, where the street crosses the Norfolk Southern tracks. Piles of coal littered the ground and tracks were torn up and scattered. No injuries were reported. [Virginian-Pilot website report, 2-4-17]

BRIDGE FIRE HALTS UNION PACIFIC TRAFFIC IN TEXAS: A railroad bridge west of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas caught fire overnight, halting main east-west rail traffic on the Union Pacific main line that runs between New Oleans and Los Angeles. [WOAI website report, 2-3-17]

CHAIRMAN OF GENESEE & WYOMING TO RETIRE: Genesee & Wyoming's chairman, Mortimer Fuller, will retire after the company's annual meeting in May. He will be succeeded by chief executive officer Jack Hellman. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-3-17]

NEW GENERATION MOSCOW METRO TRAIN DELIVERED: The first of 96 new-generation trains being built for Moscow Metro has arrived. Each eight-car train set can accommodate up to 2,000 passengers. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-3-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2017 CAPITAL PLAN: Union Pacific has announced its 2017 capital plan of approximately $3.1-billion, about $400-million down from the previous year. The plan includes $300-million to further implement positive train-control. [Union Pacific, 2-2-17]

CONTRACT APPROVED FOR NEW MBTA COMMUTER-RAIL STATION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority has approved a contract for construction of a new Blue Hill avenue commuter-rail station in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-2-17]

SIEMENS LANDS AUSTRIAN CONTRACT FOR VECTRON LOCOMOTIVES: Siemens has obtained a contract with Austrian Railways for the delivery of up to 200 Vectron locomotives. An order for 30 multisystem locomotives was placed at signing. The first locomotives are slated for delivery in summer 2018. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-2-17]

JANUARY 2017 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in January 2017. The remaining 61 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 37 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-1-17]

FREIGHT RAILROADS TO SPEND $22-B ON CAPEX IN 2017: U.S. freight railroads are projected to spend $22-billion this year to maintain and upgrade the nation's private rail network, the Association of American Railroads said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-1-17]

UNION PACIFIC MAKING PROGRESS ON BIG BOY RESTORATION: The Union Pacific Steam Team began stripping the Big Boy 4014 locomotive in November, completing the disassembly process in January. Once additional parts are fabricated, the locomotive will be ready for reassembly. [Union Pacific, 2-1-17]

TWO SUBWAY TRAINS DERAIL AT SAME LOCATION IN QUEENS: New York City Transit officials are struggling to understand why two subway trains derailed in exactly the same location two nights in a row. The incidents happened at the Willets Point-Citi Field station in Queens January 28 and 29, although there was no obvious defect that would explain either of the derailments. There were no injuries. [ABC7 NY website report, 2-1-17]

MONTHLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations of 2,017,641 increased 0.5 pct in January 2017 compared with January 2016. Coal carloadings, included in the above total, were up by 11.9 pct. Rail carloads and intermodal units for the week ending January 28, 2017, were up by 3.3 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-1-17]

KCS PLANS IMPROVEMENT ON BEAUMONT SUB IN LOUISIANA: Kansas City Southern is investing $25-million into construction and improvement to its Beaumont Subdivision between DeQuincy and Hornbeck, Louisiana, beginning in early February and continuing through early April. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-1-17]

AMTRAK NAMES NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER: William N. Feidt will join Amtrak as executive vice-president and chief financial officer effective Febr. 6, 2017. He replaces Gerald Sokol, who will be leaving the company following a brief transition period with Feidt. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-31-17]

RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA TO EXPAND RAILROAD COOPERATION: Russia and North Korea have been discussing plans to expand railroad cooperation between the two countries, including the number of North Korean students studying in Russia. The two countries share the Rajin-Hasan Railway, which was renovated between 2008 and 2014. [UPI website report, 1-31-17]

BALTIMORE'S PENN STATION GETS UPGRADED WI-FI: Amtrak has implemented a new and improved high-speed broadband Wi-Fi with enhanced connectivity and reliability at Baltimore's Penn Station. [WMAR website report, 1-31-17]

ELAINE CHAO CONFIRMED, SWORN IN AS TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: The Senate confirmed Elaine Chao as transportation secretary in a 93-6 vote Jan. 31, and she has been sworn in. Chao says she'll form a task force to study ways to improve the nation's aging infrastructure. [Various news report, 1-31-17]

ITALY'S FORMER RAIL BOSS SENTENCED TO JAIL OVER TRAIN DISASTER: Mauro Moretti, former head of Italian railways, was on Jan. 31 among a string of executives convicted over a 2009 freight train disaster that killed 29 people. The executives were held responsible for poor infrastructure and risk-avoidance systems deemed to have contributed to a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailing and exploding. [The Local website report, 1-31-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 29, 2017. The remaining 58 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 22 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-30-17]

HOOSIER STATE TRAIN TO TRANSITION BACK TO AMTRAK EQUIPMENT: The Indiana Dept. of Transportation reports the Hoosier State train (850-851) will transition back to utilizing Amtrak equipment, beginning March 1. The four-day-a-week train - which corresponds to the schedule of Amtrak's Cardinal the other three days of the week - has been operating with equipment provided by Iowa Pacific Holdings, including full-service dining and a dome cars. No immediate reason was given for the transition back to Amtrak equipment, but the agency said it was planning on providing 'enhanced on-board amenties,' including Wi-Fi and business-class seating. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 1-30-17]

CSX IN TALKS WITH HUNTER HARRISON OVER TAKING TOP SPOT AT COMPANY: According to a Jan.29 Wall Street Journal report, CSX officials have met in Atlanta with Hunter Harrison, who presented his vision for CSX as he seeks to replace Michael Ward as CEO of the company. Harrison, who recently retired as CEO of Canadian Pacific, is allied with Paul Hilal, whose Mantel Ridge LP has reportedly raised $1-billion in order to buy a large stake in CSX. Part of the discussion included Mantel Ridge's request for more than three seats on the company's 12-person board. Two members of the current board were reportedly at the meeting. [Florida Times-Union website report, 1-30-17]

NEW LIGHT-RAIL LINE IN DENVER OPENING FEBR. 24: The new 'R' light-rail line between Lone Tree and Aurora, Colorado, allowing connection with the 'A' line between Denver and the Denver International airport, is slated to begin operations Febr. 24, following months of testing. [9News website report, 1-30-17]

SOUND TRANSIT CHOOSES ALIGNMENT FOR FEDERAL WAY LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Sound Transit has selected a 7.8-mile alignment for extending light-rail to Federal Way, Washington. The route will travel south from the Angle Lake station in Sea Tac and continue along the west side of Interstate 5. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-30-17]

GERMAN NATIONAL RAILWAY CHIEF RESIGNS AMID PAY DISPUTE: According to German media reports, Rudiger Grube, chief executive of railway operator Deutsche Bahn, has resigned following a dispute with the board over terms of his new contract, which was due to be extended. [Deutsche Welle website report, 1-30-17]

DELIVERY OF ALSTON METROPOLIS TRAINS TO GUADALAJARA BEGINS: Alstom has delivered the first of 18 Metropolis trains that will run on the new Line 3 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The 60-MPH trains are being produced in Barcelona, Spain. [[Progressive Railroading website report, 1-30-17]

DOWNEASTER TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN MAINE: Witnesses to a crash at a railroad crossing in Portland, Maine, told police that the driver of a car wove around traffic and a crossing gate before colliding with an Amtrak Downeaster train. The driver of the car was injured, but two child passengers in the car were not hurt. [WCSH6 website report, 1-27-17]

NJT TO REPLACE RARITAN RIVER BRIDGE: N.J. Transit plans to replace the old drawbridge across the mouth of the Raritan River with a lift bridge, which would allow trains to travel as fast as 60 MPH. [Asbury Park Press website report, 1-27-17]

PASSENGER TRAINS RETURN TO ALEPPO: Syria's transport ministry has marked the resumption of passenger services to Aleppo, more than four years after operations were suspended due to civil war. Syrian Railways will operate four return services per day between Aleppo and Jibrin, each accommodating up to 600 passengers. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-27-17]

RAILMARK ACQUIRES YREKA WESTERN R.R.: Railmark Holdings has acquired Yreka Western Railroad, a shortline serving Sikiyou County, California. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-27-17]

BRIGHTLINE TESTING BEGINS: 'BrightBlue,' the first trainset for Brightline, has begun a testing phase along a nine-mile test track. The tests, with one locomotive and four cars, will continue for several weeks. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-27-17]

MBTA PLANS TO FIRE 27 FOR ATTENDANCE POLICY VIOLATIONS: In a push to reduce absenteeism among its employees, Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority officials are moving to terminate 27 workers this month for attendance policy violations, more than the total fired for that reason in all of last year. [Boston Globe website report, 1-27-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TOUTS INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT ALONG RAIL LINES: Norfolk Southern assisted 71 industries in locating or expanding their businesses along its rail lines in 2016. The 58 new and 13 expanded industries represent an investment of $4-billion by Norfolk Southern customers, generating more than 50,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually. [Norfolk Southern, 1-26-17]

TWO DEADLY ACCIDENTS ON METRA: Metra trains on the Union Pacific N.W. line were stopped in both directions twice Thursday morning, Jan. 26. Inbound train 610 struck a vehicle at a five-way intersection near Gladstone Park killing the driver, and inbound train 636 hit and killed a pedestrian near Crystal Lake. [ABC7 Chicago website report, 1-26-17]

OMNITRAX BEGINS OPERATION OF DECATUR CENTRAL R.R.: OmniTRAX Inc. has begun operating the 16-mile Decatur Central Railroad. The line runs from Cisco to Decatur, Illinois, where it interchanges with CN. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-26-17]

BNSF IDENTIFIES SIX RAIL-SERVED SITES FOR DEVELOPMENT: BNSF has announced six new 'certified sites' that are optimal for customer development along the railroad's network. They include centers in Great Falls, Montana; Ardmore, Oklahoma; Los Lunas, New Mexico; Middletown, Iowa; Gallup, New Mexico; and Greenville, Illinois. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-26-17]

CP INITIATING MEASURES TO REDUCE RISK TO GRIZZLY BEARS: Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific have completed their grizzly bear research initiative, and will now institute measures aimed at reducing railway related risks to grizzly bears. Included will be vegetion management and creating escape routes in confined areas. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-26-17]

ENGINEER OF 2015 FATAL PHILADELPHIA AMTRAK CRASH SUES: The Amtrak engineer involved in the deadly 2015 crash in Philadelphia has sued the railroad, saying it failed to address reports that people were throwing projectiles at trains. The engineer evidently became disoriented, and his speeding train derailed leaving eight people dead and more than 200 injured. [6ABC website report, 1-26-17]

MAN STRUCK, KILLED BY FREIGHT TRAIN NEAR RIVERDALE PARK, MD.: Passengers on MARC Camden Line trains early Jan. 25 faced substantial delays after a man was struck and killed by a CSX freight train near Riverdale Park, Md. [WTOP website report, 1-25-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2016 RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported 2016 net income was $1.7-billion, up 7 pct compared with the previous year. Diluted earnings per share increased 10 pct to $5.62. Net income for the fourth-quarter was $416-million, a 15 pct increase compared with the fourth-quarter 2015. [Norfolk Southern, 1-25-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported an increase of 8.1 pct for combined carloads and intermodal units on U.S. railroads in the week ending January 21, 2017, compared with the corresponding week last year. [Railway Age website report, 1-25-17]

GE DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES ARRIVE IN ANGOLA: The first batch of 15 GE C30ACi Evolution Series diesel locomotives for Angolan National Railways have arrived in Angola after completing their sea voyage from the U.S. GE was awarded a contract in early 2015 to supply 100 of the locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-25-17]

NEW GE LOCOMOTIVES FOR PAKISTAN: GE Transportation has delivered its first seven GE Evolution Series locomotives to Pakistan Railways. The state-owned rail company has ordered 55 total units from GE. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-25-17]

FATAL R.R. ACCIDENT IN N.Y. STATE: Authorities have confirmed that a worker died Jan. 25 after falling into a covered hopper loaded with fertilizer at a railroad transfer station in Lakeville, N.Y. [TWC News website report, 1-25-17]

HUNTER HARRISON TO EXIT CP WITH $52-M: Hunter Harrison is making his early exit from Canadian Pacific with about $52-million (C), even after giving up $118-million i stock and options, to pursue a job at rival CSX. His separation agreement will not allow him to work for three of the railroads biggest rivals, but it does not forbid him from seeking a job with CSX. [Globe and Mail website report, 1-25-17]

CSX PLANS $2.2-B CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR 2017: CSX revealed a preliminary 2017 capital investment of $2.2-billion during its fourth-quarter earnings call. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-24-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAISES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND: Norfolk Southern's board has voted to increase the regular quarterly dividend by two cents per share, from 59 to 61 cents, to stockholders of record on Febr. 3. [Norfolk Southern, 1-24-17]

FEDS EXPAND INVESTIGATION INTO CANCELED BALTIMORE RED LINE: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation is expanding its investigation into Maryland's decision to cancel its $2.9-billion, 14-mile metro Red Line to connect east and west Baltimore. The funds were redirected to highway, road and bridge projects across the state. [WTOP website report, 1-24-17]

CSX TRAIN DERAILMENT SNARLS TRAFFIC IN DANVILLE, ILLINOIS: Two trains collided in Danville, Illinois, Jan. 23, causing six rail cars to derail. The resultant incident snarled traffic at two crossings. There were no injuries. [News-Gazette website report, 1-24-17]

TRI-RAIL TO SHARE USE OF MIAMI STATION WITH BRIGHTLINE: Miami has followed through on part of a financial commitment to establish a passenger rail link for Tri-Rail into downtown Miami. Plans call for Tri-Rail to have a place inside the new Miami Central station, now under construction for Brightline, the rail service planned for debut later this year to Orlando. [Miami Today News website report, 1-24-17]

CN REPORTS 2016 RESULTS: Canadian National reported 2016 net income increased 3 pct to $3.64-billion (C) with diluted earnings per share rising 6 pct to $4.67. Adjusted net income remained essentially flat at $3.581-billion. Fourth-quarter net income increase 8 pct to $1.018-billion while diluted earnings per share increased 12 pct to $1.32. [CN, 1-24-17]

CSX MAY NOT BE THE ONLY TARGET FOR HUNTER HARRISON: The terms of Hunter Harrison's separation agreement with Canadian Pacific prohibits him from working at CN, Union Pacific or BNSF. But, in addition to CSX, it does allow him to jump to Norfolk Southern or Kansas City Southern. [The Republic website report, 1-24-17]

KCS ANNOUNCES 2017 CAPITAL PROGRAM: Kansas City Southern will spend between $550-million and $560-million on its capital program, which is a 4 to 5 pct reduction from its 2016 capital program. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-24-17]

MINSK METRO ORDERS 10 STADLER TRAINS: Stadler Minsk has confirmed to the Belarusian media that the company has secured a contract to supply 10 trains to Minsk Metro. Minsk's 23-mile two-line metro will expand later this year with the opening of the initial phase of the 10.7-mile Line 3. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-24-17]

N.J. TRANSIT RESUMES SERVICE FOLLOWING STORM DAMAGE: New Jersey Transit trains resumed normal service Jan. 23 after making repairs to storm damage that delayed thousands of commuters. Residual delays were possible, the agency said. [NBC N.Y. website report, 1-23-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 22, 2017. The remaining 56 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 30 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-23-17]

ARTHUR KILL STATION OPENED ON STATEN ISLAND: The Metropolitan Transportation authority has opened a new Staten Island Railway station in the Tottenville neighborhood. Named the Arthur Kill station, it is the Staten Island Railway's first new station since the railroad was incorporated into the MTA network in 1971. The station replaces the Nassau and Atlantic stations, which will be demolished. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-23-17]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN DECEMBER: Class I railroads employed 150,215 workers in the U.S. as of mid-December 2016, down 0.84 pct compared with mid-November, and down 6.58 pct with the year-ago figure, according to the Surface Transportation board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-23-17]

UNION PACIFIC TARGETS $3.1-B CAPITAL PROGRAM IN 2017: Union Pacific aims to spend approximately $3.1-billion on its 2017 capital program, pending approval by its board of directors. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-23-17]

CSX STOCK UPGRADED ON 'HIGH' PROBABILITY OF NEW CEO: CSX Corp. stock has been upgraded to outperform at BMO Capital Markets on the 'high' probability of installing former Canadian Pacific CEO as the CSX CEO. [Financial Post website report, 1-23-17]

CALIFORNIA AWARDS OVER $25-M TO RAIL FREIGHT, TRANSIT PROJECTS: Three California freight and rail transit projects will received more than $25.6-million in funding from the state's transportation commission. Most of the money will go toward building almost six miles of double-track on a BNSF line that connects Stockton and Escalon. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-23-17]

DEADLY TRAIN WRECK IN INDIA: At least 39 people were killed and and scores were injured as nine coaches and the locomotive of an express passenger tran derailed late Jan. 21 near Kuneru station in India. (Other news reports establish the number of dead at 32, but the casualty count could rise as many people were trapped in the wreckage, officials said.) [BBC website report, 1-22-17]

SIX KILLED AS TRAIN RAMS INTO CAR IN PAKISTAN: A train hit a car in Gojra, Pakistan, Jan. 22, killing six people who were inside the car, according to police. The car was crossing the track at the time, but the crossing gate was reportedly open. [GEO website report, 1-22-17]

JOE BIDEN RETURNS TO DELAWARE BY AMTRAK: Former Vice President Joe Biden returned home from the Inauguration via Acela train 2166 that left Washington on time. It reportedly arrived in Wilmington two minutes late, according to Amtrak's train status website page.

KCS REPORTS 2016 RESULTS: Kansas City Southern reported 2016 revenue of $2.3-billion, down 3 pct from the previous year. Operating income was $819-million, up 2 pct from the previous year. Operation ratio was 64.9 pct, a 1.9 point improvement. Net income totaled $480-million or $4.43 per diluted share. [Kansas City Southern, 1-20-17]

BNSF ANNOUNCES 2017 CAPITAL INVESTMENTS PLAN: BNSF has annouced its 2017 capital expenditure plan will be approximately $3.4-billion. Similar to last year's $3.9-billion plan, the largest component of the plan will be to replace and maintain the railroad's core network and related assets. [BNSF, 1-19-17]

HUNTER HARRISON SAID TO PURSUE CSX TAKEOVER: E. Hunter Harrison will retire as Canadian Pacific's CEO effective Jan. 31, five months ahead of schedule, so that he can 'pursue opportunities' at other Class I railroads. Harrison is reportedly completing an agreement to join with activist investor Paul Hilal in an attempt to 'shake up management' at CSX. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-19-17]

KEITH CREEL NAMED TO HEAD CP: Canadian Pacific has announced the appointment of Keith Creel as the company's president and CEO effective Jan. 31, replacing E. Hunter Harrison, who is retiring. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-19-17]

CP REPORTS 2016 RESULTS: CP's revenue for the full year 2016 declined 7 pct, while diluted earnings per share climbed 27 pct. Revenue in the fourth-quarter fell 3 pct, while diluted earnings per share rose 25 pct. CP plans to spend about $1.25-billion (C) in capital programs this year, an increase of 6 pct over 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-19-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2016 RESULTS: Union Pacific reported diluted earnings per share declined 8 pct in 2016. Operating income of $7.3-million declined 10 pct, and operating ratio of 63.5 pct was up 0.4 points. For the fourth-quarter, diluted earnings per share increased 6 pct. Operating income totaled $2.0-billion, up 2 pct. Operating ratio of 62.0 pct improved 1.2 points. [Union Pacific, 1-19-17]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN PROJECT CLEARS ENVIRONMENTAL HURDLE WITH KERN COUNTY: The California High-Speed Rail authority has reached a settlement with Kern County, clearing the final Environmental Quality act litigation for the Fresno to Bakersfield rail segment. The agreement will allow work to progress in the Central Valley, which already features more than 119 miles of active construction. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-19-17]

VERMONT FINALIZES STUDY ON FEASIBILITY OF COMMUTER RAIL: Vermont's agency of transportation has finalized a study on the feasibility of commuter rail service that would link Burlington with St. Albans to the north, and Montpelier to the east. The study offered what it terms 'conceptual' possibilities for the service involving six or seven locomotive-hauled six-car trains. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-19-17]

N.Y. PENN STATION'S 'BIG BOARD' SET TO BE REPLACED: The big board that commuters gather under at New York's Penn Station to find out what track their train is leaving from is fading into history starting Jan. 23. Amtrak crews will start disassembling the iconic 10-foot-high departure board that evening, which will be replaced by a network of video displays. [, 1-19-17]

TWO BNSF WORKERS KILLED ON TRACKS IN S.D.: Two BNSF railway employees died early Jan. 17 after being struck by a train in Edgemont, S.D., according to the company. The accident is under investigation. [Rapid City Journal website report, 1-18-17]

CSX EXPECTS MODEST PROFIT GROWTH IN 2017: CSX railroad officials expect profits to grow this year as the economy improves modestly, coal demand stabilizes, and our new President pursues 'reforms.' [Seattle Times website report, 1-18-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported total U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Jan. 14, 2017, increased 2 percent compared with the same week last year. [Railway Age website report, 1-18-17]

CALIFORNIA HSR PROJECT NOT FACING COST OVERRUNS, AGENCY SAYS: In response to the Los Angeles Times report of Jan. 13 citing potential cost overruns of California's bullet train project, the California High-Speed Rail authority says the project is not facing cost overruns, is not in danger of failing to spend its federal grant money by September, and has resolved issues raised by the state auditor four years ago. It said the paper incorrectly lumped federal and state-funded project costs totaling $7.8-billion, not the $9.5-billion quoted in the Times report. [Silicon Valley Business Journal website report, 1-17-17]

CSX ANNOUNCES 2016 EARNINGS: CSX generated $11.1-billion in revenue as volume declined 5 pct overall in 2016, with a 21 pct decline in coal business. Earnings per share were $1.81, operating income was $3.4-billion with an operating ratio of 69.4 pct. Net earnings in the fourth-quarter were $458-million or 49 cents per share, versus $466-million or 48 cents per share in the same period last year. [CSX, 1-17-17]

SUPREME COURT REJECTS W&LE PETITION OVER TRAIN CREW DISPUTE: The Supreme Court has denied a petition by Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway asking the court to overturn a lower court ruling that determined the railroad's use of managers in place of union conductors was a 'major dispute' under the Railway Labor Act. [Progresive Railroading website report, 1-17-17]

WSP PARSONS BRINCKHEROFF WILL REBRAND AS 'WSP': WSP Parsons Brinckheroff will rebrand as 'WSP' effective May 2017. The firm has operated under its current name since WSP acquired Parsons Brinckherhoff in Oct. 2014. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-17-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-five percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 15, 2017. The remaining 65 percent, on average, arrived two hours and one minute behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-16-17]

SOUND TRANSIT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF NORTHGATE LIGHT-RAIL STATION: Sound Transit has broken ground for its Northgate Link light-rail station, one of three slated to open in 2021 with the completion of the 4.3-mile Northgate Link extension. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-16-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING LOGS 4-Q TRAFFIC INCREASE: Genesee & Wyoming reported a 7.9 pct increase in carload traffic in the fourth-quarter 2016 compared with carloads in the same quarter 2015. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-16-17]

MONTREAL PULLS NEW BOMBARDIER-ALSTOM SUBWAY TRAINS: Montreal's transit authority is pulling 12 new trains built by Bombardier and Alstom out of service following an equipment problem over the weekend that forced the sutdown of a subway line for several hours. The problem stemmed over an interface between the trains and the track, but there was no indication suggesting that the trains were at fault. [Globe and Mail website report, 1-16-17]

CHICAGO GRANTED $1-M FOR TRANSIT IMPROVEMENTS: The Obama administration has awarded Chicago a $1-billion grant for improvements to two L train lines for improvement to tracks into the northern suburbs, renovating four stations, and purchasing new railcars for the lines. Funds will be provided over a nine-year period, while $622-million will be raised by local funding through a transit tax-increment financing district. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-13-17]

CHAIRMAN NAMED TO GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT CORP.: Richard Bagger, New York and New Jersey Port Authority commissioner has been elected chairman to the newly-formed Gateway Development Corporation. The Gateway project includes upgrades and expansion of rail infrastructure connecting New York and New Jersey, including construction of new Hudson River tunnels. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-13-17]

BNSF ASSUMING SERVICE IN CARLSBAD AREA FROM SOUTHWESTERN R.R.: BNSF will take over operations from Southwestern Railroad in the Carlsbad, N.M., area beginning Jan. 17, BNSF said, citing the ending of a contract with Southwestern. [Carlsbad Current-Argus website report, 1-13-17]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN MAY BE HEADED TO COST OVERRUN, FEDS SAY: California's bullet train could cost taxpayers 50 pct more than estimated, as much as $3.6-billion more, and that's just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, according to a Federal Railroad Administration report. [Los Angeles Times website report, 1-13-17]

LAST CONRAIL-PAINTED LOCOMOTIVE ON CSX ROSTER RETIRED: Nearly 17 years since the heralded 'split date' by which most of Conrail got absorbed into Norfolk Southern and CSX, the one remaining CSX locomotive remaining in its blue Conrail paint scheme has been retired. Unit 8865 (formerly Conrail unit 6521) has been deleted from the CSX locomotive roster and sold, along with a group of other former Conrail units that had since been repainted into one of the CSX paint schemes. [Robert Michaels, 1-12-17]

STATION IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSED FOR LIRR: New York's governor has unveiled a proposal to invest $120-million for enhancements to 16 Long Island Rail Road stations, a new termnal at MacArthur Airport, and a new stop at Brookhaven National Laboratory. [Railway Age website report, 1-12-17]

TWO 'TOWER OF POWER' BAND MEMBERS INJURED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: Two members of longtime Oakland, California, Tower of Power band were hit and injured by an Amtrak train Jan. 12 near Jack London Square, just minutes before a scheduled show at a nearby venue. Both are in critical condition. [SF Gate website report, 1-12-17]

WASHINGTON STATE SUPREME COURT REJECTS OIL EXPORT TERMINAL: The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled against plans to locate a rail-fed crude oil export terminal at Hoquiam in Grays Harbor. [Seattle Post Intelligencer website report, 1-12-17]

COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN B.C.: Twenty-nine cars of a Canadian Pacific coal train derailed near Ashcroft, B.C., late Jan. 12, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. There were no injuries. [Vancouver Sun website report, 1-12-17]

NEW RAIL LINE INAUGURATED BETWEEN DJIBOUTI AND ETHIOPIA: A ceremony was held at Nagid station in Djibouti to make the official opening of a new 467-mile electrified standard-gauge railway to Addis Ababa. Commercial operation of passenger and freight services is expected to start early this year. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-12-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT:The Association of American Railroads reported total U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Jan. 7, 2017, declined 11.4 percent compared with the same week last year. [Railway Age website report, 1-11-17]

CSX CUSTOMERS ANNOUNCE $9.5-B IN 2016 INVESTMENTS: CSX worked with its customers in 2016 to announce 114 new or expanded facilities to be located on the company's rail network or connecting short lines. These new projects represent $9.5-billion in customer investments, projected to generate more than 136,000 new carloads annually for CSX. [CSX, 1-11-17]

HOUSTON'S METRO GREEN LINE COMPLETED: The Metropolitan Transit authority of Harris County, Texas, has marked the completion of the Harrisburg Overpass bridge, which carries Green line light-rail trains and motorists over Union Pacific tracks. The bridge was the final component of the Green Line route, which now offers nine stops linking downtown to the city's East End district. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-11-17]

SOME TEXAS LEGISLATORS OPPOSE HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Brazos Valley, Texas, lawmakers have expressed their opposition to the proposed Houston-Dallas high-speed train. Many of them cite a statistic that not one private high-speed rail system has ever been profitable. The project's promoter, however, says its system is backed by private investors, not government grants, and the company will not take public money for its operations. [KBTX website report, 1-11-17]

SNCF ORDERS 255 TRAINS FOR PARIS NETWORK: SNCF (French National Railways) has selected a consortium of Alstom-Bombardier to renew 255 trains on lines D and E of the Paris RER network. The contract is the largest ever to be financed by the Ile-de-France Transport authority. The new trains will replace a current rolling stock which has an average age of over 30 years. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-11-17]

PTC COST TO NJT INFLATES TO $320-M: The price tag to install positive train-control by the Dec. 2018 deadline will cost N.J. Transit another $32-million, pushing the project's cost to $320-million. [, 1-11-17]

UNION PACIFIC SUES COUNTY IN OREGON OVER RIGHT TO ADD SECOND TRACK: Union Pacific has asked a federal judge to reject local Wasco County, Oregon, rules that threaten to reject plans to add four miles of a second main track along the Columbia River Gorge where a crude oil train derailed last June. The county had denied the railroad's application, citing concerns about the project affecting tribal treaty rights. [Seattle Times website report, 1-10-17]

THREE DEVELOPMENT TEAMS VYING FOR BALTIMORE'S PENN STATION PROJECT: Amtrak issued a request for proposals in Dec. 2016 to three developers vying to become the master developer for Baltimore's Penn Station project. The three teams were shortlisted in November after a request for qualifications was issued in October. Redevelopment of the station and the surrounding area comprehends mixed-use development, including office and retail space, and even a hotel. [Baltimore Business Journal website report, 1-10-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-two percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 8, 2017. The remaining 68 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 42 minutes behind schedule. Eccentric weather throughout much of the country during the week contributed to the poor performance. (In the corresponding week last year, 56 percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier.) MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-9-17]

CTA'S RED LINE TO GET UPGRADE: Part of Chicago Transit authority's Red line, portions of which are more than a century old, will get rebuilt under a funding agreement with the Federal Transit administration. First phase will include rebuilding of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwy and Bryn Mawr stations, and more than a mile of adjacent tracks and track structure. Also included is a Red-Purple line bypass. [Railway Age website report, 1-9-17]

BART TRAIN BREAKS DOWN IN VULNERABLE SPOT; MAJOR DELAYS TO SYSTEM: Thousands of Bay Area Rapid Transit commuters were stranded early Jan. 6 when a train became disabled at West Oakland where five lines merge into a single track. The incident caused massive delays throughout the 107-mile system. [San Francisco Chronicle website report, 1-6-17]

LIRR TRAIN MOVING AT 10 MPH AT TIME OF IMPACT: The Long Island Rail Road train that crashed into a pumping block in Brooklyn Jan 4 injuring more than 100 people was going approximately 10 MPH when it crashed, federal investigators said the following day. [N.Y. Times website report]

NEW SINGLE-LEVEL DINING CAR PERFORMING WELL, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak's first new dining car, built by CAF in Elmira, N.Y., has been out and running since just after Thanksgiving. Amtrak believes that the car is generally performing well. It and 24 others will run on the Silver Meteor, Crescent and Lake Shore Limited. Also to be delivered are 25 sleepers, 70 baggage cars and 10 baggage-dormitory cars. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-6-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE TO ROANOKE EXPECTED TO BEGIN THIS FALL: Amtrak's train route to Roanoke, Va., an extension of current service ending in Lynchburg, is expected to start in the fall of 2017. It is contingent on the construction of a platform and other facilities in Roanoke. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-6-17]

SECOND ALBANY-SCHENECTADY TRACK TO BE READY BY SPRING: Work to install a second track on Amtrak's line between Albany and Schenectady, N.Y., has picked up again, with the long-awaited addition expected to be completed this spring. Also, a new platform is being built at the Schenectady station to accommodate the new track. The project is part of an effort to eliminate congestion and ease train flow. [Daily Gazette website report, 1-6-17]

MBTA TO ALLOW CONTRACT WITH KEOLIS TO EXPIRE: The Massachusetts Bay Tansportation authority will not extend the contract with Keolis, the transit agency that operates the agency's commuter rail system, when the contract ends in June 2022. [WWLP website report, 1-6-17]

RALEIGH'S NEW TRAIN STATION HALFWAY COMPLETE: Union Station in Raleigh, N.C., is halfway complete, and should be fully operational in early 2018. The city aims to make it a central focal point, and it will also serve as a hub for local buses. The $90-million facility will offer a variety of restaurants and shopping centers, while serving as a venue for city events. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-6-17]

TEXAS CENTRAL TO TAKE EMINENT DOMAIN ISSUE TO COURT: The Texas Central Railroad will go to court in July to argue that it meets the proper state requirements as an official railway company, allowing it to use eminent domain to survey and then acquire private land for the construction of a high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 1-6-17]

AMTRAK ANNOUNCES CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING: Effective immediately, Amtrak's management team will consist of Operations, led by Scot Naparstek; Marketing and Business Development, led by Jason Molfetas; Finance, led by Jerry Sokol; Law, led by Eldie Acheson; Administration, led by D.J. Stadler; and Technology and Public Affairs, led by Stephen Gardner. Train operations will be managed regionally through three general managers, and supported by Mechanical, Engineering, Network Support, Police and security organizations. The restructuring will give Amtrak more flexibility to comply with the new accont structure created under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation act. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-5-17]

FEDS OK $1.6-B FOR L.A. PURPLE LINE EXTENSION: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has committed $1.6-billion toward the second phase of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority's Purple line extension. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-5-17]

LIRR TRAIN CRASHES IN BROOKLYN: A Long Island Rail Road commuter train crashed at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, N.Y., early Jan. 4, injuring about 103 people, officials said. About 430 passengers were aboard the train at the time. The train struck the bumping block at the end of the track at low speed. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening. The accident is under investigation. [ABC News website report, 1-4-17]

CHINA SENDS FIRST TRAIN TO LONDON: China has sent its first freight train on its 8,000-mile route to London in what is one of the world's longest train journey. [CNN website report, 1-4-17]

NEW AUTOMATED METRO LINE OPENS IN HONG KONG: Hong Kong's new fully-automated metro line has opened. The 4.4-mile South Island Line includes four new stations. [Global Rail News website report, 1-4-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported total U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 31, 2016, was up 7.7 percent compared with the corresponding week a year earlier. For the entire year, traffic was down 5.0 percent. [Railway Age website report, 1-4-17]

JAN. 4 MARKS 30TH YEAR SINCE AMTRAK CRASH IN MARYLAND: Thirty years ago Jan. 4 an Amtrak train from Washington DC to Boston collided with a Conrail train near the south end of the Gunpowder River bridge in Chase, Md., killing 16 people. [WTOP website report, 1-4-17]

SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY OPENS: Thousands attended the inauguration of service on New York's Second avenue subway line between 63rd and 96th streets Jan. 1. The opening of the line came nearly 88 years after the first bond issuewas floated to finance construction of a subway beneath Second avenue. [Railway Age website report, 1-3-17]

UNION PACIFIC ACQUIRES RAILEX ASSETS: Union Pacific announced Jan. 3 that it had acquired Railex LLC's refrigerated and cold storage distribution assets in Delano, California; Wallula, Washington; and Rotterdam, N.Y. [Union Pacific, 1-3-17]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE IN 2016: For the full year 2016, the Bull Sheet calculates that 40 percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier. The remaining 60 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 14 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-3-17]

BOLIVIA, PARAGUAY TO STUDY RAIL LINK: Bolivia and Paraguay on Jan. 2 signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding pledging to carry out preliminary studies into a rail link between the two countries. [Railway Age website report]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DECLINES: Class I railroads employed 151,495 workers as of mid-November 2016, down 0.27 percent from mid-October, and 7.76 percent from year-ago levels, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-3-17]

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