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Bull Sheet Newswire

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS WASHOUTS NEAR CINCINNATI: Multiple washouts have been reported between Somerville and Hamilton, Ohio. The affected area is roughly 35 miles north of Cincinnati, and there is no current estimate on when the route will be returned to service. Norfolk Southern freight trains 25A, 215, 216, 240, 241, 282 and 295 are affected. [Norfolk Southern, 5-25-17]

METRA TO INSTALL INWARD-FACING CAMERAS: Metra's board has approved an $11-million contract to install a new inward-facing camera system on locomotives, cab cars and Highliner cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-25-17]

UNION PACIFIC BUDGETS $49-M FOR MISSOURI RAIL IMPROVEMENTS: Union Pacific has outlined a plan to invest $49-million in its Missouri infrastructure this year. About $46-million of that amount will be spent on track and bridge maintenance. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-25-17]

NJT TO LOWER SOME RAIL FARES DURING PENN STATION WORK: New Jersey Transit will reduce fares 56 to 63 pct for its Midtown Direct service on the Morris and Essex lines during this summer's repairs at New York Penn Station July and August. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-25-17]

MASTER DEVELOPER NAMED FOR CHICAGO UNION STATION PROJECT: Amtrak has named a team lead by Riverside Investment & Development Co. as master developer for commercial elements of Chicago Union Station and neighboring Amtrak-owned properties. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-25-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending May 20, 2017, total U.S. rail freight traffic was 534,922 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 5.5 pct compared with the same week last year, as reported by the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 5-24-17]

ALSTOM LANDS GERMAN ORDER FOR 10 DIESEL MULTIPLE-UNITS: Hohenzollern Railways has awarded Alstom a contract to supply 10 Coradia Lint-54 diesel multiple-units for the Ulm Star regional network in Baden-Wurttenberg. The two-car trains are rated for 87 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-24-17]

THE STRATO F-STYLE KNUCKLE GETS AAR APPROVAL: Strato Inc. announced that its F-style knuckle has received approval from the Association of American Railroads' Coupling System and Truck Castings committee. The letter 'V' will be added to the AAR catalog number designating that the knuckle has met the M-216 test requirement of 600,000 fatigue cycles. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-24-17]

NEW JUMBO BIN SHIPPING CONTAINER GETS PATENT: OmniTrax affiliate Arrows Up has been issued a U.S. patent for the design, construction and usage of its Jumbo Bin bulk material shipping container. The bin was designed for shippers of frac sand and other bulk commodities to store and transport up to 25 tons of product while eliminating the need for dust-suppression equipment, and reduces the need of product transfers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-24-17]

FEDS GRANT $33-M TOWARD PTC ON SCHENECTADY-POUGHKEEPSIE AMTRAK LINE: The federal government has awarded a $33-million grant to pay for positive train-control technology on Amtrak-leased tracks between Schenectady and Poughkeepsie, N.Y. [Albany Times Union website report, 5-24-17]

WATCO OPENS SAFETY TRAINING CENTER IN ALABAMA: Watco Cos. has opened its new Safety Through Awareness and Training Center near Fairfield, Alabama. It will host hundreds of Watco employees with classrooms, a functional model railroad, simulators, and in indoor components training area with a cutaway rail car, air brake simulator rack and hands-on tools for operating and mechanical personnel. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-23-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 21, 2017. The remaining 71 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 31 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-22-17]

CSX LAYS OFF AT LEAST 50 IN CUMBERLAND SHOP: At least 50 employees have been furloughed from the CSX mechanical back shop at Cumberland, Md., or about one-quarter of the department, according to sources. [WCBC Radio website report, 5-22-17]

WABTEC LANDS $40-M SOUTH FLORIDA PTC CONTRACT: Wabtec has obtained a $40-million contract to design, install, test and commission positive train-control for the South Florida Regional Transportation authority, which operates Tri-Rail in the Miami area. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-22-17]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN APRIL: Class I railroads employed 149,107 workers in the U.S. as of mid-April, down 0.14 pct compared with mid-March, and down 2.64 pct from April of last year, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-22-17]

TEJAS EXPRESS BEGINS IN INDIA: Indian Railways today began its new Tejas Express premium long-distance train from Mumbai to Karmali. Service will operate five days a week, except during the monsoon season when it will reduce to three days a week, with an eight and one-half hour journey for the 360-mile trip. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-22-17]

JUDGE'S RULING PUTS D.C. AREA PURPLE LINE IN POSSIBLE JEOPARDY: A U.S. district judge has put a stop - possibly permanently - to the proposed Purple light-rail line in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. by ruling that officials did not adequately protray the line's effects. He ordered a supplemental environmental impact statement, and the results could derail the project. [WTOP-FM website report, 5-22-17]

N.Y. GOVERNOR WANTS PENN STATION PROBLEMS DECLARED A NATIONAL EMERGENCY: The tracks at New York Penn Station are deteriorating, and Governor Cuomo wants the situation declared a national emergency so it can receive federal funds. [Reuters website report, 5-22-17]

FEDS APPROVE $647-M GRANT FOR CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION: In a stunning reversal, the Federal Transit administration said it will approve a $647-million grant to electrify Caltrain tracks, nearly doubling capacity on the San Jose to San Francisco commuter route. [San Jose Mercury website report, 5-22-17]

METRO-NORTH TRAIN DERAILS OUTSIDE NEW YORK: A Metro-North commuter train derailed outside of New York City during the evening rush May 18. Of the 185 passengers, 12 suffered minor injuries. The incident was on the New Haven line involving a train inbound from Stamford. Officials indicated that heat and speed may have contributed to the accident. A number of other trains were delayed as a result. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 5-19-17]

ONTARIO COMMITS TO TORONTO-WINDSOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: The province of Ontario is set to begin preliminary design work on a high-speed rail line from Toronto to Windsor, which will serve five intermediate stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-19-17]

VALLEY METRO APPROVES CONTRACTS FOR NEW RAIL FLEET: Valley Metro has approved contracts to buy new light-rail vehicles and streetcars. Siemens will build 11 S70 light-rail cars to handle growth along the agency's 26-mile line serving Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, Arizona, and planned extensions; Brookville will build six off-wire-capable streetcars for the planned Tempe Streetcar line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-19-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $41-M IN ITS WYOMING INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific has slotted $41-million for track and bridge maintenance in Wyoming this year, the company said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-19-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO CUT OPERATIONS AT DEBUTTS YARD IN TENNESSEE: The scope of operations is being cut almost in half at the Chattanooga Railroad yard. Norfolk Southern's Debutts yard will be going from 71 yard employees down to 30, they have been told. Town hall meetings have been set by the railroad to explain the reductions. [Chattanoogan website report, 5-19-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail traffic climbed 5.7 pct to 526,970 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 13, 2017, compared with the corresponding week one year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-18-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO SPEND $48-M ON UTAH INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific plans to spend just over $48-million this year to improve its Utah infrastructure, the company announced. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-18-17]

STADLER ROLLS OUT FIRST GIRUNO TRAIN FOR SWISS GOTTHARD ROUTE: Stadler has presented the first 11-car Giruno 155 MPH electric train to Swiss Federal Railways. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-18-17]

BNSF FILES TO ABANDON 2.7-MILE LINE IN MONTANA: BNSF has filed paperwork with the Surface Transportation Board to abandon 2.7 miles of rail line through Kalispell, Montana. The city intends to develop a trail system upon the right-of-way. [Daily Inter Lake website report, 5-18-17]

NJT AWARDS PREP WORK FOR PORTAL BRIDGE PROJECT: N.J. Transit has entered into an early action contract for preparatory construction ahead of the replacement of the Portal bridge, a key link in the Northeast Corridor rail route. [Railway Age website report, 5-18-17]

PLANS IN WORK TO RETURN SOME AMTRAK TRAINS TO GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL: The state of New York and Amtrak are making plans to return some or all of the Hudson Valley trains to Grand Central Terminal, temporarily, in order to lessen the traffic load at Penn Station while that station undergoes repairs. Amtrak trains have not used Grand Central on a regular basis since 1991, when it consolidated operations at Penn Station to better facilitate connections. [Politico website report, 5-17-17]

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OF AMTRAK CONDUCTOR: Police in Naperville, Illinois, have arrested a suspect in the shooting of a 45-year-old Amtrak conductor late May 16, and authorities say passengers may have saved lives by detaining the gunman. The conductor was taken to a hospital with torso injuries. [Daily Herald website report, 5-17-17]

METRA BREAKS GROUND ON ROMEOVILLE STATION: Metra has broken ground on a new $4.9-million Heritage Corridor line station in Romeoville, Illinois. The station will be the first new stop on the line since Metra's creation in 1984. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-17-17]

SOUND TRANSIT, SIEMENS FINALIZE ORDER FOR 30 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Sound Transit and Siemens have signed a contract for 30 additional light-rail cars. The order expands on a September 2016 contract for 122 light-rail units. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-17-17]

MANAGEMENT CONTRACT AWARDED FOR BOSTON-AREA RAIL EXTENSION: CH2M has been awarded a contract to oversee construction firms that will build the $2.2-billion Green line extension in the Boston area. The contract is the largest yet awarded for the project. [Construction Drive website report, 5-17-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-two percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 14, 2017. The remaining 78 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 22 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-15-17]

METROLINX ORDERS 61 MORE ALSTOM CARS: Alstom and Metrolinx of Canada have announced at $529-million (C) order for 61 Citadis Spirit light-rail vehicles for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. [Railway Age website report, 5-15-17]

CSX TO SHUT DOWN HUMP YARD AT SELKIRK, N.Y.: CSX plans to shut down its hump operation that sorts rail cars using gravity at its massive Selkirk, N.Y., in coming weeks as a cost-cutting measure. [Albany Times Union website report, 5-15-17]

MAN TAKING PHOTO STRUCK BY AMTRAK TRAIN: Police in Springfield, Illinois, say a 33-year-old man was struck by an Amtrak train May 13 as he was apparently taking a photo of himself with the train in the background. They said the train struck his arm and spun him around, causing him to fall, and he was struck by the train. The man was hospitalized in critical condition. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch website report, 5-14-17]

FEDS AGREE, N.Y. PENN STATION WORK URGENTLY NEEDED: The Federal Railroad admiistration has confirmed that immediate repairs are needed at New York's Penn Station. Inspectors reviewed all 21 tracks following two recent derailments, and they found a number of maintenance issues, with remedial action in a majority of cases requiring lowering of track speeds from 15 to 10 miles per hour. [U.S. News & World Report, 5-12-17]

JUDGE ORDERS CHARGES AGAINST AMTRAK ENGINEER: Two days after presecutors said they would not bring criminal charges against the Amrtak engineer involved in the deadly 2015 derailment in Philadelphia, a municipal court judge has ordered his arrest on charges of involuntary manslauter and reckless endangerment. [National Public Radio website report, 5-12-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $41-M IN OKLAHOMA INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific will invest approximately $41-million in its Oklahoma rail infrastructure as part of the company's $3.1-billion capital plan. Initiatives include track and bridge maintenance, and upgrade of two rail lines. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-12-17]

WISCONSIN CO-OP GETS STATE LOAN TO BUILD SPUR TRACKS: Wisconsin has awarded a $2.6-million loan to Country Visions Cooperative, which is building a new dry fertilizer plant in Plymouth with rail access. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-12-17]

SEPTA SETS SIGHTS ON FINAL PTC IMPLEMENTATION: SEPTA activated equipment May 1 to conform with Amtrak's positive train-control on three rail lines, and its final work will focus on the boundary locations where the agency abuts Amtrak. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-12-17]

THIRD AND FOURTH BRIGHTLINE TRAINS BEING DELIVERED: Brightline, Florida's privately-funded passenger rail operator, plans today to take delivery of two more train sets. The trains are 100 pct Buy America, utilizing components from more than 40 U.S. suppliers in 20 states. Named BrightGreen and BrightOrange, the trains join previously-delivered BrightBlue and BrightPink. The fifth set, BrightRed, is expected to be delivered in June. [Railway Age website report, 5-12-17]

SIEMENS TO CUT JOBS IN EFFICIENCY DRIVE: Siemens has annoounced plans to cut nearly 1,700 jobs in Germany during the next few years, including 300 immediately at the Krefield train-building plant, as part of the company's efficiency and modernization drive to become a 'digitial industrial' company. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-12-17]

PORT OF VA. MARKS ARRIVAL OF EAST COAST'S LARGEST CARGO SHIP: The Port of Virginia on May 8 marked the arrival of the Cosco Development container ship, the largest vessel to call the U.S. East Coast. The vessel, which can carry 13,092 twenty-foot equivalent units, arrived via the recently expanded Panama Canal. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-12-17]

VIA RAIL LOGGED RIDERSHIP, REVENUE GAINS IN 2016: Via Rail Canada in 2016 moved 3,974,004 passengers, marking a 4.1 pct increase compared with 2015. Passenger revenue rose 9.5 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-12-17]

AMTRAK TO HIRE PRIVATE COMPANY TO MANAGE N.Y. PENN STATION CONCOURSE: Amtrak plans to hire a private company to manage the concourse-level area it controls in New York's Penn Station. Amtrak will create a new development entity tasked with selecting a management firm. [Reuters website report, 5-11-17]

MORE PROBLEMS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: Signal problems led to delays at New York's Penn Station May 10 as crowds of commuters swelled so much that police had to block off some of the entrances to the busy station during the evening rush. Rush-hour problems this week were just the latest in what has seemed to commuters an incessant string of rail problems dating back several weeks, including two derailments and a train getting stuck in one of the tunnels. [NBC N.Y. website report, 5-10-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Total U.S. rail freight traffic was 515,305 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 6, 2017, compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported. [Railway Age website report, 5-10-17]

NEW RAIL-SERVED INLAND PORT TO BE BUILT IN MANITOBA: Mid Canada Transload Services is building a rail-served inland port near Letellier, Manitoba, seven miles north of the U.S. border. The site will have access to both CN and BNSF. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-10-17]

ISRAEL RAILWAYS ORDERS 33 MORE DOUBLE-DECK COACHES: Israel Railways has placed an order with Bombardier for 33 additional Twindexx Vario coaches, expanding its fleet of the cars to 462. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-10-17]

UNION PACIFIC CELEBRATES GREAT RACE TO PROMONTORY: Union Pacific has launched a two-year celebration commemorating the Great Race to complete the transcontinental railroad nearly 150 years ago. The celebration is intended to honor the communities and railroad development that played critical roles in the country's growth and way of life, the company said. [Union Pacific, 5-10-17]

METRA BREAKS GROUND ON HEALY STATION RENOVATION: Metra has broken ground on its $7.3-million renovation of the Healy station on the Milwaukee North Line. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-9-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $57-M IN KANSAS RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific plans to invest approximately $57-million in Kansas infrastructure in 2017, part of the company's $3.1-billion overall capital plan. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-9-17]

COAST STARLIGHT TO RESUME THROUGH SERVICE MAY 10: Amtrak says its Coast Starlight will resume through service May 10 after having been truncated since a Union Pacific freight train derailment near Dunsmuir, California, on April 25, causing major damage to a bridge. [Herald & News website report, 5-9-17]

AMTRAK ENGINEER IN 2015 PHILADELPHIA CRASH WILL NOT BE CHARGED: The Amtrak engineer operating the train that derailed in Philadelphia in May 2015 killing eight will not be criminally charged, the city's district attorney said. Evidence indicates that the engineer was operating the train well in excess of the speed limit, but there was no evidence that he acted with criminal intent or criminal knowledge. [N.Y. Daily News website report, 5-9-17]

QUEBEC TO REHAB GASPE LINE: Quebec will allocate $73-million (C) towards the rehabilitation of the Matapedia-Gaspe line. The province acquired the 202-mile line in 2015 after the Gaspe Railway went into receivership. Via Rail had suspended Montreal-Gaspe passenger services east of Matapedia in 2013 due to poor infrastructure. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-9-17]

AUSTRALIA TO SPEND UP TO $14.7-B ON RAIL PROJECTS: Australia has committed up to $14.7-billion in current and forward investment in rail projects, representing the largest ever rail commitment by an Australian federal government. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-9-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 7, 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 41 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-8-17]

BNSF REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: BNSF's first-quarter revenue rose 8.8 pct to $5.2-billion and pre-tax earnings increased 6.9 pct to $1.3-billion, compared with the same quarter a year ago. Net income increased 7 pct to $838-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-8-17]

DETROIT'S STREETCAR SYSTEM BEGINS MAY 12: Detroit's QLINE streetcar system will launch May 12 on a 3.3-mile stretch of Woodward avenue. Six battery-powered streetcars will operate, and will help alleviate congestion when Little Caesars Arena opens in the area later this year. [Detroit Free Press website report, 5-8-17]

N.J. TRANSIT LOST $5.5-M IN UNCOLLECTED FARES IN 2016, UNION SAYS: New Jersey Transit failed to collect more than 240,000 fares in 2016 as a result of staffing shortages and train crowding, according to its conductors' union, and that could represent more than $5.5-million in lost revenue. [NJ.com report, 5-7-17]

CANDO RAIL OPENS TERMINAL IN B.C.: Cando Rail Services has opened its new rail terminal in Kamloops, B.C. The first phase of the construction project included a new track that will be used primarily for storing empty rail cars. Later plans for the site include transloading, rail-car repair and track and engineering services. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-8-17]

VALLEY METRO TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION ON TEMPE STREETCAR IN JUNE: Valley Metro will begin construction on its Tempe, Arizona, streetcar in June. The region's first streetcar, it will connect riders to Mill and Ash avenues, Rio Salado parkway, Apache boulevard and two light-rail stations. Six streetcar vehicles will be built. [Railway Track & Structures website report]

SEPTA DOUBLE-DECK COACH CONTRACT SIGNED: SEPTA has signed a contract with CRRC Tangshan for 45 double-deck coaches, which will be used with new Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotives on regional rail services on the Northeast Corridor. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-5-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Genesee & Wyoming reported first-quarter operating revenue of $591.1-million, an increase of 7.6 pct compared with the same quarter last year. Operating income increased nearly 36 pct to $77.5-million. Results, however, were weaker than expected, the company said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-5-17]

FEDS AWARD $100-M TO SOUND TRANSIT FOR LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Sound Transit's Lynnwood Link 8.5-mile light-rail extension will receive $100-million in federal funds from a spending bill approved by Congress on May 4. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-5-17]

NEW YORK MTA AWARDS CONTRACT FOR STORAGE YARD IN QUEENS: The Metropolitan Transportation authority in New York has awarded a contract to build the Mid-Day storage yard in Queens as part of the agency's overall East Side access project, which calls for bringing Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-5-17]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC IN APRIL: U.S. railroads moved 2,075,301 carloads and intermodal units in April 2017, a 5.2 pct increase compared with the same month a year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-4-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING ACQUIRES PENTALVER TRANSPORT: Genesee & Wyoming has completed its acquisition of Pentalver Transport from APM Terminals. Pentalver's operations are complementary to those of Genesee & Wyoming's Freightliner subsidiary, which provides maritime container transportation by rail in the U.K. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-4-17]

AMTRAK NEEDS $38-B FOR NORTHEAST CORRIDOR REPAIRS: Amtrak's Northeast corridor needs $38-billion over five years to stay in good working order, a 36 pct jump over the estimate just a year ago, according to a report by the Northeast Corridor Commission. Though Amtrak and the regional railroads that use its tracks have pledged $3.3-billion for infrastructure over that period, it will not go toward the backlog of projects needed to refurbish signals and power systems, replace bridges and build a new Hudson River tunnel. [Bloomberg News website report, 5-4-17]

IDAHO TRAIN DERAILMENT TO BLOCK HIGHWAY FOR TWO WEEKS: Crews are working to remove around 25 derailed rail cars from the southbound lanes of U.S. 95 north of Athol, Idaho, from a May 1 accident involving a BNSF train. There were no injuries, but damage was so extensive that repairs to the highway are expected to take about two weeks. [Idaho Statesman website report, 5-4-17]

GREAT LAKES BASIN FILES PLANS FOR NEW RAILROAD AROUND CHICAGO: Great Lakes Basin Transportation has filed its application to build and operate a 275-mile freight railroad that would operate in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, avoiding Chicago. In addition to the railroad, the company's program calls for construction of a privately-funded toll-expressway to connect the Indiana Toll Road with Interstates 80/94. 65. 57. 55 and 80, as well as development opportunities for the South Suburban Airport in Illinois. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-3-17]

SEATTLE TO BUILD FIRST-EVER FLOATING BRIDGE RAIL PROJECT: Sound Transit will begin construction in June on a rail project on a floating bridge over Lake Washington. The work is part of a $3.7-billion plan to expand light-rail, and engineers say that despite a floating bridge rail project has never been attempted, it is based on proven engineering techniques. [KCPQ-TV website report, 5-3-17]

AMTRAK'S COAST STARLIGHT IMPACTED BY FREIGHT DERAILMENT IN CALIFORNIA: Amtrak says that service is suspended between Eugene, Oregon, and Sacramento due to an April 25 freight train derailment near Dunsmuir, California, damaging a bridge which will take until about the middle of May to repair. Coast Starlight passengers are being bused between the two points. [Herald and News website report, 5-3-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO INTRODUCE NEW CREW MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: A new train crew management and payroll system is being developed by PS Technology for Norfolk Southern which will optimize assignments by factoring work schedules and geographical operating credentials. In addition to crew assignments, the system will ultimately manage payroll, taxi, lodging and vacation scheduling. [Norfolk Southern, 5-2-17]

LUXURY TRAIN SERVICE BEGINS IN JAPAN: A train that's a contender for being the most luxurious in the world set off on its maiden journey May 1. The Train Suite Shiki-Shima left Tokyo with 33 passengers for a four-day tour of northeast Japan and the island of Hokkaido. The train features suites and panoramic observation cars, and was designed by an automobile expert behind various Prosche, Ferrari and Maserati models. The top suite sells for $10,000. [Daily Mail website report, 5-2-17]

SEATTLE SETS OUT LIGHT-RAIL EXPANSION PLANS: Sound Transit has announced plans for a major expansion of Seattle light-rail network to integrate projects funded through a ballot measure approved by voters last year. By the end of this year, the agency will be planning, designing or building 24 light-rail and bus projects in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-2-17]

N.Y. PENN TO SEE LIMITED SERVICE IN JULY, AUGUST: Amtrak is anticipating as many as 44 days of limited service in July and August for repairs at New York Penn Station in a plan announced by the company. Of the 600,000 riders who use the station each day, 90 pct are from commuter railroads N.J. Transit and Long Island.. [Bloomberg website report, 5-2-17]

CP OPENS NEW LINE TO POTASH LINE IN SASKATCHEWAN: Canadian Pacific has opened a new 18.6-mile line to serve a potash mine in Bethune, Saskatchewan. Construction of the line was a 'geotechnical challenge,' as grading required the movement of over 12.6 million cubic yards of earth in addition to a bridge and tunnel. [Canadian Pacific, 5-2-17]

AMTRAK SUSPENDS RAIL SERVICE ACROSS MISSOURI DUE TO FLOODS: Amtrak suspended rail service across Missouri because of flooding caused by recent heavy rains. Passengers between St. Louis and Kansas City will be provided substituted buses, but these are subject to delays avoiding flood areas en route. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch website report, 5-2-17]

STADLER LANDS SWISS ORDER FOR 58 EMU'S: Switzerland's second largest railway BLS has selected Stadler Rail for a contract worth $653-million to supply 58 electric multiple-units for regional and suburban services. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-2-17]

CLASS I R.R. EMPLOYMENT RISES SLIGHTLY IN MARCH: Class I railroads employeed 149,323 workers in the U.S. as of mid-March 2017, up 0.32 pct since mid-February's figures, but down 2.86 pct compared with one year ago, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-1-17]

TRAINS COLLIDE ON CN LINE IN MISSISSIPPI: Canadian National has reopened a rail line in Mississippi after two southbound trains collided April 30, sparking a fire. Three locomotives and eight cars of one train and one locomotive and three cars of another derailed, and more than 20,000 gallons of crude leaked, which burned. There were no injuries, but some residents were evacuated. The accident disrupted Amtrak's City of New Orleans, with passengers bused around the impacted area. [U.S. News & World Report, 5-1-17]

APRIL AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the month of April 2017 (compared with 44 percent in the same month last year). The remaining 69 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 16 minutes late (compared with one hour and four minutes late in the same month last year). MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-1-17]

SOUND TRANSIT ORDERS 30 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FROM SIEMENS: Sound Transit has approved a $131-million order for 30 additional light-rail vehicles from Siemens. The units will support the opening of the Link extension to Federal Way and downtown Redmond, Washington, in 2024. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-28-17]

TRIPLE-TRACK PORTION OPENED BETWEEN KELSO AND LONGVIEW, WASHINGTON: A new third track between Kelso and Longview Junction, Washington, is now operational and provides expanded capacity for both passenger and freight trains. The project eliminates a chokepoint formed by freight coming in and out of the port of Longview, long a source of delays. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-28-17]

PLANNING FUNDS AUTHORIZED FOR PATH EXTENSION TO NEWARK AIRPORT: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has authorized $57-million in planning funds for the first phase of the PATH system extension to Newark Liberty International airport. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-28-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Union Pacific reported first-quarter net income of nearly $1.1-billion, or a first-quarter record $1.32 per diluted share. Operating revenue of $5.1-billion was up 6 pct compared with the first-quarter last year. Quarterly freight revenue improved 6 pct, and the company's operating ratio of 65.1 pct was flat compared to the same quarter 2016. [Union Pacific, 4-27-17]

AMTRAK TO SPEED UP N.Y. PENN STATION WORK: Amtrak will accelerate a series of infrastructure renewal projects at New York's Penn Station that will require track closures and schedule adjustments, the company said. The projects will begin in May and are expected to be completed in September. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-27-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 515,131 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 22, 2017, a 4.7 pct increase compared with the corresponding week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-27-17]

RAIL-CAR AXLE FACILITY OPENS IN CALIFORNIA: The Greenbrier Cos. has opened the GBSummit rail-car axle machining facility in San Bernardino, California, jointly owned by Greenbrier and Sumitomo. The facility has the capacity to produce up to 12,000 axles per year, with plans to expand production over the next 36 months to 50,000 axles annually. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-27-17]

UNION PACIFIC DERAILMENT IN CALIFORNIA CAUSES MAJOR DAMAGE: A train derailment April 25 in Shasta County, California, could shut down a Union Pacific line for up to a month. The derailment happened on a bridge spanning the Sacramento River in the upper Sacramento Canyon. The section of line links Redding and Dunsmuir. There were no injuries. [KOBI5 website report, 4-27-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported first-quarter net income of $433-million, up 12 pct year-over-year, a result of a 7 pct rise in income from railway operations, as well as a lower effective income tax rate. Diluted earnings per share were $1.48, up 15 pct year-over-year and a first-quarter record. Railway operating ratio was 70 pct, also a first-quarter record. [Norfolk Southern, 4-26-17]

MARTA STEWART RETIRING FROM NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Marta R. Stewart, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Norfolk Southern, is retiring Aug. 1, 2017. [Norfolk Southern, 4-26-17]

N.Y. PENN STATION TRACK REPAIRS COULD CAUSE MAJOR DELAYS: Tens of thousands of New Jersey commuters who ride to and from New York's Penn Station could face massive delays in the coming months due to the need of urgent repairs that could shut down several tracks at the same time. Officials have discussed closing several tracks for days or weeks at a time. [New Jersey online, 4-26-17]

BOY STRUCK, INJURED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN N.Y. STATE: A 16-year-old boy was struck by an Amtrak train in Verona, N.Y., early April 26. He was transported to a hospital in Syracuse with serious leg and foot injuries. [Syracuse.com, 4-26-17]

PHOENIX COUNCIL APPROVES FUNDS FOR VALLEY METRO EXTENSION: The Phoenix city council has approved a $50-million agreement with Valley Metro to fund final design and pre-construction activity for the five-mile South Central light-rail extension. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-26-17]

WASHINGTON METRO ORDERED TO ADDRESS WORKER SAFETY: The Federal Transit administration has ordered the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit authority to take immediate actions to address track worker safety deficiencies. In at least four recent instances, procedures were violated when workers were on the track and trains entered work zones at track speed. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-26-17]

CSX DISMISSES 200 MORE MANAGERS: CSX finalized the company's management layoffs April 25, bringing the complete tally of layoffs to 1,000, which the company originally projected in February. [St. Augustine Record website report, 4-26-17]

RENFE TO ORDER 15 MORE TALGO TRAINS: Spanish national train operator Renfe is set to exercise an option with Talgo for 15 additional Avril 205-MPH trains, just six months after it awarded a contract to supply and maintain an initial batch of 15 trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-26-17]

CN NAMES WINNIPEG TRAINING CENTER AFTER CLAUDE MONGEAU: Canadian National has named its national employee training center in Winnipeg after former president and chief executive officer Claude Mongeau. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-26-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO DEVELOP SECOND PITTSBURGH ROUTE FOR DOUBLE-STACKS: Norfolk Southern intends to upgrade a second route through Pittsburgh that can accommodate double-track cars. The state of Pennsylvania has approved a $20-million grant to advance the project, which will include improvements at 14 bridge crossings in Braddock, Swissdale and Pittsburgh. A landslide last June caused closure of tracks near Station Square for 11 days, crippling the railroad's ability to move double-stack freight cars throough the region. Development of the second route is intended to address such a situation. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website report,4-25-17]

BNSF STORING LOCOMOTIVES IN EDGEMONT, S.D.: Over 90 locomotives are being stored by BNSF at its yard in Edgemont, S.D., having been moved there from another yard which needed the space. The railroad cited decreased demand for motive power, particularly for coal. [Rapid City Journal website report, 4-25-17]

UNION PACIFIC APPEARS POISED FOR REBOUND AS DEMAND FOR COAL RISES: Union Pacific appears set to break a two-year streak of falling shipments as more expensive natural gas has boosted demand for coal at the nation's electric utilities. [Omaha World Herald website report, 4-25-17]

CHINA RAILWAY ORDERS MORE CRH1A-A HIGH-SPEED TRAINS: China Railway has awarded a $79-million contract to Bombardier Sifang Transportation to supply five 8-car CRH1A-A high-speed 155 MPH trains for the Nanning Railway Bureau, following an earlier order of 18 trains at the beginning of March. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-25-17]

TRINITY QUARTERLY RESULTS DECLINE ON WEAKER CAR DELIVERIES: Rail car builder Trinity Industries said revenue and profits declined on significantly lower rail car deliveries in the first-quarter 2017 compared with the year-ago quarter. Rail group revenues were $478.3-million, compared with $846.9-million in the same quarter last year. [Railway Age website report, 4-25-17]

SIEMENS TO BASE RAIL UNIT IN DELAWARE: Siemens has launched Digital Rail Services, a new business unit that will have its East Coast headquarters near New Castle, Delaware. [News Journal website report, 4-25-17]

MASSIVE CROWDING AT N.Y. PENN STATION DUE TO DELAYS: New York City commuters dealing with up to 60-minute train delays late April 25 were temporarily restricted from accessing Penn Station because of crowding conditions. [CBS News website report, 4-25-17]

CN REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: CN reported first-quarter 2017 net income of $884-million (C), an increase of 12 pct compared with the same quarter last year. Earnings per share increased 16 pct to $1.16, and operating income increased 7 pct to $1.3-billion. [CN, 4-24-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 23, 2017. The remainig 66 percent, on average, arrived one hour late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-24-17]

CONTAINER ON UNION PACIFIC TRAIN EXPLODES IN HOUSTON: A fire that broke out on a Union Pacific train in Houston after one of the containers it was carrying exploded late April 23. The railroad said the container was carrying recycled lithium batteries. No injuries were reported. [Click2Houston website report, 4-24-17]

HUNTER HARRISON TO SERVE AS CSX PRESIDENT, IN ADDITION TO CEO: In addition to serving as CSX's chief executive officer, E. Hunter Harrison will serve as president, according to a proxy statement hedge fund Mantle Ridge has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-24-17]

METRA, UNION PACIFIC BEGIN $100-M THIRD-TRACK PROJECT ON U.P.-WEST LINE: Metra and Union Pacific have broken ground on a $100-million project to add a third track along a nearly eight-mile portion of the UP West Line. The project includes the only two remaining double-track segments on the line, which runs from Chicago to Elburn, Illinois. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-24-17]

TRAIN KILLS PEDESTRIAN IN MEYERSDALE, PA.: Authorities say a pedestrian was struck and killed by a train at a CSX crossing in Meyersdale, Pa., late April 22. Police say the man went past the crossing gates while they were activated, and was hit. [U.S. News & World Report, 4-23-17]

BNSF LAYS OFF 55 AT DIESEL SHOP IN GLENDIVE, MONTANA: BNSF has laid off 55 employees from its diesel shop in Glendive, Montana, citing slumping oil and coal shipments. The cuts represent about half of the workforce at the shop. [NBC Montana website report, 4-22-17]

CALIFORNIA'S HIGH-SPEED RAIL CHAIRMAN TO STEP DOWN: Jeff Morales, chief executive officer of the California High-Speed Rail authority, has announced that he will be stepping down from his job this summer after five years on the job. [U.S. News & World Report, 4-21-17]

POWER OUTAGE SNARLS N.Y. SUBWAYS: A power outage made for a disastrous commute on New York City's subway system early April 21, and the effects persisted as the evening rush began. [CBS N.Y. website report, 4-21-17]

PHOENIX, TEMPE TO BE LINKED TO AMTRAK WITH THRUWAY BUS: Beginning May 1, Amtrak will begin running a thruway bus service to connect passengers from the Amtrak stop in Maricopa, Arizona, to Phoenix and Tempe. Stagecoach Express is partnering with Amtrak to provide the service. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 4-21-17]

KCS REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Kansas City Southern reported first-quarter 2017 revenue of $610-million, an increase of 8 pct over the first-quarter 2016. Operating income of $211-million, a first-quarter record, was 12 pct higher than the prior year. [Kansas City Southern, 4-21-17]

BUFFALO STATION SITE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS DOWNTOWN LOCATION: The Buffalo Station Site Committee has decided that a new station to serve the city should be located downtown. New York's Dept. of Transportation has the final say in the exact location and configuration. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 4-21-17]

BNSF LOGISTICS ADDS LOCATION IN MEXICO: BNSF Logistics is expanding its presence in Mexico by opening an office in Queretaro. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-21-17]

CSX HIKES DIVIDEND 11 PCT: CSX has increased its quarterly dividend 11 pct. from 18 cents to 20 cents per share. The company has also announced a new $1-billion share repurchase program. [CSX. 4-20-17]

CSX PREDICTS 25 PCT PROFIT JUMP: CSX expects to deliver a 25 pct increase in profits this year as the railroad works to streamline operations under its new CEO Hunter Harrison. [U.S. News & World Report, 4-20-17]

SIEMENS TO 'DIGITALIZE' U.S. RAIL NETWORK: Siemens has launched a new business that will use sensors and software platforms to help improve rail operations. Siemens Digital Rail Services aims to put intelligence behind billions of data points created on the country's rail systems. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-20-17]

CHANGES COMING TO CSX YARD IN HAMLET, N.C.: Changes are coming to the CSX yard in Hamlet, N.C., but the company is vague on what those will be. It has been noted, however, that Hamlet is the only CSX hump yard in the state, and the company's new CEO Hunter Harrison has favored flat switching in place of hump switching in other locations. A more detailed announcement is expected shortly. [Richmond County Daily Journal website report, 4-19-17]

CSX REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: CSX reported first-quarter net earnings of $362-million or 0.39 per share, up from $356-million or $0.37 per share in the same period last year. Excluding a $173-million restructuring charge in 1-Q 2017, adjusted earnings per share were $0.51. Revenue for the quarter increased 10 pct. [CSX, 4-19-17]

BUS CONNECTION COULD RESTORE MICHIGAN-ONTARIO SERVICE: The busiest crossing point between the U.S. and Canada is between Detroit and Windsor, but there has been no direct passenger rail service since the joint Amtrak-VIA International train was discontinued in 2003. A group of advocates has been working with Amtrak and VIA to mend the gap with a dedicated bus service, with through ticketing, to reconnect the train stations in both cities. Current indications are that this service may become available by the end of this year. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers Midweek report, 4-19-17]

DUNKIN' DONUTS COFFEE TO BE AVAILABLE ON ACELA EXPRESS: Amtrak and Dunkin' Donuts have made a deal for Dunkin's original blend coffee and decaf to be available on Acela Express trains. The coffee will be available all day in first-class and in the cafe car, being brewed using the same quipment Dunkin' Donuts uses at its stores. Dunkin' says it will also offer its drinks on Northeast Regional trains later this year. [CNN Money website report, 4-19-17]

CHARGER LOCOMOTIVE SET TO BEGIN CALTRANS REVENUE TESTING: The first Siemens SC-44 Charger diesel passenger locomotive for California will begin revenue testing on the Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose Capitol corridor by the end of April. [Railway Age website report, 4-19-17]

SOUND TRANSIT LIGHT-RAIL TRAINS TO RUN ON WIND ENERGY: Sound Transit has executed a 10-year agreement with Puget Sound Energy that will enable the agency to purchase wind energy for its light-rail vehicles, starting in 2019. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-19-17]

PIPELINE SHORTAGE IN CANADA COULD BOOST CRUDE-BY-RAIL SHIPMENTS: Western Canada may see a supply increase of nearly one million barrels of crude by 2020, putting pressure on an already constrained pipeline system, creating a resurgency of crude-by-rail activity, according to a report issued by IHS Markit. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-19-17]

CP REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Canadian Pacific announced first-quarter revenues of $1.6-billion (C), up 1 pct from 2016, and diluted earnings per share of $2.93, or $2.50 on an adjusted diluted EPS basis. [CP, 4-19-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending April 15, 2017, combined U.S. rail freight carload and intermodal unit traffic increased 3.9 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-19-17]

METRA ON TRACK TO PURCHASE NEW LOCOMOTIVES, RAIL CARS: Metra is looking to add at least 10 new locomotives and 25 rail cars to its fleet, a move that could reduce service delays and costs while improving air quality, the agency said. [Chicago Tribune website report, 4-19-17]

BRISTOL, VA., TO EMBARK ON PASSENGER RAIL STUDY: Bristol, Va., will soon embark on a study intended to someday lure Amtrak passenger rail service to the city from Roanoke, Va. Essentially, it would be an extension of service already planned connecting Lynchburg with Roanoke, set to begin later this year. The study is expected to be completed in six to nine months. [Bristol Herald Corridor website report, 4-18-17]

BNSF MOVING AHEAD WITH SECOND BRIDGE IN SANDPOINT, IDAHO: BNSF said it is moving ahead with a second railroad bridge across Lake Pend Oreille at Sandpoint, Idaho, to better accommodate rail traffic. The city's mayor, however, has voiced opposition to the project over safety concerns due to increases in shipments of hazardous cargos. [Spokesman-Review website report, 4-18-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 16, 2017. The remaining 67 percent, on average, arrived one hour and seven minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-17-17]

PANTOGRAPH PROBLEM ON NJT TRAIN CAUSED TUNNEL DELAY, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak is citing mechanical issues with a New Jersey Transit train as the cause for the incident that stranded the train for several hours April 14 in a Hudson River tunnel. About 1,200 passengers were on the train, and the incident caused massive delays to Northeast corridor service during the height of the evening's rush hour. An investigation into the cause is continuing. [NJ.com report, 4-17-17]

ILLINOIS AMTRAK IMPROVEMENTS IN FINAL STRETCH: The nearly $2-billion, eight-year upgrade of the St. Louis to Chicago Amtrak corridor is in its final stretch. Over the next few months, much of the project's concluding work will take place in Madison and Macoupin counties. The key goal is to boost the maximum speed along 75 percent of the corridor to 110 MPH. The higher speed will reduce the running time, end-to-end, by one hour. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch website report, 4-16-17]

CHAOS IN N.Y. PENN STATION: New York police said that a stampede started April 14 when an Amtrak police officer used a taser on a disruptive person along with false reports that gunshots were fired in New York's Penn station. People screamed and ran, leaving the station strewn with abandoned bags. Sixteen people were injured, 12 of whom were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. [CBS News website report, 4-14-17]

CATENARY PROBLEM DISRUPTS N.J.-N.Y. RAIL SERVICE: Amtrak's Northeast corridor service was disrupted between New Jersey and New York late April 14 due to overhead power issues on the west side of New York's Penn Station, resulting in single-track operation through the Hudson River tunnel. A train was stranded in one of the tunnels for more than three hours. [CBS News website report, 4-14-17]

ONE KILLED, THREE INJURED BY GUNFIRE ON MARTA TRAIN: One person was killed and three others were injured by gunfire late April 13 on board a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Blue line train. Authorities said a suspect was arrested as he left a station one block away. [Fox News website report, 4-13-17]

SHORT LINE IN BALTIMORE SIGNS CONTRACT TO OVERSEE CARGO OPERATIONS: Tradepoint Atlantic, parent of a railroad short line evolved from the Patapsco and Back Rivers and the Baltimore Industrial railroads, has signed a 10-year contract with Host Terminals to oversee marine cargo operations at a logistics center being developed at the former Bethlehem Steel mill in Baltimore. The new short line, branded Tradepoint Rail, connects with both CSX and Norfolk Southern. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-13-17]

FIRE HALTS CSX TRAFFIC IN ATLANTA: A fire beneath a railroad bridge in Atlanta led CSX officials to halt rail traffic for more than four hours early April 13. Bridge inspectors found no structural damage to the structure, and operations resumed. [AJC website report, 4-13-17]

GE ACQUIRES 50 PCT STAKE IN LOCOMOTIVE MANUFACTURER IN KAZAKHSTAN: GE Transportation has acquired a 50 pct stake in locomotive manufacturer Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty from KTZ, Kazahkstan's national railway company. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-13-17]

TANZANIA BEGINS STANDARD-GAUGE RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION: Tanzania has officially begun construction of the first phase of the country's 1,591-mile standard-gauge railway project which will eventually link the Indian Ocean with lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, as well as neighboring Rwanda and Burundi. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-13-17]

GERMANY TESTS HYDROGEN-POWERED TRAIN: Germany has successfully tested a hydrogen-powered, zero-emission train, manufactured by Alstom, called 'Hydrail.' Its speed and the possibility to transport passengers match the performance of a diesel train, is less noisy than a traditional diesel, and emits nothing more toxic than water. Moreover, energy that is not immediately used can be stored for later use. Five German states have signed a letter of intent to purchase a total of 60 such trains. [CNN Money website report, 4-12-17]

RAIL SERVICE EXPANDSION PLANNED FOR OHIO RIVER PORT: TNW Logistics Services is partnering with the Perry County, Indiana, port authority to expand, develop and enhance rail activity near the Tell City river port on the Ohio River in southern Indiana. The location is ideal for transportation, operations and storage hub that connects the port to Norfolk Southern at Lincoln City, Indiana, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-12-17]

RAIL SIDING EXPANSION COMPLETED IN TAYLOR, WISCONSIN: Badger Mining has completed a 4,500-foot rail siding expansion near its facilities along a CN line in Taylor, Wisconsin. The expansion will allow the site to hold up to three unit trains concurently. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-12-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending April 8, 2017, was up 7.1 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-12-17]

SIEMENS, BOMBARDIER REPORTEDLY IN TALKS TO COMBINE TRAIN OPERATIONS: Siemens AG and Bombardier Inc. are in talks to combine their train operations, potentially valued at more than $10.6-billion, according to people familiar with the matter. [Bloomberg website report, 4-11-17]

RAIL RUNNER TO OPEN ZIA ROAD STATION IN SANTA FE: The New Mexico Rail Runner Express will open its Zia Road station in Santa Fe on April 24. The stop will be a kiss-and-ride station without a commuter parking lot. The $1-million station was built in 2008 but never opened due to residents' concerns over increased traffic in the area. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-11-17]

ALSTOM LANDS FRENCH ORDER FOR 30 CORADIA TRAINS: Alstom has signed a $265-million contract to provide 30 Coradia trains to French state-owned rail operator SNCF Mobilities Group, with deliveries beginning Sept. 2018. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-11-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN VERMONT, DRIVER KILLED: An Amtrak train en route to St. Albans, Vermont, struck an auto at a crossing in Colchester, Vermont, late Apri 9, shoving the car about 150 feet, and killing the 32-year-old driver. There were no injuries to anyone aboard the train, and the railroad was shut down for about four hours. [Burlington Free Press website report, 4-10-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 9, 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-10-17]

AMTRAK TO REVIEW N.Y. PENN STATION MAINTENANCE PRACTICES: Amtrak has completed repairs to tracks at New York Penn Station following two recent derailments. The railroad has pledged a review of its maintenance practices to ensure the situation is not repeated. [Railway Track & Structures website report]

CORPUS CHRISTI PORT CANCELS CONTAINER TERMINAL PLANS: The Port of Corpus Christi has canceled plans to build a new container terminal that would have included on-dock rail service. [Railway Age website report, 4-10-17]

WEAKENED CROSSTIE CAUSED N.Y. PENN STATION DERAILMENT, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak said that an April 3 train derailment in New York's Penn Station was caused when a weakened wooden railroad tie caused a rail separation as a train emerged from a tunnel at a vital spot leading to a number of station tracks. The incident caused major delays to trains, which still continue. [U.S. News & World Report, 4-6-17]

MARCH 2017 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reports that U.S. rail carloads climbed 7.3 pct and intermodal traffic rose 3.8 pct for a total traffic increase of 5.5 pct in March 2017 compared with the same month last year. Coal traffic increased by 19 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-6-17]

WABTEC ACQUIRES MANUFACTURER OF HEAT EXCHANGERS: Wabtec has acquired Therman Transfer Corp., a supplier of industrial heat exchangers with annual sales of about $25-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-6-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO SPEND $180-M ON ITS CALIFORNIA INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific, as part of its $3.1-billion 2017 capital plan, will invest $180-million toward its California infrastructure. Included will be $149.6-million in track maintenance, $20.7-million in bridge projects, along with projects on its line between Visalia and Delano, its line north of Winterhaven, and its West Colton bowl track project. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-6-17]

ONTARIO TO DEVELOP GO TRANSIT STATION INTO TORONTO TRANSPORTATION HUB: Ontario officials plan to redevelop Toronto's Kipling station into a major transit hub that integrates subway, regional rail and inter-regional bus services. The upgrades will enable GO Transit to increase service on its Milton corridor and support its Regional Express Rail project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-5-17]

TEXAS TO NEGOTIATE OPERATOR CONTRACT FOR TEXAS STATE R.R.: The Texas State Railroad authority has elected to enter contract negotiations with Western Group to serve as the new operator of the 25-mile Texas State Railroad. The authority opted to seek a new operator, and recently received proposals from several qualified firms. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-5-17]

ALASKA R.R. LOSES $4.4-M IN 2016 FROM DECLINING FREIGHT: The Alaska Railroad generaed a net loss of $4.4-million i 2016 as freight volume continued to decline. Freight revenue dropped 16 pct from 2015, and down 44 pct from 2008. [Daily News-Miner website report, 4-4-17]

BOMBARDIER LANDS GERMAN ORDER FOR 21 TALENT 3 EMU TRAINS: Bombardier has obtained a contract with German passenger rail company Vlexx GmgH to provide 21 three-car Talent 3 electric multiple-units for operation in Germany's Saar region beginning Dec. 2019. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-4-17]

AMTRAK OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS PERFORMANCE ISSUES: The Amtrak office of inspector general has released a report hightlighting the company's top performance issues. The report noted improvements in a number of areas, but mentions three issues that have inhibited progress. They were: inconsistent use of strategic goals to drive budget and operating decisions; a governance structure that does not hold managers accountable for achieving program results; and a workforce culture that is at odds with the company's goals and missions. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-4-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 2, 2017. The remaining 70 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-3-17]

NJT TRAIN DERAILS IN PENN STATION NEW YORK, FIVE INJURED: N.J. Transit suspended service into and out of New York's Penn Station April 3 after one of its train derailed about 9 a.m. Five people were injured, two of whom were sent to hospitals. [Newsday website report, 4-3-17]

RUSSIAN METRO TRAIN EXPLOSION: At least 11 people were killed April 3 in a blast on the St. Petersburg, Russia, metro, officials said. An explosion tore through a train as it was traveling between two stations, injuring dozens more. [CNN website report, 4-3-17]

FEDS ISSUE DECISION ON B&P TUNNEL: The Federal Railroad administration has issued a record of decision on the environmental review process for the proposed B&P tunnel project in Baltimore. The $4.5-billion project, which has not yet been funded, would replace the 144-year-old double-track B&P tunnel with four single-track tunnels. Alternative 3B was selected, with three ventilation facilities, and will reduce travel time through the tunnel compared to what is currently available. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-3-17]

ALSTOM LANDS FRENCH ORDER FOR 30 CARADIA TRAINS: SNCF Mobility has awarded Alstom a contract for a further 30 Coradia trains for use on French intercity and regional services. Deliveries begin Sept. 2018. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-3-17]

CANADA PLEDGES FUNDS FOR GO TRANSIT REGIONAL EXPRESS PROJECT: Canada plans to provide $1.8-billion (C) for GO Transit's regional express rail project in the Golden Horseshoe area in southern Ontario, the money being made available through the New Building Canada Fund. The project involves electrifying core areas of the network and providing more frequent service. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-3-17]

MBTA'S NEWEST LOCOMOTIVES HAVE DEFECT: Eight of Massachusetts Bay's 40 newest commuter rail locomotives had a defective turbocharger that must be replaced across the fleet. The agency purchased the locomotives from Motive Power Inc., which included engines created by General Electric, were put into service between May 2014 and December 2015, but were plagued with defects. The manufacturer has agreed to replace the defects on every new locomotive, but officials are concerned over the added strain on the already struggling system. Of the 40 new locomoitves, only 27 are currently in service. [Boston Globe website report, 4-3-17]

TRANSIT PROJECTS IN N.Y., N.J. FACE UNCERTAINTY WITH PROPOSED FEDERAL BUDGET: President Trump's proposed budget slashes New Starts grants, causing concern to officials in New York and New Jersey. Loss of the grants would be deleterious to both the Gateway project for new train tunnels under the Hudson River, and the extension of the Second avenue subway. [N.Y. Times website report, 4-3-17]

MARCH 2017 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in March 2017. The remaining 74 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 33 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-1-17]

HELL GATE BRIDGE TURNS 100: April 1, 2017, marks the centennial of passenger rail service over the Hell Gate Bridge spanning the East River between Queens and the Bronx. It was the last critical link in what is now known as the Northeast Corridor. Originally built for four tracks (but now there are three), the bridge was then the longest steel-arch bridge in the world. Its main span measures 1,017 feet between the centers of the two flanking towers. About 40 Amtrak trains now cross the Hell Gate Bridge each day, along with freight trains. [Amtrak]

ATLANTA'S MARTA INCREASES SERVICE FOLLOWING I-85 BRIDGE COLLAPSE: Atlanta's rapid transit rail system MARTA has responded by adding frequencies to handle a spike in ridership following the collapse of Interstate 85 due to a fire beneath the structure. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-31-17]

QUEBEC PLEDGES FUNDS FOR LIGHT-RAIL LINE IN MONTREAL: Quebec has committed to providing $1.28-billion (C) toward a proposed 41-mile, 27-station light-rail system in Montreal. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-31-17]

JUDGE DISMISSES CSX LAWSUIT OVER ALABAMA FUEL TAX: A U.S. District judge has dismissed a lawsuit by CSX which contended that Alabana discriminated against railroads with a 4 pct diesel fuel tax while trucking and barge companies are exempt. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-31-17]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA TO IDLE ROANOKE PLANT: Due to a downturn in new railcar business, FreightCar America will shut down production at its Roanoke, Va., facility in June. [Railway Age website report, 3-31-17]

BOMBARDIER LANDS GERMAN ORDER FOR 25 INTERCITY TRAINSETS: Bombardier Transportation has received an order from German railway company Deutsche Bahn for 25 double-deck intercity trainsets. The order includes 25 Traxx locomotives and 124 Twindexx Vario cars, with delivery to begin in 2019. [Progressive Railroading webstie report, 3-30-17]

TRAIN DERAILMENT IN INDIA INJURES 25: Eight cars of the Mahakoshal Express traveling from Jabalpur to New Dehli derailed early March 29 in India's Uttar Pradesh state, injuring at least 25 people. The accident is under investigation. [Markets Insider website report, 3-30-17]

FRENCH RAIL EQUIPMENT COMPANY TO OPEN PLANT IN S.C.: French company Geismar that makes specialty railroad cars and other railroad equipment will open a plant in Beaufort County, S.C., making it their North American headquarters. The plant will employ about 50 people. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-29-17]

HITACHI DELIVERS FIRST METRO TRAIN TO MIAMI: The first two-car metro train being supplied by Hitachi for Miami MetroRail has left the new Medley Plant in Florida after completing tests. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-29-17]

CSX TO REDUCE OPERATIONS AT STANLEY YARD IN OHIO: CSX is reducing operations at its Stanley Yard in Toledo, Ohio, which will result in the elimination of 34 positions. The company is closing the hump classification yard, but will continue flat switching leaving about 40 employees working. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-29-17]

METRA TO UPGRADE ITS MCCORMICK PLACE STATION: Chicago's Metra plans to work with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition authority to improve the station serving the McCormick Place Convention center. Plans include converting the existing waiting area into a business-class waiting room with modern seating and other amenities. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-29-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending March 25, 2017, was up 12 pct compared with the same week last year. Canadian and Mexican carriers also realized significant gains. [Railway Age website report, 3-29-17]

UNION PACIFIC FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN EAST TEXAS: Two locomotives and 38 cars of a Union Pacific freight train derailed late March 29 in Malakoff, Texas, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas. No injuries were reported, and the accident is under investigation. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-29-17]

SAO PAULO TO DEVELOP INTERCITY RAIL PLANS: The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo plans to develop a 268-mile intercity passenger rail network after receiving assurances of federal support for the project. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-29-17]

MEXICAN COMPANY TO BUY FLORIDA EAST COAST RWY.: Mexican mining and rail conglomerate Grupo Mexico, which owns Ferromex, says it has reached an agreement to buy Florida East Coast Railway Holdings Corp. for $2.1-billion, pending approval by regulatory authorities. Florida East Coast operates a 351-mile freight system along Florida's Atlantic coast between Jacksonville and Miami. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-28-17]

CN, DULUTH CARGO TO OPEN INTERMODAL TERMINAL IN TWIN PORTS: CN and Duluth Cargo Connect have announced an alliance to establish the first rail-served intermodal container ramp at the Twin Ports in Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-28-17]

AMTRAK'S LAKE SHORE LIMITED DERAILS IN CHICAGO, NO INJURIES: Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited was involved in a low-speed derailment outside Chicago's Union Station just before 11 a.m. March 27. Three cars in the train derailed, and passengers in those cars were transferred to another part of the train to continue their short journey into the station. No injuries were reported, and the accident is under investigation. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-27-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 26, 2017. The remaining 75 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 12 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-27-17]

BART OPENS EXTENSION TO FREMONT: Bay Area Rapid Transit opened its 5.4-mile Warm Springs extension to Fremont, California, on March 25. The extension paves the way for the agency's 10-mile extension to Silicon Valley, which is under construction and is expected to open later this year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-27-17]

METRA TO CLOSE TWO TICKET OFFICES AS DIGITAL FARE SALES INCREASE: Effective March 31, Metra will close ticket offices at the UP West Line Oak Park and UP North Line Kenilworth stations due to a decline in ticket sales. Many passengers have been switching to online and mobile purchasing, officials said. Passengers will continue to have access to the stations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-27-17]

KUALA LUMPUR ORDERS 27 MORE BOMBARDIER TRAINS: Bombardier, along with its local partner Hartasuma, will supply 27 additional Innovia Metro 300 trains for the recently-extended Kelana Jaya line in Kuala Lumpur. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-27-17]

BNSF PLANNING NEW R.R. BRIDGE SPANNING MISSOURI RIVER IN N.D.: A new railroad bridge spanning the Missouri River between Bismarck and Mandan, N.D., could be built as soon as next year. Up to 16 trains daily cross the bridge. The current 1882 bridge is structurally sound, the railroad says, but it is reaching its useful lifespan. The future of the current bridge, which is a local landmark, has not been determined. [Beloit Daily News website report, 3-26-17]

ACELA TRAIN DERAILS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: Amtrak's Acela Express train 2151 derailed at slow speed while departing New York Penn Station early March 24, and made contact with an incoming N.J. Transit train. All 248 passengers exited the train onto the platform, with no serious injuries reported. Service into and out of Penn Station was delayed by the incident, and trains from upstate New York were terminated at Croton-Harmon. The accident is under investigation. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-24-17]

R.J. CORMAN WITHDRAWS FROM CUMBERLAND RIVER PORT PROJECT: R.J. Corman Railroad Group is discontinuing efforts to establish an intermodal port on the Cumberland River in Clarksville, Tennessee. Based on rising construction costs, the project is no longer a viable economic benefit, the company said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-24-17]

L.A. METRO TO BUY UP TO 282 NEW SUBWAY CARS: The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation authority has signed a $647-million contract with China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. to build up to 282 new rail cars for the Red and Purple subway lines. The contract includes a base order of 64 cars, with options to buy up to 218 additional units. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-24-17]

N.C. PLANS TO ELIMINATE SEVEN CSX GRADE CROSSINGS: North Carolina has announced plans to eliminate seven grade crossings on a CSX rail line in Wake Forest and Raleigh. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-24-17]

CN PLANS TO BUY BACK SHARES: Canadian National has announced plans to repurchase up to 1.8 million of its common shares of stock as part of a repurchase program. [Railway Age website report, 3-24-17]

DRIVER KILLED AS CAR IS STRUCK BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN FLORIDA: A northbound Amtrak train with 126 passengers on board struck a car at a railroad crossing in Oakland Park, Florida, March 24, killing the driver of the car. There were no injuries to passengers. [WSVN website report, 3-24-17]

BOMBARDIER ROLLS OUT FIRST TRAXX LOCOMOTIVE FOR ISRAEL: The first of 62 Traxx AC electric locomotives for Israel Railways has been completed at Bombardier's plant in Kassel, Germany, and it is now ready for testing on the plant's internal test track. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-24-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 495,281 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending March 18, 2017, a 2.4 pct increase compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-23-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO CONSOLIDATE THREE SERVICE UNITS: Union Pacific will consolidate management at the Pocatello, Idaho, service units with the Portland, Oregon, and Utah service units effective April 1. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-23-17]

AMTRAK TO INCREASE N.Y.-BOSTON ACELA WEEKEND SERVICE: Beginning April 8, Amtrak is increasing its Acela Express service between Boston and New York. Amtrak said it will be adding more departures on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, and will add another round-trip on Sundays. [WPRI website report, 3-23-17]

BILOXI TO CLOSE SIX R.R. CROSSINGS FOLLOWING DEADLY COLLISION WITH BUS: The city council in Biloxi, Mississippi, has approved a plan to close six railroad crossings in the city. On March 7, a bus loaded with passengers en route to a casino was struck by a CSX freight train after the bus bottomed out on one of the crossings, killing four and injuring dozens. The city had already been planning to close some of its 29 crossings before the accident. [U.S. News & Worl Report, 3-22-17]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON PORTAGEVILLE BRIDGE ARCH IN N.Y. STATE: Construction has begun on the main arch span of the replacement Portageville bridge spanning the Genesee River in Portageville, N.Y. Also known as the 'High Bridge,' it is considered vital to Norfolk Southern's Southern Tier route between Binghamton and Buffalo. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-22-17]

CLASS I R.R. EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN FEBR. FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: Class I railroads employed 148,843 workers in the U.S. as of mid-February 2017, down 3.48 pct compared with the year-ago figure, according to the Surface Transportation board. Compared with mid-January 2017, however, employment was up by 0.28 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-22-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TOUTS 2016 ACHIEVEMENTS: Norfolk Southern posted its 2016 annual report highlighting: achievement of an all-time best operating ratio of 68.9 pct; reducing expenses of operations to generate savings of $250-million; increasing income from railway operations and net income by 7 pct each; producing year-over-year earnings per share growth of 10 pct; and rationalizing 1,000 miles of secondary rail lines. [Norfolk Southern, 3-22-17]

CALGARY TO ORDER SIX MORE LRV'S FOR CTRAIN NETWORK: Calgary, Alberta, will acquire six additional S200 light-rail vehicles for the city's CTrain network from Siemens. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-22-17]

CN TO SHUT DOWN ESCANABA ORE DOCKS: CN will shut down its Escanaba iron-ore docks at the end of April, bringing to a close 165 years of ore-shipping from Michigan's Upper Peninsula port. Ore shipments had slowed since Cliff Natural Resources closed its Empire Mine in Aug. 2016. Escanaba has been a transportation and trade center since 1852, and is the only iron-ore port on Lake Michigan. [Railway Age website report, 3-21-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 19, 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 53 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-21-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS PTC PROGRESS: Positive train-control has now been installed on more than a quarter of Union Pacific's subdivisions, the company says. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-20-17]

VRE SCALES BACK MANASSAS LINE EXTENSION PLANS: Virginia Railway Express has chosen not to extend is Manassas line to Gainesville or Haymarket, but instead it will expand its storage yard at Broad Run to allow additional capacity. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-20-17]

METRA BEGINS REHAB OF NIPPON SHARYO CARS: Metra has launched an in-house project to rehabilitate 302 Nippon Sharyo rail cars that were delivered to the agency from 2002 to 2008. Thirty-five of the cars will be rehabilitated each year until 2020. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-20-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S SAFETY TRAIN SET TO BEGIN 2017 TOUR: Norfolk Southern's safety train kicks off March 21 in Hagerstown, Md., with three days of training for first-responders. The train consists of a specially-painted locomotive in honor of emergency responders, two boxcars converted into classrooms, four styles of tank cars, and two flatcars designed to transport intermodal containers. Training sessions are planned in 14 states in this year's tour. [Norfolk Southern, 3-20-17]

THREE NEW TRAINS ORDERED FOR JAPANESE COMMUTER LINE: Japan's Tokyu Corp. has ordered three 10-car commuter electric multiple-unit trains for the 19.6-mile Tokyu Den-en-toshi line linking Shibuya station in Tokyo with the city's southwestern suburbs and Chuo-Rinkan. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-20-17]

UNION PACIFIC RECALLS SOME FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES IN NEBRASKA: Union Pacific announced furloughs for mechanical employees in North Platte and South Morrill, Nebraska, in April 2016. On March 17 of this year, the company says many of those employees are now back on the job. [North Platte Telegraph website report, 3-19-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN N.C., DRIVER KILLED: Police say a man died after an Amtrak train hit a stopped car on a crossing early March 19 in Greesboro, N.C. Police say the driver stopped his car on the tracks as the crossing gates came down. [WFMY website report, 3-19-17]

CALUMET, MICHIGAN, TRAIN DEPOT TO BE RESTORED: The old (c-1908) train depot on the border between Calumet and Calumet Township, Michigan, has a new owner. The township bought the building and its parking lot for $40,000 for 'historical preservation.' The plan for the building is to restore it as closely as possible to its original condition. One possible use could be as a trail head for the state's Dept. of Natural Resources recreation trail, which is right next to the building. [Mining Gazette website report, 3-18-17]

WASHOUT DERAILS MONTANA RAIL LINK TRAIN: Up to 60 empty coal cars and a locomotive derailed due to a washout early March 17 on Montana Rail Link's main line along Lake Pend Oreille in Ponderay, Idaho. No injuries were reported. [Bonner County Daily Bee website report, 3-18-17]

AMTRAK'S TEXAS EAGLE GAINS IN RIDERSHIP: Amtrak's Texas Eagle ridership increased 23.2 pct to 110,970 passengers from Oct. 2016- Jan. 2017, up from 90,099 a year ago. Amtrak had projected a 9.4 pct increase. Revenues neared $7.95-million, up 14 pct from a year ago. [Longview News-Journal website report, 3-18-17]

GROUND BROKEN ON NEW RAIL-CAR MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN CHICAGO: Chinese rail-car builder CRRC Sifang America broke ground March 16 on a new $100-million rail-car manufacturing facility in southeast Chicago. The first of its kind to be built in the city in 35 years, the plant will assemble new 7000-series cars for the Chicago Transit authority. Overall, CRRC is set to build more than 840 cars over 10 years at a cost of $1.3-billion. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-17-17]

LIRR TRACK VEHICLES COLLIDE, DISRUPT SERVICE: A slow-speed collision between two Long Island Rail Road work vehicles March 17 near Mineola, N.Y., caused delays of up to 45 minutes along three branches, with some systemwide cancelations. The mid-day mishap occurred the same day that the railroad added extra trains to handle crowds attending Manhattan's St. Patrick's day parade. One worker had minor injuries in the accident. [Newsday website report, 3-17-17]

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SUPPORTERS BLAST TRUMP'S BUDGET: Transit and passenger-rail advocates have expressed disappointment at the President's FY-2018 budget proposal calling for elimination of funding for some Amtrak and transit-rail projects and services. The acting top official of the American Public Transportation association said he was 'surprised and disappointed' that budget proposals follow the President's stated commitment to introduce a $1-trillion plan to improve the nation's infrastructure. Meanwhile, the National Association of Railroad Passengers and New York Governor Cuomo lamented the budget's impact on Amtrak and rural and local communities that rely on inercity passenger-rail service. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-17-17]

BNSF PLANS $2.3-MILLION FACILITY IN DILWORTH, MINNESOTA: Work will soon begin on a new office and operations building in Dilworth, Minnesota, for BNSF. The 2.3-million building will replace the company's smaller building just to the east of the new one. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall. [Inforum website report, 3-17-17]

PRESIDENT PROPOSES ELIMINATION OF AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN SUBSIDIES: President Trump, in his proposed budget, would eliminate subsidies for Amtrak long-distance train routes, which would likely mean the end of those routes since they are generally not profitable. [Los Angeles Daily News website report, 3-16-17]

TRUMP BUDGET PROPOSES 13 PCT CUT TO TRANSPORTATION DEPT.: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation faces a $2.4-billion cut under President Trump's proposed federal budget blueprint. The department's funding would be cut by 13 pct, to $16.2-billion, according to the proposal released early March 16. The budget reduces or eliminates programs that are either 'inefficient, duplicative of other federal efforts, or that involve activites that are better delivered by states, localities or the private sector.' [The Hill website report, 3-16-17]

OPERATION LIFESAVER NAMES NEW BOARD CHAIR: Robert C. VanderClute, president of the consulting firm FirstRail International, has been elected chair of Operation Lifesaver. He replaces William Barriger, who has resigned. [Operation Lifesaver, 3-16-17]

OKLAHOMA CITY STREETCAR PROJECT TAKING SHAPE: Crews are busy working on an almost 5-mile stretch of a downtown Oklahoma City streetcar line. The $50-million project is expected to ake 18 months to complete, with the system set to begin operation at the end of 2018. [The Oklahoman website report, 3-16-17]

AMTRAK SUSQUEHANNA BRIDGE MEETING MARCH 23: Amtrak's Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Public Outreach Information Session, open to the public, will be held at the Perryville High School cafeteria, 1696 Perryville road, Perryville, Md., beginning at 5PM March 23.

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 510,638 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 11, 2017, an increase of 4.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-15-17]

MUDSLIDE DERAILS UNION PACIFIC GRAIN TRAIN IN IDAHO: A dozen cars of a Union Pacific grain train derailed because of a mud slide March 15 in a remote area of Boundary County, Idaho. Four of the cars slid down a hill toward a river; the other cars remained on their sides along the right-of-way. There was no report of injuries. [KREM website report, 3-15-17]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN ILLINOIS: Eleven cars of a 96-car Union Pacific train derailed early March 15 near Lake Forest, Illinois, according to the railroad and police. No injuries were reported. [Daily North Shore website report, 3-15-17]

LAS VEGAS SEEKS TO BUILD LIGHT-RAIL FROM STRIP TO AIRPORT: Officials have presented a legislative plan at the state capital laying the groundwork to build a multi-billion-dollar light-rail system to link the Las Vegas Strip with McCarran International Airport. [Associated Press website report, 3-15-17]

SIEMENS LANDS SWEDISH ORDER FOR 15 VECTRON LOCOMOTIVES: Swedish transport company Hector Rail has ordered 15 Vectron four-axle 6.4MW diesel locomotives from Siemens for delivery beginning in early 2018. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-15-17]

HANGZHOU-WENZHOU HIGH-SPEED RAIL CONSTRUCTION BEGINS: Construction of the 205-mile high-speed rail line between China's eastern cities of Hangzhou and Wenzhou began March 9. Passengers can utilize the new line to transfer to Beijing and southern China's Guangdong province. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-14-17]

SIX GP40-2H LOCOMOTIVES TO BE OVERHAULED FOR CONNECTICUT SERVICE: Connecticut has awarded NRE a five-year contract to overhaul six EMD GP40-2H locomotives that a are part of the state's fleet and operated on the Shore Line East service. [Railway Age website report, 3-14-17]

WABTEC BUYS AERO TRANSPORTATION PRODUCTS: Wabtec has purchased Aero Transportation Products, a manufacturer of engineered freight car hatch covers and outlet gates, predominately for customers in the U.S. The firm has annual sales of about $40-million. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-14-17]

CSX'S VIRGINIA AVENUE TUNNEL PROJECT IN D.C. REACHES HALFWAY POINT: CSX's effort to eliminate a major rail chokepoint in Washingto DC has just passed the halfway point. That milestone moves the Virgiia Avenue tunnel reconstruction project closer to an anticipated mid-2018 completion. Two higher single-track tunnels will replace a single, deteriorating tunnel originally built in 1872. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-14-17]

N.C. OFFERS TRANSIT PASSES TO AMTRAK PIEDMONT, CAROLINIAN PASSENGERS: North Carolina has partnered with 11 local transit systems along the Raleigh to Charlotte Amtrak corridor to provide free transit passes for train riders. Beginning March 18, 'NC by Train' transit passes will be available to passengers on Piedmont and Carolinian trains in certain cities. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-14-17]

LIRR TRAIN STRIKES MINIVAN THAT DROVE AROUND GATES: A Long Island Rail Road train on the West Hempstead branch struck a minivan and shoved it 200 feet after the vehicle drove around the gates at a Malverne, N.Y., grade crossing early March 13, officials said. The driver was transported to a hospital, but none of the passengers on board the train were injured. [Newsday website report, 3-13-17]

BRIGHTLINE TO BEGIN SERVICE IN JULY: Brightline, the new private passenger rail service in southern Florida, will begin introductory express service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in late July, followed by service to Miami in late August, the company said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-13-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Just 23 percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 12, 2017. The remaining 77 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 53 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-13-17]

B.C. TO STUDY VANCOUVER ISLAND COMMUTER RAIL: British Columbia will study options for establishing commuter rail services on Vancouver Island. The proposal involves possible operations on a 9.3-mile section of the Southern Railway of Vancouver Island between Victoria West and Westhills in Langford, which has been endorsed by four communities along the route. Via Rail passenger services were withdrawn from the Victoria to Coutenay former Canadian Pacific line in 2011 due to poor condition of the track. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-10-17]

JACKSONVILLE PORT TERMINAL R.R. BEGINS OPERATIONS: Watco subsidiary Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad has agreed with the Jacksonville Port Authority to lease and operate 10 miles of rail line. Startup was March 8. The railroad interchanges with Norfolk Southern and CSX. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-10-17]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN IOWA, CATCHES FIRE: A Union Pacific train derailed 27 cars early March 10 near Graettinger, Iowa, causing an ethanol-fueled fire. No injuries were reported, but several homes in the area were evacuated. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-10-17]

LOCOMOTIVE CATCHES FIRE AT CSX CUMBERLAND SHOP: A locomotive caught fire at the CSX maintenance shop in Cumberland, Md., March 9. The company said the fire was confined to a locomotive, which was being serviced, and no other equipment or the building were damaged. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-10-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES HORSE AND BUGGY IN PA.: An Amtrak train struck and runaway horse and buggy stuck on a crossing in Paradise, Pa., late March 10. The buggy had no occupants. There were no injuries to anyone on the train, but the horse was killed. [Lancaster Online, 3-10-17]

DRIVER OF BUS STRUCK BY TRAIN IN BILOXI LIKELY DID NOT FOLLOW PLANNED ROUTE: The Texas tour bus hit by a CSX train in a deadly crash March 7 was not supposed to have taken the road where it got struck at a rail crossing, federal officals say. The driver may have followed a GPS set for commercial vehicle use rather than directions from the bus company. [Dallas Morning News website report, 3-9-17]

SNOWBANK STRANDS EMPIRE BUILDER 13 HOURS IN N.D.: Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder carrying 111 passengers got stuck in a 25-foot-high by 200-foot-long snowbank near Rugby, N.D., March 8. The train was finally freed 13 hours later, following three failed attempts to dislodge it. The incident also caused an extensive delay to the westbound Empire Builder, which was held about 35 miles to the east for the track to be cleared. [CBS News website report, 3-9-17]

EIGHT HUNDRED CSX EMPLOYEES LOSE THEIR JOBS: CSX has finished the layoffs it announced more than two weeks ago - 800 over all, including 500 in Jacksonville, Florida. The company's original estimate was that about 1,000 positions would be eliminated.

BILOXI BUS CRASH FOCUSES ON HUMPED CROSSING, PREVIOUS INCIDENTS: Even before the collision between a CSX train and a chartered bus March 7 killing four people and injuring many others, trains had slammed into vehicles 16 times since 1976 at that crossing. Last March, another bus got stuck there, but passengers were successfully evacuated. As recently as January, a train slammed into a soft drink delivery truck stuck on the same crossing. The crossing has a hump in it, and vehicles have been known to bottom-out in their attempt to cross. A 'low ground clearance' sign is posted due to the crossing's design. [My Statesman website report, 3-8-17]

AMTRAK PLEDGES SUPPORT TO REVIVING GULF COAST SERVICE, CEO SAYS: Amtrak president and CEO Wick Moorman has pledged support for restoring service from New Orleans to Orlando, along the Gulf Coast. In a March 3 letter to the Southern Rail Commission, Moorman emphasized the railroad's commitment to the project, along with interest and support for other projects underway in the region. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-8-17]

DAVE HOWARD NAMED CEO OF BRIGHTLINE: Brightline officials announced the hiring of Dave Howard as CEO. Howard is a veteran of sports and entertainment industries. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-8-17]

SIEMENS ROLLS OUT FIRST CASCADES CHARGER LOCOMOTIVE: The first of eight SC-44 Siemens Charger diesel locomotives ordered by the state of Washington has been rolled out at the manufacturer's Sacramento plant. The locomotive are to be used with Talgo coaches on Amtrak Cascade trains between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C. [Railway Gazette website report, 3-8-17]

STUDY EXAMINES EXTENDING MARC LINE INTO DELAWARE: The 20-mile stretch between Perryville, Maryland, and Newark, Delaware, is the only spot between Washington and New York in Amtrak's Northeast corridor that lacks a commtuer rail service. Regional planners are conducting a feasibility study of the demand for an extension of MARC commuter rail from its current northern terminus at Perryville to Newark. [Newark Post website report, 3-8-17]

CSX FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN HIGH WINDS IN N.Y. STATE: A CSX freight train derailed 12 cars in Batavia, N.Y., March 8, due to high wind gusts. There were no injuries. [KPIC website report, 3-8-17]

TIMOTHY TIERNEY NAMED PRESIDENT OF CONRAIL: Conrail's board of direcors has named Timothy Tierney president and chief operating officer effective April 1. He is a 39-year veteran of Conrail, most recently as vice-president and chief engineer. He succeeds Ronald Batory, who is retiring. [Norfolk Southern, 3-8-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending March 4, 2017, combined carload and intermodal U.S. rail traffic was up 1.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Calculated separately, carload traffic was up 6.3 percent, while intermodal traffic dropped 2.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-8-17]

CSX TRAIN STRIKES CHARTERED BUS IN MISSISSIPPI, KILLING AT LEAST FOUR: A CSX freight train smashed into a chartered bus in Biloxi, Mississippi, March 7, dragging the bus 300 feet down the tracks and leaving at least four people dead, authorities said. The bus, from Austin, Texas, was loaded with 43 passengers en route to a casino. The bus reportedly bottomed out on the crossing and was unable to move off the track. Authorities say 35 people were taken to hospitals, some airlifted in critical condition. [ABC7 Chicago website report, 3-7-17]

HUNTER HARRISON NAMED CEO OF CSX: CSX has a new CEO and a deal with the hedge fund Mantle Ridge pushing for changes at the railroad. Hunter Harrison, 72, the executive who led Canadian Pacific's turnaround, will become the CEO at CSX immediately, replacing Michael Ward, who will remain as a consultant. Harrison says he plans to implement the tightly-scheduled operating model he used at CP, and at Canadian National before that, to reduce costs and boost profits. CSX said it plans to ask shareholders to vote on aspects of Harrison's compensation package that would include reimbursing him for $84-million in compensation he forfeited at CP. Harrison says he will resign if the compensation is not approved. He will also get options on 9,000,000 CSX shares. Harrison came out of retirement in 2012 to lead CP after Pershing Square Capital took a large stake in the railroad and forced management changes. New CSX board members include Hunter Harrison, Paul Hilal, Dennis Reilley, Linda Reifler and John Zillmer. [Florida Times Union website report, 3-7-17]

CSX FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN N.Y. STATE, LEAKS ACID: A CSX freight train slammed into an forklift that was crossing the tracks in Newburgh, N.Y., March 7, and derailed. Two crew members had minor injuries, but the forklift operator escaped prior to impact. Firefighters and hazmat teams responded to a minor leak of sulfuric acid from one of the cars, and a locomotive leaked diesel fuel. Columbia Basin Herald website report, 3-7-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 5, 2017. The remainig 69 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 16 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-6-17]

AZERBAIJAN INAUGURATES RAIL LINK TO IRAN: Azerbaijan inaugurated a new cross-border link to the Iranian city of Astara March 5 when the first test train crossed the new dual-gauge bridge spanning the Astarachay River, wich divides the two countries. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-6-17]

IOWA CHURCH SUES R.R. OVER RAIL LINE BUILT ON CHURCH PROPERTY: A church in Mason City, Iowa, has sued the Iowa Traction Railway, accusing it of installing a rail line on church property afer negotiations by the railroad to acquire the right-of-way were unsuccessful. The railway denies the church's claim, stating that it had gained ownership of the land through 'adverse possession,' and that the church had missed a deadline to file the lawsuit. [ABC News website report, 3-4-17]

RAILROAD DAY ON CAPITOL HILL BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORD: A record number of railroaders, suppliers and customers met with congressional leaders March 2 for the annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. Congressional offices hosted meetings for 456 visitors. A key point of discussion for shortline railroaders was the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act, which was reintroduced in both houses of the 115th Congress, calling for making permanent the 45G tax credit, which expired the end of last year. [Progressive Railroading website report]

AMTRAK'S NORTHBOUND CITY OF NEW ORLEANS GETS TEMPORARY SCHEDULE CHANGE: Amtrak's northbound train 58, City of New Orleans, will be departing four hours later from it origin through its arrival at Carbondale, Illinois, beginning March 6 through the end of the month. From Carbondale, train 58 will be combined with train 390 and follow that schedule into Chicago. The normal schedule of train 58 from Carbondale will be protected with a substitute train 1158 into Chicago from March 7 to April 1. [Amtrak]

CALIFORNIA ISSUES REQUIRED REPORT ON BULLET TRAIN PROJECT: From July 2006 through June 2016, the California High-Speed Rail authority invested $2.3-billion in planning and constructing the state's planned high-speed rail system, according to their required biennial project report. More than 900 construction workers in the Central Valley have been employed, with many more hires expected The report cautioned that the project faces myriad challenges for successful completion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-3-17]

CN HONORED FOR ABORIGINAL RELATIONS: The Alberta Chamber of Commerce has recognized Canadian National for excellence in aboriginal relations. The company operates with, or adjacent to, nearly 200 different reserve lands of more than 110 First Nationals and some Metis territories in eight provinces. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-3-17]

'RAIL SAFETY WEEK' ESTABLISHED: Operation Lifesaver has announced that it will work with the U.S. Dept. of Transortation and other organizations to observe the first national Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017. About every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train, the organization said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-3-17]

D.C. STREETCAR CELEBRATES ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Over the course of the year, the D.C. streetcar running along the H Street corridor has met or exceeded expectations. Ridership performance is now at 236 pct of the pre-opening estimate, and service has been expanded from six days a week to seven. Currently, rides are free, and will likely remain so for at least four years as the system expands. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-3-17]

NORTH-SOUTH RAIL TUNNEL PROPOSAL IN BOSTON GAINS MOMENTUM: The idea of a three-mile 'north-south' rail tunnel to link North and South stations in Boston is gaining momentum. Massachusetts has begun soliciting bids for the tunnel, which would create a fully-connected rail route through the city. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-3-17]

ADVOCATES SEEK PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE IN N.Y. SOUTHERN TIER: Rail advocates in New York State's southern tier have formed a group to explore the feasibility of returning passenger service to the region, which includes Binghamton, Elmira and Corning. Such service would likely be an extension of long-sought service through New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Scranton. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 3-3-17]

ZURICH ORDERS 70 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Zurich Public Transport has signed a cotract with Bombardier for the delivery of 70 seven-section Flexity low-floor light-rail vehicles, with an option for 70 more. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-3-17]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC ROSE 4.2 PCT IN FEBRUARY: U.S. railroads moved 2,112,479 carloads and intermodal units in February 2017, a 4.2 percent increase from totals in February 2016, the Association of American Railroads said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-2-17]

CHARLOTTE LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION OPENING DELAYED: The Charlotte Area Transit system has pushed the opening date of the LYNX blue line light-rail extension to March 31 of next year. Initially, the extension had been slated to open in August of this year. The project remains under budget, however, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-2-17]

WABTEC LANDS $97-M CONTRACT WITH TEX RAIL: Wabtec has signed a $97-million contract to provide signaling and communication services for Tex Rail, a new 27-mile comuter-rail line being developed in Fort Worth. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-2-17]

ANGELS FLIGHT TO RETURN TO SERVICE: The famed Amgel's Flight funicular system in Los Angeles, noted for its 298-foot incline on Bunker Hill, is now slated to be returned to service by Labor Day. The antique system has been out of service since 2013 after a series of mishaps, including a crash that killed a rider. [ABC News website report, 3-2-17]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN MARYLAND: An eastbound CSX freight train derailed eight cars early March 2 near Ijamsville, Maryland, in Frederick County. No hazardous materials were involved, and there were no injuries. [WJLA website report, 3-2-17]

MBTA PLANS $7.9-M UPGRADE TO PCC TROLLEY FLEET: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority will spend $7.9-million over the next two years to overhaul its existing PCC streetcars on the 2.6-mile Mattapan-Ashmont line. The project is aimed at maintaining the historical significance of the 1940's-era cars while keeping them viable for the next decade, the agency said. The fleet consists of 10 PCC cars, but only seven are in revenue service. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-1-17]

MONTHLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the month of February 2017. The remaining 60 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-1-17]

THREE TEENS ARRESTED IN VANDALISM OF HISTORIC RAIL CARS: Three teenagers, ages 18, 15 and 13, have been arrested for vandalism of historic railcars at a train display in McComb, Mississippi. The three suspects allegedly vandalized the railroad cars late Febr. 25, breaking windows, furniture and other valuables in the cars, some of which date back to the 1800's. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-1-17]

CHINA ORDERS 18 BOMBARDIER HIGH-SPEED TRAINS: China Railway Corp. has awarded a $284-million contract for the supply of 18 eight-car CRH1 A-A new generation high-speed trains to Bombardier's Chinese joint venture. The trains will have an operational speed of 155 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-1-17]

CHINA TO BUILD 30,000 KM OF RAILWAY BEFORE 2020: The total mileage of China's domestic railway system is expected to grow by 30,000 kilometers (18,641 miles) before 2020, according the the country's transport ministry. One-third of the increased mileage will consist of high-speed rail. [China Economic Net, 3-1-17]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS 4-Q RESULTS: FreightCar America reported fourth-quarter net income of $74.000, compared with $11.7-million during the same period in 2015. Revenue in the quarter was $135.5-million, versus $203.3-million in the previous year's fourth-quarter. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-1-17]

GREAT LAKES BASIN ASKS FOR R.R. ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW EXTENSION: Great Lakes Basin Trasportation is asking the Surface Transportation Board to wait until at least April 30 to resume an environmental review of the freight trailroad the company haopes to build as a bypass around Chicago. [NWI website report, 3-1-17]

RAIL FUNDS GRANT TO MINNESOTA MAY NOT BE DIVERTED, FEDS SAY: A legistlative resolution calling for the diversion of nearly $1-billion in federal funds from a Minnesota light-rail line to road and bridge projects is currently barred by law, according to the Federal Transit administration. Some state legislators had introduced a measure asking to funnel the funds to a block grant that can be used for 'other tansportation projects.' [Star-Tribune website report, 3-1-17]

STATION UPGRADE PROJECT BEGINS AT PAOLI, PA., STATION: Plans for major accessibility and safety upgrades at the Paoli, Pa., Amtrak and SEPTA station had been stuck in their tracks for more than two decades, but on Febr. 28 there was a groundbreaking ceremony marking that work is now finally underway. [Philadelphia Daily News website report, 2-28-17]

BNSF PROFITS FELL IN 2016: Declining shipments of oil and coal made for a tough year at BNSF in 2016, pushing down both revenue and profits. The railroad reported that revenue declined near 10 pct to $19.3-billion, and net income declined 13 pct to $4.3-billion. [Fort Worth Star Telegram website report, 2-28-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN EVACUATED IN MICHIGAN DUE TO FIRE: Amtrak passengers heading east from Jackson, Michigan, late Febr. 28 were briefly delayed after a small fire started underneath a train car, forcing an evacuation. The fire was caused by a mechanical failure in batteries powering the electrical system in one of the cars. The train then continued to its destination, sans power to the affected car. There were no injuries reported. [Michigan Live report, 2-28-17]

AMTRAK TO ASSUME HOOSIER STATE SERVICE: Beginning March 1, Amtrak takes over full operation of the four-day-a-week Hoosier State train between Indianapolis and Chicago. Three cars will be used for the service: two 68-seat coaches and a combined business class-cafe car. The dome car, in use by the train's former service provider, will be on loan to the line for March. [Lafayette Journal & Courier website report, 2-28-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-seven percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Febr. 26, 2017. The remaining 63 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 41 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-27-17]

DENVER 'R' LINE LIGHT-RAIL OPENS: Denver inaugurated its long-awaited 10.5-mile light-rail R line Febr. 24, extending the route into the center of Aurora. The line will serve the airport, Denver Tech Center and the city center. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-27-17]

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]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS AT TEHACHAPI LOOP: An eastbound BNSF freight trains derailedsix cars early Febr. 24 just after its lead locomotive entered tunnel 9 at the Tehachapi Loop. No injuries were reported. The accident is under investigation. [Bakersfield Californian 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 Febr. 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. MORE.. [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 PRR'S 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. [Star Beacon website report, 2-11-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE DISRUPTED IN PACIFIC N.W. DUE TO MUDSLIDES: Amtrak services were 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 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. [NJ.com, 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. [NJ.com, 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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