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TRIAL OPERATION BEGINS ON BEIJING'S YANFANG SUBWAY LINE: Beijing's Yanfang line began trial operation Dec. 30. It is China's first fully domestically-developed automated subway. The 8.9-mile line has nine stations, and is expected to carry 70,000 passengers daily. [Xinhua Net report, 12-30-17]

FOUR INJURED AS LOCOMOTIVES COLLIDE IN ALABAMA: Two Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway locomotives collided late Dec. 28 in Pickens County, Alabama, injuring four people. The locomotives were not pulling any cars at the time of the collision, and an apparent, reported cause of the accident was a mistake in communication. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-29-17]

ONE KILLED AS SUV IS STRUCK BY TRAIN IN S.D.: Authorities say a person driving an SUV was killed early Dec. 29 in a collision with a BNSF train in Mobridge, S.D. Their were no injuries to crew members, and the track was reopened about seven hours after the accident. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-29-17]

NEW ITALY-SWITZERLAND RAIL LINK COMPLETED: A new rail link between Arcisate, Italy, and Stabio, Switzerland, has been officially inaugurated. Main structures on the line are a 1467-foot seven-arch viaduct, the 3117-foot Induno tunnel, the 3182-foot Bevera tunnel, and a 131-foot bridge. Maximum speed on the line is 62 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-29-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads logged an 11 percent increase in combined carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending Dec. 23, 2017, compared with the corresponding week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-28-17]

MILWAUKEE STREETCAR NEARS COMPLETION OF TRACK WORK: Crews have installed 90 percent of the track for Milwaukee Streetcar's initial route. The remaining portion of the initial route will be completed in 2018, with service slated to begin by the end of the year. The first 2.1-mile phase will run from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to the lower east side. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-28-17]

TRI-MET COMPLETES RENOVATION OF WASHINGTON PARK LIGHT-RAIL STATION: The Tri-County Metropolitan District of Oregon has completed a $2.1-million renovation of the Washington Park MAX light-rail station in Portland. The station is served by the Blue and Red lines. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-28-17]

MANAGEMENT TEAM ADDED TO INITIAL PHASE OF SALINAS RAIL EXTENSION: The Transportation Authority of Monterey County, California, has selected Lockwood, Andres & Newman to be part of the construction management team for the initial phase of the Salinas rail project to extend passenger rail service 68 miles from Gilroy to Salinas. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-28-17]

FUNDING COMMITTED TO ONTARIO RAIL FREIGHT STUDY: Federal and provincial funding has been committed toward freight rail analysis of Ontario's Peterborough- Toronto-Havelock- Blue Mountain corridor. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-28-17]

BOMBARDIER TO SUPPLY 32 ADDITIONAL EMU'S TO FRENCH NATIONAL RAILWAYS: French National Railways has exercised an option for an additional 32 Omneo Premium double-deck 124 MPH electric multiple-units for intercity services radiating from Paris. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-28-17]

N.Y. SUBWAY CONSTRUCTION IS WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE: New York City has the highest subway construction costs of any major city in the world. Paris is building a transit project similar to New York's Second avenue subway, but it is costing Paris one-sixth of what New York is paying for its project. [N.Y. Times website report, 12-28-17]

HOLIDAY TRAINS RAISE DONATIONS FOR CHARITIES: Canadian Pacific's Holiday train raised more than $1.5-million (C) and 300,000 pounds of food for food banks and shelves on its Nov. 25-Dec. 17 trip on the company's system. Meanwhile, Florida East Coast employees, customers and suppliers raised about $370,000 in donations during the annual run of their Christmas train. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-27-17]

SOUND TRANSIT APPROVES TACOMA DOME LINK LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: The board of Sound Transit has approved the Tacoma Dome Link light-rail extension, setting a $125.7-million budget for preliminary engineering to extend the line further south from South King into Pierce County. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-27-17]

TRAIN STATION IN JERUSALEM TO BE NAMED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: A train station being built near the Western Wall in Jerusalem will be named for U.S. President Trump, the transportation ministry reported. [Jerusalem Post website report, 12-27-17]

DELHI MAGENTA LINE OPENS: Delhi's 10.3-mile standard-gauge metro Magenta line 8 opened Dec. 25 on its nine-station route between Noida and Kalkaji Mandir. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-27-17]

CANNES-GRASSE RAIL LINE UPGRADE COMPLETED: Upgrade of the 10.3-mile line between Cannes and Grasse, France, has been completed. The project included track improvements, platform extensions and a new passing loop. This has enabled frequencies to be doubled to half-hourly, 38 trains per day. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-26-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending December 24, 2017. The remaining 73 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-25-17]

AMTRAK BETWEEN ST. LOUIS & CHICAGO TO SPEED UP: The Amtrak route between St. Louis and Chicago will experience two separate speed increases in the coming years due to a $2-billion high-speed rail project. The speed will increase from 79 to 90 MPH in 2018, and from 90 to 110 MPH in 2019. [Chicago Tribune website report, 12-24-17]

BUS CRASH IN INDIA KILLS 33: At least 33 pilgrims were killed and seven others were injured on their way to a Hindu temple in northern India early Dec. 23 after their bus plunged off a bridge, according to police. [CNN website report, 12-23-17]

CSX REOPENS DIALOGUE ON HOWARD STREET TUNNEL PROJECT: A little more than a month after dropping plans to help develop and fund an expansion to the Howard street tunnel in Baltimore, CSX has reentered discussions about the project with state and local partners. The project called for eliminating height restrictions to enable double-stacked intermodal trains to move to and from the port of Baltimore. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-22-17]

MOUNT HOOD R.R. TRAIN DERAILS, SECOND TIME IN MONTH: A scenic Christmas tourist train carrying families experienced a minor derailment late Dec. 21, the second time this month. Only one car was involved, and there were no injuries. The railroad had an earlier derailment of four cars on Dec. 1, also without injuries. [Oregon Live website report, 12-22-17]

FEDS GRANT $100-M TO MBTA GREEN LINE LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation will issue $100-million in grant funding to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority for its Green line light-rail extension project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-22-17]

CN TO ACQUIRE 200 NEW GE EVOLUTION LOCOMOTIVES OVER NEXT THREE YEARS: CN will acquire 200 new locomotives over the next three years from GE Transportation. The order includes Tier-3 and Tier-4 Evolution series locomotives equipped with Trip Optimizer and Distributed Power systems. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-22-17]

SOUTH KOREA OPENS OLYMPIC HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: South Korea has completed the 75-mile Wonju-Gangneung section of the Gyeonggang line, which will provide service to the 2018 Winter Olympics. The 155 MPH line is used by both regional and Korail high-speed trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-22-17]

JAMES FOOTE NAMED PRESIDENT, CEO OF CSX: The board of CSX has named James M. Foote president and chief executive officer. He had been acting in the same capacity after Hunter Harrison went on medical leave Dec. 14. Harrison died Dec. 16. [CSX, 12-22-17]

COMMUTER TRAIN CRASHES IN SPAIN: Emergency services in Spain say that 45 people were injured, four of them seriously, after a commuter train crashed into a barrier at the end of track late Dec. 22 at the Alcala de Henares train station. [Fox News website report, 12-22-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads logged 554,779 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Dec. 16, 2017, according to the Association of American Railroads. This represents an increase of 5.9 pct compared with the same week last year. Calculated separately, carloads gained 4.1 pct, and intermodal gained 7.6 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-21-17]

N.Y. ASKS FEDS TO FORCE IOWA PACIFIC TO REMOVE RAILCARS STORED IN STATE PARK: New York State will pursue legal action to stop Iowa Pacific from storing thousands of rail car in Adirondack State Park, and that the cars currently must be removed. The line involved runs from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-21-17]

SEPTA TO PHASE OUT TOKEN SALES ON SUBWAY LINES: SEPTA will begin phasing out the sale of tokens at cashiers' booths and vending machines in Market-Frankford and Broad Street line subway stations in mid-January. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-21-17]

MAN DEAD AFTER CSX TRAIN HITS DUMP TRUCK IN FLORIDA: A man driving a dump truck was killed early Dec. 20 in Hawthorne, Florida, when the truck backed into the path of a CSX freight train. No injuries were reported on the train. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-21-17]

CAD RAILWAY INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES CALTRAX: Quebec-based Cad Railway Industries has acquired rail-car repair company Caltrax. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-21-17]

ALLIED TRACK SERVICES ACQUIRES PITTSBURG BOTTOM LINE CO.: Canadian rail contractor Allied Track Services has acquired Pittsburg Bottom Line Co., a Texas-based railroad bridge contractor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-21-17]

FIVE METRO-NORTH STATIONS TO GET UPGRADES: A $91.5-million design-build contract has been awarded to improve five Metro-North Railroad stations. They are Riverdale in Brooklyn, Port Chester, Harlen-12th street in Manhattan, Tuckahoe, and White Plains. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-20-17]

MUL RAILCARS OPENS U.S. LEASING OFFICE IN OREGON: Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. has opened an office in Portland, Oregon, as a base for its MUL Railcars leasing activities. MUL Railcars aims to develop a portfolio of 25,000 new and used railcars by 2020, and to position itself to grow into the top 10 companies in the U.S. railcar leasing market. [Railway Gazette website report, 12-20-17]

MORE VLOCITY CARS ORDERED FOR REGIONAL VICTORIA SERVICES: Bombardier has won a $112-million contract from Transport for Victoria, Australia, to supply an additional 27 VLocity diesel multiple-unit cars, expanding its fleet to 264 cars operating in three-car sets. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-20-17]

TOUR BUS ACCIDENT IN MEXICO KILLS 12: A tour bus taking passengers to a Mayan archaeological site ran off the road and flipped over in eastern Mexico Dec. 19, killing 12 people, including eight Americans, and injuring more than 10 others. [CNN website report, 12-20-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN IN WASHINGTON STATE WAS TRAVELING TOO FAST, FEDS SAY: The train that careened off a bridge outside Tacoma, Washington, Dec. 18 killing three people was traveling at 80 MPH on a stretch of track rated for only 30 MPH, federal investigators have confirmed. [NBC News website report, 12-19-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES TRACTOR-TRAILER IN VA.: An Amtrak train hit a tractor-trailer stuck on the tracks in Stafford County, Va., early Dec. 19. There were no injuries, but it took about four hours to clear the tracks following the incident. [, 12-19-17]

NEW LUXEMBOURG-GERMANY INTERCITY RAIL SERVICE BEGINS: Luxembourg Railways has begun operation of an intercity rail service between Luxembourg and Dusseldorf, in Germany, in cooperation with German Rail. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-19-17]

ONTARIO ADVANCES PLANS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: Ontario has issued a request for bids to develop environmental assessment terms of reference for the Kitchener-London segment of the proposed Toronto-Windsor high-speed rail corridor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-19-17]

CHINA RECEIVES FINAL CRH1A-A HIGH-SPEED TRAINS: Bombardier Sifang Transportation has completed delivery of the final 72 CRH1A-A 155-MPH high-speed train cars under contracts for a total of 184 cars awarded by China Railway. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-19-17]

AT LEAST THREE DIE AS AMTRAK TRAIN DERAILS NEAR TACOMA, WASHINGTON: At least three people were killed and dozens injured early Dec. 18 after Amtrak southbound Cascades train 501 derailed on a just-opened section of track outside Tacoma, Washington, careening off a bridge onto an interstate highway below. The official cause of the accident has yet to be determined. [Fox News website report, 12-18-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending December 17, 2017. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-18-17]

HUNTER HARRISON DIES, CEO OF CSX: E. Hunter Harrison, president and CEO of CSX, died Dec. 16 in Wellington, Florida. Harrison, 73, began his railroad career in 1964 for the Frisco Railway, and later served with Burlington Northern, being promoted to vice-president of transportation and service design. He also worked for Illinois Central, and then with Canadian National. He retired from Canadian National in 2009, but he came out of retirement in 2012, becoming president and CEO of Canadian Pacific. He left that company earlier this year, and he was named president and CEO of CSX. On December 14 it was announced that he had gone on medical leave, and he died two days later. James M. Foote has been named acting CEO of CSX.

AMTRAK NAMES TEAM TO LEAD BALTIMORE'S PENN STATION RENEWAL: Amtrak has named a team to lead a long-discussed redevelopment of Baltimore's century-old Penn Station. Penn Station Partners is developing a plan that could see retail, residential and office projects around the station, including a new concourse to occupy a lot north of the station. [Seattle Times website report, 12-15-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS WOMAN IN FLORIDA: Authorities say a woman was struck and killed by a passenger train around noon Dec. 14 in Lakeland, Florida. The woman was walking through a railroad crossing when she was hit. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-15-17]

FIRE DAMAGES BUILDING AT RAIL YARD IN DELAWARE: An overnight fire damaged a maintenance building in a rail yard in New Castle, Delaware, very early Dec. 15. [6ABC website report, 12-15-17]

WOMAN KILLED IN RAIL CROSSING ACCIDENT IN ILLINOIS: A car was struck by a freight train and shoved several blocks after the driver drove around railroad crossing gates Dec. 15 in Melrose Park, Illinois. A 21-year-old female passenger of the car was killed, and the 20-year old male driver was seriously injured. There were no other injuries reported. [ABC7 Chicago website report, 12-15-17]

QUEBEC PORT TO BUILD CONTAINER TERMINAL: The Quebec Port authority plans to build a rail-served container terminal that could serve as a new international economic hub geared toward logistics facilities, distribution centers and other new businesses. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-15-17]

GLENDALE, ARIZONA, NIXES PLANS FOR LIGHT-RAIL: The city council of Glendale, Arizona, in a 5-2 vote, has withdrawn from future planning of a light-rail system to downtown. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-15-17]

MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA, DROPS OPPOSITION TO BRIGHTLINE ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT: The Martin County, Florida, commission has decided to drop its challenge of an environmental permit against the Brightline passenger rail project, which is now being tested between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-15-17]

BIRMINGHAM'S NEW AMTRAK STATION SLATED TO OPEN IN JANUARY: The new Birmingham Amtrak station is tentatively scheduled to open in mid-January. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-15-17]

HUNTER HARRISON, CSX CEO, TAKES MEDICAL LEAVE: CSX's chief executive officer and president E. Hunter Harrison is on medical leave due to complications from a recent illness. James M. Foote, chief operating officer, has been named acting CEO of the company. [CSX, 12-14-17]

AMTRAK CASCADES SERVICE SET TO EXPAND: Expanded Amtrak Cascades service will start Dec. 18. Additional trains will run daily, and riders will be able to use the new Amtrak Cascades Tacoma Dome station for the first time. The improvements will result in the addition of two daily round-trips between Seattle and Portland. Travel time will also be reduced. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-14-17]

NJT TO PURCHASE 17 ALP45 LOCOMOTIVES: New Jersey Transit has approved the purchase of 17 dual-powered ALP45 locomotives from Bombardier that will enable the agency to retire some of its oldest units. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-14-17]

METRA LOCOMOTIVE HONORS RETIRING CEO: Metra has honored retiring chief executive officer Don Orseno by naming a locomotive (425) that had been repainted in the red and yellow colors of the Rock Island Railroad. [Railway Age website report, 12-14-17]

WICK MOORMAN, AMTRAK'S CO-CEO, STEPPING DOWN DEC. 31: Amtrak's Charles Wick Moorman will step down from the co-CEO position effective Dec. 31, and will assume the role of senior advisor. Assuming full responsibility as CEO is Richard Anderson. [Railway Age website report, 12-14-17]

BOMBARDIER LANDS BRITISH ORDER FOR 60 AVENTRA EMU CARS: Bombardier has been awarded a contract by rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook and British franchisee for 60 Aventra electric multiple-units cars, together with an eight-year maintenance contract. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-14-17]

N.Y., N.J. COMMIT $3.65-B TO FUND HUDSON RIVER TUNNEL PROJECT: New York and New Jersey have collectively committed $3.65-billion to fund a new rail tunnel beneath New York's Hudson River, part of an urgent program to expand and renovate Amtrak's aging Northeast corridor line. [Reuters website report, 12-14-17]

AMTRAK'S NOVEMBER REVENUE WAS BEST MONTH IN COMPANY'S HISTORY: Ahead of the holiday travel season, Amtrak achieved record revenue in November, reaching $204.7-million in system-wide adjusted ticket revenue, the best month in the company's history. [Railway Age website report, 12-14-17]

SOUND TRANSIT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON EAST LINK ELEVATED EXTENSION: Sound Transit has begun construction of the first elevated section of the East Link light-rail extension in downtown Bellevue, Washington. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-13-17]

CSX FREIGHT TRAIN COLLIDES WITH TRUCK IN FLORIDA: A truckload of chicken and beef spilled across a road early Dec. 13 in Lakeland, Florida, when the disabled vehicle was struck by a CSX freight train. No injuries were reported. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-13-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reports U.S. rail freight combined carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending Dec. 9, 2017, was 560,756 units, an increase of 4 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Railway Age website report, 12-13-17]

CSX LOCOMOTIVE DERAILS, SPILLS FUEL IN MASSACHUSETTS: A CSX locomotive derailed early Dec. 13 behind an industrial park in Taunton, Massachusetts, spilling 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel, authorities said. No injuries were reported. [South Coast Today website report, 12-13-17]

N.Y. MTA APPROVES $2-B LIRR THIRD TRACK PROJECT: New York's Metropolitan Transportation authority has approved a roughly $2-billion deal to design and build the Long Island Rail Road's third track project to ease a nearly 10-mile bottleneck between Hicksville and the Queens border. [Innovateli website report, 12-13-17]

ALBERTA FARMERS WANT GRAIN TRAINS BACK ON TRACK: Bottlenecks in federal legislation and rail capacity are holding up grain transport at a crucial time, say Alberta wheat producers. Railroads are failing to get nearly half of Alberta's wheat to market, and the government is dragging its feet in passing legislation to ensure they do, said the chairman of the Alberta Wheat commission. [Calgary Herald website report, 12-13-17]

TRIP OPTIMIZER TO BE DEPLOYED ON KAZAKHSTAN RAILWAYS: GE Transportation has agreed to deploy its Trip Optimizer train-control system on Kazakhstan Railways Freight Transportation's fleet of TE33A Evolution Series locomotives. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-13-17]

AMTRAK REPORTS FIRST MONTH OF ROANOKE RIDERSHIP: Amtrak said 2,770 people boarded its new train in Roanoke, Va., during the first 30 days of operation. The equated to 92 riders a day. [Roanoke Times website report, 12-12-17]

NEW AMTRAK STATION OPENS IN CARLINVILLE, ILLINOIS: A new $3.7-million heated air-conditioned, train station has opened in Carlinville, Illinois, along the Chicago-St. Louis rail corridor. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-12-17]

AMTRAK MARKS FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE TO NORFOLK: Amtrak, on Dec. 12, marked the fifth anniversary of the return of passenger-rail service to Norfolk, Virginia. For FY-2017, the route from Norfolk to Washington served 155,389 riders, with the Norfolk station serving more than 47,000 passengers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-11-17]

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 December 10, 2017. The remaining 58 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 17 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-11-17]

TEXAS BULLET TRAIN NAMES DRAYTON MCLANE CHAIRMAN: Texas Central Partners, the private firm developing a bullet train line between Houston and Dallas, has appointed Drayton McLane Jr. chairman. He is currently chairman of the McLane Group and other family-controlled companies, and he is a former owner of the Houston Astros. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-11-17]

FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILMENT BLOCKS NJT RARITAN VALLEY LINE: A CSX freight train en route from Philadelphia to Selkirk, N.Y., derailed along the route of New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley line Dec. 8. Residents in the area were evacuated briefly until it was determined that no hazardous materials were involved. NJT service was suspended between Newark and Cranford, and between Raritan and High Bridge, the agency said. [, 12-8-17]

NJ TRANSIT ORDERS MORE ELECTRO-DIESELS: New Jersey Transit has decided to exercise an option with Bombardier for 17 additional ALP45DP electro-diesel locomotives to replace life-expired GP40 and F40-series motive power in its fleet. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-8-17]

RAIL-CAR REPAIR, SERVICE CENTER ESTABLISHED IN TEXAS: Texas North Western Railway and The Andersons Rail group have established a rail-car repair and service center at the Panhandle Logistics Park near Sunray, Texas. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-8-17]

FIRST-RESPONDERS VISIT NORFOLK SOUTHERN SAFETY TRAIN: Norfolk Southern provided training to over 3,000 first-responders on the company's Safety Train which toured 23 communities in 14 states earlier this year. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-8-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE NORTH OF L.A. SUSPENDED DUE TO WILDFIRES: Due to wildfires north of Los Angeles, Amtrak service has been suspended between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. [Rail Passenger Assn. hotline, 12-8-17]

ANOTHER MAN SENTENCED IN GUN HEIST FROM TRAIN IN CHICAGO: A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago-area man to 12 and one-half years in prison for helping steal around 100 new guns from a Norfolk Southern train stopped in the city. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-7-17]

BRIGHTLINE SET TO BEGIN SIMULATED SERVICE: Brightline says it will begin simulated service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale this week. Trains will run up to 10 times a day on the route. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-7-17]

NEW LOCOMOTIVES EN ROUTE TO SEPTA, MARC: The first ACS-64 electric locomotive for SEPTA has left Siemens' plant in Sacramento, bound for Philadelphia. A total of 13 ACS-64 locomotives are included in the current order. Also en route is the first of eight SC-44 Charger locomotives for Maryland Transit. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-7-17]

NOVEMBER 2017 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2.67 million carloads and intermodal units in November 2017, according to the Association of American Railroads, an increase of 1.5 pct compared with the same month last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-6-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight carload and intermodal unit traffic for the week ending Dec. 2, 2017, increased 3.5 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 12-6-17]

ETHANOL CARS DERAIL IN IOWA: Six rail cars of ethanol derailed along Canadian National late Dec. 5 near Barnum, Iowa. Officials say the cars were being shoved when there was an apparent switch failure. No contents were spilled and on one was injured. [The Messenger website report, 12-6-17]

N.Y. STATE PICKS CSX'S DEWITT YARD FOR INLAND PORT: New York state officials said they are working to expand the DeWitt rail yard controlled by CSX into an 'inland port,' a decision that appears to put an end to more ambitious plans put forth in 2015 by regional business leaders. [, 12-6-17]

LIRR SEEKS M9A EMU RAILCARS: Long Island Rail Road has issued a request for proposals to prequalify firms for a minimum of 60, and up to 160, M9A married-pair electric multiple-unit rail cars. [Railway Age website report, 12-6-17]

R.J. CORMAN TO BEGIN ELECTRICIAN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: R.J. Corman Railroad in central Kentucky is partnering with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to begin a four-year electrician apprenticeship program. [Kentucky Today website report, 12-6-17]

NJT TRAIN GETS STUCK IN HUDSON RIVER TUNNEL: A New Jersey Transit train packed with passengers got stuck in the Hudson River tunnel outside New York's Penn Station for about an hour the afternoon of Dec. 6, officials said. [N.Y. Post website report, 12-6-17]

RENOVATION COMPLETE FOR DEPOT AT LINCOLN, ILLINOIS: There was a ribbon-cutting Dec. 5 to reopen the 1911 depot serving Lincoln, Illinois. Included was renovation of the building for use by Amtrak passengers, new parking areas, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. [Herald & Review website report, 12-5-17]

FEDS REPEAL ECP BRAKE RULE: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has repealed a 2015 rule requiring freight railroads by 2021 to employ electronically controlled pneumatic brakes on certain trains hauling hazardous, flammable commodities in DOT-117 tank cars, or to reduce maximum speed to 30 MPH. The repeal follows a study and testing which concluded that the braking performance of such brakes was not better than other systems. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-5-17]

LIRR INSTALLING NEW SWITCHES NEAR BROOKLYN TERMINAL: Long Island Rail Road has begun installing new switches near the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. The work is aimed at making operations more efficient by allowing trains to access the Atlantic Yards directly from the terminal and avoid cumbersome backup moves. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-5-17]

SEPTA COMPLETES IMPROVEMENTS TO 40TH STREET SUBWAY STATION: SEPTA has completed accessibility improvements at its 40th street subway station in Philadelphia. The $9.23-million project included two new elevators, upgraded doors, gates and employee facilities. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-5-17]

UZBEKISTAN COMPLETES BUKHARA-MISKIN LINE: Uzbekistan Railways has completed its 221-mile direct rail line from Navoi, north of Bukhara, to Miskin, near the border with Turkmenistan. The five-station line is 47 miles shorter than the existing railway, which takes a circuitous route via Uchkuduk. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-5-17]

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 December 3, 2017. The remaining 58 percent, on average, arrived one hour and seven minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-4-17]

REPORT URGES CHANGES TO N.Y. CITY'S PASSENGER-RAIL SERVICE: The Regional Plan association has proposed sweeping changes to New York area's subway and commuter-rail services. It was recommended that the subway system be expanded into neighborhoods with densities, particularly low-income areas. Queens, for example, now has fewer than four in 10 residents living within walking distance of a subway. The association also suggested combining the three rail systems - Long Island, Metro-North and N.J. Transit - into one network. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-17]

GROUND BROKEN ON L.A. GOLD LIGHT-RAIL LINE EXTENSION TO MONTCLAIR: Ground has been broken on a 12.3-mile, $1.5-billion light-rail extension of the Los Angeles County Metro's Gold line between Glendora and Montclair, California. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-17]

VIA RAIL'S RIDERSHIP, REVENUE GREW IN 3-Q: Via Rail Canada served 1.2 million passengers in the third-quarter, a 12 pct increase compared with the same period last year. Revenue rose 14 pct while operating expenses only increased 5 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-17]

WABTEC ACQUIRES TURBOCHARGER MANUFACTURER: Wabtec has acquired turbocharger manufacturer Melett Ltd., which has annual sales of about $40-million, with operations in Europe, North American and China. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-17]

IRAN ORDERS 450 DMU CARS: Hyundai Rotem has been awarded an $856-million Iranian contract to supply 150 three-car diesel multiple-units for Raja Passenger Train Company. The trains will be capable of 99 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-4-17]

NOVEMBER 2017 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during November 2017. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 48 minutes late. The average arrival of the 67 percent of trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 12 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-1-17]

HOOD RAILROAD TRAIN DERAILS IN OREGON: Authorities say no one was injured late Dec. 1 when a train carrying 214 people on a holiday-themed ride in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon derailed. The derailed cars remained upright, sheriff's office said. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-1-17]

TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN CRASH WITH SUNRAIL TRAIN: Authorities say a 40-year-old truck driver was killed when a SunRail commuter train crashed into a semitrailer Nov. 30 near Altamonte Springs, Florida. The driver was attempting to back into a loading dock when the incident happened. There were no injuries to any of the train's passengers. [U.S. News & World Report, 12-1-17]

OCEANSIDE TRANSIT CENTER UPGRADES COMPLETED: Crews have completed $28-million of upgrades to the Oceanside Transit center in California. Included are new and longer platforms, a third track, new crossovers, signs, seating and shelters. Travelers board Coaster, Sprinter, Metrolink and Amtrak trains at this location. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-1-17]

MIAMI-DADE TRANSIT INTRODUCES NEW HITACHI TRAIN: Miami-Dade Transit has placed its first new four-car Hitachi Rail train into service. The train, part of a 136-car order, is the agency's first new train to enter service since the system opened in 1984. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-1-17]

BNSF IDENTIFIES THREE NEW SITES FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: BNSF has awarded 'certified site' designations to three properties. They are located in Minot, North Dakota; Avard, Oklahoma; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The program identifies rail-served sites available for immediate development. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-1-17]

FEDS EXTEND DEADLINE FOR PASSENGER RAILROADS TO CREATE SAFETY PROGRAMS: The Federal Railroad administration has once again delayed a requirement for commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop a system safety program. They now have until Dec. 4, 2018, to develop their program, aimed at improving the safety of their operations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-1-17]

CHICAGO ISSUES REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR EXPRESS TRAIN TO O'HARE AIRPORT: Chicago has issued a request for qualifications to identify teams interested in developing a high-speed rail service from downtown to O'Hare International airport. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-1-17]

RATIFICATIONS MAKE RAIL STRIKE LESS LIKELY: The probability of a national railroad strike has likely been reduced to single digits with ratification of a new national agreement by four rail unions comprising more than half of unionized rail workers. [Railway Age website report, 12-1-17]

BOMBARDIER CHOSEN FOR DUISBURG LRV ORDER: Duisburg Transport has selected Bombardier as preferred bidder to supply 47 light-rail vehicles for the Duisburg-Stadtbahn network. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-1-17]

LIRR TO TO PERFORM SWITCH INSTALLATION AT ATLANTIC TERMINAL: The Long Island Rail Road is preparing to conduct switch installation work near its Atlantic terminal in Brooklyn as part of its Vanderbilt yard reconfiguration project. The work is expected to boost efficiency by allowing trains to access the yard directly into or from the terminal. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-30-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Combined carload and intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads in the week ending Nov. 25, 2017, was 463,602, an increase of 2.4 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, carloads increased 0.2 pct, and intermodal increased 4.7 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-30-17]

METRA TRAIN DERAILS AT CHICAGO UNION STATION: A derailment involving a Metra train at Chicago's Union Station late Nov. 28 caused delays to a number of Amtrak and Metra trains. Three cars of an eight-car train left the tracks, but remained upright. No injuries were reported. The incident is under investigation. [NBC Chicago website report, 11-29-17]

PROTESTERS BLOCK RAILROAD TRACKS IN OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON: Authorities say a band of 20 to 30 masked protesters blocked railroad tracks in Olympia, Washington, early Nov. 29, confronting police, but later dispersed. No injuries were reported. The protest was said to be over fracking. [KIRO7 website report, 11-29-17]

THANKSGIVING PERIOD AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during the six-day 2017 Thanksgiving period, November 22 through 27, inclusive.. The remaining 55 percent, on average, arrived 59 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-28-17]

CSX TRAIN CARRYING MOLTEN SULFUR DERAILS IN FLORIDA: Four cars that were carrying molten sulfur are among those that derailed in a CSX train near Lakeland, Florida, early Nov. 27. The incident prompted officials to warn local residents to stay indoors and close their windows. Several cars are believed to have leaked. No injuries were reported. [NPR website report, 11-27-17]

PLANNED NASHVILLE LIGHT-RAIL CORRIDOR GETS EXPANSION: Nashville has introduced plans to expand its proposed Charlotte avenue light-rail project by two miles in order to better connect with West Nashville. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-27-17]

U.S. RAIL FATALITIES ROSE IN 2016: The number of people killed in U.S. railroad accidents increased in 2016 from 708 to 733, compared with the previous year, the National Transportation Safety board has reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-27-17]

CN WRAPPING UP OLIVER BRIDGE PROJECT: Canadian National says strengthening work on the 1910 Oliver Bridge over the St. Louis River between Duluth, Minnesota, and Oliver, Wisconsin, will wrap up prior to the end of the year. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-27-17]

BOMBARDIER COMPLETES FINAL ELECTROSTAR EMU: A ceremony was held at Bombardier's Derby plant Nov. 24 to mark the completion of the 2,805th and final Electrostar electric multiple-unit vehicle. The final train is a four-car class 387 destined for use by Great Western Railway. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-24-17]

CUBA TAKES DELIVERY OF SEVEN TGM8KM LOCOMOTIVES FROM RUSSIA: Cuba has taken delivery of seven of the 75 Type TGM8KM Sinara diesel-hydraulic locomotives being supplied from Russia. [Railway Gazette website report, 11-24-17]

KCS HOLIDAY TRAIN TO VISIT SIX STATES: A festive Kansas City Southern holiday train will be operating through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, ending Dec. 15 in Kansas City Union Station where it will remain on display through Dec. 19. The train features a smiling tank car named 'Rudy,' a gingerbread boxcar, a flatcar carrying Santa's sleigh, a reindeer stable and a miniature village, an elves' workshop and a little red caboose. [U.S. News & World Report, 11-24-17]

CSX APOLOGIZES FOR TRAINS BLOCKING CROSSINGS IN OHIO: CSX trains have been blocking railroad crossings at frequent intervals in Saybrook, Ohio, prompting complaints from residents. CSX has issued an apology, and promises to keep local officials informed as the company reviews options to reduce the impact of its operations in the area. By law, the railroad can face fines of up to $1,000 per offense. [Star Beacon website report, 11-22-17]

CSX DISPATCHERS IN LIMBO AS JOB MOVES FROM ALBANY DELAYED: Recent plans by CSX to consolidate its dispatching operations in Florida have been delayed, leaving workers in Selkirk, N.Y., and elsewhere, in limbo. The planned consolidation has been described by one employee as a 'disaster,' saying that back in Jan. or Febr. the company had told the dispatchers to get ready to move to Indianapolis. That move never happened. Then, in June, the dispatchers were told they would be moved to Jacksonville, Fla., along with seven other offices that would be consolidated there. Relocation was to begin Aug. 31 and be completed by Oct. 15. But a notice posted Oct. 5 explained that relocations would not begin until early Jan. 2018, and would be completed as 'soon as administratively possible.' The railroad, in turn, said the workers who had already sold their homes or downsized their belongings had acted too quickly. [Albany Times Union website report, 11-22-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroad freight traffic of 554,066 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Nov. 18, 2017, was 1.2 pct higher than the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, carload volume dropped 1.6 pct while intermodal volume increased 3.9 pct. [Railway Age website report, 11-22-17]

CSX TO SLAP HEFTY FEES ON SOME CUSTOMERS IN 2018: CSX will charge new fees for freight shipments to Mexico and hike charges for customers who fail to load or discharge railcars by agreed deadlines, or ship unsafely loaded or overweight cars, as of Jan. 1, 2018, the company said. [Reuters website report, 11-22-17]

NEW PRESIDENT NAMED FOR N.Y. CITY TRANSIT: Andy Byford has been named president of New York City Transit effective Jan. 2018. The agency is responsible for subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-22-17]

CSX UNABLE TO EXPLAIN ERRONEOUS RELOCATION NOTICE: CSX is 'mystified' over a June notice on a bulletin board in Atlanta stating that train dispatchers had until September to relocate to Jacksonville. The company does, however, acknowledge that there was a 'miscommunication,' and that some workers had at least moved possessions to Jacksonville. The company has no jobs readily available for them at that location. Only a limited number of employees were affected, CSX said, and the company is working to assist them in the process. [Florida Times-Union website report, 11-21-17]

CSX REVERSES DECISION TO CUT RAIL SERVICE TO GENERAL MILLS PLANT IN BUFFALO: CSX has put the brakes on a plan to reduce rail service to General Mills' Buffalo plant, according to two elected officials. CSX had planned to cut back its service to one time per day, rather than twice. For now, the railroad will maintain its twice-daily service. [Buffalo News website report, 11-21-17]

MAYOR LOOKS TO FEDS TO HELP AFTER CSX BLOCKS CROSSINGS IN GEORGIA TOWN: After almost a year of getting the cold shoulder and no railroad crossing improvements from CSX, the mayor of Garden City, Ga., has had enough. He has placed a call to the Federal Railroad administration for help. In the meantime, CSX issued a statement that it had met with Garden City leaders and they are working to address concerns. The mayor, looking for results, says he is 'on the warpath.' [WTOC website report, 11-21-17]

TWO UNION PACIFIC TRAINS DERAIL IN S.W. OKLAHOMA IN 8-HOUR SPAN: In a span of about eight hours, two Union Pacific trains derailed in southwest Oklahoma - one south of Ryan, and the other near Apache. No injuries were reported in either incident. [KSWO website report, 11-21-17]

PROGRESS RAIL TO ACQUIRE AUSTRALIAN RAILCAR COMPANY: Progress Rail has signed an agreement to acquire Downer EDI's freight rail business, Downer Freight Rail, an Australian railcar company. [Railway Age website report, 11-21-17]

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 November 19, 2017. The remaining 70 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 13 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-20-17]

'GETLINK' IS NEW NAME FOR EUROTUNNEL: Groupe Eurotunnel announced Nov. 20 that it has changed its name to 'Getlink,' with the new brand intended to reflect the 'dynamism of connection and exchange.' [International Railway Journal website report, 11-20-17]

ONE HURT AS CSX TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN N.J.: A CSX intermodal train en route to Little Ferry, N.J., struck a car on the tracks early Nov. 18 near Bergenfield, N.J., injuring the driver, who was taken to a hospital. The crossing signals and gates appeared to be in working order, CSX said. The train was delayed at the scene for more than two hours.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS 38 CARS IN VA.: Thirty-eight cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed Nov. 18 in Wise County, Va., with four of the cars overturned into Pigeon Creek, dumping coal. No injuries were reported. [Herald Courier website report, 11-19-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN N.H.: Amtrak's Downeaster en route to Boston struck a car near a crossing late Nov. 18 in East Kigston, N.H., the driver saying that her GPS system told her to turn at that location. There were no injuries, but the vehicle was destroyed. [ report, 11-19-17]

AMTRAK RIDERSHIP INCREASES 1.5 PERCENT: In Amtrak's fiscal-year ending Sept. 30, ridership was 31.7-million passengers, a 1.5 pct increase from the previous year. Amtrak is now covering 95 pct of its operating costs through ticket sales and other sources of revenue, which increased by 1.1 pct to $3.2-billion. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-17-17]

SOUND TRANSIT ORDERS FIVE LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FOR TACOMA LINK EXTENSION: Sound Transit has approved a $26.5-million order for five Liberty light-rail vehicles from Brookville Equipment Co., for the Tacoma Link Extension project. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-17-17]

RAIL OFFICIALS IN JAPAN APOLOGIZE FOR TRAIN LEAVING 20 SECONDS EARLY: A train in Japan closed its doors and departed a station 20 seconds ahead of schedule Nov. 14, prompting the Tsukuba Express railway operator to issue a heartfelt apology to passengers. The incident occurred because the train crew did not properly check its departure time. It is not clear whether anyone was left behind by the error. [Time website report, 11-16-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending Nov. 11, 2017, U.S. railroads logged 547,480 carloads and intermodal units, a 1.2 pct increase compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, carload volume fell 3.3 pct while intermodal volume rose 5.6 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-16-17]

CANADA SUES OMNITRAX OVER CHURCHILL LINE BREACH OF CONTRACT: Canada has filed suit against OmniTRAX for breach of contract for failure to repair and resume operation of a portion of storm-damaged rail line into Churchill, Manitoba. The suit followed OmniTRAX's announcement that it intends to ask for arbitration under the North America Free Trade agreement. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-16-17]

MAN APPREHENDED IN PHOENIX TRYING TO STEAL A LOCOMOTIVE: A man caught in the engineer's seat of a locomotive in Phoenix on Nov. 8 had almost put the unit in motion. Union Pacific employees heard a train horn blowing excessively, went to investigate, and found a 20-year-old. He had been relased from jail that very morning, and he later admitted that he entered the rail yard with the intention of stealing a locomotive. The man has been charged with burglary and two counts of theft. [ABC15 website report, 11-16-17]

METRO-NORTH COMPLETES PORT JERVIS LINE REPAIRS: Metro-North has compled infrastructure repair work on its Port Jervis line. Crews made structural repairs at the Moodna and Woodbury viaducs, removed a defunct overhead bridge in Campbell Hall, N.Y., reinforced rock slopes adjacent to the tracks, installed over 12,000 wood ties and over 4,500 feet of welded rail, and installed three new switches. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-15-17]

AMTRAK FAULTED IN 2016 COLLISION WITH BACKHOE IN PA.: The National Transportation Safety board has blamed ignored safety procedures and a 'fractured safety program' for the April 2016 derailment of Amtrak train 89 in Pennsylvania. The agency said the accident, in which the train struck a backhoe killing two and leaving 39 others injured, was caused by deficient safety management across many levels of Amtrak. The train should not have been allowed to travel at maximum speed on unprotected track where workers were present, along with a number of other issues. It was further noted that three of the key employees involved in the accident were determined to be positive for illegal drugs, although drugs were not a factor in the accident. Amtrak has since stepped up its safety program, the railroad said. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-15-17]

MORE ROUND OF TRACK CLOSURES IN STORE FOR N.Y. PENN STATION: Beginning Jan. 8, 2018, and continuing until May 28, Amtrak intends to close another three of 21 tracks for repairs at New York's Penn Station, the system's busiest. This is the second round of closures, the first being this past summer, affecting a number of train schedules and potential problems for passengers. [North Jersey website report, 11-14-17]

G.E. TO DIVEST ITS TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS: As part of a broad strategy to streamline the company, General Electric plans to shed its Chicago-based transportation division. The company, a leder in building locomotives for more than 100 years, made the announcement Nov. 13 at an investor conference. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-14-17]

FIRM SELECTED FOR ZERO-EMISSION FUEL CELL ENGINE FOR LIGHT-RAIL: Ballard Power Systems has signed an agreement to develop a zero-emission fuel cell engine to power Siemens' Mireo light-rail train. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-14-17]

STARTUP PLANS TEST TRACK FOR TUBE-ENCASED TRAINS: Arrivo is planning to construct a test track near Denver as it competes with other startups to build tube-encased trains. Compared to its competitors, the company is focused on transporting more people over shorter distances at lower speeds. [Bloomberg website report, 11-14-17]

NIPPON SHARYO LOSES PASSENGER RAIL CAR CONTRACT: Rail car maker Nippon Sharyo lost a multi-state contract to build 125 MPH passenger trains after years of safety problems, technical failures and layoffs. The company lost the contract to Sumitomo and Siemens, the California Dept. of Transportation said. Participation in the contract was shared by other states in order to achieve a more favorable price. [Chicago Tribune website report, 11-14-17]

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 November 12, 2017. The remaining 70 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-13-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO SERVE INDIANA COAL-LOADING FACILITY: Sunrise Coal has signed a side-track agreement with Norfolk Southern to construct a truck-to-rail coal loading facility to be located six miles west of Princeton, Indiana, for completion in spring 2018. Known as Princeton Loop, the facility will primarily serve utilities that Norfolk Southern serves. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-10-17]

AMTRAK STATION IN CARY, N.C., SELECTED BEST IN 'OVERALL STATION EXPERIENCE': Based on Amtrak's 2017 customer satisfaction survey, the top-rated Amtrak station is in Cary, N.C. The station is said to have the best 'overall station experience,' with a score of 97 pct. It outscored more than 450 other Amtrak stations. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-10-17]

SUMITOMO, SIEMENS TO SUPPLY MULTI-STATE ORDER FOR 137 PASSENGER RAIL CARS: Sumitomo Corp. of Americas and Siemens will be fulling a multi-state contract to supply 137 single-level passenger railcars - 49 to California and 88 to Illinois. The cars will be built in Sacramento. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-10-17]

GERMANY TO INTRODUCE WORLD'S FIRST HYDROGEN-POWERED TRAINS: Germany plans to bring into service the world's first trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with 14 emission-free trains to transport passengers in Lower Saxony beginning in 2021. [Reuters website report, 11-9-17]

NJ TRANSIT SIDELINES SOME ENGINEERS HAVING SLEEP APNEA: NJ Transit sidelined 44 locomotive engineers over the past year after testing found that they suffered sleep apnea. The agency screened 373 engineers for the disorder, 57 were removed from service pending a full sleep study, and 44 were found to have sleep apnea and remain sidelined until they meet treatment requirements, the agency said. [, 11-9-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads handled 538,739 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 4, 2017, a decrease of 0.8 pct compared with traffic in the corresponding week last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-9-17]

AMAZON COMING TO RAIL-SERVED PARK IN MD.: Amazon will open a new distribution facility at the Tradepoint Atlantic multimodal industrial park at the site of a former steel mill in Sparrows Point, Md., near Baltimore. Tradepoint Rail serves the park and provides access to CSX and Norfolk Southern. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-9-17]

BART'S FLEET OF THE FUTURE TRAIN FAILS TEST RUN: Bay Area Rapid Transit's new 'Fleet of the Future' rail cars failed to perform properly in a recent test run, and they will be withheld from further testing until issues are corrected. In a test of a 10-car consist, the operator was unable to open doors at platform stops, and it was learned that the system recognized the train as only having three cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-9-17]

PROPOSED D.C.-BALTIMORE MAGLEV COULD RUN BENEATH NEIGHBORHOODS: The Maryland Dept. of Tansportation is studyig suggested routes for a maglev line between Baltimore and Washington that could cost as much as $12-billion. One option would run the line underneath several neighborhoods, but the department declined to comment on any neighborhood effects, saying the study is far too early in the process. [Baltimore Sun website report, 11-9-17]

LOGGING RAILROAD IN CANADA SHUTS DOWN AFTER 100 YEARS: One of the last logging railroads in North America ended a century-long run Nov. 6 as Englewood Railway ceased operations on Vancouver Island off Canada's west coast. The shutdown follows an incident earlier this year when a train rolled away from a yard and collided with a track maintenance vehicle, killing three and injuring two. [Railway Age website report, 11-9-17]

SCHOOL BUS GOES ELECTRIC: Electric power for vehicles has been scaled up by a Daimler unit to the point it can carry a full bus load of students 100 miles or more on a single charge. Thomas Built Buses' new Jouley electric school bus is powered by a 160kWh battery and can accommodate additional battery packs for extended range. [New Atlas website report, 11-9-17]

PICKUP DRIVER KILLED TRYING TO BEAT AMTRAK TRAIN TO CROSSING IN VA.: A pickup driver was killed early Nov. 8 while trying to beat an Amtrak train across the track in Jarratt, Va., according to police. Witnesses said as the train approached the crossing, the gates came down, the warning lights came on, and the truck attempted to cross around the gates when it was struck by the train. The driver died on impact. No injuries were reported on board the train. [WTVR website report, 11-8-17]

WISCONSIN & SOUTHERN TO REPLACE BRIDGE USING STATE FUNDS: Wisconsin & Southern has been granted $4.5-million from the state representing 80 pct of the cost to rebuild a bridge near Wauzeka in Crawford County, Wisconsin. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-8-17]

TEXAS EXPLORING OKLAHOMA CITY TO SOUTH TEXAS PASSENGER RAIL OPTIONS: A study has deemed passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and South Texas to be 'feasible.' Texas and its partners will continue to explore options for the proposed route covering an 850-mile corridor from Oklahoma City to Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Laredo, and even into Mexico. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-8-17]

CANADA TO PROPOSE FATIGUE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS FOR RAILROADS: Transport Canada is taking steps to address fatigue management in the rail industry. A notice of intent will be published outlining plans to incorporate fatigue science in current requirements and further strengthen Canada's rail safety program. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-8-17]

REAGAN STANLEY NAMED EXECUTIVE V.P. AT OMNITRAX: OmniTRAX has named Reagan Stanley executive vice-president, industrial development group. He is a veteran of more than 27 years in finance, business, real estate and consulting. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-8-17]

TALGO IN MILWAUKEE TO OVERHAUL ADDITIONAL 36 L.A. RAIL CARS: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority has approved overhaul work on an additional 36 rail vehicles at Talgo's Milwaukee plant. The work is part of an option on an existing contract to overhaul 38 rail vehicles. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-7-17]

METROLINK TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS MAN ON SAN BERNARDINO LINE: A man crossing the tracks died after he was hit by a Metrolink train in Baldwin Park, California, on Nov. 7, halting the San Bernardio line to Los Angeles. [San Gabriel Valley Tribune website report, 11-7-17]

NJT SEEKS TO REPLACE ITS GP40P LOCOMOTIVES: NJ Transit's oldest locomotives, some of which have been in service for almost 50 years, are planned for retirement over the next couple of years. The GP40P units will be replaced by dual-mode locomotives, which can be operated by either diesel or elecric engines. Thirty-five dual-mode units are currently on the roster; 17 more will be needed to meet the need. [, 11-7-17]

WASHINGTON DC METRO TO REPLACE RED LINE SWITCHES: Washington DC Metro will suspend service on the red line between Silver Spring and Fort Totten from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10 from replacement of a switch interlocking control point. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-6-17]

FORT MADISON MOVES AHEAD WITH AMTRAK DEPOT PROJECT: Fort Madison, Iowa, has approved a $1.2-million project, several years in the making, to move its Amtrak stop to the newly-restored historic (x-Santa Fe) downtown train depot. [The Hawk Key website report, 11-6-17]

CZECH REGION FUNDS NEW CROSS-BORDER RAIL SERVICE: The Czech region of Karlovy Vary will provide funding for a new weekend cross-border rail service between Karlovy Vary and Zwickau, where there will be connections with Mid-German S-Bahm services to Leipzig and Halle. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-6-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PEFORMANCE: Twenty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending November 5, 2017. The remaining 73 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 11 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-6-17]

R.I. SEEKS EXPRESS COMMUTER TRAINS TO BOSTON: Rhode Island is asking the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority to run express commuter trains between Providence and Boston, but the agency says this would be difficult before South Station in Boston is expanded. Amtrak offers Acela service between the cities, but Rhode Island officials say they do not run frequently enough northbound in the morning. [Wichita Eagle website report, 11-5-17]

MD. LAWMAKERS VOW TO PUSH FORWARD WITH HOWARD STREET TUNNEL PROJECT: Maryland's state and federal lawmakers have pledged to explore how to move forward with the CSX Howard Street tunnel expansion after the railroad said it could not justify paying for its share of the $425-million project. [WCBC website report, 11-4-17]

SEATTLE-VANCOUVER HIGH-SPEED RAIL HAS HIGH RIDERSHIP POTENTIAL, STUDY SHOWS: Based on a study by consultants who are examining the potential of a high-speed rail line from Seattle to Vancouver, in B.C., the system could attract 1.8 million passengers in a few years. At a maximum speed of 250 MPH, the trip would take less than an hour, or about four times faster than a similar trip today on Amtrak's Cascades. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 11-3-17]

N.J. OFFERING $50-M TOWARD NORTH BRUNSWICK TRAIN STATION: North Brunswick, N.J., has secured $50-million in state transportion funding for a train station at the Main Street transit village. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 11-3-17]

DEFECTIVE WOODEN TIE ISSUE LIKELY TO CAUSE AMTRAK DELAYS ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Passengers on Amtrak routes could face delays as Norfolk Southern replaces millions of defective wooden ties. Norfolk Southern recently filed suite against a tie supplier for improper protective coating, resulting in the ties degrading prematurely. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 11-3-17]

BONDS ISSUED TOWARD BRIGHTLINE FUNDING FOR PHASE 1 OF PROJECT: Brightline in Florida has been issued $600-million in tax-free bonds to help pay for its phase 1 rail line between West Palm Beach and Miami. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 11-3-17]

PLANS FOR CSX RAIL HUB IN ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., ARE NOW IN DOUBT: A major rai transportationn center planned for Rocky Mount, N.C., is now in doubt, due to a reassessment by the company. The $272-million Carolina Connector was announced in July 2016, and the railroad was to receive $122-million in state financial incentives. A recent report hinted that the project will not be executed, but nothing official has been announced. [News Observer website report, 11-3-17]

CSX CANCELS BALTIMORE TUNNEL PROJECT: CSX has withdrawn its support for an enlargement of its Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore -with the railroad, state and federal government splitting the cost of the project three ways - which would have permitted double-stack intermodal containers to pass through en route to the port of Baltimore. The railroad explained that the proposal no longer justifies the level of investment required. State and port officials were disappointed in the railroad's decision. [Baltimore Sun, 11-2-17]

AMTRAK NAMES CHRISTIAN ZACARIASSEN CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER: Amtrak has appointed Christian Zacariassen chief information officer, responsible for information technology, strategy, technology investment governance, systems development and information security. Formerly he was association vice-president for product, portfolio, customer management, and chief of infrastructure services. He joined Amtrak in 2013. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-2-17]

RAIL INTERMODAL SET A RECORD IN OCTOBER: October 2017 was the best month for U.S. intermodal traffic in history, the Association of American Railroads reported. While carload traffic declined 0.1 pct compared with the same month last year, intermodal units rose 6.4 pct to 1,144,157 containers and trailers, a new record. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-2-17]

SANTIAGO OPENS NEW METRO LINE: Santiago Metro opened its new 9.3-mile Line 6 today [Nov. 2]. The $1.26-billion line connects Los Leones on the eastern side of the city with Cerrillos in the southwest. The line has 10 stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-2-17]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE FOR OCTOBER 2017: Thirty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during the month of October 2017, according to the Bull Sheet. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 55 minutes late. The average arrival of the 69 percent of trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 20 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-1-17]

AMTRAK RETURNS TO ROANOKE: The first Amtrak passenger train to take off out of Roanoke, Va., in nearly 40 years left the city early Oct. 31. More than 240 passengers booked a ticket from the 6:19 a.m. trip, with stops scheduled in Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Washington, New York and Boston, and intermediate points. [WSLS website report, 10-31-17]

CSX MOVES FIRST UNIT COAL TRAIN FROM KENTUCKY PLANT: Quest Energy and Dean Mining have shipped their first unit train of termal coal from a previously idled Mill Creek coal preparation plant in Letcher County, Ky. The CSX-served plant's operation is made possible in part through the start of the Access Energy underground mine. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING REPORTS 3-Q RESULTS: Genesee & Wyoming reported third-quarter results that were 'modestly weaker than expected,' with diluted earnings per share of 80 cents compared with 98 cents in the same period a year ago. Third-quarter operating revenue rose 15 pct to $577-million while operating income increased 21 pct to $111.5-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-17]

VIA RAIL EXPANDS TORONTO-OTTAWA SERVICE: VIA Rail will be offering 20 weekday departures between Toronto and Ottawa, adding a tenth round-trip to its regional service. A new evening departure from Toronto to Kingston will also be added. [Railway Age website report, 10-31-17]

WATCO TRANSLOADING ACQUIRES OKLAHOMA FACILITIES: Watco Transloading has acquired a stevedoring and transloading business from Base Inc. in Oklahoma, as well as a 12-acre rail-served transload facility. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-17]

CONSTRUCTION SUBCONTRACT AWARDED FOR SOUND TRANSIT LIGHT-RAIL FACILITY: Hensel Phelps Construction has awarded a $28-million design-build subcontract to Granit Construction to work on Sound Transit's planned light-rail operations and maintenance facility in Bellevue, Washington. The facility will provide storage and maintenance for 96 light-rail vehicles. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-17]

SOUTH LOUISIANA PORT TO BUILD R.R. FOR DOW: The Port of South Louisiana will invest $9.5-million to build a railroad for Dow Saint Charles that will be capable of handling 250 rail cars, officials announced. The port will provide property and the railroad, which Dow will lease. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-17]

STORM DAMAGE IMPACTS AMTRAK SERVICE IN NEW ENGLAND: Amtrak service between Boston and New Haven was suspended Monday morning [Oct. 30] after a storm with hurricane-force winds swept through the region. [MassLive website report, 10-30-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SUES OVER MILLIONS OF CROSSTIES IT CALLS DEFECTIVE: Norfolk Southern says it must replace millions of defective wooden railroad ties because they are degrading faster than expected. In a lawsuit, the company blames an Alabama company of failing to use proper protective coating on more than 4.7 million ties. [Star Tribune website report, 10-30-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending October 29, 2017. The remaining 62 percent, on average, arrived one hour and nine minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-30-17]

NS, CN INTERLINE SERVICE REDUCES TRANSCON TRANSIT TIMES: Norfolk Southern and Canadian National report that a new joint interline service initiative is reducig transit times by one to two days for carload traffic between western Canada and eastern United States. The service, established in August, allows freight to bypass traditional interchange points in Chicago. Two manifest trains in each direction each day are involved. [Norfolk Southern, 10-27-17]

EXTENSION OF DOWNEASTER IN MAINE BEING EXPLORED: In Maine, the Northern New England Passenger Rail authority is looking into expanding passenger rail service beyond Brunswick. The organization is developing a pilot program that could see the service extend to Rockland with stops en route in Bath, Wiscasset and Newcastle. Seasonal service miht begin as early as next year. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 10-27-17]

AMTRAK THINNING NON-AGREEMENT RANKS: Amtrak has instituted a voluntary separation incentive program to reduce the number of non-agreement (non-union) employees. The railroad is offering an incentive to those who volunteer to leave by the end of the year, but they must be approved for the program. If enough people do not step forward, the next step will be layoffs. [Railway Age website report, 10-27-17]

FREIGHT TRAIN LINKS CHINA, SLOVAKIA: A freight train loaded with Chinese goods left Dalian, a port city in China's Liaoning Province, Oct. 27, heading for Bratislava in Slovakia. It marked the start of a new China-Europe cargo train route stretching 6,547 miles. [Xinhuanet report, 10-27-17]

CSX CANCELS INVESTOR DAY: CSX management has canceled its Oct. 30 'Investor Day' conference. The cancelation, announced Oct. 25, came on the same day CSX announced that three of its top executives would be leaving the company in mid-November. No specific reason for the cancelation was given. [Railway Age, 10-26-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 559,989 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Oct. 21, according to the Association of American Railroads. This represents a three pct increase compared with the corresponding week a year ago. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-26-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 3-Q RESULTS: Union Pacific reported third-quarter net income of $1.2-billion or $1.50 per diluted share, comparing to $1.1-billion or $1.36 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating revenue of $5.4-billion was five percent greater than the third-quarter 2016. Operating ratio was 62.8 pct. [Union Pacific, 10-26-17]

CSX HONORED FOR COMMITMENT TO ARMED FORCES: The National Defense Transportation Association has selected CSX as a recipient of its 2017 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the company's 'invaluable support of the organization's goals and aims.' [CSX, 10-26-17]

FOUR DEAD AS TRAIN SLAMS INTO TRUCK IN FINLAND: A train collided with a military truck at an unguarded railroad crossing in southern Finland early Oct. 26, killing four people and injuring 11 others. The crash happened near Raseborg, abou 53 miles southwest of Helsinki. The fatalities were three soldiers and one passenger. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-26-17]

GE REPORTEDLY SEEKING EXIT FROM R.R. BUSINESS: General Electric is looking to sell, spin off or partner its century-old railroad business, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. GE is one of the world's biggest makers of locomotives, but the business is cyclical, and has been suffering lately from slack demand. [Seeking Alpha website report, 10-26-17]

WEEKEND AMTRAK SIGNAL WORK TO IMPACT NJT SERVICE NOV. 10-12: NJ Transit riders are advised to plan ahead, as Amtrak signal repairs between Newark and Secacus the weekend of Nov. 10-12 may delay trip times. Northeast corridor and North Jersey Coast line trains will operate at slower speeds and may be delayed up to an hour, and Raritan Valley line passengers will be accommodated by buses. [CBS New York website report, 10-26-17].

JEBEDIAH STOTTER NAMED PRESIDENT, CEO OF NORTH SHORE R.R.: North Shore Railroad has promoted Jebediah Stottler to president and CEO. He succeeds Gary Shields, who has retired. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-26-17]

LIRR POST AVENUE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT COMPLETE: Long Island Rail Road has completed the $9.7-million replacement of the Post avenue bridge in Westbury, N.Y., allowing traffic to return to normal. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-26-17]

BULL SHEET EDITOR INDUCTED INTO MARYLAND SENIOR CITIZEN HALL OF FAME: Allen Brougham, editor and webmaster of the Bull Sheet, was inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizen Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Oct. 26. One of the accolades leading to his original nomination was his mostly-daily work uploading information to the website. MORE..

CSX HIRES NEW CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: James M. Foote, a 40-year veteran in the railroad industry, is joining CSX as its chief operating officer. He will also have responsibility for sales and marketing. He replaces Cindy Sanborn, chief operating officer, and Frederik Eliasson, chief sales and marketing officer, both of whom are leaving the company, effective Nov. 15. Foote began his railroad career with Chicago & North Western, then with Canadian National, and most recently was president and CEO of Bright Rail Energy. [CSX, 10-25-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported third-quarter net income of $506-million, up 10 pct year-over-year, driven by an 11 pct income from railway operations, yielding a record quarterly operating ratio of 65.9 pct. Diluted earnings per share were $1.75, up 13 pct year-over-year. [Norfolk Southern, 10-25-17]

ONTARIO TO ESTABLISH HIGH-SPEED RAIL ADVISORY BOARD: Ontario will set up an advisory board to provide strategic support for high-speed rail plans. The province is considering providing high-speed rail service between Toronto and Windsor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-25-17]

MONTREAL INTRODUCES AZUR TRAINS TO GREEN LINE: Two Azur subway trains have been added to Montreal's Green Line. They will be available at different times of the day based on operational needs, officials said. Twenty-nine of the 52 Azur trains have been delivered, with the entire fleet slated for delivery by the end of next year. Some Azur trains are also being used on the Orange Line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-25-17]

STOCKHOLM ORDERS ADDITIONAL 12 CAF LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Stockholm Local Transport has ordered an additional 12 Ubros bidirectional lght-rail vehicles for the city's network, which will take the total vehicles produced to 42. Final delivery is slated for late 2019. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-25-17]

ARMED MAN ARRESTED FOR STOPPING AMTRAK TRAIN: An armed man got into a locomotive on Amtrak's eastbound California Zephyr passing through Nebraska early Oct. 21 and pulled the emergency brake, authorities say. A 25-year old male from Missouri was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal mischief and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and was being held on 25,000 bail. [St.L. Today website report, 10-24-17]

LIRR TRAIN STRIKES CAR: Service on the Ronkonkoma line of the Long Island Rail Road was suspended east of Hicksville for about 90 minutes early Oct. 24 when a train struck an unoccupied car near Bethpage. The driver, who was driving for Uber, escaped his vehicle prior to the incident. [Newsday website report, 10-24-17]

SWEDISH DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT COMPLETED: A project to boost capacity on Sweden's Hallsberg-Mjolby line reached a milestone with the completion of a new 8.1-mile double-track alignment between Stenkumla and Runsala. The new electrified alignment has a maximum speed of 99 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-24-17]

CN REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: CN reported third-quarter net income of $958-million (C), a one pct decrease compared with the same quarter last year, but diluted earnings per share increased by two pct to $1.27 (C). Operating income increased four pct and revenues increased seven pct. [CN, 10-24-17]

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 October 22, 2017, according to the Bull Sheet. The remaining 75 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-23-17]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN SEPTEMBER: Class I railroads employed 146,673 workers in the U.S. as of mid-September, down 0.44 pct since mid-August, and down 3.81 pct compared with mid-September 2016, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-23-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN TENNESSEE: A Norfolk Southern train derailed about 19 cars Oct. 21 in North Knoxville, Tennessee. At least two buildings were damaged by the accident, and some streets in the area were closed. There were no injuries. [Local 8 Knoxville website report, 10-22-17]

OIL TRAIN DERAILS IN ALBERTA, HOMES BRIEFLY EVACUATED: Residents of two neighborhoods in Edmonton, Alberta, were allowed to return home the evening of Oct. 22 after their homes were evacuated in the aftermath of a train derailment earlier in the afternoon. Twelve cars carrying crude oil derailed, and two of them leaked. [CBC website report, 10-22-17]

METRA TRAIN EVACUATED AFTER LOCOMOTIVE FIRE: About 400 people - many of them Chicago Cubs fans heading home following a season-ending game with the L.A. Dodgers - had to evacuate their Metra train when it caught fire late Oct. 19 in Evanston. [Chicago Sun Times website report, 10-20-17]

TRAIN SEVERS LIMBS OF WOMAN, ONE-YEAR-OLD SON IN GEORGIA: A Norfolk Southern train in Forest Park, Ga., on Oct. 19 severed the limbs of a 28-year-old woman and her one-year-old son as they tried to crawl under the stopped train, which then began to move, to reach the other side. Two other children were doing the same thing, but they made it safely across. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-20-17]

KCS REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern reported third-quarter 2017 revenue of $657-million, an overall increase of 9 pct with year-over-year growth from all six business units. Carload volume increased 3 pct. Operating income was a third-quarter record of $234-million, an increase of 17 pct from the same quarter last year. [Kansas City Southern, 10-20-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE TO ROANOKE BEGINS OCT. 31: Amtrak is set to launch passenger train service to and from Roanoke, Va., on Oct. 31. It will connect people from downtown Roanoke to other major cities in the Northeast corridor. Sales are looking good for the new line. Amtrak said ticket sales for travel around Thankgiving are already booked up. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 10-20-17]

REPAIRS TO EAST RIVER TUNNELS IN N.Y. SHOULD BEGIN BY 2025: East River tunnels are in need of extensive repair from damage caused by superstorm Sandy in 2012. Amtrak originally expected to begin the work in 2019, but it was discovered that aging electrical wires and signal systems also need replacement, and a 'full reconstruction' will be necessary. Repairs will require trains to operate without one of the four tunnels for up to four years. Amtrak plans to minimize delays to LIRR trains by waiting until that railroad begins running some of its trains to Grand Central terminal as part of the East Side Access project. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 10-20-17]

UNION PACIFIC UNVEILS U.S. ARMED FORCES COMMEMORATIVE LOCOMOTIVE: Union Pacific paid tribute to the U.S. armed forces Oct. 19 by unveiling locomotive 1943, The Spirit, at San Antonio. Only the 16th commemorative locomotive presented in the company's 155-year history, the unit's arrival was welcomed by a group of veterans to kick off a series of community displays across the railroad's network. [Union Pacific, 10-19-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Oct. 14, 2017, was 548,264 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.1 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, carload volume rose 0.5 pct, while intermodal volume increased 5.5 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-19-17]

FEDS SAY CREW WAS LIKELY ASLEEP IN SEPT. 2015 TEXAS COLLISION: The National Transportation Safety board has determined that two Union Pacific trains collided near Texarkana, Texas, in Sept. 2015 because the crew of one of the trains was likely asleep. Two crew members of one of the trains sustained minor injuries. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-19-17]

ITALIAN FREIGHT OPERATOR ORDERS SIEMENS VECTRONS: Genoa-based open-access rail freight operator InRail has awarded Siemens a contract to supply three Vectron electric locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-19-17]

SEPTA TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS MAN: Police say a man was struck and killed by a SEPTA commuter train late Oct. 19 at Fern Rock Transportation center. Service was suspended on the Warminster line for about three hours. [6ABC website report, 10-19-17]

CSX SCALES BACK OPERATIONS IN COLUMBUS, DETROIT: CSX has discontinued various direct lanes for intermodal freight that originated in Columbus and Detroit as part of its transition to the company's new precision scheduled railroading model. [American Shipper website report, 10-19-17]

TRAIN HITS CAR IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON, KILLING THE DRIVER: A train hit a car in Tacoma, Washington, early Oct. 17, killing the driver. There were no other people in the car. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-18-17]

METRA, CP BEGIN FRANKLIN PARK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: Chicago Region Environmental & Transportation Efficiency program has begun construction on Project B1. Metra and CP Rail will upgrade signals and add several crossover tracks near CP's Bensenville Yard in Franklin Park, Illinois. Currently freight trains pass through the yard to access Indiana Harbor Belt tracks. The improvement will allow freight trains to bypass the yard on existing Metra tracks, reduce the potential for delays to the 58 daily Metra trains, and improve flexibility at the Franklin Park station. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-18-17]

CSX CUTS THE NUMBER OF LOCOMOTIVES IN MAINTENANCE PROGRAM: CSX will slash the number of locomotives served by a long-term maintenance agreement, a move that cuts service bills under the agreement by some $3.3-billion, company filing show. [N.Y. Times website report, 10-18-17]

NEW RAIL LINE OPENS IN SICILY: A new 6.2-mile section of railway between Campofelice di Roccella and Ogliastrillo on the Palermo-Messina main line in Sicily opened on Oct. 16. Th new section includes the 2.5-mile Monte Poggio Maria tunnel, and has eliminated eight level crossings. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-18-17]

CSX REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: CSX reported third-quarter 2017 net earnings of $459-million or 51 cts per share, up from $455-million or 48 cts per share in the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter increased one pct compared with the previous year, and operating income rose four pct to $876-million. [CSX, 10-17-17]

OMNITRAX GIVEN 30 DAYS TO REPAIR HUDSON BAY RAILWAY: The government of Canada is giving OmniTRAX 30 days to repair or restore service on the Hudson Bay Railway to Churchill, or risk a lawsuit for breach of contract. The line between Amery and Churchill has been out of service since May 23 due to a flood. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-17-17]

GO TRANSIT WHITBY FACILITY TO OPEN IN DECEMBER: The new GO Transit Whitby rail maintenance facility is nearing completion after more than two and one-half years of construction. The facility, valued at $685-million, is slated to open this December. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-17-17]

NJT'S RARITAN RIVER BRIDGE PROJECT CLEARS ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: The Federal Transit administration has issued a 'finding of no significant impact' for New Jersey Transit's project to replace the 1907 Raritan River rail drawbridge on the North Jersey Coast Line. NJT will begin this month the final design plans. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-17-17]

HIGH WINDS BLOW TWO TRAINS OFF TRACKS IN ALBERTA: Officials are investigating two train derailments Oct. 17 in Alberta caused by extreme winds. No injuries were reported. [CBC website report, 3-17-17]

BOMBARDIER, CAF TO SUPPLY 107 TRAINS FOR WEST MIDLANDS FRANCHISE: Bombardier and CAF have been selected for contracts to supply 107 trains for Britain's new West Midlands franchise. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-17-17]

TALGO REVEALS PLANS FOR BRITISH FACTORY: Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo has announced details of a long-term plan for the British market, which includes establishing a plant and creating a localized supply chain. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-17-17]

PLAN INTRODUCED TO IMPROVE NASHVILLE'S PUBLIC TRANSIT: Nashville's mayor has released a $5.2-billion plan to improve the city's public transportaion infrastructure that includes tax increases. Caled Let's Move Nashville, the plan calls for a light-rail line, bus rapid transit, and electric buses. [WKRN-TV website report, 10-17-17]

CP RAIL REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific announced third-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.90, revenue of $1.6-billion, and operating income of $690-million. [CP Rail, 10-17-17]

CSX HAD 'EMBARRASSING SITUATIONS' THIS YEAR, CEO SAYS: The aggressive overhaul of CSX by CEO Hunter Harrison faced a number of setbacks this past quarter, company executives said on a conference call with investors. Harrison, who arrived in March, faced train accidents and multiple service delays as he worked to implement a strategy he calls 'precision scheduled railroading.' He said it has not been an easy process. After eight months, Harrison said the improvements he is aiming for are not complete. But, he said, CSX is further along than where he though it would be, an optimistic view he and other leaders repeated throughout the call. [CNBC website report, 10-17-17]

FORMER RAIL EXECUTIVE CONVICTED OF INSURANCE FRAUD: Gordon Fuller, 76, a former chief operating officer of the Morristown & Erie Railway, has been found guilty of insurance fraud and related charges in connection with a damaged railroad switch, occurring in 2005, in an attempt to steal over $75,000 from an insurance company. He will be sentenced next month. [N.J. Office of Attorney General, 10-17-17]

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 October 15, 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-16-17]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN JACKSONVILLE: About nine cars of a CSX train enroute to Waycross derailed Oct. 14 in Jacksonville, causing delay to an Amtrak train behind the derailed train. No injuries were reported. The rail line was reopened the following morning. [First Coast News website report, 10-15-17]

TRI-RAIL TRAIN STRIKES CAR, TWO KILLED: Two people were killed early Oct. 15 when a Tri-Rail traveling north through Pompano Beach, Florida, struck a car on the tracks. There were no injuries to anyone aboard the train, but rail traffic was delayed for about two hours. [Sun-Sentinel website report, 10-15-17]

METROLINK'S FIRST TIER-4 LOCOMOTIVE ENTERS SERVICE: Metrolink on Oct. 12 rolled out the first of 40 new locomotives that meet EPA Tier-4 standards. Built by Progress Rail, the unit entered service on the San Bernardino line, the agency's busiest. The new locomotives are expected to reduce emissions by about 85 pct compared with other locomotives operating in the region. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-13-17]

VIA RAIL RIDERSHIP SETS RECORD OVER CANADIAN THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: VIA Rail Canada set ridersip records over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. From Oct. 5 to 10, nearly 194,000 passengers used VIA's four main services: Cross-Canada, Quebec-Windsor, Ocean and Canadian, for an average 20.8 pct increase over the same period in 2016, excluding the Ocean, which rose 5 pct. [Railway Age website report, 10-13-17]

SMART OFFERS FREE SERVICE DURING WILDFIRES: As wildfires burn in its service region, SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) will continue to provide free train service through Oct. 15 to assist evacuees and others who need transportation options. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-13-17]

NARP CALLS FOR LEGISLATIVE FIX FOR PASSENGER TRAIN PERFORMANCE: National Association of Railroad Passengers president Jim Matthews called on regulators at a Surface Transportation board listening session on Oct. 11 that a 'legislative fix' will be required to ensure that passengers are able to enjoy the full rights granted to them under current law. The session was held as CSX and other host carriers across the U.S. have often put freight before the passengers traveling on their tracks. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 10-13-17]

MOTORIST KILLED IN ACCIDENT WITH BALTIMORE LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN: A 63-year-old woman was killed early Oct. 13 in Ferndale, Md., by a Baltimore light-rail train, when the car she was driving was struck as the woman attempted to turn left across the tracks, despite signs saying not to enter as it was a one-way street. The woman's 12-year old passenger, her grandson, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. There were no injuries aboard the train. [CBS Baltimore website report, 10-13-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads posted a 6.3 pct increase in carload and intermodal traffic for the weed ending Oct. 7, 2017, compared with the same week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, carload volume rose 2 pct, while intermodal volume increased 10.8 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-12-17]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS TO IMPROVE PORT RAIL LOGISTICS PARK IN ARKANSAS: State and local leaders have broken ground on a project to improve and expand rail service to the International Rail Port Logistics Park at the Port of West Memphis, Arkansas. Union Pacific serves the businesses along the city-owned line serving the park, but BNSF is in discussions to provide dual access in the future. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-12-17]

STADLER UNVEILS 'FLIRT' UNIT FOR TEX RAIL COMMUTER LINE: Stadler has unveiled its first 'Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train' (FLIRT) for the Tex Rail commuter line in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. The multiple-unit train, capable of a maximum speed of 81 MPH, is equipped with 224 seats. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-12-17]

SHIPPERS ASK FEDS FOR MORE OVERSIGHT OVER CSX: Railway customers unhappy with services at CSX aired their complaints before the Surface Transportation board on Oct. 11. Shippers told the board they wanted the regulator to have more oversight over the company, a greater ability to choose a competing railway, and a streamlined complaints process. [Globe and Mail website report, 10-11-17]

FIRST OF 1,000 G.E. EVOLUTION SERIES LOCOMOTIVES ARRIVES IN INDIA: The first of 1,000 GE Transportation Evolution Series locomotives arrived in India on Oct. 11. It is Indian Railway's first locomotive to comply with UIC1, the international emissions standard established by the International Union of Railways. [Railway Age website report, 10-11-17]

EX-CP EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF SABOTAGE TO COMPUTER SYSTEM: Christopher Grupe, a former Minnesota employee of Canadian Pacific, has been convicted of sabotaging the company's computer network after being forced out of the company. [KFGO website report, 10-11-17]

WORK CONTINUES TO PREVENT MUDSLIDES ON BNSF IN PACIFIC N.W.: A stretch of BNSF track above Puget Sound with bluffs rising at steep angles east thereof are prone to mudslides resulting in train cancelations to Amtrak and Sound Transit trains. Work is currently being done to mitigate slides with precast concrete slabs by adding a 600-foot wall to a project begun last year, and another 1,000-foot wall will be added after that in a $2-million project funded by the state of Washington. The work is paying dividends, BNSF says. Possibly 75 pct more slides might have occurred last year except for work that had already been completed. [King5 website report, 10-11-17]

L.A. LOOKS TO BEGIN LIGHT-RAIL EXPANSION IN 2026: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority wants to build a 4.6-mile extension to its light-rail system, and is considering options. The $891-million South Bay Metro light-rail extension would provide service to a new transit center, and construction could start as soon as 2026. [Construction Dive website report, 10-11-17]

CANADIAN PACIFIC TO EXTEND REACH INTO OHIO: Canadian Pacific is partnering with Genesee & Wyoming and Bluegrass Farms to open the Ohio Valley to CP intermodal customers and further extend its reach into key North American heartland markets. CP has an exclusive agreement with Bluegrass Farms to use its 90-acre intermodal facility in Jeffersonville. CP, meanwhile, reached agreement with Genesee & Wyoming, which serves the site via its Indiana & Ohio line. [Railway Age website report, 10-10-17]

MAN STRUCK, KILLED BY MBTA TRAIN: Authorities are investigating the death of an 18-year-old male who was struck by a Massachusetts Bay commuter train late Oct. 9 in Concord, Massachusetts. [Boston Globe website report, 10-10-17]

ICONIC R.R. BRIDGE IN N.D. NEEDS TO BE REPLACED: An 1880 railroad bridge connecting Bismarck and Mandan, N.D., is historically an icon, but its owner BNSF says it's outdated and needs to be replaced. There has been a lot of debate over what is going to happen to the bridge once a new one is built. But leaving it in place, such as for pathway use, could create issues with the river flow, officials say. [KFYR-TV website report, 10-10-17]

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 October 8, 2017. The remaining 69 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-9-17]

MD TRANSIT WRAPS UP TRACK MAINTENANCE, RAIL REPLACEMENT: The Maryland Transit administration over the weekend performed track maintenance and rail replacement on its light-rail line between North Avenue and Camden Yards light-rail stations in Baltimore. Service was shut down in both directions between the stations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-9-17]

SIEMENS ACQUIRES STAKE IN WI-TRONIX: Siemens and Wi-Tronix are launching a partnership to expand digital predictive maintenance for rail services. As part of the deal, Siemens has made a 'significant' equity investment in Wi-Tronix, the companies said. Wi-Tronix provides remote monitoring, video analysis and predictive diagnostic systems for rolling stock and rail infrastructure. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-9-17]

AMTRAK REVEALS SCHEME FOR NEW ACELA FLEET: Amtrak has revealed the exterior livery for its new fleet of Alstom Avelia Liberty high-speed trains to replace the existing Acela fleet. Twenty-eight new trains will replace the existing fleet of 20 Acela sets, increasing capacity by a third. A prototype set is due for delivery for trials in 2019, new trains entering service in 2021, and the entire fleet to be available by the end of 2022. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-9-17]

INDIAN RAILWAYS TO BUILD FUEL-CELL BATTERY LOCOMOTIVE: Indian Railways plans to build a hydrogen fuel cell and battery-powered 300kW locomotive. It will have a proton-exchange, membrane-based fuel cell power plant with a maximum of three air-cooled stack modules, each rated at a minimum of 100kW, but will use some standard components from an Alco diesel locomotive. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-9-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES BOULDER IN N.M., ENGINE DERAILS: Passengers aboard a Chicago-bound Amtrak train spent the night stopped in northern New Mexico after their train struck a boulder which partially derailed the lead locomotive. No serious injuries were reported, but two employees in the engine were taken to a hospital for evaluation. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-6-17]

TRAIN STRIKES BUS IN RUSSIA, 16 KILLED: Sixteen people were killed Oct. 6 when a train slammed into a bus carrying migrant workers at a crossing near the town of Pokrov in Vladimir region of Russia. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-6-17]

NEW AMTRAK STATION IN ROCHESTER, N.Y., OPENS: The new Amtrak station in Rochester, N.Y., opened for service Oct. 6. Located in the same location as previous downtown stations, the new facility is fully ADA-compliant and features a high-level platform serving two dedicated boarding tracks. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 10-6-17]

UNIONS, FREIGHT-RAIL CARRIERS REACH TENTATIVE 5-YEAR CONTRACT AGREEMENT: The six unions that make up the Coordinated Bargaining Group have reached a tentative five-year agreement with the nation's freight-rail carriers, the unions announced Oct. 5. The agreement will be submitted to each union's membership in the next few weeks. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-6-17]

CSX REPORTS PROGRESS IN SERVICE MODEL TRANSITION: CSX is making progress in its implementation of a new operating model, the company's CEO said. CSX has improved its transit time, train speed, car-handling efficiency and terminal fluidity as it continues to implement the principles of precision scheduled railroading. he said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-6-17]

LIRR TO REPLACE POST AVENUE BRIDGE: Long Island Rail Road will replace its 103-year-old Post Avenue bridge at the Westbury train station. The new bridge will be 13 feet wider than the existing bridge, and will accommodate a third track. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-6-17]

AMTRAK TO RENAME 30TH STREET STATION: Amtrak officials have committed to renaming Philadelphia's 30th Street Station for the late Congressman William H. Gray III, a move mandated by Congress three years ago. [Philly Voice website report, 10-6-17]

CAF TO PROVIDE STREETCARS TO SEATTLE, KANSAS CITY: The Seattle Dept. of Transportation has awarded a $50-million contract to Spanish manufacturer CAF to supply 10 streetcars, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will purchase two additional streetcars from CAF valued at $10-million. CAF operates a plant in Elmira, N.Y. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-6-17]

SHORT LINE TO REOPEN IN WASHINGTON STATE: Port of Columbia and Frontier Rail plan to mark the reopening of the Columbia Walla Walla Rail Line on Oct. 7. The segment between Prescott and Dayton, Washington, has been closed for nearly three years due to repair work on eight bridges and a section of track near the Touchet River. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-6-17]

CANADIAN $12-B PIPELINE PROECT SCRAPPED: TransCanada's decision to scrap its $12-billion Energy East pipeline, and delays to other export pipeline projects, look to increase reliance on crude-by-rail to bring barrels to market. [Reuters website report, 10-6-17]

AMTRAK ADDS TRAINS BETWEEN SEATTLE & PORTLAND: Amtrak is adding morning and evening trains between Seattle and Portland, for a total of 12 trains each day, beginning Dec. 18, and will cut 10 minutes off the travel time thanks to a new routing between Tacoma and Olympia. [KOIN website report, 10-5-17]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS, DAMAGES HOUSE IN ATLANTA: A CSX train derailed and knocked a home off its foundation in northwest Atlanta early Oct. 5, sending a man sleeping in his house to a hospital with minor injuries. Fourteen cars were involved in the derailment. [Atlanta Constitution website report, 10-5-17]

MONTHLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads saw a 0.7 pct increase in rail freight traffic in September 2017, compared with the volume in the same month last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Carload traffic declined 2.3 pct, but intermodal volume rose 3.8 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-5-17]

STUDY ON ELECTRONICALLY-CONTROLLED PNEUMATIC FREIGHT TRAIN BRAKES INCONCLUSIVE: A study commisioned by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation under an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences and Transportation Research Board on electronically-controlled pneumatic freight train brakes was mostly 'inconclusive.' The committee was unable to make a conclusive statement about the emergency performance of such brakes relative to other braking systems on the basis of results of testing and analysis. [Railway Age website report, 10-5-17]

SPANISH AIRLINE TO ENTER HIGH-SPEED RAIL MARKET: Spanish airline Air Nostrum, through its subsidiary Ilsa, is planning to introduce open-access high-speed rail services from Madrid to Barcelona and Montpellier next year in competition with incumbent operator Renfe. Series 100 AVE trains, capable of 186 MPH, seating 347 passengers, will be employed. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-5-17]

FORT WORTH & WESTERN PICKS HERZOG FOR PTC HOSTING: Fort Worth & Western Railroad has selected Herzog Technologies to provide positive train-control hosting services, designed to simplify and accelerate PTC implementation. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-4-17]

RAIL SERVICE SUSPENDED ON NJT'S GLADSTONE BRANCH: Rail service was suspended Oct. 4 on the Morris and Essex lines Gladstone branch because of ongoing inspections which need to be performed during daylight hours. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-4-17]

LYNN WESTMORELAND TO BE NOMINATED TO AMTRAK BOARD: President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Leon 'Lynn' Westmoreland to be a member of the Amtrak board. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years. [White House, 10-4-17]

AMTRAK TAKES 'READY TO BUILD' MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC: Long starved of funding and subject to political whims, Amtrak is taking its message to the public with a 'Ready to Build' campaign, a series of short films showcasing five critical investments it says are vital to the 'realization of a renewed, modern passenger-rail system.' [Railway Age website report, 10-4-17]

MAN GETS 10 YEARS FOR STEALING GUNS FROM TRAIN IN CHICAGO: A federal judge has sentenced a 43-year-old street gang member to 10 years in prison for stealing more than 100 newly-minted guns from a Norfolk Southern train in Chicago in 2015. The weapons fell within days into the hands of gangs and drug dealers in nearby neighborhoods, court filings say. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-3-17]

PORT OF OAKLAND APPROVES RAIL-SPUR PROJECT: Port of Oakland commissioners have approved an $11-million, two-mile rail-spur project that would connect Union Pacific tracks with Cool Port. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-3-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN APPOINTS FREDERIC EHLERS CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER: Norfolk Southern has appointed Frederic M. Ehlers to the position of chief information officer, effective immediately. [Norfolk Southern, 10-3-17]

PACIFIC HARBOR LINE TO LEASE NEW TIER-4 LOCOMOTIVE: Pacific Harbor Line in Long Beach, California, is leasing a new EMD24B Tier-4 switcher from Progress Rail. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-3-17]

SEPTA BEGINS COMMUTER RAIL IMPROVEMENTS: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation authority has begun upgrading commuter rail overhead wire and tracks between the Fern Rock Transportaion center and Glenside Station. Work will be performed on Sundays. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-3-17]

COALITION TO STUDY HYPERLOOP FOR MISSOURI: A coalition in Missouri has formed as a public-provate partnership to conduct a feasibility study of building a hyperloop system between Kansas City and St. Louis. The study will cost between $1-million and $1.5-million. [WDAF-TV website report, 10-3-17]

CHINA COMPLETES LANZHOU-CHONGQING RAILWAY: China has begun commercial operations on the final section of its 550-mile Lanzhou-Chongqing railway line. Maximum speed is 124 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-3-17]

AMTRAK POSTPONES SEARCH FOR 30TH STREET STATION DEVELOPER: Amtrak has postponed its search for a developer to remake the area around Philadelphia's 30th street station amid signals that city officials intend to pitch an adjacent swath of University City to Amazon as a potential site for a planned second headquarters campus. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 10-2-17]

WABTEC ACQUIRES SAFETY SYSTEMS MANUFACTURER: Wabtec has acquired AM General Contractor, a Europe-based manufacturer of safety systems, mainly for transit rail cars, with annual sales of about $25-million. [Railway Age website report, 10-2-17]

BNSF COMPLETES WASHOUGAL RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: BNSF has completed the replacement of the Washougal River railroad bridge near Camas, Washington, using innovating techniques that preserved delicate wildlife in the area. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-2-17]

MAN LOSES LEGS AFTER BEING HIT BY TRAIN IN L.A.: Authorities say a man lost his legs after he was struck by a train in Los Angeles Oct. 1. The train involved was leaving its maintenance yard, heading to Union Station. [U.S. News & World Report, 10-2-17]

BART'S SAN JOSE LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION REQUIRES MASSIVE TUNNEL PROJECT: The construction of a 10-mile extension to the Bay Area Rapid Transit in California has been completed, but another six-mile extension is needed to complete the San Jose route. It will require a massive tunnel effort, and officials are still undecided whether to bore one tunnel, or two. [San Jose Mercury News website report, 10-2-17]

VITAL GERMAN RAIL LINE REOPENS FOLLOWING SEVEN-WEEK CLOSURE: Following a hiatus of around seven weeks, trains began running through the town of Rastatt, Germany, on the Rhein Valley line between Karlsruhe and Basel on Oct. 2. The busy freight and passenger artery had been blocked since Aug. 12 when a tunnel beneath the alignment collapsed. [Railway Gazette website report, 10-2-17]

SEPTEMBER 2017 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 September 2017. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 49 minutes behind schedule. The average arrival of the 66 percent of trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 14 minutes late. This survey was compiled by the Bull Sheet comprehending actual performance as reported for each affected train on Amtrak's website, with no grace allowance for a train arriving within a certain range parameter to show it being on time when it was nominally late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-1-17]

MAN CLINGS TO SIDE OF 99 MPH GERMAN TRAIN FOR 15 MILES: A man survived clinging onto the side of a German high-speed train for 15 miles, officials said. He had realized he had left his luggage on the train in Bielefeld, and he jumped onto a ledge on the side of the train, which then traveled at up to 99 MPH. Alerted eventually to the presence of the man, the train made an emergency stop. [Independent website report, 10-1-17]

HALF OF FUNDING PLEDGED FOR SOUTH SHORE LINE IMPROVEMENT: Indiana officials say a plan to speed travel times, add trains and attract more passengers on the South Shore railroad could finally happen. The state, along with affected counties and municipalities, have pledged half the money for the nearly $1-billion project, which includes a double track from Gary to Michigan City, and an extension from Hammond to Dyer. New and improved stations would also be added. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-30-17]

STAMPEDE AT MUMBAI RAILWAY STATION KILLS AT LEAST 22: At least 22 people were killed and about 36 others injured Sept. 29 in Mumbai, India, when morning commuters were crushed in a stampede in a narrow overpass at the Prabhadevi station. [N.Y. Times website report, 9-29-17]

SOUND TRANSIT APPROVES ADDING TWO LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSIONS: The board of Sound Transit has agreed to move forward with its proposed West Seattle and Ballard Link light-rail extensions, and established a $285.9-million preliminary engineering budget for the projects. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-29-17]

PHOENIX APPROVES CONSTRUCTION FOR DOWNTOWN LIGHT-RAIL STATION: The Phoenix city council has approved a plan to add a new Valley Metro light-rail station on Central avenue in the city's downtown. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-29-17]

COURT SIDES WITH ADIRONDACK SCENIC R.R. AGAINST PLAN TO REMOVE TRACK: The Adirondack Scenic Railroad won a legal victory as a New York Supreme Court judge ruled against the state's plan to remove 34 miles of track between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a trail. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-29-17]

TEXAS BULLET TRAIN TRIP WOULD BE THREE TIMES FASTER THAN DRIVING: Texas Central Partners plan to begin construction late next year or in early 2019 on a bullet train from Dallas to Houston, and has called it 'the right project being done the right way at the right time.' The 4.5-hour car trip would only take 90 minutes by high-speed rail. [Victoria Advocate website report, 9-29-17]

STB SEEKS DEPARTURE FROM 'EX PARTE' RULES: The Surface Transportation board is looking to revisit and modify its longstanding rules on 'ex parte' communications in informal rulemaking proceedings, which up until recently have been mostly prohibited. Ex parte means 'with respect to or in the interests of one side only or of an interested outside party.' [Railway Age website report, 9-29-17]

STUTTGART TRAMWAYS APPROVES ORDER FOR 20 LRV'S: Stuttgart Tramways has agreed to exercise an option for 20 additional Tango S-DT8.12 high-floor light-rail vehicles from Stadler Pankow. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-29-17]

AMTRAK'S AUTUMN EXPRESS TO COVER HUDSON RIVER ON BOTH SIDES: A rare opportunity will be offered on Amtrak's 2017 special Autumn Express trains to ride along the scenic west side of the Hudson River north of New York City to the Albany area, returning along the east side. One-day trips will be offered Oct. 14 and 15. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-29-17]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON L.A. METRO'S CULVER CITY STATION: Construction of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority's new Culver City Metro station, known as 'Ivy Station,' has begun. The new station, halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, is slated to open in early 2020. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-29-17]

START-UP COMPANY WANTS TO DEVELOP WORCESTER-PROVIDENCE PASSENGER RAIL: Boston Surface Railroad Company is a start-up based in Rhode Island that wants to develop passenger rail between Worcester, Massachusetts, and Providence, R.I., utilizing an existing railroad in the area. If successful, this may open the door for private railroads in the future. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-29-17]

FEDS RELEASE ATLANTA-CHATTANOOGA HSR RECORD OF DECISION: The Federal Railroad Administration has released a Tier 1 combined final environmental impact statement and record of decision for a high-speed rail project to connect Atlanta to Chattanooga. It concluded that the project will benefit the end-point cities while providing rail access to the rural communities in the region. The line would run about 120 miles along Interstate 75, include eight rail stations, and take an estimated 88 minutes of travel end-to-end. [Federal Railroad Administration, 9-29-17]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN COSTS UP $1.7-B FOR CENTRAL VALLEY PORTION: The California Bullet Train project is facing $1.7-billion in cost overruns on a 119-mile segment currently under construction through the Central Valley, a 27 pct jump over the original estimate, according to new documents. [L.A. Times website report, 9-29-17]

CSX COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN PA.: CSX has been working to remove 25 coal cars that derailed in McKeesport, Pa., Sept. 27. Eleven of the cars either tipped over or were leaning out of line with the tracks. No injuries were reported. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-28-17]

SENATE BILL WOULD REQUIRE SLEEP APNEA TESTING FOR LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS: Two U.S. senators are introducting legislation to force federal transportation officials to implement a rule to test train engineers for sleep apnea. Currently, individual railroads decide whether to conduct such a test. [ABC News website report, 9-28-17]

TWO WOMEN STRUCK, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN FLORIDA: Two women were struck and killed by an Amtrak train early Sept. 27 in Winter Park, Florida. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-28-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 548,204 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Sept. 23, an increase of 1.6 pct compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported. Calculated separately, carload traffic declined 2.0 pct, and intermodal volume increased 5.1 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-28-17]

NORTHERN & OHIO WESTERN RWY SLATED FOR MAJOR MAINTENANCE PROJECT: A $900,000 maintenance project is slated for the Northern & Ohio Western Railway this fall. The project brings the total investment in rail and crossings on the short line, which serves Seneca and Sandusky counties, to $1.6-million over the past two years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-28-17]

NEW RAIL LINE COMPLETED TO PLANT IN WALDORF, MD.: Chaney Enterprises is now offering its customers limestone that will be transported by a new rail line recently completed at the company's plant in Waldorf, Md. An 80-car train will transport materials in and out of the facility. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-28-17]

WOMAN STRUCK, KILLED BY METRA TRAIN: Police say a Metra train fatally struck a 34-year old woman near the Clarendon Hills train station early Sept. 28. She was rushing to catch a train and ran across the tracks after the gates were down. [Chicago Tribune website report, 9-28-17]

HARSCO LANDS SAUDI, SOUTH AFRICAN CONTRACTS: Harsco Rail has won two orders worth nearly $25-million to supply track maintenance and measuring equipment for use on the Haramain high-speed line in Saudi Arabia and the Transnet network in South Africa. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-28-17]

SIEMENS CHOSEN FOR ISRAELI EMU ORDER: Israel Railways has named Siemens as preferred bidder for a $1-billion contract to supply and maintain a fleet of 60 double-deck electric multiple-units comprising 330 cars. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-28-17]

EUROPE IS CREATING TRAIN GIANT TO FEND OFF CHINESE COMPETITION: French train manufacturer Alstom is merging with the transportation unit of Germany's Siemens. The deal was billed as a 'merger of equals,' but Siemens will have majority control - owning 50 pct plus a few shares.The merger aims to counter China's growing clout in global rail markets. [CNN website report, 9-27-17]

STUDENT STRUCK, KILLED BY MBTA COMMUTER TRAIN: Authorities say a 17-year-old male student enrolled at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, was struck and killed early Sept. 26 by a Massachusetts Bay commuter train. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-27-17]

GRAND CANYON RWY TO DISCONTINUE AMTRAK SHUTTLE: After many years of providing the only shuttle from the Williams, Arizona, Amtrak station to town, Grand Canyon Railway has decided to end the service as of Jan. 1, 2018. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers midweek brief, 9-27-17, from Williams News]

FINAL BRIGHTLINE TRAIN EN ROUTE TO FLORIDA: BrightRed, the fifth and final trainset for Brightline service, has departed the Siemens plant in Sacramento and is on its way to Florida. It will soon begin testing. [Railway Age website report, 9-27-17]

DISABLED SEPTA TRAIN DISRUPTS SERVICE IN PHILADELPHIA: SEPTA regional rail service through center city Philadelphia was disrupted the evening of Sept. 27 by a disabled Paoli-bound train between Suburban and 30th street stations. Some passengers quickly self-evacuated from the train because of a rumor that the train had caught on fire. Train service resumed later, but with major delays. [Philly Voice website report, 9-27-17]

VOSSLOH INTRODUCES HIGH-PERFORMANCE MILLING TRAIN: Vossloh unveiled its first high-performance rail milling train in Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 26. The three-car train is fitted with two milling wheels which can mill at more than twice the speed of other machines. It is self-propelled at work sites but locomotive-hauled between sites. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-27-17]

GATEWAY PROJECT COSTS COULD RISE: The cost of the Gateway project is estimated to be in the billions of dollars, and now a trustee for the Gateway Program Development Corp. says that cost could climb by another $800-million. That could increase the commitment needed from the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. from $2.4-billion to $3.5-billion. [Wall Street Journal website report, 9-27-17]

CHICAGO UNION STATION GREAT HALL UPGRADE UNDERWAY: Amtrak has begun a $22-million project to restore and repair the Great Hall at Chicago's Union Station. The hall will be made brighter by a restored and protected skylight with improved lighting, and the hall will be repainted into its original colors. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-26-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PROMOTES WILLIAM GALANKO, JOHN SCHEIB TO NEW POSITIONS: The board of Norfolk Southern has appointed William Galanko executive vice-president law and administration, and John Scheib senior vice-president law and corporate relations. Both appointments are effective Oct. 1. [Norfolk Southern, 9-26-17]

AMTRAK CEO TO ADDRESS RAILNATION CHICAGO: Amtrak's president and CEO Richard Anderson will address his vision for Amtrak Nov. 2 at the RailNation Chicago passenger advocacy event. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 9-26-17]

RAILROAD PEDESTRIAN CASUALTIES INCREASE 12.9 PCT.: Statistics indicate that 980 pedestrians were killed or injured while walking on or near railroad tracks in 2016, an increase of 12.9 pct compared with the previous year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-26-17]

BNSF ADDING CAPACITY TO SPOKANE-SANDPOINT CORRIDOR: BNSF has spent much of this year widening capacity between Spokane and Sandpoint, an area known as 'The Funnel' because it channels multiple main lines from the west and east onto a single corridor. Completion of ongoing projects will leave the 68-mile funnel with but three short segments of single track, totaling fewer than 10 miles. [Railway Age website report, 9-26-17]

ALSTOM, SIEMENS ANNOUNCE PLANS TO MERGE: Alstom and Siemens announced Sept. 26 that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their mobility businesses in a 'merger of equals.' The combined company will be headquartered in France, and will employ a staff of over 62,000 in more than 60 countries. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-26-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN INCREASES STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM: The board of Norfolk Southern has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional 50 million shares of its common stock through Dec. 31, 2022. In combination with previous repurchase authorizations since 2006, the total number of shares that may be repurchasd has increased to 225 million. [Norfolk Southern, 9-26-17]

SYDNEY METRO RECEIVES FIRST DRIVERLESS TRAIN: The first of 22 six-car driverless Alstom Metropolis trains for Sydney's North West Rail Link automated metro project has arrived. Trains are slated to begin operation on the new line in the next two years. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-26-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 24, 2017. The remaining 68 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-25-17]

LIRR TO INSTALL CONCRETE TIES ON BABYLON BRANCH: Long Island Rail Road will begin replacing wood ties with concrete ties along the Babylon branch between Freeport and Merrick, N.Y., on Sept. 30. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-25-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS WOMAN IN N.C.: Police say a woman was killed by an Amtrak train late Sept. 22 in Charlotte, N.C., after she got out of a car in which she was riding and lifted a crossing gate so the car could cross the track. The woman was struck while walking to get back into the car. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-23-17]

NJT TRAINS DELAYED AFTER PERSON STRUCK ON TRACK: New Jersey Transit train service between New York and Hoboken was interrupted early Sept. 22 after a person was struck on the track near the Broad street station. Service resumed just before 8AM, but with residual delays. [N.J. News 12 website report, 9-22-17]

TEEN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH LONDON TRAIN BOMBING: A teenager has been charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion in relation to the bombing of a London Underground train a week ago. [USA Today website report, 9-22-17]

AMTRAK TO DROP TWO STOPS IN SAN DIEGO AREA: In the greater San Diego area, Amtrak will end daily stops for the Carlsbad Poinsettia and Encintas Coaster stations beginning Oct. 9. Both stops had very low ridership. Meanwhile, stops will be increased at the Old Towne San Diego station.. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-22-17]

BNSF TRAIN COLLIDES WITH ANOTHER TRAIN IN TEXAS: Officials say nobody was hurt after a BNSF train hit another that was stopped on the same tracks in rural central Texas Sept. 22. The railroad says one car of an intermodal train derailed when the train collided with the rear of a grain train near Heidenheimer, Texas. [KCBT website report, 9-22-17]

SOUND TRANSIT INTRODUCES NEW CONTROL CARS: Sound Transit introduced a new fleet of nine Bombardier double-deck control cars for its Sounder commuter rail network on Sept. 21. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-22-17]

N.J. TRANSIT LOSING ENGINEERS TO METRO-NORTH: Metro-North has been hiring locomotive engineers away from NJ Transit, contributing to a staffing shortage for NJT. Since March, NJT has been losing one engineer a month to Metro-North. [Journal News website report, 9-22-17]

COSTA RICA TO ORDER EIGHT NEW PASSENGER TRAINS: Costa Rica's national railway Incofer has announced it plans a $52-million order for eight new passengers trains, each to accommodate up to 400 passengers, by the end of the year. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-22-17]

ALSTOM, SIEMENS IN DISCUSSION OVER A POSSIBLE COMBINATION: Alstom has confirmed that it is in discussions with Siemens regarding a 'possible combination' with Siemens Mobility. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-22-17]

UNION PACIFIC WORKER KILLED BY TRAIN IN TEXAS: A Union Pacific employee was struck and killed by a train in Arlington, Texas, early Sept. 22. Officials believe that the employee was in the process of switching train cars when the incident occurred. [CBS Dallas- Ft.Worth, 9-22-17]

CUBA TO ACQUIRE 28 DMU'S: Transmashholding Russia has signed a contract with Cuban import agency Tradex for 28 four-car diesel multiple-units for Cuban Union Railways. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-22-17]

CHINA HIKES BULLET-TRAIN SPEED TO 217 MPH: China has increased the maximum speed of bullet trains on the Beijing-Shanghai line to 217 MPH, six years after a fatal accident that led to a speed cap. [Economic Times website report, 9-21-17]

ANN ARBOR STUDIES BUILDING $81-M AMTRAK STATION: After years of discussion and planning, the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, released a 212-page environmental assessment report closely examining options for building a new Amtrak train station to replace its 34-year old station on Depot street. [MLive website report, 9-21-17]

FEDS SET NEW HEARING ON CSX SERVICE ISSUES: The Surface Transportation board has rescheduled a hearing on CSX's service problems. An earlier hearing was postponed when hurricane Irma struck Florida. Customers will be able to tell regulators about the problems they have experienced, and the railroad will discuss its efforts to improve service. The hearing will now be held October 11. [Miami Herald website report, 9-20-17]

'SLIPPERY RAILS' LIKELY CAUSE OF AUGUST SEPTA CRASH INJURING 42: A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board is giving some insight into what caused an Aug. 22 train crash aboard SEPTA's Norristown line last month that left 42 passengers injured. The train's operator told investigators that slippery rails may have played a role in the crash with a parked train in Upper Darby. [Philly Voice website report, 9-20-17]

SOUTHWEST GULF R.R. BREAKS GROUND ON MEDINA LINE: Southwest Gulf Railroad officially broke ground on the Medina line, which is designed to increase the short line's customers access to Union Pacific and BNSF lines in Texas and beyond. The nine-mile line in Medina County, Texas, will also provide access to U.S. route 90, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-20-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 16 totaled 530,774 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.4 pct from the corresponding week last year. For the first 37 weeks of 2017, traffic increased 3.7 pct from a year ago. [Railway Age website report, 9-20-17]

METRA, CN REPLACE ROCK ISLAND TRACK: Metra and CN have replaced track on the Rock Island line, the 40-mile district between Chicago and Joliet. Four diamonds were replaced at the junction where the two railroads cross just south of 16th street Tower in Chicago. The line has 26 stations and hosts more than 32,000 riders each weekday. [Railway Age website report, 9-20-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ORDERS NEW END-OF-TRAIN DEVICES: Progress Rail has signed a preliminary agreement with NorfolkSouthern to supply the first Guardian end-of-train devices for use on freight trains by the end of the year. Guardian devices feature a more modern design with improved reliability, ergonomics, lighter weight, advanced power management, and are faster and safer to apply, Progress Rail said. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-20-17]

MARTA TAKING OVER ATLANTA STREETCAR: Atlanta's city council has approved transfer of all assets and operations of Atlanta Streetcar to Marta (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). the 2.7-mile downtown looop line opened in Dec. 2014. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-20-17]

CLEANUP CONTINUES IN HYNDMAN, PA., FOLLOWING AUGUST DERAILMENT, FIRE: Cleanup continues in Hyndman, Pa., where a CSX freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire in August. Most residents have returned to their homes, but some homes are still undergoing renovations. The railroad says authorities expect the cleanup to be complete within 30 to 60 days. [U.S. News & World Report]

DOHA METRO TRAINS BEGIN TESTING IN QATAR: Dynamic testing of the first trains to be delivered for the Doha metro network has begun in Qatar. Kinki Sharyo is supplying 75 three-car trains for the first phase of the network, due to open in 2020. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-20-17]

CATENARY ISSUES CAUSE DELAYS ON DENVER LIGHT-RAIL LINES: Four light-rail lines in Denver were subject to 'severe' delays the afternoon of Sept. 19 due to 'possible damage on the overhead catenary system.' Service on those lines was suspended for about two hours, with residual delays following repairs. [9 News website report, 9-19-17]

CANADA STEPS IN TO REOPEN HUDSON BAY LINE: The Canadian government has appointed a negotiator and says it is willing to explore interim funding options or the potential sale of the Hudson Bay Railway in order to reopen the line to Churchill following flood damage. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-19-17]

LORAM ACQUIRES HYGROUND ENGINEERING: Loram Maintenance of Way has acquired HyGround Engineering, a substructure maintenance management company. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-19-17]

UNION PACIFIC GULF COAST OPERATIONS RESTORED: Following the repair of two bridges on Union Pacific's Houston Service Unit, Gulf Coast rail operations impacted by the recent hurricane Harvey have been fully restored. [Union Pacific, 9-19-17]

UPDATED PLAN SUBMITTED TO FEDS FOR HAWAIIAN RAIL PROJECT: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has submitted an updated plan for the financially-strapped light-rail system after state and local governments provided additional funding. The project is 38 pct complete and should be finished in 2025. [KHON-TV website report, 9-19-17]

CSX TO RENOVATE EXECUTIVE OFFICES AT HEADQUARTERS BUILDING: CSX will renovate the 15th floor executive offices at its downtown Jacksonville headquarters at a project cost of $1.85-million. Included will be remodeled offices, conference rooms, a recording studio, cafe, warming kitchen, and 'C-suite,' likely offices for the CEO and two other top executives. [Jacksonville Daily Record website report, 9-19-17]

CSX IS 'BACK ON TRACK,' INTERMODAL V.P. SAYS: CSX intermodal vice-president Dean Piacente said at a Sept. 18 discussion in California that the railroad is now back on track after a series of challenges and setbacks, including ones related to system upgrades, personnel issues and natural disasters. Their 'precision scheduled railroading' initiative looks to do five things: improve service, control costs, optimize its assets, operate safely, and develop employees. CSX wound up with huge congestion for a while, but that's now all in the past, he said. [American Shipper website report, 9-19-17]

MINSK-VILNIUS ELECTRIFICATION COMPLETED: Belarusian Railways electric locomotives have begun operating into Lithuania following the completion of electrification on the Maladzecna-Kena line, the final section of the Minsk-Vilnius route. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-19-17]

TUNNELING STARTS ON NEW BARCELONA AIRPORT RAIL LINK: Tunneling has begun for a2.8-mile rail link to serve both terminals at Barcelona Airport, replacing the existing single-track line which only serves Terminal 2. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-19-17]

THROUGH SILVER-SERVICE TRAINS BEING RESTORED TO SERVICE: Amtrak trains to and from Miami, Florida, will return to regular operations: the southbound Silver Meteor will resume Sept. 19, the northbound Silver Meteor will resume Sept. 20, the southbound Silver Star will resume through service Sept. 19, and the northbound Silver Star will resume through service Sept. 21. [Amtrak, 9-18-17]

LIRR KICKS OFF MASSIVE CAPITAL PROGRAM: Long Island Rail Road's $5.6-billion transformation initiative is now underway. The initiative calls for 100 capital projects, including the addition of a third track along a 9.8-mile portion between Floral Park and Hicksville, the costs of renovating 39 train stations and construction of a Mid-Sufflok storage yard in Ronkonkoma. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-18-17]

ONE KILLED AS LIRR TRAIN STRIKES CAR: A Long Island Rail Road train struck a car in Deer Park, N.Y., the afternoon of Sept. 18, killing the vehicle's 94-year-old driver. [Newsday website report, 9-18-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 17, 2017. The remaining 62 percent, on average, arrived one hour and two minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-18-17]

BANGLADESH RAILWAYS ORDERS 200 COACHES: Bangladesh Railways has signed a contract with Indonesian rolling stock supplier PT Inka for 200 stainless steel, air-conditioned coaches. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-18-17]

NJT TO BUY 25-ACRES FOR TRAIN STORAGE: The board of NJ Transit has voted to buy 25 acres of land as a 'safe haven' for storing trains, a place to keep them out of the low-lying Meadowlands complex near the Hackensack River where equipment was damaged during superstorm Sandy. [Next City website report, 9-18-17]

HYDROGEN-POWERED DOUBLE-DECK TRAIN DESIGN CONCEPTS SOUGHT: Metrolinx has issued a request for proposals seeking design concepts showing how hydrogen fuel cells could be integrated into double-deck electric multiple-units. [Railway Gazette website report, 9-18-17]

CSX BEGINS DAILY RAIL SERVICE LINKING NORFOLK, PITTSBURGH: CSX has begun daily rail service between the Port of Virginia and Pittsburgh via CSX's newly-opened Pittsburgh intermodal terminal. The service will offer rail access to shippers and consignees in western Pennsylvania and northwest Ohio. [DC Velocity website report, 9-17-17]

SEPTA TRAIN DERAILS ON MARKET-FRANKFORT LINE: A SEPTA train derailed Sept. 16 on the Market-Frankford line near the Spring Garden station. The train was operating along a single-track system due to construction, and was crossing over when the lead car partially derailed at slow speed. One passenger was treated at the scene from heat exhaustion, but not other injuries were reported. [6ABC website report, 9-16-17]

WOMAN KILLED BY TRAIN IN ENDICOTT, N.Y.: A woman is dead after being hit by a Norfolk Southern train when she walked onto the track in Endicott, N.Y., late Sept. 15. The railroad says pedestrians often cross the track at that location, although 'no trespassing' signs are posted. [TWC News website report, 9-16-17]

TRI-RAIL SERVICES FULLY RESTORED: Florida's Tri-Rail services are back to fully operational with all stations open and railways clear following storm cleanup, the agency said. [Sun-Sentinel website report, 9-16-17]

EXPLOSION ABOARD LONDON UNDERGROUND TRAIN: A bomb, wrapped in a plastic grocery bag concealed in a bucket, exploded early Sept. 15 aboard a London underground train. The explosion and panic left at least 29 people injured. [N.Y. Times website report, 9-15-17]

AUTO TRAIN SET TO BE RESTORED FOLLOWING STORM CLEANUP: The southbound Auto Train will resume normal service from Lorton on Sept. 17, and the northbound Auto Train will resume normal service from Sanford on Sept. 18. [Amtrak, 9-15-17]

MARYLAND OFFERS MATCHING $500-M TO HELP D.C. METRO SYSTEM: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has extended an offer to both Virginia and D.C. to provide $500-million over four years to bolster the D.C. Metro system, provided Virginia, D.C., and the federal government do the same. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-15-17]

AMTRAK LAUNCHES NEW AD CAMPAIGN: Amtrak has launched a new marketing campaign that takes aim at inconveniences travelers may face when journeying by car or plane. Dubbed 'Break the Travel Quo,' the ads highlight some of the 'realities of air and car travel that have become par for the course.' [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-15-17]

METRA MARKS 40 YEARS OF F4OPH LOCOMOTIVE SERVICE: Metra has unveiled a new locomotive wrap to commemorate 40 years of continuous passenger service with its F40PH locomotives. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-15-17]

UNION PACIFIC REDESIGNS MARKETING & SALES ORGANIZATION: Union Pacific has redesigned its six major business units into four. The units are now Agricultural Products, Energy, Industrial, and Premium. Additionally, the company's National Customer Service Center is being renamed Customer Care & Support. [Union Pacific, 9-15-17]

JERRY JACOBSON DIES, STEAM PRESERVATIONIST: Jerry Joe Jacobson, shortline entrepreneur, steam preservationist and builder of the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sigarcreek, Ohio, died September 13. He was 74. [Trains Magazine newswire, 9-14-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported total freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 9 on U.S. railroads totaled 486,474 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.8 pct compared with the same week in 2016. [Railway Age website report, 9-14-17]

EIGHT N.Y. SUBWAY LINES SNARLED: In Manhattan it was debris on the track, in Queens it was a switch problem, and in Brooklyn it was a power malfunction. Taken together, the various woes snarled at least eight lines on New York's subway early Sept. 14, upending the travels for furious riders who were forced to wait on packed platforms or were unable to board packed trains that were too full to squeeze inside. [N.Y. Times website report, 9-14-17]

METRA APPROVES CONTRACT TO REPLACE FOX RIVER RAIL BRIDGE: Metra's board has approved a contract to replace a 136-year-old bridge over the Fox River along the Milwaukee District West line in Elgin, Illinois. The project involves replacing the existing single-track bridge with one of double-track to modern standards. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-14-17]

PAN AM RAILWAYS, PORT SAINT JOHN TO OFFER NEW INTERMODAL SERVICE: Pan Am Railways and DP World have agreed to form a new direct intermodal service connecting the Boston market to Port Saint John in New Brunswick. Port Saint John provides connections to more than 500 international destinations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-14-17]

KCS TO OPERATE HOLIDAY EXPRESS IN SIX STATES: From Nov. 24 through Dec. 19, Kansas City Southern will be operating its annual Holiday Express train, which will stop in 22 communities in six states. [Railway Age website report, 9-14-17]

INDIA TAKES FIRST STEP INTO BULLET-TRAIN FUTURE: India plans to hit fast-forward on its antiquated rail system with the country's first bullet train. Japan laid the foundation for the $16.9-billion Gujarat-Mumbai project, which will cut travel time by more than half with a stop speed of 217 MPH. [Quartz website report, 9-14-17]

SIEMENS GETS ORDER FOR 30 VECTRON LOCOMOTIVES: Locomotive leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe has placed an order with Siemens for 30 Vectron locomotives, with an option for 20 additional units. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-14-17]

ITALIAN STATE RAILWAYS ACQUIRES GREEK NATIONAL TRAIN OPERATOR TRAINOSE: Italian State Railways has completed its acquisition of Green national train operator Trainose. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-14-17]

SERVICE CHANGES SOUGHT FOR SAN JAOQUIN SERVICE: In January, Bakersfield is likely to lose one of its seven train connections as the agency that oversees the system seeks to implement changes. In exchange, Fresno would benefit by gaining a train to connect travelers to Sacramento by 8 A.M. The changes are sought to help reverse a slide in ridership on the San Joaquin line. [, 9-14-17]

FEASIBILITY STUDY PLANNED FOR DENVER-PUEBLO-CHEYENNE HYPERLOOP: The Colorado Dept. of Transportation and Hyperloop One will conduct a feasibility study for a proposed high-speed system that would like Denver and Pueblo to Cheyenne. The system would cover 360 miles, connect 10 cities and serve nearly five million people in Colorado. [TechCrunch website report,9-14-17]

AMTRAK OPENS NEW ALTON, ILLINOIS, STATION: Amtrak begins rail service Sept. 13 at the new regional multimodal transportation center in Alton, Ilinois. The facility replaces the station that has been served for 89 years, which is slated for demolition. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-13-17]

SYSTEMS INTRODUCED TO IMPROVE TRACK INSPECTION OPERATIONS: MRT Holdings has introduced two new systems designed to help railroads improve track geometry inspection operations and work-zone sign management. Designed for mass deployment on any vehicle, the geometry system includes modular hardware, wireless sensors and modern software utility. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-13-17]

TRANSDEV TO OPERATE MILWAUKEE STREETCAR: Transdev Services has been awarded a contract to operate the 2.5-mile Milwaukee streetcar network, slated to open in 2018. [Railway Age website report, 9-13-17]

MAN KILLED BY SEPTA TRAIN ON TRENTON LINE: A 42-year-old man was struck and killed by a SEPTA regional train during the morning rush hour Sept. 13 near the Bridesburg station on the Trenton line. The incident disrupted service for more than two hours. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 9-13-17]

SUBURU KILLS 'BOXCAR' AD: According to William Vantuono, editor-in-chief of Railway Age magazine, Suburu has removed its 'boxcar' ad from circulation. The ad depicted a young female individual and her dog aboard a boxcar of a moving train. In reporting the news, Vantuono added, "Now, I'd like to hear from the Fillmore & Western, the tourist railroad that provided the equipment and right-of-way for the infamous commercial. Why would you allow this? Aren't you aware of the dangers of trespassing and attempting to ride a freight train? What were you thinking?" [Railway Age website report, 9-13-17]

CSX TO REOPEN RAIL TRAFFIC INTO STORM-HIT JACKSONVILLE: CSX said it expects to reopen rail traffic into Jacksonville, Florida, late Sept. 12, although customers should expect delays as crews work despite power outages and fallen trees in the region. [Reuters website report, 9-12-17]

DEADLY 2015 PHILADELPHIA AMTRAK CRASH WAS 'NOT A CRIME,' JUDGE RULES: An attempt to put an Amtrak engineer behind bars for a deadly 2015 derailment in Philadelphia unraveled Sept. 12 as a judge dismissed the case without trial because he found the evidence pointed to an accident, not negligence. [Star Tribune website report, 9-12-17]

MAN CHARGED WITH INTERFERING WITH R.R. OPERATIONS WITH RADIO: A federal judge has ordered monitoring and home confnement for a 55-year-old Iowa man, charged with using and interfering with radio transmissions for train operations, pending trial. He allegedly interfered with dispatchers and others, and made racial slurs toward Union Pacific employees, according to the complaint. [The Gazette website report, 9-12-17]

CONSTRUCTION ON HUDSON RIVER RAIL TUNNEL PLANNED TO BEGIN IN SPRING: The head of Amtrak defended the $30-billion price tag of a plan to build a rail tunnel under the Hudson River, expand New York's Penn Station, and add a bridge in New Jersey. He said he expects construction to begin in six months, even through the project has not yet been fully funded. [Crain's N.Y. Business website report, 9-12-17]

FREQUENCY TO INCREASE FOR COLD CONNECT RAIL SERVICE: Union Pacific and its rail partners plan to increase the frequency of its Cold Connect produce service with an eye on expanded market opportunities for Idaho potatoes in New York State. [Railway Age website report, 9-12-17]

TECH LEADERS ENVISION SEATTLE-VANCOUVER HIGH-SPEED RAIL, SEAPLANE ROUTE: Seattle-area and Vancouver, B.C., tech leaders have announced collaborations to improve transportation between the cities, including progress on a high-speed rail line and a possible seaplane route. A new cross-border startup accelerator partnership has also been announced among B.C., Washington stae and Oregon. [King5 website report, 9-12-17]

SCOTLAND RESEARCHERS TESTING HIGH-SPEED RAIL TRACKS: Researchers at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University are checking the resiliency of high-speed rail tracks with a machine called GRAFT, which stands for geopavement and railway accelerated fatigue testing. The researchers are testing for the Rayleigh wave effect, which is caused when a train traveling at high speed forces the soil below to move in different directions. [BBC website report, 9-12-17]

METRO-NORTH BEGINS PORT JERVIS LINE IMPROVEMENTS: Metro-North Railroad has begun a round of infrastructure improvements on the Port Jervis line. They include structural repairs at the Moodna and Woodbury viaducts, removal of a defunct overhead bridge in Campbell Hall, rock slope remediation between Port Jervis and Harriman, painting of stations, and track and tie work. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-11-17]

CN REOPENS B.C. COAL LINE: Canadian National has reopened its Tumbler Ridge branch located in the coal fields of east-central British Columbia. The former BC Rail line had been decommissioned in 2014 after the closure of the Wolverine mine. [Railway Age website report, 9-11-17]

SWISS TRAIN COLLISION INJURES 27: Swiss authorities are investigating the crash of a train locomotive into a string of passenger cars during a maneuvering operation injuring 27, though none seriously. The incident occurred in Andermatt involving a locomotive and five cars with about 100 passengers on board. [ABC News website report, 9-11-17]

WEEKLY 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 week ending September 10, 2017. The remaining 60 percent, on average, arrived one hour and four minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-11-17]

WOMAN KILLED BY CSX TRAIN IN CUMBERLAND, MD.: A 50-year-old woman was struck and killed by a westbound CSX intermodal train in downtown Cumberland, Md., very early Sept. 10. The incident is being investigated. [Cumberland Times-News website report, 9-10-17]

FEDS CLEAR HURDLE FOR IMPROVED D.C.-RICHMOND RAIL SERVICE: The Federal Railroad administration has completed the Tier II draft environmental impact statement for the 123-mile section of the Southeast high-speed rail corridor south from Washington DC to Richmond. This moves the project one step closer to the construction phase. Maximum passenger train speeds would increase to 79 MPH between D.C. and Fredericksburg, Va., and 90 MPH between Fredericksburg and Richmond. Nine new round-trip trains could be added. [FRA, 9-8-17]

AMTRAK'S SUNSET LIMITED SET TO RESUME SERVICE: Service between Los Angeles and New Orleans on Amtrak's Sunset Limited will resume service following hurricane Harvey cleanup, eastbound from Los Angeles Sept. 13, and westbound from New Orleans Sept. 16. [Amtrak, 9-8-17]

HOUSE DEFEATS TWO ANTI-AMTRAK AMENDMENTS: The House of Representatives, by a 293-128 vote, has defeated an amendment authored by Mo Brooks (R-AL) to eliminate $1.1-billion in grant funding that would have ended Amtrak's national network; and by a vote of 260-159, has defeated an amendment authored by Ted Budd (R-NC) to eliminate $900-million for upgrading Amtrak's rail line between Newark and New York. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 9-7-17]

AMTRAK TO REFURBISH 450 OF ITS AMFLEET CARS: Amtrak is planning a $16-million overhaul of 450 of its oldest Amfleet cars. The work will include new seat cushions, carpet, LED lighting, flooring, upgraded wainscoting, new curtains, and redesigned galleys in cafe cars. [Albany Times Union website report, 9-7-17]

COUPLE KILLED WHEN CAR STRUCK BY TRAIN IN KENTUCKY: There was a double fatal crash involving a train and car late Sept. 6 in Clark County, Kentucky. After several failed attempts to move the car, the couple tried to get out of the train's path, but were too late, authorities were told. [WTVQ website report, 9-7-17]

CSX MAKING PROGRESS IN REDUCING WORKFORCE: CSX has told analysts that it is ahead of pace in reducing the number of people working on the railroad. The company has reduced its workforce by 3,700 since the bginning of the year, including the elimination of over 1,000 contractors and consultants. Total workforce in the third-quarter of the year numbers 24,600. [Albany Times Union website report, 9-7-17]

VIRGINIA RAIL INVESTMENT PROVIDES 250 PCT RETURN, STUDY SAYS: A study by the Northern Virginia Transportation commission says that for every dollar the state invests in Washington Metropolitan Area transit rail and Virginia Railway Express, it receives $2.50 in return. [Railway Age website report, 9-7-17]

LIRR CONTINUES RONKONKOMA DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT: Long Island Rail Road crews are about to conduct critical work to advance its Ronkonkoma branch double-track project. The $387-million infrastructure effort will add a second track to the 18-mile stretch from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma by the end of 2018, allow half-hourly, off-peak service in both directions, and increase flexibility. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-7-17]

STB POSTPONES CSX PUBLIC HEARING DUE TO HURRICANE THREAT: The Surface Transportation board has postponed its Sept. 12 listening session concerning CSX's rail service issue due to the approaching hurricane. A rescheduled date has not been determined. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-7-17]

CSX BEGINS OPERATIONS AT PITTSBURGH INTERMODAL TERMINAL: CSX has begun operations at its new 70-acre Pittsburgh intermodal rail terminal in McKees Rocks, Pa. The terminal is the last key component of CSX's National Gateway initiative, an $850-million public-private partnership designed to create a network of double-stack rail and intermodal terminals. [CSX, 9-7-17]

AMTRAK STARTS SELLING TICKETS FOR ROANOKE TRAIN SERVICE: Amtrak has begun selling tickets for train travel out of Roanoke, Va. Passenger train service to and from the city is scheduled to resume Oct. 31 after a nearly 40-year hiatus. [Roanoke Times website report, 9-7-17]

FEDS SLAP NJT WITH 15 VIOLATIONS: NJ Transit has been cited for 15 violations by the Federal Railroad administration. The infractions were fund during an audit, and include failing to have a plan in place to get a mandatory safety system running by Dec. 2018. [, 9-7-17]

CHENGDU OPENS AIRPORT METRO LINE: Following three years of construction, the Chinese city of Chengdu opened its 6.8-mile metro line 10 on Sept. 6. The entirely underground line has six stations and provides direct service between the city center and Shuangliu Airport terminals 1 and 2. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-7-17]

FRENCH-SWISS RAIL LINE TO REOPEN DECEMBER 2018: The 13.7-mile Belfort-Delle line, which has been closed since 1992, will reopen in Dec. 2018, creating a further connection between the French high-speed and Swiss railway networks. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-7-17]

CSX REPORTS PROGRESS IN NEW OPERATING MODEL: CSX has made 'very good progress' in its transition to a precision scheduled railroading model, with the railroad returning to a 'normal operating rhythm,' its president and chief executive officer Hunter Harrison said. He is now confident many of the service problems recently reported by customers 'are behind us,' he said. Meanwhile, the company has refined its 2017 full-year guidance from an operating ratio in the mid-60's to an operating ratio around the high end of the mid-60's, and earnings per share growth from around 25 pct to a range of 20 to 25 pct, after excluding restructuring charges. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-6-17]

BNSF SPEEDING POST-HARVEY PROGRESS: Citing improving conditions and strong efforts by track crews, rail service impacted by hurricane Harvey on most BNSF subdivisions in the Houston area and throughout southeastern Texas has been restored. All BNSF rail yards and facilities in the region are open. [Railway Age website report, 9-6-17]

CEO OF MARTA TO RESIGN: Keith Parker, general manager and CEO of Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit, said he will step down from his agency post. He has been the agency's leader for nearly five years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-6-17]

FOUR U.S. CLASS I RAILROADS REVENUE-ADEQUATE, STB SAYS: The U.S. Surface Transportation board has determined that four U.S. Class I railroads (BNSF, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line and Union Pacific) are revenue-adequate for the year 2016, meaning that they achieved a rate of return on investment equal to or greater than the board's calculation of the average cost of capital to the freight rail industry. Three Class I railroads (Kansas City Southern, Grand Trunk and CSX) were below the threshold. [Railway Age website report, 9-6-17]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT FOR AUGUST 2017: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail freight traffic in the month of August 2017 was 2,744,486 units, an increase of 2.6 pct compared with the same month last year. Intermodal traffic (exclusive of carload traffic) in August was the best month in history. [Railway Age website report, 9-6-17]

HONOLULU RAIL FUNDING BILL SIGNED: Hawaii's governor has signed a bill that includes a $2.4-billion package to fund the Honolulu authority for Rapid Transit rail project's full 20-mile build out. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-6-17]

UNION PACIFIC REPLACES DEVAL DIAMOND: Union Pacific credits teamwork and planning for the successful replacement of the 100,000-pound, five-track Deval diamond in Des Plaines, Illinois, in just a little over 48 hours. The $2-million project involved the the crossing of three Harvard subdivision and two Milwaukee subdivision tracks. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-6-17]

COLORADO EXPLORES FRONT RANGE RAIL COMMUTER LINE: A Colorado commission is exploring plans for a commuter rail line connecting cities along the state's Front Range. The state Dept. of Transportation estimates a line from Fort Collins to Pueblo would cost $5-billion to $15-billion. A closer objective is a proposed rerouting of Amtrak's Southwest Chief to include stops in Pueblo and Walsenburg. [Railway Age website report, 9-6-17]

HYPERLOOP IN THE WORKS FOR INDIA: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have agreen to begin planning a hyperloop that would connect Amaravati and Vijaywada. A hyperloop could reduce a trip from the current one hour down to just six minutes. [TechCrunch website report, 9-6-17]

ISRAEL INAUGURATES ACRE-CARMIEL LINE: Israel inaugurated its Acre-Carmiel rail line with a special train Sept. 5. The $785-million 14-mile line took five years to build and includes a 2.9-mile twin-bore tunnel. The line is set to open to passenger services Sept. 20. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-6-17]

FULL TRAIN SERVICE RETURNS TO N.Y. PENN STATION FOLLOWING REPAIR PROJECT: Full service has resumed on Amtrak and commuter rail lines into New York's Penn Station following a two-month repair project. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-5-17]

ANGELS FLIGHT SHUTS DOWN FOUR DAYS AFTER ITS REOPENING: Four days after its reopening, the Angels Flight railroad in downtown Los Angeles has shut down again. A notice said the 298-foot funicular would be closed for several days due to 'extreme weather conditions' for maintenance. The 116-year-old line had been out of service since 2013, triggered by a derailment. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-5-17]

VIA RAIL RIDERSHIP, REVENUE GREW IN SECOND-QUARTER: VIA Rail Canada's second-quarter ridership grew 9.5 pct, and passenger revenue rose 15 pct compared with the same period in 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-5-17]

SOUTHWEST GULF R.R. BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON MEDINA LINE: Southwest Gulf Railroad has begun construction on the Medina Line, a common carrier rail line in Medina County, Texas, with construction expected to be completed in 2019. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-5-17]

AMTRAK DIESEL FLEET TO BE PTC-COMPLIANT BY DEADLINE: Working with Rockwell Collins, Amtrak plans to equip approximately 310 diesel-electric locomotives with positive train-control by the federal deadline mandate. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-5-17]

CG RAILWAY TO OPERATE RAIL FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN U.S. & MEXICO: Genesee & Wyoming and Seacor Holdings have formed a joint venture to own and operate CG Railway, a rail ferry service between the ports of Mobile and Coatzacoalcos. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-5-17]

MONTANA RAIL LINK TO RUN EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION TRAIN TRIPS: Oct. 31, 2017, marks the 30th anniversary for Montana Rail Link. The railroad plans to celebrate its anniversary with a series of employee appreciation trains trips across its system. Nearly 2,800 current and former employees and their families will be invited. [Railway Age website report, 9-5-17]

HYPERLOOP IDEA 'NOT REALISTIC ANYTIME SOON,' AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak's co-CEO Richard Anderson says he does not see the high-speed hyperloop overtaking tradiional rail travel and transport anytime soon. [CNBC website report, 9-5-17]

CONTRACTS SIGNED FOR THAI HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Officials from China and Thailand have signed contracts for a planned Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway project. The planned line would be designed to Chinese standards for operation of the route at up to 155 MPH. [Railway Gazette website report, 9-5-17]

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 September 3, 2017. The remaining 69 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 17 minutes late. The survey was compiled without grace allowance, comprehending a required on-time or earlier arrival to qualify as arriving on schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-4-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS PERSON ON TRACKS IN PHILADELPHIA: An Amtrak Northeast Regional train en route to New York struck and killed a person walking on the tracks in the Torresdale section of Philadelphia late Sept. 4. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-4-17]

ONE KILLED, ONE INJURED AS COUPLE HOP A TRAIN IN PITTSBURGH: Authorities say a 21-year-old woman was killed early Sept. 3 as she and a man hopped a Norfolk Southern coal train on the Mon line in Pittsburgh. The woman fell and was dragged beneath the train. The man also fell and injured his ankle. [U.S. News & World Report, 9-3-17]

AUGUST 2017 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-six (26) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during August 2017, according to the Bull Sheet. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was one hour and two minutes late. The average arrival of the 74 percent of trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-1-17]

SUNSET LIMITED REMAINS SUSPENDED NEW ORLEANS TO SAN ANTONIO: Amtrak's Sunset Limited is still unable to operate between New Orleans and San Antonio due to temporary track closures. [Amtrak, 9-1-17]

AMTRAK COMPLETES N.Y. PENN STATION RENEWAL WORK: Amtrak has completed its summer infrastructure renewal project at New York Penn Station, which will allow for normal schedules to return on Sept. 5. Crews completed the two-month project a day early. Moreover, the company said the project was completed safely and on budget. About 360 employees worked around the clock to install 897 ties, 1,100 feet of rail, 1,000 tons of ballast, seven turnouts, four diamond crossings and 176 yards of concrete. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-1-17]

SOUNDER TO ADD TRAINS TO SOUTH LINE SERVICE: Sound Transit will add two new round-trips trains Sept. 25 on the South Line between Seattle and Lakewood. The new trains will bring the total number of daily round-trips on the line to 13, and will boost capacity and frequency during peak times. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-1-17]

NEW LOOP STATION OPENS IN CHICAGO: Chicago's first new downtown 'L' station in 20 years opened Aug. 31. The Washington-Wabash station is cosidered to be a gateway to Millennium Park and the East Loop. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-1-17]

CALIFORNIA TO ORDER SINGLE-LEVEL CARS INSTEAD OF BI-LEVELS TO SPEED DELIVERY: California will be substituting Siemens equipment for its railcar procurement of 130 bi-level railcars, replacing current manufacturer Nippon Sharyo. Since Siemens does not produce bi-levels, the procurement will be amended to 130 single-level cars. This will reduce the total number of seats, but it will shorten the delivery from five years to from 24 to 34 months. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 9-1-17]

TEXAS EAGLE SERVICE RESTORED TO SAN ANTONIO: Amtrak's Texas Eagle service between San Antonio and Fort Worth has been restored, and Amtrak appreciates the work by host carriers Union Pacific and BNSF enabling the train to complete its route from Chicago to San Antonio. The Sunset Limited, however, is still unable to operate east of San Antonio to New Orleans due to storm damage. [Amtrak, 8-31-17]

FEDS REJECT GREAT LAKES BASIN RAIL LINE: The Surface Transportation board has rejected an application filed by Great Lakes Basin Transportation for authority to construct and operate a rail line in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, to bypass Chicago. The agency cited that the application was found to be 'incomplete,' and has discontinued environmental review. [Railway Age website report, 8-31-17]

HURRICANE MAY CAUSE LONG-TERM DISRUPTION ON HOUSTON'S RAIL TRACKS: Major railroads have warned it could be a 'long time' before normal operations resume in the Houston area where hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding and property damage. [U.S. News & World Report, 8-30-17]

RAILROADS ASSESS HURRICANE REPAIRS IN HOUSTON AREA: Several BNSF subdivisions remain out of service due to high water and washouts, and all traffic destined to, originating from or through Houston remains suspended. Union Pacific lines along the Gulf Coast from Brownsville to Lake Charles are suspended as well. Crews are assessing damage. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-30-17]

EXPANSION COMPLETED AT PRINCE RUPERT TERMINAL: CN and Prince Rupert, B.C., have marked the recent expansion of the Fairview Container expansion. The project increases the terminal's annual throughput capacity to 1.35 million 20-foot equivalent units, and CN is committed to selling 80 pct of new capacity within three years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-30-17]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 26, 2017, was 551,776 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.3 pct compared with the same week last year. For the first 34 weeks of 2017, comulative volume increased 4.9 pct compared with the same period in 2016. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-30-17]

TWO INJURED WHEN TRAIN STRIKES GARBAGE TRUCK IN WISCONSIN: Two people were injured when a CN train and a garbage truck collided near Weyerhauser, Rusk County, Wisconsin. Both the train's engineer and truck driver were transported to hospitals. [Superior Telegram website report, 8-30-17]

RAIL UNION TO HOLD STRIKE VOTE AT METRO-NORTH: As Metro-North's biggest labor union threatens to strike and bring the railroad to a halt, Connecticut officials are bracing for a commuting nightmare that would leave hundreds of thousands of passengers scrambling to get to work. A vote is being scheduled for members of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees. [Connecticut Post website report, 8-29-17]

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 August 27, 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 25 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-28-17]

MARYLAND BREAKS GROUND ON PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE PROJECT: Maryland has broken ground in Hyattsville for the Purple light-rail line, a 16-mile route from Bethesda to New Carrollton with connections to Washington Metro's red, green and orange lines, MARC, Amtrak, and local bus services. The project is moving forward despite a legal challenge raised last summer. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-17]

SIEMENS MIDWEST CHARGER LOCOMOTIVES ENTER AMTRAK SERVICE: The first Amtrak SC-44 Midwest Charger locomotives have been unveiled in Chicago, and have begun revenue operations in Illinois and Wisconsin. Thirty-three of the locomotives are included in the order, with final delivery to be completed by the end of the year. Eventually, the units will power Lincoln service, Illini, Saluki, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Hiawatha, Wolverine, Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Missouri River Runner trains. [Railway Age website report, 8-28-17]

CSX TACKLING SERVICE ISSUES, CEO SAYS: CSX said it is dealing with service issues even as it forges ahead with an overhaul of its network that has led dozens of trade groups to call for an investigation into disruptions. In a letter Aug. 27, CSX CEO Hunter Harrison laid out the tenets of his 'precision scheduled railroading' approach, which he said would imorove service, cut costs and better use the railroad's assets. [Reuters website report, 8-28-17]

THREE ST. LOUIS COMPANIES SUE CSX OVER DELAYED SHIPMENTS: St. Louis companies are suing CSX, alleged breach of contract. Foresight Coal Sales, Sugar Camp Energy and Williamson Energy filed a complaint in judicial circuit court alleging the railroad failed in its duty to provide timely railtransportation services as ageeed in the contract. [St. Louis Record website report, 8-28-17]

CARGILL PURSUES GRAIN FACILITY EXPANSION ON UNION PACIFIC LINE: Cargill has announced plans to upgrade a grain facility on Union Pacific's line in Gibbon, Nebraska. Once completed, the expansion will increase unload capacity of 65,000 bushels per hour. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-17]

GRAIN PACT TO BENEFIT ALTON & SOUTHERN: COFCO International and grain coop Growmark have formed a partnership that includes joint ownership and operation of a rail, barge and truck terminal on the Mississippi River in Cahokia, Illinois. The terminal is served by the Alton & Southern Railway, and can receive product from all Class I railroads, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-17]

BNSF RECALLS 4,000 FURLOUGHED WORKERS: Improved carload traffic has led BNSF to recall about 4,000 of a total 5,000 workers furloughed in 2015 and 2016. [Railway Age website report, 8-28-17]

QUEBEC SLOTS $330-M FOR MONTREAL TRAIN GARAGE: The Quebec government has pledged $330-million (C) to build an underground garage for trains at Cote-Vertu on Montreal's subway network. Construction of the facility will enable the agency to meet increased ridership demand and maintain its rolling stock more efficiency, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-17]

PHIL VERSTER NAMED CEO OF METROLINX: Metrolinx's board has appinted Phil Verster as the agency's new president and chief executive officer, effective October 1. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-17]

TRAIN CONDUCTOR AWARDED $2.1-M FOR BEING HELD FOR DRUG TEST DURING A STROKE: Late-night shift colleagues called supervision when a train conductor was showing signs of confusion in Hamlet, N.C., in Jan. 2012. A court has now awarded the conductor $2.1-million because supervisors held him for hours for drug-testing while he was suffereing a stroke. [Daily Business Review, 8-28-17]

FIVE HURT AS NORFOLK SOUTHERN MAINTENANCE VEHICLES COLLIDE IN W.VA.: Three Norfolk Southern employees and two contractors were taken to a hospital after two machines used in track maintenance collided Aug. 28 just east of Bluefield, W.Va., the railroad said. [Bluefield Daily Telegraph website report, 8-28-17]

SAN JOSE RAIL PROJECT COULD BEGIN NEXT YEAR: An extension to the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in California is planned in Silicon Valley, and the project will involve digging a 5-mile tunnel under San Jose. Work on the $4.7-billion line could begin in 2018 and take 10 years to complete. [KPIX website report, 8-28-17]

CALEDONIA SLEEPING CARS BEING TESTED IN CZECH REPUBLIC: The first sleeping cars being supplied by CAF to Serco Caledonian Sleepers Britain have begun test running at the Velim test center in the Czech Republic. CAF is building 75 cars of five different types for use on overnight services from London to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-28-17]

AMTRAK SUSPENDS CERTAIN SERVICE IN TEXAS DUE TO HURRICANE: Amtrak has suspended service by the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle between points impacted by hurricane Harvey. Specifically, service between El Paso and New Orleans; El Paso and Forth Worth; El Paso and San Antonio; and thruway bus between Galveston and Longview via Houston. This information is current as of 2PM, August 26, and is subject to change as conditions warrant.. [Amtrak, 8-26-17]

TRAIN DERAILS IN MISSOURI, BLOCKING INTERSTATE HIGHWAY: All lanes of interstate 55 were blocked in St. Louis County, Missouri, by a freight train derailment around 3:30 P.M., Aug. 26. At least one rail car tipped over, spilling coal on the tracks. The incident also resulted in a blocked entrance to a subdivision. No injuries were reported. [St.Louis Today, 8-26-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES PICKUP TRUCK IN CALIFORNIA, ONE PERSON DEAD: An Amtrak Capitol Corridor train struck a pickup truck parked on the track in Rodeo, California, early Aug. 26. One person in the vehicle was killed. There were no injuries to passengers, but at least five trains were delayed by the incident. [East Bay Times website report, 8-26-17]

HAWAII LOOKS TO SALVAGE LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Hawaii faces a funding shortfall of up to $3-billion for its $9.5-billion light-rail project, and the state legislature is set to meet in a special session to consider a funding measure. [WTOP website report, 8-26-17]

FEDS SLATE 'LISTENING SESSION' ON CSX SERVICE ISSUES: The U.S. Surface Transportation board will hold a public 'listening session' Sept. 12 to hear from CSX about its recent rail-service problems and efforts at recovery. The session will be held at the board's headquarters in Washington DC beginning at 9:30 A.M. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-25-17]

CSX ACCUSED OF INTENTIONALLY DELAYING AMTRAK TRAINS: An E-mail obtained by a Lafayette, Indiana, newspaper from a CSX supervisor to train dispatchers showed Amtrak trains being intentionally delayed in favor of a pair of intermodal trains, Q031 and Q032. CSX officials denied the claims, but some of the issues arising from numerous delays are how much money Amtrak has lost due to CSX, including compensation for displaced passengers, the cost of getting passengers to other stations for connections, and additional crew costs. [National Assn of R.R. Passengers hotline. 8-25-17]

RAIL PASSENGER SERVICE RETURNS TO CALIFORNIA'S NORTH BAY: After 59 years, passenger rail service has returned to the North Bay in California, with the commencement of operations on Aug. 25 by Sonoma-Marin Area Transit. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 8-25-17]

COST OVERRUNS PLAGUE WASHINGTON STATE LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Construction of a light-rail extension in Lynnwood, Washington, is $500-million over budget, and officials have moved the completion date to 2024. The project is now estimated to cost $2.9-billion, but officials are working to reduce the price tag. [KOMO website report, 8-25-17]

EX-NJT EXECUTIVE SAYS AGENCY IS DISFUNCTIONAL, RIDDLED WITH PATRONAGE: In blistering testimony before a state legislative committee, a former NJ Transit chief compliance officer, who had been hired in April and terminated just this month, described the agency 'in peril,' riddled with dysfunction, adhering to outdated safety practices, and led by unqualified officials. NJT refuted the claims. [, 8-25-17]

CSX TO CONVERT HOPEWELL, VA., SWING BRIDGE TO REMOTE OPERATION: CSX is planning to convert a swing bridge over the Appomattox River near Anchor Point in Hopewell, Va., from on-site to remote operation. [Progress-Index website report, 8-25-17]

KNOXVILLE LOCOMOTIVE WORKS GETS TIER-4 CERTIFICATION: Knoxville Locomotive Works has obtain EPA Tier-4 emission certification for its SE Series of four- and six-axle diesel locomotives. [Railway Gazette website report, 8-25-17]

AMTRAK WRAPPING UP N.Y. PENN STATION REPAIR WORK: New York's Penn Station will resume regular train schedules Sept. 5, Amtrak said. Engineering crews have completed nearly seven of the eight weeks of renewal work, and the railroad is thanking its customers for their patience during the project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-24-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending Aug. 19, total U.S. rail freight traffic was 554,021 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-24-17]

SERVICE ISSUES SHOULD SUBSIDE BY LABOR DAY, CSX SAYS: In its latest letter to CSX, the Surface Transportation board asked the railroad to provide a detailed schedule of its new operating plan. Meanwhile, the company's CEO claims the problems should subside by Labor Day, citing already-improving statistics and a new methodology for measuring performance. [Supply Chain Dive website report, 8-24-17]

AMTRAK'S GREAT DOME OPERATING ON DOWNEASTER: Amtrak's Great Dome rail car has returned to Maine to travel along with its Northeaster train on select trips until Sept. 24. [Fosters Daily Democrat website report, 8-24-17]

GERMAN RAIL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT APPROVED: Planning approval has been granted for a project to electrify the Ulm-Friedrichshafen-Lindau rail line in southern Germany. Work on the first section between Ulm and Laupheim West will begin in 2018. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-24-17]

NJT TRAIN, WITH NO PASSENGERS ABOARD, DERAILS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: A New Jersey Transit train with no passengers on board derailed at New York's Penn Station early Aug. 23. There were no injuries, but the incident caused delays to a number of other trains. [, 8-23-17]

LIRR REPLACES SWITCHES, INSPECTS TRACK FOR DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT: Long Island Rail Road has replaced switches and inspected track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, N.Y., as part of a double-track project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-23-17]

N.C. PROPOSES TO IMPROVE CSX TRACK TO BOLSTER FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION: The North Carolina D.O.T. has proposed improving sections of CSX track in Scotland and Bladen counties to help alleviate traffic congestion and allow freight-rail transportation to grow and reduce train delays. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-23-17]

CLEVELAND OPENS RENOVATED BROOKPARK STATION: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit authority has opened its Brookpark station, the agency's busiest, following a $16.5-million renovation project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-23-17]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS FOR GLACIER RAIL PARK IN MONTANA: Construction has begun at the Glacier Rail Park in Kalispell, Montana, The rail park is part of the larger $21-million Kalispell Core & Rail Development project, which aims to revitalize the city center by building an industrial park for rail-served businesses and removing tracks that dissected the town. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 8-23-17]

CSX SUED BY COAL CUSTOMER ALLEGING LOSS OF BUSINESS: Consolidated Coal Co., operator of several mines in Marshall County, W.Va., alleges that CSX cost it missed sales opportunities because of its failure to provide for delivery of loaded rail cars. A complaint was filed July 31 in the county's circuit court against CSX alleging breach of contract and other counts. [W.Va. Record, 8-23-17]

RAILPOOL ORDERS 20 TRAXX LOCOMOTIVES: Railpool has awarded Bombardier a contract to supply 20 Traxx MS locomotives equipped to run on 15KV/25KV and 1.5KV/3KV DC electrification systems, and certified to operate in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-23-17]

IMPROVEMENT PROJECT BEGINS AT BOSTON'S RUGGLES STATION: A 38.5-million improvement project began Aug. 22 at the Ruggles Orange line and commuter rail station. The multi-modal facility serves the orange line subway, three commuter rail lines, and numerous bus routes. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 8-23-17]

SEPTA TRAIN CRASH INJURES 32: A Southeastern Pa. Transportation authority train with passengers ran into an unoccupied train in the 69th street transportation center in Upper Darby on the Norristown High-Speed line early Aug. 22, injuring 32 people, according to the National Transportation Safety board. Injured passengers were taken to eight area hospitals, but none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. The accident is under investigation. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-17]

CSX REVISES THREE KEY SERVICE METRICS: CSX has revised the way it calculates three key service metrics: (1. Train Velocity) This now includes a train's end-to-end time. Previously it only counted time on line of road, not including dwell time for crew changes, picking up and setting off at intermediate locations. (2. Terminal Dwell) This metric has been expanded to include all car dwell time encountered on an end-to-end trip, not excluding the amount of time a car spends at a terminal during work if it arrived and departed on the same train. (3. Cars online) The number of active freight cars on rail lines operated by the company will now be measured, rather than inactive cars such as those being repaired, in storage, sold, or private cars dwelling at a customer's location for more than one day. [Railway Age website report, 8-22-17]

APPEALS COURT REINSTATES WHISTLEBLOWER SUIT AGAINST CSX: An appeals court has reversed a decision granting summary judgment to CSX in a lawsuit filed by an employee who said the railroad had retaliated against him for reporting safety concerns. The company had disciplined the employee for leaving a locomotive unattended with a control switch in the on position, failing to report a problem with a speed indicator, and other issues. However, the appeals court found that the timing of the charges comprehended 'strong evidence of retaliatory animus,' and that there was evidence that CSX had targeted the employee and other employees as well. [Business Insurance website report, 8-22-17]

PA. GRANTS $950,000 TOWARD HERITAGE RAIL TRAIL'S NORTHERN EXTENSION: York County Rail Trail authority has garnered a $950,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment authority to complete the northern extension of the Heritage Rail Trail from U.S. 30 in Springettsbury to North George street in York. The grant assures that the project will move toward an early 2018 start of construction. [YBRTA E-Trail News, 8-22-17]

CN LOGS RECORD YEAR FOR GRAIN SHIPMENTS: CN moved a record 21.8 million metric tons of Western Canadian grain during the 2016-17 crop year, the railroad has announced. CN said it shipped 7 pct more tonnage on its network than the prior three-year average. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-17]

PORT FREEPORT LAUNCHES RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT: Port Freeport in Texas has broken ground to mark the beginning of construction on the first phase of its Parcel 14 Rail Development project. Union Pacific will serve the site. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-17]

CHICAGO SOUTH SHORE ADDS 100 COVERED STEEL COIL CARS: Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad has added 100 covered steel coil 100-ton-capacity cars to support the shipping needs of its largest customer, ArcelorMittal, in Burns Harbor, Indiana. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-17]

FEDS TO PROVICE $900-M FOR MARYLAND'S PURPLE LINE: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation and Maryland have reached agreement for the federal government to provide $900-million in funds toward construction of the 16-mile Purple light-rail ine in suburban Washington DC. The project has faced several delays, and a lawsuit is still pending against it. [Washington Post website report, 8-21-17]

CLASS I R.R. EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN JULY: Class I railroads employed 147,540 workers in the U.S. as of mid-July, down 0.7 pct from mid-June's level, and down 3.4 pct from mid-July last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-21-17]

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 August 20, 2017. The remaining 75 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept.]

TEXAS-MEXICO RAIL BORDER FACILITY UPGRADED: Kansas City Southern, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, and Mexican customs agency inaugurated a joint, upgraded rail-freight porocessing facility at the Laredo border crossing on Aug. 17. It is the busiest crossing on the border, processing an average of 23 trains per day. [Railway Gazette website report, 8-21-17]

NEW HARVARD STUDY ESTIMATES COST OF NORTH-SOUTH R.R. TUNNEL IN BOSTON: Following a new study by a group of Harvard Kennedy School students, alumni and faculty, the new, estimated cost of connecting Boston's North and South stations sits between $4-billion and $6-billion, significantly lower than previous costs estimated by MBTA in 2003. The study projects a cost of $6-billion for a 'maximum build,' which would include four tracks, two tunnels and three stations, or $3.8-billion for a 'minimum build' of two tracks, one tunnel and two stations. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 8-18-17]

RAIL CUSTOMERS ARGUE FOR INVESTIGATION OF CSX SERVICE ISSUES: A letter from the Rail Customer Coalition, a group of shippers and trade groups, has been sent to Congressional committees regarding poor service provided by CSX in recent months. The letter essentially asks Congress to pressure the Surface Transportation board to launch a formal investigation. The letter also asks the committees to examine ramifications of the service breakdown, and whether there are adequate means available to mitigate the adverse impacts to the rail network. [Transportation Communications Union flash news, 8-18-17]

JOINT VENTURE TO OVERSEE TWO LIGHT-RAIL PROJECTS IN SEATTLE: A joint venture between STV and Mott McDonald will oversee construction of two light-rail extension projects in Seattle, one worth $3.7-billion and the other $1.9-billion. Work will include installing tracks on the world's only floating bridge for light-rail. [Progressive Railroading website report]

UNION PACIFIC TO LAY OFF 500 MANAGERS, 250 OTHERS: Union Pacific is laying off 500 managers and 250 other workers to save about $110-million annually, and eliminate about eight percent of the railroad's managers. The cuts will take place by mid-September. [U.S. News & World Report, 8-16-17]

TWIN CITIES & WESTERN TO SHARE LIGHT-RAIL CORRIDOR WITH BNSF: Twin Cities & Western Railroad has agreed to a permit to operate light-rail operations alongside BNSF for about eight miles of its 14.5-mile planned route. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-16-17[

MBTA NAMES LUIS RAMIREZ CEO, GENERAL MANAGER: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority has named Luis Manuel Ramirez chief executive officer and general manager, succeeding interim general manager Steve Poftak on Sept. 12. [[Progressive Railroading website report, 8-16-17]

GATEWAY LEADERS SEEK PRIVATE-SECTOR IDEAS FOR HUDSON RAIL PROJECTS: The Gateway Program Development Corp. has issued a request for information from private-sector leaders who have planning ideas for the Hudson Tunnel and the final section of the Hudson Yards concrete casing projects. The Gateway program involves investment created to improve current rail service and add new capacity on the Northeast corridor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-15-17]

MBTA TO INSTALL PTC ON NEEDHAM LINE: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority will begin installing positive train-control on the Needham commuter rail line on Sept. 2. The line will be shut down on weekends through Nov. 18. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-15-17]

CP'S 'CANADA 150' SPECIAL TRAIN EN ROUTE TO OTTAWA: Canadian Pacific's '150 Special,' an F-unit-led train with 10 restored Royal Canadian Pacific heritage cars, will wind up a three-week tour Aug. 20 in Ottawa. [Railway Age website report, 8-15-17]

BOMBARDIER LANDS TWO BANGKOK MONORAIL ORDERS: Bombadier Transportation has obtained two contracts to provide its driverless Innovia Monorail 300 system to two new rapid transit lines in Bangkok. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-15-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending August 13, 2017. The remaining 79 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-14-17]

AMTRAK HIRES CONSULTING TEAM TO PLAN N.Y. PENN STATION IMPROVEMENTS: Amtrak has selected AECOM, in partnership with Network Rail, to conduct an independent review of railroad coordination of passenger concourses at Penn Station in New York. The review will examine the interaction, coordination and collaboration between the railroads that use the station. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-14-17]

CP LAUNCHES DIRECT VANCOUVER-DETROIT RAIL SERVICE: Canadian Pacific has begun a daily, direct rail service between Vancouver and Detroit. It leverages the company's newest transload facility in Vancouver and its live-lift operation in Portal, N.D., cutting Vancouver-Detroit transit times by up to 48 hours. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-14-17]

L.A. METRO UNVEILS ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT FOR UNION STATION IMPROVEMENTS: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority has released a draft environmental impact report for the Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade improvement project. Components of the project involve widening sidewalks to create a walkway along both sides of Alameda street in front of the station, and to reconfigure and expand pedestrian entrances. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-14-17]

TRACK WORK BEGINS ON EGLINTON, ONTARIO, CROSSTOWN LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Construction crews have installed the first piece of track for the Eglingon Crosstown light-rail project in the Toronto area. Slated to open in 2021, the 11.8-mile line will connect Mount Saint Dennis station in the west with Kennedy station in the east, and includes a 6.2-mile underground portion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-14-17]

CYNTHIA EARHART NAMED EXECUTIVE V.P., CFO OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Norfolk Southern has appointed Cynthia C. Earhart as executive vice-president and chief financial officer, effective Aug. 15. She has served most recently as chief information officer. She succeeds Thomas Hurlbut, who has served since Aug. 1 as interim CFO following the retirement of Marta Stewart. [Norfolk Southern, 8-14-17]

FLUOR, LANE TAPPED TO HELP BUILD TEXAS BULLET TRAIN: Fluor Enterprises and Lane Construction have been selected to help plan the construction of the proposed bullet train from Dallas to Houston. The project is worth more than $12-billion. [Houston Chronicle website report, 8-14-17]

STB REQUESTS CSX PERFORMANCE DATA: The Surface Transportation board on Aug. 14 requested that CSX submit weekly specific service performance data to the board's Rail Customer and Public Assistance office to assist it in actively monitoring the railroad's service levels and effectiveness of its recovery efforts. [Railway Age website report]

CSX FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN KENTUCKY: About 22 cars of a northbound CSX freight train derailed late Aug. 12 on an isolated section of double-track rail line between Elizabethtown and Colesburg, Kentucky. There was heavy damage to both sets of tracks, but no injuries were reported. [Elizabethtown News Enterprise website report, 8-13-17]

SHANGHAI SUBWAY EXPANSION CONTINUES: Construction of China's Shanghai Metro line 14 is moving along - boring over 31 feet of tunnel per day - as the world's largest subway network expands five routes. Line 14 will add 32 stations, with the opening expected in 2020. [South China Morning Post website report, 8-13-17]

EGYPTIAN TRAIN CRASH KILLS AT LEAST 49: The death toll in a passenger train collision in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria has risen to 49. More than 120 others were injured in the Aug. 11 crash. The collision occurred when a passenger train from Cairo rammed into the rear of another train that was waiting at the station. The cause of the accident is not yet clear, but anonymous sources say the accident may have been caused by a switching-system error. Several rail officials have been suspended from duty pending investigations into the tragedy. [Sky News website report, 8-12-17]

CONNECTICUT AWARDS CONTRACT FOR METRO-NORTH PROJECTS: Connecticut has awarded a $237-million contract for two Metro-North track projects. One project involves construction of a new four-track CP243 interlocking on the New Haven line between East Norwalk and Westport; the other project improves and electrifies the southern portion of the Danbury branch. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-11-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 554,822 carloads and intermodal units were moved by U.S. railroads in the week ending Aug. 5, an increase of 4.3 pct compared with the same period one year ago. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-10-17]

N.Y. MAYOR SEEKS TAXES TO IMPROVE SUBWAY, ADD STREETCAR LINE: New York' mayor Bill de Blasio has proposals to help improve city transportation. He has called for raising taxes on the wealthiest citizens to better fund the subway system, and he wants to add a streetcar on 16 miles of waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens. [N.Y. Times website report, 8-10-17]

OVER 40 HYNDMAN, PA., HOMES REMAIN UNOCCUPIED FOLLOWING CSX DERAILMENT: Forty-two homes near the site of last week's CSX train derailment remain unoccupied, an official said. It is anticipated that the remaining residents will be able to return home within the next couple of days. [WJAC website report, 8-10-17]

WATER TRUCK STRIKES AMTRAK TRAIN IN N.D.: A water truck collided with a moving, westbound Amtrak Empire Builder train early Aug. 10 near Granville, N.D. There were no serious injuries, but the train was delayed for a considerable period of time. The driver of the truck was cited for failure to yield. [KFYR-TV website report, 8-10-17]

RAIL SEPARATION TRENCH OPENS IN CALIFORNIA: A 1.4-mile long railroad cut built at a cost of $313-million as part of a grade separation project in the San Gabriel Valley of California, known as Alameda Corridor East, was opened July 24. [Railway Gazette website report, 8-10-17]

SIEMENS OPENS LOCOMOTIVE HUB IN DELAWARE: Siemens has opened a new 44,000-square-foot locomotive service hub in New Castle, Delaware. The facility will use digital and predictive technology to remotely maintain more than 140 Siemens-built locomotives for several railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-9-17]

K.C. STREETCAR STARTS PLANNING FOR EXTENSION TO UNIVERSITY: The Kansas City Streetcar authority has issued a 'notice to proceed' on planning work for a southern extension to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-9-17]

PERSON STRUCK, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN ODENTON, MD.: Service on the Amtrak and MARC Penn line between Baltimore and Washington was disrupted early Aug. 9 after a person was fatally struck by an Amtrak train in Odenton, Md. [U.S. News & World Report, 8-9-17]

STEPHEN TOBIAS DIES, FORMER NORFOLK SOUTHERN VICE-CHAIRMAN: Stephen C. Tobias, 72, former Norfolk Southern vice-chairman and chief operations officer, died August 7. A 40-year veteran of the company, having begun his career in 1969 with Norfolk & Western, he served in many capacities. He was named 'Railroader of the Year' in 2008 by Railway Age Magazine. [Railway Age website report, 8-9-17]

AMTRAK, MBTA SIGN PACT FOR ATTLEBORO LINE: Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority have reached a new agreement for the operation, maintenance and use of the Attleboro line between Boston and the Rhode Island state line. Amtrak will provide maintenance of way and dispatching services through 2021. MBTA will be responsible for directing the line's capital program. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-8-17]

CHINA BEGINS WORK ON JILIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: Construction has begun on the 70.5-mile Dunhua-Baihe high-speed rail line in China's Jilin province. The 155 MPH line will open in 2021. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-8-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE REPORT: Twenty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Aug. 6. The remaining 76 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-7-17]

UNION TELLS CEO OF CSX, 'DON'T BLAME US': In an Aug. 3 letter to Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers wrote: "The Organization refuses to accept responsibility for disruptions that negatively affect the customers when we have no input on operational changes. We receive minimal, and in most cases, no communication from any department about the significant changes being implemented almost daily." At issue was an Aug. 1 letter Harrison had written to CSX customers blaming employee resistance to change which had resulted in some service disruptions. The union added that Harrison had ignored its repeated requests to be involved in planning changes. [Railway Age website report, 8-7-17]

CONDUCTOR INJURED AFTER FALLING FROM MBTA TRAIN: A conductor was injured after falling off a moving MBTA train in Waltham, Massachusetts, Aug. 7. The injury is described as serious, but not life threatening. [CBS Boston website report, 8-7-17]

NO INJURIES REPORTED IN S.C. TRAIN DERAILMENT: A dozen freight cars of a CSX train derailed in South Carolina, damaging the track and elaying a nearby passenger train. Multiple media outlets report the accident happened early Aug. 5 near Lugoff, northeast of Columbia. No injuries were reported, but a warehouse was damaged. Authorities believe a bulldozer parked near the track caused the derailment. [Cumberland Times-News website report, 8-6-17]

MOST HYNDMAN RESIDENTS ALLOWED TO RETURN HOME: Most Hyndman, Pa., residents returned to their homes Aug. 5 after results from air-quality samples showed no adverse impacts following cleanup of the CSX freight train derailment of Aug. 2. CSX said a reduced perimeter will be maintained around the derailment site to protect residents from the impact of restoration activity. [Cumberland Times-News website report, 8-6-17]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN BLOCKS GRADE CROSSING FOR MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS: Union Pacific has apologized for a train that blocked a Mason City, Iowa, railroad crossing for more than seven hours. The July 27 incident was initially blamed on a broken-down train, but the railroad later said the delay was due to replacing the crew which had reached its hours of service limit. [KCRG website report, 8-6-17]

MISSISSIPPI RAIL LINE TO BE RESTORED: Rail service for 90 miles of track between Grenada and Canton, Mississippi, will be restored thanks in part to a $7.5-million federal grant. The funding will be in addition to a $4.3-million state loan and $3.2-million in private money. The stretch includes the spot where Casey Jones died in a 1900 crash. [Fresno Bee website report, 8-6-17]

FIRES EXTINGUISHED FROM CSX DERAILMENT IN PA.: Firefighters on Aug. 4 extinguished a string of sulfur fires that broke out in Hyndman, Pa., where dozens of rail cars careened off the tracks and ignited Aug. 2. An evacuation of residents continued, and officials were awaiting results of air-quality tests in the area before determining when residents could be allowed to return home. [Business Insider website report, 8-4-17]

FEDS TO SEEK BIDS TO REPLACE AMTRAK ON CERTAIN LONG-DISTANCE ROUTES: The Federal Railroad administration has published a final rule, to take effect Sept. 5, for a new pilot program that would seek competitive bids from eligible petitioners to replace Amtrak as the operator of up to three long-distance routes. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-4-17]

CSX SUED OVER SEX DISCRIMINATION: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity commission has filed a lawsuit against CSX, claiming that it has been discriminating against women by using a physical strength test to determine employment eligibility. The commission accuses the railroad of conducting isokinetic strength testing as a requirement for such jobs as conductor or material handler, and the test has a discriminatory effect on women, who have been passing them at significantly lower rates than men. [Railway Age website report, 8-4-17]

TEEN STRUCK, KILLED BY NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN IN SHENANDOAH JCT, W.VA.: A 17-year-old boy was struck and killed Aug. 3 after running into the path of a moving Norfolk Southern train in Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., police reported. [Martinsburg Journal website report, 8-4-17]

EVACUATIONS REMAIN AFTER CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN HYNDMAN, PA.: Evacuations remain in effect Aug. 3 for residents of Hyndman, Pa., following a freight train derailment and fire. At least 32 cars derailed, some containing hazardous materials. CSX says it is unclear when residents will be able to return to their homes. Officials said they plan to let burning propane dissipate on its own, saing it's safer than trying to extinguish it. [Daily Mail website report, 8-3-17]

N.C. READIES TWO REBUILT LOCOMOTIVES FOR PASSENGER SERVICE: North Carolina has baptised two rebuilt locomotives for use on Amtrak's daily Piedmont service. Both locomotives - now named Town of Cary and City of Kannapolis - were originally built in 1990 for GO Transit system in Toronto. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-3-17]

JULY 2017 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Total U.S. rail freight traffic volume was 2,077,593 units in July 2017, an increase of 2.5 pct compared with July 2016, according to the Association of American Railroads. Calculated separately, intermodal volume rose 5.6 pct, while carload volume dropped 0.6 pct. This was the first monthly carload decline since Oct. 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-3-17]

G.E. COMPLETES FIRST OF 1,000 EVOLUTION SERIES LOCOMOTIVES FOR INDIA: GE Transportation has completed the first of 1,000 ES43ACmi broad-gauge diesel locomotives for Indian Railways as part of a $2.5-billion order. Known by Indian Railways as class WDG4G, the unit has a distinctive red and yellow paint scheme representing 'energy' and 'freshness.' [Railway Age website report, 8-3-17]

CHINA OPENS INNER MONGOLIAN HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: The autonomous region of Inner Mongolia joined China's high-speed rail network on Aug. 3 with the opening of the 78-mile Hohhot-Ulanqab section of the 178-mile Hohhot-Zhangjiakou high-speed line. Trains will operate at speeds up to 155 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-3-17]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS, BURNS IN HYNDMAN, PA.: Part of a CSX freight train derailed early July 2 in Hyndman, Pa., setting three train cars afire and prompting emergency evacuation to nearby homes. A residential garage struck in the derailment also caught fire. Some cars in the train were loaded with flammable liquid asphalt, but it was not immediately clear if these cars were any that derailed or burned. No injuries were reported. [WTAE website report, 8-2-17]

READING & NORTHERN TO RUN ANTHRACITE UNIT COAL TRAINS: In a development that harks back to the region's mining roots, Reading & Northern Railroad says it will operate anthracite unit coal trains as part of a major shipment destined for Ukraine. Xcoal Energy & Resources has arranged to ship 700,000 tons of coal for energy production to Ukraine by the end of this year, with half of that anthracite from Pennsylvania mines served by Reading & Northern. [Railway Age website report, 8-2-17]

MANY CSX SHIPPERS LOOKING TO OTHER OPTIONS: More than 80 pct of respondents to a Cowen & Co. survey of CSX service quality have experienced service issues since 'Precision Railroading' was initiated by the company under its new CEO Hunter Harrison. Nearly 40 pct of respondents have switched some freight to Norfolk Southern, and 67 pct have transferred some freight to a trucker, according to the survey. [Railway Age website report, 8-2-17]

FREIGHT RAILROADS TO BLAME FOR AMTRAK DELAYS IN INDIANA, COMPANY SAYS: Amtrak says freight railroads are to blame for the company's decline in on-time train performance in Indiana. The tracks are owned by freight railroads, Amtrak says, and almost all the recent delays have been caused by freight-train interference and dispatching decisions. The Indiana Dept. of Transportation is working with an engineering firm to solve the line's issues. It's looking into ways to shorten the travel time, such as rerouting the trains over different lines. [Chicago Tribune website report, 8-2-17]

HYPERLOOP STARTUP COMPLETES TEST IN NEVADA: Hyperloop One, which is looking to turn Elon Musk's vision for a high-speed transportation system into reality, successfully tested its technology in the Nevada desert. The pod reached 192 MPH. [Quartz website report, 8-2-17]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE IN JULY 2017: Twenty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in July 2017. The remaining 78 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 41 minutes late. In July of last year, 30 percent of trains arrived on time, and the remaining 70 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes late. The survey, both this year and last, was conducted without grace allowance. A train arriving minimally late, even by a minute, was considered as arriving late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-1-17]

CSX APOLOGIZES TO SHIPPERS OVER SERVICE ISSUES: CSX's CEO Hunter Harrison, in a letter to the railroad's customers, apologized for mounting service issues, citing the rapid pace of operational changes and blaming employees who have 'pushed back' against those changes. Harrison said that CSX will continue to address these internal personnel matters, and was recommitted to working with shippers to resolve service problems as quickly as possible. [Railway Age website report, 8-1-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Genesee & Wyoming reported second-quarter operating revenue rose 7.8 pct to $540.4-million, while operating income increased 16.2 pct to $101.3-million compared with the same quarter in 2016. Net income for the quarter was $46-million, compared with net income of $48.4-million in the same period last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-1-17]

FEDS ISSUE NEW SAFETY ALERT FOR TRACK WORKERS: The National Transportation Safety board has warned rail workers of the risks of working on tracks using only a lookout to provide the train-approach warning. The safety alert was prompted in part by the deaths of two rail workers who were struck by a train in South Dakota in January. Investigators found that the sight distance there was only about half of that required to allow at least 15 seconds before a train moving at track speed to pass the work location safely. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-1-17]

AMTRAK, LYFT ANNOUNCE RIDESHARE PARTNERSHIP: Amtrak and Lyft, a U.S. rideshare company, have partnered to allow customers to use the Amtrak mobile app to access the Lyft app to request a ride. Lyft operates in more than 360 communities across the U.S., reaching 97 pct of Amtrak riders. The partnership allows for a seamless end-to-end travel experience from doorstep to an Amtrak station. [Amtrak & Lyft, 8-1-17]

FALL RETURN OF WESTERN MD. SCENIC R.R. STEAM LOCOMOTIVE CANCELED: The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has canceled plans for an autumn return of its steam-powered locomotive. The railroad has been renovating its 1949 Baldwin 2-6-6-2 locomotive 1309, but flaws were found as it was being torn down for maintenance. It now appears that the locomotive will be ready for service in early 2018. [Cumberland Times-News website report, 8-1-17]

GO TRANSIT PLANS TORONTO, HAMILTON STATION UPGRADES: GO rail network stations across Ontario's Greater Toronto and Hamilton area will receive station improvements to ease congestion and provide faster, more frequent and more convenient service for commuters. [Railway Age website report, 7-31-17]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN MARKING NEBRASKA STATEHOOD: Union Pacific's 'Nebraska150 Express' heritage train, powered by a trio of E-9 diesels, will tour the state Aug. 4-6 to mark the 150th anniversary of Nebraska's entry into the union as a state. [Railway Age website report, 7-31-17]

N.C. LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT GETS OK TO MOVE FORWARD: The Durham-Orange light-rail transit project in North Carolina received approval from the Federal Transit administration to continue its engineering phase. The project's goals are to complete engineering and design, which is 30 pct finished, and raise half of the $2.5-billion in costs through capital investment grants in the next year or two. [Durham Business Journal website report, 7-31-17]

FIRST PHASE OF N.Y. PENN STATION TRACK REPAIRS ARE COMPLETE: Major work at New York's Penn Station is going well. Amtrak said phase one of the repairs is now complete. [N.Y. City Patch website report, 7-30-17]

DISNEYLAND RAILROAD REOPENS: The Disneyland Railroad in California reopened Saturday, July 29, 18 months after it was closed ahead of construction on the upcoming Star Wars themed land. [KTLA website report]

SPANISH COMMUTER TRAIN ACCIDENT INJURES OVER 50: More than 50 people needed medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early July 28. Damage was done to the train's nose and between the first and second car. The incident is being investigated. [ABC News website report, 7-28-17]

N.Y. SUBWAYS GETTING STABILIZATION PLAN: New York City's Metropolitan Transit authority has announced an immediate $836-million stabilization plan, the first part of which is to be completed within a year. Included are repairs and cleaning of trains and stations, added personnel and longer trains, more countdown clocks and clearer service updates, enhanced signal and track maintenance, improved reliability and safety, and the launch of a new management group. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-28-17]

N.Y. PENN STATION WORK 50 PCT COMPLETE: This week marks the halfway point for Amtrak's 'Summer of Renewal' for New York's Penn Station. Amtrak says the work is still on pace to be completed by Sepember 1. The work has focused on maintenance and repairs to the station's 21 tracks, with three tracks closed for work at a time. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-28-17]

BOMBARDIER REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Bombardier posted second-quarter revenue of $4.1-billion, down from $4.3-billion in the same period last year. Adjusted net income was $39-million versus an adjusted net loss of $83-million in the second-quarter last year. Bombardier Transportation - the company's rail segment - logged revenue of $1.98-billion compared with $1.96-billion. The news comes as the rail segment's operational transformation and site specialization strategy continues to gain traction, the company said. The entire company is in the midst of executing a five-year plan to improve operating margins. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-28-17]

FEDS WARN CSX ON SERVICE ISSUES: Growing concerns by shippers regarding service issues with CSX have prompted a response by regulators. The Surface Transportation Board has sent a letter to CSX expressing concerns over deteriorated service resulting from the railroad's recent operating changes. The board said it has received a number of informal complaints from the railroad's customers and others in the industry regarding increased transit times, unreliable switching operations, inefficient car routings, poort communications and coordination with CSX customer service, and acute disruption to customers' business operations. The board said it met this week with senior CSX officials in Washington, but did not reveal details. The developments echo a July 21 blog post by Railway Age editor in chief Bill Vantuono, relating concerns by railroaders from inside and outside CSX that the implementation of the company's 'precision railroading' was compromising the railroad. [Railway Age website report, 7-27-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN WINS CUSTOMERS FROM RIVAL CSX: Norfolk Southern says it is beginning to win over customers to its railroad amid disruptions at rival CSX, whose network is undergoing an extensive overhaul under its new chief executive, Hunter Harrison. The changes at CSX have disrupted operations for shippers, some of whom have seen days added to transit time. Harrison has told analysts that shippers need to brace for 'a little pain and suffering' amid the changes, which he says will ultimately lead to better and faster service. [Fox Business website report, 7-27-17]

PURCHASE OF 78 BALTIMORE METRO RAILCARS, NEW SIGNALING SYSTEM APPROVED: The Maryland Transit administration has awarded a $400-million contract to a joint Hitachi and Ansaldo venture to provide a new fleet of metro railcars and new signaling system. The new trains, to be built in Miami, will be available for service beginning in 2021. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-27-17]

G.E. MOVING LOCOMOTIVE PRODUCTION OUT OF ERIE, PA.: Leading locomotive manufacturer General Electric is shifting production of its diesel-electric locomotives from its facility in Erie, Pennsylvania, to Fort Worth, Texas, cutting 575 jobs. The company said the move comes on domestic sales of locomotives that have dropped 10 pct, and higher international orders. The Pennsylvania facility will continue to operate in design, engineering, prototype development and components production, GE said in a letter to employees. [Railway Age website report, 7-27-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 534,152 carloads and intermodal units handled by U.S. railroads in the week ending July 22, 2017, an increase of 1.1 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, however, carload volume fell 2 pct, the first decline in several weeks. Intermodal volume rose 4.1 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-27-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN HITS CATTLE TRUCK IN KANSAS: The eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief is running again after its collision with a cattle trauck near Reading, Kansas, early July 27. No serious injuries were reported when the trailer was split in half. Amtrak said the train, with 211 passengers on board, was delayed four hours by the accident. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-27-17]

SENATE PANEL RESTORES FUNDS FOR AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS: The U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development has approved a FY-2018 appropriations bill that would provide funding for Amtrak's long-distance routes. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-27-17]

SEATTLE WELCOMES BI-LEVEL CAB CAR: The first of nine Bombardier bi-level cab cars ordered by Sount Transit arrived in Seattle on July 24. It is due to enter passenger service in September. [Railway Gazette website report, 7-27-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported second-quarter net income of $497-million, up 23 pct year-over-year, driven by a 15 pct increase in income from railway operations, and a record operating ratio of 66.3 pct. [Norfolk Southern, 7-26-17]

PTC COULD CUT N.Y. PENN STATION'S TRAFFIC CAPACITY: Positive train-control, due for installation by the end of next year, could result in fewer trains that will be able to go through the Hudson River tunnels into New York Penn Station. An Amtrak official said the new system will force trains to brake sooner from the 60 MPH speed limit through the tunnels to the 15 MPH limit within Penn Station. Instead of the 24 or 25 trains in each direction the tunnels currently handle in an hour, the capacity will be reduced to 22 or 23 trains. The rollout of the technology will have an impact on station operations, the official said. [North Jersey website report, 7-26-17]

PATH SEES BOOST IN RIDERSHIP DURING PENN STATION REPAIRS: Thousands of additional New Jersey commuters are taking PATH trains into New York City while Amtrak completes repairs at New York Penn Station, Port Authority officials said. [N.J. News 12 website report, 7-25-17]

METROLINX IN SEARCH OF NEW RAIL OPERATOR: Metrolinx has issued a request for qualifications for an operator for its GO Regional Express Rail. Metrolinx aims to increase its number of weekly train runs from 1,500 to 6,000, and the agency seeks a company to operate and maintain service during its construction and expansion program. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-25-17]

WOMAN KILLED AFTER BEING STRUCK BY BRIGHTLINE TEST TRAIN: Authorities say a woman was struck and killed by a Brightline test train in Boca Raton, Florida, on July 24. The incident is being investigated as an apparent suicide. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-25-17]

CN REPORTS 2-Q OPERATING RESULTS: CN reported its second-quarter net income increased 20 pct to $1.031-billion (C) while diluted EPS increased 24 pct compared with the second-quarter of 2016. Operating income increased 16 pct to $1.495-billion (C). [CN, 7-25-17]

WEEKLY LONG-DISTANCE AMTRAK TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during the week ending July 23, 2017. The remaining 78 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 31 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-24-17]

MOTORIST KILLED WHEN VEHICLE STRUCK BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: A woman was killed when her vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train late July 24 in Guadalupe, California, authorities said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. [San Luis Obispo Tribune website report, 7-24-17]

CALTRAIN BREAKS GROUND ON ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT: Ground has been broken for Caltrain's electrification project. The agency will electrify its corridor between San Francisco and San Jose, and acquire new high-performance electric trains to deliver faster, more frequent service. Expected to cost $1.98-billion, the project is slated to be completed in 2021. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-17]

CSX DESIGNATES ALABAMA LOCATION A 'SELECT SITE': CSX has designated the South Alabama Mega Site in Bay Minette as a 'Select Site.' It is located between Mobile and Pensacola on CSX's mainline. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-17]

AMTRAK LOSES BID TO OPERATE HARTFORD COMMUTER LINE: A joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts has been chosen over Amtrak and three other bidders as operator of the Hartford Line, a commuter rail service to New Haven and Springfield that will open next year. [Connecticut Mirror website report, 7-24-17]

ALSTOM OPENS LOCOMOTIVE REPAIR CENTER IN KAZAKHSTAN: Alstom has inaugurated its first locomotive repair center in Astana, Kazakhstan. At more than 28,000-square-feet, the facility will accommodate overhauls of the Prima T8 and Prima M4 locomotives over the next 25 years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-17]

ONE DEAD AS NJT TRAIN STRIKES CAR: A 90-year-old driver was killed by an oncoming NJ Transit train in Hazlet, N.J., the afternoon of July 22. Authorities say the driver was attempting to go around the crossing gates when his vehicle was struck by a New York-bound train on the North Jersey Coast line. Service was suspended on the line but later resumed with residual delays. [NJ News 12 website report, 7-22-17]

RAILROAD PROJECTS UNDERWAY ON LIRR: One Hundred projects worth $5.6-billion are underway to help transform the Long Island Rail Road in New York. Work will add a third track along the main line, get rid of at-grade crossings, rebuild Jamaica Station and renovate 39 others. [The Construction Index website report, 7-21-17]

TWO TRAINS RECOMMENDED FOR GULF COAST ROUTE: In a new report issued by the Gulf Coast Working group and presented to Congress by the Federal Railroad administration, it was recommended that two Amtrak routes be considered for restoration in the Gulf Coast region: a daily round-trip between New Orleans and Orlando, and a daily round-trip between New Orleans and Mobile. According to a study, it is estimated that restoration of service would cost $117.6-million. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-21-17]

CSX CHIEF DEFENDS EARLY PROGRESS IN RESTRUCTURING: CSX's new chief executive officer Hunter Harrison is defending the restructuring progress made in the first four months of his tenure. The railroad has taken nearly 900 locomotives and 60,000 freight cars out of service, curtailed operations at some of its rail yards to eliminate redundancy, and laid off 2,300 people this year. Not all of these changes have paid off yet, Harrison said. Changing the operating model of a railroad is difficult because those who work there are accustomed to operating in a certain way, he said, adding that the level of resistance is about what he expected. [Inter-Mountain website report, 7-21-17]

BART 'FLEET OF THE FUTURE' TRAINS BEGIN DAYTIME TESTING: Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Francisco has begun daytime testing of its Bombardier 'Fleet of the Future' cars. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-21-17]

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Q-TRAIN DERAILMENT DISRUPTS SERVICE: No serious injuries were reported after a Q train derailed in Brooklyn, N.Y., early July 21, making for a rough commute on several lines. Officials said the second set of wheels on the second car came off the rails as it approached Brighton Beach. A rescue train was brought in to take the roughly 135 passengers off. [NY1 website report, 7-21-17]

TEAMSTERS, CP RATIFY LABOR AGREEMENT: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees and Canadian Pacific have ratified a new five-year labor agreement. [Railway Age website report, 7-21-17]

AMTRAK SERVICE RETURNING TO ROANOKE OCT. 31: Amtrak service will resume on October 31 to and from Roanoke, Virginia. Earlier service to the city ended in 1979. Restoration at a cost of $100-million began three and one-half years ago. The Roanoke-Washington run will take about five hours, and will seat 494 passengers on weekdays and 422 on weekends. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-21-17]

KCS REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Kansas City Southern reported second-quarter revenue of $656-million, up 15 pct over the same period a year ago, and a 6 pct increase in carload volumes. The company posted an all-time record quarterly operating income of $239-million, an increase of 9 pct. Diluted earnings per share were $1.27, and its operating ratio was 63.5 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-17]

CSX TO BEGIN DAILY INTERMODAL SERVICE IN N.C.: CSX and North Carolina Ports will begin a daily intermodal train service between Wilmington and Charlotte. Coined the 'Queen City Express,' the double-stacked train will begin on July 28. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-17]

PATH FUNDING APPROVED FOR SUBSTATION WORK: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a $134.5-million, four-year plan to replace two aging substations on the PATH rail system. Located in Jersey City and Harrison, N.J., the nearly 50-year-old substations sustained extensive damage during superstorm Sandy in 2012. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-17]

PROPOSAL FOR SECOND CHICAGO-ST. PAUL AMTRAK TRAIN ENTERS NEXT PHASE: A 'purpose and need' statement has been completed for a proposed expansion of daily passenger-rail service between Chicago and St. Paul by adding a second daily round-trip on the 418-mile Empire Builder route, the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation has announced. Intermediate stops would include Milwaukee, Columbus, Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Tomah, La Crosse, Winona and Red Wing. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-17]

N.Y. PENN STATION WORK 30 PCT COMPLETE, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak says that the improvement work at New York Penn Station is on schedule and that 30 pct of the overall project is now finished. One of the main areas of work is on No. 10 track, where new rails are being installed. The project is expected to be completed by Labor Day. [NJ News 12 website report, 7-21-17]

UNION PACIFIC Q-2 NET INCOME SOARS 19 PCT: Union Pacific reported second-quarter net income jumped 19 pct to nearly $1.2-billion, or a Q-2 record of $1.45 per share, compared with $1.17 per share in the same quarter last year. Total operating revenue climbed 10 pct, while freight revenue increased 11 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads moved 540,005 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 15, a 3.8 pct increase compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

EAST COAST GREENWAY BIKE PATH PROJECT ROLLING ALONG: The East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile bicycle path through 15 states that will connect Florida to Maine, could take another 25 years to complete at a cost of $1-million per mile. The project, which is funded by private donors and state governments, is one-third of the way toward completion. [Quartz website report, 7-20-17]

LIRR GETTING $5.6-B FOR INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES: New York State has unveiled a $5.6-billion initiative to improve Long Island Rail Road's infrastructure. The funds will allow for adding a third track to the main line, the systemwide reconstruction of track, switches, signaling and power substations, and will increase the railroad's capacity by more than 80 percent. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

METRA TO INSTALL SUICIDE-PREVENTION SIGNS: Metra has unveiled plans to install suicide-prevention signs on station platforms along each of its 11 lines. The signs will feature the suicide prevention hotline phone number. Front-line employees will get training to recognize individuals in distress and intervene when necessary. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

JAMES MEYER APPOINTED PRESIDENT, CEO OF FREIGHTCAR AMERICA: FreightCar America has appointed James Meyer president and chief executive officer effective July 31. He replaces Joseph McNeely who is leaving the company. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

BRITAIN CANCELS MAJOR RAIL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECTS: Britain will ditch plans to electrify the Midland main line between Kettering, Nottingham and Sheffield; the Great Western main line between Cardiff and Swansea; and the Windemere-Oxenholme branch in the Lake District. Bi-mode trains will be deployed on the Midland and Great Western, while work will begin in the Lake District using 'alternative fuel' trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-20-17]

CANADIAN PACIFIC POSTS RECORD 2-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific reported second-quarter net income soared 46 pct to $480-million (C) or $3.27 per diluted share, and revenue increased 13 pct compared with the same quarter last year. The company's record-setting second-quarter earnings were drived in part by increased grain, coal, potash, engergy products and metals shipments. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-20-17]

BOY LOSES LEG IN PHILADELPHIA TRAIN-JUMPING MISHAP: Authorities say a 13-year-old boy is in critical condition with a severed leg after he tried to jump onto a CSX train in Philadelphia late July 19, and missed. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-19-17]

RENOVATIONS BEGIN FOR NEWARK, DELAWARE, RAIL STATION: Ground was broken July 17 for improvements to the Amtrak train station in Newark, Delaware. Included will be a high-level platform, expanded parking and improved passenger amenities, according to the state's Dept. of Transportation. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-19-17]

FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS PURPLE LINE TO CONTINUE: A U.S. Court of Appeals has reinstated the environmental review for the Purple light-rail line in the D.C. area, which allows construction to begin even while there is a lawsuit over the project. However, it is unclear whether this will be enough for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to release millions in funding for the work. [Washington Times website report, 7-19-17]

CSX REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: CSX has announced second-quarter 2017 net earnings of $510-million or $0.55 per share, up from $445-million or $0.47 per share in the same period of last year. Excluding a $122-million restructuring charge, adjusted earnings per share would have been $0.64. [CSX, 7-18-17]

CSX TO PAY $3.9-M IN CRASH THAT KILLED MOVIE CREW MEMBER: CSX must pay $3.9-million to the family of a movie worker killed on a Georgia railroad trestle in 2014 in a jury decision that found the railroad shared in the blame for the deadly freight train collision, even though the film crew was trespassing. [USA Today website report, 7-18-17]

'FOSSIL FUELS ARE DEAD,' CEO OF CSX SAYS: The CEO of CSX warns that the days of transporting and burning coal are numbered. "Fossil fuels are dead," Hunter Harrison said, adding, "That's a long-term view. It's not going to happen overnight. It's not going to be two or three years, but it's going away, in my view." [Huffington Post website report, 7-19-17]

CSX PLANS RENOVATIONS TO HEADQUARTERS BUILDING: CSX wants to renovate its downtown Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters at a cos of $1.85-million. The city is reviewing a building permit to renovate the 15th-floor executive offices. Projects also include modifications to the lobby area and several other locations. [Jacksonville Daily Record website report, 7-18-17]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO ELIMINATE ITS CENTRAL DIVISION: Norfolk Southern plans to consolidate its Central Division in Knoxville, Tennessee, into three of its surrounding divisions. Effective about Nov. 1, the company will reduce its number of divisions from 10 down to nine. The Central Division will be divided among divisions headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama; Decatur, Illinois; and Fort Wayne, Indiana. [Norfolk Southern, 7-18-17]

TALGO RAMPS UP RAILCAR OVERHAUL IN MILWAUKEE: Talgo has begun refurbishing rail cars in Milwaukee under a contract with Los Angeles, having received its first Red Line car at the plant last month. Talgo is using the plant in Milwaukee's Centry City business park where it once built high-speed trains. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-18-17]

KIEV ORDERS 40 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Kiev tram operator Kyivpastrans has selected Pesa Poland for a $70-million contract to supply 40 low-floor light rail vehicles. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-18-17]

D.C. AREA GETTING NEW RAIL SAFETY COMMITTEE: The House of Representatives has passed legislation giving the Washington D.C. area a new rail system safety commission. The legislation comes after the Federal Transit administration had required Maryland, Virginia and D.C. to develop a safety-monitoring system. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-17-17]

UNION PACIFIC'S 'LIVING LEGEND' STEAM LOCOMOTIVE DELIVERS LOOK AT HISTORY: Union PLacific's No. 844 steam locomotive will provide a closeup look at American transportation history as it departs July 20 for community stops in Colorado and Wyoming. [Union Pacific, 7-17-17]

CSX DONATES CHESSIE-PAINTED LOCOMOTIVE TO LAKE SHORE RWY MUSEUM: As a tribute to its rail lineage, CSX has donated 1980 General Electric B30-7 locomotive 8272 to the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society. Before transporting the unit to the museum, located in North East, Pa., CSX repainted it to its original, 'as delivered' Chessie System paint scheme. [CSX]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 16, 2017. The remaining 77 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 56 minutes late. The data comprehend no grace allowance for trains that arrive minimally late by showing them as on time. Trains that arrive even one minute late are considered late. Accordingly, this analysis represents are more realistic report than what is typically furnished by Amtrak for public consumption. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-17-17]

D.C. METRO FIRES TRACK SUPERVISOR FOR OVERTIME ABUSE: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit authority has dismissed a track department supervisor for overtime abuse. The agency determined the employee received 'significant overtime earnings,' even during times when he wasn't working. Other employees were placed under administrative review following an interim report from the agency's inspector general, which is investigating potential fraud in overtime pay. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-17-17]

TWO TRAINS GET STUCK IN HUDSON RIVER TUNNEL: A northbound Amtrak train with 170 people on board and a New Jersey Transit train behind it with 800 people were considerably delayed July 15 when the Amtrak train became disabled due to a power issue in the Hudson River tunnel. The Amtrak train was eventually towed into Penn Station and the NJ Transit train was able to reverse direction to Secaucus. The situation resulted in a number of delays to other trains as well. [Spectrum News website report, 7-15-17]

SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM PLANS EXPANSION: The Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Ga., is planning its largest expansion project since it moved to its current site about two decades ago. The museum, designated Georgia's Transportation History Museum, aims to open a 21,000-square-foot rail transit exhibit building this fall. The facility will house four tracks for the display of at least eight historic rail cars, along with space for other exhibits. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-15-17]

NO MORE NAPS ON THE RAILROAD, CSX SAYS: CSX's new boss has nixed naptime. Hunter Harrison, CSX's CEO, will no longer allow operating crew members to take a nap when there is nothing else to do, such as when their train is being delayed while waiting for an opposing train to arrive. Most U.S. railroads do allow naptime under defined conditions, noting that crew fatigue is a recognized issue in a number of railway accidents. CSX allowed it too, for more than two decades, but no longer under instructions issued recently. [Fox Business website report, 7-14-17]

COURT RULES ON AMTRAK 'ON-TIME' PERFORMANCE ISSUE: A federal court of appeals has ruled in favor of freight railroads who had appealed a Surface Transportation Board effort to define Amtrak on-time performance. The STB's effort was part of an investigation into delays when Amtrak trains operate over privately-owned railroads, which the freight railroads challenged. The court vacated the STB rule defining such performance. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-14-17]

FIRST FEW DAYS OF REDUCED SERVICE TO N.Y. PENN STATION A SUCCESS, OFFICIALS SAY: New York Penn Station commuters braced for the worst as repairs to the station began July 10, but the first few days were considered a success by transit agency officials. Passengers did experience minor delays, slight overcrowding and confusion, but overall they experienced a commute without any major problems as many of them arrived early in anticipation of chaos. Amtrak says repairs will last through August and end promptly on September 1. [National Assn. of R.R. Passenges hotline, 7-14-17]

FREIGHT SERVICES INDEX REACHED RECORD LEVEL IN MAY: The Freight Transportation Services Index reached an all-time high in May 2017 at 126.8, besting the previous record of 126.0 in February 2017, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-14-17]

RAIL CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT CO. GETS NEW NAME: Rail Construction Equipment Co. has rebranded itself as RCE Equipment Solutions Inc. The new name reflects the company's 'growth and diversification goals,' RCE officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-14-17]

CONNECTICUT TURNS LOCAL TO ADD HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Connecticut is reviewing alternative local options for adding high-speed rail through a 100-mile shorline stretch north from New Haven. The action follows the federal government's rejection for high-speed rail through a number of communities. [New Haven Register website report, 7-13-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending July 8, 2017, U.S. railroads registered 453,080 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.4 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-13-17]

ALPENGLOW RAIL ACQUIRES VIP RAIL: Denver-based company Alpenglow Rail has completed its acquisition of VIP Rail, a short-line in Sarnia, Ontario. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-13-17]

UNION PACIFIC CONSOLIDATES MANAGEMENT AT COUNCIL BLUFFS SERVICE UNIT: Union Pacific is consolidating management of its Council Bluffs Service Unit with the Twin Cities, North Platte and Chicago service units, effective July 15. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-13-17]

AMTRAK STATION UNDERWAY IN SCHENECTADY: Crews have begun demolition of the 1970's-era Amtrak station in Schenectady, N.Y. The demolition will make way for a new $23-million station. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-13-17]

30TH STREET STATION PLAZA DESIGN PROPOSAL UNVEILED: Key features of the 30th street Station plaza in Philadelphia will include a new west portico entrance for improved pedestrian access, a stairwell that will connect to the planned SEPTA-Amtrak underground connection, and the relocation of taxi queues to zones on the northeast and northwest sections of the station. Construction of the plaza is expected to begin around 2020, according to Amtrak. [Philly Voice website report, 7-13-17]

MAN CHARGED IN BURNING OF R.R. TRESTLE IN MISSISSIPPI: A Grenada, Mississippi, man faces felony charges for burning a railroad trestle spanning the Yalobusha River in Mississippi over the July 4 weekend. Grenada Railroad officials estimate repairs will cost up to half a million dollars, and the work could take a month or more. [Delta Daily News website report, 7-12-17]

RETURN OF GULF COAST AMTRAK TRAIN IS 'NOT WORKABLE,' CSX SAYS: A top CSX executive has told a Louisiana newspaper that the return of passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast is not workable due to federal on-time standards. At issue is the presence of 17 drawbridges on the route east of New Orleans, requiring priority to maritime traffic. Another issue is the requirement of positive train-control, which the route is not equipped for. [North Escambia website report, 7-12-17]

FEDS ABANDON PLAN FOR NEW ENGLAND HIGH-SPEED RAIL BYPASS: Federal officials have pulled back on their plan to authorize construction of a 30-mile high-speed inland rail line through southeastern Connecticut shoreline communities. The 'Kenyon Bypass' had been intended to provide a straighter route to replace the slower, curving line that now exists along the shoreline. The proposal was also intended to provide a route that is not so vulnerable to major storm surges and flooding. Instead, the master plan will now identify infrastructure to address capacity, speed restrictions and flooding along the present route. [Hartford Courant website report, 7-12-17]

WEEKEND DELAYS IN STORE FOR BALTIMORE PENN STATION: Amtrak and MARC train service through Baltimore will be subject to delays during the next two weekends as Amtrak makes track upgrades at Penn Station. [Baltimore Sun website report, 7-12-17]

AMTRAK CONSIDERING TIGHTER ECONOMY-CLASS SEATING: Amtrak says the company is considering a less-comfortable economy-class of seats that could allow it to pack in more customers. [Reuters website report, 7-12-17]

FIRST SUCCESSFUL TEST COMPLETED OF A HYPERLOOP: Hyperloop One has conducted the first real-world test of a hyperloop, the the propulsion, magnetic levitation, vacuum tube, braking and pod all worked as expected. The pod reached 70 MPH in five seconds, but the company hope to reach speeds of 700 MPH. [Wired website report, 7-12-17]

RONALD BATORY SELECTED FOR FRA CHIEF: The White House has announced the nomination of Ronald L. Batory, recently retired president and chief operating officer of Conrail, as the next Federal Railroad administrator. [Railway Age website report, 7-11-17]

MAN FOUND DEAD ON CSX TRACKS IN CUMBERLAND, MD.: Cumberland, Md., police said that a man was found dead early July 11 as a CSX train traveled through the city. Police say it appears the man died after being struck by a train. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-11-17]

OVERALL, THINGS WENT SMOOTHLY 1ST DAY OF N.Y. PENN REPAIRS: For hundreds of thousands of commuters heading into New York July 10, the first day of disruptions due to repair work at Penn Station, there was some confusion, a bit of overcrowding and some delays, yet no major problems at the start of what figures to be an arduous two-month period. [Albany Times Union website report, 7-10-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN HITS CAR IN VIRGINIA, KILLING DRIVER: Authorities say an Amtrak train hit a car crossing tracks in Richmond, Va., late July 9. Police say the driver ignored the activated warning system. [U.S. News & World Report, 7-10-17]

GRUPO MEXICO COMPLETES FEC ACQUISITION: Grupo Mexico has completed the acquisition of Florida East Coast Holdings through Grupo's transportation business unit. [Railway Age website report, 7-10-17]

'SUMMER OF HELL' BEGINS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: Amtrak is beginning extensive repairs July 10 to tracks and signals in New York's Penn Station. For several hundred thousand commuters and Amtrak passengers, this means fewer trains during peak periods, the result of track closures to accommodate the repairs. The work is schedule to continue through the end of August. [, 7-10-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 9, 2017, according to the Bull Sheet. The remaining 79 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-10-17]

CHINESE HIGH-SPEED SLEEPER TRAIN ENTERS SERVICE: China Railwy's new fleet of CRH2E 155-MPH sleeper trains have entered service on the Beijing-Shanghai route. The 16-car electric multiple-units can accommodate up to 880 passengers. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-10-17]

STOCKHOLM CITY LINE OPENS: Commercial operations began July 10 on the $2-billion, 3.7-mile Stockholm City underground rail line between Tomteboda and Stockholm South. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-10-17]

NJT TRAIN DERAILS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: A New Jersey Transit train derailed late July 6 at New York's Pennsylvania Station. Officials say one car derailed around 8:55 P.M. No injuries were reported among the 180 people on board, and the agency temporarily suspended service into and out of the station, diverting trains to Hoboken. [ABC7 New York website report, 7-7-17]

SPEED SEEN AS CONTRIBUTING TO CASCADES TRAIN DERAILMENT: On July 2, Amtrak Cascades train 506 derailed as it headed north toward Seattle. The train, which was carrying 267 people, derailed just before the Chambers Bay drawbridge near Tacoma. There were only minor injuries as the locomotive, baggage car and two passenger cars left the tracks and tilted sideways. Investigators revealed the train was speeding before it derailed. Amtrak said the train failed to slow to the required 40 MPH before the drawbridge, and as a result a derail switch designed to avoid a collision if the drawspan is open was activated. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-7-17]

SIX EMPIRE SERVICE TRAINS TO USE GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL THIS SUMMER: Amtrak plans to reroute six Empire Service trains each weekday to and from Grand Central to alleviate pressure on Penn Station during planned repairs this summer. Train involved are numbers 230, 233, 235, 236, 239 and 242. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 7-7-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Total U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending July 1, 2017, was 546,361 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.2 pct compared with the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-6-17]

NEW MAYWOOD, ILLINOIS, METRA STATION OPENED: Officials from Maywood, Illinois, have cut the ribbon for its new Metra station. The nearly 900-square-foot heated structure replaces an outdoor shelter. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-6-17]

AUSTRIA REPORTS TRAFFIC GROWTH IN PASSENGER RAIL: Austria's railway network carried 288.8 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 6.4 million from 2015, according to a rail regulator annual report. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-6-17]

HUDSON TUNNEL PROJECT COULD HIT NEARLY $13-B, REPORT SAYS: Building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and fixing the existing one could cost nearly $13-billion - a steep increase over an earlier estimate of $7.7-billion, according to a report released July 6. Construction could begin by fall 2019 and be open in spring 2026, the report said. [N.Y. Times website report, 7-6-17]

AMTRAK'S VERMONTER RESUMING FULL SERVICE FOLLOWING FLOOD DAMAGE: Amtrak's Vermonter trains 56 and 55 will resume full service July 5 and 6, respectively, following repairs to 800 feet of track damaged in West Hartford, Vermont, over the past weekend. My Champlain Valley website report, 7-5-17]

REHABBED SOUTH FERRY TERMINAL OPENS: New York has reopened its South Ferry terminal complex, marking a major milestone in its superstorm Sandy recover and resilience efforts. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 7-5-17]

FEDS ANNOUNCE $537-M LOAN TOWARD N.Y. PENN STATION PROJECT: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has announced a $537.1-million loan to help improve New York's Penn Station. [ report, 7-5-17]

CHINA TESTING TRAIN TO ALTERNATELY DRAW POWER FROM GRID OR BATTERY: China is experimenting with a new type of electric train that can switch seamlessly between the power grid and its onboard batteries for continuous travel. The train's battery pack gives the train a range of about 124 miles. [China Daily, 7-5-17]

CN TRAIN DERAILS IN ILLINOIS, SPILLING OIL: Cleanup efforts continued July 1 in Plainfield, Illinois, after a Canadian National train carrying crude oil derailed early June 30. Officials confirmed that oil leaked from two of the cars and a possible third car, and a total of 20 cars had derailed overall. One estimate suggested as much as 45,000 gallons of oil had leaked from the two cars. No injuries were reported. [Chicago Tribune website report, 7-3-17]

KANSAS CITY TO PURCHASE TWO ADDITIONAL STREETCARS: The Kansas City Streetcar authority has received apporoval to purchase two additional streetcars. Including spare parts and inspection support, the total price of the units is $11.9-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-3-17]

AMTRAK CASCADES TRAIN DERAILS IN WASHINGTON STATE: The locomotive and several cars of a northbound Amtrak Cascades train derailed near Steilacoom, Washington, just south of Tacoma, July 2, yielding only minor injuries, but disrupted the operations of a key railroad corridor linking the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. The accident is under investigation. [Seattle Times website report, 7-2-17]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFOMANCE IN JUNE 2017: Twenty percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in June 2017, according to the Bull Sheet. The remaining 80 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 32 minutes behind schedule. The train that was the most consistently late in June was the Capitol Limited, between Washington and Chicago, which arrived behind schedule, in both directions, each and every day of the month. The last day the Capitol Limited arrived at its final destination on time was May 30. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-1-17]

FRANCE OPENS TWO HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE EXTENSIONS: French National Railways officially opened two extensions to its TGV Atlantique network July 1 - Tours to Bordeaux and Le Mans to Rennes. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-1-17]

GREENBRIER REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: For the Greenbrier Cos. third-quarter ending May 31, the company reported net earnings of $32.8-million or $1.03 per diluted share, compared with $35.3-million or $1.12 per diluted share during the same quarter last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-30-17]

AMTRAK BEGINS MAKING N.Y. PENN STATION REPAIRS: Although the 'Summer of Hell' for New York's Penn Station commuters won't officially start until July 10, Amtrak has already begun replacing key infrastructure systems and tracks in the busy transportation hub. [Midtown Manhattan Patch website report, 6-30-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. railroad combined carload and intermodal unit volume for the week ending June 24, 2017, increased 3.6 pct compared with traffic during the corresponding week last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-29-17]

BRIGHTLINE TRAINS TO RUN ON BIODIESEL: Florida Power & Light will provide clean biodiesel to fuel Brightline trains. Under its two-year contract, the utility will supply two million gallons of the fuel annually. The fuel is produced from renewable sources such as corn, soybeans and used cooking oil. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-29-17]

SEATTLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE WILL CROSS FLOATING BRIDGE: It has not been done anywhere else in the world. Running train across a floating bridge is described as an amazing engineering and planning feat. Washington State officials are moving forward with the project, now four decades in the making, by adding light-rail service to Seattle's East Side. Construction is expected to to last more than three years, and work will be limited to specific months to limit distress on the bridge. [King5 website report, 6-29-17]

SIEMENS TO SUPPLY BREMEN WITH 67 AVENIO LRV'S: Siemens has been awarded a contract to supply a German operator with 67 Avenio light-rail four-section trams with an option for up to 17 more. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-29-17]

TWO CSX WORKERS STRUCK, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN D.C.: Two CSX employees - a conductor and a trainee -were killed by an Amtrak train in Washington DC late June 27. The incident occurred in an area where Amtrak and CSX tracks are adjacent to each other, and the CSX employees had alighted from their stopped train for the purpose of inspection. The Amtrak train was southbound number 175 with 121 passengers on board. There were no injuries to those on the Amtrak train, but there were significant delays to trains between then and the following morning. [NBC Washington website report, 6-28-17]

SUBWAY TRAIN DERAILS IN N.Y., 34 INJURED: A subway train that derailed June 27 in New York City injuring 34 people was evidently caused by an improperly secured piece of replacement rail that was stored on the track, transit officials said. [Fox News website report, 6-28-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRANDED IN VIRGINIA FOR FIVE HOURS: An Amtrak train en route to Newport News was stranded on the tracks near Charles City, Va., for more than five hours after the train was damaged from hitting debris on the track. Eighty-four passengers were affected, and they were finally off-loaded and continued their journey by chartered bus. [Roanoke Times website report, 6-28-17]

AMTRAK TO OFFER DISCOUNTS FOR TRAVELERS TO CARBONDALE FOR ECLIPSE: Amtrak is offering 30 pct discounted tickets for passengers traveling to southern Illinois to view the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. The coast-to-coast eclipse will pass above Carbondale, and the discounts are offered from Aug. 16 to 22 on the Illini and Saluki trains. [Southern Illinoisan website report, 6-28-17]

RICHARD ANDERSON TO BECOME AMTRAK'S PRESIDENT, CEO: Amtrak has named longtime aviation executive Richard Anderson as its president and co-CEO effective July 12. He will succeed Wick Moorman, who will share the CO-CEO title until the end of the year. Anderson, 62, is former CEO of Delta and Northwest airlines. [Railway Age website report, 6-26-17]

JUDGE REJECTS MARYLAND'S ARGUMENT TO BEGIN PURPLE LINE CONSTRUCTION: A U.S. district judge has rejected a plea from Maryland to let it move ahead with construction of the Purple light-rail line project pending litigation. The decision revolves around his rejection of an environmental review of the project. [Washington Post website report, 6-26-17]

CHINA'S FASTEST BULLET TRAIN MAKES ITS DEBUT: China's indigenous next-generation bullet train with a maximum speed of 249 MPH made its debut June 26 on the country's busiest Beijing-Shanghai line. [Economic Times website report, 6-26-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Just 16 percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 25, 2017. The remaining 84 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-26-17]

FREIGHT TRAIN PUNCTUALITY IMPROVING ON CSX: Three months into CEO Hunter Harrison's tenure at CSX, freight trains are running 10 pct faster and the percentage of on-time arrivals has rised from 58 to 79 pct. Harrison, 72, is working to better balance the number of trains traveling in one direction with those traveling the other, which improves locomotive efficiency and reduces the number of crews having to shuttle back in vans while on the clock. CSX is also working to schedule more pickups over seven days, and to streamline blocking in order for more trains to bypass yards en route to their destination. [Bloomberg website report, 6-23-17]

DOZEN INJURED AS CAR COLLIDES WITH LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN IN N.J.: At least 12 people were injured after a car and a New Jersey Transit light-rail train collided in downtown Jersey City late June 22. All injuries were minor, including those of one train passenger. The Hudson-Bergen line was suspended in both directions between Essex street and Exchange place for about an hour. [ report, 6-23-17]

L.A. METRO APPROVES GOLD LINE EXTENSION: Los Angeles County Metro has approved a $1.4-billion budget to extend the Foothill Gold Line 11.5 miles east to Claremont. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-23-17]

ALSTOM LANDS ORDER FOR 38 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FOR OTTAWA: Rideau Transit Group has awardd Alstom at $300-million (C) contract to supply 38 Citadis Spirit low-floor light-rail vehicles for the second-stage O-Train expansion in Ottawa, which received federal funding June 16. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-23-17]

GREAT LAKES BASIN CLARIFIES ROUTE OF PROPOSED RAIL LINE: Great Lakes Basin Transportation has clarified to the Surface Transportation board upon its proposal to build at new railroad through Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, bypassing Chicago. The company said the line would not be built through populated areas of any incorporated cities. The counties along the route are Lake, Porter, LaPorte (in Indiana); Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, LaSalle, Grundy, Kankakee (in Illinois); and Rock (in Wisconsin). The purpose of the line is to expedite freight shipments and would connect with several railroads at various points. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-23-17]

SEIMENS ACQUIRES MRX TECHNOLOGIES: Siemens has acquired MRX Technologies Group, a provider of condition monitoring for rolling stock and rail infrastructure and inspection systems for rail networks. MRX is headquartered in Australia. [Railway Age website report, 6-23-17]

LIRR THREATENS TO WITHHOLD FUNDS TO AMTRAK DUE TO PENN STATION REPAIRS: The Long Island Rail Road has threatened to withhold nearly $46-million from Amtrak as a result of the repairs to occur at Penn Station later this summer. Amtrak says such a move would violate a long-standing agreement and would only excerbate the station's many challenges. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 6-23-17]

L.A. METRO RETIRING OLD BLUE LINE RAIL CARS: The Los Angeles County Metro has announced the retirement of its Nippon Sharyo P865 Blue Line rail cars, which will be replaced with new Kinkisharyo P3010 units. Older cars will be dismantled for parts, scrapped, or used for training or ceremonial displays. Each of the 67 cars was named for a city or community along or near its route. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-22-17]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPPED IN MID-MAY: Class I railroads employed 149.032 workers in the U.S. as of mid-May, down 0.05 pct from mid-April, and down 2.42 pct from the year-ago figure, according to the Surface Transportation board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-22-17]

SEPTA TO PERFORM TROLLEY TUNNEL REPAIR PROJECT IN JULY: SEPTA will perform trolley-tunnel repairs in Philadelphia's center city requiring closing its tunnel from July 7 to 17, during which time crews will perform maintenance and construction, and install new trolley wire. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-22-17]

MARYLAND'S PURPLE LINE PROJECT AT A TIPPING POINT: Officials in Maryland have asked an appeals court to make an emergency ruling to allow construction of the Purple light-rail line to start after a lower court ruled in favor of opponents. Construction was scheduled to begin last year, but work cannot begin until an environmental study is approved by the courts. [Washington Post website report, 6-22-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reports total U.S. rail freight traffic, carloads and intermodal units, in the week ending June 17, 2017, increased 5.2 pct compared with the same week in 2016. [Railway Age website report, 6-21-17]

N.Y. PENN STATION REPAIRS TO COST UP TO $40-M, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak's summer repair program to New York's Penn Station will cost between $30-million to $40-million in wages, materials and other expenses, the company says. [WKZO website report, 6-21-17]

BOMBARDIER LANDS $1.1-B U.K. CONTRACT FOR 750 AVENTRA PASSENGER CARS: Bombardier Transportation has signed a $1.1-billion contract with FirstGroup and MTR Corp. to supply and maintain 750 Aventra passenger rail cars for operation on the South Western franchise in the U.K. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-20-17]

PACT SIGNED FOR RAIL MOVEMENT OF IRON ORE FROM NEWFOUNDLAND TO QUEBEC: Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway and Champion Iron subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore have signed a contract for transportation of iron ore concentrate from Labrador City, Newfoundland, to Sept-Iles, Quebec. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-20-17]

GE TO SUPPLY 100 EVOLUTION SERIES LOCOMOTIVES TO EGYPT: GE Transportation has signed a $575-million letter of intent with Egyptian National Railways to supply 100 ES30ACi Light Evolution Series locomotives for freight and passenger services. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-20-17]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN COLORADO, PROMPTS EVACUATIONS: A BNSF train derailed in east Boulder, Colorado, the afternoon of June 20, prompting nearby businesses to evacuate over hazardous material concerns and causing a traffic snarl. No one was injured. [Boulder Daily Camera website report, 6-20-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 18, 2017. The remaining 77 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 47 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-19-17]

METRO-NORTH PRESIDENT TO RETIRE: After orchestrating a dramatic turnaround of Metro-North, Joseph Giulietti is retiring at the end of the summer as the railroad's president. [Hartford Courant website report, 6-18-17]

CSX, NS EXPECT COAL GROWTH TO SLOW AS YEAR GOES ON: The surge in coal shipments that began last fall will likely continue through the end of this year, although the growth will drop off, executives from CSX and Norfolk Southern say. [State Journal website report, 6-18-17]

NEW LIRR CONCOURSE OPENS AT N.Y. PENN STATION: A new Long Island Rail Road concourse opened June 15 at Penn Station in New York, an initial step in the renovation of Moynihan Station. Located across the street from Penn Station, the concourse improves access to 17 of the 21 train platforms serving Long Island, N.J. Transit and Amtrak trains. The renovated Moynihan Station is scheduled to be completed in 2020. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 6-16-17]

ST. LOUIS BREAKS GROUND ON NEW CORTEX METROLINK STATION: Metro Transit St. Louis has broken ground for the new Cortex MetroLink station, the 38th station on the light-rail system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-16-17]

NEARLY 70 JOBS ELIMINATED AT CSX HUNTINGTON LOCOMOTIVE SHOP: Nearly 70 jobs have been eliminated at the CSX locomotive shop in Huntington, W.Va., the company said, but nearly 270 positions remain. [WSAZ website report, 6-16-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES BACKHOE IN VIRGINIA: One person was trapped after a backhoe went over a bridge June 16 in Bedford County, Va., and was struck by an Amtrak train. The man was slightly injured, and was charged with reckless driving. [WSLS website report, 6-16-17]

FIVE KILLED IN RAIL CROSSING ACCIDENT IN ILLINOIS: Five people, all above the age of 77, were killed when the car in which they were traveling was struck by a train on a crossing late June 14 in Pana, Illinois. One of the sheriff's deputies responding to the scene happened to be the grandson of two of the passengers - his grandmother and grandfather. [Illinois Home Page, 6-15-17]

TALGO TRAIN REACHES 193 MPH ON SAUDI HIGH-SPEED LINE: Testing of Saudi Arabia's 281-mile Haramain high-speed line reached a milestone June 15 when a Talgo train reached 193 MPH on the section of line between King Abdullah Economic City and Medina. Operating speed on the line, when it opens, is planned for 186 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-15-17]

TEQUILA HERRADURA EXPRESS UP & RUNNING IN MEXICO: The oldest tequila producer in the world has teamed up with Mexico's largest railroad to relaunch a train experience that emphasizes both education and entertainment. A newly-rebranced version of the Tequila Herrandura Express features eight recently-refurbished passenger cars that transport visitors from Guadalajara to Casa Herradura every Saturday on a 90-minute journey each way. The train can accommodate up to 400 passengers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-14-17]

AMTRAK TO BUILD $28-M LOCOMOTIVE SERVICE FACILITY IN SEATTLE: Amtrak will build a $28-million locomotive service facility in Seattle. This is Amtrak's third major investment in the facility, which provides services for the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Cascades, and maintenance for Sound Transit trains. The project includes demolition of the site's existing buildings and construction of a new 31,000-square-foot shop. The project is expected to be completed in 2019. [Amtrak, 6-14-17]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Total U.S. rail traffic was 545,317 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.2 pct for the week ending June 10, 2017, compared with the same week in 2016, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 6-14-17]

NEW AMTRAK STATION OPENS ON CHICAGO-ST. LOUIS LINE: The Illinois Dept. of Transportation has opened a new Amtrak station along the Chicago-to-St. Louis rail line. Located in downtown Pontiac, the 1,350-square-foot building features a peaked roof, glass facade and free Wi-Fi. The station will serve passengers on Amtrak's Texas Eagle and Lincoln Service trains. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-13-17]

BRIGHTLINE TO BEGIN SERVICE WITH DISCOUNTED FARES: The new Brightline rail service linking Miami to West Palm Beach with a stop in Fort Luaderdale will start with 'deeply discounted fares' when it takes its first runs in late summer, the company says. Brightline would not reveal the introductory fare structure, but said the cost would be less than that of driving a car. [Miami Today website report, 6-13-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 11, 2017. The remaining 78 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-12-17]

ISRAEL TO DOUBLE RAIL NETWORK BY 2040: Israel Railways has presented details of a $34.9-billion 2040 strategic plan of ambitious proposals to double the size of its rail network over the next two decades with high-speed trains connecting key centers. Plans call for growth from 766 miles to 1,598 miles, with the number of stations increased from 68 to 120. Passenger train fleet will almost triple. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-12-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $68-M IN IOWA INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Union Pacific will invest $68-million this year for rail infrastructure projects in Iowa. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-12-17]

PORT OF NEW ORLEANS TO ACQUIRE PUBLIC BELT R.R.: The Port of New Orleans will take over the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. In exchange, the railroad will transfer wharves to the city. The railroad will continue to serve the port, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-12-17]

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED BY MARC CAMDEN LINE TRAIN: All MARC train Camden line service was suspended early June 9 in the middle of the morning rush because a pedestrian was struck and killed on the tracks in Elkridge, Md. [WBAL website report, 6-9-17]

UNION PACIFIC PLANS $24-M IN INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS INARIZONA: Union Pacific will invest $24-million in projects to improve its infrastructure in Arizona this year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-9-17]

WABTEC LANDS $22-M PTC CONTRACT WITH BELT RWY OF CHICAGO: Wabtec has obtained a contract worth $22-million to design, install and commission a positive train-control system for the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-9-17]

METRO-NORTH BEGINS WATERBURY BRANCH IMPROVEMENTS: Metro-North has begun track improvement projects on its Waterbury branch. Included are crossing improvements in Ansonia and Waterbury, Connecticut, brush-cutting and welding of rail joints. Work is scheduled for June 9-11 and June 16-18. Buses will be substituted for trains during the work. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-9-17]

AMTRAK INTRODUCES NEW DINING CAR MENUS: Amtrak has introduced new dining car menus on the majority of its long-distance trains. French toast has returned at breakfast; and new items include chicken, bacon and cheddar quesadillas and Thai-spiced pulled coconut port sliders at lunch; and seared shrimp and chicken and bacon fettucine carbonara entrees at dinner. The dinner selections have been expanded to six distinct offerings, in addition to a new field & sea combo of the flatiron steak and seared shrimp. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 6-9-17]

WASHINGTON METRO RETIRING OLDER CARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: By the first of July, all of Washington DC Metro's 1000 and 4000 series rail cars are expected to be retired. They had earlier been slated for retirement by the end of the year. The agency will replace the units with newer, more reliable 7000-series cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-8-17]

VALLEY METRO BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON 50TH STREET STATION: Valley Metro in Phoenix began construction June 8 on the 50th street-Washington station, expected to open in 2019. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-8-17]

MAY 2017 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2017 increased 6.4 pct compared with May 2016. [Railway Age website report, 6-8-17]

WORK FOR FASTER TRAINS ON LOUISVILLE & INDIANA R.R. UNDER WAY: Work has begun in central Indiana on a railroad project that will boost the speed of freight trains from 25MPH to 49MPH. Crews are now upgrading the line as part of Louisville & Indiana Railroad's plan for faster and longer trains between Indianapolis and Louisville. [U.S. News & World Report, 6-8-17]

PAKISTAN ADDS 20 GE LOCOMOTIVES: GE Transportation will provide Pakistan Railways with 20 C20EMP locomotives, a follow-on order to 55 Evolution series units ordered in 2015, of which 32 are in service. These lighter-weight, 2000-HP locomotives will be operated in freight and passenger service. [Railway Age website report, 6-8-17]

KEVIN QUINN NAMED ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, MD. TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION: Kevin B. Quinn Jr. has been named acting administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration, replacing Paul Comfort. [Fox 45 News website report, 6-7-17]

'DRESS REHEARSAL' FOR NEW FRENCH HIGH-SPEED LINES: With just 25 days remaining before the start of commercial operations on two new high-speed rail lines, French National Railways carried out parallel test tuns using two TGV sets on June 7, Described as a 'dress rehearsal,' the aim was to validate theoretical travel times in real conditions and evaluate the technical performance of rolling stock. [International Railway Journal webstie report, 6-7-17]

'TRIP OPTIMIZER' TO BE INSTALLED ON LOCOMOTIVES IN BRAZIL: GE Transportation and Brazilian mining company Vale have agreed to install GE's Trip Optimizer on more than 100 Vale locomotives operating across Brazil. Trip Optimizer is an automated cruise control system that analyzes route topology and conditions to create an optimally fuel-efficient plan. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-7-17]

CSX SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE CEO'S REIMBURSEMENT: CSX shareholders have approved an $84-million compensation package for E. Hunter Harrison to serve as chief executive officer. Based on preliminary results, 93 pct of votes were cast in favor of the reimbursement, which is tied to compensation Harrison gave up when he left his post at CP to join CSX. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-6-17]

SOUTH SHORE LINE TRAIN DERAILS IN CHICAGO: A South Shore Line commuter train experienced what is described as a 'low-speed derailment' entering the Randolph street station near Chicago's Millennium Park the afternoon of June 6, causing extensive delays during the evening rush. Two people sustained minor injuries. [ABC7 Chicago website report, 6-6-17]

AMTRAK TRAIN KILLS PERSON ON TRACK IN MARYLAND: A man was struck and killed by southbound Amtrak train 183 while the individual was trespassing on the tracks near Rosedale, Md., early June 6. [WBAL-TV website report, 6-6-17]

MBTA BREAKS GROUND ON BLUE HILL AVENUE STATION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority on June 5 broke ground on the Blue Hill Avenue station on the Fairmount rail line. The facility is expected to open in 2019. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-6-17]

PORT OF OAKLAND SEEKS MORE RAIL BUSINESS: With two 'outstanding partners' in Union Pacific and BNSF, the Port of Oakland is ready to move more cargo via rail, the port's executive director told a meeting of the North American Rail Shippers Association. "Everyone in Oakland would like to see more cargo move in an out of the city on rails than over the road," he said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-6-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $34.1-M IN IDAHO RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific will invest $34.1-million this year with a range of infrastructure initiatives in Idaho, including maintenance of track and bridges. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-6-17]

ALSTOM TO MODERNIZE L.A.'S LRV FLEET: Alstom has been awarded a contract worth more than $140-million to perform the midlife overhaul of 52 P2000 light-rail vehicles operating on the Los Angeles Blue, Green and Expo lines. [Railway Age website report, 6-6-17]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Exactly one-third of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 4, 2017. The remaining two-thirds, on average, arrived one hour and 15 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-5-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $36-M IN COLORADO INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific plans to invest $36-million into its Colorado rail infrastructure in 2017, part of the company's $3.1-billion capital plan for the year. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-5-17]

FEDS NEED MORE INFO ON GREAT LAKES BASIN PROPOSAL: The Surface Transportation board has told Great Lakes Basin Transportation that its application to create a new Midwest freight-rail line is incomplete, and gave the company until June 22 to provide more information. The company has proposed to operate a 261-mile rail line that would extend around Chicago. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-5-17]

AMTRAK MAKING QUALIFYING RUNS FOR STARTUP OF ROANOKE SERVICE: Amtrak has begun operating non-scheduled, non-revenue trains between Lynchburg and Roanoke, Va., to train and qualify crews for new, extended Northeast Regional service expected to start in the fall of this year. [Railway Age website report, 6-5-17]

SEPTA APPROVES SOLAR PROJECT AT SHOPS: SEPTA has authorized the installation of solar photovoltaic systems at four bus and rail shops across Philadelphia. The project is a key initiative in the agency's sustainability program. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-5-17]

WOMAN STRUCK, KILLED BY COMMUTER TRAIN IN MASSACHUSETTS: Authorities say a woman trespassing on the track near the Lynn, Massachusetts, rail station was struck and killed by a commuter train late June 2. [Boston Globe website report, 6-3-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO INVEST $41-M ON OKLAHOMA RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific plans to invest approximately $41-million this year in its Oklahoma rail infrastructure. [News on 6 website report, 6-3-17]

EXTENSION OF HEARTLAND FLYER INTO KANSAS BEING EXPLORED: There will be a one-way inspection train June 9 from Oklahoma City to Kansas City in order for Amtrak to evaluate the section of BNSF right-of-way and explore the possibility of extending the Heartland Flyer north to Newton, Kansas, where it could connect with the Southwest Chief. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 6-2-17]

DEVELOPMENT OF D.C. SUBURB PURPLE LINE ON HOLD: Following a decision by a U.S. district judge requiring new studies for the Purple light-rail line in Maryland, officials have decided to mostly suspend development and construction of the project. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 6-2-17]

CLEVELAND BREAKS GROUND ON NEW CAMPUS STATION RAIL HUB: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit authority has broken ground on its new Campus Station, which will be served by the Red, Green and Blue rail lines. Expected to be completed in late 2018, the hub is located on the site of an existing station near the Cuyahoga Community College Metro campus in downtown Cleveland. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-2-17]

D.C. STREETCAR REAR-ENDS BUS: A streetcar rear-ended a bus in Washington D.C. early June 2. Officials say 10 people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. [Washington Post website report, 6-2-17]

CSX CLOSES LOCOMOTIVE SHOP AT AVON YARD IN INDIANA: CSX has shut down the locomotive repair facility and laid off some employees at the Avon, Indiana, rail yard. The hump yard, which sorts rail cars, is still in operation. [Indy Channel website report, 6-2-17]

GE ROLLS OUT FIRST EVOLUTION SERIES LOCOMOTIVE FOR INDIAN RAILWAYS: The first 1676mm-gauge Evolution Series locomotive for Indian Railways was unveiled at GE's plant in Erie, Pa., on June 1. GE has a $2.5-billion contract to supply 1,000 six-axle locomotives over an 11-year period. The first 100 locomotives will be built in Erie; the remaining 900 units will be constructed in India. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-2-17]

MAY 2017 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier during the month of May 2017. The remaining 72 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 31 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-1-17]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN WYOMING: BNSF is investigating the derailment of eight rail cars carrying vehicles that occurred May 24 in Rozet, Wyoming, east of Gillette. The railroad said all of the vehicles involved in the derailment will be scrapped. There were no injuries. [U.S. News & World Report website report, 6-1-17]

GENESEE & WYOMING ACQUIRES HEART OF GEORGIA R.R.: Genesee & Wyoming has completed its acquisition of the parent of Heart of Georgia Railroad which operates 219 miles of track leased from the Georgia DOT. The railroad connects with Genesee & Wyoming's Georgia Southwestern at Americus and Genesee & Wyoming's Georgia Central at Vidalia. It also connects with CSX at Cordele, and Norfolk Southern at Americus and Helena. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-1-17]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the first 21 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported combined carload and intermodal unit traffic increased 4.2 pct compared with the same period in 2016, according to the Association of American Railroads. [Railway Age website report, 5-31-17]

UNION PACIFIC TO SPEND $85-M ON ILLINOIS INFRASTRUCTURE: Union Pacific will pursue $85-million in infrastructure projects this year in Illinois. The plan includes $70-million to maintain track and $10-million to maintain bridges, the company said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-31-17]

AMTRAK ANNOUNCES SERVICE CUTS DURING N.Y. PENN STATION TRACK REHAB: Starting July 10 and continuing through Sept. 1, Amtrak will reduce the number of its trains traveling between Washington and New York. Three round-trip trains between the cities will be canceled, although service between New York and Boston will continue at current levels. Three round-trip Keystone trains will truncate back to Philadelphia, and one round-trip will start and end at Newark, N.J. The long-distance Crescent will begin and end at Washington with connections being provided to and from New York and intermediate points on Northeast corridor trains. These reductions will ease the congestion at New York during planned track rehabilitation work. [Washington Post website report, 5-31-17]

AMTRAK SUES D.C. UNION STATION OVER DELTA AIR LINE ADS: Amtrak is suing the management of Washington Union Station over wall advertisements inside the terminal promoting Delta Air Lines. Amtrak says its lease prohibits Union Station from allowing competitors to advertise inside. Amtrak says it competes with Delta for passengers, including in the Northeast. [NBC Washington website report, 5-31-17]

JOHN HELLMANN NAMED CHAIRMAN OF GENESEE & WYOMING: John C. Hellman, president and CEO of Genesee & Wyoming, has been appointed chairman of the board. He replaces retiring Mortimer Fuller, great grandson of the company's founder. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-30-17]

BRUCE WIGENT DIES, FORMER UTU VICE-PRESIDENT: Former United Transportation Union vice-president Bruce Wigent died May 25. He was 73. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-30-17]

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 May 28, 2017. The remaining 75 percent, on average, arrived one hour and 34 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-29-17]

CN, UNION REACH TENTATIVE DEAL TO AVOID RAIL STRIKE: Canadian National Railway and Teamsters Canada have reached an agreement in principle on a new collective agreement, averting a possible strike that could have started early May 30. Teamsters represent more than 3,000 conductors, train and yard workers. [CBC News website report, 5-29-17]

SEATTLE-PORTLAND AMTRAK SERVICE SUSPENDED UNTIL MAY 30: Amtrak Coast Starlight and Cascades trains are suspended until May 30 due to a landslide. Normal operations continue north of Seattle and south of Portland. [Amtrak, 5-28-17]

MAN ARRESTED AFTER LOCKING HIMSELF IN CAB OF ENGINE, BLOWING WHISTLE: Spokane, Washington, police responded to a report of a man locked inside a locomotive engine May 27. The man had started the engine and was blowing the whistles. BNSF staff disabled the engine, and pepper spray was put into the cab through an open window. The 40-year-old man, who has a previous criminal record, was suspected to be under the influence of drugs. [KXLY website report, 5-27-17]

PORT EVERGLADES TO EXPAND CONTAINER CAPACITY: The Broward County, Florida, commissioners have approved plans for a $437.5-million expansion of the Port Everglades container facility by adding new berths for larger cargo ships and installing infrastructure for new container cranes. The Southport Turning Notch project will lengthen the existing deepwater area for cargo ships from approximately 900 feet to 2,400 feet, which will allow for up to five new cargo berths. [Railway Age website report, 5-26-17]

FIRM APPOINTED TO OVERSEE N.Y. PENN STATION TRACK REPAIRS: Amtrak has appointed HNTB Corp., an infrastructure planning, engineering and construction management company, to oversee track renewal work at New York's Penn Station. Amtrak is taking every step to ensure that the needed work is accomplished on schedule over the summer, the railroad said. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 5-26-17]

NARP MOVES TO NEW OFFICE LOCATION: The National Association of Railroad Passengers has moved to a suite at 1200 G Street, N.W., Washington. It is easily accessible from the Metro Center and close to Capitol Hill. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers hotline, 5-26-17]

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, as of May 25. Norfolk Southern freight trains 25A, 215, 216, 240, 241, 282 and 295 have been 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]

THREE TRACKS TO BE CLOSED DURING N.Y. PENN STATION WORK, AMTRAK SAYS: Three tracks at a time will be closed at New York's Penn Station as part of extensive repair work that is expected to inconvenience thousands of rail commuters this summer, an Amtrak official said. [Minneapolis Star Tribune website report, 5-25-17]

NJT TO LOWER SOME RAIL FARES DURING N.Y. 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]

GE OPENS 'MISSION CONTROL FOR TRAINS' IN TEXAS: General Electric, which builds railroad locomotives in Fort Worth, has opened its mission control center to digitally track the performance of 17,000 vehicles worldwide. The center is the latest step as the company aims to keep pace with a digital revolution in industries, such as railroads, with heavy machines being equipped with artificial intelligence. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram 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]

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]

GO TRANSIT TURNS 50: Government of Ontario Transit began operating on May 23, 1967, as a 14-stop commuter rail line from Hamilton to Pickering. Today, GO Transit accommodates about 70 million trips per year on seven rail lines Moving forward, Ontario is undertaking the largest commuter rail project in Canada to bring even more GO rail service across the region. [Railway Track & Structures website report]

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]

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]

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. [ 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. [, 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. [ 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]

HARRY STEGMAIER DIES, RAIL HISTORIAN, WRITER: Dr. Harry L.Stegmaier Jr., noted railroad researcher, writer and train rider, died Febr. 16, 2017, at his home in Frostburg, Md. He was 74. The author of a number of books on railroading, particularly the B&O, he was a professor of history at Frostburg State University. [B&O Railroad Historical Society]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BART TRAIN BREAKS DOWN IN VULNERABLE SPOT: 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]

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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