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N.Y. STATE GETS APPROVAL FOR NEW RAIL BRIDGE OVER GENESEE RIVER: The federal government has given New York state the go-ahead to build a new rail bridge over the Genesee River to replace the historic Portageville Bridge. Construction of the $71-million span will last three years and will carry the rail line over the river in Letchworth State Park in Livingston and Wyoming counties. [WCAX website report, 12-31-14]

ATLANTA STREETCAR INAUGURATED: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority launched public services Dec. 30 on the city's first modern streetcar line, marking the opening with three months of free travel on the 2.7-mile route. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-31-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 27, 2014, with 252,100 total carloads, up 9.2 pct compared with the same week in 2013. Intermodal volume was 181,238 units, up 5.4 pct. Combined carloads and intermodal units were up 7.6 pct. For the full 52 weeks of 2014, carloads were up 3.9 pct, and intermodal units were up 5.2 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-31-14]

TWO KILLED IN COLLISION WITH TRAIN IN MINNESOTA: Police say two people were killed after their car was struck by a freight train at a crossing near Warroad, Minnesota, Dec. 31. A Ford Focus reportedly slowed at a stop sign but did not stop before heading across the tracks. There were no injuries to the train crew, police said. [WRCB-TV website report]

RELOCATION OF BNSF YARD IN S.D. UNDER CONSIDERATION: The city of Sioux Falls, S.D., is assessing the feasibility of removing a BNSF yard from downtown. Numerous studies and reports have identified the site as a prime location for economic redevelopment. If BNSF sells the land west of the old Great Northern depot to the city, existing tracks east of the depot would be maintained for the railroad's operation, and two 3,400-foot sidings would be built to accommodate interchanges with the Ellis & Eastern Railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-30-14]

CHINA'S TWO TOP MANUFACTURERS OF HIGH-SPEED TRAINS PLAN TO MERGE: China's two largest makers of bullet trains, CNR and CSR, will merge into a company called CRRC, with the goal of creating a globally-competitive producer. China has the world's biggest bullet-train network, but its trains are based on French, German and Japanese technology. Beijing is trying to develop its own bullet trains to secure a foothold in a growing global network. [Fox News website report, 12-30-14]

BANGLADESH INVITES BIDS FOR LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: Bangladesh Railway has issued a request for bids for the supply of a fleet of 70 meter0gauge diesel-electric locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-30-14]

AMTRAK'S NEW ROUTE OF VERMONTER BEGINS: The Vermonter's reroute through the 'Knowledge Corridor' in western Massachusetts began Dec. 29, providing service to Greenfield, Northampton, and eventually Holyoke. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-29-14]

UNION, NORFOLK SOUTHERN REACH TENTATIVE PACT WITH LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has reached a tentative contract agreement with Norfolk Southern governing rates of pay and work rules for more than 4,500 locomotive engineers. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 12-29-14]

NEW HAVEN, SHORE LINE EAST FARE HIKES TAKE EFFECT JAN. 1: Fares on the New Haven Line and Shore Line East in Connecticut will increase one pct across all categories Jan. 1, 2015, the Connecticut Dept. of Transportation announced. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-29-14]

MAN STRUCK, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: Authorities are investigating the death of a man who was struck and killed Dec. 29 by an Amtrak train in Ventura County, California. [KCLU website report]

BOMBARDIER LANDS ORDER FOR 42 DOUBLE-DECK TRAINS FOR PARIS SUBURBAN LINE: Ile-de-France Transport authority and SNCF Mobility have placed an order with Bombardier for 42 Regio 2N double-deck electric multiple-units for delivery starting in Sept. 2017. The 8-car trains will operate on Line R of the Paris suburban network. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-29-14]

BEIJING OPENS 37 MILES OF NEW METRO LINES: Beijing opened 37 miles of new metro lines Dec. 28, expanding its network to 327 miles, with the launch of a new line and three extensions of existing lines. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-29-14]

LOCOMOTIVES BEING RENOVATED AT UTAH'S GOLDEN SPIKE: National Park Service engineers at the Gold Spike National Historic Site in Promontory, Utah, are working alongside contractors to conduct a once-in-every-15-years renovation of working replicas of the Union Pacific 119 and the Central Pacific Jupiter steam locomotives. The originals of these two engines made history when they met at this site May 10, 1869, upon completion of the first transcontinental railroad. [Standard Examiner website report, 12-27-14]

AMTRAK'S CHRISTMAS EVE LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PEFORMANCE: The Bull Sheet's statistical department has documented Amtrak's long-distance train performance, comprehending arrival time at final destination, for Dec. 24. Thirty-six long-distance trains were tracked by the survey. The average arrival of these trains as a group was 35 minutes late. Of the 36 trains surveyed, 20 arrived at their final destination on time. The remaining 16 trains arrived at their final destination, on average, one hour and 19 minutes behind schedule. The following day, Christmas day, trains were mostly on time arriving at their final destination, with only two trains arriving behind schedule. Typically, Christmas day has light freight traffic along host railroads, if indeed any freight trains operate at all. The complete survey for the holiday season, beginning Dec. 20 and continuing until after New Years day, will be presented on this site upon conclusion.

METRA TRAIN KILLS PERSON IN CARY, ILLINOIS: Trains on the Metra Union Pacific northwest line were significantly delayed early Dec. 26 after a train struck and killed a person near the Cary, Illinois, depot. The incident is under investigation. [Fox 32 news website report, 12-26-14]

CSX TRAIN STRIKES TANK TRUCK IN OHIO: The Ohio Highway Patrol says an empty tank truck that had stalled on a crossing was struck by a CSX train Dec. 26 in Eaton Township, Ohio. There were no injuries. [WKYC 3 website report, 12-26-14]

CHINA OPENS ANOTHER HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: China has opened its newest high-speed rail extension connectig the cities of Urumqi and Lanzhou in the Xinjiang region. The trains are expected to cut travel times in half with speeds reaching 155 MPH. The line is one of several projects to connect cities throughout China, including the Beijing and Lanzhou line slated for completion in 2017. [Business Insider website report, 12-26-14]

BABY BORN ON PHILADELPHIA SUBWAY TRAIN CHRISTMAS DAY: A pair of Philadelphia transit police officers rushed to a subway train stopped at the 15th and Market streets SEPTA station Dec. 25 to assist in the delivery of a baby boy. Both the mother and baby are now in good condition at a local hospital. [Town Hall website report, 12-25-14]

BNSF EMPLOYEE FOUND DEAD IN RAIL YARD: Lincoln, Nebraska, police are investigating the death of a 62-year-old BNSF employee found dead in the city's rail yard early Dec. 25. A coworker discovered the body when the man did not return from a routine yard assignment. Officials say the death does not appear to be suspicious, but an autopsy is being performed. [WOWT NBC Omaha website report, 12-25-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 20, 2014, with 307.598 total carloads, up 6 pct compared with the same week in 2013. Intermodal volume was 272,961 units, up 6.8 pct. Combined carloads and intermodal units was 580,559, up 6.4 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-24-14]

ATLANTA STREETCAR TO OPEN DEC. 30: The 2.7-mile Atlanta streetcar line will be officially opened for service on Dec. 30, the city has announced. [Railway Age website report, 12-24-14]

TAZEWELL, VA., TRAIN DEPOT ADDED TO STATE'S LANDMARKS REGISTER: The Tazewell, Va., railroad depot, last used as a freight station in the 1970's, has been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register. Sources of funding are being sought to restore the structure. [Bluefield Daily Telegraph website report, 12-24-14]

EMPIRE BUILDER RETURNING TO REGULAR SCHEDULE JAN. 12: Amtrak will resume operating the Empire Builder on its regular schedule and route through northern North Dakota in both directions, effective with the departures of Jan. 12, 2015. Three additional hours eastbound and 90 minutes westbound had been added to the schedules west of Saint Paul to accommodate host railroad BNSF construction projects. BNSF is committed to work to improve the train's performance going forward. [Amtrak, 12-23-14]

CROSSTIE PRODUCTION DROPS IN NOVEMBER: Crosstie production in Nov. 2014 tumbled 18.4 pct to 1.68 million units, and purchases fell 12.1 pct to 1.7 million units, compared with Oct. 2014 levels, according to the Railway Tie Association. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-23-14]

HONOLULU TRANSIT-RAIL PROJECT COSTS EXCEED ORIGINAL BUDGET: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit's rail project cost could be at least $500-million more than the original budget, according to a financial plan unveiled by the authority's board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-23-14]

ALSTOM LANDS TWO SWEDISH TRAIN MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS: Alstom has been awarded two contracts for the maintenance of 82 regional trains in Sweden. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-23-14]

CAR STRUCK BY TRAIN IN OHIO; DRIVER CHARGED WITH DRIVING AROUND GATE: Dan Adams, 28, of Toledo was cited Dec. 22 for driving around a lowered railroad gate, for operating a vehicle on a suspended license in Fostorio, Ohio, and his car was struck by a Norfolk Southern train. [Toledo Blade website report, 12-23-14]

CATALONIA RAILWAYS INTRODUCES NEW TRAINS: Catalonia Government Railways has added the first two of seven new 3-car class 114 trains purchased from a CAF-Alstom consortium for is standard-gauge Barcelona metro line L7. The trains entered service on Dec. 23. [International Railway Journal website report]

RUSSIA TO ALLOCATE $108-3-M FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Russia announced Dec. 23 that it will allocate $108.3-million from the 2015 federal budget toward survey and design work for the 478-mile Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail project. [International Railway Journal website report]

MAN CHARGED WITH SETTING FIRE TO CSX LOCOMOTIVE: A man was charged with second-degree arson Dec. 22 in Huntington, W.Va., in connection with a fire that damaged a parked CSX locomotive, according to the Huntington Fire Department. [Huntington Herald-Dispatch website report, 12-22-14]

SEPTA TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS MAN NEAR 30TH STREET STATION: A SEPTA Trenton Line train struck and killed a man as the train approached Philadelphia's 30th street station late Dec. 21. About 100 passengers on board the train were transferred to another train. The incident is under investigation. [Fox 29 website report, 12-22-14]

CHICAGO TRANSIT'S DAMEN STATION RESTORATION COMPLETED: The Chicago Transit Authority reopened the Damen Blue Line station Dec. 22 following a $13-million modernization. [Progressive Railroading website report]

CONNECTICUT SEEKS SERVICE PROVIDER FOR NEW HAVEN-HARTFORD-SPRINGFIELD LINE: The Connecticut Dept. of Transportation has issued a request for qualifications seeking a service provider to operate the Amtrak-owned, 62-mile-long New Haven-Hartford-Springfield passenger-rail line beginning in late 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-22-14]

SIERRA NORTHERN NAMES NEW CEO: Sierra Northern Railway's board and appointed Kennan Beard III chief executive officer of the 75-mile short line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-22-14]

RAILWAY AGE NAMES HUNTER HARRISON 'RAILROADER OF THE YEAR': E. Hunter Harrison, chief executive officer of Canadian Pacific, has been named 2015 Railroader of the Year by railroad industry trade journal Railway Age. [Railway Age website report, 12-22-14]

REPORT SAYS 600-MPH HYPERLOOP IS POSSIBLE: Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk has proposed a 600-MPH bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The train, called a 'hyperloop,' would be propelled by low air pressure and magnetic acceleration. A report by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said the $16-billion train is viable and could transport people between the two cities in less than one hour. [USA Today website report, 12-22-14]

AMTRAK, GREYHOUND EXPAND THRUWAY BUS CONNECTIONS: People in Nashville and Gary are now able to more easily access the Amtrak national network in a partnership with Greyhound. Also, passengers traveling between Indianapolis and points north to Chicago will have the option of traveling in one direction by train and returning by bus, booked through Amtrak. This is an extension of ticketing already in effect between Chicago and Louisville via. Indianapolis. [Amtrak, 12-22-14]

UPGRADING OF NIGERIAN MAIN LINE COMPLETED: A group of Turkish companies has handed back the 151-mile Port Harcourt-Enugu rail line to Nigerian Railways following the completion of an upgrade to the southern section of the main line to Kaduna. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-22-14]

RAIL UPGRADE PROPOSED FOR INDIANAPOLIS-LOUISVILLE LINE: A proposal from Louisville & Indiana Railroad to upgrade more than 100 miles of rail line calls for CSX to spend up to $100-million to improve tracks between Indianapolis and Louisville. Once completed, trains could travel as fast as 49 miles per hour in certain areas, with loads close to 286,000 pounds per car. The improvements could also increase the number of trains. [Home Town Stations website report, 12-21-14]

NYC SUBWAYS SLOWLY UPGRADING FROM DEPRESSION-ERA SIGNAL TECHNOLOGY: New York City's subways depend largely on a signal system that dates back to the Great Depression. Dispatchers still monitor most trains from 22 underground 'towers,' and they still put pencil to paper to track their progress. The system is slowly being replaced by digital technology, but it could take at least 20 years for the city's 700 miles of tracks to be fully computerized. [Tulsa World website report, 12-21-14]

THAILAND SEEKS JAPANESE PARTNERSHIP FOR NEW RAIL PROJECTS: Thailand is talking to Japan with a view to building three rail routes connecting Bangkok with cities in different directions. A modern rail network would boost Thai trade and tourism. Thailand has already agreed to use Chinese firms to build a 456-mile dual-track from Nong Khai to ports and industrial zones in the east. [Taipei Times website report, 12-21-14]

INDIA PLANNING TOP RAIL STATIONS WITHIN THREE YEARS: By 2017, India will have five or six top-class railway stations on the pattern of Grand Central Terminal in New York or Austerlitz Terminal in Paris, a top Railway board official has said. Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia, and the world's second largest under one management. [NRi Cafe website report, 12-21-14]

CHINA COMPLETES GUIYANG-GUANGZHOU RAIL LINE: Construction of the 532-mile link from Guiyang to Guangzhou, the first high-speed rail line in China's southwest Karst region, was completed Dec. 21, with test operations set to begin within the week. [International Railway Journal website report]

ISRAEL BEGINS TRACK-LAYING ON NEW LINE: Track-laying has started on Israel's 37-mile Valley line linking Haifa with Sheikh Hussain bridge over the River Jordan, where it will eventually be connected to the Jordanian rail network. [International Railway Journal website report]

SOUND TRANSIT APPROVES FUNDS FOR LIGHT-RAIL EXPANSION: Sound Transit's board has approved a $1.2-billion 2015 budget that continues major light-rail expansions and prepares for a future Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-19-14]

L.A. AIRPORT BOARD'S MODERNIZATION PLAN FEATURES NEW RAIL LINK: The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved a $4-billion modernization project that will include construction of an automated train system linking the L.A. International Airport with the planned Crenshaw Line station at 96th street-Aviation boulevard. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-19-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN BECOMES MEMBER OF CAMPBELL INSTITUTE: In recognition of its environmental, health and safety leadership, Norfolk Southern has been accepted for membership in the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council. Campbell Institute recognizes world-class performers in EHS management, including some of America's best-known companies. [Norfolk Southern, 12-19-14]

RAIL CONGESTION BLAMED FOR HIGHER ELECTRICITY COSTS: Analysts are blaming railroads' congestion from the oil boom for difficulties in moving coal, leading to higher electricity costs. Utilities that use coal say that railroads from places such as North Dakota and Texas now lack the capacity to make timely deliveries of coal. [The Hill website report, 12-19-14]

TIGER COOL EXPRESS ADDS 35 CONTAINERS TO ITS FLEET: Tiger Cool Express has acquired 35 domestic temperature-controlled containers to add to its fleet. The acquisition marks a 17.5 pct increase in the fleet's size. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-19-14]

CHINA BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON LHASA-NYINGCHI LINE: China Railway Corp. has begun construction of a 250-mile line linking Lhasa in Tibet with Nyingchi, close to the disputed Indian border region of Arunachal Pradesh. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-19-14]

CALIFORNIA TO CONSIDER NEW BULLET-TRAIN ROUTE INTO BAKERSFIELD: Bakersfield, California, settled an environmental lawsuit Dec. 19 against the bullet train project, winning a concession by the state to consider a new rail route into the city's downtown. [L.A. Times website report, 12-19-14]

CONVICTED LEADER OF N.J. RAIL THEFT RING FACES NEW CHARGES: Edward Mongon, 40, convicted leader of a group called the 'Conrail Boyz,' who was sentenced to 13 years for racketeering in 2004 but released on parole in 2008, has been indicted along with nine alleged accomplices on fresh charges of looting freight trains in New Jersey, prosecutors said. [Virginia Gazette website report]

BELGRADE-BUDAPEST HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE TO BE BUILT: China has signed an agreement with the governments of Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia for the construction of a new 124 MPH high-speed railway between Belgrade and Budapest. [Global Rail News website report, 12-19-14]

HONOLULU SEEKS ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR RAIL PROJECT: The Honolulu Authority for Rapd Transportation says it is six to seven months behind schedule on the city's $5.2-billion rail-extension project, and will need $700-million in additional funds for construction delays and lawsuits that drove up costs delaying the project. [KITV-TV website report, 12-18-14]

WEEKLY COAL CARLOADS HIT 2014 HIGH: U.S. railroads originated 119,710 coal carloads during the week ended Dec. 13, up 7.8 pct from the corresponding week a year ago, and the highest total this year, the most weekly carloads since the week ending Aug. 31, 2013. [Platts website report, 12-18-14]

UNION PACIFIC FILES SUIT AGAINST METAL COMPANY: Union Pacific has filed a lawsuit against CML Metals, alleging the company owes the railroad $2.3-million for unpaid freight bills. [The Spectrum website report, 12-18-14]

UPDATE ON IDEA FOR RAIL LINE FROM CHINA TO U.S.: Wang Mengshu, one of China's top railway construction engineers, shared his idea earlier this year of a China-Russia-Alaska-Canada-U.S. rail line which would start in northeastern China, go through Russia, cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile-long tunnel, traverse Alaska, then Canada to the U.S. The trains would travel about 220 miles per hour, transporting passengers and cargo in less than two days. However, Mr. Wang said the project was 'merely speculative,' and had not been considered seriously by the Chinese authorities. The countries outside China that would be involved have not made any public comments. [N.Y. Times website report, 12-18-14]

CSX REOPENS CHICAGO LOCOMOTIVE SHOP: CSX has reopened its Chicago locomotive shop at Barr Yard in Riverdale, Illinois. The facility had been shut down in 1992. It will be fully operational in February 2015, and will support the maintenance and repair of 120 locomotives per month with a staff of 23. Through a $4.5-million investment, the railroad renovated the facility with a refurbished turntable, new drop table, and new Jib and H-beam cranes. [Railway Age website report, 12-18-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 13, 2014, with 312,271 carloads, up 12.1 pct compared to the same week last year, and 280,337 intermodal units, up 4.5 pct. Combined rail freight traffic - carloads and intermodal units - was up 8.4 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-18-14]

BLET MEMBERS RATIFY PACT WITH CSX: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen members have ratified a new collective agreement with CSX. The pact governs pay rates and work rules for more than 4,800 locomotive engineers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-18-14]

SENATE PASSES BILL TO EXTEND SHORT-LINE TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2014: The short-line tax credit is just one step away from a one-year extension. The U.S. senate passed H.R. 5771 to extend the section 45G tax credit through the 2014 tax year, if the President signs the measure. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-18-14]

FEDS EXTEND OVERSIGHT OF CN-EJ&E MERGER ANOTHER TWO YEARS: The Surface Transportation Board has extended for two years its oversight of CN's acquired control of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway. CN acquired EJ&E in 2008 and merged the line into its operations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-18-14]

N.Y. STATE GRANTS $17.9-M FOR RAIL PROJECTS: New York State has awarded grants totaling $17.9-million for the passenger & freight rail assistance program to 12 rail projects for repairing and replacing 65 miles of track and ties, rehabilitating grade crossings and bridges and constructing new connections. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-18-14]

FEDS TO REVIEW NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S PLANTO PURCHASE D&H LINE: The Surface Transportation Board said it will review plans by Norfolk Southern to buy Delaware & Hudson's 282-mile rail line between Schenectady and Sunbury. Norfolk Southern would pay $217-million for the line, which connects with its Southern Tier line in Binghamton. [Albany Times Union website report, 12-18-14]

'JAZZ' TRAIN DELIVERED TO ABRUZZO REGION IN ITALY: Alstom has delivered the new train 'Jazz' to the Abruzzo region in southern Italy at the Pescara rail station. The Jazz is part of the 70 regional trains ordered by Trenitalia in 2012, among which four are intended for the Abruzzo region. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-18-14]

METRO-NORTH TRAIN SIDESWIPES SWITCH ENGINE IN N.Y.: A Metro-North train heading out of Grand Central Terminal sideswiped a switch engine heading the opposite direction Dec. 17, causing delays lasting several hours. No injuries were reported. The accident is under investigation. [Gothamist website report, 12-17-14]

N.J. TRANSIT COMPLETES RESTORATION OF RED BANK STATION: New Jersey Transit has completed a three-year, $2.5-million project to stabilize and restore the historic Red Bank station. Built in 1876, the station is on the National Register of Historic Places. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-17-14]

ADIRONDACK SCENIC R.R. GETTING $791,000 IN STATE FUNDING: The Adirondack Scenic Railroad will receive $791,000 in New York state funding to go toward repairing and maintaining the railway's 21 passenger carsand eight locomotives. [CNY website report, 12-17-14]

AMTRAK WINS BATTLE TO INSTALL 'PRISON-TYPE' FENCE IN NEW ORLEANS: An attempt by New Orleans to block Amtrak from building a chain-link fence along a stretch of boulevard in the heart of the city has failed in court, though the railroad will not top it with razor-wire as previously planned. [Times-Picayune website report, 12-17-14]

SIX ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM TEXAS-PACIFICO R.R.: Six people, including several current or prior mid-level managers of Texas Pacifico Railroad, have been charged with theft from the company, amounting to what police believe will be more than $100,000, investigators said. [Standard-Times website report, 12-17-14]

AMTRAK'S KEYSTONE, PENNSYLVANIAN RIDERSHIP INCREASED IN FY-2014: The Keystone line between Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York saw about a three pct ridership increase in the most recent fiscal year. The Pennsylvanian, which travels between Pittsburgh and New York, saw close to a six pct increase. [Pennsylvania Radio website report]

BNSF FOCUSED ON INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT: BNSF feels that recent infrastructure investments will help sustain consistent performance to meet the needs of all the units they serve. The company recently announced its third consecutive year of record investment in its network with a plan to spend a total of $6-billion in 2015. That money is intended for maintenance and expansion of the railroad to meet the expected continued demand for freight rail service. [Farm & Ranch Guide website report, 12-17-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON CHUO MAGLEV: JR Central hosted ceremonies in Tokyo and Nagoya Dec. 17 to mark the construction of the $46-billion, 178-mile Chuo maglev line between the two cities. [International Railway Journal website report]

MERANO-MALLES ELECTRIFICATION APPROVED: The provincial council of the Italian autonomous region of South Tyrol on Dec. 16 approved the electrification of the Merano-Malles rail line. [International Railway Journal website report]

COMMUNICATION PROJECT COMPLETED AT WASHINGTON UNION STATION: Amtrak, in partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration, has completed a $2.2-million project to expand and improve public address and electronic information displays at Washington Union Station. More than 290 speakers and 44 LED signs were installed on the platforms used by Amtrak, MARC and VRE trains. [Amtrak, 12-16-14]

THIRTY TANK CARS DERAIL IN MONTANA: A collision in a Montana Rail Link yard in Missoula, Montana, resulted in the derailment of 30 empty tank cars, but no spills. Two rail employees were hospitalized, then released. [The Missoulian website report, 12-16-14]

METRO-NORTH GETS RECORD FINE IN RETALIATION CASE: The U.S. Labor Department has ordered Metro-North to pay a fine of more than $250,000, the largest such fine ever, for taking disciplinary action against an employee who reported getting injured on the job in 2011. [ABC News website report, 12-16-14]

CP POISED TO BOOST CRUDE-BY-RAIL SHIPMENTS: Canadian Pacific is poised to meet a goal to boost crude shipments by at least 67 pct next year as oil producers and pipeline companies continue to build terminals, even amid a bear market for the commodity. [Bloomberg website report, 12-16-14]

CSX OPENS INTERMODAL TERMINAL NEAR MONTREAL: CSX has opened a new intermodal terminal in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield near Montreal. The facility expands the company's intermodal network capacity and offers Canadian customers domestic and international service that connects with the rail network in the U.S. [CSX, 12-16-14]

PARIS INAUGURATES T8 LIGHT-RAIL LINE: Paris celebrated the completion of the latest addition to its light-rail network Dec. 16 when Line T8 was officially inaugurated. The line is expected to carry about 55,000 passengers per day. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-16-14]

WOMAN GETS 20 YEARS FOR CHINESE RAIL GRAFT CASE: A Beijing court on Dec. 16 sentenced a businesswoman linked to China's fallen ex-railway minister to 20 years in prison for bribery and disrupting bids for rail projects. [Town Hall website report, 12-16-14]

PLAN UNVEILED TO CURB CHICAGO UNION STATION CROWDING: Metra has unveiled a strategy to block direct access to Chicago Union Station's cramped south concourse and reroute customers to a more spacious area during service disruptions and special events. Three Metra lines share the south concourse with Amtrak trains. When trains are delayed, a domino effect often occurs with throngs of passengers flowing into the concourse with nowhere to go. Both Metra and Amtrak say they are limited in what can be done to alleviate crowding due to the station's layout. The new plan is far from a perfect solution, they say, and will require cooperation of Metra passengers. [Chicago Tribune website report, 12-16-14]

IOWA PACIFIC MAY HOLD KEY TO CONTINUED OPERATION OF AMTRAK'S HOOSIER STATE: Hopes for the future of Indiana's Hoosier State train line beyond Jan. 31, 2015, may lie with a proposed partnership between Amtrak and Iowa Pacific. [Purdue Exponent website report, 12-16-14]

COLUMBIA BASIN EYES BNSF CONNECTION UPGRADES: About 30 people attended a meeting in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec.15 to discuss the Connel Rail interchange, a key rail control point where a Columbia Basin Railroad line intersects BNSF's line running between Spokane and Pasco. The current connection was built nearly 100 years ago and is outdated and inefficient, Columbia Basin officials said, and needs to be upgraded to accommodate traffic growth. [Progressive Railroading website report]

BOMBARDIER WINS 10-YEAR FLEET MAINTENANCE CONTRACT WITH TRENITALIA: Rail technology leader Bombardier has won a 10-year, $191-million contract to maintain Trenitalia's fleet of 50 V300ZEFIRO high-speed trains, known in Italy as the Frecciarossa 1000. [Marketwatch website report, 12-16-14]

AMTRAK'S VERMONTER TO SERVE 'KNOWLEDGE CORRIDOR': Amtrak will begin service of the Vermonter to the 'Knowledge Corridor' Dec. 29, operating along Pan Am Southern tracks parallel to I-91 between New Haven and the Vermont border New stops include Greenfield and Northamton, with an added stop in Holyoke when station work is completed. Meanwhile, the stop at Amherst will be eliminated. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-15-14]

DEARBORN DEDICATES TRANSIT CENTER: A ceremony Dec. 15 marked the debut of the $28.2-million Dearborn, Michigan, passenger rail station, named for U.S. representative John D. Dingell. Six Wolverine trains will stop the facility each day, plus numerous bus services. [Railway Age website report, 12-15-14]

AMTRAK'S TEXAS EAGLE GETTING NEW ROUTE BETWEEN DALLAS & FORT WORTH: Amtrak will begin using the Trinity Railway Expess line for its Texas Eagle between Dallas and Fort Worth in February. The train has been using Union Pacific tracks between the same two points, but the tracks are frequently crammed with freight traffic and Amtrak trains are frequently delayed. [Star Telegram website report, 12-15-14]

FINAL OYSTER EXPRESS TRAIN DELIVERED BY CSX TO CHESAPEAKE BAY: A year-long partnership between the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and CSX has come to a close with delivery of the twenty-second and final freight train filled with fossilized oyster shells from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay. Over the past 12 months, CSX has transported about 100,000 tons of the shell to help rebuild habitat in Maryland oyster sanctuaries. Once in place, the shells provide a habitat where young oysters can thrive. [CSX, 12-15-14]

HIGH-SPEED RAIL REACHES ROME AIRPORT: Trenitalia launched the first high-speed rail service to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport Dec. 14 when seleced services were extended to serve the airport station at Fiumicino. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-15-14]

FUND MANAGER IN LONDON WHO DODGED TRAIN FARES IS BARRED FOR LIFE FROM FINANCIAL JOBS: British regulators have barred a managing director at BlackRock Asset Management Investor Services in London from the financial industry for life for skimping on commuter train fares over five years. [N.Y. Times website report, 12-15-14]

BERLIN MAIN STATION LIGHT-RAIL LINK OPENS: The new light-rail tram line connecting Berlin Main station and Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station opened Dec. 14, although the eastern section to Nordbahnhof will not open before mid-2015. [International Railway Journal website report]

POLAND LAUNCHES FIRST HIGH-SPEED TRAIN: Poland's first high-speed train service has been launched with a tilting train manufactured by Alstom. The train reached Warsaw from Krakow in two hours and 32 minutes, reducing the travel time between the two cities by half an hour. Poland ordered 20 of the Pendolino trains three years ago. [PressTV website report, 12-14-14]

FEDERAL LAW ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL TRUMPS STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUITS, STB RULES: The U.S. Surface Transportation board has declared, in a 2 to 1 vote, that the California Environmental Quality act is 'categorically pre-empted' in connection with the Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed train route, thus barring lawsuits and injunctions to halt work on the project. [Fresno Bee website report, 12-12-14]

AIRPORT MUST PAY $45.2-M FOR LAST STRETCH OF DENVER'S EAST RAIL LINE: A Denver judge has ruled that Denver International Airport must pay $45.2-million of the $53-million neededto bring passenger trains to the terminal. At issue was the last stretch of the Regional Transportation District's East Rail line and a dispute over who should pay and how much for construction work. [Denver Post website report, 12-12-14]

UKRAINE INTRODUCES NEW EXPRESS SERVICE: Ukranian Railways launched a new 99 MPH daily rail service from Kiev to Krivoy Rog on Dec. 12. The 278-mile journey will take five hours, compared with over eight hours previously. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-12-14]

AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS FUNDING FOR LONE STAR RAIL: The Austin, Texas, city council has adopted a funding mechansm that lets the Lone Star Rail regional commuter train get half of the increased property taxes from the rail's construction. The line needs $1.8-billion in order to seek federal and stae transportation money. Other governments around Austin must still support the project. [KXAN-TV website report, 12-11-14]

SEVEN INJURED IN RAIL CAR EXPLOSION IN KANSAS: An explosion of a rail car rocked a rail service company near Atchison, Kansas, Dec. 11, and seven people were injured. Officials said the car contained fuel, possibly gasoline. [KCTV-5 website report, 12-11-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 6, 2014, with 311,955 carloads, up 11.7 pct compared with the same week in 2013. Intermodal volume was up 2.1 pct, and total combined traffic (carloads and intermodal units) was up 7 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-11-14]

LOWEST BID FOR NEXT PHASE OF CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL COMES IN UNDER COST: Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick submited a bid of $1.23-billion to design and build the 65-mile stretch of high-speed rail from the south end of Fresno to near the Tulare-Kern county line, and was deemed the apparent best value bidder for the project. The bid came below the range that was forecast by engineers and consultants working for the rail authority. [Fresno Bee website report, 12-11-14]

CSX VICE-PRESIDENT SELLS $775,977 IN COMPANY STOCK: CSX vice-president Carolyn Sizemore unloaded 21,531 shares of CSX stock in a $775,977 transaction dated Dec. 10. Following the sale, she directly owns 6,636 shares in the company. [Watch List News website report, 12-11-14]

WISCONSIN COMPLETES PURCHASE OF 70-MILE UNION PACIFIC LINE: Wisconsin has finalized the purchase of a 70-mile Union Pacific Railroad line between Madison, Reedsburg and Cottage Grove. The Wisconsin & Southern Railroad will continue to provide service on the line, which includes a bridge over Lake Wisconsin in Merrimac. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-11-14]

PATH NEWARK AIRPORT EXTENSION TO BE STUDIED: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has awarded a contract to carry out studies on a proposed metro extension to the airport from Newark Penn Station. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-11-14]

TALGO SHIPS FIRST HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO SAUDI ARABIA: The first 13-car Talgo 350 train for the 280-mile Mecca-Medina high-speed line was loaded onto a vessel at Barcelona Dec. 11. Talgo is supplying 36 of the 199 MPH trains with the aim of launching public services by the end of 2015. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-11-14]

TOWN IN NEVADA SEEKS AMTRAK SERVICE: Amtrak's California Zephyr speeds through West Wendover, Nevada, once daily in each direction. The town's leaders have been seeking a stop since 2000, but have not been successful. However, if all goes to plan, West Wendover will be added as a stop within the next year and a half. Town council members have voted to build a train station in an empty lot next to the tracks. The project will cost close to a million dollars. [KSL News Radio website report, 12-11-14]

AMTRAK NEC SERVICE DURING DEC. 9 SNOWSTORM: A major coastal snow and ice storm impacted air and highway travel December 9, 2014, with hundreds of flights canceled and many more delayed. The Bull Sheet's statistical department went to work to track Amtrak's Northeast corridor performance for that date. Click on the link to see how things developed. MORE...

CP SETTLES MISSISSIPPI RIVER OIL SPILL CLAIM: Canadian Pacific has agreed to cover environmental costs related to a 2008 derailment that caused an oil spill in the Mississippi River between Iowa and Wisconsin. [Myrtle Beach Sun News website report, 12-10-14]

CHINA LAUNCHING 32 NEW HIGH-SPEED RAIL ROUTES: China is launching another 32 new high-speed rail routes, all in one day, including a new link that cuts the 1,106-mile trip between Guangzhou and Shanghai to seven hours from 16. China has lofty expectations of becoming a global leader in high-speed rail technologies, with projects in over a dozen countries, as well as plans to more than double its own domestic network, which is already the world's largest. [Quartz website report, 12-10-14]

CUSTOM-BUILT RAIL-SHIP ARRIVES IN CALIFORNIA: Stockton, California, port officials Dec. 10 welcomed the arrival of the Pacific Spike, a ship custom-built to carry 440-foot lengths of steel rail destined for Union Pacific Railroad expansion and replacement projects. [RecordNet website report, 12-10-14]

BOMBARDIER PULLS OUT OF AMTRAK HIGH-SPEED PROCUREMENT: Bombardier says it will not compete for a contract to supply a new generation of high-speed trains to Amtrak for the Northeast corridor, citing changes in the specification for its withdrawal. Amtrak is planning to acquire 28 trains to upgrade its Acela fleet, which will be replaced by the new trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-9-14]

CINCINNATI STREETCAR AGREEMENT APPROVED: The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit authority's board has approved an operating and maintenance agreement that outlines the responsibilities of the agency and the city of Cincinnati in operating the city's new streetcar system. The system is slated to begin operation in Sept. 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-9-14]

MILWAUKEE ADDS TO STREETCAR PROPOSAL: A Milwaukee common council committee voted Dec. 9 to advance a plan for two tax incremental financing districts to pay for the city's proposed downtown streetcar. [Railway Age website report, 12-9-14]

N.D. ORDERS BAKKEN CRUDE TO BE TREATED FOR RAIL TRANSPORT: North Dakota will require Bakken crude-by-rail product to be processed through mandated pressures and temperatures to aid in removing flammable liquids to reduce volatility. [Railway Age website report, 12-9-14]

MINNESOTA TO PROPOSE 'NORTHERN LIGHTS EXPRESS': Minnesota officials say they are in the process of designing a proposal for the Northern Lights Express rail that would connect passsengers from the Twin Cities to Duluth. The train would make four stops along the route and complete the trip in under two hours, with speeds reaching 110 MPH. [WCCO-TV website report, 12-9-14]

TESTING BEGINS ON L.A. GOLD LINE EXTENSION: The first light-rail vehicle ran on the Los Angeles Gold Line Foothill extension Dec. 9, kicking off the testing phase on the 11-mile link between Pasadena and Azusa. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-9-14]

ANTWERP RAIL TUNNEL INAUGURATED: Belgium marked the completion of a project in the port of Antwerp Dec. 9 with the inauguration of a rail line linking Waaslandhaven and Deurganck docks with Antwerp North marshalling yard via a 4-mile tunnel beneath the River Schelde, the longest railway tunnel in the country. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-9-14]

SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS OVER AMTRAK ON-TIME REGULATIONS: The Supreme Court heard arguments Dec. 8 over a 2008 law that directed Amtrak to work with government agencies to develop new standards for improving the passenger railroad's on-time performance. The Association of American Railroads says it was unconstitutional for Congress to give a private company the power to create regulations, and the industry objects to some of the new standards allowing Amtrak priority over freight trains that share the same tracks. The Obama administration argues that Amtrak simply worked with the Federal Railroad Administration to devise the rules, and the government retained ultimate control over how they were approved. The government is appealing a Court of Appeals decision which sided with the freight railroads. The Supreme Court is expected to decide the case by June 2015. [Town Hall website report, 12-8-14]

BOSTON TAKING DELIVERY OF HSP46 LOCOMOTIVES: The 110-MPH MPI HSP46 is the newest addition to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority regional rail locomotive fleet. MBTA is taking delivery of 40 four-axle diesel locomotives, nbrs 2000-2039, built by MotivePower Industries. [Railway Age website report, 12-8-14]

GE CAPITAL DELIVERING 875 NEW-STANDARD TANK CARS: GE Capital Rail Services is delivering 875 tank cars that meet the 2015 safety appliance standard to customers. GE Capital is one of the first lessors to offer tank cars that comply with S-2044 standard adopted by the federal government in February. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-8-14]

HONOLULU INSTALLS FIRST TRACKS FOR RAIL PROJECT: Rails are now being installed on segments near what will be the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's Hoopili rail station in Ewa, Hawaii. Eventually the system will include a 20-mile elevated light-rail line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-8-14]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA TO EXPAND ITS PRESENCE IN ALABAMA: FreightCar America aims to expand its presence in Alabama's Shoals region through a previously-announced $10-million expansion that calls for adding another production line for the company's new types of rail cars. When fully-operational, the facility will have the capacity to build up to 8,000 rail cars annually. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-8-14]

CN, USW UNION REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT: Canadian National has reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers Local 2004 to renew the labor contract for approximately 3,000 CN maintenance-of-way employees represented by the USW in Canada. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-8-14]

CHICAGO BEGINS WILSON STATION RECONSTRUCTION: The Chicago Transportation authority broke ground Dec. 8 on the Wilson Station reconstruction project, which will modernize the 91-year-old station house and more than 100-year-old track structure. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-8-14]

STRIKE SNARLS RAIL, AIR SERVICE IN BRUSSELS: Belgian workers striking against government austerity plans badly snarled rail and air service Dec. 8 to and from Brussels. Domestic and international train service ground to a halt, and 47 pct of flights were canceled. [U-T San Diego website report, 12-8-14]

ST. CHARLES STREETCAR LINE GETS NATIONAL LANDMARK STATUS: New Orleans' St. Charles streetcar line has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Making its debut in 1835 as a mule-powered line, it initially linked New Orleans with Carrolton. It was electrified in 1893. [Railway Age website report, 12-8-14]

DUTCH RAILWAYS TEST LASERS TO REMOVE FALLEN LEAVES FROM TRACKS: Dutch Railways is conducting experiments on some of its trains to examine whether high-powered lasers can be used to clear soft debris - such as leaves - from tracks. Leaves create a coating that causes train wheels to lose their grip. Lasers will reportedly not harm metal rails, but will reflect energy upon leaves and oil, and can be mounted on locomotives and function at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. [Atlantic City News website report, 12-7-14]

FOUR STABBED ABOARD AMTRAK TRAIN IN MICHIGAN: Officials say a 44-year-old man stabbed an Amtrak conductor and three other people on board a Port Huron-bound train in southwestern Michigan before police officers subdued and arrested him. The incident happened late Dec. 5 in Niles, and police responded to a call and arrived while the attack was underway. The four victims were hospitalized, and were reported in stable condition as of early Dec. 6. [Richmond Times-Dispatch website report, 12-6-14]

SNCF HOLOCAUST COMPENSATION PACKAGE ANNOUNCED: France and the U.S. have agreed to a $60-million compensation fund, paid by the French government, as reparations to those transported by state rail company SNCF to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. U.S. lawmakers have previously attempted to bar SNCF from rail contracts because of its actions. Several thousand U.S. citizens and other nationals are expected to receive payments. [BBC website report, 12-5-14]

RAILCOMM LANDS ALABAMA STATE DOCKS CONTRACT: RailComm has obtained a contract to provide and install a car-tracking and inventory management solution at Terminal Railway-Alabama State Docks. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-5-14]

FOUR BIDDERS SEEK OKLAHOMA CITY STREETCAR CONTRACT: Four companies are vying for a contract with Oklahoma City to advance the city's MAPS 3 streetcar proposal by supplying five streetcars for the initial 4.6-mile, 22-station project. [Railway Age website report, 12-5-14]

AMTRAK STATION IN NORFOLK OFFERS NEW PASSENGER AMENITIES: Amtrak, in partnership with the city of Norfolk, Va., has deployed new, electronic, ADA-compliant passenger information displays at the train station. In addition, customer service representatives are on staff and available to assist passengers in purchasing tickets and providing other information. [Amtrak, 12-5-14]

ANAHEIM AMTRAK SERVICE RELOCATES: Effective Dec. 6, 2014, Amtrak service in Anaheim, California, will move to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal center. The new station is located between the Honda Center and Angel Stadium, about one-quarter mile east of the former station. [Amtrak]

CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS ASK APPROPRIATORS TO KEEP HIGH-SPEED RAIL FUNDING OUT OF BILL: In a letter to the U.S. House Appropriations committee, 13 Republicans said the proposition approved by voters in 2008 was no longer viable. They said the project has been modified so significantly that it no longer meets the demands originally laid out by voters, and that appropriators are asked to prohibit funds for the project in the new spending bill. Earlier this year, the House adopted an amendment to the 2015 transportation-housing and urban development appropriations bill to prohibit funding for California's high-speed rail. [The Hill website report, 12-5-14]

CHINA COMPETES NEW MENGZI-HEKOU RAIL LINK: China has marked the completion of a key international rail project in its southern Yunnan province with the opening Dec. 1 of an 88-mile line from Mengzi to Hekou on the border with Vietnam. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-5-14]

SOUTH KOREA ORDERS COMMUTER TRAINS: South Korea's national passenger operator Korail has place a $138-million order with Hyundai Rotem for 22 electric multiple units for commuter service, to be deployed on the Donghae-Nambu and Seongnam-Yeoju lines. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-5-14]

ONTARIO MOVING FORWARD WITH HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROPOSAL: Ontario is taking its next step to buld a high-speed rail line to connect Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, by beginning an environmental assessment and identifying the most appropriate route. [Ontario Ministry of Transportation, 12-5-14]

FEDS ORDER UNION PACIFIC TO REINSTATE MACHINIST: The Occupational Safety & Health adminstration has upheld a ruling that Union Pacific must reinstate an apprentice machinist in Nebraska dismissed after reporting a workplace injury in 2009. The railroad, which had appealed the original decision, has been ordered to pay back wages, interest, compensatory and punitive damages totaling about $175,000.00. [Omaha World Herald website report, 12-5-14]

AMTRAK ENGINEER AWARDED $5.6-M IN SACRAMENTO BEATING: A jury in Sacramento has awarded a $5.6-million verdict to a former Amtrak engineer who sustained a beating when he was attacked on the job by a street gang in 2007. Amtrak claimed that the engineer's decision to climb down from the train and confront the gang members had made him the 'sole cause' of his injuries. The jury, however, found Amtrak negligent in providing the engineer with a 'safe place to work, and that the engineer was assigned only 6 pct of the comparative fault. [Sacramento Bee website report, 12-5-14]

CALTRAIN TO BEGIN REPLACEMENT OF SAN MATEO BRIDGES: Caltrain is about to begin a $38-million replacement project of four bridges in San Mateo, California, that will provide seismic upgrades to the aging structures. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-14]

JESSE CHALICH NAMED PRESIDENT OF NORTHERN PLAINS R.R., RAIL SERVICES: The Northern Plains group has named Jesse Chalich president of Northern Plains Railroad and Northern Plains Rail Services. He began his career in 1997 as a conductor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-14]

ARCADIS LANDS $26-M N.Y. SUBWAY RESTORATION CONTRACT: Consulting firm Arcadis has been selected to restore New York City's subway system to pre-Sandy conditions and protect it against future storms. Under the 5-year, $26-million contract, Arcadis will produce and implement innovative flood resiliency designs for subway stations, tunnels, bus depots and public areas. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-4-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased rail freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 29, 2014, with 271,659 carloads, up 6.2 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was also up 6.2 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-4-14]

TRACK-LAYING COMPLETE TO NIGERIAN CAPITAL: The final section of track has been laid on the first railway to serve Abuja, the Nigerian capital. Service on the 116-mile standard-gauge line from Abuja to Kaduna will start in Febr. 2015. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-4-14]

AMTRAK EARNS RECOGNITION FOR BUSINESS STRATEGY: Amtrak's business transformation plan has received two industry awards for leadership and workforce management initiatives. The company received the 2014 Global HR Top 10 Breakaway Leaders award, sponsored by Evanta; and Workforce magazine's 2014 Optimas award. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-3-14]

CN SELLS DISCONTINUED LINE IN B.C.: The city of Kelowna, B.C., has signed a purchase agreement with CN to acquire a discontinued rail line between Kelowna and Coldstream. The city signed the pact on behalf of an interjurisdictional acquisition team. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-3-14]

INDIANA R.R. FOUNDER, PRESIDENT RETIRING: Indiana Rail Road founder, president and CEO Thomas Hoback will retire the end of June 2015. He will be replaced by Peter Mills, currently vice-president of finance operations for CSX. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-3-14]

CSX REAFFIRMS 4-Q OUTLOOK, LONGER-TERM PERFORMANCE: CSX is on track to delivery fourth-quarter financial results similar to the levels achieved in the third-quarter, as service remains stable in the midst of the fall peak and the beginning of strong winter weather conditions, CFO Fredrik Eliasson told investors and analysts at a conference Dec. 3 in New York. [CSX, 12-3-14]

AMTRAK APPOINTS HOWARD LEARNER TO CHICAGO GATEWAY INITIATIVE: Amtrak has named Chicago attorney Howard Learner to the Chicago Gateway Initiative, the blue ribbon panel charged with identifying infrastructure and operational improvements to address rail gridlock in the Chicago area. Other panel members include U.S. Rep. Jack Quinn, former STB chair Linda Morgan, and Amtrak board member Tom Carper. Representatives from freight railroads and other stakeholder organizations will be invited to participate in panel activities. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-2-14]

FEC COMPLETES ITS INAUGURAL RUN OF FIRST TWO ES44C4 LOCOMOTIVES: Florida East Coast Railway has completed the inaugural run of its first two new GE ES44C4 locomotives. They were used on the company's most expedited train from Jacksonville to Miami. [Progressive Railroading website report, 12-2-14]

STB TO CONSIDER TRACKAGE-RIGHTS CASE: The Surface Transportation Board has decided to thrash out a dispute raised by a BNSF request to acquire terminal trackage rights over the nine-mile Rosebluff Industrial Lead in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, a single track jointly owned by Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific. [Railway Age website report, 12-2-14]

PROPOSED TANK CAR RULE TO COST UP TO $60-B, REPORT SAYS: A report prepared by The Brattle Group on Dec. 2 states that a new proposed rule on railroad tank cars could cost the U.S. economy as much as $60-billion. [Railway Age website report, 12-2-14]

U.S. SUED OVER REFUSAL TO BAN OLDER RAIL TANK CARS FOR CRUDE: Earthjustica and other environmental groups have asked a federal court to force the U.S. Transportation department to reconsider its rejection of an immediate ban on the use of rail tank cars lacking updated safety features for shipping Bakken crude oil. [Bloomberg website report, 12-2-14]

MONTREAL OPENS NEW COMMUTER RAIL LINE: Montreal's transport agency launched service on the new 33-mile Mascouche commuter rail line Dec. 1, with eight round trips a day on weekdays, serving 10 stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-2-14]

FEDS HELP FUND BOSTON-AREA RAIL EXTENSION: The federal government has promised $996-million to help extend public transportation in Massachusetts. The money would cover about 40 pct of the $2.3-billion cost to add 4.7 miles to the MBTA's green line, which would extend the line from Cambridge into Somerville and Medford. [Boston Globe website report, 12-2-14]

CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO SWAP LOCOMOTIVES: It has been reported that CSX is planning to trade CSX units 4590-4602 with Norfolk Southern in exchange for NS units 3425-3447. [Reported 12-1-14]

CHINA PLANS TO BID ONCE AGAIN FOR MEXICAN HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: China plans to bid again for Mexico's high-speed rail project after Mexico abruptly canceled an earlier winning bid, one of the firms in a Chinese-led consortium, and a source close to the bid said. [Reuters website report, 12-1-14]

FIRST PHASE OF DETROIT'S M-1 RAIL CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: M-1 Rail has completed its first phase of construction between Campus Martius and Grand Circus parks in downtown Detroit. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 12-1-14]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN MINNESOTA: Thirty-two cars of a 90-car BNSF freight train derailed near Bluffton, Minnesota, early Dec. 1. No injuries were reported, and the cause is under investigation. [Valley News Live website report, 12-1-14]

FRANCE-SPAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE SUSPENDED BY FLOODING: International high-speed rail service between Spain and France was suspended Nov. 30 after floodwaters inundated the tunnels beneath Girona for the second time in two months. [International Railway Journal website report, 12-1-14]

CANADA'S CRUDE BY RAIL EXPORTS SURGE 22 PCT IN 3-Q: Canadian crude exports by rail rose 22 pct in the third-quarter of 2014 from the same period a year earlier, according to data, as dedicated oil train terminals in western Canada ramped up loading capacity. [Financial Post website report, 12-1-14]

AMTRAK'S NORTHEAST CORRIDOR DAY-BEFORE-THANKSGIVING PERFORMANCE: It was Amtrak to the rescue Nov. 26, one of the busiest travel days of the year, as a snowstorm developed, disrupting air and road travel along the Northeast corridor. Click on the link to see how the Boston-Washington trains performed that day. MORE...

BNSF RAIL TRAFFIC RESUMES AFTER ROCK SLIDE CLEARED IN IDAHO: BNSF says a rock slide 14 miles east of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, that had closed the railroad's main line to passenger and freight traffic for 48 hours, was cleared Nov. 28. [Spokesman Review website report, 11-29-14]

HOUSE COMMITTEE REAUTHORIZES AMTRAK FUNDING: A four-year Amtrak reauthorization bill has been approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee. However, the only high-speed rail funded would be in the Northeast corridor, and Amtrak could reinvest the line's profits to enhance high-speed movement. The full House vote is not expected until at least January, when the new Congress convenes. [Poughkeepsie Journal website report, 11-29-14]

PLANS FOR NEW RAIL YARD MOVE AHEAD IN ALABAMA: The Alabama State Port authority is continuing to develop the new Garrows Bend Intermodal Container terminal that would help move containers of goods between ships and rail cars in the Port of Mobile. The authority recently awarded a $20.1-million contract for design and construction of the facility to R.T. Milord Company. [Bellingham Herald website report, 11-29-14]

CHINESE TO STUDY 1,350-MILE INDIAN HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROPOSAL: China Railway Corp. will bein a feasibility study early 2015 of what is billed as the world's longest high-speed railway, a 1,350-mile line connecting New Dehli with the southern port city of Chenai, at an estimated cost of over $32-billion. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-28-14]

GHANA-TOGO RAIL LINK OPENS: Ghana and Togo inaugurated the first rail connection between the two countries Nov. 27 when they officially opened a 1.9-mile link from the Togo National Railways network in Lome to Aflao. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-28-14]

RAIL CAR FACILITY TO BE EXPANDED IN CALIFORNIA: Agreement has been reached allowing Kinkisharyo to expand its current light-rail car assembly and testing operations at its existing site in Palmdale, California. The company is currently assembling and testing 78 light-rail cars, and the agreement calls for the facility to perform additional tasks and fulfill an order for 97 additional cars and perform work on future orders. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-26-14]

GREENVILLE & WESTERN OPENS HEAVY MACHINERY DISTRIBUTION FACILITY IN S.C.: Greenville & Western Railway has opened its Big Creek Machinery Distribution hub in Williamston, S.C. The company says it can provide 25 to 30 pct cost savings by rail over truck for the heavy machinery market. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-26-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported mixed U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 22, 2014, with 295,812 total carloads, down 0.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 0.7 pct, and combined carloads and intermodal units was up 0.2 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-26-14]

CALTRANS APPROVES $82-M CENTRAL SUBWAY LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Caltrans has awarded nearly $82-million to construct the Central subway light-rail line in San Francisco. The 1.7-mile line will transport passengers from south of Market street to Chinatown, and officials say they expect to attract over 42,000 passengers daily by 2030. [San Francisco Appeal website report, 11-26-14]

BUENOS AIRES METER-LINE TRAINS ENTER SERVICE: A new fleet of Chinese-built suburban electric multiple units has entered service on Buenos Aires' meter line, replacing rolling stock with an average age of more than 50 years. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-26-14]

AMTRAK REPORTS FY-2014 FINANCIAL RESULTS: In FY-2014, Amtrak covered 93 pct of its operating costs with ticket sales and other revenues, up from 89 pct the year before. The company's unaudited federalluy-funded operating lost of approximately $227-million was the lowest level since 1973, representing a 37 pct decrease from the prior year and 52 pct lower than in FY-2007. Revenue of approximately $3.2-billion was a record. [Amtrak, 11-25-14]

FREIGHT CARS DERAIL IN FEATHER RIVER CANYON: Eleven cars of a Union Pacific freight train derailed in the Feather River Canyon in Plumas County, California, early Nov. 25, sending loads of corn and several rail cars plunging into the canyon. Work began almost immediately to replace track and pull cars out of the canyon, but rail taffic had to be diverted to other routes as work continued into the night. [KXTV website report, 11-25-14]

NORTH CAROLINA R.R. COMMITS MORE THAN $13-M IN RAIL IMPROVEMENTS: The North Carolina Railroad is moving forward with more than $13-million in economic development investments across the state, which will expand rail access, improve safety and sustain rail projects spanning from Mecklenburg County northeast to Durham County, and from Durham County southeast to Wake and Craven counties. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-25-14]

N.D. GOVERNOR PLEASED WITH BNSF'S STEPS TO IMPROVE SAFETY: North Dakota's governor Jack Dalrymple said he is pleased with actions taken by BNSF in response to the comprehensive review and analysis of rail operations and infrastructure around Casselton following the Nov. 13 derailment. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-25-14]

RAILROADS SOUND ALARM AHEAD OF CHICAGO GRIDLOCK: With last week's seven-feet of snow in upstate New York heralding an early winter, railroads crisscrossing Chicago are rushing to open 24-hour command centers, install switch heaters, and plotting ways to reroute traffic. [Bloomberg Businesweek website report, 11-25-14]

DRIVER KILLED AS AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES PICKUP TRUCK IN TEXAS: Amtrak's Texas Eagle train with 239 people aboard slammed into a pickup truck early Nov. 25 near Bartlett, Texas, killing the truck's driver. No one on the train was injured, but the passengers were transferred by bus to a local high school. [KWTX website report, 11-25-14]

CAF-LED CONSORTIUM IS PREFERRED BIDDER FOR MEXICO CITY-TOLUCA PROJECT: A consortium led by CAF has been chosen by Mexico to supply trains and equipment for a new interurban passenger rail service linking Mexico City and Toluca. CAF will supply a fleet of 30 five-car electric multiple units, each with room for 700 passengers. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-25-14]

BLUEPRINT FOR BRITAIN'S WESSEX NETWORK UNVEILED: Britain has issued the Wessex Route plan, a blueprint for the future of passenger and freight rail servces from London Waterloo to the south and the west of England over the next 30 years. The study identifies needs to increase capacity by 60 pct to meet expected demand on high-peak services, the equivalent to 37 trains per hour. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-25-14]

UNION ASKS FEDS TO REFUSE SEPTA'S SAFETY-RULE WAIVER REQUEST: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has asked the Federal Railroad Administration to reject SEPTA's request for an extended waiver of safety rules, which the union says would decrease locomotive engineers' rest time. Instead of extending the waiver, the union is requesting a public hearing in the the safety matter. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-25-14]

CSX AMONG TOP 10 MOST MILITARY-FRIENDLY EMPLOYERS: CSX was recognized as the sixth-most military-friendly employer on G.I. Jobs' 2015 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers ranking, and the second-most military-friendly employer in the transportation industry. This is the seventh consecutive year that CSX has been among the top 10 employers on the list. [CSX, 11-25-14]

CONNECTICUT APPROVES FUNDS FOR WALK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: Connecticut has approved more than $53-million to begin work to replace the New Haven Line's Walk Bridge. Built in 1896, the bridge is the oldest movable bridge along the Northeast corridor in Connecticut, and carries more than 140 trains per day. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-24-14]

BART OPENS LINK TO OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Bay Area Rapid Transit on Nov. 22 opened its $484-million rail extension to Oakland International Airport. [Railway Age website report, 11-24-14]

LA JOLLA LINK NEXT FOR SAN DIEGO TROLLEY: The San Diego Association of Governments has approved the final environmental impact report for extending the San Diego Trolley from Old Town to La Jolla and University City. [Railway Age website report, 11-24-14]

CONTRACT AWARDED TO REPLACE FOUR SOUTH COAST RAIL BRIDGES: Cardi Corp. has been awarded a $42-million contract for the replacement of four bridges in New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts, along the future South Coast rail line. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-24-14]

VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON, OIL-BY-RAIL TERMINAL TO BE LARGEST IN U.S.: A proposed oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington, would handle more crude transported by rail than any single facility in the U.S. when running at full capacity, according to an analysis by The Columbian newspaper. [Houston Chronicle website report, 11-24-14]

RAILROAD BYPASS PROJECT PROPOSED FOR CHICAGO: Great Lakes Basin wants to build a railroad bypass to get around Chicago's congestion. The tracks would begin in northwest Indiana, extend through Illinois and up through Winnebago County, ending in Ordfordville, Wisconsin. The $6-billion, 285-mile project would be paid for with private money. [WIFR website report, 11-22-14]

CSX HIGHLIGHTS RESILIENCE AND WINTER RESOURCE PLANNING: CSX is positioning itself to continue delivering strong financial results by balacing stabilized service levels, improving efficiency and continued growth opportunities, Chief Transportation Officer Cincy Sanborn told an industry audience on Nov. 21. As customer demand continues to rise, CSX performance remains stable, with key indicators including on-time service holding steady in the fourth-quarter as compared to the previous two quarters. [CSX, 11-21-14]

SOUND TRANSIT SEEKS NEW TAX, FEES TO EXTEND LIGHT-RAIL: Sound Transit's governing board has unanimously voted to seek a new sales tax, a new car-tab fee and/or a new property tax in an effort to raise about $9-billion over 15 years to finance transportation projects including extension of light-rail. [Seattle Times website report, 11-21-14]

RAILROAD MAINTENANCE & DISTRIBUTION CENTER PROPOSED FOR HAMMOND, INDIANA: ThruPort Intermodal is seeking to develop 155 acres in Hammond, Indiana's, East Gibson Yard Development area for a multi-tenant railroad maintenance and distribution center. The first phase of the project includes a $3.5-million building, railroad tracks and other infrastructure. The company has already purchased about 55 acres and is working to secure 100 more. [WNDU website report, 11-21-14]

DEAL REACHED ON WELSH RAIL ELECTRIFICATION: The British government and the Welsh assembly have reached an agreement on funding for the electrification of the South Wales Main Line between Cardiff and Swansea and the Valley lines suburban network around Cardiff. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-21-14]

NIGERIA SIGNS CONTRACT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF COASTAL RAILWAY: The government of Nigeria has signed an $11.97-billion contract with China Railway Construction Corp. for the construction of the 404-mile Coastal Railway from Calabar to Port Harcourt, Benin City and Lagos. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-21-14]

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS, GETS READY FOR PASSENGER TRAINS: For the first time in 20 years, passenger trains will be dropping off passengers in Northampton, Massachusetts. The city is hoping it will be an economic boost. Amtrak has already sent test trains along the new rails in Northampton, and the first train with passengers will arrive on Dec. 29. [22 WWLP website report, 11-21-14]

GENESEE & WYOMING TO ACQUIRE PINSLY'S ARKANSAS SUBSIDIARIES: Genesee & Wyoming has signed an agreement with Pinsly Railroad to acquire certain subsidiaries in Arkansas for $40-million. The acquisition includes the Arkansas Midland, Prescott & Northwestern, and Warren & Saline railroads, and two Arkansas transload operations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-20-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 15, 2014, with 296,655 total carloads, up 0.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 2.6 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-20-14]

BNSF PLANS $6-B IN CAPITAL EXPENDITURES FOR 2015: BNSF's planned capital expenditures for 2015 will be $6-billion, another record for a company that will have made more than $50-billion in capital investments since 2000. Meanwhile, the company increased its current year capital expenditures by $400-million, to about $5.5-billion overall. [Railway Age website report, 11-20-14]

METROLINK AUDITOR IS PUT ON LEAVE: Metrolink's chief auditor, who was probing financial and management irregularities at the six-county commuter railroad in California, has been placed on leave by the board of directors. an action that could prompt her resignation. [Los Angeles Times website report, 11-20-14]

OPTIONS BEING CONSIDERED FOR REPLACEMENT OF AMTRAK'S BALTIMORE TUNNEL: Officials have narrowed the options for replacing Amtrak's aging B&P tunnel, one of which could displace residents of a west-side neighborhood plagued by vacant homes. [Baltimore Sun website report, 11-19-14]

DELAYING KEYSTONE PIPELINE MEANS MORE OIL MOVING BY RAIL: Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the U.S., said on a recent TV program, "Every month that it's not built, more is coming down rail." The U.S. Senate failed by one vote to pass a bill that would have aproved the pipeline project. [Marketwatch website report, 11-19-14]

INDIANA NEGOTIATING WITH AMTRAK TO RUN HOOSIER STATE LINE: The Indiana Dept. of Transportation expects to reach agreement with Amtrak to continue operating the Hoosier State passenger train between Indianapolis and Chicago, a department spokesman said. [Lafayette Journal & Courier website report, 11-19-14]

EX-COMPANY OFFICIAL SAYS INDIANA IGNORED PROBLEMS WITH POSSIBLE PASSENGER LINE OPERATOR: A former executive with Corridor Capital, a company once in the running to manage Amtrak's Hoosier State line, says the Indiana DOT ignored problems with the company's approach, including its lack of financing for its proposal to operate the line. He said the company lacked experience and did not have rail cars ready to go to take over the line. Indiana broke off negotiations with Corridor Capital this month, offering no reasons for ending the negotiations it had started in June. [Daily Journal webste report, 11-19-14]

PORT TRUCK DRIVER STRIKE SPREADS TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERMODAL YARDS: A port truck driver strike that began Nov. 17 at port terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach has spread to nearby intermodal rail yards served by Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-19-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS U.K. CONTRACT FOR GATWICK EXPRESS: Bombardier obtained a $227-million contract to deliver 27 new four-car trains for U.K.'s Govia Thameslink Railway for operation on the Gatwick Express. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-19-14]

ARLINGTON MAKES CASE FOR TEXAS HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Discussions are underway to bring high-speed rail through Arlington, Texas, as a route for the proposed line. The Texas DOT and the Federal Railroad Administration hosted a public meeting Nov. 19 to get input on where the tracks and stops for that railroad should be located. Between Rangers and Cowboys games, visits to Six Flags and other major events, millions of people visit Arlington each year. [KXAS-TV website report, 11-19-14]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT UP IN OCTOBER: Figures released by the Surface Transportation Board show total Class I railroad employment, as of mid-October 2014, rose 3.75 pct from mid-October 2013. [Railway Age website report, 11-19-14]

LAST RAILS LAID FOR OREGON'S PORTLAND-MILWAUKIE LIGHT-RAIL LINE: Oregon's TriMet says workers have laid the final rails of the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line, set to open in Sept. 2015. [Railway Age website report, 11-19-14]

ARLINGTON COUNTY, VA., SCUTTLES STREETCAR PLANS: Arlington County, Va., officials said Nov. 18 that the county is canceling its plans for two streetcar projects. [Railway Age website report, 11-18-14]

MBTA OPENS SALEM INTERMODAL CENTER: Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority has opened its new Salem Intermodal Center, the third-busiest station on the commuter-rail system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-18-14]

NJ TRANSIT OPENS PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STATION: A new station to be served by New Jersey Transit opened Nov. 17 at Princeton University. An opening celebration will be held Nov. 25. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-18-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PLANS TO BUY D&H LINE FROM SUNBURY TO SCHENECTADY: Norfolk Southern has agreed to acquire 282 miles of D&H rail line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., in a $217-million transaction, subject to approval by the Surface Transportation Board. The line to be acquired connects with the Norfolk Southern network at Sunbury and Binghamton, and would give N.S. routes from Chicago and the southeastern U.S. to Albany and Mechanicville, N.Y. [Norfolk Southern, 11-17-14]

AMTRAK FILES COMPLAINT OVER CAPITOL LIMITED PERFORMANCE: Amtrak has filed a complaint with the Surface Transportation Board against Norfolk Southern and CSX over substandard on-time performance of the Capitol Limited, which operates between Washington and Chicago. [Railway Age website report, 11-17-14]

VIRGINIA CONSIDERS PLANS FOR S.E. HIGH-SPEED RAIL CORRIDOR: The state of Virginia is studying the feasibility of building a 123-mile Southeast High-Speed Rail corridor that would connect Richmond, Va., with Washington, DC, which would ultimately be part of a much larger Northeast high-speed rail network that would extend south to Florida. The review is expected to take three years to complete. [Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star website report, 11-17-14]

TEXAS LOOKS FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT, FUNDING FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Texas DOT officials are trying to get public support for a proposed high-speed rail line to connect Dallas and Fort Worth. Three open meetings are planned this week to outline details. Station locations, funding and other specifics have yet to be determined, but officials say the line would run alongside Interstate 30 or the TRE commuter line. [Dallas Morning News website report, 11-17-14]

HIGHLINE GRAIN BUILDING LOADING FACILITY IN SPOKANE: Highline Grain held a groundbreaking Nov. 13 for a grain-loading facility in Spokane, Washington. Slated to be operational in fall 2015, the more than $26-million facility is designed to store two million bushels of grain products and accommodate 110-car unit trains operated by BNSF. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-17-14]

METRO-NORTH'S CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATING PLUMMENTS OVER PAST YEAR: The annual customer satisfaction survey found a steep decline in Metro-North Railroad's rating, but a slight increase in satisfaction with the New York City's subway system. Satisfaction with Long Island Rail Road was essentially unchanged. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-17-14]

SURREY, B.C., TO SEEK LIGHT-RAIL BY 2018: Surrey, B.C.'s, mayor-elect Linda Hepner, formerly Surrey's economic development officer, wants to see ligh-rail in her city by 2018. Surrey is the province's second-largest city. [Railway Age website report, 11-17-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO BOLSTER RAIL LINE IN ILLINOIS: Union Pacific is investing $12-million in the rail line between West Chicago and Franklin Grove, Illinois, in a project that began Oct. 1 and is scheduled for completion by mid-December. [Union Pacific, 11-17-14]

MAN PUSHED TO HIS DEATH IN FRONT OF N.Y. SUBWAY TRAIN: A man was pushed, without warning, in front of a New York subway train early Nov. 15, and killed. The police are investigating, and no arrest has been made. [N.Y. Times website report, 11-16-14]

WESTERN LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN REPORT: Continuing with the Bull Sheet's statistical evaluation of western long-distance trains, instituted Nov. 13 when 11 trains as a group were, on average, 4 hours and 32 minutes late arriving at their final destination, average arrival of 12 trains on Nov. 14 was 3 hours and 24 minutes late, and 10 trains on Nov. 15 was 3 hours and 11 minutes late. Best performer was the westbound California Zephyr, which reportedly arrived in its end point of Emeryville, California, ahead of schedule each of the three dates included in the survey. Regrettably, this could not be said for the eastbound CZ on its arrival in Chicago, arriving 2 hours late on Nov. 13, 1 hour and 7 minutes late on Nov. 14, and a whopping 7 hours and 24 minutes late on Nov. 15.

NEW HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE OPENED IN CHINA: China opened the first 330-mile stretch of a new 120 MPH high-speed railway in the western region of Xinjiang Nov. 16 between Urumqi and Hami. Eventually, the line will extend 1,100 miles from Urumqi to Lanzhou, expected to be completed by the end of the year. [N.Y. Times website report, 11-16-14]

RAIL CONGESTION SENDS MORE MINNESOTA GRAIN TO MARKET ON BARGES: Railroad bottlenecks, congestion and high freight prices have frustrated Minnesota farmers this year. Now some are turning to barges instead of railcars. [Star Tribune website report, 11-16-14]

AMTRAK'S PORTAL BRIDGE NEEDS $940-M UPGRADE: The Portal bridge over the Hackensace River in New Jersey is 104 years old and is the achilles' heel of the Northeast corridor, says Amtrak. It is an example of infrastructure that needs upgrading, but $940-million in funding has not yet been found. [Washington Post website report, 11-15-14]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS INTO ANOTHER TRAIN IN N.D. A train hauling lumber derailed near Casselton, N.D., Nov. 1,3 striking a train hauling empty tank cars. There were no injuries. BNSF said it appeared a broken rail may have caused the accident. This was the second railroad derailment in the area within a year. [Jamestown Sun website report, 11-15-14]

TRI-RAIL TRAIN IN FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKES CAR, ONE DEAD: At least one person is dead after a southbound Tri-Rail train carrying about 250 passengers collided with a car early Nov. 14 in Fort Luaderdale. [6 South Florida website report, 11-14-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON RAIL-GRAIN-LOADING FACILITY IN WASHINGTON STATE: Leading grain growers from across eastern Washington state gathered Nov. 13 near Medical Lake to kick off construction of a $26.4-million rail-loading facility. [Spokesman Review website report, 11-14-14]

TANK CAR MANUFACTURING PLANT TO BE ESTABLISHED IN N.C.: Vertex Rail Technologies has announced plans for a tank-car manufacturing facility in Wilmington, N.C., at the former Terex Crane facility, to produce general purpose tank cars for crude and covered 'sandhopper' cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-14-14]

FIRST ELECTRIC MULTIPLE-UNIT COACHES EN ROUTE TO DENVER: The first electric multiple-unit coaches ordered by the Denver regional transportation district, for its electric commuter rail system, have departed the Hynndai-Rotem plant in South Philadelphia en route to Denver. [Railway Age website report, 11-14-14]

PERSON KILLED BY SUBWAY TRAIN IN THE BRONX: Authorities say a person was struck and killed by a subway train at the St. Lawrence avenue station in The Bronx early Nov. 14, snarling the morning commuter by hours. [WPIX 11 website report, 11-14-14]

REBUILT LATVIAN LOCOMOTIVES TO HAVE MTU ENGINES: Latvia Railways has awarded a contract to Rolls-Royce for 28 MTU engines to power 14 class 2M62U locomotives which are to be rebuilt with only the underframes and bogies being retained from the original units. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-14-14]

INDONESIAN BANKS AGREE TO LOANS FUNDING NEW TRAINS: Four Indonesian banks have agreed to lend the country's national railway $195.5-million to help increase capacity on the Jabodetabek commuter rail network serving Jakarta and neighboring cities. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-14-14]

EGYPT ALLOCATES FUNDS TO EXPAND CAIRO METRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has transferred $2.4-billion to the National Authority for Tunnels to expand the metro and purchase trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-14-14]

WASHINGTON DC METRO UNVEILS NEW FARE-PAYMENT SYSTEM: Washington DC Metro has unveiled one of its new next-generation faregates that will allow riders to pay for their trips using their smartphones and other devices. The gate at Gallery Place Chinatown will be part of a new month-month pilot program that will go into effect in Jan. 2015. [ABC News Channel 8 website report, 11-13-14]

AMTRAK WESTERN LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS MOSTLY TARDY NOV. 13: The western (west of Chicago) long-distance train performance Nov. 13 was nothing to brag about. Of 11 trains tracked by the Bull Sheet for that date, only one of them arrived at its destination on time - the westbound California Zephyr actually arrived in Emeryville, California, ahead of schedule. The northbound Coast Starlight arrived in Seattle 33 minutes late, which might be considered tolerable to some folks. But the remaining nine trains ranged in tardy arrivals by between 2 hours (eastbound California Zephyr into Chicago) and 8 hours and 16 minutes (eastbound Southwest Chief into Chicago) behind schedule. Average arrival for the 11 trains as a group was 4 hours and 32 minutes late. Bad weather can be blamed for some of these delays, but excess freight congestion by host railroads has been an ongoing concern for Amtrak in recent months.

CONDUCTOR LOCKS MAN IN RESTROOM FOLLOWING STABBING: An Amtrak conductor locked a man in a restroom in northern California Nov. 12 following a stabbing aboard the train. The man was arrested in Stockton, and Amtrak polce are investigating he incident. [Daily Journal website report, 11-13-14]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES SEMI IN MICHIGAN: A Chicago-bound Amtrak passenger train collided with a semi-truck which was struck in traffic early Nov. 13 in Zeeland Township, Michigan. There were no injuries. The train struck the back of the semi-truck and there was minimal damage to the train. [WOOD-TV 8 website report, 11-13-14]

BNSF TESTING HIGH-ADHESION SD40 LOCOMOTIVE: BNSF is testing an SD40 locomotive which has been modified by National Railway Equipment to increase its tractive effort and adhesion. NRE says the locomotive is acheving a tractive effort of 33 to 34 pct. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-13-14]

EUROSTAR BUYING SEVEN MORE HIGH-SPEED TRAINS: Eurostar plans to purchase an additional seven e320 high-speed trains from Siemens, adding to the ten trains already on order for service between London, Paris and Brussels, including the first train which was unveiled Nov. 13. The e320 has a maximum track speed of 199 MPH, and will be the first passenger train with distributed traction to enter commercial service through the Channel Tunnel. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-13-14]

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON WEST PALM BEACH STATION: All Aboard Florida has marked the start of construction on a new rail station in downtown West Palm Beach, the second of three south Florida stations that will be built along the proposed Miami-to-Orlando high-speed rail corridor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-13-14]

SANTA FE TO SUPPORT SOUTHWEST CHIEF WITH LEGISLATURE: The city of Santa Fe is seeking to convince state lawmakers to support Amtrak's Southwest Chief in the upcoming legistlative session that starts in January. [Santa Fe Reporter website report, 11-13-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 8, 2014, with 297,694 total carloads, up 0.2 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal unit volume was 271,113, up 2.2 pct. Combined rail freight - carloads and intermodal - was up 1.1 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-13-14]

COAL UTILITIES ASK FEDS TO PROD BNSF FOR BETTER SERVICE: Ongoing BNSF rail service problems have left coal-fired power plants low on coal, and members of the Western Coal Traffic League have asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to require BNSF to submit a coal-service recovery plan for the board to review, make any necessary changes and to enforce it. [McClatchy DC website report, 11-13-14]

RULE SOUGHT ON SHIPPING OIL BY TRAIN IN N.D.: North Dakota's mineral resources director has proposed to the state's industrial commission that all crude from the state would have to be treated to remove certain liquids and gases to ensure it's in a stable state before being loaded into rail cars. [N.Y. Times website report, 11-13-14]

TWO MAYORS APPEAL TO BILL GATES FOR CN TO PAINT RUSTING QUEBEC CITY BRIDGE: Bill Gates, the biggest investor in Canadian National Railway, has received an appeal from the mayors of Quebec City and Levis to prod the railroad into painting a railroad bridge spanning the St. Lawrence River between the two cities that has been 'plagued with rust.' [Bloomberg News website report, 11-13-14]

TWO TRAINS COLLIDE IN MONTANA: Authorities say two Montana Rail Link trains collided late Nov. 13 east of Missoula, Montana, causing three locomotives from one train and about 10 empty rail cars from the other to derail. Two crew members were treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released. [NBC Montana website report, 11-13-14]

BNSF PUTS MORATORIUM ON ADDING MORE TANK CARS: BNSF has told some customers that they may not add additional tank cars to its system until next year, according to two people familiar with the matter. Oil shippers seeking to add as many as a dozen new crude-oil trains to BNSF's lines, or more than 1,000 cars, have been 'blocked out,' one of the sources said. [Reuters website report, 11-12-14]

CSX CUTTING 300 JOBS, MOSTLY BUYOUTS FROM FLORIDA HEADQUARTERS: CSX Corp. said that it seeks to cut 300 jobs, mostly in its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters staff, by offering voluntary buyouts to some employees. The reduction is being made to "streamline the management organization to better reflect the realities of the company's current and future markets," the company said. One of the company's goals has been to reduce its operating ratio to a percentage in the mid-60's. The percentage in the third-quarter this year was 69.7. [Jacksonville Daily Record website report, 11-12-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS FOR AMTRAK SERVICE TO ROANOKE, VA.: Virginia, Norfolk Suthern and the city of Roanoke are beginning the first phase of construction for the platform that will serve intercity passenger rail service to the cty. [Augusta Free Press website report, 11-12-14]

BOSTON'S SOUTH STATION NAMED IN HONOR OF FORMER GOVERNOR DUKAKIS: Massachusetts has rededicated the South Station in Boston as the Governor Michael Dukakis South Station Transportation Center. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-12-14]

CHINA TO PROVIDE LOAN FOR THAI RAIL PROJECTS: The Chinese government has agreed to provide a soft loan for the construction of standard-gauge, double-track lines in Thailand, which currently has a meter-gauge rail network. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-12-14]

MAN WHO BURNED ATOP METRO-NORTH TRAIN NOV. 9 DIES: The man who burned atop a Metro-North commuter train in Connecticut Nov. 9 after he evidently contacted overhead catenary has died. [WKYC website report, 11-11-14]

CHINESE RAILWAY THREATENS LEGAL ACTION OVER MEXICAN PULLOUT: The Chinese company whose $4.3-billion high-speed rail contract was canceled by Mexico has threatened legal action amid news reports that one of the bi partners built a home for Mexico's first lady. [Bloomberg website report, 11-11-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STOCK HITS NEW HIGH ON RUMOR OF CP MERGER: The price of Norfolk Southern's stock closed at a record $116.60 Nov. 10, up $3.74 from the previous close, also a record. The boost came within days of media reports that Canadian Pacific might try to buy Norfolk Southern. [Virginian-Pilot website report, 11-11-14]

METROLINX PLANS MODERNIZATION OF TORONTO UNION STATION CORRIDOR SIGNALING SYSTEM: Metrolinx in Toronto will upgrade and modernize the entire signaling system within the Union Station Rail corridor starting next year, an improvement that will provide long-term benefits to both transit operations and customers. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-11-14]

UNION THREATENS RAIL STRIKE IN U.K. OVER TOILET WASTE ON TRACKS: The U.K.'s largest transport union has threatened to strike over human waste being flushed on rail tracks causing maintenance workers to endure unpleasant discharges. The union says the problem can be solved by new technology that is widely available, yet only about 10 pct of rail cars have been fitted with retention tanks, and the government has given carriers until 2020 to retrofit the remaining cars. [Herald Scotland website report, 11-11-14]

DUBAI'S LIGHT-RAIL LINE OPENS: Dubai has officially opened the United Arab Emerates' first light-rail line with regular service beginning Nov. 12. Trains will be running at 10-minute intervals during peak hours and 12-minute intervals off-peak. The initial 6.6-mile line has 11 stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-11-12]

RAIL CARRIERS IN CANADA KEEP EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS SECRET FROM RESIDENTS: Railroads in Canada are keeping secret from the public their emergency response plans, according to the Safe Rails Communities group. [Toronto Star website report, 11-11-14]

ONE KILLED, ONE INJURED BY NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN ON TRESTLE IN VIRGINIA: Authorities say a 21-year-old man was killed and a 21-year-old woman was injured after being struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train Nov. 8 on a posted trestle in Lynchburg, Va., the third fatal accident on the trestle since Nov. 2011. [WHSF 3 website report, 11-10-14]

INDIANA ENDS NEGOTIATIONS ON HOOSIER STATE TRAIN: The Indiana DOT has ended contract negotiations to provide passenger rail cars, marketing and other services toward the Hoosier State train between Indianapolis and Chicago and is looking at options to continue the service after the contract with Amtrak expires Jan. 31, 2015. [WNDU website report, 11-10-14]

ROBUST R.R. HIRING REFLECTS SURGE IN TRAFFIC: In another sign of the health of the railroad industry, the Association of American Railroads says that by the end of the year, major freight railroads will have hired 45,000 people since 2012. [Roll Call website report, 11-10-14]

SALZBURG'S MAIN R.R. STATION RECONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: A six-year project by Austrian Federal Railways to reconstruct the Salzburg main station was completed Nov. 7. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-10-14]

ROME OPENS FIRST SECTION OF METRO LINE C: Rome opened the 12.5KM first section of Metro Line C on Nov. 9, the city's third metro line. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-10-14]

MEXICAN PRESIDENT'S $7-M HOME REPORTEDLY OWNED BY RAIL CONTRACTOR: The private, $7-million home of Mexican resident Enrique Pena Nieto was built and is registered under the name of a company connected to a high-speed rail contract that the president abruptly canceled last week, according to a report by a leading Mexican journalist. [Richmond Times-Dispatch website report, 11-9-14]

MAN 'CATCHES FIRE' ATOP A TRAIN IN CONNECTICUT: Authorities say a 21-year old man was hospitalized after catching fire on top of a Metro-North commuter train in Greenwich, Connecticut, Nov. 9. Police say crew members doused the man with a fire extinguisher, and he was then taken to Westchester Medical Center. The man was evidently burned upon contact with the pantograph or overhead cantenary wires. [Townhall Magazine website report, 11-9-14]

TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS 5-YEAR OLD BOY PLAYING ON TRACKS IN UTAH: Authorities said a 5-year-old boy playng on the tracks was struck and killed by a BNSF train in Spanish Fork, Utah, Nov. 9. The boy's sister and cousin, both 7-years old, managed to jump for safety, but the 5-year-old reportedly 'froze' as the train approached. [Townhall Magazine website report, 11-9-14]

WORLD TRADE CENTER TRANSIT HUB OPENS IN N.Y.: The Fulton Center transit hub near the new World Trade Center in New York City opened Nov. 9. The $1.4-billion glass and steel hub is expected to serve 300,000 subway riders a day. [WNBC-TV website report, 11-9-14]

DALLAS COULD GET $983-M DOWNTOWN RAIL EXPANSION: Dallas has moved up its timeline for its proposed $983-million expansion of transit services in the city because officials want the project completed before a high-speed train between Dallas and Houston arrives. However, the location for the train's station in Dallas has yet to be announced. [Dallas Morning News website report, 11-9-14]

RIBBON-CUTTING COMPLETES TOWER 55 PROJECT IN TEXAS: There was a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in front of two locomotives Nov. 7 to mark the completion of a $104-million improvement project to Fort Worth's Tower 55, increasing the control point's capacity by 34 pct. The project added a third north-south track, eliminated three crossings, and added other safety improvements. [WFAA 8 website report, 11-8-14]

RAIL CAR REFURBISHMENT PLANT TO BE BUILT IN KANSAS: Mervis Industries plans to build a $35-million plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, to refurbish rail cars used in transporting crude oil and other combustible liquids. Trading as Mervis Railcar, the plant will employ 150 people within three years of opening. [Hutchinson News website report, 11-8-14]

TWU MEMBERS RATIFY PACT WITH SEPTA: Members of Transport Workers Union local 234 have ratified a two-year contract with SEPTA that will provide for a 5 pct pay increase over that span. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 11-8-14]

BNSF COMPLETES $400-M UPGRADES IN N.D.: The last of 55 miles of new double-track has been placed into service in the Devils Lake area of North Dakota by BNSF, as the company works to east the backlog of rail shipments that have plagued the region. [Superior Telegram website report, 11-8-14]

GERMAN RAIL STRIKE ENDING NOV. 8: German's news agency reported that the head of the GDL union said the railroad strike would end 6 P.M. Nov. 8, more than a day sooner than originally planned, in spite of a court ruling that the strike was legal. Ending the strike when it will avoids impacting the Berlin Wall-fall anniversary scheduled for Nov. 9. [U.S. News & World Report website report, 11-7-14]

MEXICO CANCELS CHINESE CONTRACT FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: Mexico has abruptly cancelled a $3.7-billion contract for a Chinese-led consortium to build a high-speed passenger rail line. President Enrique Pena Nieto said he wanted to avoid any doubts about the legitimacy and transparency of the bidding process. [BBC Business News website report, 11-7-14]

ONE KILLED AS AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES PICKUP TRUCK IN FLORIDA: A 40-year-old woman turned her pickup truck into the path of a fast-moving New York to Miami Amtrak train in Pierson, Florida, Nov. 7, and was killed when the train's impact sent her out of the truck and onto the tracks, troopers said. [Daytona Beach News-Journal website report, 11-7-14]

L.A. BREAKS GROUND ON PURPLE LINE SUBWAY EXTENSION: Ground was broken Nov. 7 on the first phase of the $2.8-billion Los Angeles purple line subway extension project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-7-14]

CO-FOUNDER OF OPERATION LIFESAVER DIES: Sam Grayson, who co-founded the Operation Lifesaver program, died Nov. 2. He was 93. [Progressive Railroading website report]

CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION COSTS LIKELY TO INCREASE: The electrification of the San Francisco-San Jose Caltrain commuter rail line is likely to cost 20 pct more than previously thought, and the work will take a year longer to complete, according to updated estimates. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-7-14]

KEOLIS TO OPERATE REGIONAL RAIL NETWORK IN N.W. GERMANY: Westphalia-Lippe Local Transport has selected Keolis for a contract to operate the Teutoberger Wald regional network in northwest Germany beginning Dec. 2017. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-7-14]

STRUKTON CHOSEN FOR SURINAME LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The government of Suriname has selected Strukton Systems as preferred bdder to construct an 18-mile diesel-operated light-rail line linking Paramaribo with the suburb of Onverwacht. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-7-14]

FEDS STRENGTHEN TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR R.R. SAFETY EMPLOYEES: The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a final rule improving training for safety-related employees, including contractors as well as those employed by railroads, specifing upgraded minimum training standards, review, approval and methods of training programs. [Federal Railroad Administration, 11-7-14]

LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER MISSING AFTER TRAIN DERAILS IN QUEBEC LANDSLIDE: A train engineer is missing after a derailment and landslide sent a locomotive plunging into the Moisie River about 19 miles north of Sept-Iles, Quebec, on Nov. 6. [CBC News website report, 11-6-14]

BNSF OPENS LOGISTIC CENTER IN TEXAS: BNSF opened a new $45-million logistic center in Sweetwater, Texas, with a ribbon-cutting Nov. 6. BNSF invested $28-million to replace existing track and add 40,000 feet of new track at the site; tenant industries contributed $17-million to the project. [BNSF, 11-6-14]

CP RAIL MAY HAVE EYES ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN FOR MERGER, ACTIVIST SAYS: Norfolk Southern stock jumped in late trading after activist Bill Ackman said Canadian Pacific might be interested in a rival to one-time target CSX. [Bloomberg website report, 11-6-14]

BNSF POSTS STRONG EARNINGS: Demand for rail shipping has continued to rise. For the first half of this year, BNSF had net income of $1.9-billion on revenue of about $10.9-billion. [MPR News website report, 11-6-14]

CSX CONCLUDES LITIGATION AGAINST ASBESTOS LAWYERS, DOCTOR: CSX has resolved the final stages of a racketeering and fraud lawsuit against two asbestos attorneys and a radiologist. CSX will be paid $7.3-million to satisfy the trial court judgment entered against the lawyers and doctor in 2013. [CSX, 11-6-14]

AMTRAK SHIFT WOULD CAUSE N.M. LOSSES, REPORT SAYS: New Mexico would suffer economic losses of about $3-million annually if Amtrak shifted its Southwest Chief train to another route, according to a new report issued Nov. 6. [Washington Times website report, 11-6-14]

GERMAN RAIL STRIKE CAUSES COMMUTER CHAOS: German train operators have begun a four-day strike in a dispute with the country's national railway operator, causing chaos for commuters. Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it is seeking a court order to stop the walkout, which the GDL union plans to run through Nov. 10. [U.S. News & World Report website report, 11-6-14]

FEDS HAVE AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR NORTHEAST CORRIDOR: Rail travelers would be able to speed from Washington to Boston at 220 MPH, and people on Long Island would take a tunnel straight to Connecticut rather than go through New York City under some of the more ambitious plans described by federal rail officials Nov. 5 to remake the Northeast Rail Corridor. [Providence Journal website report, 11-6-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO BOOST HIRING, ADD 200 LOCOMOTIVES NEXT YEAR: Union Pacific has boosted hiring plans, and aims to add 200 new locomotives in 2015 to improve network operations, the company said at an investor conference Nov. 5 in Chicago. [Omaha World-Herald website report, 11-6-14]

AMTRAK ADDS RICHMOND-CHARLOTTESVILLE BUS SERVICE: Amtrak and James River Transportation have launched a new thruway bus service that connects passengers to or from both train stations in Richmond, Va., to two long-distance trains (Crescent and Cardinal) at Charlottesville, Va. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-6-14]

UNION PACIFIC-SERVED COLD STORAGE FACILITY OPENS IN IDAHO: Americold late last month opened a 160,000-square-foot facility in Heyburn, Idaho, served by Union Pacific Railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-6-14]

TESTING COMPLETED FOR S-213 BOXCAR PLUG-DOOR STANDARD: Miner Enterprises has concluded boxcar plug-door testing for door manufacturers in response to newly-revised AAR standard S-213. [Railway Age website report, 11-6-14]

LUXURY TRAIN SERVICE PLANNED FOR IRELAND: Hotel and luxury travel operator Belmond has announced plans to launch an upscale, luxury train to tour the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland beginning mid-2016. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-6-14]

SCOTTISH RAIL ELECTRIFICATION CONTRACTS AWARDED: Network Rail has signed contracts with Costain and Morgan Sindall for electrification and associated works on the Edinburgh-Falkirk High-Glasgow Queen Street line as part of the line's improvement program. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-6-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 1, 2014, with 305,389 carloads, up 4.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 5.9 pct. Total rail traffic (carloads & intermodal combined) was up 5.1 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-6-14]

HUMAN ERROR RULED OUT IN MONTANA TRAIN DERAILMENT: Montana Rail Link says it has ruled out human error as the cause of a 19-car train derailment in Montana that destroyed six Boeing 737 fuselages in July. The railroad said simulations performed were inconclusive, but suggested an issue with the tracks. [KVML 1450 website report, 11-6-14]

CHILD KILLED BY BART TRAIN: Authorities say a child was struck and killed Nov. 6 in San Leandro, California, by a Bay Area Rapid Transit train enroute from Fremont to Daly City. [MSN website report, 11-6-14]

FRA CHIEF LEAVING POST FOR POSITION IN CHICAGO: Joseph Szabo, who has headed the Federal Railroad Administration since 2009, will be leaving his post to become a senior fellow helping oversee policy work in areas such as infrastructure funding for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. [Illinois 14 News website report, 11-6-14]

ONE KILLED, 65 HURT AS TRAIN DERAILS IN ALGIERS: Officials say a commuter passenger train derailed near the downtown Algiers train station Nov. 5, killing one person and wounding 65 others, including one in serious condition. Three cars reportedly derailed while the train was switching tracks to clear for an express train. [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette website report, 11-5-14]

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA FACES COAST GUARD SCRUTINY: Three aging drawbridges may pase obstacles to All Aboard Florida's high-speed rail project as the Coast Guard expresses concerns with maritime navigation and considers regulations to maintain open waterways. The decades-old spans that block boat passage when they close for freight trains will close more frequently when 32 passenger trains are added to the daily rail schedule. [Palm Beach Post website report, 11-5-14]

AUSTIN'S URBAN RAIL PROPOSAL FAILS: Austin, Texas, voters have rejected the city's urban rail proposal. The $1.4-billion project would have created a 9.5-mile-long rail corridor. [KTBC Fox 7 website report, 11-5-14]

CAEN, FRANCE, REVEALS LIGHT-RAIL PLANS: A light-rail network is the centerpiece of a new transport plan for the French city of Caen. The 10.6-mile, two-line network will have 31 stations and will largely replace a trolleybus system which has been beset by technical problems since it opened in 2002. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-5-14]

NEW CHINESE HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE READY FOR OPENING: China Railway Corp. says that commercial operations will begin Nov. 16 on the first 320-mile section of the 1,100-mile Urumqi-Lanzhou high-speed rail line to be completed. The remainder of the 155 MPH line is due to open by the end of the year. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-5-14]

WASHINGTON STATE TO IMPROVE 98 GRADE CROSSINGS: Washington state has approved funding for safety upgrades at 98 railroad crossings in Grant, Franklin, Adams, Yakima and Benton counties. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 11-5-14]

BNSF EMPLOYEE INJURED IN TRACK-VEHICLE COLLISION WITH TRAIN IN TEXAS: An employee of BNSF was injured Nov. 5 north of Amarillo, Texas, when a hi-rail track vehicle was involved in a collision with a train on the same track. The employee was air-lifted to a hospital with undisclosed injuries. The accident is under investigation. [News Channel 10 website report, 11-5-14]

OIL BOOM SPURS INCREASE IN RAIL TRAFFIC: U.S. oil production jumped from 5.0 million barrels per day in 2008 to 7.4 million barrels in 2013, and is expected to average 8.5 million this year and 9.3 million next year, according to the U.S, Energy Information administration. Existing pipelines are not adequate to move all that new volume, so there has been a massive increase in shipping by rail. [Bakken website report, 11-5-14]

HUDSON, EAST RIVER TUNNELS NEED MORE REPAIRS: Repairs to superstorm Sandy-damaged rail tunnels used by trains linking New York with the rest of the Northeast Corridor could cause a service nightmare. Longer closures to do the work could cut service on Amtrak from 24 trains an hour to six, railroad officials said Nov. 5. [Bristol Press website report, 11-5-14]

FEDS APPROVE CONSTRUCTION ALTERNATIVE FOR CSX'S TUNNEL PROJECT IN D.C.: The Federal Highway administration has approved a preferred consruction alternative to CSX's Virginia avenue tunnel project, enabling the railroad to complete the design and initiate the construction permitting process. The project is to modernize the 110-year-old tunnel to allow greater clearances, and to improve the flow of rail traffic through D.C. [CSX, 11-4-14]

RESCUE ENGINE WAS GOING 25 MPH WHEN IT STRUCK STALLED ARKANSAS EXCURSION TRAIN: National Transportation Safety board investigators say the rescue engine was traveling at 25 MPH at the time it struck the excursion train in Arkansas Oct. 16. Thirty-nine passengers and four crew members were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. The excursion train had stalled due to rail-slip issues and was unable to climb a one-percent grade. The final report on the accident might not be complete until next year. [News on 6 website report, 11-4-14]

CHINESE GROUP TO BUILD MEXICAN BULLET TRAIN: Mexico's government has picked a Chinese-let consortium to build the first bullet train in Latin America after the group was the only bidder. The 186 MPH train service would reduce the commute between Mexico City and Queretaro from two and one-half hours to 58 minutes, officials said. [CTV News website report, 11-4-14]

GATX TO PURCHASE RAIL CARS BUILT BY TRINITY RAIL GROUP: GATX Corp. has agreed to purchase up to 8,950 newly-built rail cars over a four-year period, beginning in March 2016. GATX expects to order mostly tank cars, but also some freight cars, to be manufactured by Trinity Rail Group. GATX's existing 5-year, 12,500-car supply agreement with Trinity ends in mid-2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-4-14]

FIRST TEST RUN IN DELFT RAIL TUNNEL: Trial operation began Nov. 1 on the new underground rail link beneath the Dutch city of Delft through its 1.4-mile tunnel. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-4-14]

NJT TRAIN KILLS PEDESTRIAN: A New York-bound N.J. Transit train struck and killed a man on the tracks just west of Hazlet early Nov. 4. Train service was suspended for several hours with substitute bus service provided. [Washington Times website report, 11-4-14]

FIRE HALTS METRA ELECTRIC TRAINS: Metra electric line trains are once again on the move after being stopped late Tuesday morning, Nov. 4, because of a fire on the tracks at the 47th street station on the Chicago South Side. [Chicago Sun-Times website report, 11-4-14]

GERMAN TRAIN OPERATORS ANNOUNCE FOUR-DAY STRIKE: Train drivers working for Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn have announced a four-day strike for later this week, marking the longest labor action in the company's history. [Deutsche Welle website report, 11-4-14]

RAILROADS SLOW TO DELIVER NEEDED COAL, MINNESOTA UTILITIES SAY: Minnesota electric utilities say railroads are not caching up on coal deliveries to power plants, and they want federal regulators to force railroads to meet the demand for coal. [MPR News webstie report, 11-4-14]

INEKON LANDS $30-M DETROIT STREETCAR DEAL: M-1 Rail has awarded a $30-million to Inekon Group for six vehicles for the 3.3-mile streetcar line along Detroit's Woodward avenue between Larned street and West Grand boulevard. [Railway Age website report, 11-3-14]

LONGVIEW, WASHINGTON, EXPANDING INDUSTRIAL RAIL CORRIDOR: The port of Longview, Washington, is launching a $10-million industrial rail corridor expansion project aimed at increasing cargo-movement efficiency. The port plans to add one track and two 7,000-foot sidings to the industrial corridor's two tracks. The corridor connects to BNSF's main line, which is also used by Union Pacific. [Progressive Railroading website report, 11-3-14]

TRACK WORK COMPLETED IN WORLD'S LONGEST RAILWAY TUNNEL: A milestone in the construction of the world's longest railway tunnel was celebrated Oct. 31 marking the completion of track laying in the 35-mile twin-bore Gotthard Base tunnel in Switzerland, slated to open in 2016. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-3-14]

JAPANESE MAGLEV PROJECT APPROVED: Construction of the first phase of JR Central's Chuo Shinkansen maglev project linking Tokyo and Nagoya has been approved by a Japanese ministry. The 177-mile first phase will cost over $38-billion. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-3-14]

MARSEILLES-MILAN TRAIN SERVICE TO BEGIN DEC. 14: Long-distance rail operator Thello has begun selling tickets for its new Marseilles-Milan service, due to begin Dec. 14, offering both first-class and coach service on trains with a capacity of 450 to 600 seats, depending upon demand. [International Railway Journal website report, 11-3-14]

UNOCCUPIED BART TRAIN CATCHES FIRE: Bay Area Rapid Transit officials say nobody was hurt when an unoccupied train caught fire over the weekend in Hayward, California. Only the outside of the train was damaged, officials said. [Fresno Bee website report, 11-3-14]

MIDWEST HIGH-SPEED RAIL WORK DELAYED UNTIL SPRING: High-speed rail-related work that had been expected to begin this fall in Normal, McLean and Lexington, Illinois, has been delayed until late spring 2015. [Bloomington Pantagraph website report, 11-3-14]

FEDS GRANT $10-M TOWARD KANSAS CITY COMMUTER RAIL: Jackson County, Missouri, is one step closer to connecting Kansas City to Lee's Summit with a commuter railway. The $10-million federal grant will go towards purchasing rail lines, including the abandoned Rock Island Railway that has not been used in more than 30 years. The county now needs to raise another $49-million for the project. [KSHB 41 Kansas City website report, 11-3-14]

TWO BART STATIONS AT RISK OF BEING CUT FROM RAIL EXTENSION: In an effort to secure federal funds by cutting $1.3-billion from an extension through downtown San Jose, Bay Area Rapid Transit planners are considering eliminating at 28th street and Santa Clara University. A proposed maintenance yard at Newhall street would also be cut with the facility used simply to reverse trains. [Mercury News website report, 11-3-14]

CSX NAMES KELLEN RILEY AS S.C. INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: CSX has appointed Kellen Riley as its South Carolina Industrial Development manager. Mr. Riley is part of the CSX regional development team, which works to assist firms interested in locating rail-served sites on the railroad's network. [CSX, 11-3-14]

UNION WORKERS, SEPTA REACH DEAL: Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA have reached a tentative two-year contract agreement. Details were not released. [Williamsport Sun Gazette website report, 11-1-14]

CP RAIL ASKS JUDGE TO OVERRULE N.D. TOWN'S CROSSING-BLOCKING ORDINANCE: Canadian Pacific is asking a federal judge to block the city of Enderlin, N.D., from enforcing an ordinance banning trains from blocking railway crossings for more than 10 minutes. The railroad claims the ordinance is unconstitutional, would require the railroad to use shorter trains that would cause reduction in track capacity. Enderlin says the ordinance is within the law. [KFGO website report, 11-1-14]

MAN ACCUSED FOR MULTIPLE LIRR COPPER THEFTS: A Hicksville, N.Y., man is accused of stealing or damaging 1,100 feetof copper cable that belonged to the Long Island Rail Road. Investigators say the may took cable from a substation and several other properties at least eight times over the past two weeks, and one theft on Oct. 31 caused a track fire in Mineola that delayed trains for hours during the morning rush hour. [Long Island News 12 website report, 11-1-14]

RAIL DELAYS HITTING CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: Add the construction industry to the list of those who say their business is being hurt by delays due to congestion on the railways. The impact on ag producers has been well-documented, but other businesses say they're also 'tired of waiting.' [Forum News service website report, 11-1-14]

OPPOSITION SURFACES FOR TEXAS BULLET TRAIN: A proposed high-speed rail line connecting Dallas to Houston has encountered its first organized opposition: the Sam Houston Tea Party, which includes more than 400 active members. Many of the members, although they did not necessarily identify themselves by party affiliation, spoke against the proposal at a recent meeting in Huntsville. [Star-Telegram website report, 11-1-14]

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PHASE 2 PROJECT DRAWS THREE BIDDERS: Three sealed bids have been received by the California High-Speed Rail authority for construction of the second leg of the state's bullet train network from Fresno to Bakersfield. The bidders are Dragados-Flatiron-Shimmick, Golden Rail Partnership, and Tutor Perini-Zachry-Parsons. [Railway Age website report, 10-31-14]

GENESEE & WYOMING REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Genesee & Wyming reported third-quarte operating revenue increased 7.8 pct compared with the same quarter last year. Adjusted income from operations jumped 16.7 pct to $122.6-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-14]

RENOVATIONS TO WINNIPEG UNION STATION COMPLETE: VIA Rail officials have marked the completion of $6-million in renovations to the 100-year-old Union Station in Winnipeg, Manitoba. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-14]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: FreightCar American reported third-quarter net income of $6.4-million or 53 cents per diluted share, much better than the $900,000 loss in the third-quarter last year. [Railway Age website report, 10-31-14]

RAILCOM TO REPLACE COMMUNICATIONS FOR OREGON'S CTC DISPATCHING SYSTEM: RailComm has been chosen to replace the communication infrastructure for the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's CTC dispatching system at 10 locations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-14]

MERVIS RAILCAR TO ESTABLISH FACILITY IN KANSAS: Mervis Railcar, a division of Mervis Industries, plans to establish a rail-car refurbishing facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The $35-million facility will employ 150 people in three years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-14]

BOMBARDIER REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Bombardier Transportation reported third-quarter revenue rose 12 pct to $2.3-billion, compared with $2.1-billion in the same period last year. The company's order backlog is $34.5-billion as of September 30. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-31-14]

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF TO BE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT FOR QUEENSLAND PROJECT: Adani Mining has selected Parsons Brinckerhoff as its project management consultant for the Carmichael integrated coal mine, railway and port project in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, Australia. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-31-14]

CHINESE COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES FOR THREE IN TRAIN STATION ATTACK KILLING 31: A Chinese court has upheld the death sentences of three men convicted or organizing knife attacks that killed 31 people earlier this year outside a railway station in Kunming. [Fox News website report, 10-31-14]

AMTRAK'S DOWNEASTER TO ADD STOP IN KENNEBUNK, MAINE: Amtrak will begin stopping in Kennebunk, Maine, next summer, or in 2016, restoring passenger train service to the town for the first time in half a century. [Portland Press Herald website report, 10-30-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Oct. 25, 2014, with 307,348 carloads, up 3.5 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 6.7 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-30-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW AMTRAK ROCHESTER STATION: Construction has started on the $29.8-million Amtak Rochester, N.Y., intermodal station, which will reduce delays be expanding track service and increase functionality through a new and redesigned concourse. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-30-14]

CSX-SERVED FERTILIZER PLANT TO BE BUILT IN ILLINOIS: Cronus Fertilizers will build a $1.4-billion fertilizer plant near Tuscola, Illinois, along a CSX line. The plant is one of the largest private investments in central Illinois since Mitsubishi opened an auto factory in Normal in 1988. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-30-14]

LANKERSHIM, CALIFORNIA, DEPOT RESTORATION COMPLETED: Major restoration of the 118-year-old Lankershim rail transit depot in North Hollywood, California, has been completed. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-30-14]

UNION PACIFIC CONVERTS BOX CAR INTO MOBILE CLASSROOM: In collaboration with the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation, Union Pacific has converted a box car into a mobile classroom for use to educate emergency responders. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-30-14]

ALL BUILDINGS IN LAC-MEGANTIC DISASTER ZONE TO BE DEMOLISHED: The town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, devastated by a deadly train explosion last year, has announced that all remaining buldings in the downtown disaster zone will be demolished. [Toronto Sun website report, 10-30-14]

CHINA TO DEVELOP MALI RAIL LINKS: The government of Mali has signed agreements worth $9.5-billion with two Chinese railway civil engineering companies to build a new line to the Guinean port of Conakry and to upgrade the existing railway linking Mali with Senagal. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-30-14]

NETHERLANDS NAMES CAF AS PREFERRED BIDDER FOR SPRINTER FLEET: Netherlands Railways has announced that CAF Spain is its preferred bidder for a contract to supply a fleet of 120 electric multiple units for its Sprinter New Generation project. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-30-14]

RAIL DELAYS PUT EAST COAST REFINERY IN JEOPARDY: In August and September, Monroe Energy experienced a million-barrel shortage of crude-by-rail deliveries to key supply points, according to a letter to federal transportation regulators. The deficit caused Monroe to cut runs, which causes a spike in product prices for customers, the company said. [E&E Publshing website report, 10-30-14]

CSX REPORTS NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON JAMES RIVER WATER QUALITY POST-DERAILMENT: CSX says its post-derailment water quality monitoring of the James River around around Lynchburg, Va., has found no additional adverse effects to date. The monitoring is part of the response to the April 30 derailment that spilled about 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the river. [Lynchburg News & Advance website report, 10-30-14]

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION, MINNESOTA GOVERNOR SPEAK OUT ON UNRELIABLE COAL DELIVERIES: U.S. Senators Klobuchar and Franken, U.S. Representative Nolan and Minnesota Governor Dayton have urged the Federal Energy Regulatory commission to protect Minnesota consumers from reduced utility reliability by forcing BNSF to fix coal-delivery issues. [Hometown Source website report, 10-30-14]

BNSF IS WELL PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER: BNSF has told its customers that it will go into the winter season better prepared than ever before. Given the extremes endured last winter, BNSF's operating divisions evaluated this year's winter action plans with the benefit of last year's winter experience. [BNSF, 10-30-14]

UNION PACIFIC APPEARS TO BE GRABBING INTERMODAL SHARE FROM BNSF: The Journal of Commerce reports that Union Pacific appears to be snagging intermodal market share from its arch rival BNSF. [Journal of Commerce website report, 10-31-14]

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON FORT LAUDERDALE STATION: Oct. 29 marked the beginning of construction for All Aboard Florida's downtown Fort Lauderdale station. The previous building was demolished so construction on the nearly 60,000-square-foot station and platform could begin. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-29-14]

FEDS CITE POOR SAFETY MANAGEMENT IN FIVE METRO-NORTH ACCIDENTS: In its investigation of five Metro-North accidents, the National Transportation Safety board identified several recurring safety issues, including inadequate and ineffective track inspection and maintenance, extensive deferred maintenance issues, inadequate safety oversight and deficiencies in passenger car crashworthiness, roadway worker protection procedures and organizational safety culture. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-29-14]

CANADA TIGHTENS RAIL SAFETY MEASURES: The Canadian government is tightening safety measures for railways operating in the country in the aftermath of last year's derailment in Quebec killing 47 people. The new measures cover four areas, beginning with ensuring that unattended trains are properly secured. Transport Canada will fund research and the development of improved braking systems. [Vancouver Sun website report, 10-29-14]

AMTRAK CAPITOL CORRIDOR TRAIN KILLS PERSON ON TRACKS IN OAKLAND: An Amtrak Capitol Corridor train from Sacramento struck and killed a person on the tracks in Oakland early Oct. 29. [CBS San Francisco website report, 10-29-14]

PLANS BEING CONSIDERED FOR DETROIT-CHICAGO HIGH-SPEED RAIL: A proposed 300-mile high-speed rail corridor connecting Detroit to Chicago could reduce travel time by as much as two hours, according to an environmental impact assessment. The Michigan DOT says a decision about the feasibility of the 110-MPH line that would include 10 daily trips could be made by next year, but will depend upon funding, as the cost could reach nearly $3-billion. [Detroit Free Press website report, 10-29-14]

CANAVERAL SHORT LINE EYES EXTENSION: Florida's Canaveral Port authority has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board for permission to construct and operate approximately 11 miles of new rail line to Port Canaveral. [Railway Age website report, 10-29-14]

AMTRAK SIGNAL MAINTAINER KILLED IN N.Y. STATE RAILROAD ACCIDENT: National Transportation Safety board officials are investigating an accident that killed an Amtrak signal maintainer Oct. 29 in Clermont, N.Y. Train service was suspended between Albany and New York City while officials investigated the scene. [CBS 6 Albany website report, 10-29-14]

CALIFORNIA SEEKS TO OVERRIDE BULLET-TRAIN INJUNCTIONS: The California High-Speed Rail authority is facing seven lawsuits over its approval of the Fresno-Bakersfield segment of the proposed bullet-train line. Now the agency is asking the U.S. Surface Transportation board to declare that these lawsuits should be unable to seek a California judge's order to block construction, claiming that federal jurisdiction over the project overrides portions of the state's environmental quality act. [Fresno Bee website report, 10-29-14]

BNSF URGED TO OPEN GREAT FALLS-HELENA LINE: Montana Agriculture Dept. director Ron de Yong has informally asked BNSF to reopen the Great Falls-Helena line to help deal with increased use and delays in shipping along the Hi-Line in the northern part of the state. [Great Falls Tribune website report, 10-29-14]

RAILWAYS GRAPPLE WITH LOCOMOTIVE SHORTAGE: As railways try to keep pace with soaring freight volumes, they are facing a shortage of locomotives. One of the two manufacturers of locomotives is currently out of the market until it can meet tougher emission standards in the U.S. The shortage is spurring rail companies to repair and overhaul older equipment and hire new crews, pushing up expenses, even as revenues and profits set records. [Globe & Mail website report, 10-29-14]

AMTRAK ZEROING IN ON CHICAGO-CLEVELAND TRAIN DELAYS: Amtrak is stepping up efforts to relieve rail traffic gridlock in Chicago. The company specifically cited delays of four or more hours between Chicago and Cleveland that it said have become a near-daily experience. [Cleveland Plain Dealer website report, 10-28-14]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY CONDUCTOR $12-K FOR IMPROPER DISCIPLINE: BNSF has been order to pay a BNSF conductor assigned to Ottumwa, Iowa, $12,000 in damages for improperly disciplining the employee for following a physician's treatment plan of not returning to work due to illness. The company must also remove disciplinary information from the employee's record and provide whistleblower rights information to all its employees. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 10-28-14]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES CEMENT TRUCK IN INDIANA: An Amtrak train struck and split in half a cement truck in Reynolds, Indiana, early Oct. 28. Eight train passengers received minor injuries and were transported to a hospital; 16 others were treated at the scene by paramedics. The driver of the truck was not injured. Passengers were furnished bus transportation about two hours after the accident to continue their journey to Chicago. [Lafayette Journal & Courier website report, 10-28-14]

CHICAGO TRANSIT PROPOSES MORE RAIL SERVICE IN 2015: The Chicago Transit authority has unveiled a proposed $1.44-billion budget for 2015 that would hold the line on base fares while expanding some transit services. Additional rail service would include rush-hour trips on the red, blue, brown and orange lines. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-28-14]

OKLAHOMA FIRM DEPLOYS GENSET LOCOMOTIVE: Fairmount Santrol has deployed a Railserve Genset locomotive at its Roff, Oklahoma, resin-coating plants. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-28-14]

BNSF HONORS UTAH RAILWAY AS SHORT LINE OF THE YEAR: BNSF has chosen Utah Railway - owned by Genesee & Wyoming - as the recipient of its 2014 short line of the year award. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-28-14]

ALSTOM LANDS $108-M DELHI METRO CONTRACT: Alstom obtained a $108-million contract from Delhi Metro Rail to supply 25 metro train sets to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. The cars will be manufactured in India. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-28-14]

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF GETS U.K. MANAGEMENT SERVICES CONTRACT: Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a contract to provide asset information management services to support the United Kingdom's high-speed rail program through the next phases of scheme development. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-28-14]

AMTRAK ASSEMBLES 'BLUE RIBBON' PANEL TO ADDRESS CHICAGO GRIDLOCK: Amtrak is establishing a blue ribbon panel of rail and transportation leaders to identify infrastructure and operational improvements to address the rail traffic gridlock in Chicago. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-28-14]

WABTEC MARKS SUCCESSFUL THIRD-QUARTER: Wabtec announced record results for its third-quarter, led by record earnings per diluted share of 93 cents, up 22 pct from the comparable quarter in 2013. [Railway Age website report, 10-28-14]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES 3-Q EARNINGS RISE: Trinity Industries announced third-quarter earnings of $149.4-million or 90 cents per diluted share, up 43 pct from the third-quarter 2013. [Railway Age website report, 10-28-14]

DESIGNS PRESENTED FOR RIYADH ORANGE LINE TRAINS: Final designs for the Riyadh metro orange line train fleet have been presented by Bombardier, which is supplying 47 two-car Innovia Metro 300 sets for the 25.3-mile east-west line. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-28-14]

POTSDAM TO UPGRADE LIGHT-RAIL NETWORK: The municipal government in Potsdam and Potsdam Transport have unveiled a plan to upgrade the German city's 18-mile light-rail network. The proposals include an extension to the new Hasso-Platner Institute campus at Jungfernsee. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-28-14]

FRENCH AUDITOR CALLS FOR SMALLER TGV NETWORK: France will need to consider reducing the number of stations served by TGV services if the network is to stand any chance of being profitable, according to a report on the finances of TGV. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-28-14]

GRAND RAPIDS AMTRAK STATION STOP MOVED TO NEW LOCATION: The Amtrak station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has relocated to 440 Century avenue sw, about one-half mile east of the former stop. [Amtrak]

DURBIN & GREENBRIER VALLEY TO TAKE OVER CASS RAILROAD: The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced Oct. 27 that rail operations at Cass Scenic Railroad state park will be taken over by the state's Rail authority and the state-owned West Virginia Central Railroad effective when the Cass line's current season ends Nov. 4. Durbin & Greenbrier Valley will be operator under contract. [WV Gazette website report, 10-27-14]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN TENNESSEE, SEVERAL INJURED: Several CSX railroad employees were injured during a train derailment in Benton County, Tennessee, Sunday night, Oct. 26. Authorities said as many as 15 empty cars left the tracks after a levee for a newly-built pond broke, causing flooding along highway 70 west. Injured employees were taken to a local hospital with injuries said to be minor. [WMBF News website report, 10-27-14]

TRANSPORT WORKERS AUTHORIZE STRIKE AT SEPTA: SEPTA bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, and other transit workers have voted to authorize a strike, which could take effect later this year or early in 2015. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 10-27-14]

AMTRAK POSTS REVENUE, RIDERSHIP GROWTH: Amtrak said ticket revenues for FY-2014 reached nearly $2.2-billion, up 4 pct from FY-2013. Ridership exceeded 30.9 million, an increase of 0.2 pct. Ridership on long-distance routes fell about 4.5 pct with 12 of the 15 long-distance lines showing decreases. [USA Today website report, 10-27-14]

MIDWEST TRANSPORTATION WORKFORCE CENTER OPENING: The Universty of Wisconsin- Madison is launching a new center aimed at bolstering the Midwest transportaiton industry by provding training and opportunities for people to pursue transportation careers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-27-14]

N.Y. STATE GETS FEDERAL GRANT TOWARD TRAIL PROJECTS: New York Governor Cuomo announced that 68 new multi-use path projects will be funded by a federal grant, to include bicycle-pedestrian improvements, safe crossing projects and rails-to-trails extensions throughout the state. [Buffalo News website report, 10-27-14]

WORK BEGINS ON MUNICH NORTHERN RAIL AIRPORT LINK: Construction has begun of a new rail link to Munich Franz-Jozef Strauss International airport with a groundbreaking near the Bavarian town of Neufahrn bei Freising. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-27-14]

MONGOLIA APPROVES NEW RAIL LINE TO RUSSIA: The government of Mongolia has approved an extension of the existing line from Erdenet to Ovoot and Arts Suuri on the Russian border that will provide a direct link to Russia's coal coking plant in the Ulug Khem basin. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-27-14]

AMTRAK'S BLUE WATER LINE SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD: Amtrak says a record number of passengers rode trains on its Port Huron-Chicago line last fiscal year. [Lansing State Journal website report, 10-27-14]

CHINA'S TWO TOP TRAIN MANUFACTURERS EXPECTED TO MERGE: China's top two train producers have been reported to be in merger talks in a bid to halt their rivalry and better compete with Western companies. If merged, the companies would have combined annual revenue of about $32.7-billion based on 2013 data. [Deutsche Welle website report, 10-27-14]

'GREEN' ROOF, SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED ON NYC BUS DEPOT: The Mother Clara Bus depot in Harlem, slated to reopen next month, is touted as the first 'green' bus station in the U.S. The newly-upgraded depot roof features 65,000 square feet of greenery, along with solar panels. [N.Y. Daily News website report, 10-27-14]

CANADIAN RAILWAYS FAILED TO REPORT SOME ACCIDENTS: The Canadian transportation safety board said on Oct. 27 that it found a total of 254 accidents involving Canadian National; Canadian Pacific; and Montreal, Maine & Atlantic went unreported - or were reported late - over a seven-year period. [Canadian Press website report, 10-27-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ADMITS TO LAGGING CUSTOMER SERVICE: Norfolk Southern has admitted that its service levels to customers have continued to lag, the result of unexpected congestion. [Virginian Pilot website report, 10-26-14]

MASTER PLAN ADVANCES FOR L.A. UNION STATION: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority has agreed to advance a master plan for Union Station from the planning to implementation stage. The plan preserves the historic station, features improvements that build on ongoing restoration and upgrades, including new signage, restoration of furnishings, woodwork, metalwork, chandeliers and repainting. Other work includes renovating the roof, installing new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, and perimeter enhancements. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-24-14]

THREE NEW STATIONS TO BE ADDED TO NEW HAVEN-SPRINGFIELD RAIL LINE: Connecticut officials have announced the start of construction of train stations at Berlin, Meriden and Wallingford as part of the New Haven- Hartford- Springfield rail program. The nearly $59-million project is scheduled to be completed by the launch of service in late 2016. [WTNH New Haven website report, 10-24-14]

TRACTOR-TRAILER DRIVER KILLED IN CRASH WITH TRAIN IN OKLAHOMA: Authorities report a Union Pacific train collided with a tractor-trailer at a crossing in Davis, Oklahoma, early Oct. 24. It appears that the driver had ignored gates, lights and warning signals, according to the railroad. [News Oklahoma website report, 10-24-14]

AMTRAK MAY SELL OR LEASE LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT: Amtrak is considering selling or leasing center city land in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia, which would help the railroad raise funds to support its ridership. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 10-24-14]

BNSF TO ADD $1,000 SURCHARGE ON OLDER OIL TANK CARS: BNSF plans to apply a $1,000 surcharge for each older crude tak car. The railroad is the first major U.S. opertor using fees to dicourage shippers from using puncture-prone older cars. [Bloomberg website report, 10-24-14]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN SELKIRK YARD: Federal and state investigators are looking into what caused 18 cars of a freight train to derail Oct. 22 in CSX's Selkirk yard in Albany, N.Y. [Journal News website report, 10-24-14]

DEFECTIVE RAIL BRIDGE IN DENVER BEING DEMOLISHED, THEN TO BE REBUILT: The contractor who built a 506-long bridge for Denver's commuter rail is tearing it down shortly after it was completed because testing indicated the bridge could not withstand the 60 years of use it was designed for. Then it will be rebuilt. Despite the delay, the contractor says the project is still on schedule for a 2016 completion date. [CBS 4 Denver website report, 10-23-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Oct. 18, 2014, with 297,130 total carloads, up 2.7 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was 272,554, up 3 pct. Total combined rail traffic (carloads plus intermodal) was 569,684, up 2.9 pct. Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increased, includng petroleum and petroleum products, up 17.4 pct, and nonmetallic minerals, up 12.5 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-23-14]

METRO-NORTH HAD JOINT-BAR PROBLEMS BEFORE 2013 BRIDGEPORT ACCIDENT: The break in a bar joining railroad tracks that derailed a Metro-North train in Bridgeport, Connecticut, last year, injuring dozens, came not long after other joint bars had broken in the same area, according to documents from federal investigators. That is one of the revelations in data released this month by the National Transportation Safety Board as it draws to a close on five accident investigations on Metro-North tracks. [Journal News website report, 10-23-14]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported third-quarter 2014 net income of $1.4-billion or $1.53 per diluted share, compared to $1.24 per diluted share in the third-quarter 2013. Operating revenues were up 11 pct to $6.2-billion, and operating income was up 19 pct to $2.3-billion. [Union Pacific, 10-23-14]

REDESIGNED SIEMENS S70 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLE UNVEILED IN PORTLAND: TriMet of Portland, Oregon, has unveiled the redesigned Siemens S70 Type 5 light-rail vehicle, designed and manufactured at Siemens' Sacramento plant. [Railway Age website report, 10-23-14]

MBTA FAIRMOUNT LINE TO GET DMU'S: Massachusetts has announced plans for the Fairmount line, linking Boston's South Station with the Readville neighborhood, to become more efficient by employing diesel multiple-unit equipment. [Railway Age website report, 10-23-14]

HOWELL-ANN ARBOR COMMUTER RAIL LINE BEING STUDIED: The Ann Arbor Transportation authority has begun a new technical study to determine the feasibility of a 27-mile commuter rail between Howell and Ann Arbor, Michigan. [Ann Arbor News website report, 10-23-14]

CONSTRUCTION OF KENYAN RAIL LINE SUSPENDED BY COURT: A Nairobil hgh court has halted the $3.6-billion project to build a 378-mile standard-gauge railway linking Neirobi with Mombasa due to a dispute over compensation for land acquisition. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-23-14]

ISRAELI RAIL ELECTRIFICATION PLAN APPROVED: Israel's program to electrify 261 miles of both existing and planned rail lines at 25kV ac has been approved. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-23-14]

MAJOR RAIL MERGERS 'DON'T MAKE SENSE,' U.P. CEO SAYS: The chief executive of Union Pacific Corp. said that he does not think mergers of major railroads 'make sense' because of the regulatory hurdles they face, and the service issues they create. Jack Koralesky told analysts in a conference call Oct. 23 that he is not a fan of mergers and he does not think it's a good solution. [Yahoo Finance website report, 10-23-14]

ARKANSAS & MISSOURI R.R. RESUMES EXCURSION TRIPS: The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad resumed its excursion train trips Oct. 23, a week after two trains collided near West Fork, Arkansas, injuring 44. While the company resumed its excursions, National Transportation Safety Board officials are still working on their preliminary investigation report, expected to be released within the next seven to 10 days. [Tulsa KOTV News on 6 website report, 10-23-14]

'ENGLEWOOD FLYOVER' DEDICATED: Illinois officials dedicated a new railroad bridge in Chicago on Oct. 23 that is helping untangle the worst choke point in the nation's freight rail network. The $140-million Englewood Flyover opened in September, and carries Metra commuter trains over another set of tracks used by Amtrak and Norfolk Southern. The 140 freight and passenger trains that move through the conrol point each day had been crossing at ground level, causing severe delays. [BND website report, 10-23-14]

CRUDE-BY-RAIL FACILITY OPENS IN CASPER, WYOMING: Granite Peak Development held an open house Oct. 21 to mark the opening of a $60-million BNSF-served crude-by-rail facility in Casper, Wyoming. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-23-14]

D.C. TO PURSUE LESS-AMBITIOUS STREETCAR PLANS: Washington DC officials are now pushing for a streetcar system that will cost $800-million and include eight miles of track, rather than 20 or more miles of track in the original vision. Mayor Vincent Gray said the decision was 'bitter sweet,' but said it was still a significant step forward. [Washington Post website report, 10-23-14]

ILLINOIS INLAND PORT ADVANCES HARBOR PROJECT: Ground was broken Oct. 20 for America's Central Port in Granite City, Illinois, for the second phase of the South Harbor project. The second phase calls for a conveyor system for loading barges with commodities brought to the port via rail and truck. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-23-14]

CHAMPION IRON FORMS PARTNERSHIP TO MANAGE FEASIBILITY STUDY OF RAIL LINE IN QUEBEC: Champion Iron has forged a partnershp with the government of Quebec and Lac Oteinuk Mining to manage the implementation of a feasibility study for a new Labrador Trough iron-ore rail line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-23-14]

CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAIN KICKS OFF 16TH SEASON: The Canadian Pacific Holiday train program is returning to the rails for a 16th year to raise money, food and awareness for food banks and hunger issues across Canada and the U.S. Since its launch in 1999, the program has raised close to $9.5-million and 3.3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Two trains will cross the continent with the program beginning Nov. 26 and ending Dec. 18. [Canadian Pacific, 10-23-14]

NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON 2013 CSX ROSEDALE ACCIDENT: The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the May 28, 2013, train-truck collision, derailment and explosion in Rosedale, Md., was caused the the truck driver's failure to ensure that the tracks were clear, and the driver's distraction due to a phone conversation on a hands-free device at the time of the crash. MORE... [National Transportation Safety Board, 10-22-14]

N.J. FACING HEFTY PRICE TAG FOR NEW RAIL TUNNELS: With the two century-old tunnels that carry trains from New Jersey into New York City badly damaged by superstorm Sandy, and facing eventual shutdowns for needed repair, Amtrak officials are reshaping their $13.5-billion Gateway tunnel project into a 'rescue operation' that would focus on building the new tunnels first and worry about expanding Penn Station later. How much New Jersey would have to kick in for the tunnels s yet to be determined, but it is likely to cost more than the Access to the Region's Core tunnel that Governor Christie canceled four years ago. [NJ Spotlight website report, 10-22-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported third-quarter net income of $559-million, 16 pct higher than for the same period of 2013. Diluted earnings per share were up 17 pct. Income from railway operations improved 18 pct to $998-million. [Norfolk Southern, 10-22-14]

PROPOSED ROUTES FOR DALLAS-HOUSTON HIGH-SPEED RAIL REVEALED: Texans got their first glimpse of the potential routes a proposed bullet train could take from Dallas to Houston. Three potential end points in Dallas and four potential end points in Houston, along with two routes between the cities are being considered. The 240-mile project is expected to get people between the cities in 90 minutes. If approved, and funding is secured, the train could be running by 2021. [Dallas Morning News website report, 10-22-14]

CHINA'S CNR SELECTED TO SUPPLY NEW METRO CARS FOR BOSTON: Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority has recommended CNR Changchun as preferred supplier of 284 metro cars for Boston for use on the orange and red lines. CNR was the lowest bidder of six companies at $556.6-million, and the cars will be assembled at a former Westinghouse facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-22-14]

GROUND BROKEN ON SOUTH HEART RAIL TERMINAL IN N.D.: Watco Terminal & Port Services and Great Northern Project Development have broken ground on the South Heart Rail Terminal, a multi-purpose rail transload terminal and railcar maintenance shop near South Heart, N.D., and will serve the energy industry. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-22-14]

RAIL CEO'S DIVERGE ON THE MERITS OF MERGERS: Canadian Pacific CEO Hunter Harrison maintains that mergers are the best solution for the tight capacity and service problems with which railroads have been dealing this year. Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman says that a large railroad merger would be "highly problematic" and would face "far too many regulatory hurdles." CSX's CEO Michael Ward said he thought more mergers were "a bad idea." [Railway Age website report, 10-22-14]

STUDY BEGINS ON LIGHT-RAIL LINE FOR ATLANTA: The Federal Transit administration and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit authority are advancing a study that could establish Atlanta's first light-rail line on what's called the Clifton Corridor, an 8.8-mile portion along a rail line owned by CSX. [Railway Age website report, 10-22-14]

NEW AMTRAK ACS-64 LOCOMOTIVE DEBUTS ON KEYSTONE ROUTE: Amtrak passengers on Oct. 20 rode on the first Keystone service train in revenue service to be powered by a new Amtrak Siemens-built Cities Sprinter ACS-64 electric locomotive. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-22-14]

TEEN KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN OREGON: Authorities say a 13-year-old boy was struck and killed by an Amtrak train while walking along the tracks between Woodburn and Gervais, Oregon, Tuesday evening, Oct. 21. [KOIN 6 website report, 10-22-14]

N.C. SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR NEW OPERATOR OF PIEDMONT & NORTHERN: The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation is seeking proposals from qualified short-line operators to operate the 13-mile Piedmont & Northern Railway between Gastonia and Mount Holly. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-22-14]

BACKERS OF MAGLEV TRAIN ENVISION N.Y.-WASHINGTON RUNS OF ONE HOUR: A group of Washington investors with political backing and a $5-billion commitment from Japan is pressing ahead with its vision of a high-speed train that could whisk passengers between New York and Washington in about an hour. [N.Y. Times website report, 10-22-14]

X TRAIN ADOPTS 'WESTERN ALIGNMENT' ROUTE: The Las Vegas Railway Express, a.k.a. 'X Train, has begun the engineering of the route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on what it calls the Western Alignment. The original plan was to traverse Cajon Pass, then north to Las Vegas, but as capacity on that route became restricted, X Train initiateda re-tooling using an alternate route via Mojave and Barstow. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-21-14]

CP SAYS REGULATORS MIGHT APPROVE A RAIL MERGER: The CEO of Canadian Pacific thinks U.S. regulators would approve a well-structured railroad merger, but nothing is planned now that talks with CSX ended. Hunter Harrison said he doesn't agree with the view that the Surface Transportation Board would not approve any merger. A merger of CP with CSX could have improved service by routing traffic around the bottlenecks in Chicago, Harrison said. [U.S. News & World Report website report, 10-21-14]

CSX AWARDS SAVAGE LOCOMOTIVE MOBILE FUELING SERVICES CONTRACT: CSX has entered into an agreement with Savage for mobile locomotive fueling services at 30 sites along the CSX network. Savage had previously been providing such services at four CSX sites. [Railway Age website report, 10-21-14]

CP REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific revenue rost 8 pct in the third-quarter 2014 to a record $1.7-billion, operating income jumped 19 pct to $621-million, and net income soared 26 pct to a record $400-million or $2.31 per diluted share. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-21-14]

NATIONAL RAILWAY EQUIPMENT COMPANY IS NOW 100 PCT EMPLOYEE-OWNED: National Railway Equipment Co., headquartered in Mount Vernon, Illinois, has completed transfer of the company to the newly-formed NRE-Global Holdings Inc., an employee stock ownership trust. The company will be known as NRE. [Railway Age website report, 10-21-14]

N.J. MAYORS PUSH FOR BERGEN COUNTY LIGHT-RAIL: A coalition of mayors, including those from Hudson County communities already served by light-rail, are publicly urging New Jersey officials to extend Hudson-Bergen Light-Rail into neighboring Bergen County, the most populous county in the state. [Railway Age website report, 10-21-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON CHICAGO-MOLINE RAIL LINE: Construction has started to restore passenger rail service between the Quad Cities on the Iowa state line. The $255-million project is mostly funded by a federal grant. [News-Gazette website report, 10-21-14]

CANADIAN PACIFIC REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific Railway says it had $400-million of net income or $2.31 per diluted share in the third-quarter, up from last year but short of estimates. [Financial Post website report, 10-21-14]

THAILAND ORDERS 115 RAIL PASSENGER CARS: State Railway of Thailand has ordered 115 meter-gauge long-distance stainless-steel passenger cars from CNR Corp. The order includes first and standard class sleeper cars, generator cars and dining cars. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-21-14]

FOUR CHINESE COMPANIES BID TO BUILD BOLIVIAN ORE RAILWAY: The Bolivian ministry of public works has received four bids from Chinese companies for a contract to construct an 81-mile rail line from Motacusito to Puerto Busch, a project deemed vital to the future of iron ore mining in the east of the country. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-21-14]

CN REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: CN reported third-quarter net income of $853-million or $1.04 per diluted share, compared with net income of $705-million or $0.84 per diluted share for the year-earlier quarter. Operating income for the quarter increased 19 pct to $1.285-billion. [CN, 10-21-14]

CLASS I RAIL WORK FORCE INCREASED SLIGHTLY IN SEPTEMBER: As of mid-September 2014, Class I railroads employed 168,703 people, up 0.4 pct from August 2014 and 3.4 pct from September 2013, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-21-14]

RAILROAD GROUP SEEKS TO RESTORE OLD MAINE CENTRAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 470: Maine Central locomotive 470 was the very last steam locomotive to be used in regular passenger service from Portland to Bangor in 1954. Now in somewhat decripit condition in Watersville, Maine, the New England Steam Corp. has plans to purchase the engine and restore it to working condition. So far, the organization has raised $50,000 toward that effort, and they plan to move it this coming spring to Ellsworth for the majority of the restoration work. [Portland Press Herald website report, 10-21-14]

SCHENECTADY'S AMTRAK STATION REPLACEMENT PROJECT BEGINS: Work has begun on a $15-million project that will replace the Amtrak station in Schenectady, N.Y., and alleviate delays for passenger trains. [CBS 06 Albany website report, 10-21-14]

DINER-LOUNGE IN USE TEMPORARILY ON CAPITOL LIMITED: Amtrak's Capitol Limited between Chicago and Washington is using a diner-lounge in lieu of a standard dining car and sightseer lounge car until Nov. 18 (eastbound) and Nov. 20 (westbound). Meals normally provided in the dining car will be provided on one side of the diner-lounge, and lounge car service will be provided on the opposite side. [Amtrak, 10-20-14]

CP, CSX END MERGER TALKS: Merger talks between Canadian Pacific and CSX have ended. Canadian Pacific confirmed the end of exploratory deal discussions in a statement on Oct. 20, adding that no further negotiations were planned. [N.Y. Times website report, 10-20-14]

INAUGURAL TRAIN LOADS AT NEW WISCONSIN GRAIN TERMINAL: The first train from Landmark Services's new CP-served grain facility near Fall River, Wisconsin, was being loaded Oct. 20. The train consisted of 100 cars of soybeans for export through the Gulf Coast. [PR Newswire website report, 10-20-14]

FIRST KINKISHARYO LRV DELIVERED TO L.A.: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority has taken delivery of a pre-series light-rail vehicle from Kinkisharyo under a contract for 78 vehicles. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-20-14]

TRACKWORK COMPLETED ON L.A. FOOTHILL GOLD LINE EXTENSION: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority marked the completion of trackwork Oct. 18 for the Foothill Gold line extension of light-rail transit at the line's future terminal station in Azusa. [Railway Age website report, 10-20-14]

FEC, PORT OF MIAMI TO OFFER NEW INTERMODAL SERVICE: Florida East Coast Railway and Port Miami plan to offer a new 'Sunshine Gateway' intermodal service through their strategic alliance. The service will enable the port to handle additional volumes and ensure that shipments move more quickly, and has the potential to reach 70 pct of the U.S. population within four days. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-20-14]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY $225-K TO TERMINATED WORKER: BNSF in 2013 wrongfully terminated an employee in Kansas City after he reported an injury to his left shoulder, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The company was found in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety act, and ordered to pay the apprentice electrician $225,385 in back wages and damages, and remove disciplinary information from the records. [United Transportation Union, 10-20-14]

UNION PACIFIC BOOSTS INSPECTIONS IN HAZARDOUS MOUNTAIN PASSES: Faced with public concern about the risks of crude oil shipments, Union Pacific has boosted its rail inspection program on mountain passes in the West, dispatching high-tech geometry cars to check tracks for imperfections. [United Transportation Union, 10-20-14]

KCS WORKS TO EXPAND CROSS-BORDER CAPACITY: Kansas City Southern is expected to invest in its network at a higher rate than most other Class I railroads as it anticipates to increasingly handle more U.S.-Mexico cross-border intermodal, vehicle, crude oil and agriculture and mineral shipments. [Journal of Commerce website report, 10-20-14]

CHINA TO PITCH HIGH-SPEED TRAINS TO CALIFORNIA: China's state-backed CNR Corp. is making a pitch to sell its high-speed trains to California, signaling China's growing export ambitions for such technology after building the world's longest network in just seven years. [Reuters website report, 10-20-14]

MORE MF01 TRAINS FOR PARIS METRO: The Paris Transport authority has approved the purchase of 12 additional steel-wheeled five-car MF01 metro trains for lines 2, 5 and 9. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-20-14]

LIRR COMPLETES TWO PORT WASHINGTON BRANCH STATION PROJECTS: The Long Island Rail Road has completed two station projects that the agency says will improve service for Port Washington branch customers. A new temporary pedestrian overpass opened at its Port Washington station, and the westbound platform at the Great Neck station has been reopened. [Newsday website report, 10-20-14]

JAPAN APPROVES PLAN TO BUILD MAGLEV LINE: Japan's government has approved plans to build the world's fastest train line using magnetic levitation, and endeavor that will make the industrial center of Nagoya a suburb of Tokyo, 178 miles away. [Forbes website report, 10-19-14]

FEDS ADVISE METRA TO IMPROVE SAFETY CULTURE: The Federal Railroad Administration says Chicago's Metra is 'generally compliant' with safety regulations, but still needs to take immediate action to enhance its safety culture. The FRA announced its findings after making a safety assessment in June in response to three incidents that occurred in a one-week period. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-17-14]

TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR STEPPING DOWN: John Pistole, U.S. transportation security administrator, has announced he will retire from public service at the end of the year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-17-14]

KCS SETS REVENUE, VOLUME RECORDS IN 3-Q: Strong automotive, grain, intermodal, metals and pulp paper traffic helped Kansas City Southern set revenue and volume records in the third-quarter. Revenue was $677.5-million, and volume was 595,400 units, both new records, increases of nine and four pct respectively compared to the same period last year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-17-14]

FORMER CHINESE RAIL OFFICIAL SENTENCED FOR GRAFT: Zhang Shuguang, formerly deputy chief engineer for the now-defunct Chinese Railway Ministry, has been convicted of taking nearly $8-million in bribes and given a suspended death sentence, a court said Oct. 17. Suspended death sentences are typically commuted to life in prison after two years. [ABC News website report, 10-17-14]

GERMAN TRAIN OPERATORS' UNION CALLS TWO-DAY STRIKE: A union representing German train operators has called members out on a two-day strike this eekend, escalating a pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. [ABC News website report, 10-17-14]

PROPOSED NEW U.S.-MEXICO RAIL BORDER CROSSING TO BE STUDIED: The New Mexico Border authority has selected HNTB to perform an extensive feasibility study of a new railway bypass and international border crossing with Mexico near Santa Teresa, close to the New Mexico-Texas state line. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-17-14]

CALTRAIN GETS FRA APPROVAL FOR PTC SYSTEM: The Federal Railroad Administration has given Caltrain the green light to proceed with the installation and testing of its positive train-control technology. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-17-14]

WILLIAM RONAN DIES, FIRST CHAIRMAN OF N.Y. MTA: William J. Ronan, 101, acknowledged as the architect of the New York Metropolitan Transportation authority, and who served as its first chairman, died Oct. 15 at his home in Florida. [Railway Age website report, 10-17-14]

TEEN SUES AFTER AMTRAK BARS TRAVEL BECAUSE OF ALLERGY: A Grand Rapids-area 13-year-old with a nut allergy is suing Amtrak in federal court, saying his rights were violated when he was barred from riding the train without an adult. Amtrak says children 13 to 15 may not travel without an adults if they have a life-threating food allergy. [Detroit Free Press website report, 10-17-14]

CAR DROVE AROUND GATE BEFORE DEADLY RAIL RUNNER CRASH, POLICE SAY: The driver of a vehicle involved in a collision with a Rail Runner train last week drove around the crossing gate just before the incident, according to police. The train struck the vehicle in South Valley, N.M., killing the driver and one other passenger in the car. The train was reportedly operating at 79 miles per hour. [KOB 4 website report, 10-17-14]

RAIL CAR MAINTENANCE, REPAIR FACILITY PLANNED FOR SIOUX CITY: A state agency says Trinity Rail Maintenance Services plans to build a rail car maintenance and repair facility in Sioux City, Iowa, that would create 250 jobs. [KCRG website report, 10-17-14]

FORTY-FOUR INJURED IN ARKANSAS TRAIN COLLISION: An Arkansas-Missouri Railroad passenger excursion train was reportedly collided into by another train in Washington County, Arkansas, Oct. 16. Forty-four people were injured, five critically. The passenger train was en route from Springdale to Van Buren. An official from the county said that the passenger train had stalled, and another train was sent to assist it. Somehow, the assisting train collided wth the stalled one, the source said. The collision also resulted in a diesel fuel spill. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are headed to the area. [Fox News website report, 10-16-14]

CSX OPENS INTERMODAL CENTER IN WINTER HAVEN: CSX celebrated the official grand opening of the new Central Florida Intermodal Logistics center in Winter Haven, Florida, on Oct. 16. The facility provides a centralized hub for transportation, logistics and distribution serving Orlando, Tampa and other Florida markets, according to the company. The 318-acre terminal has capacity to process up to 300,000 containers a year. [CSX, 10-16-14]

RAIL-SERVED CRUDE TERMINAL TO BE DEVELOPED IN N.M.: NuDevco Midstream Development will purchase land in Eunice, N.M.,. to develop a crude oil terminal. The land includes rail spurs and truck sites. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-16-14]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO REQUIRE CONTRACTORS TO PAY $13 PER HOUR MINIMUM WAGE: The Chicago Transit authority board has approved an ordinance requiring all contractors and subcontractors to pay their eligible employees a minimum wage of $13 per hour. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-16-14]

INDONESIA TO ACQUIRE 50 GE LOCOMOTIVES: Indonesia has received a credit agreement totaling $94.3-million to finance the import of 50 GE locomotives from the U.S. The state-owned railroad already operates a fleet of about 300 locomotives that provide passenger and freight service on the islands of Java and Sumatra. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-16-14]

WABTEC JOINS VENTURE TO SUPPLY EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES TO INDIAN RAILWAYS: Wabtec has formed a joint venture with Texmaco Rail & Engineering of India to provide safety and control equipment and services and other railway products for the Indian Railways. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-16-14]

AMTRAK BOSS CALLS FOR LONG-TERM INVESTMENT TO INCREASE CAPACITY, IMPROVE SERVICE: Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman says that investment is key to increasing capacity on intercity railways and remains a primary way to increase revenue. He highlighted Amtrak's vision for a 200- to 300-mile-an-hour Northeast rail service, but insists that federal funding is essential for completing railway projects and increasing network connectivity and freight prioritization, especially with long-distance services. [CityLab website report, 10-16-14]

CHINA APPROVES RAIL LINKS TO MYANMAR AND LAOS: China's National Development and Reform commission has approved plans for the construction of the country's first rail links to Laos and Myanmar, together with a major project to increase capacity for coal traffic from Inner Mongolia. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-16-14]

CHINA SUBMITS ONLY BID FOR MEXICAN HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Mexico has confirmed that a Chinese consortium submitted the only bid in an international tender for a contract to design, build, operate and maintain a 130-mile high-speed rail line linking Mexico City was Queretaro. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-16-14]

ALSTOM DELIVERS SUBURBAN CARS TO RIO DE JANEIRO: Alstom has delivered the last of ten 4000-series Metropolis 8-car electric multiple units to Rio de Janeiro suburban operator SuperVia. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-16-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Oct. 11, 2014, with 298,376 carloads, up 4.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 4.8 pct. Petroleum and petroleum products increased 19.5 pct. Eight of 10 carload commodity groups posted increased compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-16-14]

AMTRAK SERVICE IN CONNECTICUT INTERRUPTED BY POWER PROBLEM: Amtrak passenger train service has been restored in New London, Connecticut, after being suspended for about five hours early Oct. 16 because of a power interruption. Amtrak said about 18 trains had been affected by the outage, caused by an overhead catenary line failure. [Washington Times website report, 10-16-14]

CALIFORNIA'S HIGH COURT DECLINES TO CONSIDER APPEAL TO HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: The California Supreme Court has decided not to consider an appeal of a case brought by opponents of the state's bullet train project, deliveing a crucial ruling that allows construction to go ahead as planned. The justices rejected a request for a hearing on a lower court ruling that also allowed the project to proceed. [News Tribune website report, 10-15-14]

RAIL DEALS WOULD FACE TOUGH SCRUTINY, CSX CEO SAYS: CSX's chairman Michael Ward said on Oct. 15 that regulators are likely to be reluctant about consolidation among the major carriers because they remain concerned about service. Delays in rail shipments have been common over the past year as the industry struggled to deal with a bitterly cold winter and keep up with booming demand for oil shipments and a record harvest. Ward said CSX remains focused on improving its operations and delivering solid results for its shareholders. [TriCities website report, 10-15-14]

CALIFORNIA ALLOCATES $87-M TOWARD TWO INTERCITY RAIL ROUTES: The California Transportation commission has allocated nearly $87-million toward funding operating expenses for Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin intercity passenger rail services. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-15-14]

ILLINOIS TO PROVIDE $21.5-M FOR NEW METRA STATION: Illinois will provide $21.5-million for the construction of a new 79th street Metra station on the Rock Island district line in Chicago's Auburn Park-Gresham neighborhood. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-15-14]

CANADIAN NATIONAL OPENS EMPLOYEE TRAINING CENTER IN ILLINOIS: Canadian National Railway opened its new employee training center Oct. 14 in Homewood, Illinois. [Southtown Star website report, 10-15-14]

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA., APPROVES STREETCAR PROJECT DESIGN FUNDS: Fairfax County, Va., has approved $4.2-million as its share toward preliminary engineering designs for the planned Columbia Pike streetcar, scheduled to open in 2020. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-15-14]

FEDS ASK CP TO 'CLEAR AMBIGUITIES': The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has asked Canadian Pacific to answer specific questions to clarify ambiguties related to the railroad's efforts to resolve service issues. [Railway Age website report, 10-15-14]

CP INVESTIGATES TWO RUNAWAY RAIL CARS IN EDMONDTON: Canadian Pacific says two of its train cars rolled for nearly eight miles through Edmonton, Alberta, late last month, which the company says may have happened after someone tampered with the brakes. The railroad is working with government agencies in a criminal investigation of the incident. [CBC News website report, 10-15-14]

SIEMENS TO AUTOMATE MONTERREY LINE 3: Siemens has been awarded a contract worth about $25-million by the state government of Nuevo Leon to equip Metro line 3 in Monterrey, Mexico, with telecommunications, signaling and operations control. [Railway Age website report, 10-15-14]

GE WINS ORDER FOR NEW BRAZILIAN LOCOMOTIVE: GE Tansportation Brazil has received the first order for its new meter-gauge ES43BBi Evolution diesel locomotive, which has been developed specifically for the Brazilian market. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-15-14]

CSX EXPECTS CONTINUED GROWTH IN DOMESTIC INTERMODAL: CSX expects growth in domestic intermodal for many years ahead. The railroad expects the growth to be driven in part by highway-to-rail conversions, but noted that those efforts could be hurt by continuing congestion challenges. [Journal of Commerce website report, 10-15-14]

N.C. PUSHES TO ADVANCE $1.34-B RAIL CORRIDOR: North Carolina's Triangle transit authority is working to expand its rail lines. The plan is to develop two light-rail corridors: a 17-mile Durham-Orange line, and a 14-mile Cary to Raleigh line. There would also be a commuter-rail line added. The $1.34-billion project would have 17 stations, and the draft and final environmental impact statements must be ready by Jan. 2016. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-14]

CSX REPORTS RECORD 3-Q RESULTS: CSX Corp. announced record third-quarter net earnings of $509-million or 51 cents per share, up from 45 cents per share in the same period last year. This performance was supported by volume increases of 7 pct, with broad-based growth across nearly all markets the railroad serves. CSX expects to sustain double-digit earnings growth and margin expansion in 2015, and continues to target a mid-60's operating ratio longer term. [CSX, 10-14-14]

RUSSIA, CHINA REACH HIGH-SPEED RAIL AGREEMENT: China and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding for a proposed $250-billion Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail project. The line would reduce journey times between the two cities from 11.5 to 3.5 hours. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-14-14]

SIEMENS GETS CONTRACT TO UPGRADE AMTRAK'S METUCHEN POWER FACILITY: Amtrak has contracted with Siemens to build a new Sitras SFC-Plus static frequency converter for upgrading its Metuchen traction power facility in Edison, N.J. [Railway Age website report, 10-14-14]

CALIFORNIA ALLOCATES $78-M TO BART SHOP, YARD IMPROVEMENTS: Bay Area Rapid Transit has been allocated $78-million by the state for repair to its maintenance shop and yard improvements. BART will expand its existing maintenance shop to support back shop double-ended operation, construct new component repair shop, and track work and retaining walls connecting the Hayward maintenance comples to the main line tracks. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-14-14]

MALAYSIA PUSHES AHEAD WITH KLANG VALLEY METRO LINE: Malaysia has announced that work on the Klang Valley MRT 2 project, a 34.8-mile line from Selayang via Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, could start next year. The project is expected to cost $7.1-billion and take five years to complete. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-14-14]

ATHENS METRO LINE 4 PLANS REVEALED: Greece has unveiled plans for the construction of a fourth metro line in Athens. The line will have 14 stations, including an interchange with the east-west Line 3 at Evangelismos. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-14-14]

METRO LINE OPENS IN IRANIAN CITY OF SHIRAZ: Public services began Oct. 11 on the first phase of the metro network in the Iranian city of Shiraz. The total length of both the first and second phases, when completed, will be 14 miles. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-14-14]

FEDS ASK NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO EXPLAIN HOW IT WILL ADDRESS AMTRAK DELAYS: Of concern to the Surface Transportation Board is Amtrak service of the Capitol and Lake Shore limiteds, the two trains that go through Cleveland, according to a letter from the board's chairman to host carrier Norfolk Southern. Both trains have an on-time rate of less than 40 pct in the most recent 12-month period. [Cleveland Plain Dealer website report, 10-14-14]

CSX WINS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD IN PA.: The Pennsylvania Economic Development association has awarded CSX the 2013 economic development partner of the year award, which recognizes innovations and achievements that result in economic development partnerships and opportunities in the state. The association honored CSX for its $58-million plan to build a new intermodal facility at the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad yard. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-14-14]

THALES LANDS $24.7-M S.F. CENTRAL SUBWAY CONTRACT: Thales has been awarded a $24.7-million contract from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency for the design and construction of advance train control technology for the new central subway project, an extension of the existing T Line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-14-14]

CSX INTERMODAL BUYS THREE REACH STACKERS FOR CHARLESTON, S.C.: CSX Intermodal Terminals has purchased three Konecrans 7500-series rech stackers for its terminal in Charleston, S.C. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-14-14]

STUDY PRESENTS PARK USE OF ABANDONED RAIL LINE IN QUEENS: A new study by the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay presents possibilities for use of a 3.5-mile abandoned Rockaway Beach branch of the Long Island rail line as a linear park in Queens. They include a bicycle trail, an outdoor classroom, a commuter route, an arts hub, a showcase for ethnic foods, and a 'verdant balm for a park-starved corner of Queens.' [N.Y. Times website report, 10-14-14]

AMTRAK SERVICE BEGINS AT TROY, MICHIGAN, TRANSIT CENTER: Beginning Oct. 14, 2014, the new Troy, Michigan, Transit center, 1201 Doyle drive, will open for Amtrak passengers, serving Wolverine trains. The new facility replaces the stop at Birmingham, which closes permanently after its last day of service Oct. 13, 2014. [Amtrak]

NEW RAIL-SERVED AUTO BERTH OPENS AT BALTIMORE PORT: Maryland has opened a new auto berth at Baltimore's Masonville-Fairfield Marine terminal. Equipped to hand rail shipments from CSX, the facility replaces a smaller berth that had been in operation for more than 70 years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-13-14]

FEDS GRANT FUNDS TO HELP FUND RESTORE 41-MILE RAIL LINE IN S.D.: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation recently awarded a $12.7-million grant to South Dakota to help fund a project calling for restoring rail service to a 41.6-mile branch rail line between Chamberlain and Presho which will serve a grain and agronomy facility being built in Kennebec. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-13-14]

VIENNA'S NEW CENTRAL STATION OPENS: Vienna, Austria, officially opened its new central station Oct. 10 following a seven-year construction project. More track work is yet to be done, and in Dec. 2015 the station is expected to handle 1,000 trains per day. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-13-14]

BRITAIN TO SELL ITS STAKE IN EUROSTAR: The British government has disclosed plans to sell its 40 pct stake in cross-channel hgh-speed rail operator Eurostar to help reduce the national debt. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-13-14]

CHINESE CITY TAKES DELIVERY OF FIRST TWO SIRIO LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Ansaldobreda has delivered the first two Sirio five-car, bidirectional light-rail vehicles to the Chinese city of Zhuhai, with the remaining eight set to be assembled in China by its domestic partner CNR Dalian. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-13-14]

BRITISH PORTERBROOK CHANGES HANDS: A consortium has acquired Porterbrook Rail Finance, one of the original three rolling stock leasing companies set up in 1994 as part of the privatization of British Rail. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-13-14]

AMTRAK'S JOLIET STATION MOVES TO TEMPORARY FACILITY: The Joliet, Illinois, Amtrak ticket office and boarding platform have been relocated, temporarily, to the northwest corner of East Jefferson street and Mayor Art Schulz drive, on the east side of the rail line. The facility is about two blocks northeast of Joliet Union Station, and will be in use until late 2016, or until new construction is finished. [Amtrak]

TRANSNET BUILDS MORE CLASS 43 LOCOMOTIVES: Transnet Engineering has begun assembling a third batch of 91 GE-type C30ACi diesel locomotives - designated class 43 - for Transnet Freight Rail at its workshops near Pretoria. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-13-14]

SRI LANKA'S 'QUEEN OF JAFFNA' TRAIN SERVICE RESTORED AFTER 24-YEAR SUSPENSION: Train service is back in former Sri Lanka with restoration of the 'Queen of Jaffna' train which had been suspended in 1990 by the country's civil war. Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa boarded the train for the last 27 miles of the journey and opened several railroad stations along the way. [Charlotte Observer website report, 10-13-14]

COLUMBUS-CHICAGO HIGH-SPEED RAIL ENTERS EXPLORATION PHASE: The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning commission said it will proceed to the next step of planning for the proposed high-speed railway connecting Columbus to Chicago. The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail association released its feasibility study for the project last year, putting the cost at $1.29-billion. [Ohio State Univ. Lantern website report, 10-13-14]

SEPTA, ENGINEERS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT: Negotiators for SEPTA and regional rail locomotive engineers have reached a tentative agreement, which would avert a possible commuter rail strike if the pact is accepted by the engineers and the SEPTA board. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 10-13-14]

CANADIAN PACIFIC MAKES DEAL OVERTURE TO CSX: The Canadian Pacific Railway recently approached CSX about a merger that would create a company worth more than $60-billion, people briefed on the matter said Oct. 12. While the two companies have begun to discuss the possibility of a transaction, CSX was said to be cool to the idea, and it is too early to tell whether they will pursue one, these people said. With minimum geographic overlap, the two companies would have a huge combined footprint. But there are potential obstacles to such a deal. [N.Y. Times website report, 10-12-14]

ABANDONED LYNCHBURG RAIL TUNNEL PLANNED AS EXHIBIT: The Amazement Square museum in Lynchburg, Va., plans to incorporate a 150-foot late-19th century railroad tunnel, unused below Jefferson street since about 1970, within a new education center it hopes to begin building early next year. [Washington Times website report, 10-11-14]

ONE KILLED, TWO INJURED BY AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKING PHOTOGRAPHERS ON BRIDGE: Police report that three people were struck by a southbound Amtrak train Oct. 11 in Santa Barbara County, California, killing one and injuring the others. The three victims were among a group of four who were taking photos around sunset from a bridge between Refugio State Beach and Gaviota State Park. The fourth person escaped from the bridge as the train approached and was unhurt. [Mashable website report, 10-11-14]

DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE IN WYOMING TAKES OFF WITH LOCOMOTIVE: Authorities say a 22-year-old disgruntled employee commandeered a locomotive Oct. 10 from a Wyoming coal mine and later plowed it into another train before he was apprehended. The employee had reportedly become upset with a supervisor and ran the locomotive off the mine property and onto a main rail line a total of 13 miles. No injuries were reported. [KVML website report, 10-11-14]

RAIL DELAYS PROMPT TRUCKING OF ORE IN MINNESOTA: Cliffs Natural Reseources says it will load 100 trucks every day to send iron ore pellets from Hibbing Taconite in Minnesota to the Duluth-Superior harbor because of continuing delays in shipping by rail. [Minnesota Public Radio website report, 10-11-14]

WASHINGTON STATE REFINERY SWITCHING TO NEWER RAIL CARS FOR CRUDE: The BP Cherry Point refinery in northwest Washington state says it will no longer accept any volatile N.D. crude oil unless it arrives on newer-model tank cars. The facility has stopped using pre-2011 standard tank cars for the shipments. [News Tribune website report, 10-11-14]

DRIVER OF SEMI KILLED WHEN RIG WAS STRUCK BY TRAIN IN N.D.: Police say a 55-year-old Arizona man was killed Oct. 9 when a semi-truck he was driving was struck by a train in Ray, N.D. [Minot Daily News website report, 10-10-14]

WORCESTER COUNTY, MD., EXCURSION TRAIN STUDY UNDER REVIEW: A $20,000-feasibility study on a potention excursion train in Worcester County, Md., has been completed, and county commissioners want time to process the information before making it public. Initial response from commissioners is that the train is a possibility, but obstacles requiring a funding commitment appear likely. [Salisbury News website reort, 10-10-14]

METRA ANNOUNCES $2.4-B MODERNIZATION PLAN: Chicago commuter operator Metra has announced it will replace its aging coaches and locomotives through a $2.4-billion phased purchasing program, the first long-term rolling stock plan in the history of the operator. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-10-14]

DETROIT TAPS INEKON FOR M-1 STREETCARS: Detroit's public-private partnership overseeing construction of the city's M-1 initial streetcar line has selected Inekon Trams for the vehicles in a contract worth about $650-million. [Railway Age website report, 10-10-14]

GREENBRIER PUSHES FOR PROMPT REQUREMENT FOR SAFER TANK CARS: The Greenbrier Cos. has continued its call for prompt regulatory action to require safer tank cars in response to recent derailments involving flammable liquids. Greenbrier was the first to announce plans to design a 'tank car of the future' and plans to double its production capacity for new tank cars over the next 12 months. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-10-14]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS 15 CARS NEAR PINE BLUFF: According to authorities, a train derailed 15 cars early Oct. 10 outside Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Union Pacific said there were no injures, and no hazardous material leaks. [THV-11 website report, 10-10-14]

SPIKE IN AMTRAK TRAIN DELAYS: The New York Times reported this week that American rail lines are now moving more than a million barrels of oil each day, perpetuating rail delays for passengers and goods. As a consequence, roughly 60 pct of Amtrak's long-distance trains are arriving late, compared to 35 pct over the same period last year. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 10-10-14]

ABOUT ALL ABOARD FLORIDA: All Aboard Florida plans high-speed rail service between Miami and Orlando, eventually with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The 235-mile trip would take fewer than three hours. Operations are expected to begin in 2016 and could be a new chapter in private intercity passenger rail service. [Clean Technica website report, 10-10-14]

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE ON CHICAGO SUBWAY TRAIN: Police reported that a gunman standing on a subway platform at Chicago's LaSalle street Blue line station Oct. 9 opened fire on a commuter train with an assault rifle. There were no injuries, and a suspect was taken into custody. [U.S. News & World Report website report, 10-9-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Oct. 4, 2014, with 299,674 total carloads, up 7.4 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-9-14]

HDR WINS SOUND TRANSIT EAST LINK CONTRACT: Sound Transit has awarded HDR its construction management services contract for East Link's light-rail Bellevue segment. Voters approved the measure to construct and operate a light-rail transit system in the Puget Sound region. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-9-14]

AIG PROVIDES EXPANDED CASUALTY LIABILITY LIMITS FOR CLASS I RAIL COMPANIES: American International Group has expanded excess casualty liability limits for Class I railroads in the U.S. and Canada to $1-billion per occurrence. This coverage for catastrophic losses would be in excess of $1.5-billion in underlying limits, and is one of the largest capacities offered to the rail industry by a single insurer. [Railway Age website report, 10-9-14]

AMTRAK MAKES DETOUR CHANGE FOR EMPIRE BUILDER IN N.D.: Amtrak has reversed the direction of the temporary detour of its Empire Bulder train in North Dakota. The eastbound segment is now operating over the detour route rather than the westbound. Chartered buses will cover eastbound stops in Rugby, Devils Lake and Grand Forks. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-9-14]

NORTH CAROLINA R.R. ELECTS CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN: North Carolina Railroad's board has elected Franklin Rouse Jr. as chairman and Robert Brown as vice chairman. The company manages 317 miles of track between Charlotte and the port of Morehead City. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-9-14]

DEBUT FOR AUTONOMOUS LONDON TUBE TRAIN MODELS: Design firm Priestmangoode is rolling out its 'New Tube' trains in collaboration with Transport for London for several of the city's rail lines. The company says the two adaptable train models allow for autonomous driving capability and it hopes to bring fully autonomous trains to the city in the next several years. [Dezeen website report, 10-9-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS SIGNALING CONTRACT FOR RAIL LINE IN ETHIOPIA: Bombardier Transportation has obtained a $45-million contract to deliver a mainline signaling solution for Ethiopia's new Awash-Weldia line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-9-14]

HITACHI SELECTED FOR SCOTTISH EMU CONTRACT: The operator of the new ScotRail franchise Abellio confirmed Oct. 9 that it has selected Hitachi for a contract to supply at least 70 electric multiple units for use on regional services in central Scotland. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-9-14]

TUNNELING COMPLETED ON A1 RAIL LINE TO JERUSALEM: The final breakthrough of the second bore of the 7.2-mile tunnel on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem A1 fast rail link took place Oct. 6, marking completion of tunneling on the project. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-9-14]

PUBLIC MEETINGS FOCUS ON HOUSTON-DALLAS HIGH-SPEED RAIL: The Federal Railroad Administration, Texas DOT and Texas Central will hold a series of public meetings this month to discuss possible routes for the proposed Houston-Dallas high-speed rail. The meetings are a part of the process to develop the environmental impact study. [Dallas Morning News website report, 10-9-14]

METRA TRAINS DELAYED BY WIRE PROBLEMS: Outbound Metra electric district trains were delayed as much as an hour the afternoon of Oct. 9 when a train 'got caught up in the overhead wires' on the south side, a spokesperson said. [Fox 32 News website report, 10-9-14]

SEPTA EXPERIENCING RIDERSHIP SURGE: SEPTA is shuffling equipment and wrkers to try to deal with chronic crowding problems on regional rail trains, as ridership rises and old cars and locomotives break down more frequently. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 10-9-14]

STRIKE DISRUPTS GERMAN RAIL SERVICE: The German train drivers' union called a nine-hour nationwide strike beginning 9PM Oct. 7 and ending 6AM Oct. 8 bringng severe disruption to local and regional trains and some cancellations to long-distance services. [Deutsche Welle website report, 10-8-14]

FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN QUEENS, SPILLING FUEL: Fire officials say a freight train ran off the track in Maspeth, Queens, rupturing a tank car spilling about 100 gallons of fuel, but there was no fire hazard. [New York News website report, 10-8-14]

METRA TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS NUN IN ILLINOIS: A 68-year-old nun was fatally struck by a Metra train Oct. 7 in north suburban Highwood, authorities confirmed. She reportedly tried to cross the tracks following the passage of a train but got struck by a train moving on an adjacent track in the opposite direction. [5NBC Chicago website report, 10-8-14]

CANADIAN RAIL COMPANIES FIGHT NEW RULES TO PREVENT CREW FATIGUE: CN, CP and the Railway Association of Canada are fighting moves by the federal transportation regulator to curb 'extreme fatigue' among railway engineers, a CBC News investigation has found. The conflict was over research by Transport Canada that found high levels of exhaustion among freight train engineers, and proposals by the regulator to impose new limits on scheduling, some of which are already law in the U.S. [CBC News website report, 10-8-14]

DYNAMIC TESTING BEGINS ON ATLANTA LIGHT-RAIL LINE: Dynamic testing began Oct. 1 on Atlanta's first modern light-rail line when the first of four Siemens light-rail vehicles traveled the entire length of the route under its own power. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-8-14]

AAR RESPONDS TO STB PERFORMANCE REPORT DECISION: The Association of American Railroads is examining the STB decision reqiring weekly Class I rail service performance reports. The AAR said that railroads have already, on a weekly basis, voluntarily provided performance measures on terminal dwell time, velocity and cars on line. "It is unclear how the increased reporting requirements in today's order will in any way lead to improved service," the AAR added. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-8-14]

FEDS REQUIRING WEEKLY CLASS I RAIL SERVICE PERFORMANCE REPORTS: The U.S. Surface Transportation Board announced Oct. 8 that it is requiring all Class I railroads to publicly file weekly data reports regarding service performance to promote industry-wide transparency, accountability and improved service. [Railway Age website report, 10-8-14]

DETAILS OF DOWNTOWN L.A. STREETCAR EMERGE: Supporters of a streetcar for downtown Los Angeles now estimate the construction cost at $259-million, about double their original estimate, as details of the planned route have emerged. [Railway Age website report, 10-8-14]

HOUSTON TRANSIT TESTS NEW CAF LIGHT-RAIL CAR: The Metropolitan Transit authority of Harris County, Texas, recently tested its first CAF rail car successfully in regular service. CAF is under contract to deliver 39 new trains as part of a plan to expand the city's light-rail service. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-8-14]

NYC TRANSIT SYSTEM TO SPEND $17-B OVER FIVE YEARS: New York City will undertake $17-billion in transportation projects over the next five years. Its transportation authority has been given the budget to enhance the city's subway, bus and Staten Island Railway systems. [DNA Info website report, 10-8-14]

CALIFORNIA LACKS AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE SAFETY RULES ON OIL SHIPMENTS, RAILROADS SAY: California's two major railroad companies - Union Pacific and BNSF - have gone to federal court to argue that neither California nor any other state can legally impose safety requirements on them because the federal government already does that. [Sacramento Bee website report, 10-8-14]

BOSTON BACK BAY TICKET OFFICE CLOSES: Beginning Oct. 8, 2014, until further notice, the Boston Back Bay Amtrak ticket office will close. Amtrak trains will continue to serve the station, but there will be personnel to assist with ticketing, baggage and other services. [Amtrak]

CP RAIL LIKELY TO SELL FORMER D&H RAILWAY: The Canadian Pacific Railway is close to completing a transaction to sell the former Delaware & Hudson Railway network south of the New York Capital region, top officials at CP told analysts. [Albany Times Union website report, 10-7-14]

CALTRAIN GETS GO-AHEAD FOR ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT: California Governor Edmund Brown has signed legislation allowing the Caltrain electrification project to proceed as a design-build project. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-7-14]

SWAZILAND RAILWAY ADDING LOCOMOTIVES, ORE CARS: In a $17.3-million deal, South African rail financier Thelo Rolling Stock supplied the first of four mainline RL30SCC-3 diesel locomotives and 75 Transnet-built ore cars for hauling magnetite trains on the north-side corridor across Swaziland. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-7-14]

CN TRAIN WITH HAZMATS DERAILS, BURNS IN SASKATCHEWAN: A freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire in Saskatchewan Oct. 7. Several farms near the community of Clair were evacuated, affecting about 50 residents. No injuries were reported. CN said 26 cars derailed, including two petroleum cars which were burning. [Toronto Sun website report, 10-7-14]

AMTRAK ADDS AMENITIES TO HOOSIER STATE TRAIN: Amtrak has added complimentary on-board Wi-Fi, refreshments and business-class seating on the Hoosier State rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago. By adding the amenities, Amtrak is demonstrating its capabilities while still operating the service under an Indiana DOT contract extension through January 2015, Amtrak said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-6-14]

FRANCE-SPAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICES REOPEN: The Figueres-Barcelona high-speed rail line reopened Oct. 4, five days after the line was closed by tunnel flooding. The seven international services of Spanish and French operators are now operating normally. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-6-14]

REGIOJET TESTING NEW PASSENGER COACH: The first of 10 new 124 MPH, 80-seat coaches ordered by Czech operator RegioJet is currently undergoing testing between Prague and Zilina, Slovakia. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-6-14]

PLAN PROPOSED TO BRING LIRR TRAIN SERVICE TO NASSAU COLISEUM: MTA board member Mitch Pally says we wants to run passenger service to the Nassau, N.Y., coliseum using a 3-mile-long track that has not been used by riders in decades. [Long Island News 12 website report, 10-6-14]

MAN UNINJURED AFTER CAR HIT BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN ILLINOIS: Police say a 26-year-old man was uninjured after he allegedly drove his vehicle around a crossing gate and was struck by an Amtrak train in Joliet, Illinois, Oct. 5. The 2001 Ford Expedition was completely destroyed. Rail service was delayed about 30 minutes. [Herald-News website report, 10-6-14]

MERCED APPROVES MATCHING FUNDS FOR CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL GRANT: The Merced, California, city council has decided to put $200,000 in matching funds toward the 2013 high-speed rail planning grant, which will begin plans for the stop in Merced. [Fresno Bee website report, 10-6-14]

TRAIN DERAILS IN N.E. LOUISIANA, TWO INJURED, HOMES EVACUATION: Two train employees were in serious condition Oct. 5 after their Southern Pacific freight train hit a transport truck which had gotten stuck on the track in Mer Rouge, Louisiana. The locomotive overturned and slammed into a large oak tree, police said. Homes within a half mile of the crash were evacuated for two hours as a precaution over a gas leak. [News Observer website report, 10-5-14]

ABANDONED ROCK ISLAND R.R. CORRIDOR IN MISSOURI BEING CONSIDERED FOR TRAIL: Energy provider Ameren Missouri says it is currently working with the state Dept. of Natural Resources to turn the old Rock Island railroad bed across central Missouri into a public biking and hiking path. The corridor runs from Kansas City to near St. Louis, and a number of intermediate jurisdictions have expressed interest in it becoming a trail. [News Tribune website report, 10-5-14]

SEPTA REQUESTS SECOND PRESIDENTIAL EMERGENCY BOARD: SEPTA officials said that they will ask for a second 120-day presidential emergency board to mediate the regional rail labor dispute when the current board's term expires Oct. 13, unless a settlement is reached by then. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 10-5-14]

PENNSYLVANIA MUST RELEASE CRUDE OIL TRAIN DATA: Pennsylvania's office of open records has ruled the state must publicly release information about Bakken crude oil shipments - which two rail companies had pushed to keep confidential. [Charlotte Observer website report, 10-5-14]

DRIVER KILLED AS TRAIN HITS DUMP TRUCK IN KENTUCKY: A 52-year-old dump truck driver was killed Oct. 4 in Boone County, Kentucky, when his truck was struck at a crossing by a Norfolk Southern train. The train's conductor was injured. [Bowling Green Daily News website report, 10-4-14]

DRIVER INJURED AS BOX TRUCK COLLIDES WITH TRAIN IN PENNSYLVANIA: A truck driver was injured when his box truck collided with a Norfolk Southern freight train in New Holland, Pa., early Oct. 4. [Lancaster OnLine, 10-4-14]

UNION PACIFIC PLANS CLASSIFICATION YARD IN TEXAS: Union Pacific says it will move forward with plans for a new rail classification yard in Robertson County, Texas. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-3-14]

CONTRACT AWARDED FOR DULLES METRORAIL MAINTENANCE FACILITY: Hensel Phelps Construction Co. has been awarded the contract to design and build the rail yard and maintenance facility for Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Silver line project. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-3-14]

FEDS SAY ENGINEER OF METRO-NORTH TRAIN THAT DERAILED IN THE BRONX HAD SPED BEFORE: A federal report indicates that the commuter rail engineer whose train was speeding Dec. 1, 2013, when it derailed in The Bronx killing four people, went 24 mph over the speed limit on the same run a few days earlier. Charts show that the engineer had broken the speed limit on four of the six runs tested. [Townhall Magazine website report, 10-3-14]

SINGAPORE TO EXPAND METRO TRAIN FLEET: Singapore Land Transport authority and metro operator SMRT have announced plans to procure additional trains for north-south and east-west lines by the end of the decade to boost capacity. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-3-14]

FLOODING SEVERS FRANCE-SPAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: International high-speed rail service between France and Spain was suspended Sept. 29 after heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in the tunnel beneath Girona on the Figueres-Barcelona line. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-3-14]

CALIFORNIA LAUNCHES HIGH-SPEED TRAIN PROCUREMENT: California High-Speed Rail authority has issued a request for expressions of interest for a contract to supply the 220-MPH train fleet and rolling stock maintenance facilities for the first phase of the state's high-speed network. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-3-14]

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT COULD GET BOOST FROM DESERTXPRESS: The planned $68-billion high-speed rail system in California could get a financial boost from a public-private partnership with DesertXpress, according to the High-Speed Rail Authority. DesertXpress, proposed to travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, is making headway with 85 pct of right-of-way agreements secured, and its project could break ground next year. [Bloomberg website report, 10-3-14]

STRONG FIRST HALF RESULTS FOR ISRAEL RAILWAYS: Israel Railways says it is on courst for a profitable year following a significant improvement in first-half financial performance and traffic figures. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-3-14]

MONTREAL TRANSIT AGENCY BUDGETS MORE THAN $500-M TO REPLACE FIXED SUBWAY EQUIPMENT: Montreal's transit agency plans to spend $582.5-million from 2015 to 2020 to replace fixed equipment in its Metro subway system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-3-14]

REGIO 2N RAIL VEHICLES GET APPROVAL FOR SINGLE-UNIT OPERATION: The French National Railway has received safety authorization for the commercial operation of the Regio 2N in single units. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-3-14]

TEXAS CENTRAL HIGH-SPEED RAIL CONSTRUCTION COULD BEGIN IN 2017: The Texas Central Railway plans to begin construction on its high-speed rail project, intended to connect Houston and Dallas, as early as 2017. Upon completion, eight train sets will be used, with a train departing each of the endpoint cities every 30 minutes, and operate at a maximum speed of 205 miles per hour. [Government Technology website report, 10-2-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased rail freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 27, 2014, with 301,863 carloads, up 1.6 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume increased 2.0 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-2-14]

CP RAIL SEES DOUBLING OF PROFIT WITH LONGER, FASTER TRAINS: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. plans to more than double profit in four years as the company seeks to improve efficiency by running longer and faster trains. [Bloomberg website report, 10-2-14]

CONNECTICUT PLANS TO REPLACE WALK BRIDGE: The Connecticut DOT plans to close a $188-million funding gap for the design and replacement of the 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk, which has suffered recent malfunctions. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-2-14]

ENGINEERING REPORT DETAILS WORK NEEDED TO FIX AMTRAK N.Y. TUNNELS: An engineering report, detailing damage to Amtrak's Hudson and East river tunnels from superstorm Sandy, recommends a phased process to take individual tubes out of service for extended periods to perform the work required. The report underscores the urgency to advance the Gateway program, which includes building new, two-track tunnel capacity under the Hudson River that can help alleviate service impacts as the needed work on the tunnels is underway. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 10-2-14]

HAMBURG TO ORDER NEW U-BAHN TRAINS: Hamburger Hochbahn has published a tender notice for a contract to supply between 40 and 80 new trains for Hamburg's U-Bahn network. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-2-14]

BOMBARDIER GETS NEW NJT RIVERLINE CONTRACT: Bombardier reports it has sign a new contract valued at about $296-million to continue running New Jersey Transit's River Line light-rail system, roughly paralleling the Delaware River between Camden and Trenton. [Railway Age website report, 10-2-14]

HARBOR RAIL SERVICES PURCHASES RAIL-CAR REPAIR SHOP IN INDIANA: Harbor Rail Services Co. has purchased a rail-car repair shop in Clinton, Indiana, served by CSX, which will be fully operational in the next couple of months. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-2-14]

NGL ENERGY TO BUILD CRUDE OIL TRANSLOADING FACILITY IN N.M.: NGL Energy Partners L.P. plans to build a crude oil transloading facility capable of handling unit trains near Albuquerque in the San Juan Basin, to be served by BNSF. [Progressive Railroading website report, 10-2-14]

AMTRAK'S CAROLINIAN STRIKES TRESPASSER IN N.C.: An 81-year-old man crossing the track was struck and injured by Amtrak's Carolinian in Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 2. There were no other injuries, and the train was delayed about one hour. [News & Record website report, 10-2-14]

CP RAIL WOULD LIKE TO BUY TWO SWITCHING LINES IN CHICAGO: Canadian Pacific has offered to buy, lease or at least operate the small switching lines that knit together to major railroads of Chicago - Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad, and Belt Railway Company of Chicago - CP's chief executve Hunter Harrison said in an interview. [Business Insider website report, 10-2-14]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY $30,000 FOR RETALIATION AGAINST WORKER: BNSF improperly retaliated against a Mandan, North Dakota, employee in Dec. 2013 after he reported a work-related injury and submitted a physician's treatment plan, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. BNSF has been ordered to pay more than $30,000 in back wages and damages, and to take other corrective action. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 10-1-14]

PATH'S NEWARK LIBERTY RAIL EXTENSION CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN IN 2018: The Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. says that construction on the planned Newark Liberty International Airport's PATH railway extension will begin in 2018, and will take an estimated five years to complete. [, 10-1-14]

NORTHERN RAIL TRAIL IN N.H. COMPLETE: The Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack and Grafton counties, N.H., is now complete, offering 58 miles of exclusive right-of-way for recreational walking and bicycling. It is the longest trail in the state, and named one of the top 100 rail trails in the country by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. It follows the route of the abaondoned Boston & Maine's Northern line. [Concord Monitor website report, 10-1-14]

BRITAIN TO OPEN NATIONAL COLLEGE FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Britain's Dept. for Transport has announced that the new National College of High-Speed Rail, scheduled to open in 2017 and will provide specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the High-Speed 2 project, will be located in Birmingham and Doncaster. Up to 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created by HS2 and around 25,000 people will be employed during construction. [International Railway Journal website report, 10-1-14]

MAN KILLED BY TRAIN IN VERMONT HAD BEEN WARNED TO STAY OFF TRACKS: Police are investigating the death of a 52-year-old man believed to have been hit by a train early Oct. 1 at White River Junction, Vermont. Further investigation revealed that the individual had been issued a trespassing-upon-the-railroad citation just four days earlier. [WPTZ website report, 10-1-14]

SANTA FE SOUTHERN SUSPENDS PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE: Tourist-oriented passenger train service between Santa Fe and Lamy, N.M., is suspended once again. Twice-daily service on the 18-mile route had resumed in July after being suspended in 2013 after two decades of operations. [KLAS-TV website report, 9-30-14]

OIL, RAIL COMPANIES WANT UP TO SEVEN YEARS TO RETROFIT TANK CARS: A top oil industry official says the oil and railroad industries are urging federal regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport crude oil. [WBRZ News 2 website report, 9-30-14]

TEX RAIL CONSTRUCTION COULD BEGIN IN 2016: The Fort Worth Transportation authority has received a record of decision from the federal transit and aviation administrations for the Tex Rail project, setting the state for construction to possibly begin in 2016. Initial service will extend from downtown Fort Worth, across northeast Tarrant County and Grapevine into the DFW Airport. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-30-14]

METRO-NORTH EYES BRIDGE REPAIRS: Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Metro-North Railroad have agreed to repair or replace three rail bridges on the New Haven line at a cost of $10-million. [Railway Age website report, 9-30-14]

HOUSTON METRO DELAYS LIGHT-RAIL LAUNCHES: Delays have forced Metropolitan Transit authority of Harris County from adding two new light-rail transit lines to Houston's system. Metro now says it hopes to get both lines launched next year. [Railway Age website report, 9-30-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS BRITISH EMU ORDER: British train operator Southern Railway has selected Porterbrook leasing to finance an order for 29 four-car class 387/1 electric multiple units from Bombardier. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-30-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO HELP PORT OF SAVANNAH DOUBLE TOYOTA EXPORTS: The Georgia Ports authorit, with collaboration with Norfolk Southern, expects to double its Toyota export business at the Port of Savannah now that Highlander vehicles bound for Australia and New Zealand are moving through the port's terminal. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-30-14]

ALSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, TO GET NEW COMMUTER RAIL STATION: Massachusetts has announced that Allston will be getting a new commuter rail station along the Framingham/Worcester rail line to be located at the rail yard site near the Mass Pike on-ramp at Cambridge street. [WBUR website report, 9-30-14]

L.A. BREAKS GROUND ON REGIONAL CONNECTOR RAIL PROJECT: Crews have begun work on the $1.4-billion Regional Connector that will eventually link three light-rail lines in Los Angeles. The project also involves building three subway stations downtown. [9-30-14]

SOUND TRANSIT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF ANGLE LAKE STATION: Sound Transit has marked the start of construction on the Angle Lake station and parking garage, south of Sea-Tac Airport, for the South 200th Link light-rail extension. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-29-14]

UNION PACIFIC WINS HAY AWARD: The American Railway Engineering & Maintenance of Way association has presented the 2014 Dr. William W. Hay award for excellence to Union Pacific for its Santa Teresa Terminal project in New Mexico. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-29-14]

GERMAN RAIL TO MODERNIZE ICE TRAIN TRACTION EQUIPMENT: German Rail has selected Mitsubishi Electric to modernize traction equipment on 46 ICE-2 high-speed trains. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-29-14]

SIEMENS BEGINS AMTRAK SUPPORT AGREEMENT: The Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector, Rail Systems division has begun its 15-year technical support and spare parts supply agreement with Amtrak for the new ACS-64 electric locomotives in operation on the Northeast corridor. [Railway Age website report, 9-29-14]

AFRICA'S RIFT VALLEY RAILWAYS ACQUIRING 20 B23-7 LOCOMOTIVES: Africa's Rift Valley Railways has taken delivery of its first batch of National Railway Equipment rebuilt and re-engineered B23-7 diesel locomotives, and concluded a $20-million financing deal for the fleet of 20 units. [Railway Age website report, 9-29-14]

MONTANA MAN KILLED BY TRAIN: Montana Highway Patrol says Donald Hawkins, 66, of Troy, Montana, was deiving a pickup truck Sept. 26 when he drove off the side of the road while crossing railroad tracks and was struck by a train. The collision caused the truck to explode, and the man died at the scene. [NBC Montana website report, 9-29-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RECOGNIZED FOR LEADERSHIP IN CARBON DISCLOSURE: Norfolk Southern has earned recognition from environmental non-profit CDP as a marketplace leader in carbon disclosure. [Norfolk Southern, 9-29-14]

CSX HOSTS CRUDE-BY-RAIL INCIDENT RESPONSE TRAINING: CSX recently hosted crude-by-rail incident response training for 40 first-responders representing 30 communities around the CSX network at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado. [CSX, 9-29-14]

N.Y.'S EAST SIDE ACCESS PROJECT GETS $203-M IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING: New York's $10-billion East Side Access project, which will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, has received an additional $203-million in funding. The project is expected to reduce commuting time, increase capacityt and improve services. [N.Y. Post website report, 9-28-14]

BOULDER RAIL LINE EXTENSION PART OF I-11 PROJECT: The Boulder Branch railroad line, a 22-mile spur that veers off the main Union Pacific line in Las Vegas, Nevada, south through Henderson, will be restored to Boulder City as part of the I-11 project. The line was severed in 1998 when tracks at a grade crossing were paved over. Two bridges, one for pedestrians and one for the railroad, are part of the project. [Las Vegas Review-Journal website report, 9-28-14]

UNION PACIFIC INCREASES ACTIVE LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: Union Pacific has increased its active locomotive fleet by 850 units since last fall by taking units out of storage and acquiring new motive power. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-26-14]

SANTA CLARA VALLEY GETS $8-M FOR LIGHT-RAIL DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT: The Metropolitan Commission has allocated $8-million in federal funding for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation authority's plan to build a second main track between the Mountain View and Whisman stations. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-26-14]

FEDS GRANT FUNDS FOR STUDY TO REPLACE LONG BRIDGE ACROSS THE POTOMAC: The U.S. DOT has awarded $2.8-million to the D.C. DOT to conduct an environmental study on the proposed replacement of CSX's Long Bridge over the Potomac River. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-26-14]

RICHARD SARLES TO STEP DOWN AS WASHINGTON D.C. METRO CHIEF: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority general manager and CEO Richard Sarles says he will step down from his post in January 2015. [Railway Age website report, 9-26-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 20, 2014, with 302,178 carloads, up 5 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 6.4 pct. Nine of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-25-14]

NAFTA SPURS CROSS-BORDER GROWTH OF RAILS: BNSF's all-rail service between the U.S. and Mexico in partnership with Ferromex is successfully connecting Chicago to the inland port of Guanajuato. Union Pacific is also working with Ferromex, and offers intermodal service between Chicago and Monterrey. NAFTA also enables CN and CP to move into the U.S. and help Kansas City Southern to travel into Mexico. [Journal of Commerce website report, 9-25-14]

EMD LANDS ORDERS FOR 34 LOCOMOTIVES FOR MEXICO: Ferrocarril Mexicano will purchase 19 additional EMD SD70ACe locomotives, expanding its fleet of that class locomotive to 116, and Ferrosur has announced its first-ever order from EMD for 15 SD70ACe locomotives featuring a special design for tunnel operation enhancements. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-25-14]

NEW CRUDE-TRAIN TESTING STANDARDS OFFERED: The American Petroleum Institute has released new standards for testing and classifying crude shipped by rail after prior shipments were misclassified, including a train the derailed in Quebec killing 47 people. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation is reviewing the final proposal. [Town Hall Magazine website report, 9-25-14]

METROLINX ACQUIRES CN LINE FOR REGIONAL RAIL SERVICE: Metrolinx in Toronto has purchased a segment of CN rail line principally used by GO Transit in the Georgetown-Kitchener, Ontario, area. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-25-14]

CSX NAMED SUSTAINABILITY LEADER BY DOWN JONES, CDP: CSX has been named to three top sustainability leadership indices: the Dow Jones Sustainability index for North America, the CDP S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership index and the CDP S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership index. [CSX, 9-25-14]

TALGO TO INTRODUCE REGIONAL MULTIPLE UNIT RANGE: Talgo has revealed plans for a new range of regional and commuter multiple units. A 256-foot-long, four-car train will seat 212 passengers in the regional configuration, while the suburban variant will seat 190. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-25-14]

JOHN BURDAKIN DIES, FORMER PRESIDENT OF GTW: John Burdakin, 92, who served as president of Grand Trunk Western Railroad in the 1970's and 1980's, died Sept. 11. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-25-14]

EMPIRE BUILDER DETOUR CONTINUES IN N.D.: Amtrak's Empire Builder detour will continue at least until late this year through eastern North Dakota, the result of construction delays along BNSF tracks. [Prairie Business website report, 9-25-14]

D.C.'S H STREET STREETCAR TARGETS NOVEMBER STARTUP: Washington, D.C.'s, H street-Benning road streetcar line is now expected to begin revenue service in November, according to the District DOT. [Railway Age website report, 9-25-14]

HDR LANDS COLUMBIA PIKE STREETCAR CONTRACT: Arlington County, Va., has selected HDR Inc. for preliminary design and engineering work for its 7.4-mile Columbia Pike streetcar line, serving both Arlington and Fairfax counties. [Railway Age website report, 9-25-14]

S.F. TAPS BROOKVILLE FOR PCC REBUILDS: Brookville Equipment Corp. and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency have agreed to terms for the rebuild of 16 PCC streetcars, adding a minimum of 20 years of service life. [Railway Age website report, 9-25-14]

B&H RAIL COMPLETES RAIL LINE RENOVATION: B&H Rail Corp. has completed a $909,000 rail line renovation project in Bath, N.Y., which will provide service to the Steuben County Industrial Development agency's industrial park for the first time since 1996. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-24-14]

SEATTLE'S LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION PROJECT IS 50 PCT COMPLETE: Work on the $383-million light-rail extension from the SeaTac Airport station in Seattle to the planned Angle Lake station is 50 pct complete, with columns already installed and aerial-track bridges being built. [Seattle Times website report, 9-24-14]

KENOSHA APPROVES NORTH-SOUTH STREETCAR ROUTE: The city council of Kenosha, Wisconsin, has approved an expansion of the city's streetcar operations, in essence adding a north-south line layered over its existing east-west route served by PCC streetcars. [Railway Age website report, 9-24-14]

ILLINOIS HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT COMPLETES TRACK, TIE REPLACEMENT: The Illinois high-speed rail project connecting Chicago to St. Louis has completed its track and crosstie replacement. The project is on schedule to reduce the five and one-half hour trip by 30 minutes at the end of 2015 and another 30 minutes by the end of 2017. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-23-14]

FATIGUE, DISTRACTION MONITORING SYSTEM TO BE DEVELOPED FOR LOCOMOTIVE OPERATORS: Seeing Machines Ltd. has sign an agreement with EMD to create in-cab operator fatigue and distraction monitoring systems for use in locomotives. The technology is based on eye-tracking and analytics that detect fatigue and distraction. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-23-14]

CTA BEGINS RECONSTRUCTION OF 95TH STREET TERMINAL: The Chicago Transit Authority has marked the start of a $240-million project designed to reconstruct the Red Line's 95th street terminal, one of the largest station projects in the agency's history. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-23-14]

MANCHESTER, U.K., GETTING 16 ADDITIONAL LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Bombardier, with its consortium partner Vossioh Kiepe, has signed an option to supply 16 additional Flexity Switft light-rail vehicles to Transport for Greater Manchester's Metrolink system in the United Kingdom. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-23-14]

TRANSNET ASSEMBLES ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES: Transnet Rail Engineering has begun assembling class 20E electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail at its Koedoespoort facility near Pretoria following the delivery of the first batch of 10 units from China. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-23-14]

ROBBERY SUSPECTS USE LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN AS GETAWAY: Two bank robbery suspects were arrested in Denver after they tried to use a light-rail train as their getaway vehicle. [9News website report, 9-23-14]

INDIA, CHINA TO STUDY HIGH-SPEED RAIL: A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Indian Railways and China Railway for a joint feasibility study into constructing a high-speed rail line. The Delhi-Varanasi-Patna route is expected to be identified for the study. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-22-14]

N.C., S.C. IN JOINT RAIL COMPACT: Legislation has been finalizxed establishing a North Carolina and South Carolina freight rail compact. Representatives from both states have been attempting to negotiate a purchase of the Carolina Southern Railroad, a 95-mile short line that ceased operations in 2012. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-22-14]

FLORIDA EAST COAST ACQUIRES NEW EQUIPMENT: Florida East Coast has acquired 500 new 53-foot containers, 100 chassis and 50 refrigerated trailers to serve customers in the perishables market. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-22-14]

WASHINGTON METRO TO REPLACE BETHESDA STATION ESCALATORS: The Washington Metropolitan Aea Transit authority plans to replace its three 30-year-old escalators, one at a time. Rising 106 feet, they are the second longest in the western hemisphere. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-22-14]

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR STATE FUEL TAX DISPUTE: The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on whether state sales taxes on fuel - which do not apply to trucking companies and barge operators - unfairly discriminate against railroads. [Governing website report, 9-22-14]

NEBRASKA FARMERS' CO-OP TO BUILD RAIL SHIPPING FACILITY: The Midwest Farmers Cooperative is planning a 20-acre grain storage and rail shipping facility near Syracuse, Nebraska. It will include a 9,000-foot rail loop connecting to Arbor Rail Line, with access to Union Pacific and BNSF. [Lincoln Journal Star website report, 9-22-14]

UNION PACIFIC MAKING 'MODEST IMPROVEMENT' IN REDUCING INTERMODAL DELAYS: Union Pacific president Lance Fritz said the railroad is making modest incremental improvement to correct delays that have hurt intermodal service levels. [Transport Topics website report, 9-22-14]

N.D. FARMERS' CO-OP COMPLETES BNSF-SERVED TERMINAL: The farmers' cooperative CHS has completed work on its new propane rail terminal in Hannaford, N.D., part of a $24-million capital investment in its supply network. The terminal will be served by BNSF. [Farm & Ranch Guide website report, 9-22-14]

CLASS I RAILROAD HIRING GROWTH CONTINUES: Class I railroad employment grew 2.8 pct as of mid-August, according to the Surface Transportation Board. Some 850 positions were added between mid-July and mid-August. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 9-19-14]

CP MOVING AHEAD WITH ST. PAUL YARD EXPANSION: Canadian Pacific Railway is going ahead with plans to expand its switching yard southeast of downtown St. Paul over the city's objections. St. Paul backed down from seeking an environmental review and permit normally required for such a project. [Star Tribune website report, 9-19-14]

LOCOMOTIVES FOR SALE: RR Mergers & Acquyisitions has been engaged to sell a fleet of 10 EMD F40PH2 passenger locomotives, and 11 EMD freight locomotives including SW900, SW1200, SW1500, GP8, GP9, GP40 and SD40. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-19-14]

SIEMENS LANDS SAN FRANCISCO LIGHT-RAIL CONTRACT: San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency has awarded Siemens a $648-million contract for 175 S200 light-rail vehicles with an option for an additional 85 cars. [Railway Age website report, 9-19-14]

TALGO TRAINS FIND HOME IN MICHIGAN: Two high-speed Talgo train sets, originally built for service to connect Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, have found a home in Michigan. The trains are part of improvements expected to speed service on the Detroit-Chicago corridor. [Cap Times website report, 9-18-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 13, 2014, with 300,388 carloads, up 1.4 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-18-14]

NRHS 2015 CONVENTION TO BE HELD IN RUTLAND, VERMONT: The National Railway Historical Society's 2015 convention will be taking place June 14 to June 20 in Rutland, Vermont, and will feature seven days of rare train rides, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities and historic tours, followed by a public rail excursion on June 21. [National Railway Historical Society]

UNION PACIFIC TO RENEW RAIL LINE IN KANSAS: Union Pacific will invest $18-million in the rail line between Paola and Parsons, Kansas. The project, involving tie replacement, new ballast and replacement of nearly 12 miles of rail, began Sept. 16 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-December. [Union Pacific, 9-18-14]

FEC ADDS NEW INTERMODAL SERVICE: Florida East Coast is expanding its services to include intermodal service between Charlotte, N.C., and a number of South Florida locations. The 'Piedmont Express' is available five days a week using FEC assets. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-18-14]

NEW RAIL TRANSLOAD FACILITY FOR N.Y. AREA: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a redevelopment of Greenville yard that will include a new ExpressRail facility. It will enable to adjacent Global Marine terminal to ship and receive containerized cargo by rail for the first time. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-18-14]

TRANSNET BUYS 34 USED AUSTRALIAN LOCOMOTIVES: Transnet Freught Rail of South Africa has bought 34 former Queensland Rail diesel-electric locomotives as a stopgap measure as it awaits new locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-18-14]

GE TO SUPPLY 50 LOCOMOTIVES TO INDONESIA: Indonesian Railways has placed an order for 50 additional class CC206 diesel locomotives which will be used on passenger and freight services in Java and Sumatra. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-18-14]

TRANSPORTATION CENTER SLATED FOR NEWPORT NEWS: A $38-million multi-modal transportation center in Newport News is scheduled to begin construction in 2016. The station will be able to accommodate four Amtrak trains a day along with bus bays for Hampton Roads Transit and Greyhound. [Daily Press website report, 9-18-14]

NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON 2012 NORFOLK SOUTHERN DERAILMENT IN COLUMBUS: A broken rail that exhibited evidence of rolling contact fatigue has been determined the probable cause by the National Transportation Safety Board for the Norfolk Southern derailment, fire and hazardous materials spill in Columbus, Ohio, on July 11, 2012. About 100 homes near the accident site were evacuated. One person was slightly injured. [NTSB, 9-18-14]

METRO-NORTH HONORED FOR ENERGY SAVINGS AT GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL: Metro-North has been recognized for its energy savings efforts in Grand Central terminal by the BuildSmart NY Innovators Summit for the railroad's upgrade of chillers, cooling towers, fans, compressors, air handlers and steam distribution system. [Railway Age website report, 9-17-14]

FOUR POWER PLANTS SHUT DOWN DUE TO RAIL DELAYS: Minnesota Power, which serves the Duluth region, is mothballing four coal-powered generators for three months because the railroad is not delivering enough coal. [Marketplace website report, 9-17-14]

TRUCKING COMPANY FACES PAYING $5.7-M FOR ROLE IN AMTRAK CRASH: A Nevada trucking company could be forced to pay more than $5.7-million if a judge formalizes a jury verdict that faulted one of its drivers for a fiery 2011 crash with an Amtrak train that killed six people and injured dozens. [Times Union website report, 9-17-14]

AAR RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT STB REAUTHORIZATION BILL: The proposed Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization bill would harm railroads' ability to move freight, deliver the service shippers expect and reinvest capital, Association of American Railroads officials say. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-17-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO RENEW RAIL LINE IN NEBRASKA: Union Pacific will invest $11-million in the rail line between Grand Island and Gibbon, Nebraska. The project, involving replacement of over 78,000 concrete ties and spreading of over 14,000 tons of ballast, began Sept. 12 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-December. [Union Pacific, 9-17-14]

UPGRADES PLANNED TO RAIL LINE BETWEEN INDIANAPOLIS & LOUISVILLE: CSX and Louisville & Indiana Railroad expect an answer soon from the federal government on a plan to spend up to $90-million upgrading 106.5 miles of track between Indianapolis and Louisville. The project would enable freight to move at higher speeds, increasing to 45 MPH from the current 25 MPH. [Indianapolis Business Journal website report, 9-16-14]

CHINA OPENS NANCHANG-CHANGSHA HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: China began commercial services on the 212-mile line from Nanchang to Changsha Sept. 16. The line is designed for operation at up to 217 MPH. [International Railway Journal website report, 9-16-14]

NEW YORK'S MONTAGUE SUBWAY TUNNEL REOPENS: Normal subway service on New York City Transit's R line resumed Sept. 15 reopening a Manhattan-Broklyn route using the Montague Tunnel. [Railway Age website report, 9-15-14]

CN FINED FOR VIOLATING RADIO LICENSE REGULATIONS: CN has agreed to pay a $5.25-million civil penalty to resolve a Federal Communications Commission enforecment bureau investigation into the company's acquisition and operation of hundreds of wireless radio facilities in the U.S. without commission approval. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-15-14]

KCS COMPLETES BRIDGE PROJECTS IN LOUISIANA: Kansas City Southern has completed reconstruction of six timber bridges in Louisiana's Sabine River bottoms near Starks. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-15-14]

TWO RAIL-SERVED TRANSLOADING FACILITIES TO BE BUILT IN KANSAS: Twenty cities in Kansas are vying to be chosen as the location for two transloading facilities to be served by railroads such as BNSF and Union Pacific. The state is making a $10-million investment to build the facilities. [Hutchinson News website report, 9-13-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ADDING CONDUCTORS TO MEET INCREASED SERVICE DEMAND: Norfolk Southern will qualify approximately 170 conductors between now and the end of November, including 20 conductors in September. These new conductors will be targeted to the Northern region between Chicago and New Jersey. The company plans to hire an additional 1,200 to 1,500 conductors in 2015. [Norfolk Southern, 9-12-14]

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA CONTRACTS SIEMENS TO BUILD ITS PASSENGER TRAINS: All Aboard Florida has selected Siemens to build the locomotives and passenger cars for its rail line to connect south and central Florida. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-12-14]

BNSF ENDING CONTAINER HUB SERVICE IN FRESNO: BNSF Railway's Fresno yard will no longer serve as a hub for loading and unloading of intermodal shipping containers. [Fresno Bee website report, 9-12-14]

CSX INTRODUCES MOBILE INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR FIRST-RESPONDERS: CSX is introducing a new mobile information system which will enhance first-responders' ability to access train and cargo information in real time via their mobile devices. The program is the first of its kind amount Class I railroads. [CSX, 9-11-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week endng Sept. 6, 2014, with 286,002 carloads, up 2.7 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-11-14]

CHICAGO TRANSIT APPOROVES $92-M RENOVATION OF 3200-SERIES RAIL CARS: The Chicago Transit Authority has approved a $92-million contract for the materials needed to renovate all 257 of its 3200-series rail cars, which were purchased in 1992 and 1993. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-11-14]

BNSF AGREES TO MAINTAIN PASSENGER RAIL TRACKS IN KANSAS: BNSF has agreed to maintain the Amtrak passenger rail line connecting Hutchinson and Garden City, Kansas, after $12.4-million in repairs paid for by federal funds. [Hutchinson News website report, 9-11-14]

HOUSE BILL WOULD CUT AMTRAK FUNDING 40 PCT: The House is proposing a 40 pct funding cut for Amtrak in a new passenger rail bill that was unveiled Sept. 11 by the Transportation committee. [The Hill website report, 9-11-14]

GREAT DOME RETURNS TO ADIRONDACK: Passengers aboard Amtrak's Adirondack service can experience the splendor of upstate New York's fall foliage when the historic 'Great Dome' car returns for a six-week run Sept. 25 through Nov. 4. The car will operate northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursday, Saturday and Monday; returning south Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. Dome car will not operate on Wednesday. [Amtrak, 9-10-14]

N.C. SEEKS NEW OPERATOR FOR PIEDMONT & NORTHERN: The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation will seek a new operator for its 13-mile Piedmont & Northern Railway line between Gastonia and Mount Holly after Patriot Rail announced plans to terminate its operating lease. The line serves two businesses and averages 12 cars per month. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-10-14]

CN OPENS TRAINING FACILITY IN WINNIPEG: Canadian National has opened a new 100,000-square-foot train facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with capacity for more than 350 students a week to train for railway careers. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-10-14]

UNION PACIFIC-SERVED COLD STORAGE FACILITY COMING TO UTAH: United States Cold Storage is opening a new Union Pacific-served facility in Syracuse, Utah, this year. The facility will feature 18 refrigerated dock doors and 5.2 million cubic feet of refrigerated storage. [Refrigerated & Frozen Foods website report, 9-10-14]

METRO-NORTH COMPLETES SWITCHING REBUILD AT COS COB: Metro-North Railroad has rebuilt a switching control house at Cos Cob, Connecticut, making it fully operational for the first time since a fire on May 10. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-9-14]

RAIL SAFETY WEEK TO BE STAGED IN ILLINOIS: BNSF, CN, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific have all signed on to participate in Illinois' inaugural rail safety week beginning Sept. 14. In all, 246 consituents have signed on to the initiative. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-9-14]

KOCH NITROGEN ADDING HIGH-SPEED LOADING: Koch Nitrogen Co. will begin a $1.3-billion expansion of its facilities in Enid, Oklahoma, including the addition of high-speed loading facilities served by BNSF and Union Pacific. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-9-14]

UNION PACIFIC PLANS RAIL REPLACEMENT NEAR CHICAGO: Union Pacific will begin a rail-replacement project Sept. 15 on its West line, which serves freight and Metra trains in Illinois. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 9-8-14]

ILLINOIS ALLOCATES $102-M TO HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECTS: Illinois is investing $102-million to upgrade high-speed rail. The state's allocation plus federal funds will pay for a new rail bridge and double-tracking for the Chicago-St. Louis corridor used by Amtrak. [Clean Technica website report, 9-7-14]

BNSF TO SERVE $3-B FERTILIZER PLANT IN N.D.: Fertilizer firm CHS will move foreward with construction of a new $3-billion BNSF-served plant in North Dakota which will convert natural gas into nitrogen fertilizer. [Fargo Forum website report, 9-5-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 30, 2014, with 305,751 caloads, up 1.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal vlume was up 5.3 pct, and the highest for any week in history. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-4-14]

BACKERS OF BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON MAGLEV TRAIN CLAIM $5-B IN FUNDING: An investor group hoping to build a high-speed maglev train capable of cutting the travel time between Baltimore and Washington to 15 minutes says that it has lined up more than $5-billion in financial backing. [Baltimore Sun website report, 9-4-14]

VIA RAIL REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: VIA Rail Canada's total revenue increased 3.9 pct to $68.7-million in the second quarter, while its operating loss decreased 6.9 pct to $74.4-million compared with the same period a year ago. [9-4-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CEO SELLS $13.1-M IN STOCK: Norfolk Southern CEO Charles Moorman sold 122,983 share of the stock on the open market in a transaction dated Sept. 2. The stock was sold at an average price of $107, for a transaction of over $13.1-million. [Market List News website report, 9-4-14]

K.C. UNION STATION TO CELEBRATE 100 YEARS: Kansas City's Union Station opened Oct. 30, 1914, as the third-largest rail depot in the country. The main building was 850,000 square feet with a grand hall ceiling 95 feet high. Its three chandeliers each weighed about two tons. [Kansas City Star website report, 9-4-14]

MINNESOTA STEPS UP RAIL INSPECTIONS: The Minnesota Dept. of Transportation has added two track inspectors and a hazardous materials inspector following a new state law to monitor rail traffic from North Dakota's Bakken ol fields. [9-3-14]

MBTA OPENS NEW STATION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority marked the opening of its first new station in 27 years at a ceremony Sept. 2. The new Assembly Orange line station is a key element in creating a transit-oriented development at Assembly Row, according to the authority. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-3-14]

FEDS SAY FIVE CLASS I RAILROADS ATTAINED 'REVENUE ADEQUATE' STATUS IN 2013: BNSF, CN, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific achieved a rate of return equal to or greater than the calculation of the rail industry's average cost of capital in 2013, according to the Surface Transportation Board. The agency determined that the rail industry's cost of capital was 11.32 pct. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-3-14]

AMTRAK WINS $4.5-M JUDGEMENT OVER 2011 NEVADA CRASH: A jury has decided a civil case awarding Amtrak more than $4.5-million in damages from a trucking company over a deadly 2011 crash in Nevada, according to Courthouse News Service. [Trucking Info website report, 9-3-14]

ALSTOM TRANSPORTATION NAMES NEW PRESIDENT: Alstom has appointed Jerome Wallut president of Alstom Transportation Inc. and senior vice-president of Alstom's North American rail transportation business. [Railway Age website report, 9-3-14]

R.J. CORMAN COMPLETES PURCHASE OF TEXAS SOUTHEASTERN RAILROAD: R.J. Corman Railroad Company/Texas Lines LLC has announced the purchase of the assets of Texas Southeastern Railroad, previously a subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific. [Railway Age website report, 9-3-14]

CSX SUES PRODUCERS OF 'MIDNIGHT RIDER': Railroad company CSX has sued the producers of 'Midnight Rider' claiming that they illegally filmed on CSX tracks where a train collided with the film crew earlier this year. [Los Angeles Times website report, 9-3-14]

STUDY POINTS TO NEED TO REPLACE HUDSON RIVER RAIL TUNNELS: The 104-year old tunnels under the Hudson River were in rough shape before superstorm Sandy, an event that only made things worse, according to a study. Amtrak hired an expert to analyze the tunnels, but preliminary finds indicate the storm accelerated damage to the concrete bench walls, wiring and drainage systems. Amtrak says the tunnels only have another 20 years before they will need to be rebuilt. [Asbury Park Press website report, 9-2-14]

AMTRAK ASKS FEDS TO INVESTIGATE CN OVER ON-TIME PERFORMANCE: Amtrak has made clear in part its frustration over on-time performance by calling to the Surface Transportation Board to look into the matter, specifically as it concerns Canadian National Railway. [Railway Age website report, 9-2-14]

BOMBARDIER OPENS HUB IN KUALA LUMPUR: Bombardier Transportation has opened a new Kuala Lumpur hub to support rail projects in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. The office will accommodate more than 100 engineering, project management, system integration and signaling specialists. [Progressive Railroading website report, 9-2-14]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY DISCIPLINED CONDUCTOR $12,000: BNSF Railway has been found in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for disciplining a conductor at the company's Murray Yard complex in Kansas City for following a physician's treatment plan. The company has been ordered to pay the conductor $12,000, remove disciplinary information from the record, and provide whistleblower rights information to its employees. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 9-2-14]

PROTESTERS ARRESTED FOR BLOCKING BNSF OIL TRAIN: Five people have been arrested after blocking railroad tracks at a BNSF rail yard in Everett, Washington. The group had erected a tripod of poles over the tracks with a woman perched on top. A sign on the tripod sayd, "Cut Oil Trains, Not Conductors," an apparent reference to an agreement to allow the railroad to run some freight trains with only an engineer on board. [Lincoln Journal Star website report, 9-2-14]

OPPONENTS OF HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT PETITION CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT: Opponents of California's high-speed rail project have petitioned the California Supreme Court, arguing a court of appeals decision ignored the financial protections of voters. [Reuters website report, 9-2-14]

PACIFIC HARBOR LINE NOW SERVING 10-MILE INDUSTRIAL SPUR: Pacific Harbor Line is now serving customers located in three industrial areas near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, linked to a 10-mile industrial spur owned by Union Pacific. Service is provided to seven customers, six days a week. [Pacific Harbor Line, 9-2-14]

ILLINOIS TO BUILD BRIDGE SPANNING KANKAKEE RIVER FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: The state of Illinois will spend $102-million to build a bridge over the Kankakee River, along with other improvements, as part of high-speed rail upgrades between Chicago and St. Louis. [Fox2New website report, 9-1-14]

LOGISTICS HUB ENVISIONED FOR DECATUR, ILLINOIS: Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and CSX all bring trains through Decatur, Illinois. Now local leaders want to expand the presence of these carriers to create a logistics hub. [Decatur Herald & Review website report, 8-31-14]

UNION PACIFIC NAMES KENNETH HUNT VP TRANSPORTATION: Kenneth Hunt has been named vice-president of transportation and will lead transportation field operations across the company's 32,000-mile system. [Union Pacific, 8-29-14]

MARYLAND PULLS $30-M FROM CSX RAIL FACILITY PROJECT: Maryland officials have abandoned plans for a CSX rail cargo facility at Mount Clare yard in Baltimore, amid vocal oppositions from residents and dimishing political will. With the state withdrawing more than $30-million in funding, the CSX facility will not likely be built at that location. [Baltimore Sun website report, 8-28-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 23, 2014, with 300,505 total carloads, up 3 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-28-14]

VIA RAIL'S CHAIRMAN TO RESIGN: VIA Rail Canada chairman Paul Smith will step down from the passenger railroad's board Aug. 31, he announced Aug. 27. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-14]

R.J. CORMAN ACQUIRES ROADWAY WORKER TRAINING INC.: R.J. Corman Railroad Group has acquired Roadway Worker Training Inc., which provides training and support services to the railroad industry. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-14]

BNSF TO HAUL N.D. PRODUCE TO PORT OF VANCOUVER: Washington's Port of Vancouver is coordinating servies with BNSF to handle North Dakota agricultural products. The move comes after the port signed an agreement with the North Dakota Dept. of Agriculture to lease blocks of rail cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-14]

RAIL-SERVED TERMINAL BEING BUILT IN MANITOBA: Viterra Inc. will make what the company is calling a significant investment near its canola crush plant in Ste. Agathe, Manitoba, with its plan to construct a high-throughput rail terminal to be served by Canadian National and BNSF. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-28-14]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN SASKATCHEWAN: A Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed near Waldeck, Saskatchewan, Aug. 28, amid severe thunderstorms and strong winds. Thirty-three cars left the tracks. There were no injuries. [CBC News website report, 8-28-14]

NEW BULK TRANSLOAD FACILITY FOR MORRISTOWN & ERIE: The Morristown & Erie Railway is constructing a new train-to-truck transloading facility in Whippany, N.J., expected to open in the fall of 2014. [Railway Age website report, 8-28-14]

UNION PACIFIC BEGINS DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT IN TEXAS: Union Pacific has begun construction on a multi-million dollar project that will extend a second track through Sugar Land, Stafford and Missouri City, Texas. [Union Pacific, 8-27-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO UPGRADE RAIL LINE IN KANSAS: Union Pacific will invest $20-million in the rail line between Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, by replacing over 66,000 ties, installing over 42,000 tons of ballast, renewing surfaces at 116 road crossings, installing more than 11 miles of new rail and changing 13 switches. [Union Pacific, 8-27-14]

RIBBON-CUTTING FOR NEW AMTRAK STATION IN HERMANN, MISSOURI: A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of a new Amtrak station in Hermann, Missouri, to serve the Missouri River Runner, will take place Sept. 12. [Emissourian website report, 8-27-14]

BNSF MULLS SECOND BRIDGE NEAR SANDPOINT, IDAHO: BNSF is mulling a plan to construct a second bridge across Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho. The bridge would be nearly a mile long and it could be operational in 2018, the company said. [Railway Age website report, 8-27-14]

SIOUX CITY APPROVES $4.8-M RAIL PROJECT: Sioux City, Iowa, is counting on rail to boost the local economy, and city leaders have approved a $4.8-million rail project for its Southbridge Business Park. Union Pacific will connect to the new rail yard. [Sioux City Journal website report, 8-26-14]

CSX WOULD BE AFFECTED BY GARY AIRPORT RUNWAY EXTENSION: If a proposed runway extension at the Gary-Chicago International Airport moves forward, CSX would have to leave its Fort Wayne branch line and relocate to the Gary branch line. Canadian National says it would create a connector segment to the Gary branch line. [Merrillville Post-Tribune website report, 8-26-14]

MOBILE LOOKS TO EXPAND PORT FACILITIES: The Alabama State Port Authority is looking to expand the port facilities in Mobile, Alabama, with a newly-purchased 35-acre tract that offers access to CSX. The property is projected to expand the terminal's throughput capacity to one million 20-foot-equivalent units annually. [Journal of Commerce website report, 8-26-14]

NRHS MEMBERS ELECT NEW PRESIDENT: Members of the National Railway Historical Society have elected Al Weber as their new president. He will succeed Greg Molloy, who has served in that capacity since 1994. [Railway Preservation News website report, 8-25-14]

FEDS APPROVE FOURTH TWIN CITIES LIGHT RAIL PROJECT: The Federal Transit Administration has given its approval for a fourth light-rail transit line to serve Minnesota's Twin Cities to proceed. [Railway Age website report, 8-25-14]

ARGENTINA'S 'TRAIN OF THE CLOUDS' SUSPENDED: Argentina's Train of the Clouds has suspended operations, and concessionaire Ecotren has been stripped of its contract following a derailment July 19 in a remote area of the Andes. The provincial government has stated it intends to restart operation by October. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-25-14]

IMPROVEMENTS TO COBOURG, ONTARIO, TRAIN STATION COMPLETED: VIA Rail has opened a new overhead walkway and central platform at Cobourg station in Ontario. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-25-14]

TOWER 55 PROJECT NEARING COMPLETION: Union Pacific and BNSF are almost finished with their $104-million overhaul of the railway control point known as Tower 55 in Fort Worth, Texas, which sees about 100 trains a day. [Omaha World-Herald website report, 8-24-14]

BNSF TO ADD CAPACITY IN WASHINGTON STATE: To relieve congestion that will come with more trains, BNSF expects to lay four miles of track alongside existing track north of Ferndale, Washington, a company official said. [Bellingham Herald website report, 8-23-14]

AMTRAK'S HOOSIER STATE GETS 4-MONTH EXTENSION: The Indiana DOT will continue to fund the Indianapolis-Chicago Hoosier State through Jan. 2015. Officials will use the four-month extension to hammer out an agreement with the cities along the route, Amtrak, and a newly-selected contractor that the state hopes can enhance the service. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 8-22-14]

MASSACHUSETTS TO PURCHASE PAN AM SOUTHERN'S KNOWLEDGE CORRIDOR: Massachusetts has agreed in principle to purchase from Pan Am Southern a 49-mile track segment between East Norfield and Springfield, known as the Knowledge Corridor. The line is undergoing a major restoration that will result in more efficient passenger-rail service and allow the state to enhance freight service. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-14]

B.C. PORT APPROVES BNSF-SERVED COAL TRANSFER FACILITY: Port Metro Vancouver, B.C., has approved a new rail-to-barge coal transfer facilty at Fraser Surrey Docks that will be served by BNSF Railway. [Railway Age website report, 8-22-14]

FEDS EXPAND EXEMPTIONS IN PTC RULE: The Federal Railroad Administration has published its final rule concerning positive train control systems which expands certain exemptions. The exemptions include freight-only systems presenting 'minimal' safety risks, en route failures, and unequippped yard operations within PTC systems. [Railway Age website report, 8-22-14]

WASHINGTON STATE SELECTS OPERATOR FOR 26-MILE SHORTLINE: The Washington State DOT has selected ARG Transportation to operate a 26-mile rail line in central Washington with a goal to restore rail service to a portion of Grant County, assisting farmers getting their products to market. [Railway Track & Structructurs website report, 8-22-14]

WABTEC ACQUIRES FRICTION PRODUCTS COMPANY IN BRAZIL: Wabtec Corp. has acquired Dia-Frag, which manufactures friction products in Brazil and registers annual sales of $40-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS ORDER FOR 10 TRAXX DC LOCOMOTIVES: Bombardier Transportation and leasing company Akiem S.A. have agreed to the delivery of 10 Bombardier TRAXX DC locomotives with an option of up to 10 additional locomotives. The current order is valued at $44-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-22-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 16, 2014, with 304,276 total carloads, up 2.8 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-21-14]

CLEANUP CONTINUES AT SITE OF ARKANSAS TRAIN COLLISION: Highway crews say cleanup operations at the site of a head-on train collision Aug. 17 in Hoxie, Arkansas, could keep U.S. 67 closed into next week. Two Union Pacific trains crashed resulting in the death of two railroad workers and injuries to two others. [THV-11 website report, 8-20-14]

KCS HIKES SPEEDS ON PORTIONS OF RAIL LINE IN MISSISSIPPI: Effective Sept. 1, Kansas City Southern will increase train speed on portions of its line from Gulfport to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, from 25 MPH to 49 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 8-20-14]

MORE GRAIN TRAINS FOR SOUTH DAKOTA: Canadian Pacific and the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern railroads have committed to providing thre additional grain trains per week in South Dakota. The railroads have been trying to meet grain shippers' service needs despite grain-car backlogs. Car availability will likely remain tight since the upcoming harvest is projected to be another record-breaker. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-20-14]

TRANSLOAD SIDING COMPLETED IN NORTH CAROLINA: Railway and state officials helped drive the final spike Aug. 19 for a new siding built adjacent to an existing rail line in Greenville, N.C. The $290,000 Greenville Transload project will enable companies to receive and unload products via Carolina Coastal Railway. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-20-14]

RAIL EQUIPMENT LEASES DECLINED IN 2013: Railroad equipment represented 1.8 pct of new equipment financing business in 2013, down 2.3 pct from 2012, according to an Equipment Leasing and Financing Association survey of member companies. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-20-14]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT GAINS IN JULY: Figures released by the Surface Transportation Board show total Class I railroad employment, as of mid-July, rose 1.94 pct to 167,138, from mid-July 2013. [Railway Age website report, 8-20-14]

JEFFREY PACHECO NAMED G.M. OF SAN ANTONIO CENTRAL R.R.: Watco Transportation Services has promoted Jeffrey Pacheco to general manager for the San Antonio Central Railroad. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 8-20-14]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY INTERCITY TRAINS TO ALGERIA: Alstom has been selected as preferred bidder for a $260-million contract to supply 17 bi-mode multiple units to Algerian National Railways. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-20-14]

PENNSYLVANIA GRANTS $10-M TO READING & NORTHERN R.R. BRIDGE: The state of Pennsylvania has awarded Reading & Northern Railroad $10-million to construct a new railroad bridge over the Lehigh River in Carbon County. The railroad will pay for the balance of the $14-million project. [Pocono Record website report, 8-19-14]

LAX OVERSIGHT CITED FOR LAC-MEGANTIC DERAILMENT & EXPLOSION: Chronic laxity by Canada's transportation regulator is identified by the country's accident investigator as the primary, underlying cause of the July 6, 2013, derailment and explosion of a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train at Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people. [Railway Age website report, 8-19-14]

NEW MULTI-SYSTEM LOCOMOTIVES FOR POLAND: Poland's largest railfreight operator PKP Cargo will invest nearly $63.7-million in 10 new multi-system electric locomotives to support the expansion of its international business. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-19-14]

UNION PACIFIC TRAINS COLLIDE IN ARKANSAS, TWO KILLED: Two freight trains collided in Hoxie, Arkansas,about 3 A.M. Aug. 17, killing two and injuring two others, according to the State Police. A fire resulted in one of the locomotives which was still burning at daybreak. As a precaution, officials said a large number of the 2,700 Hoxie residents were evacuated, but were allowed to return home several hours later. The accident is under investigation. [USA Today website report, 8-17-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 9, 2014, with 301,755 total carloads, up 4.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-14-14]

ATLANTA STREETCAR TESTING TO BEGIN: Testing begins Aug. 15 on the 2.7-mile initial Atlanta streetcar route, to be served by four Siemens S70 streetcars. [Railway Age website report, 8-14-14]

FEDS GIVE CONDITIONAL APPROVAL FOR PORTION OF CALIFORNIA'S HSR PROJECT: The Surface Transportation Board has approved a 114-mile segment of California's high-speed rail system, including a condition that work may not disrupt freight rail operations in the area. This Fresno-to-Bakersfield segment will be the second phase of the project: [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 8-13-14]

INDONESIA LAUNCHES SULAWESI RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION: Construction has begun in Barru, Indonesia, on the first phase of the railway network on the island of Sulawesi. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-13-14]

CSX TO HELP FUND BALTIMORE WALL REPAIR: CSX has reportedly agreed to pay up to $10-million to the city of Baltimore for costs related to rebuilding the 26th street wall that collapsed last spring, spilling automobiles and a portion of the road onto CSX's track. [Railway Age website report, 8-12-14]

ALBERTA RAIL TERMINAL TO EXPAND: Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has announced a 50-50 venture with Imperial Oil to enable a planned expansion to move forward at the Edmonton Crude-by-Rail Terminal in Alberta. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-12-14]

SOUND TRANSIT INSTALLING PTC EQUIPMENT ON TRAINS: Beginning this week, a contractor hired by Sound Transit will begin installing devices on all Sounder trains as part of positive train control work scheduled for completion in 2015. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-12-14]

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, TO BEGIN WORK ON RAPID-TRANSIT SYSTEM: The region of Waterloo, Ontario, will host a groundbreaking Aug. 21 for Stage 1 of the ION light-rail rapid-transit system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-12-14]

CSX, UNION PACIFIC CONSIDER UNIT TRAINS FROM MEXICAN BORDER TO EAST COAST: CSX and Union Pacific teamed up for a freight rail delivery of watermelons from the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to the East Coast in May, and now regional growers and shipers are considering moving back to rail for their shipments. Trial unit train runs are being considered. [Nogales International website report, 8-12-14]

CP SHIPMENTS OF GRAIN ARE STILL SLOW, REGULATORS SAY: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture said Aug. 11 that the Canadian Pacific Railway, one of two key railroads that serve Minnesota farmers, is not making enough progress in shipping a huge backlog of grain. Meanwhile, the company said it is working with its customers and is committed to having the resources in place for this fall. [Minnesapolis Star Tribune website report, 8-11-14]

FINGER LAKES RWY FINDING SUCCESS: New York's Finger Lakes Railway, founded in 1995, has grown to 89 active shippers based on its connections to CSX, Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific. The 45-employee company is currently working on track upgrades in the Seneca Falls area. [Finger Lakes Times website report, 8-11-14]

CANADA TOUGHENS RAILWAY CROP VOLUME RULES: Canada will require the country's two big railways to ship more than the current minimum of one million tons of crops a week through the autumn harvest period as it tries to prevent a repeat of last sasson's massive backlog. [Business Recorder website report, 8-10-14]

BNSF SAYS IT IS CATCHING UP ON GRAIN TRAINS: The head of BNSF Railway says his company has made dramatic progress in the last month clearing out a backlog of grain cars, and could be caught up for harvest if crops come in late, as some are predicting. [Crookston Times website report, 8-8-14]

REPORT OFFERS ANALYSIS OF NJT'S SUPER BOWL DELAYS: A report released on N.J. Transit's Super Bowl performance in Februarty describes confusion on the ground and disagreement among top officials as train delays worsened, but praised the agency's overall performance. [Associated Press report, 8-8-14]

NARP NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, CEO: Jim Mathews is joining the National Association of Railroad Passengers as president and chief executive officer. Previously the executive editor of the Aviation Week Intelligence Network, he joins NARP with 30 years of publishing experience in the transportation sector. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 8-8-14]

STILLWATER CENTRAL BUYS OKLAHOMA'S SOONER SUBDIVISION: The Stillwater Central Railroad has bought the Sooner subdivision rail line between Sapulpa and Midwest City, Oklahoma, for $75-million, and will begin a six-month passenger service trial in the near future. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 8-8-14]

DESIGN WORK TO BEGIN ON PASSENGER RAIL ROUTE BETWEEN CHICAGO & MOLINE, ILLINOIS: The Indiana Dept. of Transportation and Iowa Interstate Railroad have signed an agreement to begin design work for a portion of the proposed passenger rail route on BNSF tracks between Chicago and Moline, Illinois. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 8-8-14]

SAN GABRIEL TUNNEL BEING CONSIDERED FOR CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Officials involved in the California High-Speed rail project are considering a tunnel underneath the San Gabriel Mountains as an alternative to the S-shaped path originally proposed for the Southern California segment connecting Palmdale to Burbank. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 8-8-14]

CARL JACKSON NAMED CONNECTICUT RAIL ADMINISTRATOR: Carl Jackson, associate director of the District of Columbia's DOT, has been named rail administrator at the Connecticut Dept. of Transportation. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-8-14]

NORTH DAKOTA COMMISSION CALLS ON FEDS TO HELP REDUCE GRAIN CAR BACKLOG: The North Dakota Public Service Commission has urged the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to take immediate action to prompt railroads to make faster progress on reducing the backlog of grain cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-8-14]

SIEMENS RAIL AUTOMATION EXPANDS IN PENNSYLVANIA: Siemens Rail Automation says it will combine and expand its manufacturing and engineering operations at a new facility in the Pittsburgh area. [Railway Age website report, 8-8-14]

INDIA OPENS RAIL MARKET TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT: India's $11.6-billion rail market is now open to global manufacturers and investors following cabinet approval for foreign direct investment permits. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-8-14]

COLD TRAIN SUSPENDS RAIL SERVICE, BLAMES BNSF: Cold Train, a refrigerated rail service from Quincy, Washington, to Chicago and points east, has suspended service, blaming a reduction in service offered by BNSF Railway. [Capital Press website report, 8-7-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending August 2, 2014, with 304,229 carloads, up 6 pct compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. rail freight traffic for the week was 574,552 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.8 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-7-14]

FEDS MOVE TO APPLY ALCOHOL, DRUG REGS TO MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY EMPLOYEES: The Federal Railroad Administration is proposing to expand the scope of its alcohol and drug reulations to cover maintenance-of-way employees in response to the Rail Safety Improvement act of 2008. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

X TRAIN BEGINS PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE IN SANTA FE: Luxury passenger rail service on the X Train was launched last week between Santa Fe and Lamy, N.M. X Train is shipping two of its 'Club X' luxury-service cars to Santa Fe for inclusion on the route, thus doubling the train's capacity. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

SANTA ANA SELECTS PREFERRED STREETCAR ROUTE: The Santa Ana, California, council has chosen a proposed 4.1-mile streetcar route along the city's Fourth street as a preferred route instead of Fifth street, citing existing foot-traffic as a factor. [Railway Age website report, 8-7-14]

PORTUGUESE PASSENGER RAIL REVIVAL CONTINUES: Portuguese Trains passenger traffic continued to recover in the first half of this year with increased ridership of 2.4 pct year-on-year to reach a higher-than-forecast 54 million. [International Railway Journal website report, 8-7-14]

GOOD 2-Q FOR BNSF: BNSF Railway, wholly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, has reported second-quarter net income of $916-million, up 4 pct from the comparable quarter of 2013. Revebye rise 8 pct. [Railway Age website report, 8-7-14]

ALASKA R.R. COMPLETES TANANA RIVER BRIDGE: A ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 5 marked the completion of the Tanana River Bridge by the Alaska Railroad. More than three-fifths of a mile long, the structure is now the state's longest bridge. It can accommodate both trains and motor vehicles, and provides year-round access to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range complex. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS QUARTERLY EARNINGS: FreightCar America reported second-quarter revenue of $139.7-million and net income of $1.6-million or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with $47-million in revenue and a net loss of $3.4-million in the same 2013 period. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

ULTRA-HEAVY CAPACITY TRANSFER RAIL CAR REBUILT FOR 433-TON LOAD: Motive Power Equipment Solutions Inc. has rebuilt an ultra-heavy capacity, 16-axle transfer car for the final leg of a journey to move the world's largest gas turbine, weighing in at 866,000 pounds. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

BOMBARDIER WINS 'GOOD DESIGN' AWARDS FOR TRAM PROJECTS: Bombardier Transportation has won Good Design awards for its Australian tram projects in Melbourne and Gold Coast. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-7-14]

CSX CONFIRMS HIRING PLANS: While hiring is already underway, CSX has confirmed that hundreds, and eventually thousands of workers will be hired to fill new jobs at the growing railroad. The company needs workers, since there is increased demand for rail freight business all across the country, but expecially in the northern tier of CSX, the company said. [Cumberland Times-News website report, 8-5-14]

BNSF-SERVED ETHANOL PLANT REOPENS IN NEBRASKA: Vogelbusch, a 45-million-gallon-capacity ethanol plan in Nebraska served by BNSF reopened in June. Aventine Renewable Energy says it was successful in restarting the facility after it had been idle since 2012. [Progressive Railroading website report, 8-5-14]

COURT APPROVES FUNDING PLAN FOR CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN PROJECT: A panel of appellate court judges has given its blessing to California's bullet train funding plan, paving the way for the state to sell $8.6-billion in bonds it needs to construct the line. [San Jose Mercury News website report, 8-1-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending July 26, 2014, with 306,988 carloads, up 4.3 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-31-14]

UNION PACIFIC HIKES DIVIDEND 10 PCT.: Union Pacific Corporation's board has voted to increase the quarterly dividend on the company's common stock to 50 cents per share, an increase of 10 pct. [Union Pacific, 7-31-14]

CHINESE DEAL COULD BOOST TRAFFIC AT UNION PACIFIC HUB IN N.M.: The new Union Pacific rail yard in Santa Teresa, N.M., stands to benefit from a deal reportedly reached by a Chinese development company that would speed the transport for goods from Mexico's Pacific coast and an industrial area just south of the Santa Teresa port of entry. [Las Cruces Sun-News website report, 7-31-14]

ISRAEL SEEKS BIDS FOR ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES: Israel Railways has launched a tender for the supply of between 62 and 78 25kV 50Hz electric locomotives with an option for more. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-31-14]

BRAZIL GETS 81 DESIGN PROPOSALS FOR SIX NEW RAIL LINES: Brazil says it has received 81 study proposals for the construction of six new railway corridors totalling over 2,900 miles. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-31-14]

NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON ELLICOTT CITY DERAILMENT: The derailment of a CSX coal train on a railroad bridge in downtown Ellicott City, Md., Aug. 20, 2012, killing two people sitting on the bridge, was caused by a broken rail with evidence of rolling contact fatigue, the National Transportation Safety Board said. [National Transportation Safety Board, 7-31-14]

NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON PAULSBORO DERAILMENT: The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the probable cause of the 2012 Conrail derailment at the Paulsboro, N.J., movable bridge. The train had been allowed to proceed onto the bridge without the bridge's rail slide locks being fully engaged. The accident resulted in a hazardous materials release. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-31-14]

BNSF BEGINS DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT IN N.M.: BNSF has begun work to build a $68-million, 9.3-mile second main track west of Vaughn, N.M., to eliminate one of four remaining single-track sections on its Southern Transcon route between Chicago and Los Angeles. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-31-14]

VIA RAIL BEGINS RENOVATIONS TO BROCKVILLE STATION: VIA Rail Canada has launched an extensive renovation project to transform its station in Brockville, Ontario. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 7-31-14]

MARYLAND SEEKS BIDS ON PURPLE LINE CONSTRUCTION: The Maryland Transit Administration has released a Request for Proposals for the Purple line, a light-rail line to be constructed in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 7-31-14]

AMTRAK'S ON-TIME PERFORMANCE DROPS: Amtrak trains have been late nearly 30 pct of the time in the last 12 months, considerably worse than the year before. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 7-30-14]

NEXT PHASE OF ILLINOIS HIGH-SPEED RAIL WORK TO BEGIN IN THE FALL: The next phase of high-speed rail work is expected to start in September or October. It will include upgrading the siding tracks in Normal, McLean and Lexington, according to the Illinois DOT. [Bloomington Pantagraph website report, 7-30-14]

WATCO APPOINTS THREE TO MANAGEMENT POSITIONS: Joe Via has been named director of operations by Watco Transportation Services. The short-line holding company also announced the appointment of Larry McCloud as general manager for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, and Chris Norman as general manager of the Grand Elk Railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-30-14]

CSX FACILITY IS BRINGING BUSINESS TO WINTER HAVEN: The Central Florida Intermodal Logistics center near CSX's new intermodal facility in Winter Haven, Florida, is drawing intense interest from companies looking to place warehouses on some of its industrial space. [Jacksonville American City Business Journals website report, 7-29-14]

BNSF TO BREAK GROUND ON $68-M PROJECT IN N.M.: BNSF is ready to begin its $68-million project to build a second set of tracks on its line near Vaughn, N.M. The project is part of the company's $5-billion capital plan, and will bring 9.3 miles of new track to the area. [Albuquerque Journal website report, 7-29-14]

WASHINGTON INAUGURATES METRO SILVER LINE: Washington DC celebrated the largest-ever expansion of its metro network July 26 with the inauguration of the initial five-station section of the Silver line from East Falls Church to Reston. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-28-14]

RAILS PREPARED TO ACCOMMODATE CANADIAN HARVEST, CN & CP SAY: Canada's grain harvest will soon be under way, and both CN and CP say they are well-prepared to accommodate it with a steady throughput rate in synch with the grain supply chain. [Railway Age website report, 7-28-14]

CONSTRUCTION OF SECTION OF CALIFORNIA'S HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT TO BEGIN BY YEAR'S END: Work on the 114-mile Fresno-Bakersfield route for the proposed $68-billion high-speed rail system in California is slated to begin by year's end. Meanwhile, property acquisition from Madera to Fresno continues. [Bakersfield Californian website report, 7-28-14]

CLOGGED RAIL CAPACITY SLOWING COLORADO SHIPMENTS OF COAL: Electric untilities in Colorado have watched their coal supplies drop in recent months because of clogged capacity of rail lines. The congestion's biggest impact so far is on coal transport, but other commodities such as oil, grain and manufactured goods are also experiencing shipping delays. [Denver Post website report, 7-27-14]

RAIL BENEFITS INDIANA ECONOMY: CSX and Louisville & Indiana Railroad are planning to spend $90-million to rebuild more than 106 miles of track between Louisville, Kentucky, and Johnson County, Indiana. The expenditure is part of a rail boom in Indiana that is benefiting businesses and the economy. [Indianapolis Star website report, 7-27-14]

NEW BRIDGE COULD ALLOW SPEED HIKE ON PORTION OF KEYSTONE CORRIDOR: The new Eby Chiques Road bridge could allow for the train passing below it on Amtrak's Keystone corridor from their current 110 MPH speed to 125 MPH, reducing travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. The overpass is expected to be complete in September. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-25-14]

TUCSON SUN LINK STREETCAR OPENS FOR SERVICE: The Tucson Sun Link streetcar line opened to the public July 25. Service will be supported by six streetcars, seven days a week. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 7-25-14]

OREGON GOVERNOR ISSUES OIL TRAIN SAFETY REVIEW: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has released a statewide review of oil train safety that calls for an increase in state rail inspectors, more funding for training, improved reporting and transparency. [Great Falls Tribune website report, 7-25-14]

INDIANAPOLIS PULLS FUTURE SUPPORT FOR AMTRAK LINE TO CHICAGO: Indianapolis city officials have decided not to provide any additional funds to subsidize Amtrak's Hoosier State passenger train between Indianapolis and Chicago, casting its future into question. [bnd website report, 7-25-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Assn. of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending July 19, 2014, with 299,256 carloads, up 7.6 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-24-14]

FEDS ANNOUNCE PHASEOUT OF OLDER TANK CARS: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has announced a two-year phaseout of DOT-111 tank cars. The move is seen as a much-needed pathway for enhancing the safe movement of flammable liquids, said the Assn. of American Railroads. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-24-14]

U.P. REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific Corp. reported 2014 second-quarter net income of $1.3-billion or $1.43 per diluted share, compared to $1.1-billion or $1.18 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating ratio of 63.5 pct improved 2.2 points. [Union Pacific, 7-24-14]

U.P. OPENING MAINTENANCE BASE IN KANSAS: Marion, Kansas, is getting an economic boost from Union Pacific, as the railroad opens a base of operations for track maintenance there in August. [Peabody Gazette-Bulletin website report, 7-24-14]

BOMBARDIER REVAMPS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Bombardier Inc. announced the implementation of a new organizational structure that comprises four business segments: Transportation, Business Aircraft, Commercial Aircraft, and Aerostructures & Engineering Services. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-14]

BNSF LOSING FREIGHT TO RIVAL AS SERVICE SLOWS: BNSF Railway is losint market share to Union Pacific, its main competitor, as train speeds slow and on-time deliveries drop. [Bloomberg website report, 7-24-14]

ALSTOM BEGINS DELIVERY OF DRIVERLESS METROS TO SINGAPORE: Alstom Transport has delivered the first two of 42 new driverless metros for Singapore's Land Transport Authority. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SUES TO BLOCK DISCLOSURE OF CRUDE OIL SHIPMENTS: Norfolk Southern has sued the state of Maryland to stop the public release of information about crude oil shipments by rail, according to court documents. [Miami Herald website report, 7-24-14]

METROLINX PICKS CONSULTANT FOR RESIGNALING PROJECT: Metrolinx has selected Hatch Mott MacDonald to provide echnical consultant services for the resignaling of the Union Station rail corridor and the provision of a new control system for the entire GO Transit rail network. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-14]

SUN LINK TO OPEN TUCSON STREETCAR SERVICE: The Sun Link streetcar system will launch service July 25 in Tucson with a grand-opening ceremony. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-24-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SELLING 47-MILE MURPHY BRANCH TO WATCO: Norfolk Southern will sell the Murphy Branch, 47 miles of line from Dillsboro to Asheville, N.C., to Watco. [Sylva Herald website report, 7-24-14]

COURT UPHOLDS PROPOSED CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN ROUTE: A California appeals court has upheld a proposed route for California's bullet train project connecting the San Francisco Bay area to the Central Valley. [News-10 website report, 7-24-14]

METRO-NORTH NAMES MIKE DONNARUMMA DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW HAVEN LINE: Mike Donnarumma is the new district superintendent of Metro-North's New Haven line, with directions to focus on improving conditions on the Waterbury branch. [Harford Courant website report, 7-24-14]

WABTEC REPORTS RECORD RESULTS IN 2-Q: Wabtec Corp. reported record results for its second-quarter. Income from operations was $132-million. [Railway Age website report, 7-24-14]

BNSF TRAIN CARRYING CRUDE OIL DERAILS IN SEATTLE: A BNSF train carrying crude oil derailed in Seattle July 24, but there were no immediate reports of a spill or injury, according to new reports. [Reuters website report, 7-24-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported record net income of $562-million for the second-quarter 2014, 21 pct higher compared with the second-quarter 2013. Diluted earnings per share increased 23 pct to a record $1.79. [Norfolk Southern, 7-23-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN HIKES DIVIDEND: The board of Norfolk Southern Corp. voted to increase the regular quarterly dividend on the company's common stock by 3 cents per share, from 54 to 57 cents. [Norfolk Southern, 7-22-14]

ENBRIDGE SEEKS TO BUILD UNIT TRAIN TERMINAL IN ILLINOIS: Enbridge Energy Partners is looking to build a unit-train unloading terminal that could operate two unit trains and store 140,000 barrels of cruide oil daily in Pontiac, Illinois, according to a filing. [Reuters website report, 7-22-14]

CN TRAIN DERAILS IN WISCONSIN, TWO CREW MEMBERS HURT: Evacuations from a train derailment have ended, and crews began removing the damaged engines and rail cars from the tracks where about 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in Slinger, Wisconsin. The freight train derailed July 20 when it hit rail cars of another train at a crossing, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 nearby homes. Two crew members with Canadian National Railway suffered minor injuries. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website report, 7-21-14]

BNSF, UNION REACH DEAL FOR SINGLE-PERSON CREWS ON PTC ROUTES: BNSF and the International Assn. of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers have reached a tentative agreement that would permit a single engineer to operate trains that are on routes with Positive Train Control. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-21-14]

GBW RAILCAR SERVICES FORMED: The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Watco Cos. LLC have completed the formation of a joint rail-car repair venture called GBW Railcar Services LLC. The venture creates the largest independent car repair shop network in North America. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-14]

TRAVELLIANCE LANDS AMTRAK CONTRACT FOR EMPLOYEE LODGING, TRANSPORTATION: Amtrak has selected Travelliance, a full-service accommodations and transportation administration company specializing in crew and employee travel, to provide lodging and transportation services to Amtrak employees. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-14]

RIO GRANDE PACIFIC NAMES NEW SENIOR V.P. OPERATIONS: Bob Howery, former president of the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway, has been named senior vice-president of operations of Rio Grande Pacific Corp. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-21-14]

CLASS I RAILROAD EMPLOYMENT ON THE RISE: Class I railroad employment was up 1 pct as of mid-June 2014, according to the Surface Transportation Board. The jobs figure of 166,139 represented an increase from the same period in 2013 and a small jump from mid-May totals. [Railway Age website report, 7-21-14]

RAIL INDUSTRY JOINS FORCES TO OPPOSE 30 MPH CRUDE OIL SPEED LIMIT: A proposed 30 MPH limit on crude-by-rail in the U.S. would affect farm, auto and passenger rail and carry a 'huge' cost for customers, said Edward Hamberger, president of the Assn. of American Railroads. The industry is working with regulators to show how disastrous that could be to the fluidity of the U.S. rail system, said CSX CEO Michael Ward on a recent call with investors. [Reuters website report, 7-20-14]

METRO-NORTH ADDING M8 RAIL CARS TO N.H. LINE IN CONNECTICUT: Another 16 new M8 rail cars have been delivered to run on Metro-North's New Haven line in Connecticut, bringing the total to 372. [Danbury Daily Voice website report, 7-20-14]

METROLINK TO REDUCE SAN BERNARDINO SERVICE IN OCTOBER: Beginning October 1, service on Metrolink's San Bernardino commuter line in California will be cut back by two mid-day and two late-night trains. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-18-14]

KCS REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern reported second-quarter 2014 revenues of $650-million. Overall, carload volumes were 7 pct higher than in the same period 2013. Operating income was $206-million. [Kansas City Southern, 7-18-14]

MASSACHUSETTS AGREES TO BUY HOUSATONIC R.R.'S BERKSHIRE LINE.: The Massachusetts DOT board has given authorization to execute an agreement to purchase the Berkshire line from the Housatonic Railroad. The acquisition is a major step toward delivering passenger-rail between New York City and the Berkshires, officials said. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-18-14]

PRESIDENT UNVEILS PLAN TO CREATE TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT CENTER: President Obama has announced an executive action to create the 'Build Investment Initiative,' which will include a transportation investment center to help cities and state seek more innovate financing and partnerships with the private sector to pursue transportation infrastructure projects. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-18-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending July 12, 2014, with 290,607 carloads, up 4.8 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-17-14]

CP RAIL REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd announced record 2-Q financial results. Net income was $371-million or $2.11 per diluted share, representing a 48 pct year-over-year improvement. Total revenues were $1.68-billion, an increase of 12 pct. [CP Rail, 7-17-14]

WISCONSIN SIGNS DEAL TO ACQUIRE 70-MILE RAIL LINE FROM UNION PACIFIC: The Wisconsin DOT has signed an acquisition agreement with UP to purchase a 70-mile rail corridor between Madison, Reedsburg and Cottage Grove, including a bridge over Lake Eisconsin in Merrimac, from Union Pacific for $30-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-17-14]

LIRR STRIKE AVERTED: New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced July 17 that an anticipated strike by Long Island Rail Road workers, due to begin July 20, has been averted. [Railway Age website report, 7-17-14]

ROYAL REOPENING FOR REBUILT READING STATION: Queen Elizabeth officially opened the rebuilt and expanded Reading station, a major bottleneck on Britain's railway network, July 17. [International Railway Journal website report, 7-17-14]

MAN WHO TRIED TO DERAIL AMTRAK TRAINTO BE DEPORTED: A27-year-old man accused in a foiled plot to derail an Amtrak train between New York and Toronto was sentenced July 16 to time served and will be deported back to his native Tunisia. [N.Y. Post website report, 7-16-14]

CSX REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: CSX Corp. announced second-quarter 2014 net earnings of $529-million or 53 cents per share, up from $521-million or 51 cents per share in the same quarter of 2013. Revenue increased seven pct to an all-time record $3.2-billion on volume growth of eight pct. Operating ration was 69.3 pct. [CSX, 7-15-14]

SIX BUILDINGS IN FRESNO BEING DEMOLISHED FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: At least six buildings in Fresno, California, are to be demolished this week to clear the way for construction of the initial 29-mile leg of the state's high-speed rail project. The Madera-Freso segment and the Fresno-Bakersfield leg are the 'backbone' of the 520-mile, $68-billion project. [Fresno Bee website report, 7-15-14]

MOSCOW SUBWAY TRAIN DERAILS, AT LEAST 21 KILLED: A subway train derailed in Moscow during the morning rush hour on July 15, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 150, officials said. [Wall Street Journal website report, 7-15-14]

UNION PACIFIC UPGRADING RAIL LINE IN WISCONSIN: Union Pacific is investing $6.1-million in upgrades to its rail line between Milwaukee and Sheyboygan, Wisconsin. The railroad will replace 26 miles of track and resurface 62 crossings by September. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-15-14]

FOUR CLASS I RAILROADS NAMED TO 'GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN' LIST: BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific have all been named to Inbound Logistics' 2014 list of 'Green Supply Chain Partners,' highlighting the railroads' strong commitment to sustainable supply chains. The prots of Seattle, Tacoma and Long Beach also made the list. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-14-14]

OIL INDUSTRY, RAILROADS SAID TO AGREE ON TANK CAR STANDARD: The oil industry and the railroads that haul its crude have offered regulators a joint plan to phase out a type of older tank car tied to a spate of fiery accidents. The plan also calls for slightly thicker walls for new cars to make them less volnerable to puncture. [Bloomberg website report, 7-14-14]

FREIGHT CARS KEEP N.C. REPAIR SHOP BUSY: Railroads, including CSX and Norfolk Southern, keep the North Carolina company Cape Fear Railcar in business, according to its owner Willard Formyduval. The company repairs about 500 freight cars annually. [Fayetteville Observer website report, 7-13-14]

TEXAS RAIL CONSTRUCTION TO IMPACT AMTRAK SERVICE BETWEEN FORT WORTH AND SAN ANTONIO: Texas Eagle passengers will have to take an Amtrak-provided shuttle bus between Fort Worth and San Antonio until September while construction is completed on Tower 55, a busy control point in downtown Fort Worth. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-11-14]

TRACK CONSTRUCTION TO INCREASE DAILY ROUND TRIPS ON CAPITOL CORRIDOR: A new $200-million track construction project will lead to a tenfold increase in daily roundtrips on the Capitol Corridor between Sacramento and Roseville, California. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-11-14]

THREE NEW AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE CARS TO BE DELIVERED: CAF USA has announced it will be shipping the first three cars of Amtrak's $300-million order for new long-distance equipment. The cars will be delivered to Albany. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-11-14]

POWER PROBLEMS DISRUPT NJT, AMTRAK SERVICE: Power inssues temporarily suspended service on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak on July 8. Service on the Northeast corridor and N.J. Coast line service was resumed, but delays lingered throughout the morning. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-11-14]

CSX TO MOVE HISTORIC LOCOMOTIVE: CSX will transport Western Maryland Scenic Railroads newly-acquired steam locomotive from Baltimore to Cumberland using specialized flat cars. The 217-ton Baldwin locomotive no. 1309 was built in 1949. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-10-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending July 5, 2014, with 270,731 carloads, up 9.4 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-10-14]

NEBRASKA COMPANY'S TRANSLOADING FACILITY TO BE SERVED BY BNSF, UNION PACIFIC: An $855,000 Community Block grant will provide working capital for Nebraska-based Adams Industries to enhance transloading. The funds will help the company add switching equipment and track so that BNSF and Union Pacific can serve the facility. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-10-14]

HUDSON BAY RAILWAY LINE IN MANITOBA REOPENED: OmniTrax Canada reopened a Hudson Bay Railway Co. line between Gillam and Churchill, Manitoba, on July 5. The line had been closed June 20 due to poor track conditions, primarily severe permafrost issues. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-10-14]

CSX STAGES $25-M MAINTENANCE JAMBOREE: Over the July 4 holiday, more than 525 CSX employees were hard at work replacing about 68,000 ties and 200,000 feet of rail, and completing nearly 120 miles of surfacing work as part of the company's 'Maintenance Jamboree,' a blitz accomplishing about a year's worth of work in six states. [CSX, 7-10-14]

KCS-PLANNED TEXAS RAIL FACILITY COULD BE A BOON TO GULF REFINERIES: Plans by Kansas City Southern and Global Partners to build a rail terminal in Port Arthur, Texas, could mean a doubling of the volume of oil sands coming to the Gulf Coast from Canada. [Houston American City Business Journals website report, 7-10-14]

UNION PACIFIC DONATES 8.5-MILE LINEAR PROPERTY FOR TRAIL USE: Land donated by Union Pacific is being unveiled as the Jamaica North Trail in Lincoln, Illinois, an 8.5-mile stretch that borders Wilderness Park. [Peoria Journal Star website report, 7-9-14]

KCS ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR NEW TERMINAL IN TEXAS: Kansas City Southern and Global Partners L.P. are pursuing plans to build a unit-train terminal on 200 acres in Port Arthur, Texas. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-9-14]

U.S. CARLOAD TRAFFIC HITS 6-YEAR HIGH IN JUNE: Carloads for U.S. Class I railroads increased 3.6 pct in June compared with the year-ago level, the highest June level since 2008. Meanwhile, intermodal activity increased 6.7 pct resulting in the highest volume ever. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-8-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased rail freight traffic for the week ending June 28, 2014, with 298,457 carloads, up 6.3 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 6.0 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-3-14]

AMTRAK REQUESTS PROPOSALS FOR 28 TRAINSETS FOR ACELA EXPRESS LINE: Amtrak has issued a request for proposals for 28 new trainsets for the Acela Express line. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-3-14]

TEXAS APPROVES $50-M TOWARD AUSTIN'S METRORAIL: The Texas Dept. of Transportation has approved a $50-million grant to help expand the fleet of Austin's MetroRail and build a new downtown rail station. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-3-14]

INDIANA CHOOSES 'PREFERRED VENDOR' FOR HOOSIER STATE TRAIN: The Indiana Dept. of Transportation has chosen Corridor Capital LLC as its 'preferred vendor' for the Hoosier State. The train is currently operated four times a week by Amtrak. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 7-3-14]

KCS LEADS STREAMLINING OF U.S.-MEXICO INTERMODAL RAIL: Kansas City Southern is leading efforts to speed up the customs clearance process between the U.S. and Mexico on intermodal rail. The pilot program has reduced Whirlpool delivery times between eight and 10 days, saving what could be millions in inventory costs. [DC Velocity website report, 7-2-14]

CSX FACILITY IN FLORIDA ATTRACTS INDUSTRIAL PARK DEVELOPMENT: A development group has paid Winter Haven, Florida, $8.5-million for 500 acres of land next to a CSX intermodal facility. The developers expect to build an industrial or manufacturing park on the land, and will invest about $400-million in the project. [Lakeland Ledger website report, 7-1-14]

U.P. TO SERVE FRAC SAND PLANT IN WISCONSIN: U.S. Silica Holdings has received approval from Fairchild, Wisconsin, to develop a frac sand mine and plant in the area. Union Pacific will serve the new 650-acre facility, which should be open by the end of 2015. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-1-14]

LOUISVILLE & INDIANA R.R. GETTING NEW PRESIDENT: John Goldman has been named president of the Louisville & Indiana Railroad, taking over for Mike Stolzman on July 11. [Progressive Railroading website report, 7-1-14]

U.P., ILLINOIS PARTNER ON $90-M RAIL PROJECT: Union Pacific and the state of Illinois will each spend $45-million to add a third mainline track serving the Chicago region. It is the final piece of the West Line improvement program to enhance commuter and freight travel on one of the state's busiest rail lines. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 7-1-14]

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW COMPLETED FOR 114-MILE PORTION OF CALIFORNIA HSR PROJECT: An environmental review has been completed by the Federal Railroad Administration for a 114-mile section of California's proposed high-speed rail line. This approval for a section in the Central Valley is a key step in advancing the project. [Bloomberg website report, 6-27-14]

FRA TO WORK WITH TEXAS ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: The Federal Railroad Administration announced it will work with the Texas Dept. of Transportation to prepare and environmental impact statement for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail corridor, a privately-proposed project that would connect Dallas and Houston. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 6-27-14]

AMTRAK, CALIFORNIA RULE OUT JOINT PROCUREMENT PLAN: Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority have scrapped plans to jointly procure rail equipment to cut costs due to divergent specifications. Amtrak is seeking equipment capable of 160 MPH for Acela service, and California wants equipment capable of 220 MPH. It was decided that a common vehicle would not make engineering sense. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 6-27-14]

AMTRAK TO OFFER BIKE-FRIENDLY BAGGAGE CARS TO LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS BY END OF THE YEAR: Amtrak says it will begin equipping all of its long-distance trains, including the Capitol Limited, with roll-on, bike-friendly baggage cars by the end of the year. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 6-27-14]

WATCO TO PURCHASE THREE N.C. BRANCH LINES FROM NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Watco Transportation Services subsidiary Blue Ridge Southern has agreed to purchase three branch lines that feed into the railroad's terminal in Asheville, N.C., subject to STB approval. Totaling 92 miles, the lines run from Murphy Junction to Dillsboro, Asheville to East Flat Rock, and Hendersonville to Pisgah Forest. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-27-14]

SUNRAIL PLANS TO EXTEND COMMUTER RAIL BY LATE 2016: SunRail's Phase II is on target to extend commuter rail service to southern Osceola County, Florida, by late 2016, according to state Dept. of Transportation officials. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 6-27-14]

KCS NAMES GARY JARBOE V.P. MECHANICAL OPERATIONS: Gary Jarboe has been named vice-president mechanical operations for Kansas City Southern Railway. [Railway Age website report, 6-27-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN WILL NOT SHARE TRACKS WITH PROPOSED CHARLOTTE, N.C., COMMUTER SYSTEM: Norfolk Southern has told the Charlotte, N.C., Area Transit System it will not share its freight railroad tracks that parallel Interstate 77 for a proposed commuter train. [Blue Ridge Now website report, 6-26-14]

CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACQUIRES SASKATCHEWAN SHORT LINE: The Canadian Wheat Board has become the imminent owner of the Great Sandhills Railway, a 125-mile short line connecting Saskatchewan growers and an Alberta petrochemical producer to a Canadian Pacific interchange at Swift Current. [Railway Age website report, 6-26-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending June 21, 2014, with 291,142 carloads, up 0.9 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-26-14]

BOMBARDIER, RAILPOOL LAND ORDER FOR TRAXX LOCOMOTIVES: Bombardier Transportation and Eurpoean rolling-stock lessor Railpool have signed a framework agreement for the delivery of 65 Bombardier TRAXX locomotives, with a first 'call-off' of 35 locomotives and an option of up to 30 additional units. The potential value of the contract is $340-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-25-14]

DETROIT CITY COUNCIL APPROVES M1 STREETCAR LINE: Permits approved June 24 by the Detroit city council have cleared the way for groundbreaking sometime this summer on the city's public-private partnership M1 streetcar project. [Railway Age website report, 6-25-14]

METRA DEDICATES REHABILITATED CICERO STATION: Chicago's Metra has marked the completion of a $4.5-million renovation of the Cicero station on the BNSF line. [Railway Age website report, 6-25-14]

ALSTOM GETS CONTRACT FOR TRAMWAY SYSTEM IN QATAR: Alstom has been awarded a contract by Qatar Railways to supply a turnkey tramway system for a four-line, 33-KILO tram network in Lusail, Qatar. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-25-14]

TIGER GRANT AWARDED FOR $1.8-M TRACK REHAB IN OKLAHOMA: A $1.8-million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant will be used to rehabilitate 12 miles of track between Erick and Sayre, Oklahoma. Work will include the installation of new ties and repairs to two bridges. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-25-14]

FEDS ORDER CP, BNSF TO GIVE UPDATES ON GRAIN BACKLOG: A backlog of grain shipments across the Great Plains has been reduced, but not eliminated, so U.S. regulators are requiring Canadian Pacific and BNSF to provide weekly updates on their efforts to catch up before harvest. [CBC News website report, 6-24-14]

OIL TRAIN INFO SHOWS HEAVY TRAFFIC: Disclosures from railroads about volatile oil shipments from the Northern Plains show dozens of the trains passing weekly through Illinois and the Midwest, and up to 19 a week reaching Washington state. [Times-Union website report, 6-24-14]

LIRR FACES POSSIBLE STRIKE JULY 20: Long Island Rail Road workers voted in February to authorize a strike, which could take place as early as July 20, stranding about 300,000 daily riders. [New York Times website report, 6-24-14]

RAIL CARS MODIFIED TO ACCOMMODATE TALLER AUTOS: CN, UP and NS have worked with Ford to modify over 350 rail cars to accommodate a new Transit van that is 110.1 inches tall. The new cars have raised top decks that allow up to seven Transit vans to fit on lower decks. [Detroit Free Press website report, 6-23-14]

WASHINGTON METRO'S SILVER LINE TO OPEN JULY 26: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority plans to open the Silver line July 26, 2014, according to the agency's general manager and CEO, Richard Sarles. Silver line trains will operate between Reston and Largo at the same frequency as most other lines - every six minutes during rush-hour, every 12 to 20 minutes at other times. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-23-14]

CSX NAMED A 'BEST PLACE TO WORK' IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: For the second year in a row, CSX has been named a 'Best Place to Work' in information technology by IDG's Computerworld. [CSX, 6-23-14]

KEOLIS, UNIONS REACH AGREEMENT IN BOSTON: Keolis Commuter Services has reached agreement with all 14 of the labor unions representing 1,800 employees of the MBTA commuter rail service, which Keolis begins operating July 1. [Railway Age website report, 6-23-14]

KCS BUILDING INTERMODAL FACILITY IN TEXAS: Kansas City Southern has broken ground for a new intermodal facility in Wylie, Texas. It will feature two 5,000-foot intermodal tracks, more than 1,500 parking spaces, mechanical tracks and a state-of-the-art automated gate system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-23-14]

BOMBARDIER GETS $175-M MAINTENANCE CONTRACT EXTENSION FOR U.K.'S VIRGIN TRAINS: Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract with Virgin Trains to extend the provision of maintenance of its Super Voyager fleet operating on the U.K.'s West Coast mainline to March 2019. The contract is valued at $175-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-23-14]

NEW GE EVOLUTION LOCOMOTIVE OFFERS LOW EMISSIONS, LONG LIFESPAN: General Electric's latest generation locomotive will have a minimum lifespan of 20 years and produce 70 pct fewer emissions than current models. The locomotive has 250 sensors that pull in 150,000 data points per minute, which turns it into a 'rolling power plant,' according to GE. The company's Texas facilities will sell its newest Evolution models to BNSF and UP this year. [CNET website report, 6-21-14]

MODEL OF ROBOT DISRUPTS METRO-NORTH TRAINS: A school kid's cardboard model of a TV cartoon robot caused a panic that shut down parts of Metro-North's New Haven line for three hours the morning of June 20. 'Bender,' from the Comedy Central show Futurama, a cardboard figure with a clock face and comical angry eyes and grin, was left on a bridge over the tracks near the Fairfield station. A town street sweeper saw it and alerted police, who called in a bomb squad and helicopter to seal off nearby streets. Metro-North and Amtrak suspended service between New Haven and Stamford, leaving thousands of fuming commuters stranded or scrambling to find another way to their destinations. It took nearly three hours for officials to realize that the package was only a harmless model of the robot. Police later identified the culprit as a 7th-grader at a nearby school, who said he had left the model at that location accidentally while rearranging his backpack. The model was for a school art project, the student said. [New York Post website report, 6-20-14]

CSX TO SERVE NEW WAL-MART DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN INDIANAPOLIS: Wal-Mart is building a 1.2 million-square-foot ditribution center at AllPoints Midwest in Indianapolis. It will be served by the CSX Avon intermodal yard. The center is scheduled for completion later this year. [Globe St. website report, 6-20-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending June 14, 2014, with 295,132 carloads, up 2.2 pct compared with the same week last year. Also, this was the highest week in history for total U.S. intermodal volume, reaching 270,243 units, up 6.3 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-19-14]

CSX'S CHRIS DURDEN BESTOWED AAR'S CHAFEE ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD: The Association of American Railroads bestowed its highest environmental honor - the John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence award, on CSX's Chris Durden in a ceremony June 18. [CSX, 6-19-14]

AMTRAK VIEWLINER II BAGGAGE CAR GETS FIELD TESTING: The first of Amtrak's 55 new Viewliner II baggage cars, no. 61000, one of four Viewliner II series long-distance car types, is undergoing field testing. The new baggage cars will be used on all 15 long-distance routes in the Amtrak system. [Railway Age website report, 6-17-14]

TWIN CITIES GREEN LINE OPENS: Metro Transit's Green line light-rail linking St. Paul and Minneapolis is now open to passengers. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-16-14]

BUSINESS PARK IN OHIO PLANS RAIL ACCESS: Plans for the Cornerstone Business Park in Twinsburg, Ohio, include building a link to a Norfolk Southern line. FedEx is working to build a 400,000-square-foot facility at the park. [Twinsburg Bulletin website report, 6-16-14]

CN PLANNING EXPANSION IN MEMPHIS: Canadian National plans to acquire an additional 19,000 acres to expand its presence in the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park in Memphis. Last year, CN bought 95 acres in the area to expand its intermodal gateway, which is shared with CSX. [Memphis Daily News website report, 6-16-14]

LIGHT-RAIL TRAINS ORDERED FOR MANILA: The Philippine Dept. of Transport has awarded CNR Dalian a contract worth about $87-million for supply of 12 four-car light-rail trains for use by Manila Metro Rail. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-16-14]

PRESIDENT INTERVENES IN SEPTA STRIKE: An executive order signed by President Obama has forced striking SEPTA engineers back to work and both sides are required to continue negotiations with the help of an emergency mediation board. [CBS Philly website report, 6-15-14]

SEPTA WORKERS GO ON STRIKE: Striking SEPTA workers erected pickets June 14 and surprised travelers found themselves without train service as the Philadelphia region coped with its first rail strike in 31 years. Pennsylvania's governor Corbett asked President Obama to appoint a presidential emergency board to mediate the dispute and compel the striking employees to return to work for 240 days. [ website report, 6-14-14]

OMNITRAX TO MANAGE TEXAS SHORT LINE: OmniTRAX will manage the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad, a short line railway based in Brownsville, Texas, in a strategic partnership covering a 30-year period. [Railway Age website report, 6-13-14]

SOUTHTON RAIL YARD IN TEXAS OPENS: Southton rail yard, a 300-acre dual rail-serve facility in San Antonio designed for transloading energy-related products, had its grand opening June 11. The facility is served both by Union Pacific and BNSF. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-13-14]

JEFF LEDERER NAMED GM AT PECOS VALLEY SOUTHERN RWY: Watco Terminal and Port Services has hired Jeff Lederer as general manager of the Pecos Valley Southern Railway, succeeding Mike Salts. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-13-14]

GRIDLOCK LOOMS WITH POSSIBLE SEPTA STRIKE: With new construction work on I-95, the emergency closure until at least Labor Day of an I-495 bridge in nearby Wilmington, summerlong lane restrictions, and a closed PATCO train track on the Ben Franklin bridge, the addition of a possible SEPTA strike beginning June 14 provides the makings of regional gridlock in the Philadelphia area. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 6-12-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending June 7, 2014, with 292,924 carloads, up 5.3 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-12-14]

CSX REPLACING RAIL BRIDGE NEAR CUMBERLAND, MD.: Work will begin later this month to replace a CSX bridge near Chesapeake & Ohio Canal lift lock 74 south of Cumberland, Maryland. Park officials say the work will continue for about 18 months, and CSX is installing a temporary parking lot nearby at lift lock 75 to accommodate visitors to the canal. [Washington Post website report, 6-12-14]

GROUND BROKEN FOR NIAGARA FALLS INTERMODAL STATION: Ground was broken June 9 for the Niagara Falls, N.Y., International Railway Station and Intermodal Transportation Center at the historic U.S. Custom House on Whirlpool street.[Progressive Railroading website report, 6-12-14]

AZERBAIJAN RAILWAYS ORDERS 30 PASSENGER CARS: Azerbaijan Railways has signed a $133-million contract with Stadler Rail for 27 sleeping cars and three dining cars for use on international services from Baku to Istanbul via a line to be opened next year. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-12-14]

STUDY OF AGING BALTIMORE RAIL TUNNEL MOVES FORWARD: Officials are studying ways to improve a 141-year-old tunnel that carries passenger trains through Baltimore. The tunnel represents a low-speed bottleneck for more than 140 trains a day and impedes traffic along Amtrak's Northeast corridor. [Washington Post website report, 6-11-14]

DRAINAGE PROBLEM CAUSED 2013 VIA RAIL DERAILMENT IN SASKATCHEWAN: The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has determined that inadequate water drainage led to the collapse of an embankment, causing the derailment of a VIA Rail train near Togo, Saskatchewan, April 28. 2013. Two locomotives and two cars derailed, and the fuel tanks ruptured with an ensuing fire. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-11-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON PARIS LINE 14 EXTENSION: A groundbreaking was held in Paris June 11 to mark the start of construction on the 3.6-mile northern extension of Line 14 from St. Lazare to Mairie de Saint Quen. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-11-14]

NSW REVEALS SYDNEY RAPID-TRANSIT EXPANSION PLANS: The New South Wales government has announced that Australia's largest city Sydney will see the expansion of a planned Metro concept to include the city center and western suburbs. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-11-14]

SEPTA BRACES FOR POSSIBLE RAIL STRIKE: SEPTA management appears willing to endure a strike to its regional rail system, possibly beginning June 14, rather than delay such action until winter when weather is more severe and ridership is higher. [Railway Age website report, 6-10-14]

BLET MEMBERS RATIFY NEW CONTRACT AT METRA: Over 96 pct of voting members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainment ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Metra. The agreement covers approximately 200 members. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 6-10-14]

INDIA OUTLINES PLANS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: India's new Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alloiance government has outlined ambitious plans to built a series of high-speed rail corridors connecting major metropolitan centers during the next 10 years. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-10-14]

BNSF OPERATES FIRST UNIT-TRAIN FOR NEW TRANSCOLD EXPRESS: The first BNSF unit train departed June 4 from Wilmington, Illinois, to officially launch the TransCold Express. The service targets produce growers and meat and dairy producers moving refrigerated cargo bi-directionally between Illinois and Selma, California. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-10-14]

WABTEC ACQUIRES FANDSTAN ELECTRIC GROUP: Wabtec Corp. has completed its acquisition of rail and industrial equipment manufacturer Fandstan Electric Group for $200-million. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-10-14]

ALSTOM INTRODUCES THE CORADIA LINER V200 MAINLINE TRAIN: Alstom recently introduced the Coradia Liner V200, its latest mainline train, at the European Mobility Exhibition for Public Transport in Paris. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-10-14]

RAIL OIL SHIPMENTS FROM WESTERN CANADA EXPECTED TO TRIPLE IN NEXT TWO YEARS: Shipments of oil by rail from western Canada are expected to more than triple in two years, as the sector heads into a severe shortage of pipeline capacity, according to a forecast by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. [Financial Post website report, 6-9-2014]

CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR TO HOLD 'CRISIS SUMMIT' ON METRO-NORTH: Connecticut's governor Daniel Malloy will be meeting with officials from Metro-North June 9 for what is being called a 'crisis summit' after several service disruptions. The most recent problems were with the Walk bridge in South Norwalk which failed to close May 29 and June 6, interrupting rail service. [NBC Connecticut website report, 6-9-14]

FRA LAUNCHES METRA SAFETY INVESTIGATION: The Federal Railroad Administration is launching a 45-day 'focused deep dive safety assessment' of Chicago's Metro in response to several incidents that have taken place in the past two weeks. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-9-14]

AMTRAK PURSUES WI-FI UPGRADE ON NORTHEAST CORRIDOR: Amtrak seeks to improve and upgrade its WiFi coverage along the Northeast corridor, and has issued a request for proposals to implement such action. [Railway Age website report, 6-9-14]

CANADIAN RAIL CORRIDOR PROGRAM MARKS COMPLETION OF THREE OVERPASSES: Three key road-rail overpasses of the Roberts Bank Rail corridor program in British Columbia have been completed. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-9-14]

MUMBAI OPENS FIRST METRO RAIL LINE: Mumbai Metro Line 1 - India's first metro rail project built under a PPP model - began service June 8. [International Railway Journal website report, 6-9-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN, UNION PACIFIC MAKE 'STREAMLINER EVENT' A SUCCESS: Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific made North Carolina Transportation Museum's 'Streamliner Event' a success, filling hotels across Rowan County over the weekend. More than 9,000 tickets were sold for the event that featured 26 historic locomotives. [Salisbury Post website report, 6-8-14]

EVERGREEN SHIPPING NAMES UNION PACIFIC R.R. COMPANY OF THE YEAR: Union Pacific has been named the 2013 Railroad Company of the Year, an award given by Evergreen Shipping Agency highlighting service excellence and essential role in Evergreen's business. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-6-14]

BRIDGE HALTS METRO-NORTH COMMUTE AGAIN: For the second time in just over a week, the 118-year-old Walk bridge in Norwalk, Connecticut, became stuck in the open position, stifling train service for some four hours in the middle of the Friday [June 6] rush-hour. [WTNH website report, 6-6-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. railroads originated 289.633 carloads in the week ending May 31, 2014, an increase of 7.6 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume increased 9.1 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-5-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN INTERMODAL CENTER IN OHIO SPURS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Proximity to a Norfolk Southern intermodal facility capable of accommodating double-stacked containers was a driving force behind plans to build the 304,000-square-foot American Showa distribution center near Rickenbacker Airport in Pickaway County, Ohio. [Columbus Dispatch website report, 6-5-14]

R.J. CORMAN TO OPERATE TENNESSEE PORT: The Port of Cates Landing in Tiptonville, Tennessee, has chosen R.J., Corman Railroad Group as operator. R.J. Corman will pay rent plus a percentage of gross operating receipts to the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-5-14]

TORNADO DERAILS TRAIN CARS IN KANSAS: Fifty-two empty coal hoppers of a 134-car Union Pacific train derailed June 4 by a tornado in Willis, Kansas. The weather service confirmed the town was hit by an EF-1 tornado with winds up to 100 MPH. [Times Union website report, 6-4-14]

TRAIN-VIEWING SPOT IN ST. PAUL GETS NAME: A new picnic area overlooking the St. Paul Lowertown train tracks and Division Street wye track has been named the 'Rail View Picnic Area.' The Mississippi River can also be viewed from the picnic area. [Progressive Railroading website report, 6-3-14]

BLET MEMBERS AUTHORIZE STRIKE AGAINST SEPTA: A 98.84 pct majority of BLET members working for SEPTA have voted ao authorize a strike when a 30-day cooling-off period ends in less than two weeks. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 6-3-14]

'TANK CAR OF TOMORROW' NEARS TESTING MILESTONE: Union Tank Car's patent-pending prototype 'Tank Car of Tomorrow TIH pressure tank car is nearing completion of its second year of accelerated field tests, considered reliably equaling more than five years of normal service. [Railway Age website report, 6-3-14]

RAPID CITY, PIERRE & EASTERN COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF DM&E WEST END: Genesee & Wyoming's newly-established subsidiary, Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad has completed the acquisition of the west end of the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern rail line from Canadian Pacific. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 6-2-14]

LOS ANGELES UNION STATION GETTING TRACK-IMPROVEMENTS: The Southern California Regional Interconnector Project will install four new track sections, reconfiguring the current layout which is hindered by dead-end tracks. When complete, Amtrak and Metrolink trains will be able to run straight through the terminal, and planners expect a 40 to 50 pct increase in the station's capacity. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 5-30-14]

BNSF OFFERS TO DONATE 1929 DEPOT IN CHENEY, WASHINGTON: BNSF has offered to donate its Spanish mission-style Northern Pacific Railroad depot built in 1929 in Cheney, Washington, to the community if residents can find a way to relocate it. [The Spokesman-Review website report, 5-29-14]

UNION PACIFIC HAD 600 JOB OPENINGS AT EL PASO JOB FAIR: Union Pacific's 600 job openings in Santa Teresa, N.M., was a major draw at a job fair in El Paso, Texas, on May 29. [KFOX-TV website report, 5-29-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 24, 2014, with 300,936 carloads, up 6.8 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was up 8.6 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-29-14]

STUCK BRIDGE CAUSES MAJOR DELAYS ON METRO-NORTH'S NEW HAVEN LINE: A 117-year-old bridge became stuck on Metro-North's New Haven line May 29, causing major problems for commuters across the region. [New Haven Register website report, 5-29-14]

RAILROADS SPONSOR TANK CAR SAFETY TRAINING IN ST. LOUIS: CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF and Alton Southern are sponsoring a regular three-hour course for firefighters in St. Louis to familiarize them with railroad tank cars and training in incident response. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch website report, 5-29-14]

PAULSBORO DERAILMENT & CHEMICAL SPILL CAUSED HEALTH PROBLEMS IN HALF OF RESIDENTS: More than half of the residents of Paulsboro, N.J., surveyed experienced some type of symptoms following the Nov. 2012 train derailment and chemical spill, a N.J. Dept. of Health report states. [South Jersey Times website report, 5-29-14]

SAND SPRINGS RAILWAY BEING ACQUIRED BY OMNITRAX: OmniTRAX Inc. announced May 28 that it is acquiring the Sand Springs Railway, which operates 32 miles of track between Sand Springs and Tulsa, Oklahoma. [Railway Age website report, 5-29-14]

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA UNVEILS PLANS FOR MIAMI STATION: All Aboard Florida unveiled designs for it planned hub in Miami on May 28. It will include mixed-use development with residential, office, commercial and retail space, while serving as a connector between All Aboard Florida's passengers and Miami's existing public transportation system. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-29-14]

STB GETS NEW VICE CHAIR: Deb Miller has been designated as vice chair of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. She succeeds Ann Begeman, who will continue to serve on the board. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-29-14]

TARGET FIELD MULTIMODAL HUB OPENS IN MINNESOTA: Hennipin County, Minnesota, has opened a new multimodal transportation hub named Target Field station, which connects the Metro Transit Blue and Green lines and Northstar Commuter Rail. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-29-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PRESIDENT TO TAKE ON EXTRA DUTIES: Norfolk Southern president James Squires' role will expand June 1 to include overseeing parts of the railroad's marketing and operations efforts. The new duties come as part of the succession planning process. [Assn. of American Railroad SmartBrief, 5-29-14]

MUSEUMS TO TRADE LOCOMOTIVES: The Museum of Transportation in St. Louis and the Virginia Museum of Transportation are in discussions to bring N&W Y6a steam locomotive 2156, currently in the St. Louis museum, back to its place of origin at Roanoke, Va., on a five-year loan in a transaction facilitated by Norfolk Southern. In exchange, the Virginia museum will send to St. Louis a Southern Railway diesel GM EMD FTB unit to complement the St. Louis museum's FTA demo unit. [Norfolk Southern, 5-28-14]

PLANNING ANNOUNCED FOR PHILADELPHIA'S 30TH STREET STATION: Amtrak, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust have selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN and HR&A Advisors, to develop a comprehensive joint master plan for the area around Philadelphia's 30th street station. The consultants will develop new plans and 're-envision' existing planning efforts to create one plan for the area, Amtrak announced May 27. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-28-14]

UNION PACIFIC OPENS NEW MEXICO RAIL FACILITY: State and railroad officials celebrated the official opening May 28 of Union Pacific's new 2,200-acre facility in Santa Teresa, N.M. The $400-million project includes a fueling station, crew-change buildings and an intermodal ramp with an annual lift capacity of around 225,000 containers. [Railway Age website report, 5-28-14]

INDIANA GATEWAY PROJECT TO PROCEED: Indiana's sole involvement in higher-speed rail planning will official launch May 29 as the 'Indiana Gateway' project proceeds. The plan encompasses $71.4-million in construction projects, with the majority of funding targeting congestion relief at Porter Junction to alleviate conflicts between freight rail activity and Amtrak service. [Railway Age website report, 5-28-14]

CSX WORKER SERIOUSLY INJURED IN GEORGIA: A CSX railroad employee was seriously injured at a General Mills distribution center in Social Circle, Ga., May 28. He was spotting a train as it backup and got tangled or caught between or under the cars, and was air-lifted to a hospital in Atlanta. [Covington News website report, 5-28-14]

GRAIN SHIPMENTS MOVING WELL, CN SAYS: Canadian National Railway said May 28 that it is exceeding grain-shipment levels mandated earlier this year by the Canadian government, despite a record crop that has squeezed available infrastructure. [Reuters website report, 5-28-14]

CSX OPENS MAIN LINE FOR QUEBEC INTERMODAL TERMINAL: The 1.4-mile main line to the Perron industrial and maritime park in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, from CSX's intermodal terminal is now open. The line is the latest milestone in construction of the $100-million facility linking the Canadian region with CSX's U.S. network. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-27-14]

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY SEEKS $8-B BOND-SALE APPROVAL: The California High-Speed Rail authority will seek to get its plans for the bullet train on track when it asks an appeals court for approval to issue $8-billion in bonds to finance the project. [Bloomberg website report, 5-23-14]

CSX TO PAY TO REPLACE BRIDGE FOLLOWING DERAILMENT IN S.C.: CSX has agreed to pay the costs of replacing the Moncks Corner bridge in S.C. that was knocked out by a train following a derailment last month. [Post and Courier website report, 5-23-14]

REPORT BREAKS DOWN NUMBERS FOR FLORIDA'S ALL-ABOARD RAIL PROJECT: A proposal to build a 235-mile rail-corridor linking Miami and Orlando would create more than 10,000 construction jobs during its two-year construction, according to an analysis by the Washington Economics group. The project would also result in an economic impact of $6.4-billion over a period of eight years, the analysis indicated. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 5-22-14]

SOUTH KOREA DEBUTS MAGNET-POWERED BULLET TRAIN: A newly-debuted train prototype from South Korea sucks up electricity invisibly from the tracks below. A power inverter sends electricity of about one megawatt through power-transfer coils; the elctricity forms a high-frequency field of about 60 kilohertz by switching the polarization from plus to minus 60,000 times per second. As the magnetic field spreads, a line of current collector coils in the train above the power-transfer coil in the track absorbs the magnetic field and immediately transfers it into about 1.2 megawatts of electricity. [Gizmodo website report, 5-22-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 17, 2014, with 298,932 total carloads, up 4.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-22-14]

LOOP TRACK TO BE BUILT ON CO-OP FARM IN OHIO: The new Heritage Cooperative campus and research farm in Marysville, Ohio, will feature a CSX loop track to facilitate grain deliveries, only the second such track in the state. [Farm and Dairy website report, 5-22-14]

KANSAS CITY BGINS STREETCAR LINE CONSTRUCTION: Kansas City, Missouri, marked the official start of construction of its two-mile north-south streetcar starter line project May 22. The line will travel along Main street and connect the River Market to Crown Center and Union Station. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-22-14]

READING & NORTHERN EARNS 'EMPLOYER EXCELLENCE' AWARD: The Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad has received the 2014 Employers Excellence award for process improvement and product innovation at the annual Manufacturers and Employers Excellence Awards dinner in Orwigsburg, Pa. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-22-14]

FRA SEES 'POCKETS OF CONCERN' WITH MISCLASSIFYING BAKKEN CRUDE: U.S. rail regulators find that most shippers are properly classifying Bakken crude cargoes, FRA administrator Joseph Szabo said. Still, there are 'pockets of concern,' and the agency intends to continue its Bakken Blitz surprise inspection campaign to ensure crude-by-rail shipments are delivered safely. [Platts website report, 5-22-14]

CSX PUT ON NOTICE BY VIRGINIA ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY: Virginia environmental officials have served a 'notice of violation' with CSX stemming from the April 30 train derailment in Lynchburg. [Washington Post website report, 5-22-14]

BNSF SEES RECORD VOLUMES, REDUCED DELAYS: BNSF Railway is on track to move record volumes on its rail network this year and is making progress on relieving delays and congestion, its chief executive officer Carl Ice said May 22. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram website report, 5-22-14]

FIVE TRAINS DELAYED AFTER TUG STRIKES SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BRIDGE: Four Amtrak trains and one MARC train were delayed Wednesday evening, May 21, after a tug boat struck the Susquehanna River bridge in Maryland. Normal service resumed 11:20PM after the bridge was inspected. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers]

BOSNIAN RAILWAY SEEKS HELP FOLLOWING SEVERE FLOODS: Bosnia's Srpske Republic Railways has issued an urgent international request for assistance following flood damage caused by heavy rain. There has been widespread damage to infrastructure and equipment, and numerous facilities are unservicable. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-21-14]

BAKERSFIELD TO SUE CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY TO STOP CONSTRUCTION: Nineteen months after authorizing a lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the Bakersfield city council reaffirmed that plan May 21, authorizing the city attorney to sue to stop the multibillion-dollar bullet train. [Bakersfield Californian website report, 5-21-14]

UNION PACIFIC'S 'BIG RED EXPRESS' HOSTS UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA WHISTLE-STOP TOUR: Coaches from the University of Nebraska will board Union Pacific's 'Big Red Express' for a whistle-stop tour June 28, with stops in Columbus, Grand Island and Kearney, Nebraska. [Lincoln Journal Star website report, 5-21-14]

RAIL CONGESTION EXPECTED TO PLAGUE POWDER RIVER BASIN COAL INTO LATE 2014: Wyoming coal shipments were slowed by congested rail lines in the first-quarter 2014, dragging down mining firms' profits and leaving three of the four major companies working in the Powder River basin in the red. The trend is expected to continue into the latter half of 2014, even as utilities clamor to replace the coal stockpiles burned off in one of the coldest winters in recent memory. [Star Tribune website report, 5-21-14]

HOUSE PANEL APPROVES CUTS TO TRANSPORTATION GRANTS, AMTRAK: GOP-drafted legislation that would impose cuts on Amtrak repairs, transit projects and a transportation grant program saidled through a key House panel May 21. In the measure, Amtrak capital grants would be cut by $200-million and employees of the railroad would generally be limited to $35,000 a year in overtime. [The Republic website report, 5-21-14]

TRANSCANADA CONSIDERS OIL-BY-RAIL AS KEYSTONE PIPELINE ALTERNATIVE: TransCanada Corp. is in talks with customers about shipping Canadian crude to the U.S. by rail as an alternative route as its Keystone XL pipeline project that has been mired in political delays, its chief executive Russ Girling said May 21. [Huffington Post website report, 5-21-14]

SEPTA UNVEILS PLAN TO REBUILD LEVITTOWN RAIL STATION: SEPTA has unveiled plans to rebuild Levittown's train station at a cost of about $24-million to transform the 1950's station into a modern intermodal facility. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-20-14]

CHICAGO-MEXICO INTERMODAL RAIL SERVICE ANNOUNCED: BNSF Railway and Ferromex have announced a new intermodal service between Chicago and Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico. [Railway Age website report, 5-20-14]

FRENCH RAIL COMPANY ORDERS TRAINS TOO WIDE FOR PLATFORMS: France's national rail company SNCF admitted that it had ordered 2,200 trains for an expanded network that are too wide for many station platforms, entailing costly repairs that have already begun. The mix-up arose when rail operator RFF transmitted faulty dimensions for its train platforms that were built prior to a certain date. Reconstruction work has already cost $110-million. [Reuters website report, 5-20-14]

PATCO SET TO BEGIN BEN FRANKLIN BRIDGE TRACK REHAB PROJECT: Port Authority Transit Corp. is ready to start a two-year, $103-million rehabilitation project on the Benjamin Franklin bridge which connects the New Jersey and Philadelphia portions of the system. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-19-14]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY BACK WAGES & DAMAGES TO TWO TERMINATED EMPLOYEES: Burlington Northern Santa Fe has been ordered to pay more than $526,000 in back wages and other damages to two workers. The railroad was found in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Railroad Safety act for terminating the employees in 2010 and 2011 in Havre, Montana. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 5-19-14]

FCC-RAILROAD DEAL ADDRESSES SOME TRIBAL CONCERNS: The railroad industry took a step toward resolving a dispute with Native American tribes that has stalled positive train control while the tribes exercised their rights to review whether tower construction would affect their sacred grounds. The Federal Communications Commission said that it has reached an agreement with seven rail companies to begin testing on 11,000 poles that had already been constructed. [Bloomberg website report, 5-19-14]

KEOLIS TO OPERATE LIGHT-RAIL SYSTEM IN WATERLOO, ONTARIO: Keolis, as part of the GrandLinq consortium, has been selected to operate and maintain a new light-rail system in the region of Waterloo, Ontario. The new public-private partnership contract will generate over $503-million for Keolis over 33 years, according to the company. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-19-14]

WYOMING TOWN'S DEPOT DAYS A SUCCESS: The Union Pacific Steam Shop was a major attraction for the Cheyenne Depot Days celebration that wrapped up May 18. Visitors stopped in to get a glimpse of UP's historic Big Boy 4014 steam engine. [KGWN-TV website report, 5-18-14]

VIRGINIA CONSIDERING SECOND LYNCHBURG-D.C. AMTRAK TRAIN: The state of Virginia is in preliminary discussions on adding a second daily train from Lynchburg to Washington, D.C. [News & Advance website report, 5-18-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STEAM TRAIN OFFERS A GLIMPSE OF HISTORY: Crowds gathered in Danville, Ky., over the weekend to glimpse Norfolk Southern's 21st Century steam train, operated in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Said Boyle County Judge Executive Harold McKinney, "It fits with our historical perspective. How much better can it get?" [Danville Advocate-Messenger website report, 5-17-14]

INTERMODAL SOARS: Intermodal traffic has reached the highest 12-week moving average in three years, hitting 8.5 pct, according to data from the Association of American Railroads. [Business Insider website report, 5-17-14]

UNION PACIFIC BOOSTS CAPITAL EXPENDITURE BUDGET BY $150-M: Union Pacific is adding $150-million to the capital spending budget for 2014, increasing the total plan to $4.1-billion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-16-14]

STATION RENOVATION AT NEEDLES, CALIFORNIA, COMPLETE: Needles, California, celebrated the completion of station renovation with a ribbon-cutting. The facility, known as El Garces intermodal station, was abandoned for years after serving as a Harvey House until 1949, and then a train station until 1988. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 5-16-14]

BOSTON ORDERS 24 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: The Massachusetts DOT has approved the purchase of 24 light-rail vehicles from CAF Spain for the Green line. The contract is valued at $118-million. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-16-14]

METRO-NORTH IMPLEMENTING SAFETY REFORMS: Metro-North has announced a series of reforms seeking to increase the safety of its passengers and employees. These include modification of equipment with alerters, speed reductions, automated track inspections, and in-cab cameras for accident review. In addition, employees will be required to participate in quarterly 'safety stand-downs.' [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 5-16-14]

FARM CO-OP PLANS $35-M FACILITY IN MARYSVILLE, OHIO: The Heritate Cooperatgive has announced plans for a $35-million facility in Marysville, Ohio, to be built on a 277-acre campus to include a grain elevator, fertilizer warehouses and rail access to a CSX line. [Columbus Dispatch website report, 5-16-14]

DUTCH TRAINS TO GET POWER FROM WIND TURBINES IN 2018: All traction power for the Dutch railway network will come from wind turbines under a new energy contract signed May 15. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-16-14]

COPENHAGEN METRO EXTENSIONS APPROVED: The Danish government has reach an agreement with the Copenhagen city council to construct two extensions of the city's automated metro network, branches off the Cityring circle line. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-16-14]

UNION PACIFIC ANNOUNCES TWO-FOR-ONE STOCK SPLIT: Union Pacific Corp. has authorized a two-for-one stock split, distributed as a stock dividend. The stock dividend will not change the proportionate interest that a shareholder maintains in the company. [Union Pacific, 5-15-14]

MM&A RAILWAY SOLD: The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway has been sold and renamed Central Maine & Quebec Railway. Its new president & CEO John Giles said that his company will require up to $10-million in track investments this year and use a boosted sales and marketing staff to find new customers. [Bangor Daily News website report, 5-15-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 10, 2014, with 296,813 carloads, up 5.6 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-15-14]

WABTEC MAKES MANAGEMENT CHANGES: Wabtec Corp. has named Albert Neupaver executive chairman, and has promoted Raymond Betler to president and chief executive officer. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-15-14]

STADLER RAIL LANDS $1-B CONTRACT FOR 29 SWISS EUROCITY TRAINS: Stadler Rail obtained a $1-billion contract from the Swiss Federal Railways to provide 29 EuroCity trains for the future international railway link through the Alps. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-15-14]

EGYPTIAN PASSENGER RAIL TRAFFIC PLUMMETS: Passenger traffic on the Egyptian National Railway network has plummeted by 87 pct year-on-year as a result of political turmoil, according to figures released by the country's railway authority. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-15-14]

TALGO TO TRANSFER TWO HIGH-SPEED TRAIN SETS TO BEECH GROVE, INDIANA: Talgo, the train manufacturer that is abandoning its Milwaukee headquarters, is about to transport its two high-speed trains from Milwaukee to Amtrak's shop in Beech Grove, Indiana, to save on storage costs. The trains were originally commissioned in 2009 by Wisconsin for the Hiawatha service, but the Wisconsin administration canceled contracts and halted payments in 2012, leading Talgo to declare a breach of contract. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website report, 5-14-14]

QUAD-CITIES PASSENGER RAIL START DELAYED: The start of service for Amtrak's Chicago to Quad-Cities will be delayed, the Illinois Dept. of Transportation has confirmed. The delay is due to the need of more track rehabilitation on the Iowa Interstate Railroad between Wyanet and Moline. [Quad-City Times website report, 5-14-14]

COLORADO GOVERNOR CREATES COMMISSION TO WORK ON CONTINUATION OF S.W. CHIEF ROUTE: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed a bill creating a commission to work with officials in Kansas and New Mexico to continue the existing service of Amtrak's Southwest Chief. The bill also pushes for a new stop in Pueblo. [Nebraska website report, 5-14-14]

METRA'S LOMBARD STATION PROJECT BEGINS: Ground was broken May 14 on more than $9.7-million in improvements at the Lombard, Illinois, station along the Union Pacific West line, including a new pedestrian underpass, rebuilt platforms and new canopies. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-14-14]

VIA RAIL REPORTS REVENUE DIP FOR 2013: VIA Rail Canada's revenue declined 2.3 pct compared with the revenue for the previous year, according to the railroad's annual report. But the chairman, Paul Smith, described 2013 as a productive year for the railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-14-14]

CP'S CREEL NAMED 'RAILROAD INNOVATOR': Canadian Pacific president and chief operating officer Keith Creek has won the 2014 'Railroad Innovator Award' from Progressive Railroading and RailTrends. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-14-14]

QUEBEC TRAIN DISASTER LEADS TO CHARGES AGAINST RAILROAD, THREE EMPLOYEES: Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway and three of its employees have been charged with criminal negligence in connection with the derailment and explosion of a train killing 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last year, the provincial prosecutor's office said. [Bloomberg News website report, 5-13-14]

JAXPORT RAIL TERMINAL CONSTRUCTION BEGINS: Officials gathered May 12 to mark the start of construction on the Jacksonville Port Authority intermodal container facility at Dames Point, Florida. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-13-14]

FIRE LEADS TO DELAYS ON METRO-NORTH R.R.: A fire inside a switching control house in Greenwich, Connecticut, caused delays along the New Haven line of Metro-North Railroad May 12. [Seattlepi website report, 5-12-14]

DENVER UNION STATION REOPENS FOLLOWING REVITALIZATION PROJECT: Denver Union Station reopened May 9 and is now a multimodal transportation hub that includes a new bus facility and rail connections, improving transportation options in downtown Denver and beyond. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-12-14]

PALMETTO RAILWAYS READY TO HANDLE MORE BMW BUSINESS AT S.C. PORT: Palmetto Railways recently completed a $3.2-million infrastructure improvement project at the port of Charleston's Columbus street terminal to accommodate a BNW plant expansion in Greer, S.C. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-12-14]

GREECE RESTORES INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER RAIL SERVICES: More than three years after Greece was severed from the European passenger rail network, national train operator Trainose restored international services from Thessaloniki to Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia on May 10. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-12-14]

AZERBAIJAN ORDERS 50 LOCOMOTIVES FROM ALSTOM: Alstom has won a contract from Azerbaijan Railways for fifty type KZ8A 8.8MW electric locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-12-14]

UNION PACIFIC CREW UNCOVERS OLD TROLLY SYSTEM IN DES MOINES: A Union Pacific crew working to upgrade railroad crossings in Des Moines, Iowa, have uncovered a portion of the city's historic trolley system, which carried passengers between the capitol and the fairgrounds. [WHO-TV website report, 5-12-14]

TRANSCOLD EXPRESS IN SERVICE BETWEEN ILLINOIS AND CALIFORNIA: The TransCold Express refrigerated boxcar service is up and running on BNSF between Wilmington, Illinois, and Selma, California. This is reportedly the first refrigerated boxcar service connecting the Midwest and the West Coast in more than 50 years. [Trucking Info website report, 5-12-14]

GTW ORDERED TO REINSTATE CONDUCTOR, PAY BACK WAGES & DAMAGES: Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co. has been ordered to reinstate a conductor and pay him more than $244,000 in back wages and damages following an investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The company was found in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety act in terminating the employee in Flint, Michigan, in 2013. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 5-12-14]

CP FINED FOR FAILURE TO PROMPTLY REPORT TRAIN DERAILMENT IN ALBANY: Canadian Pacific Railway will be fined $5,000 after four tank cars carrying Bakken crude oil derailed the morning of May 12, 2014, in the railroad's Kenwood rail yard south of downtown Albany, N.Y. [Albany Times Union website report, 5-12-14]

BNSF COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN MINNESOTA: Coal and crushed metal littered the train tracks early May 12 as crews worked to clear the scene of a May 11 train derailment involving 50 cars on a BNSF Railway line near Pillager, Minnesota. There were no injuries. [West Central Tribune website report, 5-12-14]

VIA RAIL CANADA HAS NEW PRESIDENT: Yves Desjardins-Sicilano was appointed president and CEO of Via Rail May 11. The Montreal native, who was the rail company's chief corporate and legal officer and corporate secretary for the last four years, takes the job on a five-year term. [CBC website report, 5-11-14]

EISENHOWER LOCOMOTIVE EN ROUTE BACK TO GREEN BAY: Green Bay's prized historic train engine is on its way back home. After a two-year hiatus at a musuem in England, the locomotive named after President Eisenhower is being shipped back to the U.S. [Green Bay Press Gazette website report, 5-11-14]

SEPTA REJECTS ARBITRATION IN CONTRACT DISPUTE: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation authority has rejected binding arbitration of its contract dispute with commuter railroad engineers and elecricians, moving a step closer to a possible strike that would halt regional rail service early next year. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 5-10-14]

CHINESE-AMERICANS PAY TRIBUTE TO LABORERS AT GOLDEN SPIKE: In what an organizer called a 'photographic act of justice,' some 200 Chinese-Americans, Chinese citizens and other Asian-American friends posed at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10 on the 145th anniversary of the completeion of the transcontinental railroad. [Salt Lake Tribune website report, 5-10-14]

N.D. GRAIN TRAINS ALMOST A MONTH BEHIND SCHEDULE: North Dakota's lone U.S. representative has released a BNSF railway report that says rail cars carrying grain from North Dakota are almost a month behind schedule. [Inforum website report, 5-10-14]

STOWAWAYS ARE STRANDED IN MEXICO BY TRAIN ENFORCEMENT: Hundreds of Central American migrants trying to make their way to the U.S. have been stranded in Mexico in recent weeks after the freight train line they ride - labeled the 'Beast' - began enforcing a ban on stowaways, migrant advocates say. [New York Times website report, 5-10-14]

CHINA MULLING RAIL LINE TO CONNECT WITH U.S.: According to several state-run Chinese news outlets, Chinese rail officials are considering the construction of a high-speed rail corridor that would connect China with the United States by means of 125 miles of tunnel under the Bering Strait. The proposed line would originate at Beijing, traversing soil before crossing Siberia and the Pacific Ocean to Alaska, then continue across Canada to the U.S. The Chinese-funded project would allow a passenger to make the journey in two days. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 5-9-14]

METRO-NORTH COMPLETES BRONX TRACK PROJECT: Metro-North Railroad has completed a track reconstruction effort that began in July 2013 on the line through the central Bronx used by New Haven and Harlem line trains. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 5-9-14]

NEW RAIL SAFETY TASK FORCE IN VIRGINIA: Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe announced he is forming a new rail safety task force in the wake of the recent fiery train derailment in Lynchburg. [News & Advance website report, 5-9-14]

FORMER C&O MALLET 1309 ACQUIRED BY WESTERN MARYLAND SCENIC R.R.: Former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 Allegheny-type 1309 has been acquired from the B&O Railroad Museum for overhaul and operation by Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The restoration will be performed by WM Scenic's own steam shop with a goal of operation beginning in the 2016 season. [Railway Age website report, 5-9-14]

AGREEMENT REACHED ON VIRGINIA BEACH LIGHT-RAIL PLAN: After many years of indecision, the mayor of Virginia Beach and the Virginia transportation secretary have agreed to develop plans for a light-rail link between Norfolk and Virginia Beach. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-9-14]

ST. PAUL'S UNION DEPOT MARKS RETURN OF PASSENGER TRAINS: Passenger trains are again rolling into St. Paul's historic Union Depot following a 43-year absence. The first train, the westbound Empire Builder, arrived at 11:13 P.M. May 7, seventy minutes late. [Twin Cities website report, 5-8-14]

INDUSTRIAL PARK IN GEORGIA GETS CSX 'SELECT SITE' DESIGNATION: CSX has designated a portion of the Callaway South Industrial Park in LaGrange, Ga., as a CSX Select Site, a property identified and vetted as a capable location for future manufacturing facilities along the CSX network. [CSX, 5-8-14]

STATE APPROVES 114-MILE PROPOSED ROUTE OF CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM: The 114-mile Fresno-Bakersfield route for the proposed high-speed rail system has been approved by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. [Fresno Bee website report, 5-8-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S rail traffic for the week ending May 3, 2014, with 297.432 carloads, up 4.8 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume increased 8.8 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-8-14]

40TH ANNIVERSARY OF POUGHKEEPSIE BRIDGE FIRE: May 8 is the fourtieth anniversary of the fire on the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., railroad bridge across the Hudson River. The bridge is now the site of a walkway. [Poughkeepsie Journal website report, 5-8-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS CONTRACT TO UPGRADE SPANISH MEDITERRANEAN RAIL CORRIDOR: Bombardier Transportation, as the lead in a consortium with Thales, has obtained the second contract to be awarded by Spain's administrator of railway infrastructure for the upgrade of the Mediterranean corridor. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-8-14]

CHINESE RAIL WORKERS FROM 1800'S TO BE INDUCTED INTO LABOR HALL OF HONOR: U.S. Labor secretary Thomas Perez on Masy 9 will formally induct into the Labor Hall of Honor about 12,000 immigrant Chinese laborers who worked on the Central Pacific Railroad between 1865 and 1869. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-8-14]

TRAIN CARRYING NUCLEAR WASTE CONTAINER STRIKES TRUCK IN INDIANAPOLIS: A CSX train carrying a nuclear waste container crashed into a truck loaded with pineapples in Indianapolis May 6. [The Indy Channel website report, 5-8-14]

CSX TRACK IN BALTIMORE CLEARED OF LANDSLIDE: CSX rail service was restored May 2 following cleanup of mud and debris from the April 30 landslide in Baltimore. Residents along the portion of the 26th street area across from the slide have moved away temporarily while engineers assess the stability of the ground. Meanwhile, it has not been established just who is to blame for the landslide.

ST. PAUL UNION STATION OPENS: The last train to serve St. Paul's Midway station was eastbound Empire Builder train 8 on May 7, 2014, and the first train to serve the restored Union Depot is westbound train 7 that evening. [Amtrak, 5-7-14]

CP EXTENDS CEO'S CONTRACT: Canadian Pacific has agreed to a contract extension with its CEO Hunter Harrison, adding a year to his term, which will now run until 2017. [Railway Age website report, 5-7-14]

CAPEFLYER ADDING STATION STOP AT WAREHAM VILLAGE: The Massachusetts DOT has announced the CapeFlyer weekend rail service from Boston to Cape Cod and the islands will operate May 23 through Labor Day with a new station stop at Wareham Village. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-7-14]

CHINA TO ORDER MORE THAN 1,000 ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES: China Railway Investment Corp. has published tenders for contracts to supply more than 1,000 electric locomotives to Chna Railway Corp. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-7-14]

RAILROADS WILL CONTINUE TO COMMUNICATE WITH EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, AAR SAYS: The railroad industry will continue to work closely with emergency responders after the Dept. of Transportation called for more communication between local emergency teams and railroads on May 7, according to a statement by the Association of American Railroads. [New York Times website report, 5-7-14]

FEDS TAKE EMERGENCY ACTION TO KEEP CRUDE OIL SHIPMENTS SAFE: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify state emergency response commissions about the operation of these trains through their states. [U.S. DOT, 5-7-14]

WORK STARTS ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN RETAINING WALL IN PITTSBURGH: Norfolk Southern has begun building a retaining wall along its tracks beneath the Mount Washington hillside that gave way last month, burying the rail line. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website report, 5-7-14]

GRANT SOUGHT TO STUDY NEW ORLEANS-ORLANDO RAIL SERVICE: The Southern Rail commission has applied for a $1-million federal grant to look at the feasibility of restoring passenger train service between New Orleans and Orlando. Amtrak's Sunset Limited operated the route until hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. [New Orleans Advocate website report, 5-7-14]

BIG BOY LOCOMOTIVE TO BE RESTORED IN WYOMING: Union Pacific's steam engine 4014, dubbed 'Big Boy,' will embark on a three- to five-year restoration in Cheyenne this week. "It will literally be taken apart down to its frame and worked on by our staff," said UP spokesman Mark Davis. "We are fortunate to have one of the only shops capable of doing this in-house in America," he said. [Wyoming Tribune-Eagle website report, 5-6-14]

CANADA'S CRUDE-BY-RAIL SHIPMENTS INCREASE NINE-FOLD SINCE 2012: The amount of crude oil being shipped by rail has increased by almost 900 pct in Canada since the start of 2012, according to the National Energy board. [CBC News website report, 5-6-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON METRA'S FLOSSMOOR STATION RENEWAL: Metra has broken ground on a $4-million project to rebuild the platforms and related facilities at the Flossmoor station on Metra's Electric District line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-6-14]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS 1-Q LOSS: FreightCar America Inc. reported a net loss of $6.9-million in the first-quarter, compared with a net loss of $2.6-million in the first-quarter 2013. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-6-14]

BOMBARDIER LAUNCHES CREWING SERVICES FOR TRANSLINK'S WEST COAST EXPRESS: Bombardier Transportation has launched crewing services for TransLink's West Coast Express commuter rail system in Vancouver, B.C. Bombardier will provide crews for the bi-level commuter rail fleet of 44 vehicles. [Progressive Railroading website report, 5-6-14]

UNION PACIFIC GETS DEMONSTRATION OF DRONES FOR SAFETY CHECKS: Union Pacific is tinkering with drones equipped with cameras to patrol its infrastructure. The company's CEO Jack Koraleski and other senior managers saw their first demonstration of a helicopter-style drone on April 21. [Bloomberg website report, 5-5-14]

AMTRAK BOSS GIVES AGING HUDSON RAIL TUNNELS '20 YEARS TO LIVE': Amtrak chief executive officer Joe Boardman said the two existing rail tunnels that now carry 160,000 commuters a day under the Hudson River will have to be shut within 20 years, according to a published report. [Star-Ledger website report, 5-5-14]

CANADIAN CRUDE-BY-RAIL EXPORTS JUMP 83 PCT IN 4-Q 2013: Canadian exports of crude oil by rail rose 83 pct in the last quarter of 2013 from the same period a year earlier, Canada's National Energy board said. [Reuters website report, 5-5-14]

FORMER HOUSE TRANSPORTATION CHAIR OBERSTAR DIES: Former U.S. representative James Oberstar (D-MN), whose influence over transportation and public works policy spanned nearly 50 years, died May 3 at age 79. [Various news accounts, 5-3-14]

FRESNO-BAKERSFIELD SECTION OF PLANNED CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT SLATED FOR APPROVAL: The Fresno-Bakersfield route of the proposed high-speed rail system in California is set to be approved when the state's high-speed rail authority board meets this week. The authority will issue a report outlining the project's probable construction and operation impact, certify the report and adopt the chosen route for the project. [Fresno Bee website report, 5-3-14]

TUNNEL BORED THROUGH IN CHINA'S QILIAN MOUNTAINS: Workers are celebrating connecting the bores of the 10.1-mile rail tunnel through the Qilian Mountains in northwest China, the final part of the project to build the 1,100-mile-long Lanxin railway from Lanzhou to Urumqi. Work on the tunnel, which reaches an altitude of up to 11,800 feet, began in 2009. [International Railway Journal website report, 5-2-14]

CSX COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN BOWIE, MARYLAND: A CSX freight train carrying coal derailed along a freight line in Bowie, Md., early May 1, according to officials. No injuries were reported. At the scene, three locomotives and 10 cars had left the tracks. The train was en route to Woodzell in southern Maryland. [Baltimore Sun website report, 5-1-14]

GARY COLTER NAMED CHAIRMAN OF CP: Canadian Pacific Railway has announced the election of Gary F. Colter as chairman of the board of directors. He replaces Paul G. Haggis, who concluded his term as chairman but will continue to serve as a director. [Railway Age website report, 5-1-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 26, 2014, with 302,108 total carloads, up 9.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-1-14]

LONG ISLAND R.R. PRESIDENT FIRED: The head of the MTA April 30 abruptly fired Long Island Rail Road president Helena Williams and named her successor in the midst of intense labor negotiations. She is being replaced by Patrick Nowakowski, 60, executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project in Washington. [Newsday website report, 5-1-14]

MUDSLIDE BLOCKS CSX TRACKS IN BALTIMORE: Mud, sidewalk, street and automobiles slid onto CSX train tracks in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore April 30 following two days of heavy rain. The rail line, known as the 'Belt Line,' is a heavily used artery for traffic between the South, West and the Northeast. Rail service is currently halted. [Various news accounts, 4-30-14]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS, BURNS IN VIRGINIA: A freight train derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Va, April 30, igniting several CSX crude oil tank cars. The Dept. of Emergency Management has personnel on the scene. [WSET-TV website report, 4-30-14]

BNSF, AMTRAK PLEDGE $6-M TO SAVE SOUTHWEST CHIEF ROUTE: BNSF and Amtrak have pledged a total of $6-million in matching funds for the maintenance of Amtrak's Southwest Chief route that runs through Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. The pledge adds to the money already raised by local communities in an effort to attract federal dollars to the estimated $200-million project. [Denver Post website report, 4-30-14]

STADLER RAIL LANDS $58-M ORDER FOR EIGHT BART TRAINS: Stadler Rail obtained a $58-million order for eight GTW trains from Bay Area Rapid Transit. The diesel multiple units are based on the 37 trains that Stadler has delivered to Texas and New Jersey in the past few years. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-30-14]

SUNRAIL TO BEGIN OPERATIONS: SunRail regional rail service will make an official debut May 1, 2014, serving the Orlando, Florida, metropolitan area. The 32-mile, first-phase portion includes 12 stations. [Railway Age website report, 4-30-14]

CN PLANS $30-M PROJECT IN MINNESOTA: Canadian National plans to spend $30-million on infrastructure enhancements in Duluth, Minnesota, including the purchase of land from the city for track expansion. [WDIO-TV website report, 4-30-14]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES GETS ORDERS FOR 9,625 NEW RAIL CARS IN 1-Q: Trinity Industries Inc. Rail Group received orders for 9,625 new rail cars during the first-quarter, resulting in a record backlog of 42,630 units with a record value of $5.2-billion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-30-14]

CSX NAMED A TOP 100 CORPORATE CITIZEN: CSX Corp. has been named to a spot on Corporate Responsibility magazine's list of the '100 Best Corporate Citizens' for 2014. The rating comprehended multiple factors including employee relations, philanthropy, environment, climate change, governance, human rights and finance. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-29-14]

RAIL ONE OPENS CONCRETE RAIL-TIE PRODUCTION FACILITY IN IOWA: Rail One Group has opened its concrete rail-tie plant in Clinton, Iowa, by sending off its inaugural U.S. load of ties on a Union Pacific train. This is the German company's first U.S. operation. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 4-29-14]

BELARUS TO INTRODUCE FIVE-CAR FLIRT EMU'S: Belaurus Railways will introduce five-car Stadler Flirt electric multiple unit trains on Minsk-Baranovichi, Minsk-Orsha, and Baranovichi-Brest services May 1, replacing four-car Flirts which will be transferred to the recently-electrified Minsk-Osipovichi-Bobruysk line. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-29-14]

BIG BOY LOCOMOTIVE LEAVES CALIFORNIA ON WAY TO WYOMING FOR RESTORATION: Hundreds of onlookers gathered at Cajon Pass in Southern California to watch as the 73-year-old steam engine 4014, known as a Big Boy, passed on the first leg of its journey to Wyoming where it will be restored by Union Pacific and become a traveling exhibit. [Riverside Press-Enterprise website report, 4-28-14]

ONE PASSENGER INJURED AS AMTRAK TRAIN PARTIALLY DERAILS IN MONTANA: Amtrak says its Empire Builder train carrying 117 passengers partially derailed in northeastern Montana April 28, causing a minor injury to one passenger. [Pioneer Press website report, 4-28-14]

LARGE CRUDE-TO-RAIL HUB COMING TO WYOMING: A confluence of several multi-million dollar projects west of Casper, Wyoming, will be completed late this summer, creating one of the largest crude-to-rail hubs in the country. [Casper Journal website report, 4-28-14]

AMTRAK READY FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO EMPIRE CORRIDOR IN N.Y. STATE: Amtrak expects to give contracts the go-ahead by mid-May on a series of rail improvement projects. Work includes a fourth platform track and platform-expansion at the Rensselaer station, a second track between Albany and Schenectady, and signal and crossing improvements between Renssalaer and Poughkeepsie. [Albany Times Union website report, 4-28-14]

CANADA TO FUND RAILROAD CROSSING IMPROVEMENTS: Canada has launched Rail Safety Week with $9.2-million to improvemore than 600 railway crossings across the country. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-28-14]

RAILROADS SPENDING $8-B TO $10-B ON PTC NETWORK: Railroad companies are spending $8-billion to $10-billion to install positive train-control along the U.S, betwirj bt tge ebd if 2015, The massive project rivals the original build-out of the national railway system in scope, and requires companies to lay fiber-optic cable and to erect cellular and satellite equipment. [Crain's Chicago Business website report, 4-28-14]

FEDS GRANT $3.2-M TOWARD MILWAUKEE STREETCAR PROJECT: The Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation has received $3.2-million in federal funds for the downtown Milwaukee streetcar project. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-25-14]

NIAGARA FALLS APPROVES $22.7-MILLION FOR MULTIMODAL TRAIN STATION: The Niagara Falls, N.Y., city council has voted to approve a $22.7-million contract for the construction of a new multimodal train station to be served by Amtrak's Maple Leaf line and Empire corridor. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-25-14]

MICHIGAN IN DISCUSSION WITH TALGO ABOUT PURCHASE OR LEASE OF IDLE TRAIN SETS: The Michigan Dept. of Transportation has contacted train manufacturer Talgo Inc. to investigate the purchase or lease of train sets that have been sitting unused following Wisconsin's decision not to use the equipment. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-25-14]

EMISSIONS TAX COULD PAY FOR CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL: California Governor Jerry Brown says he wants to use one-third of the state's cap-and-trade program revenue to pay for a $68-billion high-speed train to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. The cap-and-trade program requries businesses that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide to buy credits from the state at auction. [Wall Street Journal website report, 4-25-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: Combined rail traffic in the U.S. for the week ending April 19, 2014, increased 6.3 pct year-over-year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Carload traffic increased 5.1 pct and intermodal volume rose 7.6 pct in the same period. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-24-14]

SEPTA TO GET AT LEAST $150-M IN ADVERTISING CONTRACT: SEPTA's board of directors has approved an advertising contract with Titan Outdoor LLC that will pay the authority at least $150-million over nine years for ads on SEPTA vehicles and stations. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 4-24-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported first-quarter net income of $368-million or $1.17 per diluted share, compared with $450-million or $1.41 per diluted share earned in the same period, 2013. Railway operating revenues totaled $2.7-billion, and the railway operating ratio was 75.2 pct. [Norfolk Southern, 4-23-14]

SEPTA TO REPLACE CRUM CREEK VIADUCT: SEPTA is moving forward with the design phase on a project to replace the Crum Creek viaduct, with construction expected to start in late 2015. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-23-14]

CANADA TOUGHENS CRUDE, ETHANOL RAIL SAFETY REGS: Trains carrying 20 cars or more of crude oil or ethanol must not exceed 50 MPH under a new directive issued by Transport Canada April 23, and that limit may be lowered for some locations. [Railway Age website report, 4-23-14]

TEHRAN OPENS METRO LINE 3 EXTENSION: The second phase of Tehran Metro Line 3 was inaugurated April 22 when the city officially opened the 7.5-mile, $804-million extension from Vali-e Asr to Azadegan. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-23-14]

METRO-NORTH NAMES THREE TO TOP LEADERSHIP POSTS: Metro-North has named Glen Hayden as vice-president of engineering, Michael Yaeger as chief mechanical officer, and Kevin O'Connor as chief transportation officer. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-23-14]

FEDS FIND UNION PACIFIC AT FAULT IN TERMINATING INJURED EMPLOYEE: Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to reinstate an injured employee and pay the worker more than $85,000 in damages plus legal fees for improperly terminating the employee following the reporting of a workplace injury in the company's North Platte, Nebraska, terminal in 2012. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 4-23-14]

CANADIAN PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd has announced record 1-Q financial results. Reported net income was $254-million or $1.44 per diluted share, versus $217-million or $1.24 per share in the first-quarter 2013, a 16 pct year-over-year improvement in earnings per share. [Canadian Pacific, 4-22-14]

ELECTRIFICATION STARTS ON ADDIS ABABA LIGHT-RAIL LINES: China Railway Engineering Corp. has started work to electrify the 21/3-mile light-rail network under construction in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-22-14]

CANADIAN NATIONAL REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: CN reported net income in the first-quarter 2014 was $623-million or 75 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $555-million or 65 cents per diluted share for the year-earlier quarter. Operating income increased five pct to $820-million. [CN, 4-22-14]

NTSB CHIEF SAYS RAIL TANK CAR SAFETY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED: The recent spate of rail accidents involving crude-oil shipments demonstrates that 'far too often, safety has been compromised,' National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman said April 22. The amount of crude shipments has more than quadrupled since 2005. [Chicago Tribune website report, 4-22-14]

METRO-NORTH UPGRADES NEW HAVEN LINE POWER SUPPLY: Metro-North Railroad has upgraded the power supply for the New Haven line at its Mount Vernon East substation to provide additional redundancy and increase capacity. Four old transformers were replaced by two new ones that will ensure reliability to handle additional loads and allow electricity generated by the brakes of the new fleet of M-8 rail cars to be fed back into the power grid. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-21-14]

PORT MANATEE PURCHASES TWO DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES: Florida's Port Manatee has purchased two new diesel-electric locomotives. The port is linked to CSX tracks via a short line. [Bradenton Times website report, 4-18-14]

MASSACHUSETTS TO FUND $2.3-B FOR RAIL PROJECTS: The Massachusetts state house passed a transportation bill the includes $2.3-billion to bring MBTA commuter rail service to the South Coast, an extension of the Green line to Medford, and upgrades to Boston South Station. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-18-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending April 12, 2014, with 295,294 carloads, up 7.2 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-17-14]

FREIGHT RAIL INDUSTRY WILL NOT MEET 2015 PTC DEADLINE, BLAMES FCC: Only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory positive train control technology by the deadline set by Congress, the freight railroad industry said. The Association of American Railroads now says about 20 pct of the approximately 60,000 miles of track being equipped with the technology will meet the deadline of Dec. 31, 2015. The association said the Federal Communications Commission is holding up the placement of about 20,000 antennas that are necessary to complete installation of the technology. [Associated Press website report, 4-17-14]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific Corporation reported 2014 first quarter net income of $1.1-billion or $2.38 per diluted share, compared to $957-million or $2.03 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2013. Diluted earnings per share of $2.38 improved 17 pct. Operating revenues totaled $5.6-billion, up 7 pct. Operating income totaled $1.85-billion, up 14 pct. Operating ratio of 67.1 percent improved 2.0 points. [Union Pacific, 4-17-14]

CANADIAN NATIONAL CATCHING UP ON LUMBER SHIPMENTS IN B.C.: Canadian National Railway Co. said it's alleviating a shortage of rail capacity for lumber shipments in British Columbia. A railroad spokeswoman said CN's ability to move wood products is gradually catching up with demand following extreme winter conditions in North America this year. [Bloomberg Businessweek website report, 4-17-14]

TESTING BEGINS ON DALLAS-FORT WORTH LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Dallas Area Rapid Transit operated its first test run on the 5-mile light-rail Orange Line extension to Dallas Forth Worth International Airport on April 16. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-17-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO EXPAND YARD IN WISCONSIN: Union Pacific plans to spend around $30-million to expand its rail yard in Altoona, Wisconsin, to handle traffic increases from the fracturing sand industry. Work will be done in two phases, and will include extending eight yard tracks, adding sorting tracks, a wye track and more. [Eau Claire Leader-Telegram website report, 4-17-14]

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern reported first quarter 2014 revenues of $607-million. Overall, carload volumes were 4 pct higher than in first quarter 2013. [Kansas City Southern, 4-16-14]

COURT CLEARS WAY FOR TRIAL OVER CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: A California appeals court has rejected a petition by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, potentially clearing the way for a trial over whether the agency's controversial and ambitious bullet-train plan can comply with state law. [Fresno Bee website report, 4-16-14]

ALGERIA OPENS LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Algeria inaugurated the 2.6-mile eastern extension of Algiers light rail Line 1 from Bordj El Kiffan to Kahouat Echergui on April 16. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-16-14]

CSX REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: CSX Corp. reported first-quarter net earnings of $398-million or $0.40 per share, down from $462-million or $0.45 per share in the same quarter of 2013. CSX also announced that its board of directors approved a 7 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend to $0.16 per share. [CSX, 4-15-14]

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST KCS: A class action lawsuit has commenced against Kansas City Southern alleging that the company issued false and misleading statements regarding the company's financial performance and future prospects during the period Oct. 18, 2013, and Febr. 18, 2014. MORE.. [Robbins Geller Rudman & Doud LLP 4-15-14]

ENGINEERING STUDY BEGINS ON AMTRAK'S SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BRIDGE: Amtrak, in conjunction with Maryland and the Federal Railroad Administration, has launched a preliminary engineering study for rehabilitation or replacement of the 108-year-old Susquehanna River rail bridge. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-14-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN BELLEVUE YARD EXPANSION NEARING COMPLETION: A major expansion of Norfolk Southern's Bellevue yard in Ohio is nearing completion and is expected to wrap up construction by the end of this year. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-14-14]

NEW UNION PACIFIC FACILITY ENHANCING BUSINESS IN N.M.: Union Pacific's new intermodal facility in Santa Teresa, N.M., is drawing new business to the area with two 25-acre plots planned as storage and shipping yards. Six companies have plans to transfer their operations to Santa Teresa, and the area is expected to create 2,500 jobs. [Albuquerque Journal website report, 4-14-14]

SURVEY CAPTURES IRE OF METRO-NORTH COMMUTERS: In a survey, 90 pct of affected commuters pointed to the railroad's leaders as a root cause of late trains, crowded conditions and other problems that have often made going to work on Metro-North's New Haven line an ordeal in the past year. [Stamford Advocate website report, 4-14-14]

GO-AHEAD FOR MELBOURNE AIRPORT RAIL LINK: The government of Victoria has committed to the construction of a heavy-rail link connecting central Melbourne with the city's airport, 14 miles to the north, although it has not indicated how much it will cost or when it will open. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-14-14]

LIRR STARTS LONG BEACH BRANCH RESTORATION: The Long Island Rail Road has launched a $120-million construction program designed to protect the railroad's Long Beach branch from devastating storm damage. [Railway Age website report, 4-14-14]

TUCSON STREETCAR LINE NEARS READINESS: Six of eight streetcars ordered by Tucson for its Sun Link service have arrived as the city prepares to launch service, tentatively for July 25, 2014. [Railway Age website report, 4-14-14]

AGREEMENT WOULD RESTORE PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: Southern Railway of British Columbia and VIA Rail Canada have reached a tentative agreement to return passenger rail service to Vancouver Island with $20-million in funding for track and bridge improvements. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-14-14]

CONVERTING USED R.R. TIES INTO BIOFUEL BEING STUDIED: The Coalition for Sustainable Rail is initiating research on the conversion of used railroad ties into an advanced biofuel in partnership with the Indiana Rail Road. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-14-14]

REPLICA OF LINCOLN FUNERAL TRAIN CAR BEING CONSTRUCTED: To mark the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's assassination next year, David Kloke of Illinois is constructing a full-size replica of the funeral train car that carried the president's body from Washington to Springfield. The car is intended for use in a nationwide traveling exhibit car. [Northwest Herald website report, 4-13-14]

NEW HAVEN TRAIN STATION RENOVATION BEGINS: New Haven's parking authority has begun a $2.3-million renovation of its union station. The scope of the work includes repairs to the facade and roof, waterproofing at the front plaza, as well as masonry and other restorations. The project is scheduled for completion in Dec. 2014. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-11-14]

RIDERSHIP DECLINES ON PRINCETON DINKY: New Jersey Transit reported that the Princeton Dinky has seen a sharp decline in ridership since the decision to relocate the old Dinky station to a temporary, less-convenient site 1,200 feet down the line. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-11-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported rail traffic for the week ending April 5, 2014, with 296,039 total U.S. carloads, up 5.4 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-10-14]

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL ON TRACK FOR 2028 LAUNCH: A 2028 timeline for finishing California's bullet-train project is intact in a new business plan. It now projects lower revenues because of preference for shorter trips, but continues to maintain that taxpayer subsidies will not be needed for operation. [KCRA-TV website report, 4-10-14]

WISCONSIN CENTRAL IMPROPERLY TERMINATED CONDUCTOR FOR REPORTING INJURY: The U.S. Dept. of Labor has found Wisconsin Central railway in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety act for terminating a conductor following the reporting of a workplace injury that occurred in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and has been ordered to pay to conductor over $352,000, including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney's fees. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 4-10-14]

ILLINOIS GRANTS $233-M FOR AMTRAK CHICAGO-ROCKFORD SERVICE: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced a $233-million agreement with Union Pacific Railroad toward Chicago-Rockford passenger rail. [MyStateLine website report, 4-10-14]

CHINA RAISES 2014 RAIL BUDGET TO $116-B: China Railways Corp. will increase its 2014 investment budget to $116-billion. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-10-14]

TRANSIT CENTER OPENS IN ALBUQUERQUE: City officials and other dignitaries marked the opening of the Montano Transit Center in Albuquerque April 7. It will accommodate New Mexico Rail Runner Express and bus passengers. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-10-14]

TWO-PERSON CREWS ON OIL TRAINS TO BE REQUIRED IN U.S.: U.S. regulators, acting after an oil train derailment last year killing 47 people in Canada, said they intend to require at least two crew members for crude shipments, a proposal opposed by the railroads. [Bloomberg News website report, 4-9-14]

AMTRAK AWARDS EMPIRE CORRIDOR CONTRACT WORK: Amtrak has awarded engineering company Michael Baker Jr. Inc. a $4.2-million contract for construction maqnagement and inspection services involving several projects on its Empire corridor in New York State. [Railway Age website report, 4-9-14]

AMTRAK DELAYS POSSIBLE AFTER MISSOURI FLOODS: Rail damage from recent flash flooding in Missouri could cause delays for Amtrak's River Runner passenger train. Host carrier Union Pacific is repairing a section of line east of Warrensburg. Trains are running, but subject to delay. [Daily Statesman website report, 4-8-14]

DUTCH TRAXX LOCOMOTIVES GROUNDED: At the request of manufacturer Bombardier, Netherlands Railways has withdrawn its entire fleet of Traxx F140 MS class 186 multi-system locomotives from service, reportedly due to excessive pantograph wear. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-8-14]

CN-SERVED FRAC SAND FACILITY OPENS IN ALBERTA: Evergreen Transloading and Superior Silica Sands LLC have announced the opening of a CN-served frac sand transload facility in Sexsmith, Alberta. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-8-14]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY SIX CORADIA LINT TRAINS TO LOWER SAXONY: Alstom will supply six new CaradiaLint regional trains to Germany's Lower Saxony State public transit authority, LNVG. The company will also adapt 13 trains already in service so they can be operated in multiple with the new trains. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-8-14]

ENGINEER IN FATAL METRO-NORTH ACCIDENT HAD SLEEP DISORDER, FEDS SAY: The engineer of a train that derailed on a curve in Dec. 2013 in New York City, killing four passengers, had an undiagnosed sleep apnea at the time of the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board April 7. [Huffington Post website report, 4-7-14]

VIA RAIL POSTING PERSONNEL AT TROUBLESOME CROSSINGS: Personnel from VIA Rail Canada will be monitoring the grade crossing area near Fallowfield station in Ottawa following several reports of faulty signals. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 4-7-14]

RALEIGH APPROVES CONTRACT FOR NEW UNION STATION: The Raleigh city council has approved a $200,157 contract with Clancy and Theys/Skanska Joint Venture to serve as construction manager at risk for the Union Station project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-4-14]

BOMBARDIER TO SUPPLY 240 TRAXX AFRICA LOCOMOTIVES: The value of the contract between Bombardier Transportation South Africa Ltd and Transnet Freight Rail for the delivery of 240 electric TRAXX Africa locomotives is $1.2-billion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-4-14]

HARSCO RAIL NAMES CRAIG FAIRLEY PLANT MANAGER IN COLUMBIA, S.C.: Harsco Rail has hired Craig Fairley as plant manager of the company's production facility in Columbia, S.C. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-4-14]

BEVERLY HILLS RAIL LAWSUIT DISMISSED: Los Angeles County may proceed with construction of the Westside subway extension, routing the Purple line underneath Beverly Hills High School, a county court judge has ruled. [Railway Age website report, 4-4-14]

WORK STARTS ON RIYADH METRO PROJECT: Construction began April 3 on the$22.5-billion six-line metro to be built in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-4-14]

AMTRAK PRESIDENT LAUDS BIRMINGHAM'S INTERMODAL STATION: Amtrak president Joseph Boardman traveled to Birmingham tospeak of the economic and social benefits that will come with the new $30-million intermodal station. Construction began on the facility last month, which will host Amtrak, regional transit and Greyhound. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-4-14]

CATENARY FAILURE DISRUPTS AMTRAK, MARC SERVICE: Downed catenary disrupted Amtrak and MARC commuter service on the Northeast corridor Penn line for roughly six hours April 3. Crews worked throughout the morning to address the problem, and were able to get trains running again around 3PM. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 4-4-14]

MARCH 2014 RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for March 2014. Intermodal traffic increased 9.9 pct compared with March 2013, and U.S. carload originations increased 3.5 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-3-14]

AMTRAK TRAINS TO SERVE ST. PAUL UNION DEPOT BEGINNING MAY 7: Passenger-rail service will return to Union Depot in St. Paul May 7 when the Empire Builder will begin using the facility. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-3-14]

VALLEY METRO TO BUILD SOLAR PLANT AT LIGHT-RAIL FACILITY: A new solar plant will be installed at Valley Metro's light-rail operations and maintenance facility in Phoenix later this year. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-3-14]

SWISS RAILWAYS COMPLETES RAIL PASSENGER CAR RENOVATION PROJECT: Swiss Federal Railways has completed a five-year project to renovate its fleet of 232 EuroCity passenger cars which will extend the life of its fleet for another 20 years. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-3-14]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 12 SUBURBAN TRAINS FOR CHILE: Alstom has been awarded contracts worth $96.5-million to supply and maintain 12 X'Trapolis suburban trains for the new Rancagua Xpress and Metro de Valparaiso service in Chile. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-2-14]

WABTEC LANDS PTC CONTRACTS WITH ALASKA R.R.: Wabtec Corp. has obtained contracts totaling $16.6-million from Alaska Railroad to provide positive train control equipment and services, including computer-related dispatch and back office systems. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-2-14]

SCOTT TREECE TO HEAD KEOLIS UNIT AT MBTA: Keolis Commuter Services has appointed Scott Treece as head of transportation for the company's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter-rail contract. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-2-14]

RAIL PARK OPENING IN TEXAS: The Alamo Junction Rail Park opens April 2 in Bexar County, Texas. Served by BNSF and Union Pacific, the 400-acre industrial park aims to attract manufacturing, distribution, transloading and oil field service facilities tageting the Eagle Ford Shale and San Antonio region. [Progressive Railroading website report, 4-1-14]

MUDSLIDE DISRUPTS PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE IN PACIFIC N.W.: BNSF suspended passenger train service between Seattle and Everett, Washington, April 1 for 48 hours following a mudslide. [Seattle Times website report, 4-1-14]

ISRAEL RECEIVES FIRST COACHES FOR ELECTRIC RAIL SERVICES: Israel Railways has received the first six of 72 push-pull double-track coaches currently being built by Bombardier to serve new electrified services to be introduced on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem and Acre-Carmiel lines. [International Railway Journal website report, 4-1-14]

FEDS ISSUE RULE TO RAILROADS TO ADOPT 'CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS PLAN': The Federal Railroad Administration has announced a new rule requiring Class I, intercity passenger and commuter railroads to establish and implement a plan for employees who are under stress after being directly involved in, or a witness or responder to, a 'critical incident.' [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-31-14]

PLASTIC R.R. TIE PLANT PLANNED FOR LOUISIANA: IntegriCo Composites of Texas plans a $20-million plant to make plastic railroad ties and other railroad products near Springhill, Louisiana. [Shreveport Times website report, 3-31-14]

AMTRAK MAKES CHANGES TO EMPIRE BUILDER SCHEDULE: Amtrak announced that eastbound Empire Builder trains will originate three hours earlier in an attempt to address performance issues. The schedule between St. Paul and Chicago is largely unchanged. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-28-14]

MAINE COMPANY PROPOSES PASSENGER SERVICE TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT: The Golden Eagle Rail Corp. says it believes there is a sufficient base for freight and passenger rail traffic between Portland and the White Mountains region of northern New Hampshire, and is going to begin discussions to upgrade 45 miles of track between Westbrook and Freyburg. Known as the Mountain Division, its last passenger train was in 1959, and freight service ended in 1983. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-28-14]

HOUSTON, DALLAS, FORT WORTH SUPPORT HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: The mayors of Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth have announced their joint support for proposed high-speed rail between the cities, a project led by Texas Central High-Speed Railways. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-28-14]

K.C. COUNCIL ENDORSES STREETCAR EXTENSIONS: A conceptual plan for streetcar extensions totaling almost eight mileshas been given the go-ahead by the Kansas City council. The move would add to the existing starter streetcar line, now under construction. [Railway Age website report, 3-28-14]

PACER SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE ACQUISITION BY XPO LOGISTICS: Pacer International shareholders have approved the acquisition of Pacer by XPO Logistics Inc. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-28-14]

AUTOMATED METRO LINE OPENED IN BUDAPEST: Line 4, Budapest's first automatic metro line, opened March 28. The 4.6-mile line connects two of Budapest's main stations and interchanges with lines 2 and 3. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-28-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending March 22, 2014, with 291,525 carloads, up 4.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-27-14]

SOLUTION PROPOSED FOR CHICAGO RAIL BOTTLENECKS: A new 150-mile rail line may be a solution to the congestion that freight railroads encounter when moving trains through Chicago. Frank Patton, managing partner of Great Lakes Basin, says at least two new tracks running from Maxon, Illinois, to Kingsbury, Indiana, would cut at least 16 hours from the current rail transit time. [Midwest Energy News website report, 3-27-14]

X TRAIN OFFERING BUYOUTS TO INDEPENDENT PASSENGER-RAIL OPERATORS: X Train Holdings, which operates a luxury train travel service, is seeking existing privately-owned passenger-rail companies interested in an exit strategy. X Train will offer an 'all cash buyout' plan that would pay for businesses that sell their passenger-rail operations to the company. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-27-14]

SYDNEY'S INNER WEST LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION OPENS: The 3.5-mile extension of the Sydney, NSW, light-rail network to Dulwich Hill was formally opened on March 27. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-27-14]

DART'S AIRPORT STATION TO OPEN AUG. 18: Dallas Area Rapid Transit will connect North Texas commuter to Dallas-Fort Worth International airport with the opening of the airport station Aug. 18, four months ahead of schedule and under budget. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-26-14]

RAIL COMMUNICATION TOWERS COLLAPSE IN KANSAS, KILLING TWO: Two men were killed March 25 near Blaine, Kansas, when two Union Pacific communication towers collapsed near Blaine, Kansas. The collapse occurrred as workers were disassembling the older of the two structures. [Topeka Capital-Journal website report, 3-26-14]

CSX'S WINTER HAVEN TERMINAL TO OPEN APRIL 2: CSX plans to open its new intermodal terminal in Winter Haven, Florida, on April 2. Construction began on the 318-acre facility in late 2012, and it will be operated by CSX's Evansville Western Railway subsidiary. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-26-14]

CTA BLUE LINE TRAIN DERAILS AT O'HARE TERMINAL, 32 HURT: Thirty-two people were injured when an 8-car Blue line train jumped the track and came to rest on escalators leading to O'Hare airport terminals early March 24. Safety board investigators were looking into the possibility that the train operator fell asleep at the controls and whether an automatic braking system was operating properly. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-25-14]

N.C. BEGINS DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN LINE: The North Carolina dept. of transportation has launched construction of 11 miles of second track on a Norfolk Southern line between Salisbury and Kannapolis. The $19.9-million project also calls for upgrading or closing several grade crossings. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-25-14]

METRO-NORTH COMPLETES SIGNAL UPGRADES: Metro-North Railroad has completed changes to its signal system to ensure automatic speed enforcement at five critical curves and five moveable bridges in New York and Connecticut. The signal display will automatically indicate reduced allowable speeds on approaches to the affected locations; if the engineer does not reduce the speed accordingly, the train will automatically stop. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-25-14]

RAILROADS TO UPGRADE TANK CAR FLEETS: Class I railroads are taking steps to upgrade their tank car fleets and replace older DOT-111 cars. BNSF announced the first batch of next-generation tank cars could begin production in January 2015. Canadian National will invest $7-million to replace the 40 tank cars and 143 leased cars in its network, while Canadian Pacific has already begun retrofitting some 200 tank cars. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 3-25-14]

PROPOSED INTERMODAL RAIL FACILITY IN BALTIMORE CAUSING FRICTION: Baltimore and Maryland officials are re-evaluating their approach to a proposed rail intermodal cargo facility in Mount Clare yard in southwest Baltimore, acknowledging that their initial response to community concerns fell flat. The backlash stalled the CSX project, which is nearly a year behind schedule, and created tension between local officials, who are collaborating on bringing the project considered critical to the port to fruition. [Baltimore Sun website report, 3-22-14]

N.M. TO FUND STUDY TO MAINTAIN S.W. CHIEF ROUTE: New Mexico's governor has approved a budget that allocates funds to study a cost-sharing proposal to maintain and improve 600 miles of BNSF track running through New Mexico and two other states to allow Amtrak's Southwest Chief to operate on the same route as it does presently. The annual cost is estimated at $4-million for each of the states, Amtrak and BNSF, over the next 10 years. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-21-14]

UNION PACIFIC BOARD ELECTS CHAIRMAN: The Union Pacific board of directors has elected its CEO, Jack Koralski, as chairman of the board, and alsoadded David Dillon to the board as a member. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-21-14]

FEDS APPROVE WASHINGTON, D.C., PURPLE LINE: The Federal Transit Administration has issued a record of decision approving plans for the 16-mile Maryland Purple line light-rail line, which will serve the northern suburbs of Washington with 21 stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-21-14]

CHARLESTON, S.C., INTERMODAL CENTER TO MOVE FORWARD: The Charleston, S.C., Area Regional Transportation Authority plans to proceed with building the $14.5-million regional intermodal transportation center, situated near the North Charleston Amtrak station. The original site of the center will be sold, with portions of the proceeds going to the new site and to federal interests for work done on the engineering and design of the project. ]Charleston Regional Business Journal website report, 3-20-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending March 15, 2014, with 289,375 carloads, up 3.1 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-20-14]

SALE OF MMA RAILWAY DELAYED: A New York investment firm's purchase of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway has been delayed, as Canadian regulators say they do not have all the paperwork needed before they can approve the deal. [Portland Press Herald website report, 3-20-14]

CALTRAIN TO BEGIN SERVING NEW SAN BRUNO STATION ON APRIL 1: Caltrain will begin service for passengers at its newly grade-separated San Bruno station April 1. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-20-14]

MARC INCREASES WEEKEND CAPACITY ON PENN LINE: The Maryland Transit Administration has added more cars to increase Saturday and Sunday capacity on the Penn Line between Baltimore and Washington. Three-car trains had been running; now four- and five-car trains have been assigned. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-19-14]

'BREAKTHROUGH YEAR,' NORFOLK SOUTHERN CHIEF SAYS OF 2013: Describing 2013 as a breakthrough year, Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern, said in the company's annual report, "We achieved record performance levels as our investments in network capacity, technology, and new talent delivered the safe, efficient and dependable service our transportation customers deserve." [Norfolk Southern, 3-19-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS $83-M CONTRACT FOR 15 TRAXX LOCOMOTIVES FOR GERMANY: Bombardier Transportation and Paribus-DIF-Netz- West-Lokomotiven GmbH & Co. have signed an $83-million contract for the delivery of 15 Bombardier TRAXX diesel multi-engine locomotives in Germany. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-19-14]

MOST LIRR, METRO-NORTH TRAINS TO GET VIDEO RECORDING GEAR: The Long Island and Metro-North commuter railroads plan to install inward-facing and outward-facing video cameras and audio recorders on most ot their trains, MTA officials said. [Newsday website report, 3-19-14]

CN'S CEO SEES GRAIN BACKLOG EXTENDING INTO 2015: A record-shattering Canadian harvest, combinedwith one of the most frigid winters in decades, has created a grain-handling backlog that will not be cleared until next year, the head of Canadian National Railway said March 19. [Grainews website report, 3-19-14]

BNSF TO ADD 5,000 WORKERS IN 2014 AS RAILROAD EXPANDS: BNSF Railway plans to hire 5,000 workers this year as part of a $5-billion investment in the railroad, Carl Ice, the company's new president and CEO, said during a March 18 interview on CNBC. [Fort Worth Star Telegram website report, 3-18-14]

CONTRACT AWARDED FOR 32 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES FOR AMTRAK ROUTES IN FIVE STATES: A contract has been awarded to Siemens and Cummins to supply 32 diesel-electric locomotives for use on Amtrak services in the states of Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-18-14]

L.A. UNION STATION REHAB WORK PROCEEDS: The main entrance to the Los Angeles Union Station closed for repair work March 17 as part of a larger effort to restore the building to a state of good repair. The entrnace is scheduled to reopen April 5. [Railway Age website report, 3-18-14]

AMTRAK PROPOSES USE OF NEC OPERATING PROFITS TO HELP FUND CAPITAL PROJECTS: Revenues from passenger operations on Amtrak's Northeast corridor will exceed operating costs by about $290-million next year. Company president Joseph Boardman has asked congressional leaders that Amtrak be allowed to use that surplus to help pay for $735-million in capital costs on the corridor, including new rail cars, station improvements and rail and signal upgrades. He said the full operating deficit of long-distance trains of about $618-million this year should be paid from the federal budget. [Philadelphia Inquirer website report, 3-18-14]

PASSENGER RAIL FROM BATON ROUGE TO NEW ORLEANS COULD COST AS LITTLE AS $10 A TRIP: A trip on the proposed passenger train between Baton Rouge and New Orleans would take about an hour and 35 minutes with seven stops on the way, a feasibility study says. The train, which would travel between the cities once each in the morning and afternoon in the beginning would cost as little as $10 each way and serve about 210,000 passengers in the first year. [Times-Picayune website report, 3-18-14]

GROUP PLANS RESTORATION OF FORMER N&W TRAIN STATION IN VA.: A committee has been organized to advance restoration on the former Norfolk & Western passenger train station in North Tazewell, Va., which Norfolk Southern donated to the town of Tazewell in 2007.N&W built the wooden structure for the Clinch Valley line in the late 1880's, and there is hope that its restoration in time for the town's sesquicentennial in 2016. [Bluefield Daily Telegraph website report, 3-17-14]

CHINESE RAIL CAR MAKER TO BUILD ASSEMBLY PLANT IN MASSACHUSETTS: China-based Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., the largest maker of transit and rail passenger cars in the world, plans to build a 125,000-square-foot rail car assembly plant and accompanying 33,750-square-foot office building on the 40-acre former Westinghouse site on Page boulevard in East Springfield, Massachusetts. [Mass Live website report, 3-17-14]

OVER 1,000 LOCOMOTIVES ORDERED FOR SOUTH AFRICA: Transnet South Africa placed it largest-ever locomotive order March 17 when it signed contracts worth $2.6-billion with four international suppliers for a total of 1,064 locomotives for its freight-rail subsidiary. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-17-14]

CSX TO WORK ON FEASIBILITY STUDY ON RESTORING N.C. RAIL LINE: CSX will work with officials in Duplin County, N.C., on a feasibility study to see if a 27-mile unused rail line, abandoned since the 1980's, can be restored. [Wilmington Star-News website report, 3-14-14]

OLD TACOMA FREIGHT HOUSE MIGHT NOT BE SUITABLE FOR USE BY AMTRAK: According to a Washington Dept. of Transportation official, concerns about the weak foundation and swampy soil underneath the Tacoma freight house structure, it is likely that an all-new station will be built rather than incorporating the structure of the old freight house. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-14-14]

FEDS RELEASE RESULTS OF SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF METRO-NORTH: The Federal Railroad Admiistration has released the results from a 60-day safety assessment of Metro-North Commuter Railroad, with its findings that Metro-North's overemphasis on on-time performance has been detrimental to safe operations and infrastructure maintenance. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-14-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 274,480 total U.S. carloads for the week ending March 8, 2014, down 1 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume was 244,015 units, up 3.7 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-13-14]

POWER UPGRADE COMPLETED ON NEW HAVEN LINE: A $10-million power upgrade to Metro-North's New Havenline is now complete, providing full backup power redundancy for the east- and westbound lines. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-13-14]

THE HAGUE ORDERS 20 MORE SIEMENS LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Siemens announced March 13 that The Hague Tramways has exercised an option for 20 additional Avenio low-floor light-rail vehicles, taking its total order to 60 vehicles. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-13-14]

REBUILT ROTTERDAM CENTRAL STATION OPENS: Netherlands has formally inaugurated the rebuilt Rotterdam Central station. It had been reconstructed shortly after the second World War, but lacked the capacity to cope with current traffic volumes. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-13-14]

RAILWAY AGE NAMES SHORT LINE, REGIONAL RAILROADS OF THE YEAR: Railway Age magazine has named Coos Bay Rail Link the 2014 Short Line railroad of the year, and Arkansas & Missouri Railroad as Regional railroad of the year. [Railway Age website report, 3-13-14]

FREIGHT RAILROADS TO SPEND $26-B IN PRIVATE FUNDS ON NATIONWIDE NETWORK IN 2014: The Association of American Railroads estimates the nation's freight railroads in 2014 will spend approximately $26-billion to build, maintain and upgrade their rail network, and to hire more than 12,000 people. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-12-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN UNVEILS COMMEMORATIVE LOCOMOTIVE: Norfolk Southern has unveiled a one-of-a-kind 'GoRail' locomotive to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the non-profit GoRail organization dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of moving freight by rail. The SD60E model features a paint scheme combining the infinity lines of the Norfolk Southern livery with the tracks of the GoRail logo. [Norfolk Southern, 3-12-14]

AMTRAK'S PRESIDENT HONORED AS RAILROADER OF THE YEAR: Joseph H. Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, accepted Railway Age's 2014 Railroader of the Year award on March 11 at a dinner at Chicago's Union League Club attended by more than 400 of his industry's colleagues. [Railway Age website report, 3-12-14]

X TRAIN ELECTS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD: The Las Vegas Expess Inc. X Train board of directors has elected Michael Barron as chairman, succeeding John McPherson who is moving to become chairman of the compensation committee. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-12-14]

UNION PACIFIC RECOGNIZED FOR VETERAN-HIRING: Profiles in Diversity Journal has recognized Union Pacific as one of the nation's 25 most influential companies for its commitment to veteran hiring, progressive reservist policies and dedication to supporting employee veterans. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-12-14]

RAILCOMM ASSISTS OHIO RAIL YARD EXPAND ITS CONTROL SYSTEM: A railroad yard in North Baltimore, Ohio, has chosen to upgrade its control system to include 18new switch locations with use of the RailComm Domain Operations Controller. Sixteen derail locations are also being added throughout the yard. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-12-14]

GARY SEASE NAMED CSXT V.P. CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS: Gary T. Sease has been appointed vice-president corporate communications for CSX Transportation effective March 30, succeeding Vance Meyer who is leaving the company. Sease joined CSXT in 1986 following work with United Press Internation, and earlier with the Florida Times-Union. [CSX, 3-12-14]

CSX EXPECTS MODEST GROWTH REFLECTING CHALLENGING WEATHER: Fredrik Eliasson, CSX chief financial officer, said, "The severe weather has challenged CSX operations and volume, with the impact on first-quarter earnings now expected to approach 10 cents per share. However, we still expect full-year earnings growth in 2014, though at a more modest rate than previously anticipated." [CSX, 3-12-14]

JUDGE ALLOWS COAL TRAIN CASE AGAINST BNSF TO PROCEED: A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit over coal trains against BNSF Railway to proceed. Seven environmental groups sued the railroad alleging it violated federal law by allowing coal dust and other pollutants to spill into protected waterways from open-top rail cars. [San Francisco Chronicle website report, 3-12-14]

SHIPXPRESS ACQUIRES RAIL FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SERVICES BUSINESS: ShipXpress Inc. has acquired the rail fleet management software services business of FreightCar America. It plans to integrate the acqured softward platform into its existing suite of rail fleet management and maintenance solutions. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-12-14]

NTSB CHAIR STEPPING DOWN: Deborah Hershmen will step down as chair of the National Transportation Safety Board effective April 25. Vice chairman Christopher Hart will begin serving as acting chairman upon her departure. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-12-14]

PENNSYLVANIA, CSX PACT TARGETS HAZMAT TRAFFIC: The Pennsylvania Management Agency has entered into a memorandum of understanding with CSX that will enable the agency to obtain information regarding the movement of hazardous materials in the state. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-12-14]

YAWKEY COMMUTER RAIL STATION OPENS IN BOSTON: The newly-revamped Fenway's Yawkey station had its debut March 11 along with an expanded schedule on the Worcester-Framingham line. Three inbound and four outbound trains have been added to the weekday schedule. [Boston Globe website report, 3-11-14]

MAGGIE SILVER DIES, RETIRED PINSLY R.R. LEADER: Short line industry pioneer and longtime Pinsly Railroad leader Marjorie Maggie Silver died March 9. She was 88. She retired from Pinsly in 1997 after more than 40 years at the company her father Samuel Pinsly created in 1938. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-11-14]

METRO-NORTH EMPLOYEE KILLED BY TRAIN: A Metro-North railroad employee died after he was struck by a train early March 10 while working on the tracks in Manhattan. [Journal News website report, 3-10-14]

AMTRAK OUTLINES 2014 INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS: The expansion of positive train-control and upgrading a key section of the Northeast corridor for 160 MPH operation are among the highlights of Amtrak's 2014 infrastructure program announced March 10. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-10-14]

POLAND ORDERS 10 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES: Polish State Railways' long-distance subsidiary PKP Intercity has awarded a $43.4-million contract for the supply of 10 four-axle 87 MPH diesel-electric locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-10-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON EVERGREEN LINE RAIL TUNNEL IN VANCOUVER, B.C.: Construction has started on the 1.2-mile Evergreen line rail tunnel in Vancouver, B.C. The line will link Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam, and be fully-intergrated into the existing system connecting onto the Millennium line at Lougheed Town Center station. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-10-14]

CANADA ADOPTS MEASURES TO GET MORE EXPORT GRAIN MOVING BY RAIL: The Canadian Transport and Agriculture ministries annoounced new measures to help prompt the movement of more export grain by rail. The government will set minimum volumes of export grain that CN and CP must move and require the railroads to report their weekly shipments. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-10-14]

JUNIATA VALLEY R.R. TO SERVE RAIL AUTHORITY'S PROPERTY: The SEDA-COG Joint Rail authority recently purchased 19.5 acres for industrial development in Mifflin County, Pa. The site, once known as North Yards, will be served by the Juniata Valley Railroad and operated by North Shore Railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-7-14]

MARYLAND MTA PROPOSES RED LINE LIGHT-RAIL IN BALTIMORE: The Maryland Transit Administration proposes to build the Baltimore Red Line, a light-rail line between Woodlawn through downtown Baltimore to Bay View. The project includes 19 stations and 58 light-rail vehicles. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 3-7-14]

KEOLIS AWARDED MBTA CONTRACT: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has awarded Keolis North America a $2.6-billion, eight-year contract to manage, operate and maintain the passenger rail service. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 3-7-14]

BNSF PLANS $250-M EXPANSION IN N.D.: BNSF Railway says it plans to spend almost $250-million to expand rail traffic on its network in North Dakota. The company plans to double-track its line between Minot and Glasgow, Montana, to add sidings across its North Dakota network, and to install additional traffic control monitoring between Fargo and Bismarck. [St. Cloud Times website report, 3-7-14]

CONGO ORDERS 18 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES: Congo National Railways has awarded a contract to China CNR Corp. for the supply of 18 diesel-electric locomotives. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-7-14]

SANTIAGO TO EXTEND LIFE OF 40-YEAR-OLD METRO TRAINS: Santiago Metro has awarded a contract to Alstom to modernize a fleet of 35 seven-car trains which were supplied more than 40 years ago. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-6-14]

BUDAPEST ORDERS 37 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Budapest Transport Center has ordered 37 low-floor light-rail vehicles of two types, with an option for another 87 units. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-6-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased rail freight for the week ending March 1, 2014, with 287,294 carloads, up 1.4 pct compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume increased 3.4 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-6-14]

TOO MUCH PROPANE MAY BE FACTOR IN EXPLODING TRAINS: As regulators continue investigating why derailed tank cars filled with crude oil have exploded recently, energy experts say part of the problem might be that producers are leaving too much propane in their product, making the oil riskier to transport. [Inside Climate News website report, 3-5-14]

SAN DIEGO TO RESTORE 1946 PCC TROLLEY: The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has taken delivery of a 1946 Presidents' Conference Committee car that will be restored for future service on the San Diego Vintage Trolley's Silver line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-4-14]

FEDERATED RAILWAYS TO ACQUIRE COLD TRAIN INTERMODAL SERVICE: Federated Railways Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Rail Logistics L.C., including its Cold Train express intermodal service in the Pacific Northwest. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-4-14]

GREENBRIER COS. LANDS $460-M IN RAIL CAR ORDERS: The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. has received new orders for 5,600 rail cars valued at $460-million in its second fiscal quarter, which ended Febr. 28. [Progressive Railroading website report, 3-4-14]

LANCASTER, PA., AMTRAK STATION UPGRADES ALMOST COMPLETE: After 15 years, upgrades to Lancaster's 85-year-old Amtrak station are almost complete. Yet to be completed are changes to the restrooms to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities act. [Lancaster Online website report, 3-4-14]

AMSTERDAM-MILAN INTERMODAL SHUTTLE BEGINS: Dutch railfreight operator Herik Rail Cargo launched its first intermodal service from the port of Amsterdam to the Segrate terminal near Milan on March 3. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-4-14]

UNION PACIFIC, BNSF INVEST TO REDUCE CONGESTION IN FORT WORTH: The $100-million Tower 55 project in Fort Worth is well underway. Union Pacific and BNSF have each contributed to the project's cost. A north-south line has been added, and bridge and crossing work will be done. In all, there will be 22 different construction phases. [KXAS-TV website report, 3-4-14]

MASS STABBINGS IN CHINESE TRAIN STATION: At least 10 assailants armed with long knives stormed through a crowded train station March 1 in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, slashing people at random, state media said. Thirty-three were reported dead and 130 were injured. [Wall Street Journal website report, 3-3-14]

CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION PLAN ADVANCES: Commuter rail operator Caltrain has released its draft environmental impact report for the planned electrification of the 51-mile line between San Francisco and San Jose. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-3-14]

HONG KONG TAKES DELIVERY OF FIRST SOUTH ISLAND LINE TRAIN: MTR Corp. has taken delivery of the first of 10 three-car trains which will be used on Hong Kong's new South Island line. [International Railway Journal website report, 3-3-14]

RESTORATION OF STEAM ENGINE UNDERWAY IN FLORIDA: Project inspectors crawled in and around the rust of old 1504, the 94-year-old Atlantic Coast Line locomotive and tender parked outside the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville, Florida, for 24 years. Next up is its cosmetic restoration, funded by $20,000 in grants from Trains Magazine and CSX. [Florida Times-Union website report, 3-2-14]

KCS CREATES PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS: To enhance its systems and services, Kansas City Southern has started to develop a new business process improvement program based on the 'Six Sigma' methodologies. KCS says projects include limiting the dwell time of intermodal cross-border traffic and improving communication with customers. [Railway Age website report, 3-1-14]

NARP PRESIDENT ROSS CAPON STEPPING DOWN: Ross Capon, the face of the National Association of Railroad Passengers for 39 years on Capitol Hill, is stepping down from his role as president. Dr. Larry Scott will serve as acting president while the organization conducts a search for a permanent successor. [Railway Age website report, 2-28-14]

SOUND TRANSIT IDENTIFIES ALIGNMENT FOR TACOMA LINK EXPANSION: Sount Transit has identified an alignment along Stadium way and Martin Luther King Jr. way to the Hilltop district for the planned expansion of Tacoma Link light-rail service. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-28-14]

LONDON UNDERGROUND TO ACQUIRE 250 TRAINS: Expressions of interest have been invited by London Underground for a fleet of 250 trains for operation onfour of its deep-level lines under its 'New Tube for London' project. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-28-14]

CP TO SERVE TRANSLOAD FACILITY IN DAVENPORT, IOWA: Davenport, Iowa, plans to build a transload facility, to be served by Canadian Pacific, to help shippers in the area gain access to freight rail. [KWQC-TV website report, 2-27-14]

FORTUNE MAGAZINE NAMES CSX ONE OF WORLD'S MOST ADMIRED COMPANIES: CSX Corp. has been named one of the World's Most Admired Companies in 2014, according to a survey published by Fortune Magazine, released Febr. 27. [CSX, 2-27-14]

CSX IS MEETING GROWING TRANSPORTATION DEMAND IN INTERMODAL SERVICE: Today, more than 90 pct of CSX intermodal traffic travels over double-stack cleared routes. That percentage will rise in the next several years when the company completes the National Gateway project, the public-private partnership designed to increase the flow of freight between mid-Atlantic ports and Midwestern consumption centers. [CSX, 2-27-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Febr. 22, 2014, with 281,678 total carloads, up 1.3 pct compared with the same week in 2013. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-27-14]

FEDS APPROVE N.C. LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The U.S. Federal Transit Administration has granted conceptual planing approvalto the construction of a 17-mile, $1.34-billion light-rail line in Durham, N.C., linking Alston avenue in East Durham and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with 17 stations. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-27-14]

BRAZIL'S VLI EXPANDS LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: VLI, the railfreight subsidiary Brazilian mining company Vale, has taken delivery of four Dash-9 locomotives from GE Transportation, and is also receiving seven SD70ACe units from EMD. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-27-14]

FLORIDA PORT PURCHASES TWO NEW SWITCHERS: Port Manatee, Florida, began operating a new switcher last month, and expects to add a second one in March. Manufactured to National Railway Equipment Co., the N-Vironmotive 2GS-14B locomotives replace a switcher built in 1958. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-27-14]

CN COUNTS ON COMMUNITY OUTREACH TO HELP BOLSTER SAFETY: CN on Febr. 26 announced it is reaching out to municipalities along its network to review the railroad's safety practices, share relevant information on hazardous materials traffic and discuss emergency response planning. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-27-14]

PRESIDENT VISITS ST. PAUL UNION STATION: The White House chose St. Paul's Union Depot for President Obama's announcement Febr. 26 of a $600-million competition for federal grants to fund infrastructure projects that create jobs. [News Times website report, 2-26-14]

FEC RAIL SERVICE BEGINS AT PORTMIAMI: Florida East Coast Railway has started to haul cargo from PortMiami's new on-dock rail facility. [Miami Herald website report, 2-26-14]

SHERIFFS USE RADAR GUNS TO CLOCK TRAIN SPEEDS IN ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y.: The Rockland Sheriff's office has begun using radar to check speeds of CSX trains hauling oil and other freight on the River Line, which passes through four of the county's five towns. It also wants to railroad to provide local officials with a daily list of the hazardous materials aboard the trains. [Journal News website report, 2-26-14]

N.J. TRANSIT NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: New Jersey Transit's board of directors has appointed Veronique Hakim as its new executive director, effective March 1, 2014. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-25-14]

CHICAGO'S O'HARE BRANCH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM SET TO BEGIN: Starting in March, the Chicago Transit Authority will begin the first project in its $492-million improvement program for the Blue Line O'Hare branch to provide faster commutes and improved facilities. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-25-14]

PATH OPENS WTC PLATFORM A: PATH has heralded the opening of the first 'modernized' platform at its World Trade Center station in lower Manhattan. Platform A will accommodate passengers traveling between WTC and Hoboken. [Railway Age website report, 2-25-14]

UNION TANK CAR SETS NEW INSPECTION, REPAIR RECORD: Union Tank Car Company's network of mobile repair teams and dedicated mini shops established a new record in 2013, with more than a half million car 'touches,' including field inspections, repairs and tank car qualfications. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-25-14]

ALBERTA, SASKATCHEWAN SEEK RAIL SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS FOR GRAIN: The provincial governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan are calling on the Canadian government to increase railroads' accountability for a grain-movement backlog in western Canada. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-25-14]

KAMCHIK PASS RAILWAY GETS FINANCING BOOST: The Uzbec Reconstruction and Development fund has allocated a $280-million loan to help finance the construction of a new railway through the Kamchik Pass in eastern Uzbekistan which will allow east-west freight traffic to bypass northern Tajikistan. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-25-14]

MOSCOW ORDERS 832 METRO CARS: Moscow Metro has placed a $4.1-billion supply and maintenance order for 832 metro cars with deliveries to begin this year. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-25-14]

CSX'S J&L TUNNEL PROJECT WINS ENGINEERING AWARDS: CSX'S J&L tunnel modification project in Pittsburgh has won the Project of the Year award from the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, and the Diamond award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania. Completed late last year, the project increased the vertical clearance of a 130-year-old tunnel running through Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works. [CSX, 2-25-14]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT UP SLIGHTLY IN JANUARY: Employment at U.S. Class I railroads rose 0.15 pct in January year-on-year, according to figures released by the Surface Transportation Board, although it dropped slightly from the December 2013 level. Train and engine employment gained 1.15pct over the 12 months ending January 2014. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 2-25-14]

SHIPPERS ORDERED TO TEST, CLASSIFY BAKKEN OIL: Shippers are now being required by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to test and classify Bakken crude as Packing Group I or II hazardous material. This basically limits Bakken oil shipments to the most commonly-used type of tank car, known as DOT-111, which is more robust than others. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 2-25-14]

BUSY YEAR FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL CONSTRUCTION: Projects worth $4.4-billion are under construction this year, which makes 2014 the 'busiest year' for high-speed rail construction. There are currently 47 projects either under construction or about to be, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. [The Hill website report, 2-25-14]

MAJOR RAILROADS INITIATE SAFETY PRACTICES FOR CRUDE SHIPMENTS: Class I railroads in North America will initiate voluntary safety practices for crude-by-rail operations after the Association of American Railroads, the Dept. of Transportation and other stakeholders agreed to adopt the practices. The initiatives include more frequent track inspections, brake-system upgrades and heightened emergency planning. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 2-24-14]

NORTHSTAR COMMUTER SERVICE GETTING SERIOUS DELAYS: Minnesota's Metro Transit has advised riders to expect delays of from 60 to 90 minutes due to heavy freight rail activity and ongoing congestion problems. [Railway Age website report, 2-24-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON PERRIS VALLEY METROLINK EXTENSION: Construction has begun on the $248-million, 24-mile Perris Valley Metrolink extension to the 91line to add new stations in North Riverside, Moreno Valley-March Field, downtown Perris and South Perris-Menifee. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-24-14]

COURT RULINGS CLEAR WAY FOR HONOLULU RAIL PROJECT: Two federal courts have ruled that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has complied with applicable laws for its $5-billion rail transit project, clearing the way for the project to move forward. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-24-14]

KCS WORKS WITH MEXICAN GOVERNMENT ON RAIL RULES: Officials from Kansas City Southern and its division in Mexico are working with the Mexican government on legislation that could change some provisions of the Mexican Regulatory Railroad Services Law. The measure received a green light from the House of Deputies and has moved to the Senate, where it could undergo some changes. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-24-14]

ILLINOIS COUNTY CONSIDERS STATION IN E. ST. LOUIS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: St. Clair County, Illinois, is weighing whether to commit $500,000 toward an East St. Louis station along an emerging high-speed Amtrak route. [Belleville News-Democrat website report, 2-24-14]

TWO INJURED IN CSX DERAILMENT IN KENTUCKY: A derailment of two locomotives of a CSX freight train Febr. 22 in Covington, Kentucky, injured two crew members and prompted the evacuation of two homes near the accident as a precaution. [ website report, 2-23-14]

AMTRAK RETURNING TO DENVER UNION STATION: Beginning Febr. 28, passengers will return to using Denver Union Station following redevelopment and use of a temporary location since 2011. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 2-21-14]

METRA LOOKING TO OTHER AGENCIES FOR SURPLUS EQUIPMENT: Already facing a shortage of spare cars, Metra has announced that it will look to other agencies to lease more cars. Metra hopes to increase its equipment to a point that 10 pct of its fleet will be spares. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 2-21-14]

NJT'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RESIGNING: New Jersey Transit's executive director Jim Weinstein has submitted his resignation to become effective March 5, 2014. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 2-21-14]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN GETS MORE TIME TO RAISE CASH: California bullet train officials have been granted an extra three months to come up with funding to start meeting their obligations under a grant for the project, federal officials said. Under the plan, the state would begin spending its own money starting July 1 rather than April 1. [Los Angeles Times website report, 2-21-14]

TWENTY EMU'S ORDERED FOR POLAND: Polish long-distance operator PKP Intercity has selected Pesa to supply and maintain twenty 99MPH electric multiple units in a deal worth $430-million. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-21-14]

TRAINS PLANNED FOR RETURN TO OKINAWA: Okinawa, currently without a conventional railroad, is to develop plans for a 43-mile line linking Naha and Nago, with construction to begin in 2019. A network of railways once radiated from Naha, but much of the system was destroyed in the second World War and never reopened. Its last railroad ceased operations in 1983. [Interational Railway Journal website report, 2-21-14]

METROLINK LAUNCHES PTC SYSTEM ON BNSF TRACK: Metrolink launched its positive train control system in a revenue-service demonstration Febr.20 under the authority of BNSF Railway. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-21-14]

WORK RESUMES ON PANAMA CANAL'S THIRD LOCK SET: Work resumed Febr. 20 following a payment dispute on the third set of locks in the Panama Canal's expansion project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-21-14]

BNSF MAKES MAJOR BET ON SAFER OIL TANK CARS: In a bid for improved safety of oil shipments by rail, BNSF Railway is acquiring as many as 5,000 tank cars whose safety features go beyond current standards. [Reuters website report, 2-20-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported decreased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Febr. 15, 2014, with 270,632 total U.S. carloads, down 2.9 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-20-14]

NTSB RECOMMENDS METRO-NORTH SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: The National Transportation Safety Board, in response to the Dec. 1, 2013, fatal derailment in the Bronx, has recommended that Metro-North install recorders on its vehicles and add new speed-limit signs along its tracks. [New York Post website report, 2-19-14]

IRVING OIL TO CONVERT TANK CAR FLEET TO NEWER-MODEL SPECS: Irving Oil plans to convert its proprietary fleet of crude oil-carrying tank cars to AAR-recommended specifications for DOT-111 tank cars constructed after Oct. 1, 2011. The conversion is slated for completion by April 30. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-19-14]

THREE RAILROADS TO SERVE CRUDE-OIL TERMINAL IN BATON ROUGE: Genesis Energy will construct a $150-million terminal in Baton Rouge that will import and export crude oil. The terminal will be served by both CN and Kansas City Southern with 'superb interconnectivity' with Canadian Pacific. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-19-14]

CN TO INVEST OVER $2-B IN 2014 CAPITAL PLAN: Canadian National's 2014 capital plan includes an investment of about $2.1-billion tocontinue to raise network safety and efficiency, improve service and grow the business. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-19-14]

YOUNGSTOWN & SOUTHERN R.R. GETS NEW OWNER: The Columbiana County Port Authority has sold the Youngstown & Southern Railroad's assets to Mule Sidetracks LLC for $3-million. The new owner plans to maintain rail service on the 36.8-mile line. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-18-14]

JACKSON, OHIO, SHORTLINE GETS NEW OPERATOR: The city of Jackson, Ohio, has transferred operations of its 70-mile short line from U.S. Rail Corp. to the Indiana Eastern Railroad. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-18-14]

MARTIN OBERMAN ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF METRA: Metra's board has elected former Chicago alderman Martin Oberman as its chairman. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-18-14]

PENNY WHITE NAMED PRESIDENT OF X TRAIN: The Las Vegas Railway Express Inc. X Train has named Penny White president and chief operations officer. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-18-14]

FLORIDA TO PROVIDE $215-M FOR ORLANDO AIRPORT RAIL STATION: Florida has announced a financial package of up to $215-million to assist construction of a rail station at Orlando International Airport. [Railway Age website report, 2-18-14]

ATLANTA GETS FIRST TWO SIEMENS S70 STREETCARS: The first two Siemens S70 streetcars for the streets of downtown Atlanta have been delivered. The final two cars of the four-car order are slated for delivery next month. [Railway Age website report, 2-18-14]

BNSF, WATCO TO NEGOTIATE WITH OKLAHOMA FOR PURCHASE OF SOONER SUB LINE: BNSF Railway and Watco Cos. have been selected by the Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce to enter into negotiations with the state to purchase the 97.5-mile Soonser Sub rail line. [Tulsa World website report, 2-18-14]

RUSSIAN RAILWAYS TO ACQUIRE 629 NEW LOCOMOTIVES THIS YEAR: Russian Railways has announced plans to acquire 629 new locomotives in 2014. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-17-14]

CSX UPGRADING 50-MILE STRETCH OF TRACK IN MISSISSIPPI: CSX is replacing crossties and upgrading road crossings along a 50-mile stretch in Mississippi. [Mississippi Press website report, 2-17-14]

FIVE DIE, 25 INJURED IN TRAIN EXPLOSION IN PAKISTAN: Five people were killed and more than 25 were injured when an explosion hit a passenger train in Pakistan's southern Kashmore district Febr. 16. Initial investigation reports indicated the blast was caused by a remote controlled device and the explosive maerials were fixed at the track. [Global Times website report, 2-15-14]

JIM YOUNG DIES, UNION PACIFIC CHAIRMAN: Union Pacific Corp. chairman Jim R. Young died of panceatic cancer Febr. 15. He was 61. He was elected chairman in Jan. 2007. [Union Pacific, 2-15-14]

INTERMODAL VOLUME INCREASES AT PORT OF CHARLESTON: The Port of Chalrleston, S.C., has increased intermodal rail volume by 50 pct since 2011. The portis served by both CSX and Norfolk Southern. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-14-14]

ANKARA OPENS M3 METRO LINE: A ceremony was held in Ankara, Turkey, Febr. 12 to mark the opening of the city's second heavy metro line M3. The 9.6-mile line runs east-west from the end of line M1 at Batikent to OSB Torekent in Sincan, and has added 10 stations to the network. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-14-14]

FREIGHT TRAIN HAULING OIL & GAS DERAILS IN PENNSYLVANIA: Twenty-one cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train hauling oil and gas derailed Febr. 13 in Vandergrift, Pa., 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, striking a building that houses a specialty metals firm, authorities said. No one was reported injured. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website report, 2-13-14]

MEXICO TO INVEST $9.4-B IN PASSENGER & FREIGHT RAIL: Mexico's Transport and Communications Ministry has announced plans to invest at least $9.4-billion in 13 passenger and freight railway projects. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-13-14]

BOXCAR SERVICES MERGES WITH VERTEX RAIL TECHNOLOGIES: Freight-car lessor Boxcar Services LLC has merged with Vertex Rail Technologies to form Vertex Rail Manufacturing. Beginning in 2-Q 2014, the new company will manufacture tank cars, boxcars and covered hoppers at facilities in Massachusetts and North Carolina. [Railway Age website report, 2-13-14]

NEW RAIL YARD IN TEXAS OFFERS BENEFITS TO SHALE SHIPPERS: The newly-opened $54-million Southton Rail yard near San Antonio offers numerous benefits to Eagle Ford Shale shippers with its several features, including dual trackage rights with BNSF and Union Pacific. Arrow Material Services is the facility's operator. [San Antonio American City Business Journal website report, 2-13-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 261,254 total U.S. rail carloads for the week ending Febr. 8, 2014, a 4.3 pct decrease comparedwith the same week in 2013. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-13-14]

WABTEC TO ACQUIRE FANDSTAN ELECTRIC: In a deal worth about $215-million, Wabtec Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire London-based Fandstan Electric Group Ltd., a rail and industrial equipment manufacturer. [Railway Age website report, 2-12-14]

CN RAISES RATES TO TRANSPORT CRUDE IN OLDER CARS: Canadian National Railway is charging shippers more to transport crude in older tank cars, a sign that rail operators are actively discouraging use of the type of cars involved in several recent explosions. [Reuters website report, 2-12-14]

RAIL SAFETY RESEARCH CENTER OPENS IN TEXAS: A newly-opened University Transportation Center for Railway Safety at the University of Texas-Pan American is the second of its kind in the U.S., and will serve as a research center for rail equipment and technology development. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 2-12-14]

ISRAEL RAILWAYS REPORTS STRONG PASSENGER TRAFFIC GROWTH: Passenger traffic on Israel Railways increased by 12 pct in 2013, with traffic growing by 25 pct since 2009. Punctuality averaged 93.3 pct in 2013, compared with 90 pct in 2012. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-12-14]

CN TO SELL DEUX-MONTAGNES LINE: Montreal's Metropolitan Transportation agency has agreed to buy the Deux-Montagnes line from CN. The purchase is subject to approval by the Quebec government. [Railway Age website report, 2-11-14]

ETHANOL-FILLED TANK CARS DERAIL ON BRIDGE IN JACKSONVILLE: Five ethanol-filled tank cars derailed on Acosta bridge in Jacksonville Febr. 11. The incident caused several evacuations, but it has since been contained. The train belonged to Norfolk Southern but was on Florida East Coast tracks. [Florida Times-Union website report, 2-11-14]

SWISS VOTERS APPROVE $7.1-B RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN: Voters in Switzerland have approved the Faif project to invest $7.1-billion in maintaining and upgrading the national rail network. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-11-14]

LINZ ORDERS SIX MORE BOMBARDIER LRV'S FOR NETWORK EXTENSION: Linz Linien, Austria, has awarded a contract to Bombardier for six Flexity light-rail vehicles to be delivered in mid-2015 for operation on an extension to Traun in the southwest of the city. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-11-14]

ONTARIO AWARDS FUNDS FOR GO STATION IMPROVEMENTS: The province of Ontario is making $5-million in upgrades to the Etobicoke North GO Transit station, which will include extending the platform to accommodate 12-car trains and other improvements. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-11-14]

GREENBRIER DEVELOPS SAFE TANK CAR SOLUTIONS: The Greenbrier Companies says development is under way of a new-generation tank car as well as retrofit solutions for cars already in service or under construction that will improve the safety of hazardous materials including crude oil and ethanol. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-10-14]

GB RAILFREIGHT EXPANDING ITS LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: British operator GB Railfreight has ordered another 13 class-66 diesel locomotives from EMD, and is acquiring 16 class-92 electric units as part of its plan to double is annual turnover within the next three years. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-10-14]

AMTRAK EXPANDS WI-FI ON MIDWEST TRAINS: High-speed, wireless internet is now available on eight Amtrak routes in the Midwest. The expansion, launched this week, includes four daily Lincoln service trains, the Illini-Saluka service and the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandberg service. [State Journal-Register website report, 2-10-14]

UNION PACIFIC PLANS $3.9-B CAPITAL PROGRAM: Union Pacific has approved its 2014 capital spending plan of approximately $3.9-billion, up about $300-million versus 2013, driven primarily by the acquisition of 200 locomotives. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-7-14]

CSX PLANS NEW YARD IN HOPKINSVILLE, KY: CSX plans to build a new rail yard in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky, for inspection and fueling, primarily supporting unit coal trains serving local mines. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-7-14]

N.Y. TRANSIT COMPLETES $54-M STATION PROJECT: New York City Transit has completed a $31-million rehabilitation of Upper Manhattan's Dyckman street 1 Interborough rapid transit station after two years of work. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-7-14]

OPERATOR SOUGHT FOR ROYAL SLOPE LINE IN WASHINGTON STATE: The Washington State DOT is seeking a freight-rail operator for the long-shuttered 26-mile Royal Slope rail line in Grant and Adams counties, expected to be ready for service following a 16-tear hiatus in May. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-7-14]

AMTRAK ADDS NEWEST LOCOMOTIVE TO SERVICE: The first of 70 new advanced technology ACS-64 electric locomotives entered revenue service Febr. 6 on train 171 from Boston to Washington. It is energy-efficient and uses a regenerative braking system to feed energy back into the power grid. Together, the fleet of locomotives could save more than $300-million over 20 years, according to Amtrak. [Amtrak, 2-6-14]

LANCE FRITZ NAMED PRESIDENT OF UNION PACIFIC: Lance M. Fritz has been elected president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad. Most recently he was executive vice-president operations. Cameron A. Scott has been named to succeed Fritz. Meanwhile, Jim R. Young has retired as an employee but will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors in a non-executive role. [Union Pacific, 2-6-14]

UNION PACIFIC HIKES DIVIDEND 15 PCT: Union Pacific's board voted to increase the quarterly dividend on its common shares by 15 pct, or 12 cents, to 91 cents per share. [Union Pacific, 2-6-14]

TACOMA APPROVES LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Tacoma, Washington, has endorsed its preferred route along Stadium Way for extending the city's 1.6-mile Link Light Rail operated by Sound Transit. [Railway Age website report, 2-6-14]

CTA AWARDS STATION REHAB CONTRACT: The Chicago Transit Authority has awarded a $25.6-million design-build contract for the rehabilitation of the Damen, Western and California stations. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-6-14]

BOMBARDIER TO BUILD, MAINTAIN LONDON CROSSRAIL FLEET: Bombardier will be awarded a contract to supply and maintain 65 trains for the new Crossrail network under construction in London. ]International Railway Journal website report, 2-6-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 270,903 U.S. rail carloads for the week ending Febr. 1, 2014, down 1.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-6-14]

CSX FREIGHT TRAIN SPILLS ACID INTO FLORIDA CREEK: A CSX freight train derailment near Molino, Florida, Jan. 28 spilled up to 30,000 gallons of a corrosive acid into a creek feeding the Escambia River, according to the officials. [Pensacola News Journal website report, 2-6-14]

RAIL EXPANSION COMPLETED AT FORT BENNING: A 3.9-mile, $7.5-million expansion of the Ochilee Railhead at Fort Benning, Georgia, has been completed. [Columbus Ledger-Enquirer website report, 2-6-14]

EMD PROTESTS LOCOMOTIVE CONTRACT AWARD: Electro-Motive Diesel has filed a formal protest with the Illinois DOT over the multi-state locomotive procurement contract for up to thirty-five 125-MPH diesel locomotives, for which Seimens Industry received a notice of intent to award on Dec. 18, 2013. [Railway Age website report, 2-5-14]

BRITISH MAIN LINE SEVERED BY STORM: The London-Penzance main rail line has been badly damaged by a severe storm which washed away track along the coastal section at Dawlish west of Exeter. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-5-14]

BNSF PLANS $5-B FOR RAIL INVESTMENTS IN 2014: BNSF plans to invest more than $5-billion in rail-related projects this year. The spending plan will focus primarily on projects such as rail infrastructure for enhanced service to several markets. [Railway Age website report, 2-4-14]

FEDS IMPOSE FINES ON THREE FIRMS FOR MISLABELED CRUDE-OIL SHIPMENTS: The U.S. DOT has imposed fines on Hess Corp., Whiting Oil & Gas Corp., and the Marathon Oil Corp. for mislabeled crude-by-rail shipments from the Bakken region. [New York Times website report, 2-4-14]

ROTTERDAM ORDERS ADDITIONAL 16 FLEXITY SWIFT LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FROM BOMBARDIER: Bombardier Transportation announced the Rotterdam Transport Authority in the Netherlands has exercised an option for 16 additional Flexity swift light-rail vehicles for 2016 delivery. [Progressive Railroading website report, 2-4-14]

CONNECTICUT PLANS NEW HAVEN RAIL LINE POWER UPGRADE: The Connecticut DOT will undertake a $10-million project to upgrade the power supply for Metro-North's New Haven line. It is intended to prevent the type of power failure that occurred in the fall of 2013 in Mount Vernon, N.Y., disrupting service. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 2-3-14]

SEVERAL SUPER BOWL FANS AWAITING SECURITY CHECKS REPORTEDLY COLLAPSE AT SECAUCUS TRAIN STATION: Several people apparently collapsed in the Secacus Junction train station while waiting in long lines to watch the Super Bowl. Long lines came to a standstill in front of security machines that apparently could not handle the crowd volume. NJ Transit officials, however, denied claims that fans were passing out and said no one was treated for a medical condition. [CBS New York website report, 2-2-14]

DERAILED TRAIN IN MISSISSIPPI LEAKS FUEL OIL FORCING EVACUATION: A Canadian National freight train derailed near a trailer park in New Augusta, Mississippi, Jan. 31, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents, officials said. Twenty-one cars were involved, eight of which spilled their contents. No injuries were reported. [Reuters website report, 1-31-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN OPENS BULK TRANSFER TERMINAL IN CHESAPEAKE, VA.: Norfolk Southern has opened a new Thoroughbred Bulk Transfer terminal in Chesapeake, Va., less than three miles from downtown Norfolk, operated under lease by RSI Leasing. The railroad now has a network of 32 such facilities in 17 states. [Norfolk Southern, 1-31-14]

CN PLANS TO END SAULT SAINTE MARIE-HEARST PASSENGER TRAIN: CN has announced the proposed discontinuance of its Sault Sainte Marie-Hearst passenger train effective March 31, 2014, due to the federal government ending support. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-31-14]

READING & NORTHERN PURCHASES 105 COAL HOPPERS: The Rading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad has purchased 105 three-pocket, open-top hoppers to move anthracite coal across the nation. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-31-14]

CALIFORNIA ALLOCATES $27-M FOR THREE RAIL PROJECTS: The California Transportation Commission has allocated $27-million in new funding to three projects that it says will improve passenger rail and further strengthen the state's economy. It includes a grade-separation in Fullerton, a double-track project between Raymer and Bernson, and acquisition of three Metrolink locomotives. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-31-14]

U.S. CLASS I RAILROAD EMPLOYMENT RISES 0.1 PCT IN DECEMBER: Employment at U.S. Class I railroads rose 0.10 pct in December 2013 year-on-year, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 1-31-14]

TWO RAILROADS JOIN AAR AS MEMBERS: The Association of American Railroads has welcomed the Indiana Rail Road and Pan Am Railways as its newest members. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 1-31-14]

METRA NAMES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Don Orseno, a 30-year Metra veteran and former locomotive engineer, was appointed Jan. 31 to run the nation's second-largest commuter rail agency. [Chicago Tribune website report, 1-31-14]

BNSF WINS APPEAL OF RULING LOWERING COAL RAIL RATES: BNSF Railway has won an appeal of a Surface Transportation Board ruling that the carrier's rates for shipping western coal were too high. A U.S. court of appeals sent the case back to the board to consider arguments that the formula the agency used to determine overcharges failed to measure variations in costs of the proper effect traffic volume should have on rates. [Bloomberg website report, 1-31-14]

FEC TO ACQUIRE 24 LOCOMOTIVES FROM GE: Florida East Coast Railway will acquire 24 new ES44C4 locomotives from GE Transportation, based in Erie, Pa. [Railway Age website report, 1-30-14]

CN REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS, HIKES DIVIDEND: CN reported 2013 revenues increased seven pct to $10.57-billion. Net income was $2.6-bllion. Carloadings increased 3 pct. The company's board approved a 16 pct increase in its quarterly cash dividend. [CN, 1-30-14]

OHIO MAN FOUND GUILTY OF DEATH, INJURIES TO CSX WORKERS: Cody Rickard of Woodville, Ohio, has been found guilty of killing one worker and injuring two others for driving through a barricade and crashing into a CSX work crew in October 2013. Rickard, 26, was sentenced to 29 years to life in prison. [Toledo Blade website report, 1-30-14]

MUDSLIDE HALTS AMTRAK, SOUNDER SERVICE IN PACIFIC N.W.: A mudslide onto railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett, Washington, Jan. 30 shut down Amtrak and Sounder service for 48 hours, according to BNSF. [Seattle Times website report, 1-30-14]

FALL CONSTRUCTION START PLANNED FOR AMTRAK MAINTENANCE HUB IN DELAWARE: Amtak is rolling toward a fall 2014 construction start for a more than $12-million maintenance hub in Wilmington, Delaware, to support its new locomotive fleet. [Delaware Online website report, 1-30-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 25, 2014, with 280,761 total carloads, up 5.6 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-30-14]

CSX RECOGNIZED ON CDP'S SUPPLIER CLIMATE PERFORMANCE LEADERSHIP INDEX: CSX Corp. has received a position on the CDP supplier climate performance leadership index for environmental stewardship in 2013. [CSX, 1-30-14]

CANADIAN PACIFIC REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd reported 2013 full-year results with total revenues of $6.1-billion, an increase of 8 pct and a company record; and net income of $875-million or $4.96 per diluted share versus $484-million or $2.79 per share in 2012. Adjusted net income of $1.1-billion represents a 48 pct improvement compared with 2012. [Canadian Pacific, 1-29-14]

PATRIOT RAIL ACQUIRES RAIL-CAR REPAIR FACILITY IN VIRGINIA: Patriot Rail has acquired the assets of Alderman Railcar Services through a bankruptcy process. An Alderman facility in Keysville, Va., provides rail-car repair and cleaning services, and will be renamed Blue Ridge Railcar Repair. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-29-14]

CHARLOTTE APPROVES $12-M FOR ENGINEERING WORK ON GOLD LINE EXTENSION: The Charlotte council has approved the authorization of $12-million to help advance the city's transit system's second phase of the LYNX Gold line phase 2 project. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-29-14]

CSX SEES GREAT POTENTIAL FOR LNG-POWERED LOCOMOTIVES: The prospect of using liquified natural gas to power locomotives is looked upon favorably by a number of railroads. "LNG technology has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s," says CSX vice-president and chief operating officer Oscar Munoz. [Forbes website report, 1-29-14]

CN DERAILMENT SHUTS DOWN METRA'S NORTH CENTRAL LINE: Metra's North Central line from Antioch was shut down the morning of Jan. 28 after a freight car derailed in Mundelein, according to officials. The shutdown affected hundreds of riders on one of the coldest commutes so far this winter. [Chicago Tribune website report, 1-28-14]

BOMBARDIER WINS BID FOR 846 RAIL CARS FOR CTA: Bombardier Transportation Corp. has emerged as lead bidder for 846 Chicago Transit Authority 7000-series cars with a 'hybrid seating arrangement.' [Chicago Tribune website report, 1-27-14]

BIG BOY STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ARRIVES IN COLTON: Thousands of rail fans watched Jan. 26 as Union Pacific's Big Boy locomotive 4014 hit the rails for the first time in more than half a century and made a stately 20 MPH journey from Pomona to Union Pacific's West Colton yard. [Press-Enterprise website report, 1-27-14]

LONG ISLAND R.R. IS BUSIEST U.S. COMMUTER RAIL SYSTEM: More passengers rode the Long Island Rail Road in 2013 than any other commuter rail line in the country. Figures show that the Long Island carried 83,384,250 passengers, about 5,700 more than Metro-North. [MyFoxNY website report, 1-27-14]

KCS HIKES DIVIDEND 30 PCT: Kansas City Southern's board has declared a quarterly dividend of 28 cents per share, an increase of 30 pct from the previous quarterly dividend. [Kansas City Southern, 1-27-14]

MORE RAIL COACHES ORDERED FOR GO TRANSIT: Metrolinx has ordered from Bombardier Transportation 65 new bilevel coaches for GO Transit, with options for an additional 75 coaches. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-27-14]

NEW BARCELONA SUBURBAN TRAINS ENTER SERVICE: Catalan Government Railways introduced its new fleet of class 113 1.5KV DC suburban electric multiple-unit trains on Jan. 27. The first three trains of four cars each are now in service on lines S1 and S2. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-27-14]

CRUDE OIL SHIPMENTS THROUGH D.C. ARE RARE, CSX SAYS: CSX says residents in a southeast Washington community who have raised concerns about trains carrying crude oil passing through can rest assured that such transportation through the city is rare, and that there is no market in the area for it. [Washington Post website report, 1-27-14]

CONTRACT AWARDED FOR $23-M RAIL YARD IN JACKSONVILLE: The Jacksonville Port Authority has awarded a $23-million construction contract for an intermodal container facility to offer faster access to markets to and from CSX and Norfolk Southern facilities on the west side of the city. [Florida Times-Union website report, 1-24-14]

KCS REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern's 2013 revenue was a record $2.4-billion, up 6 pct over 2012. Carloads were 2.2 million, a 2 pct increase over the prior year. Operating income was $739-million. [Kansas City Southern, 1-24-14]

FRA ISSUES RULES ON RAIL-FLAW DETECTION PROCESSES: The Federal Railroad Administration on Jan. 24 amended the Federal Track Safety Standards by establishing minimum qualification requirements for rail-flaw detection equipment operators, and revising requirements for rail inspection frequecies, remedial actions and inspection records. The agency is removing requirements concerning joint bar fracture reporting. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-24-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON DART'S SOUTH OAK CLIFF THREE LINE EXTENSION: Dallas Area Rapid Transit and local officials celebrated the start of the DART South Oak Cliff Three line extension Jan. 24. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-24-14]

CN TO RETAIN NEW BRUNSWICK FREIGHT LINE: The New Brunswick provincial government will invest up to $25-million in infrastrucure improvements on the CN Newcastle subdivision, and CN will invest a comparible amount to operate and maintain the line. The arrangement will ensure the future of the Irvco-Nepisquit Junction and Catamount-Nelson Junction sections for 15 years. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-24-14]

MOROCCO TAKES DELIVERY OF 30 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES: Rolling stock supplier TZV Gredelj and National Railway Equipment Company have completed the delivery of 30 GT26CW-3W locomotives for Moroccan National Railways. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-24-14]

PROPOSALS REQUESTED FOR 43 HIGH-SPEED TRAINSETS: Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority have issued a joint request for proposals for 43 high-speed trainsets - 28 for the Northeast corridor, and 15 for California - seating from 400 to 450 passengers each. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-24-14]

COMMITMENT MADE TO RESTORE SANDPOINT, IDAHO, RAIL STATION: Sandpoint, Idaho's, historic rail depot has been given a boost with Amtrak officials committing to restoring the station rather than abandoning it and relocating the stop to a location less convenient to the center of town. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-24-14]

OKLAHOMA CITY ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO ITS SANTA FE DEPOT: Oklahoma City has acquired the rights to the Santa Fe depot, clearing the way for a $28.3-million renovation that will turn the station into a modern intermodal hub for the city's public transportation network. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-24-14]

RAIL ACADEMY TO BE ESTABLISHED IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Thales and the Center of Excellence for Applied Research & Training have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a rail academy in the United Arab Emirates. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-24-14]

AMTRAK SERVICE IMPACTED BY COLD WEATHER: Amtrak riders continue to face delays because of the extremely cold weather. Couplers and switches freeze, and snow ends up in passenger car vestibules causing doors to freeze shut. The weather also stresses overhead power lines. [6ABC website report, 1-23-14]

METRO-NORTH TRAIN LOSES POWER IN CONNECTICUT: About 200 Metro-North passengers were stranded on an unheated train on one of the coldest nights of the year for nearly two hours Jan. 22 after it lost power and stalled near Westport, Connecticut. [NBC New York website report, 1-23-14]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS: Union Pacific Corp. reorted 2013 net income total $4.4-billion or $9.42 per diluted share, up 11 and 14 pct from 2013 respectively. Operating ratio was 66.1 pct, improving 1.7 points from the previous record set in 2012. [Union Pacific, 1-23-14]

NATURAL GAS LOCOMOTIVES MAY PROVE LESS EXPENSIVE, CLEANER THAN DIESEL: Rail companies want to take advantage of booming natural gas production that has cut the price of the fuel by as much as 50 pct. Natural gas may revolutionize the industry, said General Electric's locomotive division, one of several companies that will test new natural gas equipment later this year. Changes are sure to come slowly, but will be helped by new hydraulic fracturing drilling techicques. [Island Packet website report, 1-23-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported increased U.S. rail traffic with 289,825 total carloads for the week ending Jan. 18, 2014, up 4.5 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-23-14]

TURIN RECEIVES CORADIA MERIDIAN TRAINS: Alstom handed over three ETR 234 Coradia Meridian four-car electric multiple-unit trains to Turin Transport Group on Jan. 21. The trains accommodate 400 passengers and will be used on the SFM1 route between Rivarolo and Chieri. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-23-14]

SPAIN PLANNING SINGLE-TRACK HIGH-SPEED LINES TO CUT COSTS: Spain is planning to install only single track on most new sections of high-speed lines in a bid to reconcile plans to extend the reach of the standard-gauge network within budget restraints. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-23-14]

BROKEN WATER PIPE IMPACTS NEWARK AIRPORT RAIL STATION SERVICE: Amtrak and N.J. Transit trains avoided stopping at the Newark Liberty International Airport rail station during the evening rush Jan. 22 after a water pipe burst, requiring emergency repairs. [Star-Ledger website report, 1-22-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern Corp. reported 2013 net income totaled $1.9-billion, up 9 pct from the previous year. Diluted earnings were $6.04 per share, an improvement of 12 pct. [Norfolk Southern, 1-22-14]

KOPPERS COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CANADIAN CROSSTIE-TREATING BUSINESS: Koppers Inc. has completed the purchase of the crosstie treating business and related manufacturing facility of Tolko Industries Ltd in Ashcroft, B.C. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-22-14]

UNION PACIFIC CLASSIFICATION YARD MOVES FORWARD IN ARIZONA: Union Pacific's proposed Red Rock classification yard in Arizona's Pinal County moved closer to fruition when the state and railroad hired firms to look at the project's technical issues. [Casa Grande Valley Newspapers website report, 1-22-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE L.A. CRENSHAW LIGHT-RAIL LINE: Los Angeles marked the beginning of construction of its new 8.5-mile Crenshaw light-rail line Jan. 21. The $2-billion line links and overlaps wth other light-rail services. [Railway Age website report, 1-22-14]

DELIVERY SET FOR TWO 'CLUB X TRAIN' RAIL CARS: Las Vegas Railway Express will soon take delivery of the first two 'Club X Train' rail cars, the first of 20 being outfitted to provide luxury rail service. Initially, the cars will be coupled to existing passenger trains on select routes. In February officials plan to launch a luxury service between Los Angeles and San Diego. The firm plans to expand to other routes in the future, including Los Angeles to Las Vegas. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-22-14]

NEW BRUNSWICK SOUTHERN CONSTRUCTING SECOND TRACK: A surge in freight traffid in St. John, N.B., has prompted New Brunswick Southern Railway to construct a second track along the Saint John Throughway. [CBC website report, 1-22-14]

VA. PORT'S RAIL ACTIVITY RISES: Rail operations at the Port of Virginia increase 11.7 pct in 2013, year-on-year. [Journal of Commerce website report, 1-22-14]

R.R. MUSEUM OF PA. GETS GRANT FOR PUBLIC SEARCH SYSTEM: The Norfolk Southern Foundation has awarded the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania a $20,000 grant to be used to enhance its online search system to the museum's library and archival holdings. The grant will also help the effort to convert the museum's photographs and paper holdings to a digital format. [Lancaster Online, 1-21-14]

AUSTIN, TEXAS, PLANS CAPACITY UPGRADE ON ITS LEANDER RED LINE: Austin Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has revealed plans for a $27-million capacity upgrade on the Capital Metro Red line between central Austin and Leander, Texas, less than four years after the line opened. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-21-14]

BIRMINGHAM STATION CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN: Construction on Birmingham's new $30-million, three-block intermodal station should start within the next couple of months. The project will bring together Amtrak, Greyhound and local transportation together in one place. [Birmingham News website report, 1-21-14]

INVESTMENT FIRM WINS AUCTION FOR MMA RAILWAY: The New York-based Fortress Investment Group emerged as the winner in the auction of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, whose train derailment July 6 in Quebec caused an explosion and fire that killed 47 people. [Portland Press Herald website report, 1-21-14]

BRAZIL TO INVEST $853-M IN BELO HORIZONTE METRO EXPANSION: Brazil announced Jan. 17 that the federal government will invest $853-million in the expansion of Belo Horizonte city's metro network. The projects involved will increase the length of the network to over 27 miles. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-21-14]

BOMBARDIER LANDS $2.7-B QUEENSLAND ORDER: Bombardier Transportation, as part of a consortium contract, will supply 75 electrical multiple units, build a new depot and provide 30 years' maintenance for the state of Queensland, Australia. Bombardier's share of the contract is valued at $2.7-billion. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-21-14]

GE TRANSPORTATION REVENUE RISES: GE Transportation's revenue rose seven pct during fourth-quarter 2013 and five pct for the full year compared with 2012 results. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-21-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ELECTS TWO TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Amy E. Miles and James A. Squires have been elected directors of Norfolk Southern Corporation effective Jan. 21. [Norfolk Southern, 1-21-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAISES DIVIDEND 4 PCT: Norfolk Southern's board of directors increased the regular quarterly dividend on the company's common stock by 4 pct, from 52 to 54 cents per share, payable to holders of record on Febr. 7. [Norfolk Southern, 1-21-14]

AMTRAK PRESIDENT URGES 'MULTIMODAL STRATEGY' FOR SURFACE TRANSPORTATION: A modern surface-transportation plan that integrates America's rail, highway and port networks should be created to maintain the nation's economic growth and global competitiveness, said Amtrak president and CEO Joe Boardman. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-21-14]

TRAIN CARRYING CRUDE OIL DERAILS ON PHILADELPHIA BRIDGE: The Coast Guard says a train carrying crude oil derailed on the Schuylkill Arsenal bridge in Philadelphia early in the morning Jan. 20. There is no report of any oil leaking from the cars, and the cause of the accident is under investigation. [San Francisco Chronicle website report, 1-20-14]

WORK SLOWS ON PANAMA CANAL: Work on the Panama Canal has slowed by as much as 75 pct as a dispute over who will pay for cost overruns continues. A delay in the June 2015 completion date could mean a delay of months or years setting back the arrival of larger ships, according to reports. [Washington Post website report, 1-20-14]

FARMRAIL NAMES JUDY PETRY PRESIDENT, GENERAL MANAGER: Farmrail System has appointed Judy Petry president and general manager. Formerly she was controller. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-20-14]

OIL SPILLED FROM TRAINS REACHES STAGGERING RECORD: More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents in 2014 than was spilled in nearly four decades since the federal government began collecting data on such spills, an analysis of the data shows. [McClatchy DC website report, 1-20-14]

UNION PACIFIC TO SPONSOR VETERANS' JOB FAIR IN OMAHA FEBR. 19: Union Pacific will sponsor a job fair for military veterans and their spouces in Omaha Febr. 19 from 10AM to 2PM. In addition, several dozen vets will be able to attend a pre-fair workshop where they can learn how to enchance their job-seeking skills. [Wichita Eagle website report, 1-19-14]

MAN KILLED BY TRAIN WHILE POSING FOR PHOTO: A forty-two-year-old man from Las Vegas was killed by an Amtrak Cascades train while posing for a photograph being taken by his girlfriend in Auburn, Washington, Jan. 18. [Houston Chronicle website report, 1-18-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON FINAL SECTION OF KORALM TUNNEL IN AUSTRIA: Construction began Jan. 17 on the third and final section of the 20.4-mile Koralm tunnel, the centerpiece of the new 83-mile Koralm rail line between Graz and Klagenfurt. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-17-14]

TEXAS SEEKS FUNDING TO STUDY RAIL LINE BETWEEN SAN ANTONIO AND MONTERREY: The Texas DOT has asked the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for an additional $400,000 to expand a study that is currently looking at connecting Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Oklahoma City with train service, to include a segment to Monterrey, Mexico. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-17-14]

MORNINGSTAR NAMES CP'S HARRISON 2013 CEO OF THE YEAR: Independent investment research provider Morningstar has named Canadian Pacific chief executive officer E. Hunter Harrison as its 2013 CEO of the year. [Railway Age website report, 1-17-14]

POWER PROBLEMS IMPACT METRO-NORTH TRAINS ON NEW HAVEN LINE: Metro-North said power problems and a disabled train in the Bridgeport, Connecticut, area caused morning delays of up to 20 minutes on the New Haven line Jan. 16. [Seattle Post Intelligencer website report, 1-16-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: The Association of American Railroads reported 256,849 U.S. carloads for the week ending Jan. 11, 2014, down 8.2 pct compared with the same week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-16-14]

FEDS OK MILWAUKEE STREETCAR ROUTE ADJUSTMENT: The Federal Transit Administration has granted Milwaukee its request to adjust a portion of its proposed streetcar route through downtown, sought by the city in order to reduce utility relocation costs. [Railway Age website report, 1-16-14]

COAL SHIPMENTS DECLINE ON CSX IN 4Q: Coal traffic declined 5 pct and revenue fell 9 pct on CSX in the fourth-quarter on a year-over-year basis. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-16-14]

ALSTOM TO ASSEMBLE LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES IN BRAZIL: Alstom will invest in a new assembly line at its Taubate hydro manufacturing plant in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo to produce light-rail vehicles for the South American market. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-16-14]

CSX REPORTS 2013 EARNINGS: CSX Corporation reported 2013 net earnings were $1.83 per share compared with $1.79 per share in 2012. Revenue increased 2 pct to a record $12-billion, and the operating ratio increased to 71.1 pct compared with 70.6 pct in 2012. [CSX, 1-15-14]

FRA IN LINE TO HIRE ADDITIONAL 45 RAILROAD INSPECTORS: The Federal Railroad Administration will receive $185-million to hire an additional 45 railroad inspectors as part of the omnibus spending bill now before Congress. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-15-14]

NTSB ISSUES PRELIMINARY REPORT ON METRO-NORTH ACCIDENT: The National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report on the Dec. 1, 2013, derailment of a Metro-North passenger train in New York pointing to speed as a contributing factor of the accident. The track where the derailment occurred has a six-degree curve and a speed limit of 30 MPH, but the train speed at the time of the accident was 82 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-15-14]

VIA RAIL POSTS HOLIDAY-SEASON RIDERSHIP GAIN: More than 274,000 riders used VIA Rail Canada between Dec. 18, 2013, and Jan. 7, 2014, an increase of 9.5 pct compared with the previous year holiday season, VIA Rail announced. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-15-14]

N.D. MAN SENTENCED FOR ASSAULT ON AMTRAK CREW MEMBERS: Twenty-nine year old Preston Freeman of Fargo, N.D., has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and a year of probation for his drunken assault upon two Amtrak crew members Jan. 10 after the train left Grand Forks. The assault forced the train to make an unscheduled stop in Larimore. [WDAZ website report, 1-15-14]

TRAIN CARS DERAIL AT BAILEY YARD IN NEBRASKA: Twenty-four rail cars derailed at Union Pacific's Bailey Yard Jan. 13, but none of them tipped over, an official said. There were no injuries, and the cause is under investigation. [North Platte Telegraph website report, 1-14-14]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON AUSTRIA'S SEMMERING BASE TUNNEL: Main construction has begun on Austria's 17-mile Semmering Base Tunnel between Murzzuschlag and Gloggnitz on the Vienna-Villach/Graz main line. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-14-14]

CHINA TO MAKE $104-B IN RAIL INVESTMENT IN 2014: China Railways has announced plans to invest $104.2-billion in fixed assets in 2014. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-14-14]

MUDSLIDES DISRUPT AMTRAK, SOUNDER TRAINS IN PACIFIC N.W.: Heavy rains sent mudslides onto BNSF tracks north of Seattle Jan. 12 disrupting passeger train travel. One slide hit tracks south of Everett, following by another one at Mukilteo. Crews cleared the tracks for freight service, but there is a 48-hour moratorium for Amtrak and Sounder trains with passengers being bused. [Columbus Republic website report, 1-13-14]

CANADA PROPOSES REGULATIONS TO BOOST RAIL HAZMAT SAFETY: The Canadian Transport Ministry has proposed regulatory amendments airmed at further improving the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail. The regulations would introduce new standards for certain tank cars. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-13-14]

BNSF TRANSCOLD EXPRESS TO EXPAND: Logistics firm McKay TransCold has hatched a plan with BNSF Railway to ship eggs and other Midwest products to the West Coast in refrigerated boxcars that will then return with California produce. The service, known as TransCold Express, will launch in April with 50 BNSF refrigerated cars running between California's Central Valley and the Chicago area. [Star Tribune website report, 1-13-14]

GERMANY APPROVES VOSSLOH DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES: Germany's Federal Railway Authority has approved Vossloh's G12 and G18 four-axle freight locomotives for operation on the German network. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-13-14]

BELARUS RAIL LINE TO BE ELECTRIFIED: Belarus Railways has awarded a contract to electrify the 48-mile line from Maladzyechna to Gudohay. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-13-14]

CZECH LONG-DISTANCE PASSENGER OPERATOR ORDERS 45 COACHES: Czech open-access long-distance passenger operator RegioJet is set to expand its capacity following the acquisition of 45 coaches from Austrian Federal Railways. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-13-14]

AMTRAK SERVICE MOSTLY RESTORED FOLLOWING COLD SNAP: Following a crippling cold snap that froze much of the country, Amtrak service was mostly restored to nrmal operations as of Thursday [Jan. 9] evening. The Chicago hub was particlarly hard hit, experiencing severe cold and wind that brought temperatures to as low as minus-42 degrees. At least one Amtrak train was trapped overnight by snow drifts. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 1-10-14]

PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE TO RETURN TO ROANOKE BY 2017: Roanoke, Va., will get passenger rail service within 42 months, a state rail official said as he gave new details about the construction of track and accessories needed. The train will travel east to Lynchburg and then to Washington and beyond. Roanoke has been without rail service since 1979. [Richmond Times-Dispatch website report, 1-10-14]

NEW FACILITIES ALONG CSX IN 2013 REPRESENT $3-B INVESTMENT: CSX and its customers worked together to develop 121 new or expanded failities on the CSX rail network or its connecting short line partners in 2013. These facilities represent $3-billion in customer investments and more than 1,600 new job opportunities at those facilities. [CSX. 1-10-14]

PACER INTERNATIONAL TO BE SOLD: XPO Logistics Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Pacer International.The transaction is subject to regulatory clearance and shareholder approval. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-10-14]

FINNISH DOUBLE-DECK DINING CARS REVEALED: VR Group Finland has unveiled the first of 26 new IC2 DuettoPlus double-deck dining cars. The lower deck is fitted out with a 53-seat restaurant, and the upper deck seats 41 passengers plus 12 in a conference compartment. The new cars will allow VR to withdraw 37 older cars of four different types, the oldest of which date back to the 1970s. [International Railway Journal, 1-10-14]

ASBESTOS FOUND IN TWO AUSTRALIAN DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES IMPORTED FROM CHINA: An Australian rolling stock supplier could face a fine for overseeing the import of two diesel locomotives from China that were subsequently found to be contaminated with asbestos. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-10-14]

JOSEPH GIULIETTI NAMED METRO-NORTH PRESIDENT: Joseph J. Giulietti has been named president of Metro-North Railroad to replace Howard Permut who retires Jan. 31. [Railway Age website report, 1-9-14]

KEOLIS WINS BOSTON COMMUTER RAIL CONTRACT: Keolis will take over operation of the Massachusetts commuter rail system beginning July 1. The French company won the state's largest operating contract in history with a bid that was six pct lower than that of the current operator which has operated the system since 2003. [Boston Globe website report, 1-9-14]

RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT FOR 2013: The Association of American Railroads reports the year 2013 saw record intermodal growth but a slight decrease in carloadings. Intermodal volume was up 4.6 pct over 2013, while carloads declined 0.5 pct. Sizable gains were reported for petroleum and petroleum products, up 31.1 pct, but coal volume declined 4.3 pct and grain declined 8.0 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-9-14]

L.A. BLUE LINE GETTING $1.2-B OVERHAUL: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation authority Blue line is undergoing a $1.2-billion overhaul replacing power stations, overhead power lines, tracks, rail cars and improvements to station platforms in a multiyear investment. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 1-9-14]

MARYLAND APPROVES $13-M FOR POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL ON MARC TRAINS: The Md. board of Public Works has approved a $13-million contract to begin installing positive train control equipment on MARC commuter trains. [Baltimore Sun website report, 1-8-14]

NINE DIE IN TRAIN FIRE IN INDIA: Nine people were killed in a fire on a train in western India early Jan. 8, authorities said. The blaze ripped through three coaches of the Decradun express train, en route from Mumbai. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [CNN website report, 1-8-14]

KOPPERS TO ACQUIRE CROSSTIE TREATING BUSINESS: Koppers Inc. has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the crosstie treating business and related manufacturing of Tolko Industries Ltd. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-8-14]

THREE INJURED AS TWO UNION PACIFIC TRAINS DERAIL FOLLOWING REAR-END COLLISION: Two freight trains collided in Utah Jan. 8 spilling corn onto an interstate highway and injuring three railroad workers. One train rear-ended another near the mouth of Weber Canyon. [Chicago Tribune website report, 1-8-14]

UNION PACIFIC LAUNCHES TEXAS-TENNESSEE INTERMODAL SERVICE: Union Pacific has begun a new intermodal service between Laredo, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee, to support needs for the automotive manufacturing and intermodal marketplaces. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-7-14]

BART ORDERS 365 ADDITIONAL RAIL CARS: The Bay Area Rapid Transit has confirmed a $681-million order with Bombardier for 365 additional rail cars for its 'Fleet of the Future.' Bombardier now has firm orders for 775 cars with a total value of $1.5-billion, according to Bombardier. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-7-14]

THREE AMTRAK TRAINS STALLED BY SNOW IN ILLINOIS: The eastbound Southwest Chief was trapped about 80 miles west of Chicago when it ran into ice and snow Jan. 6. Two more trains - Illinois Zephyr and California Zephyr - were halted behind the first train. In all, about 500 passengers were stranded. Amtrak said all passengers en route to Chicago reached their destination by early the following afternoon, and no injuries were reported. [Kansas City Star website report, 1-7-14]

TRAIN DERAILS, CATCHES FIRE IN CANADA: A Canadian National railway train en route from Toronto to Moncton carrying propane and crude oil derailed and caught fire Jan. 7 near Plaster Rock, N.B. No injuries were reported. [Chicago Tribune website report, 1-7-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN FACILITATES $2.3-B IN INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT ALONG RAIL LINES IN 2013: Norfolk Southern participated in the location of 67 new industries and the expansion of 25 existing industries along its rail lines in 2013. This represents an investment of $2.3-billion by rail customers and is expected to create ore than 3,100 new jobs and eventually generate more than 136,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually. [Norfolk Southern, 1-7-14]

METRO-NORTH PRESIDENT RETIRING: Howard Permut, president of Metro-North railroad, annoounced his retirment at a meeting late Jan. 6. He is expected to be replaced by Joseph Giulietti, executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. [New York Times website report, 1-6-14]

AMTRAK EYES ADDING STOP IN MONTANA: Culbertson, Montana, may be added to Amtrak's Empire Builder due in part to ongoing shale oil activity in the Bakken formation, according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers. [Railway Age website report, 1-6-14]

NEW TALGO TRAINS ADDED TO EUGENE-VANCOUVER ROUTE: New Talgo passenger trains join the Pacific Northwest route Jan. 6, affecting both train and bus schedules, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation said. [Statesman Journal website report, 1-6-14]

WORK TO BEGIN ON LAOS RAIL LINK: Construction is expected to begin this month on a 137-mile railway in southern Laos from Savannakhet to Lao Bao, linking the borders of Thailand and Vietnam. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-5-14]

FEDS ISSUE SAFETY ALERT ON BAKKEN CRUDE FLAMMABILITY: The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Administration has issued a safety alert that the type of crude being transported by rail from the Bakken Shale region may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-3-14]

GENESEE & WYOMING TO BUY DAKOTA, MINNESOTA & EASTERN PORTION FROM CP: Canadian Pacific will sell the west end of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad line to Genesee & Wyoming for $210-million. The west end encompasses about 660 miles in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska. The sale is subject to Surface Transportation Board approval. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-3-14]

KOREAN RAIL STRIKE ENDS: Train services started to return to normal Jan. 3, 2014, following the end to a 22-day strike by railway workers. [International Railway Journal website report, 1-3-14]

BNSF CONTINUES TO DEAL WITH N.D. DERAILMENT: BNSF emergency personnel continue to work with specially trained hazardous materials response teams and local emergency responders at the site of a derailment near Caselton, N.D., Dec. 30, 2013. A westbound grain train derailed causing an eastbound crude train to collide and derail, and more than 20 cars caught fire. No injuries to crew members were reported. [Progressive Railroading website report, 1-2-14]

WEEKLY RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Dec. 28, 2013, advanced, the Association of Americn Railroads reported. Carload traffic gained 8.1 pct when measured against the comparable week last year. Intermodal volume advanced 10.6 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-2-14]

BROKEN AXLE FOUND AT SCENE OF N.D. TRAIN DERAILMENT: Federal investigators said they have recovered a broken axle at the scene of an oil train derailment and fire in southeastern North Dakota, but they don't know whether it caused the wreck. [Pioneer Press website report, 1-1-14]

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