May 26, 2015

Colo. Southwest Chief funding in jeopardy

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Funding to save the Southwest Chief did not make it into the budget proposed by the Colorado legislature this week, Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith reports. “We must now seek support from Gov. Hickenlooper and the Joint Budget Committee, which will review appropriation requests beyond the current proposed budget,” Smith said. “We need to [...]

Foxx sends six-year transportation bill to Congress

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WASHINGTON – Over the past year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has visited more than 100 communities and heard one common story – shared by all – about crumbling infrastructure and dwindling resources to fix it with. Secretary Foxx March 30 sent to Congress his solution to this problem: a long-term transportation bill that provides [...]

Passenger rail in Colorado needs your help

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Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith asks that all members from the state call or email key legislators to pass the bill funding Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. “A bill to save the Southwest Chief will be heading to the Colorado Legislature’s Senate Appropriations Committee very soon. We need you to contact key legislators today to help [...]

Common-sense fix for truck-train crashes rejected

RALEIGH, N.C. – America’s railroads want five more years to stop train wrecks using a high-tech system costing more than $15 billion. But experts tell The Associated Press that it won’t keep trains and trucks from crashing together unless both industries use a common-sense solution available right away: actually talking with each other before crossing into [...]

Mayors call on Congress to pass transportation bill

BOSTON – Led by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Vice President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, mayors pledged March 23 to work together to urge Congress to move past partisanship, including through local action and lobbying Washington, at a [...]

Five ways energy is transforming U.S. railroads

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U.S. railroads have not hauled so much crude oil since the short period at the dawn of the petroleum age, when John D. Rockefeller relied on trains to build his Standard Oil empire. But the long, black tanker trains are only the most visible way that the changing U.S. energy picture is transforming railroads. The [...]

NTSB to hold forum on railroad trespassing

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WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public forum March 24-25 on the dangers of trespassing on the railroad right-of-way. While railroad tracks have long held a cultural resonance with Americans, featured in motion pictures, TV shows, music videos and photography, they are private property. And they can be a deadly place. [...]

Former MTA chief expected to head Metrolink

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The Metrolink commuter rail system’s board of directors on Friday is expected to hire Art Leahy, the former head of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as the railroad’s chief executive officer. Leahy, 66, is a veteran transit official who ran three transportation agencies after starting his career as a bus driver for the [...]

Amtrak renames Chicago operations center for Szabo

Amtrak on Tuesday renamed its operations center in Chicago to honor Joseph Szabo, a fifth-generation railroader who headed the Federal Railroad Administration for 51/2 years of the Obama administration. Szabo, 56, left the administration in December to return to Chicago, where he is a senior policy adviser on transportation at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for [...]

Expert: Driver, trooper could have avoided train crash

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RALEIGH, N.C. – A truck with an oversized load and a state trooper escort was stuck in a railroad crossing with time enough to alert approaching trains, but there’s no indication Amtrak was warned before a crash that injured 55 people, officials said. An eyewitness told The Associated Press that the tractor-trailer — which stretched [...]