November 26, 2014

MBTA pushes subway car contract with Chinese firm

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will recommend to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s board that CNR MA Corp. manufacture 284 new subway cars for the agency’s Red and Orange lines, Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday. The board is scheduled to meet today to consider the recommended contract with CNR, which is a joint venture [...]

FRA gives findings from Metra safety assessment

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the findings and recommendations from its focused safety assessment of Chicago’s Metra. The assessment finds Metra to be generally compliant with federal safety regulations, but also directs the commuter railroad to take immediate steps to enhance its safety culture, which is an [...]

Report details needed work on Amtrak N.Y. tunnels

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NEW YORK – A new engineering report details damage to the Amtrak-owned Hudson River and East River tunnels following Superstorm Sandy and recommends a phased process to take individual tubes out of service for extended periods to perform the work required to maintain reliability of train movements in and out of New York City. The [...]

Public transportation trips rise in second quarter

More than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the second quarter of 2014, according to a report released Sept. 29 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This is a 1.1 percent increase over the same quarter last year, representing an increase of 30 million more trips. Public transportation ridership outpaced [...]

End of line for railroad conductors? Not so fast

WASHINGTON — How many people does it take to safely operate a freight train? Two, say railroad labor unions, the Federal Railroad Administration and some members of Congress, arguing that having just one person in the cab of a locomotive was unsafe. They cite a series of deadly accidents involving trains with a solo engineer, [...]

104-year-old bridge presents $900M problem

It carries more passenger trains than any other railroad bridge in the Western Hemisphere, yet few people beyond those who rely on it have heard of it. It goes largely unnoticed, unless something goes wrong, which happens with irritating frequency. After all, the bridge is 104 years old. Every time it swings open to let [...]

NTSB examines recent surge in rail worker deaths

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WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board Sept. 24 issued a special investigation report on the recent increase in deaths of railroad and rail transit roadway workers on or near tracks and made recommendations to reduce the number of fatalities. The Special Investigation Report on Railroad and Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection provides details of [...]

N.Y. MTA proposes $32 billion in capital investments

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority yesterday (Sept. 23) published a proposed $32 billion, four-year capital program designed to invest in safety and reliability measures for its subways, commuter railroads, buses, bridges and tunnels. Proposed for 2015 through 2019, the program would “renew, enhance and expand” the MTA network, which moves 8.7 million riders each day, authority [...]

RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to decrease

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 7.3 percent, up from the current 7.2 percent reduction, due to federal budget cuts first implemented in March 2013. The adjusted reduction amount is based on revised projections of benefit claims and payments under the Railroad [...]

Senate panel approves freight rail oversight changes

The Senate committee that deals with transportation issues approved a bill to beef up the panel of federal regulators that is supposed to oversee operations on the nation’s freight and passenger railways. The measure, which was approved unanimously on Wednesday by the Senate Commerce Committee, emboldens the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) to [...]