January 29, 2015

Amtrak delivers strong FY 2014 financial results

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Amtrak Nov. 25 reported unaudited record revenue totaling approximately $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014, representing the fifth consecutive year of revenue growth, and the eighth out of the past nine years. In FY 2014, America’s Railroad® covered 93 percent of its operating costs with ticket sales and other revenues, up [...]

Lipinski on track with new rail policy post

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Chicago, is poised to become the highest-ranking Democrat on a House subcommittee on railroads at a time when issues involving Metra and Amtrak will be barreling down the track next year. His Southwest Side turf has more rail lines than any congressional district in the country, or so he claims. “No one [...]

Rails sound alarm ahead of Chicago gridlock replay

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With last week’s 7 feet of snow in upstate New York heralding an early winter, railroads crisscrossing Chicago are rushing to open 24-hour command centers, install heaters to keep switches from freezing, and plotting ways to reroute traffic. The aim is to avoid the gridlock that started with storms last winter in Chicago, the biggest [...]

NTSB recommends better sleep disorder screening

Federal regulators who concluded that an engineer’s sleep apnea caused a deadly train derailment in New York adopted several recommendations Wednesday for better screening of such disorders, including a call for improved physician training. The National Transportation Safety Board, meeting in Washington, approved all the conclusions and recommendations in a staff report that examined five [...]

Two MTA railroads to acquire video cameras

Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road won approval from a committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board of Directors on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 to award contracts totaling $34.6 million for the purchase of inward- and outward-facing cameras in the cabs of their rail fleets. A total of 2,064 rail cars and locomotives [...]

Amtrak asks STB to investigate, NS, CSX

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is taking action to improve the on-time performance (OTP) of its trains that operate over tracks controlled by other railroads. In a complaint filed on Nov. 17, Amtrak is asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to investigate Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation for causing unacceptable delays for passengers traveling between Chicago [...]

Ill. SLD Guy’s letter supporting Amtrak published

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SMART Transportation Division’s Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy responded to a “letter to the editor” published in the Nov. 5 issue of the The News-Gazette and Guy’s letter was published by the newspaper Nov. 13. The original letter by Corrine Ann Williams of the Heritage Foundation was a call to stop increased funding for [...]

Union leaders vow push for infrastructure solutions

Transportation union leaders vowed to “redouble their efforts” to push for bipartisan solutions to the growing transportation infrastructure investment crisis that is undermining the economy and idling millions of jobs, said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind following the 2014 Fall TTD Executive Committee meeting Nov. 13. “We had an important conversation today about [...]

Operation Lifesaver co-founder Sam Grayson dies

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Sam Grayson, who co-founded the Operation Lifesaver program in 1972, died Nov. 2 at his Boise, Idaho, residence, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) announced last week. He was 93. Grayson and Ed Schafer of Union Pacific Railroad, along with Idaho Peace Officers and then-Gov. Cecil Andrus, started Operation Lifesaver as a six-week public awareness demonstration program [...]

FRA strengthens rail training requirements

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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Nov. 7 issued a final rule that strengthens training requirements for railroad employees and contractors who perform safety-related work. The rule, which was mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008, ensures safety-related employees are trained and qualified to comply with any relevant federal railroad safety laws, regulations, [...]