September 5, 2015

Advocates hope to restore rail service cut by Katrina

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Transportation advocates are hoping to convince Amtrak to restore rail service on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Florida that has been dormant since Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago.  Trains on Amtrak’s Sunset Limited route, which used to run between Los Angeles and Orlando, have ended in New Orleans since the 2005 storm, which [...]

Schumer: use Sandy relief funds to fix NYC rail tunnels

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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging the federal government to use $550 million worth of leftover Hurricane Sandy relief money to fix Amtrak and commuter rail tunnels in New York City that were damaged during the storm.  Problems with rail tunnels in the New York City area have emerged as a political issue as New Jersey Gov. [...]

Amtrak worker dies after accident

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Amtrak says a worker has died after an accident at a maintenance facility in Beech Grove, Indiana Saturday morning, August 22. The Beech Grove Fire Department responded to a call of a burned person at the facility in the 200 block of Garstang Street just after 11:30 a.m.  Firefighters arrived and found a man suffering [...]

Feds allow Amtrak police access to emergency radio

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The feds have agreed to let Amtrak police communicate with cops and firefighters with access to emergency responder radio networks, Sen. Chuck Schumer said.  Schumer had denounced what he called a dangerous inability for Amtrak police, like the ones who patrol Penn Station, to communicate during an emergency on the same radio frequency as other [...]

Amtrak, SEPTA on schedule for PTC

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PHILADELPHIA — Of the 41 railroads required to meet a federal mandate for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), SEPTA and Amtrak are among the 11 expected to complete the project by the end of this year. According to a report from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) required by Congress, safety advocates started calling for the nation-wide implementation seven [...]

Train boosters say ‘save Amtrak’

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People who want to preserve state subsidies for Amtrak want Gov. Bruce Rauner (R – Ill.) to know they have not gone away. A news conference featuring state lawmakers from college towns along the rails praised Rauner for wanting to tackle the budget deficit but pointed out the Amtrak subsidy, which Rauner wants to cut [...]

Is Northeast Corridor at breaking point?

NJ Transit

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, in the light of problems affecting tens of thousands of NJTransit and Amtrak riders between New Jersey and New York Penn Station of the last eight days, has called respective Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo to meet with him sometime before Aug. 10. Christie (R) while campaigning for [...]

Agreement signed for Hoosier State route to continue

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The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and local communities this weekend reached long-term agreements with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings to continue Hoosier State passenger-rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago. Service under the new agreements began yesterday. As the route’s operator, Amtrak will work with host railroads, provide train and engine crews and manage ticket [...]

Senate votes to delay speed control system

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Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago.  The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years [...]

Aging infrastructure plagues NEC

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In Maryland, a century-old rail tunnel needed emergency repairs this winter because of soil erosion from leaks, causing widespread train delays. In Connecticut, an aging swing bridge failed to close twice last summer, stopping train service and stranding passengers. And last week, New Jersey Transit riders had a truly torturous experience. There were major delays [...]