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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]

FRACKING SAND SPURS SILOS FOR RAIL TRANSPORT: The U.S. shale oil boom is putting millions of tons of sand onto North American railroads, enabling carriers to pack trains full instead of hauling just a handful of cars at a time. With the emergence of fracking, drilling companies are able to fill trains pulling 100 cars from shiny metal silos. [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. For the quarter, revenue grew 2 percent to $3.0-billion on volume increases of 3 percent, with strength in intermodal and merchandise markets more than offsetting declines in coal. 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]

BNSF, METRA TO BEGIN TIE, SURFACE PROJECT ALONG ILLINOIS LINE: A major tie replacement and track resurfacing project will get underway during the last two weeks of April on Metra's BNSF line to Aurora, Illinois. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 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]

UNION PACIFIC MAKING IMPROVEMENTS IN NEBRASKA, IOWA: Union Pacific will strengthen Nebraska's and Iowa's transportation infrastructures by investing more than $9-million in the rail line between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Arlington, Nebraska. The railroad will replace over 19,000 concrete ties, install over 10,000 tons of ballast, renew the surfaces at 19 road crossings and install two switches. [Union Pacific, 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]

BNSF INVESTS IN REVITALIZATION OF TOPEKA, KANSAS: BNSF has pledged $200,000 over a three-year period to help efforts to revitalize downtown Topeka, Kansas. The donation, along with funds from other private groups, will help build pocket parks and provide aesthetic improvements, according to Downtown Topeka Inc. [Topeka Capital-Journal website report, 4-7-14]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STEAM EXCURSIONS ANNOUNCED: Norfolk Southern in partnership with the Tenessee Valley Railroad Museum and Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society plan 18 steam excursions in seven states April through July 2014. Schedule includes April 5 Bristol-Radford, Va.; April 6 Bristol-Bulls Gap, TN; April 12, 13 & 19 Grundy, Va.-Devon, W.Va.; May 3-4 Elkhart, IN-Bryan, OH; May 10-11 Chicago-Argos, IN; May 17-18 Cincinnati-Danville, Ky.; May 31-June 1 Lexington, KY-Oneida, TN; June 7 Chattanooga-Oneida, TN; July 5-6 Detroit-Toledo; July 12-13 Detroit-Fort Wayne. [Norfolk Southern, 4-4-14]

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]

BRITAIN'S S.W. MAIN LINE REOPENS AFTER MAJOR REPAIRS: The main rail line linking London, Plymouth and Penzance has reopened following repairs to damage caused by storms in February. [International Railway Journal 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]

RAIL VEHICLE COMPONENTS PLANT TO BE BUILT IN SHANGHAI: Voith is investing $34-million in the construction of a plant for rail vehicle components in Shanghai. [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]

SIEMENS REVEALS FIRST AVENIO LRV FOR THE HAGUE: The first of 60 bi-directional Avenio low-floor light-rail vehicles for the Hague has rolled off the production line at Siemens Simmering plant in Vienna. [International Railway 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]

JOINT VENTURE FORMED TO MANUFACTURE RAIL BEARINGS IN RUSSIA: The Timken Co. and United Wagon Co. have agreed to form a joint venture to manufacture Timken AP-2 rail bearings in Russia. [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]

NATIONAL TRAIN DAY IS MAY 10: Amtrak invites America to celebrate the benefits of trains at the National Train Day on May 10, 2014. Events are planned in Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and local markets across the country. [Amtrak, 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]

UNION PACIFIC TO IMPROVE TRACK SEGMENT IN NEBRASKA, IOWA: Union Pacific Railroad will strengthen Nebraska's and Iowa's transportation infrastructures by investing nearly $4.5-million in the rail line between Omaha, Nebraska, and near Missouri Valley Iowa, by replacing over 31,000 concrete ties, installing nearly 17,000 tons of ballast, and renewing surfaces at 29 road crossings. [Union Pacific, 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]

TIBET RAILWAY EXTENSION SET FOR SEPTEMBER OPENING: The Chinese government reports that the 157-mile extension of the Quinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Xigaza will open in September 2014. [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]

DENVER TO BREAK GROUND ON NORTH METRO RAIL PROJECT: Regional Transportation District of Denver officials will mark the start of construction on the future North Metro rail line with a groundbreaking ceremony March 20. [Progressive Railroading website report, 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]

SRI LANKA CHOOSES CONTRACTOR FOR 55-MILE KATARAGAMA RAIL EXTENSION: The government of Sri Lanka has selected a Chinese contractor to build the 55-mile extension of the Colombo-Matara-Beliatta line to Kataragama in the south of the country. [International Railway Journal 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]

MONTANA RAIL LINK RECRUITING LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS: Montana Rail Link is recruiting certified locomotive engineers. Applications are being accepted through March 14 for positions with a projected start date of April 14. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 3-4-14]

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]

THE EFFICIENCIES OF MOVING FREIGHT BY RAIL: "Between 1980 and 2013, the number of ton-miles moved by railroads has doubled. But the amount of fuel they are using has remained relatively constant," said Tyler Dick, a research engineer at the University of Illinois. [Washington Post website report, 3-3-14]

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. A restoration plan should be done in the next week, with patching and paint done by the end of the month. [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, which can carry double the freight on the same number of rail cars. 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]

WASHINGTON METRO GETS ADDITIONAL CAPITAL COMMITMENT FUNDS: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has received an increased capital commitment of $750-million from the states of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to reduce crowding and add system capacity. [Railway Track & Structures website report, 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]

GTS RAIL ORDERS LOCOMOTIVES AND CARS FOR INTERMODAL SERVICE: Italian open-access operator GTS Rail has ordered two Bombardier Traxx F140 DC electric locomotives for Febr. 2015 delivery, together with 100 articulated container cars from Legios, Czech Republic. [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]

SOUTHWEST CHIEF'S ROUTE IN JEOPARDY: New Mexico's state legislature adjourned Febr. 20 without identifying a solution for the continuation of Amtrak's Southwest Chief over its current route, although legislators have vowed to fight on until the necessary funding is secured. To keep the train on its current route, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico are asked to chip in $4-million per year over the next 10 years to maintain the segment to the level required for passenger service. [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]

S.D. GOVERNOR SUPPORTS SALE OF CP'S DME LINE: Genesee & Wyoming's proposed acquisition of the west-east line of Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, owned by Canadian Pacific, has received the support of S.D. governor Dennis Daugaard, who had previously been an opponent of the plan. [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]

CALIFORNIA COURT TO EXPEDITE REVIEW OF HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: The Third District Court of Appeals in Calfiornia will speed up its review of Sacramento County Superior Court's ruling that prevents the state's High-Speed Rail authority from issuing bonds to fund the project. The state has been given until early April to submit its counter arguments. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 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]

FEC FACILITY IN PORT EVERGLADES, FLORIDA, TO BE ENHANCED BY CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CONNECTIONS: CSX and NS connections with Florida East Coast are expected to provide FEC with expanded service for its $73-million intermodal container transfer facility at Florida's Port Everglades, according to port officials. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 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]

HOUSTON-DALLAS HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE CONSTRUCTION COULD BEGIN IN 2016: Work on the proposed, private, high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas could start in 2016, and could use the N700-I Bullet Train - the same as used in Japan, according to the Texas Central Railway. [Pflugerville Community Impact 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]

RUSSIAN RAILWAYS TO SELL HALF ITS STAKE IN AEROEXPRESS: The board of Russian Railways has decided to sell half of its 50 pct holding in airport express operator Aeroexpress which it acquired in 2008. [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]

EDMONTON LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION TO OPEN IN JUNE: Edmonton, Alberta, will be opening the latest extension to its light-rail system in late June 2014, when the 2-mile Northwest line is extended from Churchill Station to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. [Railway Age 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]

SEVERE WEATHER CUTS ALL RAIL LINKS TO S.W. BRITAIN: All three rail lines connecting London and Bristol with southwest England have been severed by flooding and a landslide, in addition to a washout between Exeter and Newton Abbot. [International Railway Journal website report, 2-9-14]

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]

PATH PLANS WEEKEND CLOSURES TO ALLOW PTC INSTALLATION: PATH weekend train service between New Jersey points and downtown Manhattan will cease for 45 weekends this year in order to expedite installation of positive train control. [Railway Age website report, 2-7-14]

OPERATOR SOUGHT FOR ROYAL SLOPE LINE IN WASINGTON 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]

HOURLY STUTTGART-ZURICH DOUBLE-DECK RAIL SERVICE TO BE INTRODUCED IN 2017: Officials have reached an agreement to introduce an hourly double-deck intercity rail service on the Stuttgart-Zurich main line in Dec. 2017 retaining a three-hour journey. [International Railway Journal 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]

RAILROAD TANK CAR LEAKS OIL ALONG 70 MILES OF TRACK IN MINNESOTA: A single leaking tank car on a Canadian Pacific oil train left a sheen of crude oil along 70 miles of track between Red Wing and Winona, Minnesota, Febr. 3, officials said. An estimated 12,000 gallons of oil, or less than half the car's contents, leaked out before the malfunctioning valve was discovered. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune 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]

CIT GROUP ACQUIRES NACCO SAS: CIT Group Inc. has acquired Paris-based Nacco SAS which owns more than 9,500 rail cars and provides services for more than 150 customers in 16 countries. [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: Seveal 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]

STRIKE POSSIBLE ON LIRR IN MARCH: Unions representing workers on the Long Island Rail Road are preparing for a strike which could come as early as March 21. According to the Transportation-Communications Union/IAM, the carrier has rejected a Presidential Emergency Board recommendation. [TCU, 1-31-14]

NARP SEEKS SOLUTION TO EMPIRE BUILDER DELAYS: Following months of serious delays of up to eight hours or longer to the Empire Builder, the National Association of Railroad Passengers has issued a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asking him to bring together stakeholders to address the ongoing problem. [National Assn. of Railroad Passengers, 1-31-14]

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]

MOSCOW OPENS NEW SECTION OF METRO LINE 8: Moscow completed a 2-2-mile western section of metro line 8 from Park Pobedy to Delovoy Tsentr Jan. 31. The 2-station underground section includes some of the deepest tunnels on the Moscow network. [International Railway Journal 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]

GO-AHEAD FOR BANGALORE METRO PHASE 2: The Indian cabinet has approved plans for the $4.2-billion second-phase of the Bangalore metro network. [International Railway Journal website report, 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]

MONTANA ORGANIZATION GETS GRANT FROM BNSF: Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Great Falls, Montana, has received a $10,000 grant from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which the organization plans to use to help maintain their current partnerships, mentor training and monthly group outings. [KRTV 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]

NRHS ANNOUNCES 2014 RAILCAMP PROGRAM: The National Railway Historical Society is offering two summer railcamp program in 2014 - one at Wilmington, Delaware, and one in Tacoma, Washington. The program is open to high school students who are currently freshmen through seniors, including those becoming freshmen in 2014. Scholarships are available. [National Railway Historical Society]

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]

NTSB OFFERS RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENHANCE HAZMAT SAFETY: The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended better route planning, enhanced response plans, and proper classification of hazardous materials with a safety and security plan in place. [Assn. of American Railroads SmartBrief, 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]

JUNE OPENING SET FOR ST. PAUL METRO GREEN LINE: St. Paul's Metro light-rail Green line - formerly called the Central corridor - is now slated to open for revenue service June 14, 2014. The 11-mile line will serve Union Depot, linking it with the Minneapolis Hiawatha light-rail line. [Railway Age 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]

CSX NAMES VICE-PRESIDENT STATE GOVERNMENT POST FOR VIRGINIA: CSX has appointed Bryan Rhode as regional vice-president of state government affairs in Virginia. He will also oversee similar efforts in Maryland and Delaware. [CSX. 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]

RAIL-SERVED GRAIN FACILITY TO BE BUILT IN MISSOURI: Construction is expected to begin later this month on a high-speed shuttle train facility on a Union Pacific line near Grayridge, Missouri, designed to load 110-car trains. [Progressive Railroading website report, 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]

TESTING BEGINS ON DEHLI METRO PHASE 3: Delhi Metro launched trial operation on the first completed section of the third phase of the city's metro network on Dec. 30. [International Railway Journal website report, 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]

FREIGHT TSI POSTED RECORD HIGH IN NOVEMBER: Freight hauled by for-hire transportation carriers - including railroads - increased 1.2 pct between Oct. and Nov. 2013, reaching a high of 116.5, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation' freight transportation services index. [Transport Topics 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]

OIL TRAIN ACCIDENTS FORCE LOOK INTO TANK CAR SAFETY: Recent train expolosions have revived concerns that older railroad tank cars need to be strengthened to better withstand accidents. Tank cars now carry more than 10 pct of U.S. oil, up 40-fold in five years, according to the Association of American Railroads. Industry officials say it could cost billions to retrofit up to 65,000 older cars. Federal regulators are now considering whether to require it. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune website report, 1-8-14]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO RENOVATE BLUE LINE STATION: The Chicago Transit Authority has approved a plan to rehabilitate and improve the accessibility of the Blue Line's Illinois Medical District station by making all three entrances accessible to customers with disabilities and other upgrades. [Railway Track & Structures 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]

LATVIA, LITHUANIA TO COOPERATE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS: Latvianand Lithuanian railways have signed a series of agreements aimed to improving and expanding cross-border operations between the two countries. [International Railway Journal 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]

AMTRAK'S CRESCENT TO TERMINATE AT ATLANTA MONDAY-THURSDAY: Amtrak's trains 19 and 20 will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans Monday-Thursday between Jan. 6 and Febr. 6, 2014, due to track work. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 1-3-14]

AUTO TRAIN CAPACITY INCREASING: Amtrak will increase the capacity of its Auto Train by up to 60 additional seats through the end of March 2014. [National Assn. of R.R. Passengers, 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 about one west of Casselton, causing an eastbound crude train to collide and derail, and more than 20 cars caught fire. The majority of cars in the 112-car grain train and 106-car crude train did not derail and have been pulled away from the site. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into the cause of the accident and handle all media inquiries, BNSF said. 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. Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked on a weekly basis posted increases, led by grain, up 36.8 pct. But for the 52 weeks of 2013, cumulative volume of carloads declined 0.5 pct. from the same period last year. [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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