WASHINGTON – Amtrak transported more than 31.2 million passengers in fiscal year 2012 ending Sept. 30, marking the highest annual ridership total since the railroad started operations in 1971 and the ninth ridership record in the last 10 years. A year-over-year comparison of 2012 to 2011 shows ridership grew 3.5 percent to a record 31,240,565 passengers and ticket revenue jumped 6.8 percent to a best-ever $2.02 billion. In addition, Amtrak system-wide on-time performance increased to 83 percent, up from 78.1 percent and its highest level in 12 years. Amtrak set 12 consecutive monthly ridership records; July was the single best month in the history of the railroad. The Northeast Corridor had its best year with more than 11.4 million passengers. All 15 Amtrak long-distance routes experienced an increase in passengers resulting in the best combined ridership numbers in 19 years. The Chicago-to-San Antonio Texas Eagle was up 12.8 percent to…
Category: Light Rail / Commuter
From Staff Reports and News Releases Light rail and transit agencies in Texas and the U.S. rejoiced in July after the signing of a bi-partisan transportation law that is designed to provide stability, as well as develop, implement and maintain public transportation services for the future. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) authorizes $105 billion for spending on transportation projects nationwide over the next two years. The bill, signed by President Barack Obama on July 6, 2012, is the first in 27 months that provides long-term transportation funding. In late June, Congress passed the bi-partisan bill with a 373-52 vote in the House and 74-19 margin in the Senate. MAP-21 includes a limited increase for federal transit programs, providing a total of $10.6 billion in authorized funding in FY 2013 and $10.7 billion in FY 2014. Public transportation officials were worried in June at the American Public…
By Tim Blackwell/Cowcatcher Magazine IRVING, TX — Dallas Area Rapid Transit debuted today the first phase of the 14.3-mile Orange Line expansion that will take light rail to D/FW International Airport during a dedication ceremony before local, state and federal officials at the Irving Convention Center. A special train loaded with dignitaries cut through a yellow ribbon at the Convention Center Station to mark completion of the 4.5-mile section of the $1.3 billion project. The section with three stations opens for revenue service on July 30 and will connect the University of Dallas and the Las Colinas Urban Center along the way. A public event is planned for Saturday. Dignitaries that included U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Congressman Kenny Marchant said the expansion will further embed North Texas on convention and cultural destination maps and change the face of Irving, which has waited for light rail since it began contributing sales tax…
By Tim Blackwell / Cowcatcher Magazine DCTA began running the first of two four-car sets of its Stadler GTW diesel-electric cars on June 16, less than two weeks after being granted an alternative design waiver by the Federal Railroad Administration to start operating the cars that can run along traditional, heavier rail lines and will expand the agency’s reach. The cars, which likely will be fully integrated on DCTA’s A-train line by September, are the first lightweight, low-floor vehicles permitted to run in U.S. rail corridors with freight trains and commuter rail cars. They are splitting morning and evening service with DCTA’s Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs) that have been in service since the 21-mile line from Denton to Carrollton opened a year ago. Administrator Joseph Szabo presented DCTA President Jim Cline the waiver on the platform of Union Station on June 4 in front of two cars that were on…
DALLAS, TX — Don Johnson wasn’t quite sure what to expect when a small group of people and a gaggle of news cameras converged on him as he got off the Red Line at Union Station on an early June Monday morning. What he soon found out was he was making history and the crowd was on hand to help celebrate. Johnson was the 250 millionth customer on Dallas Area Rapid Transits’ light rail system. The daily rider was greeted by DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas and Michael Melaniphy, president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), who was is in Dallas for the annual APTA Rail Conference. Johnson was also congratulated by Cathy Rigby, who will appear in “Peter Pan” July 10 at Fair Park. “I started riding DART because of gas prices about 10 years ago,” Johnson said. “But it’s comfortable and gives me…
Improvements are under way on the final phase of 2012 upgrades to the Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed route that will be used by Amtrak to run up to speeds of 110 mph. Installing premium rail with concrete ties and stone ballast are among planned upgrades in the joint project between the Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific. Upgrades are planned for bridges, culverts and drainage; signal and wayside equipment; and roadway-rail grade crossings. As of June 16, work will progress to north of Bloomington-Normal and most days it will lead Amtrak to charter motorcoaches for Amtrak Lincoln Service (Trains 300-307) passengers at St. Louis, Alton, Carlinville, Springfield, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, Dwight, Joliet and Summit, Ill. The Amtrak Texas Eagle (Trains 21/321/421 & 22/322/422) will detour between Chicago and St. Louis for the same period, with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis. Motorcoaches are being used to…
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Big data is getting bigger in railroading when it comes to tracking freight cars. Advancements in telematics are putting freight movements on the map in an effort to improve visibility across the nation’s rail network. The technology aims to improve real-time tracking of freight cars to better compete with other transportation modes.
Jacksonville Terminal Co. is keeping alive the aura of three mystic model railroads with its latest container roll-out. JTC debuted its Visionary Series by featuring N-scale shipping containers named after iconic model railroads.
For more than 40 years, the Houston-based N’Crowd Model Railroad Society, Inc. has promoted model railroading, first as one of the earliest NTRAK clubs in Texas, and later with the Bayou City & Gulf Railroad, a permanent layout in a prominent Houston hobby store.
The National O Scale Convention in June is the first large-scale event to be held in person post-pandemic, and organizers aren’t holding back. …
The National Limited was the Baltimore & Ohio’s featured passenger train, running between St. Louis and New York via Washington, D.C. …
Wall Street and much of the railroad industry, including short lines, are embracing the proposed Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger, which is expected to create one massive North American rail network. …
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