Sunday, August 31, 2008
Ferry Operators, a special report about ferry service in the U.S. The report covers how many people travel by ferry, states with the most ferry passengers, characteristics of the average ferry and other subjects. It can be found at http://www.bts.gov/publications/bts_special_report/2008_011/ BTS has also released a technical report, Multiple Imputation of Missing Passenger Boarding Data in the National Census of Ferry Operators, which can be found at http://www.bts.gov/publications/bts_technical_report/2008_004/.
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Receives FRA Grant to Replace Cross Ties. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is awarding a $100,000 grant to the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad that will be used to replace approximately 1,625 cross ties along a 25-mile segment of track between Cloe and Creekside, PA. These funds will supplement a larger ongoing rehabilitation project to upgrade this line with safety improvements that will permit trains that deliver coal to the Edison Mission Homer City Power Plant to operate at higher speeds. In addition, the railroad is providing $25,000 in matching funds. Contact: Rob Kulat (202) 493-6024.
FRA Grant to Support Rail Upgrades at Washington State Intermodal Center. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is awarding $882,000 to the Washington Department of Transportation for rail improvements at the Big Pasco Industrial Center. This intermodal facility is owned by the Port of Pasco and located along the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. The grant funds will be used to construct a new track junction with the BNSF Railway, a new highway-rail grade crossing at Sacajawea Park Road, and 1 ½ miles of new track within the industrial center to be used for rail car switching operations. These upgrades are part of a larger project at the facility intended to consolidate the increasing volumes of intermodal, agricultural, and other freight rail traffic in the region. Contact: Warren Flatau (202) 493-6024.
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad to Install New Rail in Vermont with FRA Grant. The St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad is receiving a $924,510 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to supplement an ongoing project to upgrade about 18-miles of track between North Stratford and Norton, VT. The grant funds will be used to install approximately three miles of continuous welded rail that support safer operations, heavier rail car loads and higher track speeds. In addition, the railroad is providing $231,128 in matching funds. Contact: Rob Kulat (202) 493-6024.
FRA Grant Supports Continued Research into PTC Wireless Communication Systems. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is issuing a $1.4 million grant to the Railroad Research Foundation to continue development and testing of wireless communications devices and systems for use with Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology. CBTC is a form of Positive Train Control (PTC) that can automatically control train speed and movements to ensure safe movements should a locomotive engineer fail to take appropriate action. In addition to advancing technical development of such technologies, grant funds will be used to: continue work on a portable remote operation device so employees on the ground can authorize a PTC-equipped train to enter a work zone with speed restrictions; design and build a Universal Onboard Platform that will allow a locomotive to easily switch between different PTC operating systems; and develop a higher performance data radio to ensure that wireless communications are reliably transmitted and received.