by Josephine Cordero Sapién
07 Jan 2021
A fair number of rail projects are currently under construction in the United States. Here’s a quick look at three line extensions that are set to start carrying passengers in 2021:
Phase 1 of the streetcar line (Charlotte Area Transit System) in North Carolina opened in 2015. This initial 1.5mile section with six stops connects the Spectrum Center and the Presbyterian Hospital. Phase 2 extends the line in both directions, from the Spectrum Center to French Street and from the hospital to Sunnyside Avenue. This extension measures 2.5miles in length and is due to open in January / early 2021. Construction on Phase 2 began in 2017.
The final works currently underway are completing the installation of the overhead line equipment and the traffic signals as well as the vehicle and systems testing.
Six Siemens S70 units were ordered, each with a length of 26m. Siemens Mobility has equipped these streetcars with batteries to allow hybrid operations both on and off-wire. Construction took place in Sacramento, California.
Line 1 is a light rail line in Seattle, Washington that is being extended from the University of Washington to Northgate. Construction on the extension began in 2012 and is scheduled to open to passenger service in September 2021. The Northgate Link extension features a twin tunnel from the University of Washington station, via two underground stations – U District and Roosevelt – after which the line will emerge and transition into an elevated guideway to Northgate station.
A further extension to Lynwood is also in the works.
A total of 152 Siemens S700 have been ordered by Sound Transit. The first arrived at Sound Transit’s maintenance facility in June 2019. The plan is for these vehicles to run on the Northgate Link as well as the future Lynwood Link and other extensions to the Eastside and Federal Way.
The Green Line light rail system in the Boston metropolitan area. The Green Line Extension will consist of two branches. The main branch, measuring 3.4miles, will run from Lechmere to Medford. The second branch is 0.9 miles long and will split off just past Lechmere to serve Union Square.
As part of the project, the existing Lechmere station was closed and a new one is being constructed.
24 new Green Line cars were ordered as part of the extension project. The first of these started operating on the line in 2018. The units are low-floor CAF trains manufactured in Spain, with final assembly having taken place in New York State. The full extension is scheduled for opening in December 2021.
Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSRC) will purchase all of the Cincinnati Southern Railway’s (CSR) assets for 1.62 billion USD.
Amtrak is advancing a major infrastructure project to replace the 116-year-old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge in Havre de Grace Maryland.
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority will begin training and testing of Tri-Rail services at MiamiCentral Station.
The FRA has published a list of priority projects to advance the development of the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
WMATA has celebrated the opening of the Silver Line Extension, which has added six new stations and 11.4 miles of Metrorail track.
California High-Speed Rail Authority has selected AECOM's JV for programme management support on the California High-Speed Rail project.
Metrolink's Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project has commenced at Burbank-Downtown Station in California.
AECOM's SJTP will provide engineering and project management services with STV Incorporated for the GCL Light Rail project in New Jersey.
Pennsylvania is investing 3.7 million USD to enable Amtrak passenger rail services to run between Scranton and New York City.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that the Central Subway will open in San Francisco on 19 November.
Kansas City Southern has celebrated the ground breaking of its new International Railroad Bridge spanning the Rio Grande river.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is seeking qualified companies to design and build its 5.6-mile Red Line extension project.
Amtrak has announced that in early 2023, it will enter the procurement phase for the construction of a new Connecticut River Bridge.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has said it would let the current track and systems procurement expire in order to restructure it.
The CHSRA's Board of Directors awarded the design and support services contract for the 4 Central Valley stations on the high-speed line.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMTA) Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport will be operationally ready for Thanksgiving.
Metra has awarded a 14.5 million USD contract to IHC Construction to renovate Homewood Station in Chicago.
SBCTA and Metrolink are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Arrow service, which is scheduled to commence on Monday 24 October.
Hitachi Rail has unveiled the final designs for its new Washington County, Maryland train factory and 800-yard test track.
The Valley Link Rail project is purchasing 200 acres that will be the site of its green hydrogen production facility.
Brightline and contractor Lemartec have topped off Aventura station in Florida with the placement of a 131-foot-long pedestrian skybridge.
US railway operator Metra has unveiled the latest addition to its locomotive fleet; a remanufactured EMD SD70MAC.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has applied for 67 million in federal funding to advance construction of the Bakersfield extension.
Union Pacific Railroad is partnering with ZTR to build hybrid-electric locomotives, with the first prototype expected to be delivered in 2023.
Rancho Cucamonga City Council and the SBTCA have approved the sale of a five-acre portion of Cucamonga Station to Brightline West.
Work on Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) 9.8 mile third track project has been completed on time and below budget.
Brightline is set to begin testing trains at speeds of up to 110 miles-per-hour in Martin and St. Lucie Counties from 17 October.
The MBTA has announced that work will begin on the Codman Yard Expansion and Improvement project next month.
BNSF Railway has announced plans to construct an integrated rail complex in Barstow, southern California - the first by a Class 1 railroad.
Amtrak has announced a pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its entire network by 2045.
Progress Rail has been chosen to supply BNSF Railway with four EMD Joule battery electric locomotives and two charging systems.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has announced that the K Line will open on 7 October 2022.
Caltrain has unveiled its new electric train cars – a key component of its electrification project. These will enter service in 2024.
Stadler has signed a MoU to design and deliver four zero emission hydrogen FLIRT trains for operation in California.
Stadler has unveiled its FLIRT H2 hydrogen train, which will be delivered to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority in 2023.
The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) has taken delivery of two new rail cars from Kawasaki as part of its improvement plan,
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has released the draft environmental report for the Palmdale to Burbank section.
Sierra Northern Railway (SERA) has unveiled the look of its new zero emission hydrogen switching locomotive.
The US Department of Transportation has announced over $1.4 billion in consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvement grant funding.
The MBTA has selected CAF to supply 102 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) that will operate on the Green Line in the City of Boston.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has announced that trial testing for the Honolulu Rail System commenced on 29 August 2022.
The first two new Sounder S Line rail cars have arrived in Seattle as part of Sound Transit Board's 11-car order.
Caltrain reaches new milestone in its electrification project by energising its San Jose traction power substation with power from PG&E.
The US Department of Transportation has awarded over 233m USD to projects that will improve and modernise intercity passenger rail services.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors has approved the line's 43-mile section from San Francisco to San Jose.
Chicago's rail operator, Metra has signed a contract with Progress Rail to convert up to six diesel locomotives to battery power.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved design contracts for the line’s extension to Merced and Bakersfield.
Brightline has celebrated the 'topping-off' construction milestone for its Boca Raton station and parking garage in Florida.
Canadian Pacific has received regulatory clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment to combine CP and Kansas City Southern.
Governor Hochul joined the MTA at a ceremonial opening of the first section of the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) Main Line third track.
Brightline has been awarded a 25 million USD grant to enhance safety along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor.
Amtrak has announced it will be making the entrance to New York Penn Station at 7th Avenue and 32nd Street more accessible.
California High Speed Railway has been awarded 25 million USD in federal RAISE Grant funding for the Merced Extension Design Project.
Patriot Rail Company LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire Pioneer Lines, which operates 15 short line railroads across 12 states.
Construction has started on the new Portal North Bridge, which will improve service, reliability and capacity along the Northeast Corridor.
BNSF has collaborated with Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to open a new intermodal rail hub at the Port of Tacoma, Washington.
FTA has announced 1.75 billion USD in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve accessibility at rail and subway stations.
Brightline has welcomed the delivery of two Siemens Mobility trains to operate on the upcoming Orlando extension line.
Metrolink has put its first refurbished train car into service in California to enhance passenger comfort and safety.
Caltrain’s first electric trainset has completed clearance testing along the corridor between Santa Clara and Tamien Stations in San Jose.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has released a Summer 2022 Construction Update to highlight progress on the high-speed rail project.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority and California Rail Builders have placed the final girders for the high-speed line in Kern County.
Amtrak has contracted Arup to produce the preliminary designs for the upcoming expansion of New York Penn Station.
Amtrak has taken up the option to order a further 50 Charger locomotives from Siemens Mobility as it continues to replace its fleet.
CRRC has delivered the first fully assembled and commissioned 7000-series metro train to the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA).
Amtrak has launched the procurement phase for the first of three major construction contracts for the B&P Tunnel Replacement Programme.
Metrolink's updated earthquake early warning system (EEW) automatically slows down and stop trains when an earthquake occurs.
Infrastructure improvements made by Amtrak have raised the speed trains can travel in parts of New Jersey.
California High-Speed Rail Authority shares final environmental impact report for the San Francisco-San Jose section of its project.
Union Pacific Railroad has joined RailPulse, becoming the coalition’s seventh member, joining companies such as GATX,TrinityRail and Watco.
Amtrak has committed approximately 130m USD to carry out infrastructure improvements between Washington DC and New York.
California High-Speed Rail Authority has submitted two applications for federal grant funding to help finance its high-speed train project.
The FRA has established a new Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program to transform the nation's passenger rail network.
Hitachi Rail has launched its latest digital rail products at the 2022 Railway Systems Supplies Inc. Communication & Signalling exhibition.
The California Legislature is being urged to approve 4.2 billion USD in funding for California's High-Speed Rail project.
The first locomotive to carry Amtrak’s new livery is making its inaugural journey across America, travelling from California from Delaware.
Alstom has signed a new contract to provide operations and maintenance services for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s APM system.
See pictures of the new Amtrak Acela interiors. The trains are being manufactured by Alstom in Hornell and Rochester, New York.
Hitachi Rail has chosen Washington County, Maryland as the location for its new $70m manufacturing site.
US Congress has passed a $1.5 trillion government funding bill that will provide increased resources to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Amtrak has recognised the Class 1 railroad Canadian Pacific as the best host railroad of 2021, keeping Amtrak passenger services on time.
Improvements to the Twin Cities, La Cross, Milwaukee and Chicago rail corridor have been given the green light thanks to a new federal grant.
A STB hearing has begun into whether Amtrak can operate a passenger rail service between Mobile and New Orleans along America’s Gulf Coast.
NCTD has awarded Siemens Mobility a 12-year maintenance contract for its fleet of Siemens Sprinter DMU vehicles.
Canadian National wants the Surface Transportation Board to order the divestiture of KCS's Springfield Line as part of the CP-KCS merger.
Amit Bose has been confirmed as the 15th Administrator of the United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Amtrak and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have signed an agreement to support each other’s expansion plans in North America.
Amtrak has announced that CEO Bill Flynn is retiring. Stephen Gardner will consequently be appointed as the company’s President and CEO.
CP has completed its purchase of KCS. This will lead to the creation of the only single-line railway linking the Canada, USA and Mexico.
Progress Rail, BNSF Railway and Chevron have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to demonstrate a hydrogen-powered locomotive.
The US Federal Railroad Administration has issued $198 million in funding to repair intercity passenger railroad infrastructure and assets.
Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern have now received the necessary regulatory approval from Mexican authorities regarding their merger.
The first of three DMUs ordered from Stadler by the SBCTA has now left the manufacturer’s factory in Salt Lake City.
Brightline has begun testing its full operating train schedule between West Palm Beach and Miami in preparation for its return to service.
Hitachi Rail is displaying a series of new products aimed at freight railroads and passenger rail operators at the RSSI C&S Exhibition.
Metrolink will pilot a new technology designed to ensure the safe and rapid slowing and stopping of trains in the event of an earthquake.
Kansas City Southern’s (KCS) Board of Directors has deemed Canadian Pacific’s (CP) proposed merger agreement a ‘company superior proposal’.
Canadian Pacific is back in the running in its desire to merge with Kansas City Southern, following the STB's voting trust ruling for CN-KCS.
The Surface Transportation Board has unanimously decided to reject a voting trust as a mechanism in the proposed CN-KCS merger.
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