The Class 1 railroad BNSF has won a court case in Oklahoma, challenging a state law that banned stopped trains from blocking roads on railroad crossings for more than ten minutes.
BNSF sued the state of Oklahoma in 2019 after police officers issued citations in the cities of Edmond and Davis. The blockage in Edmond lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes, the blockage in Davis lasted 38 minutes.
On 30 November, U.S. District Judge Charles B. Goodwin determined that the 2019 Blocked Crossing Statute – it came into effect on 1 July – was unconstitutional because it did not align with a federal law, the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act.
The defence argued that blocked railroad crossings caused welfare and safety issues. Specifically, they cited a paramedic in Davis who had to “jump between rail cars of a stopped train to reach a patient in time to save them from a life-or-death anaphylactic shock”. However, although the judge agreed that there could be safety implications, it was beside the point because of the precedence of federal law (there is a Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution to that effect). He suggested that local government could address the railroad crossing issue in a way that did not conflict with federal law.
The state law already allowed for exceptions if a train was stopped due to a derailment, an accident, a mechanical failure, a bridge washout or a storm. Prior to the judge’s ruling railroads could be fined up to 1,000 USD if they violated the state law.
When BNSF filed the lawsuit in October 2019, the judge issued a preliminary injunction against the law being enforced until a final determination could be made.
California: Metrolink has certified the final environmental impact report for the Simi Valley Double Track project, a SCORE-funded project.
Siemens Mobility has signed a contract with Amtrak to manufacture a fleet of up to 83 multi-powered modern trains.
Alstom has been selected to provide its Cityflo 650 CBTC solution for the Miami-Dade Metromover automated people mover system.
Webuild and US subsidiary Lane Construction have signed the final agreement to build the US’ first true high-speed railway.
Canadian National Railway & Kansas City Southern Railway have filed documents requested by the STB in relation to their merger.
Brightline has passed the halfway mark on construction of its 170-mile track extension from Miami to Orlando.
Kansas City Southern has called Canadian National's acquisition bid superior to that made by Canadian Pacific, but the US DOJ has concerns.
Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn has told a Congressional Committee that America needs high-speed rail links as part of its railway infrastructure.
Canadian Pacific Railway has filed a formal objection with the Surface Transportation Board to the Canadian National Merger Waiver.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced 1.69 billion USD in relief funding for Amtrak in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hitachi Rail has joined the US High Speed Rail Association as a VIP Member in light of the Biden Administration's pro-rail stance.
Alstom will work with Long Island Rail Road for an eight-month period to test the feasibility of battery-electric traction on its network.
Canadian National has made a rival bid for Kansas City Southern and has filed a letter with the Surface Transportation Board.
Alstom has won a contract to operate and maintain the Skyway automated people mover system at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston.
Polly Trottenberg has been sworn in as Deputy Transportation Secretary, following her Senate confirmation (82-15) on 14 April 2021.
Almost 260 shippers and railroads have submitted letters of support to the STB for the proposed Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger.
Us President Biden has laid out his American Jobs Plan that will see more than $600 billion of spending on infrastructure, including rail.
Metra, Chicago's rail operator, has ordered 200 push-pull railcars from Alstom. The board approved a procurement of 500 units in total.
Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, two Class 1 railroads, have agreed on a merger deal worth 29 billion USD.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has awarded Hitachi a contract for 256 8000-series railcars with options for 544 more.
Following increased demand and with the help of Congressional funding, Amtrak will restore daily services to 12 long-distance services.
The USDOT and DART have agreed a refinancing of a $908 million loan for the Silver Line that will save DART $190 million in interest payments.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has issued its revised draft business plan, which will go to the California Legislature in April.
The US Senate has confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation in the Biden Administration, with 83 votes in favour, 13 against.
Amtrak Midwest has been testing the new Siemens Mobility Venture railcars, which are being manufactured in Sacramento, California.
Amtrak's CEO has written to Congress outlining the passenger railroad's five key demands to recover from COVID and expand services.
BNSF and Wabtec are testing a battery-electric locomotive between Barstow and Stockton (CA) to test the viability of battery technology.
A look at three rail line extensions that will open in the United States in 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, and the Boston area.
Colorado Pacific Railroad will challenge a deal between Union Pacific and Rio Grande Pacific to run rail services on the Tennessee Pass Line.
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former Mayor of South Bend as his transportation secretary, a move welcomed by the rail industry.
Seth Moulton introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act which proposes to invest $205 billion in the US's high-speed rail infrastructure.
Alstom is the latest member to join the US High Speed Rail Association following Deutsche Bahn prior to Biden's inauguration.
Amtrak will operate the Metrolink services in Southern California from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2025, having beaten four competing bids.
CSX, a United States Class 1 railroad, has announced that it will acquire Pan Am Railways, expanding its presence in New England.
The FRA has published its third quarter 2020 update on the implementation of positive train control on the mandated route miles.
Deutsche Bahn has become a member of the US High Speed Rail Association, which aims to promote support for high-speed rail in America.
Amtrak, SEPTA and PennDOT have received 15.9m USD in grant funding from the FRA to upgrade signalling equipment on the Harrisburg Line.
USHSR has published a 5-point plan for developing high-speed rail in the US, starting with a new High Speed Rail Development Authority.
Project Connect was on the ballot for voters as they went to the polls on 3 November 2020 and they voted in favour of light rail in Austin.
The American Public Transportation Association says all commuter railroads in the United States are on track to meet the 2020 PTC deadline.
The United States has a new president-elect, Joe Biden. But why is he called 'Amtrak Joe'? And what has he said about the importance of rail?
The renovation of The Broadmoor Cog Railway has reached its halfway milestone, prior to its expected reopening in May 2021.
Hitachi Rail has won a contracty worth 798 million USD to install a modern CBTC system in the San Francisco Bay Area (BART).
Siemens Mobility has received an order from Valley Metro, Phoenix, Arizona, for a further 14 S700 light rail vehicles.
The proposed high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston has reached an important milestone with regulatory approvals from the FRA.
The RTA has received a 15 million USD Build grant that will help pay for the new heavy rail Red Line fleet it wishes to procure.
Katie Farmer will take over from Carl R. Ice as CEO and President of BNSF starting on 1 January 2021, following his retirement.
NJ TRANSIT has exercised an option from a 2008 contract for a further 8 ALP-45 dual-power locomotives from Bombardier Transportation.
Amtrak has now completed the installation of positive train control (PTC) across its entire 898 miles of track it owns.
Amtrak has revealed renderings of the new ALC-42 Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotives that fulfil Tier 4 emissions standards.
Bombardier has signed a contract with the NCTD (California) for 11 BiLevel coaches and cab cars for the Coaster service.
Ground-breaking events for the new 26-mile Silver Line took place at six locations in the Dallas Area Rapid Transit region on 19 September.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It lobbies Congress on behalf of the railroad industry.
An in-brief look at current rail policy in the United States issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), ASLRRA and more.
The MBTA has ordered 80 double-decker coaches from Hyundai-Rotem to add capacity to its commuter rail services and replace ageing vehicles.
Hosted by the RSI, REMSA and RSSI, Railway Interchange takes place every two years. This year the event is being hosted in Minneapolis.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 33: all the latest rail news, including rolling stock and signalling contracts and station technology.
The first new CRRC train for the MBTA Orange Line entered service on 14 August 2019. A total of 152 new cars will replace the entire existing fleet by 2022.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 31: Alstom supply 10 additonal Coradia trains to various French regions, launch the Citadis and more.
Amtrak has announced the launch of its new Acela Nonstop service between Washington Union Station (WAS) and New York Penn Station (NYP).
FreightCar America Inc. announced that it has started the process to permanently close its Roanoke, Virginia railcar manufacturing facility.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 30: Deutsche Bahn resumes acceptance of ICE 4 trains, purchased 17 new double-decker trains and more.
Following successful testing BART says it will fit all of its trains with new bike straps, which customers prefer over U-shaped rubber docks.
Uber Transit allows passengers in Denver to use the Uber app to plan journeys and buy tickets for transit in-app for a seamless experience.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 27: Vivarail wins Environment Award, Switzerland invests 1 billion in its rail infrastructure and more.
BART has begun its upgrade works to the traction power substations on its network. San Leandro is the first station to get a new substation.
DART – Dallas Area Rapid Transit is to get a 60 million USD grant so it can perform platform extension works on its Red and Blue Lines.
Bombardier has won a contract to operate and maintain the San Francisco APM, which serves the city's airport, for a period of ten years.
Bombardier is opening an assembly site in California to move production of its Fleet of the Future rail cars for BART to the west coast.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 23: Alstom, Bombardier/Hitachi and Siemens mobility release their proposed train designs for HS2.
The US Supreme Court has ruled against the AAR in a legal dispute with the DOT about Amtrak's regulatory power over its industry.
Stadler has won a contract with Dallas Area Rapid Transit for the supply of 8 diesel FLIRT trains. DART expects them to enter service in 2022.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 21: Alstom wins a contract for 27 fuel cell trains and installs its incremental train control system.
A Talgo-SYSTRA JV has been awarded a refurbishment contract for Metrolink 50 rail cars. The contract will be completed by April 2023.
Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, have selected the contractors to begin the expansion works to Orlando International Airport.
The University of Colorado A Line, a commuter rail line in Denver, US, celebrates a milestone of 20 million passenger trips this week.
This summer Amtrak will once again continue its New York Penn Station renewal works, upgrading important and critical infrastructure.
The MBTA has exercised a contract option for the overhaul of an additional 27 F40 locomotives. The first will enter service in late 2020.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 16: Stadler presents its new Capricorn train and wins locomotive contract in Finland.
Amtrak is increasing Acela Express services on the Northeast Corridor on Saturdays prior to introducing the new Avelia Liberty fleet in 2021.
In the Industry Insider Week 13: Deutsche Bahn considers sale options for DB Arriva and Stadler wins its biggest vehicle order to date.
Stadler has won a contract with MARTA for 127 two-car metro trains for Atlanta to service the airport. Delivery will begin in 2023.
In this week's Railway-News Industry Insider: Alstom wins signalling upgrade contract in Boston, and Switzerland to reduce price of using rail network.
Alstom and Barletta Engineering have won a Boston subway signalling contract to upgrade the equipment for the city's red and orange lines.
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 8: all the latest rail news, from the Trump Administration's plans to defund CHSR to new locomotives for Poland.
The Red and Purple Lines of the Chicago rapid transit system are undergoing modernisation works. Arcadis has been selected as project manager.
The Trump Administration, following a Trump tweet, is seeking to defund the California High Speed Rail project, cancelling funds of almost 1 billion USD.
All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider for 21–25 January 2019.
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