Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation

Advocating for integrated public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities since 1992.

Passenger Rail News

Amtrak hungers for an upscale food hall at [Chicago] Union Station. The railroad wants to add a “bespoke” food hall to the downtown station, which it owns. It is seeking operators to move into space along the building’s Clinton Street side that has been off-limits to the public since a devastating fire in 1980. Amtrak is turning to one of the hottest trends in commercial real estate in hopes of bringing to the landmark building an amenity for travelers and those who live and work nearby. “With all the development that is going on around Union Station, we think a food hall is just a natural for this space,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. le-food-hall

Amtrak matches $750,000 Oregon DOT grant for Northwest rail infrastructure efforts. Building on a $750,000 grant application with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Amtrak declared last week that it would match that contribution to restoring an out-of-service siding in-state. That bit of infrastructure runs between Portland and Salem, Oregon, and would, according to the two organizations, reduce delays in the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor by improving on-time performance. The section has an issue with delays caused by freight train interference. northwest-rail-infrastructure-efforts/

THE LATEST IN AMTRAK NOMINATIONS SAGA: Two former congressmen, the head of the Florida Republican Party, and a former White House official aren’t the kind of nominees you might expect to be held up by a GOP senator. But that’s what’s happening with President Donald Trump’s picks for the Amtrak board of directors, who have been blocked, in one case for almost two years, by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)…. Aside from Moran’s concerns, other lawmakers and passenger rail advocates have criticized the nominations of former Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), both of whom voted against funding for Amtrak multiple times. for-amtrak-nominees-466514

“THEY COULD SAVE LIVES”: Google and other tech companies have failed to implement a recommendation by the NTSB to incorporate rail crossing data into their mapping apps, earning the ire of former federal railroad officials, your host reported in a story published over the weekend. The safety agency’s recommendation came after a 2015 crash in which a truck driver using Google Maps accidentally turned onto railroad tracks and got stuck, leading to the crash which killed a train engineer and injured 32 others…. The companies’ failure to act is “tantamount to gross negligence,”former FRA administrator Sarah Feinberg told POLITICO, adding that they could indisputably save lives by taking action. re-ntsbs-plea-on-rail-crossings-467719

Canadian Pacific puts Amtrak expansion on hold in Wisconsin, Illinois. Leave it to the state of Illinois to mess up something Wisconsin wants to accomplish. Actually, the two states are trying to work together to expand Amtrak’s Milwaukee-to-Chicago route, called the Hiawatha line. Wisconsin has $35 million in its 2019-2021 budget to increase the Hiawatha line up to 10 round trips a day. Canadian Pacific, however, will not allow the increase to happen on its tracks until improvements are made, and two of the projects vital to the upgrade have been cancelled in Illinois. in-illinois/

Amtrak and MassDOT testing new ‘Valley Flyer’ train service. Amtrak and MassDOT began test running a new Valley Flyer passenger train service.

The trains will travel on the knowledge corridor making stops across western Mass.

Kevin Brubaker
Deputy Director
Environmental Law & Policy Center

(312) 673-6500

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