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NEWS
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
BUSINESS
June 8, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Faster, better passenger train service on the overcrowded Northeast Corridor will require more cooperation - and money - from eight states and the District of Columbia, eight commuter rail agencies, Amtrak, and freight railroads, rail experts said this week. A new federal law requires the many users of the 457-mile corridor to come up with a cost-sharing plan by October 2014, and local transit authorities such as SEPTA fear that will mean higher costs for them. States as well are struggling to pay for new Amtrak requirements.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2013
Amtrak will get $185 million in federal funds to advance work on new Hudson River rail tunnels. The money, which will come from Hurricane Sandy relief funds, will be used to build an 800-foot concrete tunnel box under a huge real-estate development going up next to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. The box will serve two new flood-resistant "Gateway" tunnels designed to provide additional rail service between New Jersey and Penn Station in New York. The Gateway project, including the tunnels, is slated to cost $15 billion and be completed by 2025.
NEWS
May 19, 2013 | By John Christoffersen, Associated Press
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The commuter train derailment and collision that left dozens injured outside New York City was not the result of foul play, officials said Saturday, adding that a fractured section of rail is being studied to determine whether it is connected to the accident. The crash damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the Northeast Corridor. The crash also caused Amtrak to suspend service between New York and Boston. National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Saturday that the broken rail is of substantial interest to investigators and a portion of the track will be sent to a lab for analysis.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak faces a "crisis of success," unable to keep up with the growing demand for service on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman says. "We've used up the legacy capacity of the existing railroad while further depleting its infrastructure assets, leading us to a major coming investment crisis that, without a solution, will mean strangled growth and deteriorating service," Boardman told a Senate committee Wednesday. Amtrak, setting ridership records every year, needs about $2 billion annually for upkeep and growth on the corridor, far more than the $260 million a year it has been spending, Boardman said in calling for a long-term federal plan for funding the railroad.
NEWS
April 10, 2013
DESPITE its program of informational "safety blitzes" at stations where rail trespassing is frequent, SEPTA rail deaths are up so far this year from six in the first quarter of 2012 to eight in 2013. Overall, they have climbed from 10 (two confirmed suicides) in 2010 to 14 (six suicides) in 2011 to 15 (two suicides) in 2012. New Jersey Transit, on the other hand, has seen a dramatic decline in accidental rail deaths, from 14 in 2010 to nine in 2011 to one in 2012 and one so far in 2013.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Obama administration will weigh 15 alternatives for improved passenger rail service between Boston and Washington, ranging from modest upgrades to a new high-speed Northeast Corridor that would allow trips between Philadelphia and New York City in about 40 minutes. The 15 "preliminary alternatives" were unveiled Tuesday by the Federal Railroad Administration. The FRA plans to come up with a single "preferred alternative" by mid-2015, complete with cost estimates and possible construction schedules.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Obama administration will weigh 15 alternatives for improved passenger rail service between Boston and Washington, ranging from modest upgrades to a new high-speed Northeast Corridor that would allow trips between Philadelphia and New York City in about 40 minutes. The 15 "preliminary alternatives" were unveiled Tuesday by the Federal Railroad Administration. The FRA plans to come up with a single "preferred alternative" by mid-2015, complete with cost estimates and possible construction schedules.
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
After 100 years of watching trains pass without stopping, Philadelphia Zoo officials are trying to restore passenger rail service to the zoo. A new study proposes a SEPTA station at 34th Street and Mantua Avenue, a short walk from the zoo's south entrance. Although the zoo was built on its West Philadelphia site in 1874 partly because of handy rail access, the original Zoological Garden station at 34th Street and Girard Avenue closed in 1902, a victim of Pennsylvania Railroad expansion.
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