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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.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2013
In the Region A.C. to hold fantasy-sports tourneys   New Jersey will allow casinos in Atlantic City to run fantasy sports tournaments this year after an attempt to legalize betting on professional and college games in the state was blocked by a federal judge. New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement announced temporary regulations that will allow the casinos to accept entry fees and pay out winnings for fantasy sports games. The regulations will run for 270 days starting on April 22 with the intention of becoming permanent, according to the announcement.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amtrak's board of directors has selected Anthony R. Coscia as its new chairman. Coscia, 53, of North Caldwell, N.J., is a real estate finance attorney who previously served as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Coscia, appointed to the nine-member Amtrak board by President Obama in 2010, replaces fellow Democrat Thomas C. Carper, of Illinois, whose term expired Saturday.  
NEWS
March 7, 2013
A person was struck and killed by an Amtrak train Tuesday night in Bucks County, an agency spokeswoman said. The person, whose gender and age were unavailable, was hit by a southbound Acela train 2175 around 10 p.m. in the area of SEPTA's Croydon Station, said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham. Service remained disrupted between Trenton and Philadelphia at 11:30 p.m., Graham said. Police and the Bucks County coroner were investigating the death. - Robert Moran
BUSINESS
March 6, 2013
The federal subsidy for Amtrak has dropped to 12 percent of operating costs - about $466 million a year, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. But Amtrak needs more federal money for capital costs, such as new vehicles, bridges, signals and other equipment, he said. Boardman also told a House subcommittee Tuesday that Amtrak's biggest money-losers, its long-distance routes, are important to rural and elderly populations who are losing bus and air service. Amtrak carried a record 31.2 million passengers in the fiscal year that ended last Sept.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak's long-distance routes, lightly traveled and expensive to run, are the biggest drag on Amtrak's finances, and the states on those routes should be required to help pay for them, a new analysis says. The 26 routes of less than 400 miles brought in $47 million more than they cost to operate in 2011, while the 15 routes of more than 750 miles lost $598 million, according to an analysis issued Friday by the Brookings Institution. State support was crucial to the success of the shorter routes, as the states provided $185 million, or 31 percent, of those routes' revenue in 2011.
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