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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2009

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Passenger Rail at-a-Glance: Agency Profiles


National intercity passenger railroad

Route miles: 21,000 intercity rail
Rolling stock: 353 locomotives; 1,356 rail cars
Annual ridership: 28 million
Annual operating cost: $475 million
Annual capital cost: $550 million
Number of stations: 530

Amtrak has received $1.3 billion in stimulus funds, which is being spent on bridge replacements, fire and life safety improvements, and station ADA compliance. Amtrak also will use funds to rebuild 60 Amfleet and 21 Superliner cars, as well as 15 locomotives. To obtain more information on stimulus-funded projects and their status, visit, then click on "Inside Amtrak" and "Recovery Act Information."

Annual general capital expenditures of about $550 million include track and signal upgrades, and locomotive and car refurbishment.

Contact: William Maguire, AVP Procurement and Material Management


Valley Metro

Operates light-rail service between Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, Ariz. Service launched in 2008

Route miles: 19.6 light rail
Rolling stock: 50 light-rail trains with up to three cars per consist, manufactured by Kinkisharyo; average age 1 year
Average weekday ridership: 33,460
Annual operating cost: $47 million (FY2010)
Annual capital cost: $145 million (FY2010)
Number of stations: 28


Valley Metro will use about $3.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars awarded to the city of Phoenix to install shade canopies at Phoenix park-and-ride facilities and expand the Central/Camelback park-and-ride. Contractors have yet to be selected; projects are scheduled to be complete by summer 2010.

Later this fiscal year, the agency will purchase and install additional fare-collection equipment from Scheidt & Bachmann USA Inc. The project will be funded through $300,000 in FY2009 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality close-out funds and $100,000 allocated in Metro's FY2010 budget.

Metro has received $36 million in federal stimulus funds. The money is an advancement of funding owed to the agency through its Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration.


Altamont Commuter Express (ACE)

Passenger-rail service launched in 1998 between San Joaquin, Alameda and Santa Clara counties

Route miles: 86 commuter rail
Rolling stock: Six locomotives, average age 9 years; 24 rail cars, average age 9 years
Annual ridership: 797,224
Annual operating cost: $16.2 million
Annual capital cost: $69 million
Number of stations: 10


ACE has launched or plans to soon start the following projects:

  • Signal upgrades between Fremont and Stockton, $11.5 million;
  • Siding and signal upgrades in Stockton, $26 million;
  • Track extension/gap closure in Stockton, $9.5 million; and
  • Equipment layover and maintenance facility, $68 million (general contractor not yet selected)

Contact: Thomas Reeves, Strategic Development & Communications Manager

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Operates heavy-rail service in the greater San Francisco Bay Area; service launched in 1972

Route miles: 104 heavy rail
Rolling stock: 669 rail cars, average age 37 years
Annual ridership: 103.3 million
Annual operating cost: $642.4 million
Annual capital cost: $584.8 million
Number of stations: 43

BART recently reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission regarding near-term funding that will enable the agency to advance its new car procurement project during FY2010. BART is in the process of gathering public comments on car design.

The agency also is continuing work on its Earthquake Safety Program to upgrade vulnerable portions of the original system with the highest traffic. The 10-year project will cost about $1.3 billion (in 2004 dollars).

In late September, BART broke ground on a 5.4-mile Warm Springs extension, which will extend the system south in Fremont toward San Jose. A Shimmick Construction Co./Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc. joint venture obtained a $136 million contract to begin the first of the two-phase project. The total project is estimated to cost $890 million and is expected to be complete in 2013.

BART is building a new station at West Dublin/Pleasanton. Now 75 percent complete, the facility is scheduled to open in winter 2010/2011. The $80 million project is being financed with about $15 million from private development; state and local grants covered another $15 million and BART revenues make up the remainder.

BART also has completed an Environmental Impact Report for the eastern Contra Costa County, or "eBART," extension, which would expand service 10 miles from the Pittsburg/Bay Point station to Antioch. The agency is proposing to operate diesel multiple units in the median of State Route 4. The project is estimated to cost about $500 million.

The agency also recently pre-qualified four teams for a design-build-operate-maintain contract for the Oakland Airport Connector. The $500 million project calls for building a 3.2-mile elevated tramway from the Coliseum/Oakland Airport Station to the Oakland International Airport. BART will use $70 million in federal stimulus funds for the project.

BART will spend an additional $65.4 million in stimulus dollars for renovation, expansion and reliability projects, including:

  • the Pleasant Hill crossover project to improve capacity and operations flexibility/reliability;
  • Balboa Station walkway project to resolve pedestrian access problems:
  • replacement of vital anodes and anode cables that provide cathodic protection to the steel shell of the Transbay Tube;
  • replacement of auxiliary power supply equipment on 30 C-1 cars;
  • installation of between-car barriers on the fleet; and
  • project development for a future Concord Shop wheel truing machine.

The balance of the new funds will be used to continue, expand and accelerate delivery of projects to expand the carrying capacity of an additional 105 BART cars; install hard-surface floors in an additional 50 cars; replace additional third-rail coverboards; complete a 480-volt station switchgear project; and other smaller capital maintenance activities.


Operates commuter-rail service on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley. Caltrain is operated under contract with Amtrak and funded jointly by the city and county of San Francisco, San Mateo County Transit District and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority through the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. Service launched in 1863

Route miles: 79 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 29 locomotives; 118 rail cars
Annual ridership: 12.7 million (FY2009)
Annual operating cost: $97.1 million (FY2010 budget)
Annual capital cost: $82.3 million (FY2010 budget)
Number of stations: 30

Caltrain is working on the following projects:

  • ATS Channel Project

Caltrain will refine, adjust and modify the agency's Signal Data Radio Communications Network, which links signal control points to the central control/dispatch office. The modifications are required to improve the reliability, quality and speed of data transmissions within the radio network, specifically between the antennas at control points, the two base stations located on the San Bruno and Monument Peak Mountain Tops, and along the right of way.

  • Radio System Upgrade

The agency also will upgrade its radio system to bring it to a state of good repair, decrease operational delays due to radio communication outages, increase productivity and improve safety.

  • Grade Crossing Improvement Program

Caltrain is working to evaluate, design and complete safety improvements at and near 25 grade crossings in San Mateo County. Improvements at each location may differ depending on the crossing configurations and diagnostics, as well as other considerations, Caltrain says.

  • Electrification

This program calls for electrifying the 52-mile Caltrain corridor from San Francisco to Tamien. The project includes: completing an Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Report; designing and installing approximately 150 single-track miles of overhead contact system that will distribute power to electrically powered locomotives or electric multiple unit (EMU) trainsets; designing and constructing two traction power substations and eight autotransformer stations; upgrading the signaling and grade crossing control systems to make the system compatible with electrification; and integrating the electrification system, signaling modifications and electric rolling stock.

  • San Bruno Grade Separation

Caltrain will raise the railroad in a retained embankment and lower roadways crossing the railroad right of way from just south of the Interstate 380 flyover to about San Felipe Road in San Bruno. The project will eliminate at-grade vehicular crossings at San Bruno Avenue, San Mateo Avenue and Angus Avenue, and replace them with grade-separated vehicular access with a four-track footprint. Pedestrian undercrossings will be constructed at Euclid and Sylvan avenues in San Bruno. The existing San Bruno station will be relocated to an elevated structure at San Bruno and San Mateo avenues.

  • South Terminal and Santa Clara Station Improvement Project

The South Terminal station project includes constructing two new platforms at the Diridon Station with stairs and ADA ramps to access the existing pedestrian underpass. The platforms will feature canopies, signage, mini-high platforms and ticket vending machine, visual message system, public-address system, closed-circuit television and card interface system. The project also calls for removing the maintenance facilities located in the terminal; removing and constructing tracks; installing new turnouts and fencing; and altering the existing signal system to accommodate new trackwork. The Santa Clara station project includes designing and constructing a new center platform, extension to the existing platform and a pedestrian underpass between the two platforms.

In addition, Caltrain has received $16.1 million in stimulus funds, which will be spent on track and infrastructure rehabilitation ($5.5 million), a San Mateo County bridge replacement ($7.7 million) and a train-control system replacement ($2.9 million).

Contact: Chuck Harvey, Deputy CEO for Operations, Engineering and Construction

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)

Serves as transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for Los Angeles County. Launched light-rail service in 1990 and heavy-rail service in 1993

Route miles: 55.7 light rail; 17.4 heavy rail
Rolling stock: 125 light-rail trains with 1 to 3 cars per consist, average age 12 years; 51 cars on delivery from Ansaldobreda, to be delivered between 2009 and 2011
Annual ridership: 40 million light rail; 38 million heavy rail
Annual operating cost: $188 million light rail; $72 million heavy rail
Annual capital cost: $91 million light rail; $63 million heavy rail
Number of stations: 49 light rail; 16 heavy rail

This fall, LACMTA will open the six-mile Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension between downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, South Bay and Long Beach. The $898 million project includes eight stations and 1.8-mile twin tunnels under Boyle Heights.

LACMTA also is constructing the $640 million Exposition light-rail project between downtown L.A. and Culver City. Scheduled to be complete in 2011, the 9.6-mile line will include nine stations.

Meanwhile, the agency is working to install between-car barriers at rail stations, quadrant gates at select intersections, as well as photo enforcement systems, active warning signs for motorists and pedestrians, additional flashing warning lights at crossings, pedestrian barriers such as ped gates and swing gates, delineated crosswalks and railings to channel pedestrians to crosswalks.

Contact: Rick Jager

Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT)

Operates light-rail and bus service in the Sacramento area; light-rail service launched in 1987

Route miles: 37.4 light rail
Rolling stock: 76 light-rail trains with 4 cars per consist, plus 21 UTDC cars; average age 15 years
Annual ridership: 14.5 million
Annual operating cost: $146 million
Annual capital cost: $68 million
Number of stations: 45

RT currently is completing the Northeast Corridor project, which includes double-tracking portions of its original light-rail line, relocating/realigning segments of track, constructing the second half of an existing light-rail station, installing and constructing a new overhead contact system, installing signals, building traction power facilities, and constructing and improving storage track facilities.

The agency also is completing preliminary engineering for the South Line Phase 2 light-rail project, which calls for extending service 4.3 miles, linking the South Sacramento Corridor with downtown Sacramento. The project includes four stations and a major transit center. Final design is expected to be complete in December and construction is expected to begin in spring 2010. Construction contracts are expected to be bid in 2010 at an estimated value of $130 million.

Meanwhile, RT has completed 30 percent design and environmental studies for the one-mile Downtown Natomas Airport/MOS-1 project, also known as the Green Line, to the River District. Construction is set to begin soon and the line is scheduled to be operational by late 2010.

RT will receive $22 million in stimulus funds. About $14 million of it will be used for preventative maintenance on light-rail cars and buses. RT will spend the remaining $8 million to retrofit 21 rail cars it purchased from another transit agency.

Contact: Randy Miller, Director, Procurement Services

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

VTA is an independent special district responsible for light-rail, bus and paratransit operations, congestion management, specific highway improvement projects and transportation planning throughout Santa Clara County. The agency launched light-rail service in 1987

Route miles: 81 light rail
Rolling stock: 99 light-rail trains with 1 car per consist, average age 5 years
Annual ridership: 10.8 million
Annual operating cost: $25 million
Annual capital cost: $5 million
Number of stations: 62

In September, VTA launched the second phase of a rail rehabilitation program that calls for replacing embedded tracks at the Almaden and Market Street crossings in downtown San Jose, and replacing two lubricators in the Downtown San Jose Transit Mall. Scheduled to be complete in December, the $5.9 million project is being completed by a Stacy and Witbeck/Con Quest joint venture.

The agency also is working to upgrade public-address systems at light-rail stations on the Guadalupe Line. The $1.5 million project is scheduled to be complete in May 2010.

In addition, VTA is in the midst of a safety and security enhancement program. By year's end, Siemens Building Technologies will have installed closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) at 11 stations. A CCTV also will be installed at Guadalupe Yard in early 2010. The program also calls for installing a laser intrusion detection system at Tamsan East Aerial Structure, and the Great Mall Montague and Hamilton stations; reducing vehicular intrusion to track at high-incident locations, relocating stop bars and limit lines; striping and paving markings; adding and replacing signage and bollards; modifying crossings gates at three locations; improving markings at light-rail intersections; installing fences along track in various areas; and implementing a pilot program to install between-car barriers on several station platforms.

In early 2009, VTA launched a $61.6 million project to improve capacity on the Caltrain corridor. The project includes installing 8.3 miles of double track on the Union Pacific Railroad corridor between the Coyote area and San Martin; adding a pedestrian bridge at the Blossom Hill crossing; completing sidewalk, intersection and pedestrian gate improvements at Caltrain crossings in Santa Clara County; and completing environmental documentation for potential grade-separated crossing for pedestrians and bicycles across UP tracks from Caltrain Station.

In spring 2010, VTA plans to launch a $16.4 million traction power improvement program, as well as a $4.3 million Southline elevators and escalator retrofit project.

Meanwhile, VTA is applying for $850 million in New Starts funding through the Federal Transit Administration for the first 10 miles of the 16-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit extension to the Silicon Valley. The $6 billion project will relieve congestion on two major north-south corridors and complete the last link needed for commuter rail to circle the San Francisco Bay Area.

The agency also is conducting a light-rail system analysis to evaluate current and future market conditions, as well as possible operating and capital improvements during the next 20 years. The goal: to increase ridership by making light rail more competitive in the overall travel market, likely by improving operating speeds, flexibility and efficiency, VTA says.

Contact: Linh Hoang, Public Relations Supervisor


Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD)

Operates light-rail service in the Denver metropolitan region; service launched in 1994

Route miles: 35 light rail
Rolling stock: 117 light-rail trains with 3 cars per consist, average age 7 to 8 years; 55 SD160 LRVs on order from Siemens Transportation Systems, delivery began in August 2009
Annual ridership: 21 million
Annual operating cost: $30 million
Annual capital cost: N/A
Number of stations: 36

Denver RTD is in the midst of its FasTracks program, which calls for building 112 miles of new light- and commuter-rail lines, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service and 31 park-and-rides, as well as redeveloping Denver Union Station.

FasTracks includes six new rail lines:

  • the West Corridor, a 12.1-mile light-rail line serving Denver, Lakewood and Golden;
  • Gold Line, an 11.2-mile electric commuter-rail line serving Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Adams County;
  • Northwest Rail Corridor, a 42-mile diesel commuter-rail line serving Denver, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Boulder and Longmont;
  • North Metro Corridor, an 18-mile diesel commuter-rail line serving Denver, Commerce City, Northglenn, Thornton and Adams County;
  • East Corridor, a 22.8-mile electric commuter-rail line serving East Denver and Aurora; and
  • I-225 Corridor, a 10.5-mile light-rail line from the existing Nine Mile Station through Aurora and connecting to the East Corridor.

The FasTracks program also includes extensions to three existing light-rail lines: the Central Corridor, which RTD will extend to connect with the East Corridor; the Southeast Corridor, which will be extended 2.3 miles in Parker; and the Southwest Corridor, which will be extended 2.5 miles in Highlands Ranch.

FasTracks contractors include AECOM, Balfour Beatty Rail Inc., CH2M Hill, David Evans and Associates Inc., Denver Transit Construction Group (a joint venture between Herzog Contracting Corp. and Stacy and Witbeck Inc.), Front Range Systems Consultants (a joint venture between Parsons and LTK Engineering Services), Kiewit, Jacobs Engineering, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Parsons Transportation Group, PBS&J, Strategic Community Partners (a joint venture between CRL Associates Inc. and Communication Infrastructure Group), and URS Corp.

Contracts yet to be awarded include The Eagle P3 for the East Corridor, Gold Line and Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility; and design-build contracts for the I-225 Corridor, Southeast and Southwest extensions, and the North Metro Corridor.

The original timeline for completion for the entire FasTracks program was 2017. However, given a significant drop in sales tax revenue due to current economic conditions, RTD might seek an additional sales tax increase to complete the program.

In addition to the FasTracks projects, RTD is working on a $2 million project to replace rail clips on some of the embedded track in the downtown alignment.

RTD will receive $72 million in stimulus funds, which it will split between RTD base system projects and projects specific to the FasTracks program. The base system expenditures include farebox equipment, capital maintenance, safety improvements, and facility updates and maintenance. FasTracks funds will be allocated to construction on Denver Union Station, U.S. 36 queue jumps, four-car platform extensions and the West Corridor.

In addition, the Denver Union Station project will receive $18.6 million through the Denver Regional Council of Governments flex funding. RTD will receive another $750,000 through a Fixed Guideway Infrastructure Grant, which will be used on the 16th Street Mall project. In addition, RTD soon will receive $40 million in stimulus funds for the West Corridor. This is not additional money, but an advance on a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA, RTD says.

Contact: Daria Serna


South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA)

SFRTA operates the Tri-Rail commuter-rail system; service launched in 1989.

Route miles: 144 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 16 locomotives, average age 15 years; 26 rail cars, average age 20 years. SFRTA also has two bi-level Colorado Railcar diesel multiple units as part of its fleet, including 4 power DMU cars and 2 DMU coaches. In addition, the agency has 14 bi-level cab cars and coaches on order with Rotem/Hyundai, to be delivered between late 2009 and 2010
Annual ridership: 4.3 million (2008)
Annual operating cost: $57 million (FY2009-10)
Annual capital cost: $161 million (FY2009-10)
Number of stations: 18


SFRTA is building a new parking deck at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station ($5.2 million); constructing a new surface parking lot at Cypress Creek Station ($2 million); constructing new lay-up track at Hialeah Yard to accommodate new rail cars and improve yard circulation ($1.7 million); and overhauling Pompano Beach Station, including relocation of the east platform, new station canopies and other upgrades ($4 million).

The agency has received $16 million in ARRA funds, the majority of which will be used to procure new locomotives. SFRTA also expects to apply up to 10 percent of the funds toward operating costs.

Contact: Chris Bross, Director of Contracts and Procurement


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

CTA operates the nation's second-largest public transit system, providing rail and bus service for the city of Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. Service launched in 1892

Route miles: 224.1 heavy rail
Rolling stock: 4 locomotives, average age 26 years; 1,190 rail cars, average age 25 years, plus 406 cards on order from Bombardier
Annual ridership: 198.2 million (rail only — 2008)
Annual operating cost: $1.3 billion Annual capital cost: $577.1 million
Number of stations: 144

CTA is continuing to carry out an aggressive plan to reduce slow zones. The agency is replacing deteriorated wood ties with concrete ties, which will enable CTA to restore normal train speeds and reduce travel time. Slow zone work continued in 2009 on the Red Line North Main between Addison and Howard, and in the Blue Line Dearborn Subway. Both projects are expected to be complete in 2010. The $88 million Dearborn Subway project is being funded by federal stimulus dollars and calls for replacing seven miles of track from the Division station to Clinton station. Crews also will replace deteriorated wooden half ties with concrete half ties and replace running rail and contact rail (or third rail).

In 2008, CTA completed slow zone work on the Blue Line O'Hare Branch ($126 million), Red Line Subway ($38 million) and north branch and Purple Line express between Diversey and Wellington ($5.4 million), the Brown Line Ravenswood Branch between Clark Junction and Western ($45 million) and the north and east legs of the Loop Elevated track between Tower 18 and Tower 12 (as part of the Loop Signal project).

Between 2007 and 2008's end, slow zones were reduced from a high point of 22.3 percent to a low point of 6.7 percent at 2008's end. As of August 2009, slow zones were up to 9.1 percent, showing an ongoing need for investment, according to CTA.

By 2009's end, CTA plans to complete the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project, which includes upgrading 18 stations to meet ADA standards and expanding platforms to support eight-car train operations.

Meanwhile, CTA is completing two signal replacement projects covering the Loop and Blue Line. The total project budgets are $103 million and $243 million, respectively. The Loop signal upgrades were necessary in order to run the new AC propulsion rail cars. The Loop signal system is more than 30 years old and is part of a junction where the Brown, Orange, Purple, Pink and Green lines enter and exit the Loop. Both projects will enable CTA to modernize the overall signal system, increasing efficiency and service reliability. The agency also is launching a smaller $7 million project to upgrade the signal system at Howard.

CTA also continues to upgrade its rail fleet and will replace older cars, some of which are more than 30 years old. The agency has awarded a $603.6 million contract to Bombardier Transportation for a base order of 406 new rail cars, with options that could bring the total purchase to 706 cars. The cars will feature security cameras, aisle-facing seating and alternating current traction motor propulsion. In September, Bombardier delivered prototype cars that will undergo nine to 12 months of testing to evaluate all aspects of the car design and operation. Once the prototype cars pass the test period, Bombardier will begin delivering the remaining cars.

CTA expects to receive $241 million in stimulus funds. The top stimulus-funded projects are the Dearborn Subway (Blue Line) track reconstruction, purchase of 58 articulated hybrid buses, refurbishment of rail cars and buses, and the renovation of the Cermak-Chinatown stations. Station renovations include an elevator and an auxiliary entrance/exit.

Contact: Marina Popovic, Interim Vice President of Purchasing and Warehousing


Metro Transit

Operates transit service in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area; light-rail service launched in 2004

Route miles: 12 light rail Rolling stock: 12 light-rail trains with 2 cars per consist, 5 years old
Annual ridership: 10.2 million
Annual operating cost: $25 million
Annual capital cost: N/A
Number of stations: 17

In November, Metro Transit will launch service on the Northstar commuter-rail line. The 40-mile, six-station corridor will run between Minneapolis and Big Lake, with five inbound and five outbound trips each weekday, plus one reverse-commute trip, and three round trips on weekends. Trains will travel on BNSF Railway Co. tracks. The service will feature five MotivePower Inc. remanufactured locomotives and 18 Bombardier passenger cars.

The agency is extending the Hiawatha light-rail line four blocks to the north to connect with the Northstar commuter-rail line at a new station adjacent to the BNSF tracks and the new Minnesota Twins' baseball park, which currently is under construction.

Metro Transit is extending 10 Hiawatha light-rail platforms to accommodate the future use of three-car trains. In addition, a new light-rail station is under construction on 34th Avenue at American Boulevard in Bloomington. Work will be completed by year's end.

Meanwhile, Metro Transit parent organization Metropolitan Council is advancing preliminary engineering for the Central Corridor light-rail project. The 11-mile line will connect downtown Minneapolis with downtown St. Paul via the University of Minnesota. The agency expects to obtain a Full Funding Grant Agreement through the FTA for the $914 million project in 2010. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010 and be complete in 2014.

Contact: Bob Gibbons, Director of Customer Services


St. Louis Metro

Provides light-rail and bus service in the St. Louis area; light-rail service launched in 1993

Route miles: 46 light rail
Rolling stock: 87 light-rail trains with 2 cars per consist; average age 8.3 years
Annual ridership: 53 million
Annual operating cost: $50 million
Annual capital cost: N/A
Number of stations: 37


In December, Metro plans to finish building a $4.7 million LRV paint booth. The agency also will complete a catwalk extension at the Ewing Yard and Shops, enabling Metro to enhance points of egress and facilitate repairs on LRV rooftop equipment.

Metro is in the midst of a $6.2 million project to replace the Vandeventer Bridge, which was built in 1929 and is settling and deteriorating. The agency is replacing the bridge with a two-span precast structure on concrete encased abutments. The project is scheduled to be complete in June 2010.

Metro also plans to launch projects to install a crossover at East Riverfront to maintain service levels during rehabilitation of the Eads Bridge ($5.8 million); install platform heaters at all Missouri stations, excluding underground platforms ($2.5 million); complete emergency tunnel repairs at Union Station ($400,000); modify Grand Station by relocating two elevators to the north, opening up the station area, building a transit plaza adjacent to the station and installing additional parking ($350,000); install AC generators at signal houses ($195,000); and replace pedestrian crosswalks at five stations (136,000).

In addition, Metro has received stimulus funds for the following projects (budget figures are approximate):

  • Eads Bridge rehabilitation, $24.5 million, to begin in August 2010 and take two years to complete;
  • UMSL interlocking, $8.1 million, to begin in October 2009 and be complete in one year;
  • Operating assistance, $4 million;
  • North Hanley parking lot repaving, $2.4 million, to begin in October 2009 and take one year to complete;
  • Rail and tie replacement, $2 million, to begin in October 2010 and take two years to complete;
  • Illinois slope repairs, $1.2 million, to begin in November 2009 and take one year to complete; and
  • Public art installation, $450,000, to begin in December 2009 and take three years to complete.


New Jersey Transit

NJ Transit is the third-largest transit system in the United States, providing service on 240 bus routes, three light-rail lines and 11 commuter-rail lines

Route miles: 500 commuter rail; 60.7 light rail
Rolling stock: 174 locomotives; 1,048 rail cars; 93 LRVs
Annual ridership: 81.6 million commuter rail; 22.3 million light rail trips
Annual operating cost: $$1.8 billion (FY10)
Annual capital cost: $1.4 billion (FY10)
Number of stations: 165 commuter rail; 60 light rail

The FY10 capital program is supporting numerous projects and procurements to expand capacity to meet future ridership growth, as well as enhance accessibility and create intermodal connections that extend the reach of NJ Transit's statewide system.

NJ Transit's most significant project is the Mass Transit Tunnel, which will double trans-Hudson rail capacity by providing two new single-track tunnels beneath the Hudson River and expanding New York Penn Station with a new facility. NJ Transit broke ground on the $8.7 billion project in June. Developed in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the tunnel project will enable NJ Transit to double the number of trains operating between New Jersey and New York from 23 trains per hour to 48 trains per hour during peak periods.

NJ Transit's capital program also will support the agency's ongoing fleet modernization program, including the purchase of more than 300 multi-level rail cars and more than 50 electric and dual-powered locomotives. Significant rail station improvements are under way or will begin in FY10 at Metropark, Newark Penn Station, Ridgewood, Somerville and South Amboy, among others. In August, the agency opened a new entrance at New York Penn Station that provides access to the NJ Transit concourse within the terminal for the more than 81,000 NJ Transit customers who board trains there each day.

NJ Transit is receiving $424 million in stimulus funds, enabling the agency to accelerate 15 projects throughout the state, including a new Pennsauken Transit Center that will provide a direct connection between the River Line light-rail line and the Atlantic City rail line.

Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO)

Rapid transit line between Center City Philadelphia and Lindenwold in southern New Jersey; service launched in 1969

Route miles: 14.5 miles heavy rail
Rolling stock: 121 rail cars, average age 37 years
Annual ridership: 10,000
Annual operating and capital cost: $40 million
Number of stations: 13

Between 2009 and 2014, PATCO will spend $200 million to remanufacture rail cars. The agency also is spending $20 million to replace concrete supports and track anchors on the Collingswood Viaduct.

In 2010, the agency plans to begin building a $7.5 million Shop Annex, scheduled to be complete in 2011. In addition, PATCO is in the design phase of a project to reopen the Franklin Square subway station in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, PATCO currently is evaluating two expansions: a southern New Jersey expansion that calls for building a diesel light-rail line from Camden to Glassboro; and a streetcar/light-rail route along the Philadelphia waterfront with a connection to center city.

PATCO has received $10 million in stimulus funds, which will be spent to replace pole lines.


MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

Launched commuter-rail service in 1834

Route miles: 701 commuter rail Rolling stock: 44 locomotives, average age 10 years; 1,006 rail cars, average age 8 years
Annual ridership: 87.4 million
Annual operating cost: $1.7 billion
Annual capital cost: $247 million (2009 planned)
Number of stations: 124

LIRR is in the midst of its annual track rehabilitation program. Estimated at $53.9 million, this year's program includes installing wood ties, renewing track at Jamaica Station, rehabilitating grade crossings, surfacing, welding and renewing continuous-welded rail. The major contracts associated with this year's program have been issued to Loram Maintenance of Way, which provides specialized track equipment.

LIRR also is in the midst of the following capital projects:

  • Babylon Train Wash Facility

The scope of work includes the construction of a new train wash facility featuring two buildings: a masonry equipment building to house the controls, wash room, pumps, reclaim/recycle wash water, wastewater treatment system and storage tanks for the train wash; and a train wash bay steel/corrugated siding structure featuring precast track slab sections, concrete foundations, wash water collection system, photovoltaic system and train wash equipment. The $25.5 million project began in August 2009 and is scheduled to be complete in April 2012. Major contractors include Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, and Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc.

  • Maintenance of Way Repair Facility, Upper Holban Yard

This project includes constructing a new steel building extension attached to the existing maintenance-of-way repair facility and renovating existing support facilities. The expansion will feature two new tracks to support track equipment servicing, an overhead 50-ton crane, roll-up doors, and interior lighting, heating, ventilation and public-address system. The support facilities will be upgraded to include improvements to the existing locker rooms, bathrooms and a new sprinkler system. In addition, LIRR will construct a new frog welding facility featuring two service tracks, roll-up doors, a five-ton jib crane, lighting, and heating and ventilation systems. Once the facility is complete, LIRR will be able to maintain, repair and perform programmed maintenance on all existing and future track maintenance and repair equipment. The $14.2 million project began in April 2008 and is scheduled to be complete in November 2009. Major contractors include HDR/Daniel Frankfurt (designer) and J-Track L.L.C. (contractor).

  • Atlantic Avenue Viaduct Phase II Rehabilitation

The scope of work includes replacing 84 spans of the viaduct, including girders, cap beams and upper portion columns, as well as installing new employee walkways. The $77.3 million project began in August 2009 and is scheduled to be complete in June 2011. Major contractors include Kiewit Constructors Inc. (design-build) and HNTB Inc. (design-build consultant).

  • Amityville-Copiague-Lindenhurst Direct Fixation Replacement

This project includes installing new railroad-supplied direct-fixation fasteners for three mile of double track on the Amityville, Copiague and Lindenhurst concrete viaducts on the Babylon Branch, as well as plinth work and some viaduct repairs. The $61.5 million project began in January 2008 and is scheduled to be complete in November 2011. Major contractors include PB Americas Inc. (design consultant) and Delta Railroad Construction Inc. (contractor).

  • Amott Culvert Rehabilitation

The scope of work includes installing a new 72-inch diameter concrete pipe to augment the two existing 36-inch diameter concrete pipes, as well as construct the associated inlet structure, collection box and discharge structures. The $7.1 million project began in July 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2009. Major contractors include McLaren Engineering Group (design) and G. Penza & Sons Inc/Village Dock Inc. (contractor).

  • Powell Creek and Hog Island Channel Bridge Replacement

This project includes replacing two 80-year-old multiple span timber/steel bridges, supported by deteriorating wood piles, at Powell Creek and Hog Island Channel, located on Long Beach Branch in Oceanside, Nassau County. The scope of work for both bridges includes demolition and replacement with pre-stressed concrete bridge decks, concrete abutments and new concrete-filled steel pipe piles. The project also will include new safety walkways, water flow improvement around the new piers, improvements to approaches and track resurfacing. The $24.5 million project is scheduled to begin in September 2009 and be complete in December 2010. Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers will serve as project consultant; the contractor is not yet determined.

  • Dutch Kills Bridge Rehabilitation

LIRR will repair the west abutment of the bridge, which was rebuilt in 1893 and serves Long Island City. The $1.5 million project is scheduled to begin in September 2009 and be complete in December 2010. Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers will serve as project consultant; the contractor is not yet determined.

  • Woodhaven and Queens Boulevard Bridges Rehabilitation

LIRR will rehabilitate two mainline bridges crossing Queens and Woodhaven boulevards. Work includes new bearings and bridge seats, concrete and steel repairs, column and girder strengthening, and bridge deck waterproofing. The $18 million project is scheduled to begin in November 2009 and be complete in September 2011. Jacobs Engineering will serve as project consultant; the contractor is not yet determined.

  • Port Washington Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments

Located on the Port Washington Branch in Elmhurst and Corona, the Port Washington retaining walls/bridge abutments were built in the 1930s and are in need of rehabilitation. The first phase of this project includes repairing 5,700 linear feet of retaining walls, including concrete cracking, spalling, water infiltration and loss of section, as well as installing soil nails and ground anchors to increase the walls' stability and repairing two bridge abutments. The $19 million project is scheduled to begin in September 2009 and be complete in January 2012. Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers will serve as project consultant; the contractor is not yet determined.

In July 2009, LIRR received more than $100 million in federal stimulus funds for the Babylon Train Wash Facility and Atlantic Avenue Viaduct (Phase II).

MTA Metro-North Railroad

Provides regional rail service to New York City's northern suburbs; commuter-rail service launched in 1983

Route miles: 385 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 48 diesel locomotives; 11 diesel shunters; 829 electric multiple unit cars; 214 passenger coaches; plus 300 M-8 electric cars on order for the New Haven Line
Annual ridership: 84.2 million (2008)
Annual operating cost: $1.3 billion
Annual capital cost: $204.5 million
Number of stations: 124

In 2010, Metro-North plans to make the following capital improvements:

  • critical system replacements for the 54-car M-4 fleet, built in 1987, to extend their useful life on the New Haven Line ($14 million);
  • positive train control design ($20 million — $4 million in 2009 and $16 million in 2010;
  • Danbury signalization ($25-$30 million);
  • various signal improvements for the west end of the New Haven Line ($8 million);
  • Harlem and Hudson line power improvements ($41 million);
  • Fordham Station capacity improvements, such as widening platforms and adding a new interlocking north of the station ($9.3 million); and
  • smart card improvements to cover pilot studies of new fare media ($10 million).

In addition, Metro-North will use stimulus funds to build new platforms, staircases, overpasses and elevators at Tarrytown Station ($38 million); replace doors and windows at Poughkeepsie Station ($4.6 million); build employe locker and bunk facilities at Grand Central Terminal ($21.9 million); and improve elevators at Grand Central Terminal ($7.7 million).

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT)

Provides subway, bus and paratransit service in New York City; subway service launched in 1904

Route miles: 233 heavy rail
Rolling stock: 72 locomotives, average age 30 years; 6,400 rail cars, average age 18 years; 1,667 rail cars on order from Alstom/Kawasaki, scheduled to be delivered through May 2010
Annual ridership: 1.6 billion
Annual operating cost: $3.3 billion
Annual capital cost: $1.83 billion (average, 2005-2009)
Number of stations: 468

NYCT has an ongoing in-house track replacement program, funded at $250 million annually, to replace all mainline and yard track, welded rail and switches at a rate of about 10 miles per year.

Additional capital improvement projects this year and next include the CBTC Flushing Line conversion, $522 million; Church Avenue/Culver interlocking modernization, $234 million; Lexington Avenue/5th Avenue interlocking modernization on the Queens Boulevard Line, $134 million; and Culver Line viaduct rehabilitation, $154 million. NYCT also will spend $132 million to alleviate flooding at various locations.

NYCT has applied for $472 million in stimulus funds for 25 projects. About one-third of the funding requested would be used for station work along the West End line.

Contact: James Anyansi, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications


Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)

Transit department within the city of Charlotte; launched light-rail service in 2007

Route miles: 9.6 light rail
Rolling stock: 16 LRTs with 2 cars per consist, average age 2 years, plus 4 S70 LRVs on order from Siemens, scheduled to be delivered between December 2009 and spring 2010
Annual ridership: 5 million (FY2009)
Annual operating cost: $7.9 million (FY2009)
Annual capital cost: $2.7 million (FY2009)
Number of stations: 15

CATS is in the preliminary engineering phase for a Blue Line light-rail extension and the North Corridor commuter-rail project. The agency has contracted STV-Ralph Whitehead to design the Blue Line extension and HDR Inc. to design the North Corridor.

Contact: David McDonald, Transit Planning Manager


Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)

Launched light-rail service in 1920; heavy-rail service in 1952

Route miles: 26.2 light rail; 38.6 heavy rail
Rolling stock: 60 rail cars; 48 LRVs
Annual ridership: 3.3 million light rail (2008); 6.4 million heavy rail (2008)
Number of stations: 34 light rail; 18 heavy rail

GCRTA has obtained $45.7 million in federal stimulus funds, which will be used for the following projects: new East 55th Street station ($12 million); rehabilitate Puritas Station ($8.5 million); light-rail trunk line turnouts ($2 million); rail crossing upgrades ($2.8 million); design work for track replacement for Red Line S-curve ($600,000); repair Waterfront Line chute track ($600,000); Blue Line extension planning ($500,000); HRV overhaul reconstruction ($3.9 million); rail infrastructure upgrades ($1.6 million); and design for Brookpark Station rehabilitation project ($1.2 million).

Contact: Frank Polivka


Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)

Tri-Met provides public transportation service to the Portland metropolitan area, including MAX light-rail service (launched in 1986) and WES commuter-rail service (launched in 2009)

Rolling stock: 127 LRTs with 2 cars per consist, average age 11.9 years
Annual ridership: 35.2 million light rail
Annual operating cost: $61.8 million light rail (FY2008)
Annual capital cost: $236.9 million light rail (FY 2008); $71.9 million commuter rail
Number of stations: 64 light rail; 5 commuter rail

On Sept. 12, TriMet opened its fifth light-rail line, the Green Line. The 6.5-mile line runs between the Clackamas Town Center and Portland City Center.

TriMet currently is conducting preliminary engineering for the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line. The 10-station, 7.3-mile line will extend from the new Green Line at Portland State University to South Waterfront and into inner Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and Oak Grove in North Clackamas County. A major feature of the project is a multi-use transit bridge across the Willamette River that will be used by MAX trains, buses, bicycles, pedestrians and a potential Portland Streetcar extension. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011 and be complete in 2015.

Meanwhile, the agency was awarded $53.3 million in stimulus funds, which will be used for projects such as:
  • Preventive maintenance, including rebuilding and overhauling rail vehicles, and maintaining buildings, track, elevators, catenary, substations, and communication and signal systems, $14.5 million;
  • Construct Willow Creek pocket track, which will enable TriMet to extend the Red Line from the Beaverton Transit Center west, with six stations, $2.6 million;
  • Purchase and install 10 pairs of expansion joints and perform track lining to remove speed restrictions on light-rail vehicles, $1.6 million;
  • Install fencing along the I-205 light-rail alignment to prevent pedestrian access to the light rail right of way, $1.5 million;
  • Install solar and wind power generators, including 22 wind turbines, at the Green Line terminus, located adjacent to Portland State University, $1.2 million;
  • Retrofit track switches with covered switch heaters, $1.2 million;
  • Purchase and install new wayside horns at several intersections in the city of Tualatin, $939,000;
  • Improve pedestrian crossing on the Eastside Blue Line, $500,000;
  • Adapt a historic transit shelter in downtown Portland into a small business retail space, $240,000;
  • Repaint five eastside light-rail stations, $270,000;
  • Install real-time train arrival systems at I-205 MAX stations, $125,000; and
  • Storm pipe repair at the Tigard Transit Center, $75,000.

Contact: Jeff Goodling, Manager of Civil Construction, TriMet Capital Projects


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Operates light-, heavy- and commuter-rail service in the Philadelphia region; light-rail service launched in 1893; heavy-rail service launched in 1907; commuter-rail service launched in 1832

Route miles: 56.1 light rail; 24.1 heavy rail; 292 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 8 locomotives, average age 17 years; 347 rail cars, average age 31 years, plus 120 electric multiple units on order from Rotem, scheduled to be delivered in 2009 and 2010
Annual ridership: 29.9 million light rail; 93.3 million heavy rail; 35.5 million commuter rail
Annual operating cost: $76 million light rail; $188 million heavy rail; $256 million commuter rail
Annual capital cost: $23 million light rail; $124 million heavy rail; $100 million commuter rail
Number of stations: 53 light rail; 74 heavy rail; 153 commuter rail

In August, SEPTA began renovating the Girard and Spring Garden stations on the Broad Street Subway. The $25 million ARRA-funded project includes improvements such as elevators connecting the street, mezzanine and platforms; new stairs and cashier lines; concrete restoration and column repairs; tiling and artwork; new power, lighting, signage and fire alarm systems; new customer communication systems; and ADA improvements.

SEPTA also recently launched a $50 million stimulus-funded Media/Sharon Hill Line Improvement Project, which calls for replacing 1922-era rail with continuous-welded rail; improving grade crossings and overhead power systems; installing fiber-optic cabling along the line for audio-visual public address devices at passenger stations, as well as train control; and completing structural improvements to overhead power systems.

Meanwhile, SEPTA is in the midst of planning a host of station improvement projects on its regional rail system. Improvements include interior and exterior renovations, as well as new signage, lighting, walkways, shelters, platforms, elevators and pedestrian tunnels.

The agency also is working to secure a contractor for a new fare-collection system. The contactless technology would enable riders to pass their fare instruments over card sensor readers, enabling users to travel SEPTA trains and buses while eliminating traditional payment forms, such as tokens and magnetic swipe cards.

The agency has received a total of $191 million in federal stimulus dollars, which will be used to fund 32 "shovel-ready" projects.

Contact: Gary Fairfax


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Provides light-rail, commuter rail (in cooperation with the Fort Worth T — see listing for Trinity Railway Express), bus, paratransit and high-occupancy vehicle services for 13 cities in north Texas; light-rail service launched in 1996

Route miles: 45 light rail
Rolling stock: 115 light-rail trains, with 1 to 3 cars per consist, average age 8 years; 25 "super" LRVs (featuring C-car insert) on order from Kinkisharyo, to be delivered by fall 2010; 115 C-car inserts on order from Kinkisharyo, to be delivered through 2010
Annual ridership: 19.4 million
Annual operating cost: $79 million (FY2009)
Annual capital cost: $946 million (FY2009)
Number of stations: 34

DART continues construction on a light-rail expansion connecting southeast, downtown and northwest Dallas with the cities of Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Rowlett and Irving. Projects are to be completed in stages between 2009 and 2013. The first three miles of the Green Line opened on Sept. 14.

DART received $78.4 million in stimulus funds for the Green Line and $61.2 million in stimulus dollars for the Orange Line.

Trinity Railway Express (TRE)

Commuter-rail line connecting the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as DFW International Airport. The service, which launched in 1996, is operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.

Route miles: 34 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 9 locomotives, average age 15 years; 21 rail cars, average age 14 years, plus 13 rail diesel cars, average age 13 years (the RDC fleet has car shells from the 1950s and new interior, power train and running gears installed in the mid- to late 1990s)
Annual ridership: 2.7 million (FY2008)
Annual operating cost: $20 million
Annual capital cost: $8 million (maintenance)
Number of stations: 10

In September, the agency completed the Richland Hills siding improvement and double-track project, which included building a 1.2-mile controlled siding along the western portion of the commuter-rail corridor. And, TRE is in the midst of constructing a powered crossover at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. These two projects will enable TRE to increase service to the Tarrant County stations. In addition, a series of grade crossing timing improvements will enable trains to operate up to 79 mph on an additional 20 miles of the route.

TRE is about 60 percent complete with the Belt Line Grade Separation Project, which includes a 1.8-mile double-tracked bridge to eliminate three grade crossings. The project is the eastern portion of a 5.4-mile segment of double track that's being constructed in three phases.

In the first quarter of FY2010, TRE expects to complete design work for the Valley View double-track project, which calls for adding 1.4 miles of double track, eliminating a grade crossing, constructing a new bridge and creating a new crossover. When the project is complete in 2011, the TRE corridor will be continuously double tracked between the CentrePort/DFW Airport station to near the South Irving Station, about 5.3 miles.

Contact: Bill Farquhar, Chief Operating Officer


Utah Transit Authority (UTA)

Provides TRAX light-rail, FrontRunner commuter-rail and bus service; light rail service launched in 1999, commuter-rail service launched in 2008

Route miles: 20 light rail; 45 commuter rail
Rolling stock: 11 locomotives, average age 1 year; 45 rail cars, 20 are 1 year old, 25 are 35 years old (overhauled); 69 LRVs, average age 14 years, plus 77 S70 LRVs on order from Siemens, to be delivered beginning in January 2010
Annual ridership: 13.9 million light rail; 1.4 million commuter rail (May-December 2008 only, service launched in May 2008)
Annual operating cost: $19 million light rail; $11 million commuter rail (partial)
Annual capital cost: $7 million for maintenance (light and commuter rail); $685 million for new rail projects
Number of stations: 28 light rail; 8 commuter rail

UTA is in the midst of its FrontLines 2015 program, which calls for building 70 miles of rail lines — four light rail and one commuter rail.

The $2.5 billion program includes the Mid-Jordan TRAX line, a 10-mile corridor branching off from the existing Sandy/Salt Lake light-rail line at the 6400 South TRAX station, then running west and south to South Jordan; the 5.1-mile West Valley TRAX line, which will branch off the Salt Lake/Sandy line at the 2100 South Central Pointe TRAX station and extend to West Valley City; the six-mile Airport TRAX line between downtown Salt Lake City and Salt Lake City International Airport; the 3.5-mile Draper light-rail extension; and the 44-mile FrontRunner South commuter-rail line.

Contracts awarded to date include:

  • $535 million to a Kiewit/Herzog/Parsons joint venture for the Mid-Jordan light-rail line, which is scheduled to open in 2012;
  • $370 million to a Stacey-Witbeck/Kiewit joint venture for the West Valley line, scheduled to open in 2012;
  • $340 million to a Stacey-Witbeck/Kiewit joint venture for the Airport line, scheduled to open in 2013;
  • $237 million to a Kiewit/Herzog/Parsons joint venture (option) for the Draper light-rail extension, scheduled to open in 2013; and
  • $611 million to Commuter Rail Constructors (Stacey-Witbeck/Herzog joint venture) for the FrontRunner South commuter-rail line, scheduled to open in 2012

UTA also is set to award an $84 million contract to Commuter Rail Constructors for the Jordan River Service Center shop interior. The facility is due to open in 2012.

The agency has received $90.9 million in stimulus funding as an early payment on the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Mid-Jordan light-rail line. UTA also will use $24.8 million in stimulus funds for the Jordan River Service Center, $15 million for preventative maintenance and $483,000 for transit security.

Contact: Val Todd, Grants and Contracts Administrator
801-237-1925;, or

Gregg Larsen, Grants and Contracts Administrator



Calgary Transit

Provides transit service in the city of Calgary; light-rail service launched in 1981

Route miles: 29.25 light rail
Rolling stock: 153 LRTs with 3 cars per consist, average age 15.8 years, plus 38 SD-160 cars on order from Siemens
Annual ridership: 78.1 million
Annual operating cost: N/A
Annual capital cost: N/A
Number of stations: 38

Calgary Transit is spending $7.5 million to install air conditioning units on 72 LRVs.


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