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October 2012

Passenger Rail Article
Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2012

Passenger Rail

by Angela Cotey, Associate Editor

In second-quarter 2012, nearly 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation systems, a 1.6 percent rise compared with second-quarter 2011 and the sixth consecutive quarter of ridership growth, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership is showing particular growth in areas of the country where the economy is rebounding.

Transit agencies might be seeing signs of an economic rebound in their ridership stats, but it hasn't yet hit their pocketbooks. And even if it does — in the form of higher farebox revenue and sales tax receipts — states and the federal government have vowed to cut spending, which likely will continue to impact capital and operating dollars.

Concerns about current and near-term funding were top of mind for many transit agency staffers who submitted information for this year's Passenger Rail at a Glance: from Dallas/Fort Worth's Trinity Railway Express and Nashville's Regional Transportation Authority raising concerns about how they'll fund positive train control; to Denver's Regional Transportation District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority coming up short on program budgets funded through sales tax measures; to the Alaska Railroad Corp. determining how federal funding reductions will impact 2013 capital programs.

Of course, budget concerns always top the list of worries for public transit executives. And while the past few years might have elevated stress levels in the budget department, agency officials have adapted. With the near-term outlook appearing to be just as grim, the funding shortages have become less of a temporary impact of the recession and more of the "new normal" for transit agencies.

The pace of transit investments has slowed as a result, but that doesn't mean they've come to a halt. The 26 agencies that provided information for this year's guide had plenty of capital project information to share about line extensions, station upgrades or additional services being studied.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the midst of a handful of light-rail and subway extensions. Dallas Area Rapid Transit is wrapping up the majority of construction on its multi-year light-rail expansion program, and New York City-area agencies have a range of projects under way to upgrade existing infrastructure and build new lines.

Details on those capital projects and more are included below, along with general agency information.

(Guide listings are based on survey responses received from various transit agencies.)


Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC)

State-owned corporation providing passenger- and freight-rail services; heavy-rail service launched in 1923.

Route miles: 467 mainline miles

Rolling stock: 51 locomotives, average age 15.6 years; 28 SD70 MAC, 15 GP40-2 and 8 GP8-2 locomotives, plus 2 cab/power cars; 45 passenger cars, average age 39.1 years

Annual ridership: 412,200 (2011)

Annual operating cost: $156.5 million (2011)

Annual capital cost: $83.6 million (2011)

Number of stations: 10

ARRC is continuing work on the following capital projects:

  • install security fencing and gates on either side of the passenger/cruise ship dock in Seward, $295,000;
  • install security fencing and gates around the train operations area and yard in Whittier, $311,000;
  • construct a steel-framed heated section maintenance facility in Portage to store and maintain maintenance-of-way equipment and work trucks, as well as provide office space, a restroom and utility room for section crew members, $1.25 million;
  • design and construct a sewer system to serve lease customers in an area of the Anchorage Railroad Reserve that does not have sewer service, construction on Phase 1 to begin this year, $400,000 (plus an estimated $2 million for other segments of the project not yet funded);
  • construct a second whistle stop recreation site at Grandview in the Chugach National Forest and build a pedestrian bridge over a river at the first whistle stop site at Spencer, $2.8 million;
  • complete environmental assessment for rail realignment outside downtown North Pole, $1 million;
  • overhaul four SD70MAC and one or two GP40 locomotives to improve emissions control, $1.23 million for SD70MACS and $1.4 million for GP40s;
  • upgrade passenger cars to improve or replace lighting, battery, signage, public-address systems and flooring seat upholstery, $600,000;
  • construct first phase of Northern rail extension — a bridge over the Tanana River, $188,000;
  • continue phased work on positive train control technology and testing, $70 million total;
  • repair or replace up to 15 culverts that are at risk of washout, collapse or clogging, $500,000, and install rip-rap and other material to enhance embankment protection from erosion, $3 million; and
  • continue accelerated program to replace ties, weld rail and resurface track, $31.2 million.

Contact: C. Lee Thompson, Manager of Purchasing and Contracts


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and other cities in the East Bay. Service launched in 1972.

Route miles: 104 heavy rail

Rolling stock: 669 rail cars, 30 years old, plus 410 rail cars on order from Bombardier Transportation, to be delivered in 2020

Annual ridership: 110.8 million

Annual operating cost: $669.4 million

Annual capital cost: $869 million

Number of stations: 44

In FY2012, BART is upgrading some existing rail cars to feature rubber floors and/or vinyl seats. The improvements will give the cars a fresh interior before BART replaces its entire fleet by 2024.

The agency also continues to reinforce vulnerable parts of its infrastructure under the ongoing earthquake safety program, scheduled to conclude in 2015.

The agency also is building: the 5.4-mile Warm Springs extension to the Santa Clara County line, scheduled to open in late 2015; the Oakland Airport Connector, a 3.2-mile automated guideway system running from the existing Coliseum Station to Oakland International Airport, slated to begin service in summer 2014; and the 10-mile eBART extension, which will run east to Antioch and accommodate diesel multiple units, and is expected to open in December 2016.

In addition, BART is expanding its maintenance and storage facilities at the Hayward Maintenance Complex.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)

Provides transportation services in Los Angeles County. Light-rail service launched in 1990; heavy-rail service launched in 1993.

Route miles: 70 light rail; 17 heavy rail

Rolling stock: 169 light-rail trains (mixed fleet) with 2 to 3 cars per consist, average age 13 years, plus 78 high-floor light-rail vehicles on order from Kinkisharyo International, with an option for up to 157 more, scheduled to be delivered in 2015; 104 heavy-rail trains with 4 to 6 cars per consist, average age 15 years

Annual ridership: 53 million boardings light rail (not including Expo Line);

Annual operating cost: $189 million light rail; $90 million heavy rail

Annual capital cost: $675 million light rail; $190 million heavy rail

Number of stations: 67 light rail; 16 heavy rail

During the next year, LACMTA plans to begin a Blue Line Washington Siding project, Blue Line rail replacement in Long Beach and a Green Line Microlock replacement project. The agency also will continue replacing traction power substations on the Blue Line.

The agency also spending $30 million to increase access, including for pedestrians and bicycles, to the Gold Line Eastside light-rail project.

LACMTA is in the midst of construction on the $925 million Exposition Transit Corridor Phase 2, which will extend service 6.6 miles from Culver City west to Santa Monica. The agency has partnered with the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority — an independent transportation planning, design and construction agency created by the California Legislature in 1998 — to build the Gold Line Foothill extension. The $735 million first phase would extend the line 11 miles from Pasadena to Arcadia, Duarte, Irwindale, Monrovia and Azusa. LACMTA is seeking funds to complete the second phase, which would continue east another 12 miles, from Azusa through the cities of Glendora, La Verne, Montclair, Pomona and San Dimas.

The agency is completing final design on the $4.1 billion Westside subway extension, which would extend the Purple Line from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western about nine miles to destinations such as Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood.

Meanwhile, LACMTA is conducting preliminary engineering for the Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor, an 8.5-mile light-rail line that would run along the Crenshaw Boulevard corridor and connect Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo, as well as unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County. The $1.2 billion project is scheduled to be complete in 2018. Preliminary engineering also is under way for the Regional Connector, which would link four light-rail lines that terminate at the edges of central Los Angeles. The line would provide seamless connections between Long Beach/Claremont and Culver/City/East L.A., minimizing the need for transfers.

Environmental studies are under way for the $1.3 billion Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 project, which would extend the Metro Gold Line farther east from the Pomona/Atlantic Station, as well as the South Bay Green Line extension, which would extend the line from its current terminus in Redondo Beach to the South Bay Galleria.

The agency is conducting alternative analysis studies for the East San Fernando Valley transit corridor project, the Green Line extension to Los Angeles International Airport and the West Santa Ana transit corridor.

Finally, LACMTA is in the initial planning phase for the Sepulveda Pass transit corridor, which would connect the San Fernando Valley with western Los Angeles. The agency is reviewing potential transit and road options for the corridor.

Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Oversees the Caltrain commuter-rail system, which operates on the San Francisco peninsula connecting San Francisco with Gilroy, through the Silicon Valley. Service launched in 1992.

Route miles: 77.2 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 29 locomotives, average age 21 years; 118 rail cars, average age 20 years

Annual ridership: 14 million (FY2012)

Annual operating cost: $111.4 million (adopted budget for FY2013)

Annual capital cost: $39.1 million (adopted budget for FY2013)

Number of stations: 32

Caltrain will receive $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Transportation grant funds to install an advanced signal system needed to support modernized Caltrain service and the eventual addition of high-speed rail. A portion of the grant funds also may be used to identify other safety improvements that could be made at the corridor's vehicular crossings. The advanced signal system is a component of the $1.5 billion Caltrain Modernization Program, which also includes installing positive train control technology. The federal grant will be combined with local and regional investments to match $705 million in voter-approved high-speed rail funds recently appropriated by the State Legislature for Caltrain modernization.

Meanwhile, Caltrain is nearing the halfway mark for the San Bruno Grade Separation Project, which will improve safety at three grade crossings in downtown San Bruno. The $147 million project will raise the tracks by 18 feet and lower the road by about four feet at three crossings: San Bruno, San Mateo and Angus avenues. In addition, the current station at Sylvan Avenue will be replaced by a new station on the grade separation between San Bruno and San Mateo avenues. The station will include three pedestrian underpasses, elevators, a 201-space parking lot and a "kiss-and-ride" lot for passenger drop-off and pick-up.

In February, Caltrain completed the San Jose/Santa Clara Station Improvement Project. At the San Jose Diridon Station, two new, full-equipped boarding platforms were built on the west side of the station, along with tracks on each side of the platforms. The project also included the reconstruction of signal control points at both ends of the station to facilitate train movements in and out of the busy station. At the Santa Clara Station, a new outboard platform was added and the southern platform was extended 150 feet. A new pedestrian underpass connects the two platforms.

The agency also has completed work on the Jerrold Avenue Bridge in San Francisco. The 100-year-old structure was replaced with new steel structures and support columns.

Contact: Christine Dunn, Public Information Officer

Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT)

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

Route miles: 38.6 light rail

Rolling stock: 76 light-rail vehicles plus 21 UTDC cars, with 4 cars per consist, average age 18 years

Annual ridership: 12.7 million

Annual operating cost: $134.3 million

Annual capital cost: $153.2 million

Number of stations: 50

RT plans to soon launch construction on the South Line Phase 2 light-rail project, which will extend service 4.3 miles, linking the rapidly developing South Sacramento Corridor with downtown Sacramento. The line will feature four stations and a major transit center.

Contact: Randy Miller, Director of Procurement Services

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

Operates transit service in the San Francisco Bay area. Services include historic streetcar, bus and light rail. Light-rail service launched in 1912.

Route miles: 71.5 miles light rail

Rolling stock: 151 light-rail trains, average age 12 years

Annual ridership: 51 million

Annual operating cost: N/A

Annual capital cost: N/A

Number of stations: 28

SFMTA is continuing a rail replacement project on the N and J lines on Duboce Avenue between Church and Noe streets, and on Church Street between Duboce Avenue and Market Street. The $28.6 million project calls for replacing worn track, including special trackwork, as well as the wayside train control system, overhead wires and poles. Construction began in March 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in April 2014.

The agency also is replacing worn track and other infrastructure along Carl Street. The $22.3 million project began earlier this year and is slated for completion in April 2014.

In August, SFMTA began the $42 million Green Center rail replacement, which includes replacing worn tracks and switches at the north and south ladder tracks in the Green Center storage yard, as well as replacing revenue track outside the storage yard, overhead contact systems and track switch control points. New boarding islands with ADA-accessible platforms along San Jose Avenue have been proposed, as well. The project is scheduled to be completed in April 2017.

In March 2013, the agency plans to launch a $3.6 million project to replace mainline tracks within the Muni Metro Turnback structure between Embarcadero Station and Folsom Portal. The project also includes cleaning and clearing the track drainage troughs and improving the ATCS cable mounting to provide better maintenance access. The project is scheduled for completion in February 2014.

In July 2013, SFMTA expects to begin the Sunset Tunnel track replacement, which calls for replacing about 10,000 feet of track with 115-pound rail, as well as ties and ballast along the length of the tunnel in both directions. The agency will improve tunnel safety, as well, by replacing the lighting and automatic doors at the tunnel entrance. The $30.1 million project is expected to conclude in March 2014.

Contact: Vince Harris

San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission

Oversees the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), a passenger-rail service operating in northern California, between the San Joaquin Valley and Silicon Valley. Commuter-rail service launched in 1998.

Route miles: 86 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 5 locomotives, average age 10 years; 24 rail cars, average age 9 years

Annual ridership: 786,947 (FY2011/12)

Annual operating cost: $17.2 million

Annual capital cost: $50.9 million

Number of stations: 10

ACE is constructing a new maintenance and layover facility in Stockton, Calif., expected to cost $68 million and be completed in November 2013. The agency also is constructing a $10 million Stockton track extension that's scheduled for completion in summer 2013.

Contact: Brian Schmidt, Director of Operations, Planning and Programming

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

VTA is an independent special district responsible for bus, light-rail and paratransit operations, as well as congestion management, specific highway improvement projects and county-wide transportation planning. Light-rail service launched in 1987.

Route miles: 42.2 light rail

Rolling stock: 100 light-rail trains with 1, 2 or three cars per consist, average age 6 years

Annual ridership: 10 million

Annual operating cost: $57.4 million

Annual capital cost: $335 million (includes total projected cost of projects in preliminary engineering, final design or construction, as of July 1, 2012)

Number of stations: 62

VTA is overseeing construction of a 10-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit extension that will run from Warm Springs/Alameda County to Berryessa/Santa Clara County. Construction began in April and is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with service anticipated to begin in 2017.

The agency is completing final design for a 2.6-mile light-rail extension into east San Jose/Santa Clara County, and completing project development and environmental clearance work for a 1.57-mile extension to the city of Campbell/Santa Clara County. Construction on both projects is on hold until the federal environmental review phase is completed, as the projects depend on funding availability.

Contact: Brandi Childress, Public Information Officer


Regional Transportation District (RTD)

Provides mass transportation services in Denver and eight counties. Light-rail service launched in 1994.

Route miles: 35 light rail

Rolling stock: 172 light-rail trains with 2 to 4 cars per consist, average age 6 years; 50 commuter-rail vehicles on order from Hyundai-Rotem, to be delivered in 2014

Annual ridership: 20.7 million

Annual operating cost: $32.6 million

Annual capital cost: $0, for base system

Number of stations: 36

RTD is in the process of building out FasTracks, a $6.7 billion regional program aimed at completing more than 120 miles of new light- and commuter-rail lines throughout the Denver region. As part of the program, the West, East and Gold rail lines are under construction, as well as a segment of the Northwest line. During the next year, RTD plans to break ground on the I-225 line and a segment of the North Metro line.

The West Rail Line will run 12.1 miles serving Denver, Lakewood, Golden and Jefferson County. Scheduled to be complete in 2013, the line is being built by Denver Transit Construction Group, a joint venture between Stacy and Witbeck and Herzog, as well as Balfour Beatty Rail Inc.

The Eagle P3 project encompasses the East and Gold lines, as well as a commuter-rail facility and a section of the Northwest rail lines. The East Rail Line is a 22.8-mile commuter-rail corridor that would run between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport. The Gold Line is an 11.2-mile electric commuter-rail line that would connect Denver Union Station to Wheat Ridge. The Northwest Rail Line would run 41 miles from Denver Union Station to Longmont. The first, 6.2-mile segment — included under the Eagle P3 project — is scheduled for completion in 2016. The rail lines that make up the Eagle P3 project will be designed, built, operated, financed and maintained by Denver Transit Partners, a consortium that comprises Fluor Enterprises Inc., Denver Rail (Eagle) Holdings Inc. (a unit of John Laing plc), and Uberior Infrastructure Investments (a unit of Lloyds Banking Group). Other team members include Balfour Beatty, ACI, Ames Construction and HDR Inc.

The I-225 Rail Line will run 10.5 miles through the city of Aurora and a small section of the city and county of Denver. The line will be built by Kiewit Infrastructure Inc.

Contact: Scott Reed, Assistant General Manager, Communications


South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA)

Coordinates transportation needs in South Florida and operates commuter railroad Tri-Rail. Commuter-rail service launched in 1989.

Route miles: 142 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 14 locomotives, average age 28 years, plus 10 locomotives on order from Brookville Equipment Corp. scheduled to be delivered beginning in December; 33 rail cars, average age 18 years, plus 3 diesel multiple units, average age 6 years, with 24 coaches on order from Rotem Hyundai and currently being delivered

Annual ridership: 4 million

Annual operating cost: $54.7 million

Annual capital cost: $21.3 million

Number of stations: 18

SFRTA plans to soon begin reconstructing its Pompano Beach Station to obtain silver LEED certification. As of press time, the request for proposals had not yet been issued. Projected cost is $5 million.

Contact: Chris Bross, Director of Procurement


The Florida Department of Transportation is overseeing a commuter-rail project in central Florida. The 61.5-mile line will connect downtown Orlando with Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties. The project's first phase is under way: a 32-mile, 12-station segment linking DeBary with Sand Lake Road, south of Orlando. Service is scheduled to begin in 2014. The second phase will serve five additional stations, north to DeLand and south to Poinciana. MotivePower Inc. is supplying locomotives and Bombardier Transportation is supplying coaches and cab cars. An Archer Western/RailWorks Corp. joint venture was contracted to complete final design and construction.


Metro Transit

An operating division of the Metropolitan Council, providing about 90 percent of regular-route service in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Metro Transit operates the Hiawatha light-rail and Northstar commuter-rail lines. Light-rail service launched in 2004 and commuter-rail service, in 2009.

Route miles: 12 light rail; 40 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 6 locomotives, average age 2 years; 18 rail cars, average age 2 years; 27 light-rail trains with 2 to 3 cars per consist, average age 7 years; 41 S70 light-rail vehicles on order from Siemens, to be delivered between September 2012 and October 2013.

Annual ridership: 10.5 million light rail; 710,400 commuter rail

Annual operating cost: $26.7 million light rail; $17 million commuter rail (2011)

Number of stations: 19 light rail; 6 commuter rail

In 2012, Metro Transit plans to spend $270.6 million on the Central Corridor light-rail project. Construction on the 11-mile line — which will link downtown St. Paul with downtown Minneapolis via the University of Minnesota campus — is nearly 70 percent complete. Scheduled to open in 2014, the line will include 18 stations and share five stations in downtown Minneapolis with the Hiawatha light-rail line.

Metro Transit also has appropriated $5 million in initial seed money to advance preliminary engineering for a 14-mile light-rail line extending from downtown Minneapolis to the southwestern suburb of Eden Prairie, serving the Kenilworth Corridor and Opus/Golden Triangle employment center.

The agency is working with Hennepin County and other partners to improve light-rail transit and pedestrian amenities adjacent to Target Field. The parties are seeking to build a new light-rail station and plaza on the upper level of a three-tiered structure, serving trains from both the existing Hiawatha Line and future Central Corridor. The project also would include building a street-level promenade, reconstructing an intersection and demolishing an adjacent county-owned building. The project is expected to conclude in 2014. In 2012, Metro Transit contributed $500,000 in staff time and other related expenses for the project.

Meanwhile, the agency is making a series of upgrades to Hiawatha line equipment and infrastructure. In 2012, Metro Transit will spend: $695,000 to purchase automatic passenger counters for 27 light-rail vehicles; $400,000 to modify the video mirrors to allow vehicles to operate between the Hiawatha and Central Corridor lines; $200,000 as part of a multi-year mid-life door overhaul program; $200,000 to modify the draw amps to enable vehicles to operate between the Hiawatha and Central Corridor lines; $200,000 on a multi-year project to design and install signal equipment to provide positive red signal enforcement; $100,000 as the final installment of a $7.7 million project to overhaul key systems on light-rail vehicles as they reach 400,000 miles of service; $77,000 as part of a multi-year project to conduct preventative maintenance on highway crossing signals; and $50,000 on a $225,000 project to replace and upgrade crossing signals on the Hiawatha mainline and yard.

Metro Transit also will spend $10 million in 2012 as part of an $18 million project to design and construct an expansion of the Hiawatha operations and maintenance complex. The project includes additional train storage, more maintenance shop space, a car lift, hoists, cranes and a geothermal heating/cooling system. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2014.

Other Hiawatha projects and their 2012 allocations include: annual light-rail station improvements ($100,000); a closed-circuit television upgrade ($175,000); wireless video installation at stations ($150,000); routine annual maintenance ($2.2 million); and electrical substation installations ($3 million).

On the commuter-rail side, Metro Transit is spending $2 million to make final payments on the completion of the Northstar line. Another $2 million is being spent to cover Metro Transit's share of wayside corridor improvements being made by track owner BNSF Railway Co. to accommodate positive train control, as well as PTC- related improvements to locomotives and cab cars.

Contact: John Siqveland, Public Relations Manager


MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

LIRR operates along more than 700 track miles on 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk to Penn Station. Service launched in 1834.

Route miles: 320 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 45 locomotives, average age 12.5 years; 1,006 electric rail cars, average age 11 years; 134 diesel cars, average age 12.5 years

Annual ridership: 81 million

Annual operating cost: $1.7 billion

Annual capital cost: $242 million (planned for 2012)

Number of stations: 124

LIRR is implementing a positive train control system on all mainline tracks. The $323.9 million project began in 2009 and is scheduled to be completed by 2015's end. Consultants are SYSTRA and AECOM.

The agency is spending $3 million on design work for infrastructure improvements at Colonial Road in Great Neck, N.Y., where LIRR plans to build a new 12-car pocked track, replace the Colonial Road Bridge and improve right-of-way drainage. HNTB Corp. began design work in January 2010 and expects to complete it in March 2013.

Design work also is under way for a new 12-car Massapequa pocket track, which will help facilitate additional mid-branch train starts on LIRR's Babylon Branch. HNTB and AECOM are serving as consultants. Design work began in December 2011 and is slated for completion in September 2013 at a cost of $1 million.

In July, HNTB New York Engineering and Architecture began design work for the first phase of the Jamaica capacity improvement project, which calls for building a new Jamaica Platform so LIRR can provide cross-borough scoot service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal. The $332.8 million project also includes removing and installing switches, realigning tracks, reconfiguring the Johnson Avenue Train Yard, constructing a freight bypass track and modifying the signal system. Design work is scheduled to be completed in October 2014; a construction timeline has not yet been determined.

LIRR is in the midst of a $16.5 million project to replacing the existing direct fixation fastening system on the double-track viaduct between Merrick and Bellmore on the Babylon Branch. Work includes: conducting a survey of existing track geometry and a condition survey of the concrete deck; completing localized concrete deck repairs; installing new direct fixation fasteners on the concrete viaducts supporting two tracks between Merrick and Bellmore; and replacing or enlarging existing plinths, as well as running rail and guard rail plinths. Construction began in January and is scheduled to conclude in April 2013. Delta Railroad Construction is the design/build contractor and Parsons Brinckerhoff is the consultant.

LIRR is rehabilitating about 10,000 linear feet of track in selected locations along the Atlantic Branch. Parsons Brinckerhoff launched design work on the $14 million project in July 2012 and plans to complete it in May 2013. The construction timeline is to be determined.

LIRR is in the midst of replacing selected signal system equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. The $15 million project began in March 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in January 2016.

MTA Metro-North Railroad

Operates commuter-rail service, which launched in 1834.

Route miles: 385 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 898 electric rail cars, 238 standard passenger-rail vehicles, 58 diesel locomotives, and 10 road switchers

Ridership: 282,000 daily trips

Annual operating cost: $1 billion

Annual capital cost: $483.5 million

Number of stations: 122

Metro-North has entered the final phase of the Harmon Shop complex reconstruction project. Later this year, the agency plans to award a design contract for the 100-year-old building. The project includes tearing down part of the old shop where locomotives used to be maintained and building a 130,000-square-foot consist shop in its place, featuring two 10-car, double-ended tracks. The project also includes building a 250,000-square-foot electric multiple unit support facility. Total project budget is $270 million. Construction is expected to begin in late 2013 and take four-and-a-half years to complete.

In addition, Metro-North is conducting four major power upgrades to replace obsolete facilities, and better serve growing ridership and the newer, larger fleet. The agency is replacing and expanding a substation known as "Catenary Bridge 23" at Mount Vernon East on the New Haven Line. The 30-year-old, high-voltage facility will feature new SF6 technology using an inert gas that acts as a super insulator and allows very high voltages when space is confined. The New York Power Authority designed the project is overseeing construction. The $49 million project is slated for completion in July 2014. Metro-North plans to build a 4-megawatt substation will be built just south of the Brewster Station on the Harlem Line to provide extra capacity and redundancy so train service can withstand tree damage in case of a storm. Design is complete and the project will go out for bid in the fourth quarter. Project cost is $8 million. Meanwhile, the agency is replacing a substation at 86th Street in Manhattan that was built in the early 1980s as a single-ended substation with 2-megawatt capacity. The new substation will feature 4 megawatts of capacity. Metro-North also will upgrade the rail reactors to larger-capacity units at the 110th Street substation. The two Manhattan substation improvements are expected to cost $24 million. The agency plans to buy land for an additional power substation on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx on the Harlem Line.

Two major upgrades are planned for the 58-year-old Harlem River Lift Bridge, which accommodates all four tracks between Manhattan and the Bronx. Metro-North is replacing 128 original wire cables that lift the structure. The agency also is replacing the original bridge control system with a modern, programmable logic controller bridge lift system. The bridge improvements are estimated to cost $33 million and take two years to complete. Metro-North plans to award a contract by year's end.

The agency has earmarked another $10 million for drainage improvements between Mott Haven and Fordham and on the Hudson Line where the Sing Sing Creek flows under the tracks at Ossining.

And, at Fordham Station, Metro-North plans to widen the northbound platform to serve the reverse-peak market. The project is estimated to cost $13 million.

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT)

A public-benefit corporation chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1965, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority moves approximately 8.5 million people every day. NYCT has been operating subway service in New York City and surrounding areas since 1904.

Route miles: 227 route miles and 673 track miles

Rolling stock: 73 locomotives, average age 31 years, plus 27 on order; 6,383 rail cars, average age 16 years, plus 300 R-179 rail cars on order from Bombardier Transportation, test cars to arrive in 2013 with entire fleet delivered by 2017

Annual ridership: 1.64 billion

Annual operating cost: $6.9 billion

Annual capital cost: N/A

Number of stations: 490, including Staten Island Railway

NYCT is continuing work on the Second Avenue Subway, which will extend subway service from 125th Street to the Financial District; the 7 Line extension, which will extend subway service from Time Square to the Javits Center; and the Fulton Center, a new station linking eight subway lines and featuring an underground concourse to three others, as well as the Port Authority Trans-

Hudson service and World Trade Center Site.

To complete routine track maintenance as quickly as possible — and minimize disruption to passengers — NYCT has implemented a "FASTRACK" program, under which it closes line segments for four nights in a row, enabling crews to work uninterrupted. The program has helped the agency complete significantly more maintenance work such as track replacement, and single inspections and repair, according to NYCT.

The agency also is enhancing its signals program to address the current backlog in the inspection, testing and maintenance of the equipment. And, NYCT's increased investment in elevator and escalator maintenance will help workers complete more heavy-duty maintenance on a scheduled basis and offer quicker response time to equipment breakdowns.

Meanwhile, the agency has installed countdown clocks at more than 200 stations and is continuing its station rehabilitations. NYCT is working to install customer help point intercoms system-wide, with a goal of adding the equipment to 102 stations by 2014. Cell phone service is now available at six underground stations and will be available at 30 more by the end of 2012.


Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)

Operates bus and light-rail service in the Charlotte region; light-rail service launched in 2007.

Route miles: 9.3 miles light rail

Rolling stock: 20 light-rail vehicles, average age 4.5 years

Annual ridership: 4.8 million

Annual operating cost: $14 million

Annual capital cost: $1.2 million (FY2013)

Number of stations: 15

In July, the Federal Transit Administration gave CATS the go-ahead to enter final design for the Blue Line extension, a 9.3-mile line that will run from Ninth Street in Center City Charlotte through the North Davidson and University areas, terminating at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus. CATS expects to receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA later this year.

Contact: Tom Livingston, Manager of Procurement


Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)

Provides transit service to riders in the Portland metropolitan area. Operates light-rail, commuter-rail and bus transportation. Light-rail service launched in 1986; commuter-rail service launched in 2009.

Route miles: 52 light rail; 14.7 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 127 light-rail trains with 2 cars per consist, average age 13.5 years, plus 18 light-rail vehicles on order from Siemens, to be delivered by 2014; three Colorado Railcar diesel multiple units that may be operated as single cars or in a two-car consist and one Colorado Railcar cab car, all manufactured in 2008. TriMet also has two 1950s vintage BUDD RDCs that it operates as a married pair.

Annual ridership: 41.2 million light rail; 370,800 commuter rail (FY2011)

Annual operating cost: $66.4 million light rail; $5.9 million commuter rail (FY2011)

Annual capital cost: $86.9 million light rail; $514,000 commuter rail (FY2011)

Number of stations: 87 light rail; 5 commuter rail

TriMet is in the midst of the $1.5 billion Portland-Milwaukie light-rail transit project, a 7.3-mile extension of the existing light-rail system. The line will feature 10 stations and a bridge over the Willamette River in Portland that will carry light-rail trains, buses, bikes and pedestrians, as well as a future Portland Streetcar extension. Major contractors include: Stacy and Witbec Inc./Mowat Construction Co., a joint venture; Stacy and Witbeck; Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.; and LTK Engineering. The project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2015.


Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)

Operates Music City Star commuter-rail service between Nashville and Lebanon, Tenn. Service launched in 2006.

Route miles: 32 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 3 locomotives, 16 rail cars

Annual ridership: 277,148 (FY2012)

Annual operating cost: $4.6 million

Annual capital cost: $600,000

Number of stations: 6

RTA is in the midst of a track renovation project.

Contact: Lora Baulsir, General Manager


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Provides transit service for 13 cities in north Texas, including light rail, commuter rail (in cooperation with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority), bus, paratransit and high-occupancy vehicle service. Light-rail service launched in 1996.

Route miles: 77 light rail

Rolling stock: 163 light-rail trains with 1 to 3 cars per consist, average age 9 years

Annual ridership: 22.3 million (FY2011)

Annual operating cost: $129.9 million

Annual capital cost: $364.6 million

Number of stations: 58

DART is building the second and third sections of the Orange Line, which will connect northwest Dallas to the city of Irving. The line ultimately will connect with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The first, five-mile section opened in July. The four-mile second segment is scheduled to open in December and the third section, which will end at the airport's Terminal A, is slated to open in December 2014.

In addition, DART is wrapping up construction on a five-mile Blue Line extension. Scheduled to open in December, the line will connect Garland and Rowlett.

Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T)

In March 2012, the Federal Transit Administration gave The T approval to enter preliminary engineering for the TEX Rail line, which would run from southwest Forth Worth, northeast to Grapevine and into the north entrance of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The 37-mile line would operate on existing right of way owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Fort Worth and Western Railroad, and Union Pacific Railroad. This month, potential design/build bidders are scheduled to submit qualification to The T. The line is scheduled to open in 2016 and cost about $960 million to build.

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)

Operates light-rail service in the Houston area. Light-rail service launched in 2004.

Route miles: 7.5 light rail

Rolling stock: 18 light-rail trains with single and double consists, average age 7 years, plus 19 S70 cars on order from Siemens, to be delivered in 2012

Annual ridership: 10.7 million (FY2011)

Annual operating cost: $15.3 million (FY2010)

Annual capital cost: N/A

Number of stations: 16

METRO is building more than 30 miles of new light-rail lines and 53 stations to connect to the existing 7.5-mile Red Line. The 5.3-mile North Line, 6.6-mile Southeast Line and 3.3-mile East End Line are under construction and scheduled to open in mid-2014. The 4.7-mile Uptown Line and 11.4-mile University Line remain in the design and development phase.

Contact: Lloyd Welch

Trinity Railway Express (TRE)

Jointly operated by the Forth Worth Transportation Authority and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, TRE is a commuter-rail service connecting the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as DFW International Airport. Service launched in 1996.

Route miles: 34 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 9 locomotives, average age 18 years; 17 rail cars, average age 18 years

Annual ridership: 2.4 million (FY2011)

Annual operating cost: $20 million (FY2011)

Annual capital cost: $6.1 million (FY2011)

Number of stations: 10

In August, TRE issued a notice to proceed to Stantec Consulting Services to provide project management and technical support services for positive train control installation. Specifications for a design/build/integration contract will be completed in the fourth quarter and the contract is projected to go out for bid in first-quarter 2013.

In 2013, TRE also will replace 1.7 miles of 115-pound rail with 136-pound rail, as well as 4,000 wood ties with composite ties. The work will be performed by Herzog Transit Services Inc. The project is expected to cost less than $3.1 million.

Contact: Raymond Suarez, Chief Administrative Officer


Utah Transit Authority (UTA)

Multi-modal transit agency operating light-rail, commuter-rail and bus service. Light-rail service launched in 1999; commuter-rail service, in 2008.

Route miles: 38 light rail; 45 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 18 locomotives, average age 3 years; 63 rail cars, 38 are 3 years old and 25 are 40-year-old cars that have been overhauled; 146 light-rail vehicles with 2 to 4 cars per consist

Annual ridership: 15.3 million light rail; 1.6 million commuter rail

Annual operating cost: $32.5 million light rail; $14.7 million commuter rail

Annual capital cost: $18.7 million for light- and commuter-rail maintenance; total capital budget (including new rail projects) is $344 million

Number of stations: 41 light rail; 8 commuter rail

In December, UTA plans to open the $850 million FrontRunner South commuter-rail line, which will run from the Provo Intermodal Center, through Utah County, to the Salt Lake Central Station in downtown Salt Lake City. The line is being built by Commuter Rail Constructors, a joint venture between Stacy and Witbeck and Herzog.

In April 2013, UTA plans to open the six-mile, $350 million Airport light-rail line, which will extend the existing TRAX system from Arena Station to north Temple and Salt Lake City International Airport. The line is being built by a Stacy and Witbeck/Kiewit joint venture. And in August 2013, the agency expects to launch service on the $193 million, 3.5-mile Draper light-rail line, which extend the Sandy/Salt Lake TRAX line from the South Sandy Civic Center station to Pioneer Road in Draper. The line is being built by a Kiewit/Herzog/Parsons joint venture.

Contact: Gregg Larsen


Hampton Roads Transit

Operates The Tide, Virginia's first light-rail system, serving Norfolk. Service launched in August 2011.

Route miles: 7.4 miles light rail

Annual ridership: 1.6 million

Number of stations: 11

HRT is studying transit options for a former freight-rail right of way that runs from Newton Road to Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach, with options for new transit service east of Birdneck to the oceanfront. Four options are being considered: extending light-rail service into Virginia Beach, building a bus rapid transit line, improving local bus service and making transit additions or improvements.


Calgary Transit

Business unit of the city of Calgary; light-rail service launched in 1981.

Route miles: 29.25 light rail

Rolling stock: operates 2- to 3-car consists, average age of light-rail vehicles is 15.3 years

Annual ridership: 77.3 million

Annual operating cost: Not provided

Annual capital cost: Not provided

Number of stations: 37

Calgary Transit recently completed construction on the Northeast light-rail line. The 2.9-kilometer corridor runs from McKnight-Westwinds station to a new Saddletown Station. It includes a station in Martindale, as well. Service launched in August 2012.

Early next year, the agency is scheduled to complete construction on the eight-kilometer West light-trail line, which will run between downtown Calgary and 69th Street S.W. The line will feature six stations.

Calgary Transit will continue construction on the Northwest light-trail extension, which is scheduled to open in fall 2014.

GO Transit

A division of Metrolinx, GO Transit provides services in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. Commuter-rail service launched in 1967.

Route miles: 304 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 8 F59 locomotives, average age 20 years; 57 MP40 locomotives, average age 3 years; 543 rail cars, average age 15 years; 107 coaches on order, scheduled to be delivered between now and July 2015; 10 locomotives on order, to be delivered between June 2013 and October 2013

Annual ridership: 4.6 million

Annual operating cost: $180 million

Annual capital cost: $215 million

Number of stations: 62

GO Transit parent company Metrolinx is constructing the $1.2 billion Georgetown South project, which includes adding two tracks to a 15-mile segment of the commuter-rail corridor, constructing five grade separations, widening 16 bridges, upgrading three stations and installing a new signal system. The upgrades will help GO Transit meet future service demand. The project is scheduled to be complete by 2014's end.

The Georgetown South upgrades also will enable GO Transit to accommodate the new Air Rail Link that's scheduled to open for service in 2015. The line will connect Toronto's Union Station with Pearson Airport. Metrolinx has awarded Sumitomo Corp. of America a $75 million contract to supply 18 vehicles for the line. AirLINX Transit Partners Inc. has received a $128.6 million contract to design, build and finance the construction of a station at the airport's Terminal 1, as well as a three-kilometer spur connecting the main rail corridor to the new station.

Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario is investing $8.4 billion to build four Toronto-area light-rail lines totaling 52 kilometers: the Eglinton-Scarborough, Crosstown, Scarborough RT, Finsh West and Sheppard East lines. The Crosstown line is slated for completion in 2020.


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