Federal Railroad Administration

DALLAS (AP) A Texas company has secured a $300 million loan for a proposed high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston. Texas Central Partners will use the funds from Japanese sources to move forward with permitting, design and engineering, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The selection of the Italian firm, one of the largest civil engineering contractors in the world, reflects the participation of global organizations that are designing and building the high-speed train connecting Houston and North Texas. “Salini Impregilo's knowledge and experience in designing, building and leading large scale railway projects across the world is impressive, and its presence in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that it is accepting applications for $73 million in grant funding for projects that can strengthen intercity passenger rail, support capital projects and boost safety initiatives that may include the implementation of positive train control, improved highway-rail grade crossings, and congestion mitigation.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) A federal agency has ruled that a rail improvement project in Springfield, Ill., won't have to reroute its tracks away from where homes burned during the city's Race Riot of 1908. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said the Federal Railroad Administration's decision is “critical to moving the Springfield Rail Improvements Project forward to the next phase.' “The Carpenter Street archaeology is an important part of Springfield's history, and it presents an opportunity to share the story of the 1908 race riots and the subsequent formation of the NAACP with the rest of the world.

A more than $50 million project that's been years in the making is finally under way in Delaware. An improved Newark Rail Station is being constructed in the location of the existing SEPTA rail station, west of SR 896 in Newark. “The existing Newark train station has minimal passenger facilities, inadequate parking and other deficiencies,” said Mark Tudor, assistant director, project development north, Delaware Department of Transportation.

Railroad Administration (FRA) finished the environmental review (final environmental impact statement, or FEIS) to replace the Civil War-era Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel. The FEIS includes review of the route (Alternative 3B) for a new tunnel and incorporates changes sought by communities and neighborhoods in Baltimore during more than two dozen meetings held over the last two years.

After four years of working with the Northeast states, federal and state partner agencies and dozens and dozens of public meetings, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recommended a vision to build a better and stronger Northeast Corridor (NEC) over the next 30 years.

Proposals by the Federal Railroad Administration to upgrade the high-speed rail corridor through the Northeast have raised concerns, and some enthusiasm, from residents in the eight states containing the route of Amtrak's Acela Express from Boston to Washington.