U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces Grant to Reduce Train Delays and Improve Reliability in Syracuse, NY. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced an $18.5 million grant to reduce passenger and freight train congestion on Amtrak’s Empire Corridor at the Syracuse, NY train station. The grant to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is for the final design and construction of track reconfiguration and replacement and signal system improvements. The project includes the upgrade of two sidings or passing tracks, one of which passenger trains use to access the Syracuse station, the other used by freight trains to access the nearby freight yard. Once complete, the enhancements will remove the current 30 mph speed restrictions on the sidings. NYSDOT will contribute $4.6 million to the project. Construction is expected to begin in 2015. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR). Contact: Kevin F. Thompson (202) 493-6024.
Federal Railroad Administration Adjusts Accident/Incident Reporting Threshold. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the publication of a Final Rule that increases the rail equipment accident/incident reporting threshold for 2014 from $9,900 to $10,500. This action is taken every year to ensure they accurately reflect cost increases that have occurred within the industry. Following the adoption of this 2014 reporting threshold on January 1, 2014, FRA intends to evaluate and potentially amend, as appropriate, its method for calculating the monetary threshold for accident/incident reporting in the future and, as a result, the formula utilized to calculate the threshold may change. FRA has periodically amended this method as Congress requires that the threshold be based on publicly available information obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and or other objective government sources. Contact: Kevin Thompson (202) 493-6024.