More Thursday morning rail news in brief:
Denton County amends transit budget because of virus losses
The Denton County, Texas, Transportation Authority approved a $1.45 million budget amendment Wednesday, addressing the fiscal situation that has come as A-Train ridership has dropped from 31,000 monthly boardings before the COVID-19 pandemic to 5,000 in April — or about three riders per train. The Denton Record-Chronicle reports the amended budget cuts 8.5 front-office positions, and furloughs of nine A-Train employees and 39 bus employees. Some of those jobs may not return. Other moves include service cuts to save fuel costs and delay of planned capital improvement projects.
Cuomo pitches Gateway Tunnel, other projects in meeting with Trump
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched the Gateway Tunnel and other major infrastructure projects in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday. The New York Times reports that Cuomo also discussed an expansion of the Second Avenue subway and the LaGuardia AirTrain project [see ] as ways to help boost the area’s economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have major infrastructure projects in New York that are ready to go, that are desperately needed, that were desperately needed 30 years ago,” Cuomo said. “Build them now. Supercharge the reopening, grow the economy.”
Steam Railroading Institute postpones opening, summer schedule
The Steam Railroading Institute in Owasso, Mich., has postponed its 2020 opening day and summer visitor hours and remains closed until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak. The institute, home of Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 among other equipment, has made the decision to comply with the state’s stay-at-home order “as well as to protect public health and the safety of our visitor, volunteers, and staff,” it says on its website.