More Monday morning rail news:
Avon, Colo., officials approve paying half of fees for legal challenges to Tennessee Pass plan
Officials in Avon, Colo., have agreed to having the town of 6,500 pay half the fees to any legal challenge to a plan to revive rail service over Tennessee Pass. The Vail Daily reports Eagle County, Colo., has agreed to pay the other half of the legal fees, at least initially, although Avon officials expect other organizations — government agencies or non-profit organizations — may also want to be involved. Avon Town Attorney Paul Wisor said reactivation of the line would have “significant repercussions for the town, the community, and really the state.” Rio Grande Pacific has agreed to lease the line, dormant since 1997, from Union Pacific, with subsidiary Colorado, Midland & Pacific examining possible freight and passenger operations on the former Denver & Rio Grande Western route [see “Rio Grande Pacific reaches agreement with UP …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 31, 2020]. A railroad representative told the newspaper that Colorado, Midland & Pacific “has no plan, no intention, and no means to operate oil trains” on the route. The prospect of revived rail service has led to extensive filings with the Surface Transportation Board from individuals, whitewater rafting firms, and at least one environmental organization objecting to the prospect.
Sound Transit awards five-year, $24 million deal to Advanced Rail Management for rail maintenance
Seattle’s Sound Transit has awarded a five-year, $24 million contract to Advanced Rail Management Corp. for rail grinding, polishing, and engineering inspection services. The contract is among the most comprehensive rail assessment and maintenance agreements awarded by a North American transit agency, including corrugation measurement and track geometry, and ultrasonic and eddy current testing. “Sound Transit’s approach to looking after rail integrity, wear, and noise and vibration generated by the rail surface finish has resulted in achieving a high level of standards compared to other North American rail systems in the realm of rail grinding and maintenance programs,” ARM President Gordon Bachinsky said in a press release. The contract applies to Sound Transit’s existing Link light rail system, as well as new line extensions, and includes options for five one-year extensions.
CSX train derails in Virginia after hitting boulder
Two locomotives and seven cars of a CSX Transportation train derailed near the southwest Virginia community of Clinchco after striking a boulder from a rockslide, the Bristol Herald Courier reports. The accident occurred about 12:30 a.m. Friday. No injuries were reported and no cargo was reported to have been spilled or leaking. A CX spokeswoman told the newspaper the locomotives and cars were upright as of Friday afternoon. State Route 83 was blocked for several hours as a result of the derailment.