Still more Wednesday morning rail news:
Honolulu gets extension for federal funds withheld because of rail system issues
Honolulu has secured a year-long extension for $250 million in federal funding for its troubled light rail system, but must make enough progress in that year to earn the release of that money from the Federal Transit Administration. Honolulu Civil Beat reports the state’s Congressional delegation helped earn the extension as part of the appropriations deal reached on Monday. The funding has already been withheld for six years because of the problems in building the system, which is years behind schedule and billions over budget. The $250 million in question is from 2015 and is part of about $744 million withheld because of the system’s slow progress. The FTA said it would not release funds until the city and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded the contract for the final 4 miles of the system and work came in on budget. That contract, however, is in limbo after bids for a proposed public-private partnership came in well over budget [see “Digest: Canadian firm develops transit system …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 16, 2020].
Canadian Pacific completes acquisition of Detroit tunnel
Canadian Pacific has completed its acquisition of 83.5% of the Detroit River Rail Tunnel, the railroad said in a press release, giving it 100% ownership of the key piece of rail infrastructure. The $312 million deal was announced in October [see “CP sought to control its own destiny with Detroit tunnel purchase,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 20, 2020]. The Surface Transportation Board approved the purchase earlier in the month [see “Digest: CP announces plans for Vancouver-area transload …,” News Wire, Dec. 3, 2020].
Contract awarded for planning work on MBTA extension to Manchester, N.H.
A plan to extend Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service into southern New Hampshire has moved forward after the state’s Bureau of Rails and Transit received approval to award contracts for engineering and preliminary design of the extension from Lowell, Mass., to Nashua and Manchester, N.H. New Hampshire Business Review reports AECOM Technical Services Inc. will receive $5.4 million, funded entirely with federal dollars, for the design work, as well as environmental review and public engagement