Trains News Wire Digest for Friday, Feb. 14

State court rules for Sound Transit on car-tab fees; LA's Metrolink to add Saturday service to Ventura County, and more
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Rail news for your Friday morning:

— The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that Sound Transit may continue charging auto registration taxes, rejecting the argument in a class-action lawsuit that the taxes, known locally as car-tab fees, are unconstitutional. The Seattle Times reports the court ruled 7-2 for the transit agency.

— LA-area commuter railroad Metrolink will begin a six-month trial of Saturday service on its Ventura County Line, which currently operates only Monday through Friday. The Moorpark Acorn reports the pilot program will begin April 6. The Saturday schedule is still being finalized.

— BNSF Railway announced it would open a new North Houston logistics center at Cleveland, Texas. The 1,100-acre site features locations for more than 20 new customers and is located next to Interstate 69 and State route 105. Cleveland Mayor Otis Cohn called the project “a game changer for Cleveland’s industrial future” in a press release. Cleveland is approximately 45 miles northeast of downtown Houston.

— Video from a surveillance camera shows that crossing gates were working at a South Side grade crossing where a Metra train hit a car, which then hit a pedestrian on Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. The video shows the car was caught inside the gates, but off the tracks, while stopped at a traffic light, then attempted to move across the tracks and was hit by the train. The three people in the car and the pedestrian were all seriously injured. An attorney representing passengers in an accident at the same location in 2015 says the latest accident was preventable if Metra had taken steps to mitigate risks.

 

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