Trains News Wire Digest for Tuesday, Feb. 18

Canada modifies rules for hazardous-material trains; Dayton, NS disagree over value of rail line; and more
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The Canadian government has modified its rules for hazardous-material trains, raising some speed limits.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Tuesday morning rail news:

— The Canadian government has modified its order slowing trains carrying hazardous materials, raising some speed limits and adding additional rules reflecting rail-line signaling, the CBC reports. The rules issued Sunday create two categories of trains — “Higher risk key trains,” unit trains of a single dangerous commodity or those carrying 80 or more tank cars of hazardous materials, and “key trains” with 20 or more cars of hazardous materials. Trains in the first group are limited to 48 kilometers per hour (30 mph) in urban areas, or 40 kph (35 mph) in non-signaled areas, with speed limits of 80 kph (50 mph) in signaled non-urban areas and 40 kph in non-signaled, non-urban areas. “Key trains” are limited to 56 kph (35 mph) in urban areas, 80 kph in signaled non-urban areas, and 64 kph (40 mph) in non-signaled, non-urban areas. The original rules limited all trains with 20 or more cars of hazardous materials to 20 mph in urban areas, 25 mph elsewhere [See “Canadian government orders speed restrictions for trains with hazardous materials,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 6, 2020.]

— The city of Dayton, Ohio, and Norfolk Southern have been unable to reach agreement on a sale price for a section of right-of-way the railroad would like to abandon and the city would like to purchase for an urban trail. An appraisal by the city valued the route at about $785,000, the Dayton Daily News reports, while the railroad places the value at $3.5 million. The city and railroad have been in negotiations since 2017. The city would like to use the route to create the “Flight Line,” a park and trail similar to New York City’s popular High Line

— Chicago’s Metra has released a draft schedule for the Metra Electric line reflecting changes spurred by implementation of positive train control, which requires additional time to turn a train for return service at the end of its run. The proposed changes would see some rush-hour trains make more stops, add a daily midday outbound express train, offer cross-platform transfers to express trains for Blue Island Branch riders, and improve South Chicago Branch service. The proposed schedule, and a form for online comment, is available here.


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