Protests shut down Twin Cities light rail line (updated)

News Wire Digest third section for May 28: Herzog gets operating contract for Orange County, Calif., streetcar; ASLRRA convention goes online
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Thursday midday rail news in brief:

Metro Transit shuts down all light rail, bus service

After initially halting service on its light rail Blue Line, Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Metro Transit will shut down all bus and light rail service as of 4 p.m. for at least the rest of the day, with a decision about tomorrow to be made this evening. On Twitter, the agency said the rail service was halted this morning had been stopped “due to the riotous behavior and out of a precaution for our riders and our employees.” The area has been hit by two nights of protests ignited by the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on Monday evening. WCCO-TV reports looting and vandalism has included fires that knocked out power on the Blue Line Wednesday night. The agency anticipates posting plans for Friday on its website and social media channelsby 10 p.m. today.

Herzog gets operating contract for OC Streetcar
The Orange County (Calif.) Transportation Authority has awarded a $45 million contract to Herzog Transit Services to operate and maintain the OC Streetcar, a 4.1-mile line through Santa Ana and Garden Grove scheduled to begin operation in 2022. The Orange County Register reports work on the $408 million project is running ahead of schedule because business closures along the route have allowed work to proceed more quickly.

ASLRRA announces digital convention in October
The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s 2020 Connections Convention will be a virtual event Oct. 5-9, replacing the conference that had been scheduled for earlier this month in Grapevine, Texas, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 situation. Scheduled speakers are being reconfirmed, but will include Federal Railroad Adminstration head Ronald L. Batory and Howard “Skip” Elliott, head of the Pipline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Registration and other information is available at the ASLRRA website.

— Updated at 3 p.m. CDT with expanded shutdown of Metro Transit operations.


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