California legislature may try to stop high speed rail contract

News Wire Digest second section for June 8: Montana county seeks support for Amtrak effort; museums at Cincinnati Union Terminal set reopening
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More Monday morning rail news:

California legislature wants high speed rail agency to hold off on contract

A majority of members of the California Assembly have co-sponsored a resolution asking the California High-Speed Rail Authority to defer a contract due to be awarded this year for construction of the high speed line between Merced and Bakersfield. The Los Angeles Times reports the agency is set to award its largest single contract to date, to construct 171 miles of track, catenary, and signaling, but the resolution would defer that contract until the legislature reviews the plan. The resolution would not force the authority to delay, but could set up a costly battle if the authority ignores the legislature’s wishes and proceeds with the contract.

Montana county advances resolution for passenger rail agencies, seeks partners
A draft resolution to establish an agency to return Amtrak service to Southern Montana has been approved by Missoula County and now will be distributed to other counties along the former route of the North Coast Hiawatha, seeking others willing to join. The Missoula Current reports state law requires at least one other county to express interest to join the proposed Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority. The interested counties would then vote to approve creation of the authority, which would seek funding to restore the Amtrak service which ended in 1979. While the state is currently served by the Empire Builder, the North Coast Hiawatha route includes Montana’s two largest cities, Billings and Missoula.

Museums at Cincinnati Union Terminal set reopening date
The Cincinnati Museum Center and Holocaust & Humanity Center, located in the landmark, Art Deco Cincinnati Union Terminal, have announced plans to reopen on July 17. They have been been closed since March 14 because of COVID-19. Reopening plans include use of timed tickets to aid in social distancing, along with signage and floor markings to assist in maintaining a 6-foot distance. Staff will be required to wear masks, while visitors are asked to do so.


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