Digest: Rail Runner awaits date to resume passenger service

News Wire Digest second section for July 13: State legislator proposes NJ Transit leadership restructuring; Alberta-Alaska rail line says it will start surveys
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More Monday morning rail news:

New Mexico Rail Runner running five times a day — with no passengers

While the New Mexico Rail Runner commuter train continues to run five times a day — to maintain crew proficiency and test positive train control — there are still no plans for allowing riders to return to the service, shut down since March because of COVID-19. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the system has a plan for resuming operation, including enhanced cleaning and social-distancing moves, but will need about two weeks to resume operation once the state gives the go-ahead. While it continues to be without passengers, the system is using federal subsidies, its share of CARES Act funds, and capital-budget money to maintain operations.

New Jersey legislator proposes changes to NJ Transit board, top positions
A New Jersey state senator has proposed a major revision of NJ Transit leadership which would restructure the agency’s board of directors, then require that board to hire the executive director and other top officials. NorthJersey.com reports Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen, N.J.) has introduced a bill which would remove the state transportation commissioner as chairperson, and have the board elect its chair; require the board to hire the executive director, auditor general, and customer advocate, while signing off on other major hires; and alter how documents and planning are handled.

Alaska-Alberta railroad says it will start route surveys
The company behind a proposed Alaska-to-Alberta railroad has commissioned engineering firm HDR to begin surveys of the Alberta portion of the 1,600-mile route which would connect the Alaska Railroad to the rest of the North American rail network. The line would run from a connection with Canadian National in Northern Alberta through the North West and Yukon territories to connect with the Alaska Railroad at Delta Junction, Ak. The planned three-month field investigation and topographic modeling project would allow Alaska-Alberta Railway Corp. to begin such activites as land clearing, fencing, and access-road preparation in three to six months.


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