Digest: UP to close one hump at North Platte's Bailey Yard

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 2: Washington-area group announces plans to combined rail network; San Francisco light rail to remain shut down the remainder of 2020
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More Wednesday morning rail news:

UP to close one hump at Bailey Yard

Union Pacific will close one hump at Bailey Yard in North Platte, Neb., consolidating car sorting to the newer, westbound hump on the world’s largest railroad yard. The North Platte Telegraph reports the eastbound hump, which opened in 1968 and sorts cars to a 64-track yard, will be shut down. Hump operations will continue in the 50-track westbound yard, which opened in 1980. In a statement, Union Pacific said it did not expect the changes to have a significant impact on the approximately 1,600 employees based in North Platte. UP spokeswoman said in a statement that the changes reflect “improved customer shipment processing times” and “are a testament to the team’s operational excellence and safe, reliable service to customers.”

Business group seeks unified rail operations for Washington area
The Greater Washington Partnership, a business group representing chief executives of firms from Baltimore to Richmond, Va., has announced an effort to unify passenger and commuter-rail operations in the region. The Washington Post reports the Capital Region Rail Vision project, announced Tuesday, aims to offer a plan for a “world-class” commuter rail system within 25 years. Its effort will include Amtrak, commuter operators MARC and Virginia Railway Express, and public and private-sector leaders. It could address a long-running desire for better integration of local rail service, most recently expressed in discussions of MARC and VRE run-through service [see “News Wire Digest third section,” March 20, 2020]. The effort was announced on the same day the Maryland Transit Administration announced plans to cut MARC service in 2021 [see “Digest: Maryland proposes cuts to MARC train, bus service,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 2, 2020]

San Francisco Muni light rail to remain shuttered through end of year
San Francisco Muni’s light rail system is expected to remain closed at least through the end of 2020 as extensive repairs are made after an abortive three-day effort to restore service in late August. The San Francisco Examiner reports two defective splices — parts connecting sections of overhead wire — failed in a 72-hour period, leading to the shutdown. Those splices found the parts were defective, and 200 new splices are now on order to replace the defective parts. The new splices are not expected until Oct. 20, after which up to 154 existing parts will need to be replaced — a task taking two to three hours for each part. The system shut down Aug. 25, just three days after reopening following a five-month shutdown because of COVID-19 [see “Digest: MBTA chooses builder …,” Aug. 25, 2020].




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