Digest: BNSF to take over route operated by California short line

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More Friday rail news:

Pacific Sun Railroad to discontinue operations; BNSF to take over

BNSF Railway will take over operation of San Diego-area lines currently served by short line Pacific Sun Railroad, according to a petition filed with the Surface Transportation Board. Pacific Sun’s lease to operate the 21.3 Escondido Subdivision and 0.3 mile Miramar Spur, along with trackage rights on BNSF from Miramar to the San Diego County/Orange County line, is set to expire on Sept. 30, with BNSF taking over operations on Oct. 1.  The Pacific Sun Railroad, a Watco line, began operations in October 2008 and was Watco’s first operation in California.

Swiss open Ceneri Base Tunnel
Switzerland has opened its 9.6-mile Ceneri Base Tunnel, completing its New Railway Link Through The Alps program that also includes the 34.5-mile Gotthard Base Tunnel, which opened in 2016, and the Lotschberg base tunnel, completed in 2007. Agencie France-Presse reports the newest tunnel  — which is expected to handle 180 passenger trains and 170 freight trains — shaves 40 minutes off the travel time between Zurich and Milan, Italy, which is now just three hours. The three-tunnel project cost $26.4 billion. The new tunnel will be fully operational in December.

Vancouver's TransLink finds high compliance with mask rule
Vancouver, British Columbia, transit operator TransLink says spot checks show 92% of customers are wearing face masks since a mandatory face-covering policy became effective on Aug. 24. CTV News reports the checks covered about 31,000 customers. TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond called the news “an encouraging trend. … This level of compliance shows our approach is succeeding.” Transit police can enforce the mask requirement, but so far TransLink has emphasized customer awareness.

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