Digest: Labor Day ceremony marks work at Pullman National Monument

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 8: Engineer's suit with UP over service dog approaches court date; Cancun proposes light rail system

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A Labor Day ceremony at the Pullman National Monument marked progress toward restoration of the landmark Clock Tower building, shown in June 2019.
TRAINS: David Lassen

More Tuesday morning rail news:

Pullman groundbreaking ceremony marks Clock Tower work

Chicago’s Pullman National Monument held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday to mark progress on the landmark Clock Tower building at the one-time factory for railcar construction. The Labor Day ceremony recognized the facility as a key site in the history of the U.S. labor and civil rights movements. WGN-TV reports officials including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin were among those on hand for the ceremony marking the $34 million renovation project, which will be the centerpiece of the 12-acre National Monument and Park. In all, more than $56 million in public and private funds have been raised for improvements, with the Clock Tower expected to open as a visitors’ center in 2021 [see “Plans for Pullman site include rebuilding of manufacturing facilities,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 24, 2020].

Trial set over UP engineer's request to bring service dog to work
A trial is set to begin Sept. 28 for an Arkansas railroad engineer turned down by Union Pacific in his request to bring his service dog to work to help him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from a pair of military deployments, one of which led to a traumatic brain injury. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports Perry Hopman, 45, filed the suit in 2018 under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying that the railroad was subjecting him to disability discrimination. A U.S. district judge denied UP’s request for summary judgment in May, saying the disputed facts about Hopman’s need for his dog must be decided by a jury. The railroad’s attorney declined comment to the newspaper without railroad approval.

Cancun proposes light rail to connect resorts, airport
The Mexican resort destination of Cancun has proposed building a 29-mile light rail loop that would connect the city’s hotel resort zone to its airport, as well as the planned Mayan Train regional tourist rail project. Yucatan Expat Life reports the project would be built in two stages, with the first portion being the elevated 20.5-mile segment connecting the hotel zone to the airport. If approved, construction could begin in the third quarter of 2021, with operation beginning a year later.




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