Digest: Maryland says it could take six months to determine path forward on Purple Line

News Wire Digest third section for Sept. 16: Stockton, Calif, project gets BUILD grant; Vermont wondering when Amtrak service will resume
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Still more Wednesday morning rail news:

Maryland may need up to six months to take over Purple Line project, official says

Maryland officials will need up to six months to decide how to proceed with the Purple Line light rail project if the consortium overseeing construction quits, the Washington Post reports, although some work would continue in the interim. Kevin Quinn, head of the Maryland Transit Administration, told the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday that while there might be some initial stumbling blocks, “In the long term, we are going to deliver this project and we’re going to deliver it efficiently. … There are a number of good contractors in this market that want to take on this work.” Last week, a judge ruled that the Purple Line Transit Partners, currently overseeing construction, could quit the job because of a dispute over about $800 million in unpaid cost overruns [see “Digest: Judge rules builders can quite Maryland Purple Line project,” Sept. 11].

Stockton Diamond project gets $20 million grant
The Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project, which will eliminate a heavily used at-grade crossing of BNSF and Union Pacific tracks in Stockton, Calif., has received a $20 million Better Utilizaing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Riverbank News reports the funding will reduce congestion and delays at a diamond used by Amtrak’s San Joaquin trains and Altamont Corridor Express commuter trains. It will also include bike, pedestrian, and roadway improvements at 10 grade crossings.

Vermont may see return of Amtrak in 'two or three months'
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says the state “continuing to talk with Amtrak” about resumption of service to the state with the Vermonter and Ethan Allen Express, saying it should return in “the next two to three months.” The St. Albans Messenger reports state Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn told the paper that Amtrak has said there will be about a 30-day period needed to resume service once a decision to restart is made. The paper also notes that tickets are currently on sale for the Vermonter in the state effective Oct. 8, but that there have been similar on-sales in July and September.

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