Digest: Union Pacific awards $10.2 million in community grants, most for COVID-19 relief

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 18: Norfolk Southern derailment blamed on washout following tropical storm; Denver RTD to open commuter rail N Line on Monday
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More Friday morning rail news:

Union Pacific awards community grants, with most going to COVID-19 relief

Union Pacific has announced the awarding of $10.2 million in grants to more than 930 nonprofit organizations as part of the Community Ties program across its 23-state system, with nearly $7 million of the 2020 grants targeted at needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after the company added $5 million in additional funding to this year’s program. Approximately 620 organizations received COVID-19 Relief Grants, to address critical community needs including general operating support. “Every community was impacted by the pandemic in its own way, and the COVID-19 Relief Grants allowed nonprofit organizations to provide customized, essential services and, in some cases, keep the lights on,” Scott Moore, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, and Union Pacific Foundation president, said in a press release. “At the same time, it's important for us to continue supporting organizations that ensure the communities where our employees live and work remain safe and vibrant, while providing opportunities for family-supporting jobs.” State-by-state lists of recipients are available here.

Washout blamed for Norfolk Southern derailment in Georgia
Twenty-eight cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed near Riddleville, Ga., on Thursday, with reports blaming a washout related to heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Sally. WGXA-TV reports the accident occurred about 11:30 a.m. and involved a 158-car westbound train; no injuries or hazardous material spills were reports. Riddleville, with a population of 91 as of 2017, is in Washington County, approximately 60 miles east of Macon and 44 miles southwest of Augusta.

Denver RTD to open commuter rail N Line, with operating plans altered by COVID-19
Denver’s Regional Transportation District will open its commuter rail N Line on Monday, a 13-mile route from downtown to Thornton, Colo., although plans for operating the route have been changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Denver Post reports that trains will operate at 30-minute intervals, rather than the planned 20, and only three of five trainsets will be used. The RTD expects the line — opening two years later than planned — will carry less than half of the 5,600 to 8,100 riders it was expected to carry by the end of its first year.

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