Digest: Surfrider Foundation, residents file opposition to transit agency's request with STB

News Wire Digest for Oct. 6: Amtrak adds to Keystone Service to New York; Rocky Mountaineer extends promotional offer
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An Amtrak Pacific Surfliner heads north along the Del Mar Bluffs. An environmental group and pair of residents have filed opposition to the North County Transit District's request for a Surface Transportation Board ruling protecting its right to perform maintenance and add a safety fence along the bluffs.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Tuesday morning rail news:

Surfrider Foundation, residents file opposition to transit district's request before STB

The environmental group Surfrider Foundation has filed its opposition with the Surface Transportation Board to the North County Transit District’s request for an order protecting its right to perform track maintenance along the Pacific Coast, saying the order would “result in an unacceptable loss of the public’s right to access the beach and is not supported by law or fact.” In August, the transit district filed its request with the STB, citing concerns that the city of Del Mar, Calif., and California Coastal Commission might attempt to halt maintenance needed to stabilize the agency’s right-of-way along the Del Mar Bluffs [see “Digest: San Diego transit agency seeks STB ruling …,” Sept. 15, 2020]. Among the arguments presented in its filing, the foundation says that, because the stabilization project involves land outside the rail right-of-way, appropriate state and federal law must be applied, and that a proposed fence to address trespassing along the right-of-way “has adverse impacts on historical coastal access.” Two Del Mar residents and attorneys, Shirli Fabbri Weiss and Laura Schaefer, also filed a 33-page statement of opposition; among their arguments are that the question of fencing the right of way should be studied by a different agency under the Federal Railway Safety Act, and that a fence to prevent people from crossing the tracks is not a matter of rail transportation under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, the law cited by the district in its filing.

Amtrak, PennDOT increase Keystone Service to New York
Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have extended one additional Keystone Service round trip to New York as of Monday, Oct. 5 The addition of Harrisburg-New York service on train No. 652, and New York-Harrisburg service on train No. 641, makes two daily Keystone Service round trips on weekdays; the route is also served by the Pennsylvanian to and from Pittsburgh. There are also two New York-Harrisburg round trips on weekends. For schedules and more information, visit the Amtrak website.

Rocky Mountainer extends promotional offer through Oct. 16
Rocky Mountaineer, the luxury Western Canadian cruise train, has extended its All Aboard 2021 promotion through Oct. 16. The promotion for those booking a qualifying package of eight more more days, includes perks worth up to $800 per couple, including two hotel nights, airport transfer and dinner. Bookings provide increased flexibility, includes a fully refundable deposit up to 60 days from the booking date, final payment not due until 60 days prior to travel, and the ability to make two date changes up to 60 days prior to travel, with changes permitted to and including the 2023 season. More information is available at the Rocky Mountaineer website.

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