Digest: California city files 'strenuous objection' to high speed rail plan

News Wire Digest third section for Oct. 7: NJ Transit investigating light rail fire; DC Metro outlines station repair plans for 2021-22
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Wednesday midday rail news:

Bay Area city files objection to high speed rail plan

The city of Millbrae, Calif., has filed a “strenuous objection” to the environmental impact report filed by the California High Speed Rail Authority for the San Francisco-San Jose segment of the high speed project, saying in a press release that the plan “would destroy Millbrae’s smart growth plans and the city’s entire future.” The city says the report is riddled with oversights and omissions, disorganized, and violates the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. "We will fight them tooth and nail over their presented EIR,” Millbrae city council member Wayne Lee says in the release. “They should be working with Millbrae to make transit-oriented development and housing a reality. Instead, they are trying to railroad their project through with no concern for residents, approved housing, or the future of our wonderful city." The city says that in addition to filing the object, it will “take other necessary actions to stop the current plans.” Millbrae, a city of 21,000, is south of San Francisco, adjacent to San Francisco International Airport.

NJ Transit investigating light rail fire
NJ Transit is investigating the cause of a Monday night fire in a light rail vehicle that halted service on the Camden-Trenton River Line. The Cherry Hill Courier Post reports the fire occurred about 7:40 p.m.; the 17 passengers on board the train were safely evacuated at the Pennsauken station. The fire started in the engine compartment in the middle section of the three-car, diesel-powered light rail train set and spread to the train’s exterior. Pennsauken Fire Department firefighters extinguished the fire in less than 45 minutes, after which the train was moved to NJ Transit’s Pavonia yard in Camden for examination. NJ Transit has already said it will replace the diesel engines of the River Line equipment because they have reached the end of their service life and are not as fuel efficient as new prime movers.

DC Metro plans station closures, other capital projects for 2021-22
DC Metro will close six stations during 2021 and five in 2022 to replace station platforms as part of the Platform Improvement Project that has already completed platform reconstruction at 10 stations. Beginning in mid-February, the Arlington Cemetery and Addison Road stations will be closed for approximately three months; next summer, the West Hyattsville, Price George’s Palaz, College Park, and Greenbelt stations will close for similar work. Set for platform work in 2022 are Cheverly, Landover, New Carrollton, Minnesota Avenue, and Deanwood. Other projects scheduled are a Red Line tunnel ventilation project which will require single tracking of the Red Line between Dupont Circle and Van Ness from Mid-July through August in 2021, closure of the Rockville station in the fall of 2021 for the replacement of the platform canopy, and bridge repairs that will require multiple weekend closures. More information is available here.
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