Digest: California Coastal Commission asks transit agency to withdraw petition to STB

News Wire Digest for Oct. 26: Monday morning LIRR service to be disrupted by Amtrak track work; BNSF to lay off 104 at Topeka shop
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Trespassers walking along the bluffs in Del Mar, Calif., scramble away from the tracks as an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner approaches on Jan. 4, 2020. The California Coastal Commission has asked the North County Transit District to withdraw its STB petition regarding track maintenance and installation of a fence along the bluffs.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Monday morning rail news:

Coastal Commission asks North County Transit District to withdraw STB petition on maintenance, fence projects

The California Coastal Commission has asked the North County Transit District to withdraw its petition to the Surface Transportation Board regarding maintenance and safety-fence projects, saying it believes the public’s interest is best suited by collaboration among the entities involved. The Los Angeles Times reports that John Ainsworth, executive director of the coastal commission, made the request in an Oct. 15 letter, in which he also wrote that he was “shocked and dismayed by North County Transit District’s (NCTD) abrupt decision to not only end its collaboration with the Coastal Commission staff ... but to do so without any notice or warning.” The Transit District has requested the STB issue an order to keep the coastal commission and city of Del Mar from regulating its projects to stabilize erosion of the Del Mar Bluffs, and to allow it to install a fence along the right of way to prevent trespassing [see “Digest: San Diego transit agency seeks STB ruling …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 15, 2020]. Del Mar, the environmental group Surfrider Foundation and local residents oppose that request [see “Digest: Surfrider Foundation, residents, file opposition …,” News Wire, Oct. 6, 2020], while the Association of American Railroads supports the request [see “Digest: AAR filing supports right to perform maintenance,” News Wire, Sept. 21, 2020]. Amtrak also recently filed a statement in support of the transit district.

Monday morning Long Island Rail Road commute faces disruptions because of work at Penn Station
Amtrak work on switches at Penn Station will disrupt Long Island Rail Road service during the morning rush hour this morning, Oct. 26. According to a Sunday news release, the work is expected to lead to 10-15 minute delays systemwide for LIRR trains, along with cancellations of 10 trains, rerouting of four trains to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal, and termination of four trains at the Jamaica station. The work is not expected to affect the evening rush hour.

BNSF to lay off 104 at Topeka shop
BNSF Railway will lay off 104 employees at its Topeka, Kan., locomotive shop, WIBW-TV reports. In a statement, the railroad told the TV station the move reflects “lower freight volumes and a significant reduction in locomotives and railcars required.” The layoffs will be effective Nov. 6; BNSF said it is working to connect the affected workers with other job opportunities and resources.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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