Digest: DC Metro plan to fix safety issues sent back for more work

News Wire Digest for Nov. 11: Local companies seek to partner with Ontario Northland to maintain Huron Central service; county commissioners declare emergency over destroyed bridge in Washington state
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Wednesday morning rail news:

DC Metro safety plan needs more work, oversight group says

DC Metro’s effort to address its safety issues in its rail operations center was turned down by the agency which oversees the transit system’s safety because of a lack of benchmarks to show the problems have been fully addressed. The Washington Post reports the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission gave Metro until Nov. 20 to revise its corrective action plan, saying it needs to how how to measure progress, and how the changes would be executed. Metro is attempting to address at its troubled Rail Operations Control Center [see “Digest: Report describes ‘toxic workplace’ at DC Metro rail center,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 8, 2020]. The new head of the rail center began work on Monday [see “Digest: DC Metro names retiring FAA official to oversee rail operations center,” News Wire, Oct. 19, 2020].

Local firms seek partnership with Ontario Northland to operate Huron Central
Two Sudbury, Ontario, companies interested in replacing Genesee & Wyoming as operator of short line Huron Central would like to partner with Ontario Northland Railway to maintain service if G&W ends service in December, as it has said will be the case without government support. Sudbury.com reports Milad Mansour, president of Milman Industries, and Jason Carriere of subsidiary Diesel Electric Services would like to talk to the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission about creating a service and maintenance partnership on the Sault Ste.Marie-Sudbury short line. The companies have previously said they believe the line can be successful without government subsidies [see “Digest: Valley Metro orders Siemens light rail vehicles,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 1, 2020]. Talks are continuing to preserve the service as a G&W operation [see “Digest: Metra, Amtrak, ask to continue mediation …,” News Wire, Nov. 5, 2020].

County commissioners declare emergency over Washington rail bridge destroyed by fire
Commissioners in Benton County, Wash., have declared a state of emergency over the loss of a railroad bridge destroyed in Labor Day weekend fires. YaktriNews.com reports the move make make it easier for the Central Washington Railroad, which leases the line and bridge from BNSF Railway, to find funding to rebuild the bridge over the Yakima River at Prosser, Wash. While insurance would pay for replacement of the wooden structure, the railroad is hoping to build an upgraded bridge, which would cost an additional $800,000 to $1 million [see “Digest: NJ Transit told revenue PTC testing is under way …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 26, 2020]. The bridge carries some 3,600 carloads of freight annually.

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