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Pennsylvania Receives $750,000 Grant to Study Keystone Corridor Expansion.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has provided a $750,000 High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program grant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to study the expansion of Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.  Passenger trains on the Keystone Corridor currently operate at 110 mph between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and have seen ridership grow from 891,764 passengers in 2006 to 1,296,838 last year.  The study will evaluate the feasibility of electrifying track between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, construction of dedicated tracks for passenger trains and major signal and switch improvements.  The study will also evaluate installation of concrete ties, procurement of new passenger cars and alternative route alignments.  The FRA grant is from FRA’s fiscal year 2009 Intercity Passenger Rail appropriation with a 50 percent state match requirement from Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation. 

BTS Releases Report on America's Container Ports: Linking Markets at Home and Abroad. 

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics has released America’s Container Ports: Linking Markets at Home and Abroad, an overview of the movement of maritime freight handled by the nation's container ports in 2009 through mid-2010. The report summarizes trends in maritime freight movement since 1995, especially during the last five years. It also covers the impact of the recent U.S. and global economic downturn on container traffic; regional shifts in cargo handled, vessel calls, and port capacity; the rankings of U.S. ports among the world's top ports; and the number of maritime container entries into the United States compared to truck and rail containers. The report also includes summaries of landside access to container ports and maritime security initiatives. For the latest maritime-related BTS data products, please visit the BTS Maritime Program website.

Friday, January 28, 2011