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U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood Awards $400,000 to Develop Hybrid Road Locomotive Technologies.  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced an award of $400,000 to Norfolk Southern Railroad to help continue development of an energy saving battery-operated electric locomotive that could be charged from a charging station.  The locomotive could be used as a stand-alone for yard switching operations or combined with conventional diesel-electric locomotives to create a “hybrid train.”  Contact:  Kevin Thompson: (202) 493-6024.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood Awards more than $400,000 to Improve Track Safety  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today awarded more than $400,000 to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop an improved system for assessing and evaluating railroad track conditions and safety. The resulting system would be used to provide better engineering assessments of tracks, ballast and other aspects that might lead to risk of derailment. Contact: Kevin Thompson (202) 493-6024.

MassDOT Receives $2.7 Million to Improve Freight and Passenger Service.  The Federal Railroad Administration has provided the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) with nearly $2.7 million in planning grants to study improvements in freight and passenger service.  A $2 million grant, with a $1 million match from Pan Am Southern, will be used to study the feasibility of adding double-stacked freight trains on the Patriot freight corridor from Pownal, Vt. to Ayer, Mass., which would increase the freight line’s capacity.  MassDOT also received a $694,000 grant to study the upgrades and improvements needed for a new inland corridor that will allow for higher-speed intercity passenger rail service between Boston, Worcester, and Springfield and Hartford, and New Haven, Connecticut.  This study will be integrated with a companion effort led by the state of Vermont to study intercity passenger rail service between Boston and Montreal via the Inland Route.  Contact:  Kevin Thompson:  (202) 493-6024.

Monday, October 1, 2012