The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

This massive upgrade of the existing Underground system involves 40 Crossrail stations including 10 new ones, connected via brand-new tunnels. It will start its service in late 2018, and be fully operational by 2020.

Six years after California voters approved a $9.9 billion bond act to help finance a high-speed rail line between that eventually will carry riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles. California Governor Jerry Brown and other officials led a ceremony in downtown Fresno on Tuesday to mark the start of construction for the project. Instead of picking up shovels and scooping a pile of dirt like many groundbreaking ceremonies, the Governor instead decided to sign a ceremonial steel rail. Although the ceremonial start to construction took place on Tuesday, major construction is still likely weeks away. According to High-Speed Rail Authority board chairman Dan Richard, “We are entering a period of sustained construction on the nation’s first high-speed rail system for the next five years in the Central Valley, and in the decade beyond that, we will be building across California.”  The first segment will cost $6 billion and be completed in 2018.  It will connect Merced to Bakersfield.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 06 January 2015
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:20

Honolulu Rail Project Underway

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is expected to open bidding on $1.3 billion worth of contracts for the planned Honolulu Rail Project this week. The controversial $5.2 billion project was approved by voters in 2010 and will be completed in two phases with the first phase operational in 2017 and the second in 2019. A rail system on the island of Oahu has encountered strong resistance since the idea was first proposed in the 1960s and was the main issue of the 2008 Honolulu elections, but the project is now moving forward and it has strong federal support. Those opposed to the project cite the project’s cost, potential for cost overruns, and increased traffic during the construction phase as their main concerns with building the rail system. Honolulu already has some of the worst traffic of any city in the United States, and it is expected to get worse as work begins on building the tracks.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman recently stated that the two rail tunnels under the Hudson River in New York have less than 20 years left in their life expectancy before they need to be shut down. He states that he does not know the exact amount of time Amtrak has before the century-old tunnels need to close, but it could be less than 20 years. New tunnels will take approximately 7 to 9 years to complete once the project is officially agreed upon. Boardman would like to quickly resume planning for the multi-billion dollar tunnel replacements.

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  • Date occured Friday, 09 May 2014

The Blackfriars Railway Bridge in London, England is now the largest-solar powered bridge in the world.  Network Rail, the company in charge of London’s rail system, unveiled the bridge at a ribbon cutting ceremony last Wednesday.  The roof of the new bridge is covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels.  The panels will supply half of the energy needed to run London Blackfriars station, and they will help to reduce the station’s carbon emissions by 511 tons per year.  By comparison the world’s only other solar bridge, the Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, will save 38 tons of carbon emissions each year.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Monday, 27 January 2014 12:32

Minneapolis Green Line Nearly Complete

The 26.8-mile METRO Green Line project, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, is nearly complete.  Construction on the $957 million light-rail line started in 2010 and is now 98 percent finished.  The line will open for service on June 14th.  In the mean time, the Metropolitan Council will begin testing the new train cars and training 61 operators during the weekdays.   Siemens Industry Incorporated has already delivered over half of the line’s 47 cars.  The cars cost around $3.3 million each, with a total contract value of $153 million.  Siemens is also delivering 12 new cars for the Blue Line, the cities’ other light-rail line.  The Siemens LRVs will be the second generation of light-rail cars that the Metropolitan Council has purchased, and the cars will allow higher capacity trains to run at a greater frequency during rush hour.

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  • Date occured Monday, 27 January 2014
Monday, 30 December 2013 11:30

Florida SunRail Phase 1 Almost Completed

Phase 1 of the Central Florida SunRail project is almost finished and service on the route will begin once all 12 stations are completed.  Construction began on the 32-mile route connecting Volusia County to Orlando in January 2012.  The rail line is expected to cost $615 million to construct and $432 million to buy the right of way and tracks.  The federal government, the state of Florida, and the three counties that the rail line passes through are financing SunRail.  The federal government is paying for half of the project through a federal transit “New Starts” grant, and the state of Florida and the counties will each par for 25% of the project.  SunRail was originally approved in July 2007, and it took over four years to plan the route and receive funding.  This period included a six-month freeze on all contracts and a legislative review ordered by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The federal Surface Transportation Board rejected the California High Speed Rail Authority’s approval request for a 114-mile section of the rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield on Wednesday.  The board is demanding an extensive environmental review before the approval will be granted.  Currently, only 28 miles of the track have environmental approval.  Officials from the rail authority are brushing off the ruling as nothing more than a minor setback and that the media is misreporting its significance. However, others see it as another major delay in an already over-budget and slow moving project.

A start date of late 2014 was announced on Tuesday for the construction of the Gulf Railway Network Project.  The rail line will connect the six gulf nations of Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Detailed Engineering and Design will be completed by the end of the year.  Each of the six nations will begin constructing the rail line in their own country and linking the rail line across international borders will be finished near the end of the project.  An advisor to the project made these announcements at the MEED Mena Rail & Metro Summit Conference held in Abhu Dhabi.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 05 November 2013