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November 20, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Bolstering the effort to improve safety at Metrolink, directors of the commuter railroad on Friday agreed to buy 20 more state-of-the-art train cars that can better protect passengers and crews during a crash. The board of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority pushed aside financial pressures and unanimously voted to exercise an option to buy the cars made by the South Korean Hyundai Rotem Co. for $1.68 million each, about $1 million below the market value. Rotem cars have energy-absorbing crush zones and other safety improvements now required by the federal government ?
November 18, 2010 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Phil's Diner, a North Hollywood landmark, returned Wednesday on the back of a truck after a long absence and a $1.2-million renovation. Movers lowered the 25,000-pound diner into place at its new location on Lankershim Boulevard north of Magnolia Boulevard, where it will open in March after being closed for a decade. The restaurant was moved from its historic home on Chandler Boulevard and kept in storage to make way for real estate development near the North Hollywood subway station.
November 11, 2010 | By Michael OrdoƱa, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Rosario Dawson has remarkable diction for someone who talks so quickly ? and, as she readily points out, someone who never formally trained in acting, a point that has shadowed her for more than a decade. "It's been the past couple of years that I thought I could say that I'm an actor," says Dawson in rapid-fire speech. She was discovered on her Manhattan stoop as a teen and cast in 1995's "Kids," but with that stroke of fortune came a haunting insecurity. "I was waiting for that Apollo [Theatre]
October 3, 2010 | By Wendy Smith, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Rival Rails The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad Walter R. Borneman Random House: 408 pp., $28 When the Union Pacific and Central Pacific joined rails on May 10, 1869, it was celebrated as the completion of America's first transcontinental railroad. In fact, historian Walter R. Borneman points out in his book "Rival Rails," the rails weren't quite complete: Passengers still had to be ferried across the Missouri River between Nebraska and Iowa.
September 7, 2010 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama this week will call for tax incentives that would allow businesses to write off 100% of new capital investment through 2011 — moves that the White House says could save businesses $200 billion over two years. The far-ranging tax proposal is one of a series of economic measures the White House planned to release this week. The first came Monday when Obama called for a $50-billion boost in spending on the nation's roads, runways and railroads, his latest effort to respond to the stubbornly sluggish economy in a political climate turning against his party.
July 5, 2010 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
When Lee Wesley Gibson began his new job as a coach attendant with Union Pacific Railroad in 1936, the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. Millions of Americans were out of work. Like so many others around the country, Gibson moved from Texas to California in search of new opportunities. Within a year he landed a job with the railroad in his new hometown, Los Angeles. It was the beginning of a 38-year journey, during which he traveled the country and ultimately landed a much-coveted job as a Pullman porter, one of the uniformed railway men who served first-class passengers traveling in luxurious sleeping cars.
June 20, 2010 | Karl Zimmermann, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At the old mill town of Cass, nestled deep in a remote holler of West Virginia, coal smoke and history hang in the air. The smoke is from the geared steam locomotives that serve the Cass Scenic Railroad. Ideal for steep grades and marginal track, these Shays — named for Ephraim Shay, who designed the eccentric but effective locomotives — once toted logs from the woods to the lumber mill at Cass. Today, they haul visitors by the thousands up into those same woods. And the history?
April 12, 2010 | By J.N. Sbranti
The Modesto & Empire Traction Co. is being called the "greenest" short-line railroad in North America. The century-old, locally owned railroad is completing the purchase of five new "ultra clean" locomotives, funded largely by a $6.7-million state grant. The U.S.-made locomotives, which have energy-efficient engines that spew far less pollution into the air, are replacing all the railroad's old locomotives. Until they arrive, the M&ET is leasing five low-polluting engines, which went into service this winter.
April 4, 2010 | By Esmeralda Bermudez
The iron chain falls with a clang as the old man steps into the dark, deserted hallway of Linda Vista Community Hospital. Lights flicker and a stench of mold hangs in the air. Down the main corridor, a lone metal gurney rests against a wall. More than a century ago, the six-story building in Boyle Heights opened to much fanfare as Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital. The Mission-style building -- with verandas, a dome tower and sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles -- catered to railroad workers across the Southwest.
April 3, 2010 | By Dan Weikel
Metrolink's board of directors on Friday hired a former railroad vice president with broad transportation experience to replace David R. Solow, the embattled chief executive who became controversial following the September 2008 Chatsworth crash. After a nationwide search for candidates, the commuter rail service selected John E. Fenton as its chief executive. The appointment will become effective April 16. Fenton's salary and benefits had not been finalized and were unavailable Friday.
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