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Vermont wins $50.5 million for passenger rail

first_imgUS Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) today hailed a major announcement that Vermont will receive $50 million for major rail improvements along Amtrak’s Vermonter line. The funding will help pay for construction of track, roadbed and bridge improvements along 190 miles of railroad used by Amtrak Vermonter service between St. Albans, Vt., and Springfield, Mass., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The upgrade will reduce trip times and improve reliability.President Obama and Vice President Biden are to announce the grants Thursday in Orlando, Fla.  They are part of $8 billion in high-speed-rail awards made nationwide under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More than $55 billion in applications were submitted for the $8 billion available under the recovery bill that Congress passed last year.   Leahy said, “This is the biggest single investment in passenger rail improvements we have had in Vermont since Amtrak was created, and it’s just the ticket for a shorter and smoother ride on the Vermonter.  Amtrak brings direct and indirect commerce to our state, as well as giving Vermonters more travel options.  This is an investment in our future and a vote of confidence in this rail line.”  Sanders said, “This is great news. It will create much-need jobs for Vermont now, provide a long-term boost for our economic future, and help Vermont become energy efficient as we strengthen our public transportation. I thank President Obama and the Department of Transportation for understanding Vermont’s important role in the northeastern United States transportation network.”Welch said, “Our state’s rail system formed the foundation upon which modern-day Vermont was built. Today’s announcement signals that rail will be at the heart not only of Vermont’s past, but of its future as well. “Passengers and businesses alike will reap the benefits of high-speed rail in the years ahead. Most importantly, it will provide an enormous and immediate economic boost, creating jobs throughout Vermont.”“Improving Vermont’s intercity passenger rail service has long been one of my top rail priorities,” Governor Douglas said. “Shortening the travel time between Vermont and major destinations like New York City and Washington D.C. will not only benefit our economy, but expanding this type of public transportation is one of the best measures we can take to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”The $51 million grant will fund track and bridge upgrades along a rail line owned and operated by the New England Central Railroad, and will result in a 30 minute travel time savings for passengers using Amtrak’s Vermonter service between St. Albans and Springfield, Massachusetts. The Vermonter has continuing service from Springfield, Mass onto Washington, D.C., passing through Connecticut and New York City.  Should these other states also receive stimulus money for their plans to improve track speeds, the time it takes to travel by rail between Vermont and Washington D.C. will be reduced by about 80 minutes.The grant money will be put to work immediately, with track and bridge improvements slated to begin in the spring with the start of Vermont’s construction season. To comply with the terms of the grant, Vermont has two years to complete all improvements.Another $500,000 was awarded for planning studies for a proposed rerouting of Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express service between Rutland and New York. The proposed rerouting will introduce service to communities that now lack intercity passenger rail service. Communities along the existing route would continue to be serviced by intercity passenger rail service.The White House also announced that Massachusetts will receive $70 million for additional rail upgrades that will provide a shorter and more direct route for the Vermonter between Springfield and East Northfield, Mass., and improve rail access to densely populated areas along the Connecticut River. The upgrades will allow trains to travel up to 59 mph – and even 79 mph in some sections – cutting valuable time off the route between St. Albans and Washington, D.C.   Source: Vermont’s congressional delegation. Governor Douglas’ office. 1.28.2010.last_img read more

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Chelsea forward joins Crystal Palace on loan

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi has joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan after signing a new deal with his parent club.The Belgium international returns to Selhurst Park after a successful spell with the Eagles in the second half of the 2018-19 campaign. Batshuayi scored six goals in 13 appearances for Palace to help them retain their Premier League status, but will be out to help them achieve greater honours this time.He told the Eagles’ official website: “My target is to win a lot of games with the team because Palace is a good team and a dangerous team for the big clubs.“I want to win and to score, to do my job to help the team and I know my team-mates will help me as well.”Batshuayi will hope to play regularly for Palace and earn a spot in Belgium’s squad for next summer’s European Championship.The 26-year-old agreed new terms with Chelsea before his departure and has a contract at Stamford Bridge until June 2022. Eagles chairman Steve Parish said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Michy back to Crystal Palace.“He is a player we’ve long admired, as well as being an immensely popular figure with everyone here during his last successful spell with us.“With other top European clubs vying for his services it is immensely pleasing that Michy chose to come back to help us up the table as well as cementing his place in the Belgium squad for next summer’s Euros.”Boss Roy Hodgson added: “He made a great impact at the club in his previous loan spell, albeit only five months long, displaying a goal scoring threat which we very much needed at that time and we are confident he will produce again.“As a player who will help to convert our chances in to goals, Michy will be another valuable addition to the two new signings we have made this summer.” Batshuayi is expected to make his second debut for Palace on Saturday when Southampton play their Premier League opener.Tags: ChelseaCrystal PalaceMichy BatshuayiPremier Leaguelast_img read more

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Hockey Hall of Fame 2019: Vaclav Nedomansky’s induction goes beyond NHL

first_imgIt’s nice to see that the Hockey Hall of Fame is finally inducting Vaclav Nedomansky as an honored member today.Big Ned was Czechoslovakia’s star center on the international hockey stage in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. He paved the way for the likes of the Stastny brothers to slip past the Iron Curtain when he defected from the Eastern European communist country to come play professional hockey in North America in 1974. There is a reason Jaromir Jagr wore No. 68 everywhere he played, and there is an echo of Nedomansky in it. Jagr’s jersey number referenced 1968, one of the most turbulent years of the 20th century. And it resonates with all Czechs, and all Slovaks, who are united in their recollections of what happened that fateful year in Czechoslovakia. 2019 HHOF class: Carbonneau | Wickenheiser | Zubov | Rutherford | York | Brown | HughsonThe year began with the election of a political reformist as head of the country’s ruling communist party, and bloomed into the Prague Spring, a time of mass protests and liberalization. That hope-filled time behind the Iron Curtain lasted until Aug. 21, the day Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into the capital and the Soviet Union cracked down and put an end to the burgeoning revolution. To say there were hard feelings is beyond an understatement. With few outlets to vent their frustrations, Czechoslovakians found common purpose in cheering on their national teams in any field of competition that offered an opportunity to do battle with the U.S.S.R.Czechoslovakia’s national hockey team won the silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics and Nedomansky was its star player. At 6-2, 210-pounds, the high-scoring center stood out for his size during that era.The Soviet crackdown cost Czechoslovakia the opportunity to host the 1969 world championships, which relocated to Sweden. All the more fuel to the fire that burned in the bellies of its hockey players, who were scheduled to play the reigning Olympic and world champion U.S.S.R. twice in Stockholm.Nedomansky provided an iconic moment to highlight the fierce competition when he shoved the U.S.S.R. net off its moorings after setting up teammate Jan Suchy’s power-play goal, Czechoslovakia’s opener in a 2-0 win in the first meeting on March 21. Big Ned scored in the rematch one week later, a 4-3 win for Czechoslovakia. Those two precious victories made the bronze-medal victory more valuable to their countrymen than the gold claimed once again by the Soviets.—Nedomansky was an exceptional goal scorer. He averaged just under one goal per game in 12 seasons with Slovan Bratislava in the Czechoslovak Extraliga from 1962-74. During the same time period, he had 119 points in Olympic and world championship competition while playing for Czechoslovakia, including an astounding 80 goals in 93 games.After winning a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Nedomansky was ready for the biggest challenge of his career, escaping from communism to pursue a professional career.The Atlanta Flames were in the running in the cloak and dagger bid to lure Big Ned to the NHL, but it was the World Hockey Association’s Toronto Toros that won out and brought him to North America.Nedomansky, who was 30 when he made his WHA debut in 1974, had 41 goals and 81 points in his first pro season; then followed that up by leading Toronto with 56 goals and 98 points in 1975-76.Big Ned had another productive season after the Toros moved to Birmingham and became the Bulls, but early in his second campaign in Alabama, he was part of a historic trade that saw him dealt from the WHA to the Detroit Red Wings.Limited to 28 points in 63 games in his first NHL season, Nedomansky bounced back to lead Detroit with 38 goals and 73 points in 1978-79. He topped that with 74 points, including 35 goals, the following season. His sixth and final NHL season was split between the New York Rangers and the St. Louis Blues.Nedomansky had 277 points (121 goals, 156 assists) in 420 games in the NHL, after averaging just over a point a game in the WHA — 253 points (135 goals, 118 assists) in 252 games in just over four seasons.But those numbers are only part of Big Ned’s story, and it’s clear that his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame rightfully honors him among the greatest players of his era.last_img read more