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Ralph Vartabedian

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Top Ralph Vartabedian Articles

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  • NTSB begins inquiry of fiery crude oil train derailment in Virginia

    A 105-car train stocked with Bakken shale crude oil was traveling slower than the 25-mph speed limit when 13 tankers near the front tumbled off a Virginia railroad track, causing a fire whose heat could be felt high atop neighboring skyscrapers, an...
  • Bus riders' high hopes turn to horror

    Bus riders' high hopes turn to horror
    ORLAND, Calif. — When they climbed on board the bus, most were strangers. Not friends, nor classmates. They were called together by aspiration: They were headed to Humboldt State University through a program designed for underprivileged students....
  • Bullet train construction delayed once again

    The start of construction on California's bullet train, one of the nation's largest "shovel ready" public work projects that was awarded stimulus funding three years ago by the Obama administration, is slipping past already-delayed target dates,...
  • Builder of 1st phase of California's bullet train faces scrutiny

    Builder of 1st phase of California's bullet train faces scrutiny
    The state bullet train agency is pushing full throttle to start construction of the important first phase of the California high-speed rail system in as little as six weeks, prompting scrutiny of the state's selection of a construction company with the...
  • Bullet train's risk of cost overruns reduced, rail chief says

    Bullet train's risk of cost overruns reduced, rail chief says
    Dan Richard, chairman of the California high-speed rail authority, said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in Madera that the agency had reduced the risk of future cost overruns, but the project's price tag could increase in the future. "I am not...
  • California still hasn't bought land for bullet train route

    California still hasn't bought land for bullet train route
    Construction of California's high-speed rail network is supposed to start in just six months, but the state hasn't acquired a single acre along the route and faces what officials are calling a challenging schedule to assemble hundreds of parcels needed in...
  • California bullet train groundbreaking faces new obstacles

    California bullet train groundbreaking faces new obstacles
    California's bullet train agency is facing a series of new regulatory and political problems that could jeopardize its July construction kickoff, which already has been delayed more than six months. The new challenges are coming from a private...
  • High-speed rail authority defends bullet train bidding criteria

    High-speed rail authority defends bullet train bidding criteria
    The California bullet train agency on Thursday defended its bidding criteria for selecting the winner for its first construction contract, saying that the process held down prices and was handled properly. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has...
  • California high-speed rail bidding rules were changed

    California high-speed rail bidding rules were changed
    State high-speed rail officials acknowledged Thursday that they changed their rules for selecting a builder for the bullet train's first phase in the Central Valley, a shift that subsequently made it possible for a consortium led by Sylmar-based Tutor...
  • Cities in bullet train's path have mixed reactions

    Cities in bullet train's path have mixed reactions
    A few hundred faithful pass through the doors of Pastor Bob Childress' sanctuary every Sunday, but he worries that sometime in the next decade a 220-mph bullet train may take their place. The future route of the train, as currently drawn, takes dead aim...
  • Bullet-train planners face huge engineering challenge

    Bullet-train planners face huge engineering challenge
    Civil War veteran William Hood arrived at the mosquito-infested swamps near Bakersfield in 1874 to build a rail line that would soar through the Tehachapi Mountains, linking the Bay Area and Southern California for the first time. Hood, Southern...
  • Bullet train segment's completion date pushed back

    Bullet train segment's completion date pushed back
    The California High-Speed Rail Authority said Thursday that it was adding 12 months to the construction schedule for 130 miles of track in the Central Valley, easing what some outside experts have contended was an overly aggressive and risky timeline....