The Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced that the Amtrak Vermonter train will return to service this Saturday, October 1, 2011, with a northbound journey from Washington, DC to Saint Albans, VT. On Sunday, October 2, regular Amtrak service with northbound and southbound trains in full operation will commence. There will be slow orders on some portions of the rail line which will initially delay the train up to one hour from its regular schedule but the New England Central Railway (NECR) anticipates that these slow order locations will be reduced as rail work crews continue to improve the rail line. ‘The NECR did an amazing job of repairing their rail line in a short amount of time given the extent of the damage to their infrastructure,’ commented Brian Searles, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. ‘I know VTrans staff provided assistance to their recovery efforts and I appreciate the team effort that was involved in getting the Vermonter back in service,’ stated Searles. The State of Vermont was awarded a $52 million ARRA economic stimulus grant for the NECR line and their construction contractors have been working all spring and summer on upgrading the rail line with grant continuously-welded rail (CWR), new ties, rail crossing improvements and other upgrades. At the time of Irene, the Vermonter rail service had been replaced by chartered motor coaches to facilitate advancing that project ahead of schedule and to maintain on time performance for Amtrak customers. The Vermonter train service was originally scheduled for a return to service on September 19th will be back on track only 12 days later than expected. While the flood waters of Irene dealt a huge setback to the infrastructure of NECR, there were mixed blessings as the impossibility of north-to-south train traffic allowed the CWR installation crew to increase production, while the strong and freshly-laid rail was able to survive the ravages of the washouts to the north. Construction and re-construction crews worked 24-7 to restore service, sharing equipment, materials, expertise, and labor in one concentrated effort. It is a huge compliment to their dedication that service was restored on the New England Central Railway, border-to-border, as of last Tuesday, September 20th. ‘We appreciate the understanding and patience of the passengers while our route was out of service for the project and then the hurricane repairs,’ stated Charles Hunter, Vice President for Government Affairs for RailAmerica. ‘All of the 18 train loads of continuous welded rail have been received and the last few miles will be installed during October. Thanks in part to the track outage, the High Speed Rail Project is now about 70% complete and remains on schedule for completion in 2012. We are very proud of our employees and contractors for maintaining momentum and safety on the project while completing the hurricane repairs in record time,’ continued Hunter. A map with the most recent updates of the Vermont rail system is available at http://railroads.vermont.gov/(link is external). Note the bright green New England Central Railroad route.
Garena Indonesia, a unit of Singapore-based internet and mobile provider Garena, has praised Indonesia for its growing role and reputation in e-sports. The firm said the country was ready to take the next step and organize bigger e-sport events.Garena Indonesia director Hans Kurniadi Saleh Indonesia’s said rapid growth of e-sports had enabled the country to host the Free Fire Champions Cup 2020 (named after the Free Fire online strategy game) slated to be held on April 19. The championship would offer winners cash prizes totaling Rp 8.18 billion.“Only countries with great e-sport growth rates can host the Free Fire world championship. Indonesia had to go through a tight bidding process to gain this opportunity. This will hugely contribute to the country’s bid to develop its digital economy,” he told a press conference on Tuesday. Twelve selected e-sport teams from Asia, America, Europe and Africa are to attend the championship.So far, only Thailand has hosted the Free Fire championship in the region, namely the 2019 Free Fire Championship held in Bangkok, which Indonesia’s team EVOS won.Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewobroto, who attended the Tuesday’s press conference, expects the upcoming event to lure not only more players to seriously train and compete in this relatively new sports but also to inspire local developers to produce high-quality online games.“The government has thrown its full support behind the development of this sport in the hope that it will attract more players and thus grow the local online game industry,” he said.Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said he expected the event to also lure tourists to the country, who would show an interest not only in the tournament but also in other tourist attractions.“A good and memorable event would leave a good [impression] on visitors and would likely make them want to come back for more visits,” Wishnutama said.Topics :