Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 9:31 am

News Roundup

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Rail stocks soared yesterday when it was revealed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is now the largest single shareholder in BNSF. Apparently, people think he knows something. But rail stocks have been hot for a while.

Former VIA Rail chairman Jean Pelletier won another court case last month, this one a wrongful-dismissal case against the federal government that fired him (previously).

A motorcyclist struck and killed by an Amtrak San Joaquin in Richmond, California on Sunday was stunt-riding, says a UP spokesman: “Sadly, there were two people riding on their dirt bikes, I believe jumping over the railroad tracks. … Unfortunately, as a result, one of them was struck by an Amtrak train.”

That same day, an 18-year-old on an ATV was killed by a VIA Rail train near Hinton, Alberta; the accident was at a private crossing and it’s possible that he was trying to beat the train.

Despite on-time issues, Amtrak ridership on the Chicago-Carbondale corridor is up 68 per cent (previously).

Amtrak has cellphone-free “Quiet Cars” — why can’t commuter trains?

Vietnam is planning a high-speed rail line between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City: the 1,630-km, $32.6-billion line would cut travel time from 30 hours to nine.

Faced with a Chinese rail line to Tibet that may be extended to the border with Nepal, India is exploring options for a rail line to Nepal as well.

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