1997 in rail transport
|Years in rail transport|
This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 1997.
- 1 January- The Missouri Pacific Railway is merged (officially) into the Union Pacific Railroad 15 years after being purchased by the company in 1982.
- 5 January – Further British train operating companies begin operation of their passenger service franchises as part of the privatisation of British Rail: Anglia Railways (GB Railways); Great Eastern (FirstGroup); Virgin CrossCountry (Virgin Rail Group) and WAGN (Prism Rail).
- 6 January – Full freight and passenger service is restored through the Channel Tunnel, just short of two months after a devastating fire.
- 19 January – British regional rail train operating company Merseyrail Electrics (MTL) begins operation of its passenger service franchise in England as part of the privatisation of British Rail.
- 2 March – Further British train operating companies begin operation of their passenger service franchises in England as part of the privatisation of British Rail: Central Trains and North London Railways (both National Express); North Western Trains (Great Western Holdings); Regional Railways North East (MTL) and Thameslink (Govia).
- 3 March – Union Pacific Railroad reopens the former Western Pacific Railroad Feather River Canyon line in California after repairs are made from flooding that occurred in January.
- 8 March – Service on the JR Tōzai Line, from Kyobashi of Osaka to Amagasaki, starts in Japan.
- 9 March – British main line train operating company Virgin West Coast (Virgin Rail Group) begins operation the InterCity West Coast franchise as part of the privatisation of British Rail.
- 22 March – Japan's Akita Shinkansen begins operating over the Morioka-Akita section using Tazawako Line and Ōu Main Line tracks.
- 31 March – Train operating company ScotRail (National Express) begins operation of the ScotRail franchise in Scotland as part of the privatisation of British Rail, the last company to be privatised.
- 25 April – Construction begins on Phase II of Manchester Metrolink in England.
- 27 April – Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong, China is officially opened. The lower deck of this suspension bridge carries rail lines as part of MTR's Tung Chung Line and Airport Express. The bridge has a main span of 1,377 metres (4,518 ft), the largest of any bridge carrying rail traffic.
- 10 May – Amtrak ceases operations of the Chicago-Los Angeles Desert Wind passenger train.
- 11 May – The New York and Atlantic Railway takes over operations of the Long Island Rail Road's freight services.
- 23 May – GO Transit in Toronto begins operation as a three-year experiment running single-deck diesel multiple units on a single rail line along Lake Ontario's shoreline.
- May – Kansas City Southern acquires the Gateway Western Railway and begins operating it as a subsidiary railroad.
- 28 June – Guangzhou Metro Line 1 begins partial operation.
- 27 August – Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and the United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) form a team composed of UP managers, union employees and FRA representatives to review safety policies and procedures across the UP system.
- 3 September
- 19 September – In the Southall rail crash, the 10:32 Great Western Trains Intercity passenger train from Swansea to London Paddington, operating with a defective Automatic Warning System indicator passes a red signal (SPAD) and collides with a freight train leaving its depot, shortly before 13:20 local time.
- 20 September – RaiLink Southern Ontario begins operations on the former Canadian National Railway Hagersville subdivision between Nanticoke and Brantford.
- 1 October – Nagano Shinkansen, between Takasaki and Nagano route open, with Tokyo-Nagano direct bullet train to start.
- 13 October – First section of the restored Welsh Highland Railway (60 cm (2 ft) gauge) officially opened over 5 km (3 mi) of abandoned standard gauge trackbed between Caernarfon and Dinas, Gwynedd, North Wales.
- 23 October – A coal train in Beresfield, New South Wales, Australia passes a red signal (SPAD) and collides with the rear of a second coal train on the same track in the Beresfield rail disaster; due to the accident, a random factor has been added to the vigilance control signals' intervals.
- 1 November - Australian National is privatised with TasRail operations and infrastructure sold to Australian Transport Network, South Australian branch lines sold to Australian Southern Railroad (a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming), and passenger services to Great Southern Rail.
- 11 November – The extension of Minsk Metro's Avtozavodskaya Line connecting Traktornyi Zavod to Avtozavodskaya opens.
- 22 November – British freight company Railfreight Distribution is acquired by English Welsh & Scottish as part of the privatisation of British Rail.
- December – Illinois RailNet is formed.
- 10 December – Inauguration of the 2nd and last part of the Belgian High Speed Line 1 (HSL 1 – Antoing<>Lembeek) by King Albert II.
- 14 December – Belgian High Speed Line 1 (HSL 1) put into service, reducing the travel time Brussels<>Paris to 1h25 and Brussels<>London to 2h36.
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|Group||Gold medal||Silver medal||Bronze medal|
|A||Norfolk Southern Railway|
- Awards presented by Railway Age magazine
- 1997 Railroader of the Year: Paul M. Tellier (CN)
- 1997 Regional Railroad of the Year: Red River Valley and Western Railroad
- 1997 Short Line Railroad of the Year: Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad
- Colin Churcher's Railway Pages (16 August 2005), Significant dates in Canadian railway history. Retrieved 19 September 2005.
- (February 2002), Flags fall in corporate shuffles, Trains Magazine, p. 17.
- "Passenger train operating companes: who bought what". Railway Magazine: 20. April 1997.
- Union Pacific Railroad, Chronological History. Retrieved 3 March 2006.
- Tsing Ma Bridge at Structurae
- Skeats, William J. (April–June 2005). "The New York & Atlantic Railway". The Railroad Press. 65: 32.
- "GO celebrates 40 years of success" (Press release). CNW Group. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Union Pacific Railroad. "Union Pacific Chronological History". Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 25 August 2006.
- Union Pacific Railroad. "Chronological History".
- "Railway Investigation Report R97H0009". Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- "Project Rheilffordd Eryri". Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- "Rail Safety Investigation Report 1998001 - Coal Train Collision". Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Government of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
- "Australian Southern Railroad". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: 283–284. August 2000. ISSN 0005-0105.