AN AGREEMENT securing Amtrak’s continued operation of three Chicago ’corridor’ services was announced on January 14. Illinois Department of Transportation had been threatening to invite open tenders for the State House to St Louis, Illini to Carbondale and Illinois Zephyr to Quincy, in an effort to lower the state’s subsidy payments.Amtrak said that it had been extremely aggressive in its efforts to retain the franchise and has made a number of concessions to win what it called ’an innovative, multi-year package’. Subject to annual appropriations from the state legislature, Illinois will pay US$7m in 1997-98, US$7·55m in 1998-99 and US$7·95m in 1999-2000, with Amtrak bearing the risk of any losses. The operator has promised to enhance service levels, improve productivity and develop a pricing structure affordable to Illinois and other states wishing to support services.Amtrak will operate the six return trips under parameters outlined by Illinois DOT including timings, scheduling and minimum seating capacity on each train. Food service must also be provided. Penalties will be payable if a train departs from an originating point more than 30min late or if departures from points of origin are less than 99% on time annually.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles dropped two places to the 46th position in the first FIFA Rankings released Thursday. The Three-time African champions however retained their last month’s fourth spot in Africa.The drop was expected as the Nigerian senior national team was not involved in any activities to warrant any improvement in the 44th spot they ended the year with.With two matches lined up for Eagles in March, Nigeria is expected to rank better in the next edition of the grading scheduled to be published by the world football governing body on April 4. Even with nothing at stake for Nigeria in the dead-rubber last AFCON 2019 qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba next month, Eagles stand to reap points with good display.Few days after the clash with Seychelles, Super Eagles will begin their AFCON 2019 preparations with a high-profile clash with Pharaohs of Egypt at the same Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.Both Seychelles and Egypt are ranked 189th and 57th in the world respectively.Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo are the top five countries in the CAF region.Similarly, there were no changes in the top 20 of the global ranking with Belgium, France, Brazil, Croatia and England the top five teams in that order.Top Ten African Teams1) Senegal2) Tunisia3) Morocco4) Nigeria5) DR Congo6) Ghana7) Cameroon8) Egypt9) Burkina Faso10) MaliShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram