Railroad News

Trinity Metro names two rail division VPs

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/19/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image (left to right) Mike Stolzman and Reed LanhamPhoto – Trinity Metro

Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Texas, has hired Mike Stolzman as vice president and chief operating officer of rail.

He has more than 20 years of railroad experience. In 1995, he joined the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Co., which was later purchased by Union Pacific Railroad.

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OSHA solicits input on rail roadway work rule

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 7/19/2018 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
imageThe U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking comments on a proposed rule regarding equipment in the cranes and derricks construction standard.The proposed rule follows a settlement agreement between OSHA and the Association of American Railroads (AAR), according to an OSHA press release."OSHA's proposal will maintain safety and health protections for workers, and address employers' compliance burdens," OSHA officials said.The final rule for cranes and derricks in construction was published Aug. 9, 2010. However, AAR filed a petition challenging certain requirements that affected railroad roadway work equipment.The parties' negotiated settlement required OSHA to propose a rule that will provide clarifications and exemptions that affect work on or along railroad track.Comments on that proposed rule are due Sept. 17 and may be submitted electronically by clicking here.

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Metra to reissue rail-car RFP

The news comes after the railroad received just one response to its initial request for new bi-level gallery cars.Photo – Metra

Metra plans to reissue its request for proposals (RFP) for new rail cars and open it up to alternative car designs.

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U.S. rail traffic grew 5 percent in Week 28

U.S. railroads reported a 5 percent increase in carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending July 14 compared with the same week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total carloads for the week rose 3.8 percent to 271,207 units, while intermodal volume climbed 6.1 percent to 287,857 containers and trailers compared with the year-ago period, AAR officials said in a press release.

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FTA unveils two new safety regs

[Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. CDT.]

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday issued two final regulations aimed at boosting public transit safety.

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FRA announces $318 million in CRISI grants for rail projects

Rail News Home Safety 7/19/2018 Rail News: Safety
image The grants are aimed at making "rail systems safer and more efficient for local communities throughout the country," said Federal Railroad Administrator Ron Batory.Photo – Progressive Railroading file photo

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a notice of funding opportunity for its Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, which includes more than $318 million in grant funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.

The funding will go toward capital projects aimed at improving passenger- and freight-rail transportation safety, efficiency and reliability, FRA officials said in a press release.

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Canadian Pacific posts Q2 revenue growth of 7 percent

Canadian Pacific reported yesterday that its second-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to CA$1.7 billion from CA $1.64 billion compared with the same period a year ago. 

The Class I's second-quarter diluted earnings per share declined 7 percent to $3.04 from $3.27 per share a year ago. CP reported the per-share numbers in U.S. dollars.

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UP reports 29 percent growth in Q2 net income

Union Pacific Railroad today reported second-quarter net income jumped 29 percent to $1.51 billion, or $1.98 per share, from $1.2 billion, or $1.45 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Operating income for the quarter rose 5 percent to $2.1 billion and operating revenue climbed 8 percent to $5.7 billion compared with second-quarter 2017, according to a UP press release.

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Alstom shareholders OK merger with Siemens

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/18/2018 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
imageAlstom shareholders yesterday approved the proposed merger with Siemens Mobility.At a meeting in Paris, more than 95 percent of Alstom's shareholders approved resolutions related to the proposed business combination, which includes Siemens' rail traction drives business, Alstom officials said in a press release.The transaction is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. Closing is expected in the first half 2019. Meanwhile, the European Commission has opened an "in-depth investigation" to assess the proposed merger. "The commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of several types of trains and signaling systems," commission officials said last week in a press release. In March, the companies announced they entered into a business combination agreement to merge their rail operations. The measure followed a memorandum of understanding announced in September 2017.  

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LA Metro slashes bike-share fares

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has cut prices for its bike share system, which provides rentable bikes to access transit stations or get around LA.

The cost of a single bike ride has been reduced to $1.75 from $3.50, while the price of a monthly pass has been reduced to $17 from $20. The agency also rolled out a $5 all-day pass for unlimited trips of 30 minutes or less.

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Caltrain slates electrification meeting in Burlingame

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/18/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The railroad plans to replace its diesel-hauled trains with electric multiple units.Photo – Caltrain

Caltrain tonight will host a community meeting to discuss the impact of continued electrification work in Burlingame, California.

Construction of overhead contact system foundations and poles is set to continue along Caltrain right-of-way in Burlingame through August, Caltrain officials said in a press release.

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MBTA names Levy customer experience chief

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/18/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has appointed Danny Levy chief customer officer.Levy will be tasked with improving the experience MBTA riders. She will work with MBTA departments that interact with the public to provide service in a "comprehensive and consistent way that incorporates a customer-focused approach," agency officials said in a press release.Levy will report directly to MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez, who said her leadership will help the MBTA become a "more customer-centric organization."Levy has marketing communications and public relations experience in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she served for 13 years as chief marketing officer for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

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House subcommittee to address 2018 hurricane preparation

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's subcommittee on emergency management is holding a hearing today to gauge how well the United States is prepared for the 2018 hurricane season after last year's devastating storms.

In 2017, 10 hurricanes hit the Atlantic region alone, as hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria ravaged parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, in a press release.

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Virginia Railway Express hosts TSA security training

Rail News Home Security 7/18/2018 Rail News: Security
image Explosive-detecting dogs swept VRE train equipment during the training session.Photo – Virginia Railway Express

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) yesterday hosted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for a canine training at the Broad Run train yard in Prince William County, Virginia.

During the event, explosive-detecting canines swept train equipment and a nearby station to help familiarize the dogs and their handlers with railroad environments, VRE officials said in a press release.

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Emerge Energy to locate frac sand terminal on CN line

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/18/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageSuperior Silica Sands LLC has signed an agreement with third-party logistics provider Torq Energy to open a frac sand terminal in Buick, British Columbia.The new terminal will give Superior Sands' parent Emerge Energy Services LP four terminals in western Canada and 12 total active terminals in North America, according to an Emerge Energy press release.Torq operates seven rail terminals in western Canada and will construct and operate the new facility in Buick. Situated on 10 acres, the terminal will be located on a CN line, which will provide one-line haul from Emerge Energy's facility in Barron, Wisconsin."CN has been a crucial partner for over six years, and we are excited about enhancing this relationship as we expand our presence in western Canada," said Emerge Energy Chief Executive Officer Rick Shearer.Construction of the terminal is expected to be completed by mid-August. Initially, the site will accept manifest shipments with rail-to-truck storage capacity for 45 rail cars. The terminal also has the capability to expand to handle unit train shipments.

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Emerge Energy to locate frac sand terminal on CN line

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/18/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageSuperior Silica Sands LLC has signed an agreement with third-party logistics provider Torq Energy to open a frac sand terminal in Buick, British Columbia.The new terminal will give Superior Sands' parent Emerge Energy Services LP four terminals in western Canada and 12 total active terminals in North America, according to an Emerge Energy press release.Torq operates seven rail terminals in western Canada and will construct and operate the new facility in Buick. Situated on 10 acres, the terminal will be located on a CN line, which will provide one-line haul from Emerge Energy's facility in Barron, Wisconsin."CN has been a crucial partner for over six years, and we are excited about enhancing this relationship as we expand our presence in western Canada," said Emerge Energy Chief Executive Officer Rick Shearer.Construction of the terminal is expected to be completed by mid-August. Initially, the site will accept manifest shipments with rail-to-truck storage capacity for 45 rail cars. The terminal also has the capability to expand to handle unit train shipments.

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CSX beat expectations for Q2

CSX posted a boost in profit, revenue and a record quarterly operating ratio for second-quarter 2018 — indications that the Class I's scheduled railroading operations model has begun to pay off, company officials say.

CSX reported yesterday second-quarter net earnings of $877 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $510 million, or 55 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

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CSX beat expectations for Q2

CSX posted a boost in profit, revenue and a record quarterly operating ratio for second-quarter 2018 — indications that the Class I's scheduled railroading operations model has begun to pay off, company officials say.

CSX reported yesterday second-quarter net earnings of $877 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $510 million, or 55 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

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Rail supplier news from STV, Cad Railway, WSP and VTG (July 17)

STV is providing engineering and design services for the second section of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) Purple Line subway extension. Two boring machines will soon begin work on the project, STV officials said in a press release. Working as part of the design-build team led by Tutor Perini and O&G Industries, STV is serving as the engineer of record and principal design firm for the 2.6-mile segment. The firm's services include designing the Beverly Hills and Century City stations, along with the running tunnels. The entire $6.3 billion Purple Line extension will run 9.1 miles from LA's Koreatown to Westwood.

Cad Railway Industries has hired Michael Obertop as senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development. He most recently served as senior VP of sales and marketing for GBW Railcar Services LLC. Before that, Obertop spent nine years with American Railcar Industries in a variety of roles, including corporate counsel, assistant treasurer and corporate secretary. In total, he has more than 12 years of experience in the rail-car industry, Cad Railway officials said in a press release.

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Morales joins Houston METRO's board

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/17/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image (From left) Troi Taylor, Teresa Morales, Carrin Patman and Sanjay RamabhadranPhoto – METRO

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) recently approved the appointment of Teresa Morales to its board. She was nominated for the board appointment by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Morales replaces Christof Spieler, whose term expired earlier this year. He played an instrumental role in the development of the agency's redesigned local bus network and other transit improvements, METRO officials said in a press release.

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