Railroad News

RTA report: Tie production, purchases posted gains in March

Last month, tie production increased 4.3 percent to 1.47 million units and tie purchases inched up 0.2 percent to 1.84 million units compared with February levels, according to the Railway Tie Association’s latest market report.

On a year-over-year basis, purchases were up 2.7 percent in March, but production was down 21.1 percent.

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Port of Brownsville, Big River Steel sign option agreement for steel plant

Rail News Home Intermodal 4/25/2018 Rail News: Intermodal
image The Port of Brownsville signed an agreement with Big River Steel that could lead to the development of a billion-dollar steel mill.Photo – Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville has signed an optional lease agreement with Big River Steel LLC that could lead to the development of a $1.6 billion steel mill.

Yesterday, the Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners (BND) — the governing body for the Port of Brownsville — signed an option agreement covering up to 800 acres of property with Big River Steel. The pact enables the steelmaker to pursue the development of a LEED-certified steel manufacturing plant, storage and distribution facility, BND announced in a press release.

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UP slates infrastructure upgrades in Minnesota, Montana

Union Pacific Railroad plans to spend more than $8 million this year to bolster infrastructure in Minnesota and Montana.

The Class I has budgeted $6 million to improve infrastructure in Minnesota, including $3.4 million to maintain track and $1.8 million to maintain bridges.

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UP slates infrastructure upgrades in Minnesota, Montana

Union Pacific Railroad plans to spend more than $8 million this year to bolster infrastructure in Minnesota and Montana.

The Class I has budgeted $6 million to improve infrastructure in Minnesota, including $3.4 million to maintain track and $1.8 million to maintain bridges.

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ARCI: Car orders, backlog up in Q1

Rail-car orders were up 115 percent in the first quarter compared with the same 2017 period, according to ARCI data.Photo – CSX

Rail-car orders in the first quarter totaled 10,348 units compared with 8,501 units in fourth-quarter 2017 and 4,814 units in first-quarter 2017, according to quarterly statistics released yesterday by the Railway Supply Institute's American Railway Car Institute Committee (ARCI).

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RTA’s agency peer review: Metra, CTA rank high in service coverage, efficiency

Yesterday, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) released its annual peer performance measure reports, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Metra continue to perform well in relation to comparable U.S. systems, RTA officials said in a press release.

The reports, which cover 2016 performance, show that the agencies rank high in service coverage, efficiency and effectiveness, they added. 

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Class I-served auto facility coming to Alabama port

Rail News Home Intermodal 4/25/2018 Rail News: Intermodal
image A new automotive processing facility at the port will have access to five Class Is.Photo – Alabama State Port Authority

The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) and AutoMobile International Terminal last week announced they signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and operate a rail-served automotive processing facility at the Port of Mobile.

The $60 million project calls for converting 57 acres of a former bulk material handling facility into a state-of-the-art automotive processing and logistics terminal. The facility will be built near interstates 10 and 65, and have access to five Class Is: BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX, Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Railway.

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FTA certifies rail safety oversight programs in three more states

Rail News Home Safety 4/25/2018 Rail News: Safety
image In Pennsylvania, the state DOT is providing safety oversight of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority heavy-, light- and trolley lines.Photo – SEPTA

Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania have obtained federal certification of their transit-rail state safety oversight (SSO) programs, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced yesterday.

Federal law requires states with transit-rail systems in operation to obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs by April 15, 2019. States with transit-rail systems in the engineering or construction phase also must get their SSO programs certified by the deadline.

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NS set four financial records in Q1

Norfolk Southern Corp. this morning announced its first-quarter financial results, which include four records.

The Class I set new Q1 highs or lows for: earnings per share at $1.93, up 30 percent year over year; net income at $552 million, up 27 percent; income from operations at $835 million, up 10 percent; and the operating ratio at 69.3, down 1.3 points. A lower effective income tax rate helped boost net income, NS officials said in a press release.

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NS set four financial records in Q1

Norfolk Southern Corp. this morning announced its first-quarter financial results, which include four records.

The Class I set new Q1 highs or lows for: earnings per share at $1.93, up 30 percent year over year; net income at $552 million, up 27 percent; income from operations at $835 million, up 10 percent; and the operating ratio at 69.3, down 1.3 points. A lower effective income tax rate helped boost net income, NS officials said in a press release.

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LIRR to perform Double Track work, PTC testing

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will send crews out along several of its system's branches this weekend to perform enhancement work and positive train control (PTC) testing.

 

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FRA seminars to help communicate training and drug testing rules

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to hold three seminars across the country to discuss regulations pertaining to drug testing and safety-related employee training.

 

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WSP taps Keith Powley to manage Charlotte area rail projects

WSP USA, formerly WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, has named Keith Powley as a senior engineering manager and rail transportation construction program manager in Charlotte, N.C.

 

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Rail supplier news from Alstom, Bourque Logistics and Thales (April 24)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 4/24/2018 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Alstom will provide its automatic train operation system I-CBTC to line 6 of the Paris metro.Photo – Alstom

Alstom has been selected by the Paris Transport Authority (RATP) to provide its automatic train operation system I-CBTC — an interchangeable communications-based train control-type automation system — to line 6 of the Paris metro. The contract consists of two parts: the on-board system, which carries out the automatic train operation, and the radio system that transmits data between the train and the ground. Alstom is in charge of the development, validation, industrialization, installation, testing and commissioning of both parts.

Bourque Logistics will open a new office in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville group will provide expanded business development, customer support and other services for Bourque's growing client base in North America and, in particular, on the U.S. East Coast, the company said in a press release. "The Jacksonville area has a wealth of experienced rail talent whose expertise our clients require," said President Steve Bourque. The company has named Edna A. Rice Executive Recruiters Inc. as its exclusive recruiter for sourcing rail and logistics talent in Jacksonville and elsewhere.

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MBTA boosts real-time arrival information for subway lines

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on Friday announced it has improved the accuracy of subway arrival prediction times on its website and certain smartphone apps.

The agency's Rapid Transit Realtime (RTR) system has begun using more sophisticated data to provide more frequent arrival time updates on the Orange, Red and Blue lines. Now, the system refreshes train arrival times every six seconds; previously, arrival times were refreshed every 15 to 45 seconds.

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STB task force to hold informal meetings on rate review reforms

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 4/24/2018 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
imageThe Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday announced its Rate Reform Task Force will begin holding informal meetings with stakeholders next month to discuss ways to reform the board’s rate review methodologies.The STB has been exploring ideas to streamline its stand-alone cost rate review methodology. The board previously issued a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on new procedures for a rate reasonableness methodology involving small disputes that would be more affordable and accessible to all shippers.Established in January, the Rate Reform Task Force is building on those efforts by developing recommendations to reform and streamline the board’s rate methodology for large cases, and determining how to best provide a rate review process for smaller rate cases, STB officials said in a press release. Holding informal meetings with stakeholders, practitioners and consultants on those topics — either in person or through teleconferencing — “will be an invaluable tool in assisting the task force,” they said.In addition to informal meetings held by phone or at the STB’s Washington, D.C. headquarters beginning next month, task force members will be available for informal meetings May 16-18 at the North American Rail Shippers Association's annual meeting in Chicago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/24/2018


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BART launches new train-testing phase on Berryessa Extension

Yesterday, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) began a new train-testing stage along the 10-mile Berryessa Extension running from Fremont to San Jose, California. Testing could occur up to 20 hours a day and continue for several months, according to a press release issued by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

VTA is overseeing construction of the Berryessa Extension, which is the first phase of BART's 16-mile Silicon Valley Extension. 

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BNSF earns INFORMS award for analytics, operational research efforts

INFORMS recently honored BNSF Railway Co. with an award for pioneering and integrating operations research and analytics programs into its organization.

An international association for operations research and analytics professionals and students, INFORMS presents the award annually to recognize effective integration of operations research into organizational decision-making.

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BNSF earns INFORMS award for analytics, operational research efforts

INFORMS recently honored BNSF Railway Co. with an award for pioneering and integrating operations research and analytics programs into its organization.

An international association for operations research and analytics professionals and students, INFORMS presents the award annually to recognize effective integration of operations research into organizational decision-making.

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Additional 3 states obtain FTA certification of SSO Programs

Three states¬ – Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania – have obtained Federal Transit Administration (FTA) certification of their State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs.

 

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