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Rail supplier news from Greenbrier, Alstom, HDR, Railroad Consultants and Transdev (July 10)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/10/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Bill FurmanPhoto – Greenbrier

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc.’s board announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Furman will continue in his current position for up to two more years, retiring in 2022. The board took this action to ensure the continuity of an experienced leadership team in the current COVID-19 crisis and accompanying environment of economic uncertainty, Greenbrier officials said in a press release. Meanwhile, Greenbrier also reported financial results for its third fiscal quarter ending May 31. Greenbrier reported Q3 revenue at $762.6 million, a $138.8 million increase compared with Q2. The increase is attributed to higher deliveries reflecting increased syndication activity. Net earnings attributable to Greenbrier for the quarter were $27.8 million, or 83 cents per diluted share.

Alstom has proposed several commitments to address the European Commission’s concerns about the company’s planned acquisition of Bombardier Transportation in the first half of 2021. The proposed commitments include a transfer of Bombardier Transportation’s contribution to the V300 ZEFIRO high-speed train; the divestment of the Alstom Coradia Polyvalent and the Reichshoffen production site in France; and the divestment of the Bombardier TALENT 3 platform and dedicated production facilities located within the Hennigsdorf site in Germany. Alstom will also provide access to certain interfaces and products for some of Bombardier Transportation’s signaling on-board units and train control management systems. The commitments are subject to European Commission approval.

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LIRR to eliminate grade crossing in New Hyde Park

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/10/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image MTA aims to eliminate eight at-grade rail crossings by 2022.Photo – MTA Facebook

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) crews this weekend will install a new bridge over New Hyde Park Road on the border of New Hyde Park and Garden City in Long Island, New York, to eliminate a grade crossing. 

Over the past several months, crews have been building the new bridge adjacent to the tracks, in preparation for this weekend’s installation. 

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RBMN to challenge latest court ruling on SEDA-COG's authority

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 7/10/2020 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image RBMN has also challenged SEDA-COG Rail Authority's structure, organization and expansions.Photo – RBMN

Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad (RBMN) officials announced yesterday they will challenge a recent three-judge panel's ruling that affirmed a trial judge's decision to reject the company's lawsuit against the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority.

At issue is the process the rail authority used in 2014 when it sought proposals for a company to operate five short lines in eight central Pennsylvania counties. RBMN, which came in last in the authority's preliminary rankings, contended the process was designed to eliminate it from consideration, Pennlive.com reported.

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Ontario Northland Railway, Monarch Gold ink MOU

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 7/10/2020 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image The agreement allows for the negotiation of a favorable rate for the transportation of ore under an MOU with Glencore Canada Corp.Photo – Ontario Northland

Monarch Gold Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ontario Northland Railway that calls for rail transportation of ore from Monarch's Wasamac gold project to the Kidd concentrator in Timmins, Ontario. 

The MOU's first phase consists of an economic study of infrastructure for the transportation of ore by train from Wasamac to Kidd. The study is expected to be completed no later than Dec. 31.

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OmniTRAX expands rail-ready program to Stockton Terminal and Eastern

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 7/10/2020 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image OmniTRAX Inc. is expanding its Rail-Ready Sites program to the Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE) in Northern California. The company is working with the San Joaquin Partnership to promote developable, rail-ready property adjacent to the STE. The initial three sites total 83 acres and include a 65-acre parcel, OmniTRAX officials said in a press release. The locations would suit rail-served agriculture, manufacturing, asphalt, cement, chemicals, food processing, lumber, steel and distribution facilities, they said. "San Joaquin County and the greater Stockton region are going through an industrial and agricultural renaissance that our Rail-Ready Sites program will help to support," said Ean Johnson, OmniTRAX vice president of industrial development.  STE is an affiliate of OmniTRAX, which launched its Rail-Ready Sites program last year at the Winchester & Western Railroad in West Virginia and New Jersey.  

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CN unveils 2020 infrastructure plans for Saskatchewan

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 7/10/2020 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image CN will spend CA$105 million this year on rail infrastructure across Saskatchewan, the company announced earlier this week. The announcement is part of the Class I's CA$2.9 billion capital expenditure plan for 2020, which includes key track expansion projects that will boost capacity to enable CN to better serve growing customers. In Saskatchewan, the expenditures will focus on the replacement of more than 65 miles of rail, the installation of more than 145,000 new ties, the rebuilding of 12 crossing surfaces, and maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure. CN has invested more than CA$850 million in capital projects across the province over the past five years, company officials said in a press release. "These investments in Saskatchewan are a key part of our strategy to support growth," said James Thompson, CN's vice president of the western region. "Safety is a core value at CN and by investing in the maintenance and expansion of our track and capacity, we are providing customers with a safe and reliable solution at a time when fluid supply chains are more critical than ever." Over the past two weeks, CN has been unveiling its capital expenditure plan by province.

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Bill would tie Amtrak funding to preservation of long-distance routes, staff

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 7/10/2020 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image The House Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) earlier this week approved its fiscal-year 2021 appropriations bill that provides an additional $26 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Transportation programs to help Amtrak and public transit agencies recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced this week. The bill contains "historic" funding levels, including significant increases proposed in transit formula programs in the so-called INVEST in America Act, which is part of House Democrats' surface transportation infrastructure legislation.  Under the appropriations legislation, $18.9 billion would go to Federal Transit Administration and $3 billion for Federal Railroad Administration programs, APTA officials said in a Legislative Update email. The additional funding includes $5 billion for Capital Investment Grants; $5 billion for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements; $5 billion for Northeast Corridor grants to Amtrak; $3 billion for national network grants to Amtrak; $100 million for the Magnetic Levitation Technology Deployment Program; and $3 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants. In addition, the bill would not allow application of the so-called Rostenkowski Test, an administrative provision that would require a $6 billion cut to public transportation formula grants in FY2021. The bill also includes a requirement that to receive the extra funding, Amtrak may not cut staff or long-distance or state routes. In a prepared statement, the Rail Passengers Association (RPA) praised the emergency funding and endorsed the additional route protection requirement for Amtrak to access the extra dollars. The requirement would "would buy certainty for workers and passengers alike," said RPA President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mathews. Some members of Congress have expressed concern about Amtrak's reported plan to enact cutbacks to staff and certain routes, including long-distance, while seeking additional funding to help it recover economically from the pandemic.    

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TriMet to close Steel Bridge for MAX light-rail work

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 7/9/2020 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image The upper deck of the 108-year-old bridge will be closed Aug. 2-29.Photo – TriMet

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) next month will temporarily close the Steel Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland to perform major repairs to the MAX light-rail system. 

The upper deck of the 108-year-old bridge will be closed Aug. 2-29 while improved lift joints and locks, new switches and signal equipment are installed.

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SFRTA's board elects Valeche chair

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/9/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image Left to right, Hal Valeche and Esteban BovoPhoto – SFRTA

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority's (SFRTA) board last week elected Hal Valeche to serve as chair and Esteban Bovo as vice chair.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Valeche was appointed to SFRTA's board by the Palm Beach County Commission in June 2018. He also serves on the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency.

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WMATA OKs solar panel installation agreement

Rail News Home Sustainability 7/9/2020 Rail News: Sustainability
image SunPower will install photovoltaic solar panels at the Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue WMATA stations.Photo – WMATA Facebook

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday signed an agreement with SunPower Corp. and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (GSRP) to install solar paneled carports or canopies over parking areas at four rail stations.

Combined, the four sites will have 12.8 megawatts of electrical capacity, making the installation the largest community solar project in the area and one of the largest in the nation, WMATA officials said in a press release.

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G3 opens grain terminal at Port of Vancouver, elevators in Alberta

Rail News Home Shippers 7/9/2020 Rail News: Shippers
image Construction of the new G3 Terminal Vancouver began in March 2017.Photo – g3.ca

G3 announced yesterday it opened a new grain export terminal at the Port of Vancouver on Canada's West Coast and new grain elevators in Morinville and Carmangay, Alberta.

The two new loop-track grain elevators will ship grain to G3 Terminal Vancouver. Construction on the terminal began in March 2017. It is designed with a focus on high velocity grain receiving and shipping, as well as environmental and safety standards, G3 officials said in a press release.

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EPA studying disinfectants for trains, stations

Rail News Home Security 7/9/2020 Rail News: Security
image EPA is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to evaluate anti-microbial products across New York City Transit to determine their ability to provide effective antivirus protection over time.Photo – MTA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers are evaluating a number of commercially available products for potential long-lasting effectiveness against the coronavirus on trains and at stations.

The EPA Office of Research and Development Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response is conducting the research, using the surfaces that mimic the high touch point on mass transit trains and stations, EPA officials said in a press release.

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Wainscott joins CSX board

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/9/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image James WainscottPhoto – CSX Corp.

CSX Corp. has named James Wainscott to its board.

Wainscott is the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of AK Steel Holding Corp. He joined the company in 1995 as vice president and treasurer, was appointed chief financial officer in 1997 and became president, CEO and board member in 2003. In 2006, he was named AK Steel's chairman.

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CHSRA to release environmental document for San Francisco-San Jose segment

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 7/9/2020 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Rendering of the CHSRA high-speed rail project.Photo – CHSRA

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHRSA) tomorrow will release a draft environmental impact report and statement (EIR/EIS) for a 49-mile segment of the state’s high-speed rail project between San Francisco and San Jose

The segment would provide service between the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco and the San Jose Diridon Station along the Caltrain corridor primarily on a shared, two-track configuration.

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U.S. freight-rail traffic slipped 2.4 percent in Week 27

U.S. freight-rail traffic declined 2.4 percent to 437,989 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 4 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload volume decreased 12.7 percent to 192,767 units, while intermodal volume rose 7.7 percent to 245,222 containers and trailers during the week.

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Rail supplier news from Bombardier, Paceline, Sener, TekTracking, WSP and Bergmann (July 8)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/8/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Rendering of the Bombardier Movia metro train.Photo – Bombardier

India’s Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corp. (UPMRC) issued a letter of award valued at $275 million to Bombardier Transportation to build and deliver 201 rail cars and a signaling solution for the Agra-Kanpur Metro projects. Bombardier will provide the Agra Metro and Kanpur Metro 67 Bombardier Movia metro three-car trainsets and the Bombardier CITYFLO 650 rail control solution. UPMRC has an option of an additional 51 cars.

Affiliates of Paceline Equity Partners LLC, a private equity manager, acquired railroad maintenance-of-way equipment lessor R.E.L.A.M. Inc. Paceline affiliates also acquired the affiliated rail infrastructure and track maintenance services businesses, Acme Construction Co. Inc. and Timiny RR Construction Inc. The companies will operate with 1435 Rail Inc., a lessor of railroad MOW equipment that was acquired by Paceline affiliates in late 2019. John Roberts will serve as R.E.L.A.M.’s chief executive officer. He previously served stints at Marmon Crane Services Inc. and Railserve Inc.

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Calgary Transit unveils mobile ticketing app

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/8/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The My Fare app allows CTrain light-rail riders to purchase tickets from their smartphones.Photo – Calgary Transit

Calgary Transit last week launched a mobile ticketing application for its rail and bus riders in Calgary, Alberta.

The new app, My Fare, allows CTrain light-rail riders to purchase tickets and passes from their smartphones. Riders will then ‘activate’ the ticket prior to entering a fare restricted area at a CTrain station, and present the proof of payment to a Calgary Transit Peace Officer when requested. 

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Metro Transit-St. Louis launches on-demand service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/8/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Metro Transit-St. Louis, in partnership with Via, last week launched an on-demand, shared-ride transit service.  Via Metro STL is available in southwest St. Louis County and North St. Louis County. The Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 MetroLink light-rail station and Riverview Transit Center are included in those service areas. The service enables riders to hail a vehicle directly from a smartphone using the Via app, and travel to locations in the service area during operating hours. The service will not be restricted to having trips connect to Metro Transit.  On-demand rides will be free through the end of August, then cost $2 per rider starting in September.

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Metra, Metrolink launch digital tools to support social distancing

Rail News Home Security 7/8/2020 Rail News: Security
image Metra's ridership dashboard indicates the average number of riders per train car over a five‐day period.Photo – Metra Facebook

Metra in Chicago yesterday unveiled a dashboard reporting ridership trends so riders can better plan trips based on social distancing.

Released as a test starting with weekday trains only, the dashboard indicates the average number of riders per train car over a five‐day period. 

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PANYNJ blames pandemic for lower cargo volume in May

Rail News Home Intermodal 7/8/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image PANYNJ officials attributed the decline in cargo volume to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.Photo – panynj.gov

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) cargo volume dropped 16.5 percent in May to 537,412 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) from 643,706 TEUs in May 2019, authority officials announced Monday.

PANYNJ officials attributed the decline to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. The loss brings the authority's total cargo volume for 2020 through May to 2,854,319 TEUs, according to PANYNJ's Breaking Waves blog.

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