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Rail supplier news from Trinity and Abloy (March 27)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 3/27/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Trinity Industries Inc. has realigned responsibilities for some of its most senior executives.Photo – Trinity Industries

Trinity Industries Inc. has realigned responsibilities for some of its most senior executives, effective April 1. Under the changes, Eric Marchetto has been appointed chief financial officer, succeeding Melendy Lovett, who will return to her previous position as chief administrative officer. W. Relle Howard, currently vice president and CAO, will return to his previous role as chief information officer. Trinity also discounted the role of TrinityRail group president. The realignment is part of Trinity transitioning its business model from a holding company structure to an operating structure, Trinity officials said in a press release. 

Abloy USA introduced a new channel partner program that is designed to help security integrators expand their product solutions in critical infrastructure markets. The program serves to support the needs of critical infrastructure end user customers, such as railroads. It also supports the sales expansion and growth objectives of security systems integrators who assist those railroads. Under the program, partners will be offered training, incentives, support and co-marketing opportunities.

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Ottawa light-rail line recognized for engineering excellence

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/27/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Confederation Line, rendering pictured, was the first conversion of a bus rapid transit system into a light-rail system in North America.Photo – City of Ottawa

The American Council of Engineering Cos. (ACEC) awarded the joint venture responsible for designing the first stage of the Confederation light-rail line in Ottawa, Ontario, for exemplary engineering achievement. 

The joint venture — which consists of STV Inc., AECOM, Morrison Hershfield and McMillen Jacobs Associates — was credited as the first conversion of an exclusive bus rapid transit system into a light-rail system in North America, ACEC said in a press release.

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NS to acquire hybrid RTGs for Chicago intermodal operations

Rail News Home Intermodal 3/27/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image Norfolk Southern Corp. has selected Konecranes to provide five hybrid rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes for intermodal operations in the Chicago area. The RTGs are equipped with a battery pack and Tier 4 final genset for eco-efficient operation, Konecranes officials said in a press release. The "powered-by-ecolifting approach" of the hybrid RTGs will help support the Class I's commitment to sustainable business practices, said Alan Garcia, sales manager of Americas, Konecranes Port Solutions. NS awarded the business to Konecranes because of the RTGs' technical capabilities, as well as feedback received from current Konecranes customers regarding the quality and service support they've received, NS Assistant Vice President of Customer Operations Brandon Smith said in the press release. "Norfolk Southern is committed to increasing productivity and fuel efficiency at its intermodal terminals," Smith said. The contract's financial value was not released.

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USDOT extends FTA grant application deadlines

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 3/27/2020 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoPhoto – dot.gov

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Cleveland RTA to begin East 79th Street Station reconstruction

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 3/27/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image GCRTA will reconstruct the East 79th Street Station (rendering pictured) in compliance with the American’s With Disabilities Act.Photo – GCRTA

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) on April 1 will begin construction on the East 79th Street Station.

The $10 million project calls for redesigning the Red Line station to include ramps and stairs, an upgraded pedestrian track crossing and a new entry plaza. 

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Coronavirus update: APTA cancels rail events

Rail News Home Security 3/27/2020 Rail News: Security
image Pictured, attendees at APTA's Rail Conference in 2019.Photo – APTA

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) earlier this week canceled its Rail Conference and International Rail Rodeo for 2020, as transit-rail agencies deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their operations.

The events were scheduled to be held June 14-17 and June 11-14, respectively, in San Francisco.

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NTSB: Ethanol train derailed after landslide

Rail News Home Safety 3/27/2020 Rail News: Safety
image The ethanol and diesel fuel from the locomotives ignited and caught fire, which engulfed the locomotives and second and third tank cars.Photo – NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on the derailment of a CSX high-hazard flammable key train in Draffin, Kentucky, last month.

The train, carrying denatured ethanol, derailed at 6:54 a.m. Feb. 13 in the CSX Kingsport Subdivision along a hillside adjacent to the Russell Fork River. The engineer and conductors sustained minor injuries, the NTSB report stated.

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Stimulus bill includes $25B for transit, $1B for Amtrak

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 3/27/2020 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image The U.S. House today is expected to vote on a $2.2 trillion legislation package passed by the U.S. Senate late Wednesday in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation includes $25 billion for public transportation agencies, including commuter-rail operators. The funds will be provided through formula operating and capital grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19, according to a summary provided by the American Public Transportation Association. "This funding is the largest appropriation in the history of the transit program. It will enable our agencies to offset some of the extraordinary costs and revenue losses during this difficult time," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a letter to APTA members. The bill calls for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to distribute the transit funds based on four formula grant programs: urban, rural, state of good repair, and growing/high-density states. The FTA would be required to appropriate the funds within seven days of the legislation's enactment. Also included in the bill is $1 billion for Amtrak grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic. The bill includes $492 million for grants to the Northeast corridor, $526 million in grants for Amtrak's national network and $239 million to assist states in making federally required payments to Amtrak for state-supported routes, the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) reported yesterday in a newsletter. Amtrak and transit agencies have reported significantly reduced ridership and farebox revenue since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. They've also faced increased operational costs related to their efforts to stop the spread of the disease. In addition, the bill includes $31.3 million in budget resources for the U.S. Department Transportation and its agencies, including the FTA and Federal Railroad Administration. Those funds will help support activities for preventing, preparing for and responding to COVID-19, the NRC newsletter stated. The stimulus legislation is the third bill in recent weeks that Congress has voted on to address the pandemic's impact on Americans and the U.S. economy. On March 6, Congress passed an $8.3 billion bill focused on COVID-19 vaccine research and development; and on March 18, Congress passed a $104 billion bill that addresses paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families.

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Coronavirus update: U.S. transit agencies continue to ratchet down service

Rail News Home Security 3/26/2020 Rail News: Security
image MTA CEO Patrick Foye, pictured, on March 16 convened a meeting in the agency’s situation room to discuss response to the coronavirus.Photo – MTA Flickr/Marc A. Hermann

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday implemented a reduced service schedule across its system to adapt to falling ridership as riders stay home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to the announcement, MTA New York City Transit's (NYCT) B, W, and Z subway lines will be suspended Monday through Friday; MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) as of March 27 will run 240 fewer weekday trains; and MTA Metro-North Railroad service as of March 27 will be reduced by 50 percent to 424 trains.


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Washington panel OKs funds for Newport grade crossing project

Rail News Home Safety 3/26/2020 Rail News: Safety
image Funds will be used to install a pedestrian surface at a crossing at the intersection of Pine Street and Pend Oreille Valley Railroad tracks.Photo – Shutterstock

The Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) last week allocated $19,900 from its Grade Crossing Protective Fund to pay for safety improvements at a grade crossing in Newport, Washington. 

The funds will be used to install an accessible pedestrian surface at a crossing located at the intersection of Pine Street and Pend Oreille Valley Railroad tracks. The project must be completed by Dec. 31.

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Vermont suspends Amtrak service

Rail News Home Amtrak 3/26/2020 Rail News: Amtrak
image Under the suspension, the Ethan Allen Express route will not provide service north of Albany, New York.Photo – Amtrak

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott today suspended some Amtrak service to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the suspension, the Ethan Allen Express route, which runs between New York City and Rutland, Vermont, will not provide service north of Albany, New York; and the Vermonter route between Washington D.C. and Saint Albans, Vermont, will go only as far as Connecticut, NBC 5 News reports.

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NTSB: Undetected cracks in tank car led to ethanol release in CSX yard

Rail News Home Safety 3/26/2020 Rail News: Safety
image The leaking tank car was the sixth car of a train that consisted of a buffer car loaded with steel and seven tank cars all fully loaded with denatured ethanol.Photo – NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined earlier this week that an Archer Daniels Midland Co. rail tank car, while stationed at a CSX rail yard in Fredericksburg, Virginia, released denatured ethanol — a flammable hazardous material — from undetected cracks in the bottom of the tank car's shell.

About 68 gallons of the material leaked from the DOT-111 tank car, which was loaded with more than 28,690 gallons. The incident occurred Nov. 2, 2016.

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Port of Virginia prioritizes COVID-19 test kit shipments

Rail News Home Intermodal 3/26/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image Port of Virginia’s initiative allocates assets to ensure containers with critical cargo are processed rapidly.Photo – Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia yesterday instituted a critical cargo initiative to identify and prioritize import cargo moving across Virginia that is critical to fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

The initiative allocates the equipment and port personnel necessary to ensure containers containing personal protective equipment for the medical industry and COVID-19 test kits are processed and moved to the container’s destination rapidly, port officials said in a press release.

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Freight-rail traffic in Week 12 reflects falling demand for certain products

U.S. freight-rail traffic tumbled 8.6 percent to 459,966 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending March 21 compared with the same week in 2019, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic may be influencing rail traffic patterns, as railroads logged 224,048 carloads, down 5.4 percent, and 235,918 intermodal containers and trailers, down 11.4 percent during the week.

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Rail supplier news from RR Mergers, Allpress & Moore, CDL Electric, A. Stucki and Bombardier (March 25)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 3/25/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image CDL Electric Co. purchased Allpress & Moore Railroad Signal Contractors.Photo – Shutterstock

RR Mergers & Acquisitions announced the sale of Allpress & Moore Railroad Signal Contractors to CDL Electric Co. Allpress & Moore provides engineering, wiring, testing and construction for grade crossings. CDL Electric installs and maintains railroad signals.

Stucki Roller Bearing (SBR), a division of A. Stucki Co., opened a second facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 50,000-square-foot facility will house manufacturing, distribution and office space to support the company’s reconditioned bearings business for freight car, locomotive and transit applications.

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Sexual harassment on transit leads to less transit use, study finds

Rail News Home Security 3/25/2020 Rail News: Security
image Sixty-three percent of San Jose State University students experienced sexual harassment while riding the train or bus.Photo – Mineta Transportation Institute

A Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) study conducted at the San Jose State University and published earlier this month has found that sexual harassment experienced by riders on trains and buses leads to reduced use of public transportation.

About 63 percent of the 891 student transit riders surveyed indicated they had experienced some form of sexual harassment while riding the train or bus over the past three years. The study defines sexual harassment as any unwanted attention including lewd comments, threats and being followed or pictured.

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Cleveland RTA's board reelects Clough, Lucas to leadership roles

Rail News Home Railroading People 3/25/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image Dennis Clough, GCRTA board presidentPhoto – City of Westlake

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's board (GCRTA) yesterday elected Dennis Clough president and Charles Lucas, vice president. 

Clough and Lucas have served as president and VP, respectively, since 2018. Each now will serve another year.

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North Carolina Railroad taps Arant as VP of engineering

Rail News Home Railroading People 3/25/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image Donald ArantPhoto – North Carolina Railroad Co.

The North Carolina Railroad Co. (NCRR) has named Donald Arant vice president of engineering.

Grant joined the railroad in 2015 as its first full-time staff engineer. Prior to that, he worked for the global engineering and architecture firm STV Inc.'s office in Charlotte, North Carolina, NCRR officials said in a press release.

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Secure Rail Conference postponed until August

Rail News Home Security 3/25/2020 Rail News: Security
image This year's Secure Rail Conference has been rescheduled for Aug. 25-26 at the DoubleTree-Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Originally slated for April 21-22, the conference is being delayed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, conference planners announced today. Attendee registrations and sponsors will automatically transfer to the new August event dates. Presented by Progressive Railroading, Secure Rail's mission is to bridge the gap between the future of rail technology and rail security. Entering its sixth year, the conference also will address cyber security tactics and risk assessment, physical security best practices, passenger-rail security technologies and ways to minimize revenue loss due to fare evasion.

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Coronavirus update: Transit coalition requests $25B in federal aid

A coalition of U.S. transit agencies on Monday sent a letter to congressional leaders requesting that the federal relief package intended to provide aid to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic include at least $25 billion of dedicated support for public transportation agencies. 

While agencies continue to provide essential travel for emergency personnel, overall ridership on the systems has plummeted, dropping as much as 90 percent in some cases, the coalition wrote.

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