Railroad News

Texas Central, Renfe sign bullet-train operator pact

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 10/31/2018 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar (left) and Renfe President Isaias Taboas signed the contract in Madrid.Photo – Texas Central

Yesterday in Madrid, Texas Central Railway and Renfe officials signed an agreement that formalizes the Spanish rail operator as the Texas bullet train's strategic operating partner.

With its decades of experience, Spain-based Renfe was a "natural fit" to join Texas Central’s other partners, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

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LIRR opens renovated Farmingdale, Wantagh stations

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has opened newly renovated Farmingdale and Wantagh stations.

Although work on the Farmingdale Station is ongoing, doors to the building were opened yesterday. The facility's upgrade is part of an $84 million, eight-station renovation package awarded earlier this year.

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Metra starts PTC service demos on Rock Island line

Rail News Home Positive Train Control 10/31/2018 Rail News: Positive Train Control
image PTC might be fully implemented on the Rock Island line by January.Photo – Metra

Metra recently launched revenue service demonstrations (RSDs) of its positive train control (PTC) system on the Rock Island District Line, which runs southwest from Chicago to Joliet, Illinois.

The RSDs are the final stage before PTC is fully implemented along the route. The demonstrations involve operating some trains in regular service with PTC engaged to determine if the system is working as intended.

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Metropolitan Council’s Tchourumoff to step down as chair next month

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/31/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Alene TchourumoffPhoto – Metropolitan Council

Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff yesterday announced she will be stepping down at November’s end to pursue a new professional opportunity.

Per council bylaws, Vice Chair Harry Melander will assume her duties until the Minnesota governor-elect appoints a new chair.

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Pan Am Railways, Boston & Maine fined for tie disposal in Massachusetts

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/31/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
imageThe Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has ordered Pan Am Railways and Boston & Maine Corp. to pay $90,000 in penalties for violations linked to the abandonment of old crossties.The fines relate to new violations of an agreement — signed by both rail companies in 2013 — and solid waste management regulations concerning the abandonment of ties along a rail line in Buckland, Greenfield and Hatfield, Massachusetts.MassDEP previously issued enforcement orders to Pan Am and Boston & Maine for their waste management practices involving ties, department officials said in a press release.In the latest instance, the department in May surveyed rail lines operated by the two companies in western Massachusetts. The survey found ties in several locations that were in violation of the agreement. As a result, MassDEP issued penalties of $30,000 for each of the three locations were the violations were observed, for a total of $90,000."MassDEP will continue to monitor the railroads for rail-tie disposal and has not ruled out issuance of additional penalties," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "There has been a long, multiyear dialogue with the railroad on this issue; Pan Am and Boston & Maine have had more than enough time to come into compliance with the consent agreement and the regulations.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/31/2018


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Canada's TSB highlights fatigue on safety watchlist

Rail News Home Safety 10/31/2018 Rail News: Safety
image TSB Chair Kathy Fox discussed the board's 2018 Watchlist at a press conference this week.Photo – TSB YouTube

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) this week released its Watchlist 2018 to highlight seven safety hazards in the industry.

This year's list cites the TSB's call to action on safety management and employee fatigue issues across transportation modes, board officials said in a press release.

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WMATA selects site for new HQ

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday announced it chose L'Enfant Plaza as the site for a new centrally located headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The agency now will seek final board approval to purchase a vacant office building at the plaza as the replacement for its current headquarters, the Jackson Graham Building. WMATA plans to strip the acquired building’s exterior and completely renovate the facility, including new commercial amenities on the ground floor. In addition, the agency might add three floors to create lease space and generate additional revenue, WMATA officials said in a press release.

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Port of Coos Bay subsidiary to operate Oregon short line

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay yesterday announced its new subsidiary Coos Bay Rail Line Inc. (CBRL) will begin operating the 134-mile port-owned rail line between Danebo and Coquille, Oregon, Nov. 1.

The previous operator Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR) notified the port of its intention to divest its relationship with the port and cease operations on the line by October’s end. CBR owner ARG Transportation Services continues to pursue legal recourse because the company believes the port breached its contract with the short line, ARG President Scott Parkinson said in an email.

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San Francisco MTA's Haley retires

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced last week that Director of Transit John Haley has retired.

During his 30-year career as a transportation professional, he served as general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and deputy general manager of Bay Area Rapid Transit.

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BART to add parking at Antioch Station

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/30/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Antioch Station needs much more parking space, the agency says.Photo – BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has identified full funding to proceed with plans to nearly double the amount of parking at Antioch Station.

Since it opened in late May, the station has been “a tremendous success” and has pushed the demand for parking far beyond the space available at the facility, BART officials said in a press release. The station’s daily ridership is 3,050 trips while the projection prior to opening was 2,270 trips.

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PANYNJ appoints Ruda interim director to succeed Campbell

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/30/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image During his tenure at PANYNJ, Ruda has helped advance work on the ExpressRail Port Jersey and Greenville Yard projects.Photo – panynj.gov

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has named Sam Ruda interim port director to succeed Molly Campbell, who has left the authority to accept a fellowship at Harvard University.

Ruda, who had been serving as the port's deputy port director, began his new duties yesterday. He joined the authority last year after a 25-year career in transportation, which included 12 years in senior management at the Port of Portland, according to a PANYNJ press release.

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Ontario, Metrolinx form PPP to redevelop Toronto station

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/30/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image A rendering of the revamped Mimico Station.Photo – Metrolinx

Province of Ontario officials last week announced they are advancing a public-private partnership (PPP) to modernize GO Transit’s Mimico Station in Toronto’s Etobicoke district.

The province signed a letter of intent with Vandyk Group of Cos. to help develop the project. GO Transit’s owner Metrolinx and the Vandyk Group will negotiate the construction of the redeveloped station.

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BNSF issues 2017 corporate responsibility, sustainability report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/30/2018 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The 2017 report highlights the railroad's sustainability efforts.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday issued its latest corporate responsibility and sustainability report, which highlights the railroad’s progress in 2017 on implementing sustainable practices, engaging employees and connecting with communities.

The Class I used Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines — a globally recognized reporting framework for environmental, social and governance performance — to relay its most vital sustainability-related issues, BNSF officials said in a press release. The Class I last year conducted a materiality assessment to help guide the development of the report, seeking feedback from numerous internal and external stakeholders on the most impactful areas associated with operating in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.

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BNSF issues 2017 corporate responsibility, sustainability report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/30/2018 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The 2017 report highlights the railroad's sustainability efforts.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday issued its latest corporate responsibility and sustainability report, which highlights the railroad’s progress in 2017 on implementing sustainable practices, engaging employees and connecting with communities.

The Class I used Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines — a globally recognized reporting framework for environmental, social and governance performance — to relay its most vital sustainability-related issues, BNSF officials said in a press release. The Class I last year conducted a materiality assessment to help guide the development of the report, seeking feedback from numerous internal and external stakeholders on the most impactful areas associated with operating in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.

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Amtrak reveals next steps in Chicago Union Station development

Amtrak, Union Station Redevelopment Partners and Chicago city officials on Sunday announced the next phase of improvements that will be made at Chicago Union Station.

The work will include the addition of a new entrance on Clinton Street that will open the west side of the Amtrak-owned station’s Headhouse for development as a food court and retail space. 

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G&W posts 'strong' third-quarter results

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) today reported third-quarter net income of $69.6 million, or $1.16 per diluted common share, compared with net income of $50.2 million, or 80 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Also in the quarter, operating revenue rose 4.6 percent to $603.3 million; operating income jumped 16.4 percent to $127.8 million; and adjusted operating income climbed 14.3 percent to $130.5 million compared with last year's third-quarter financial results, according to a G&W press release. Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose 51.9 percent to $1.23.

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CN to acquire TransX Group, move more frac sand for Source Energy

CN today announced it reached an agreement to acquire The TransX Group of Cos., one of Canada’s largest and oldest transportation companies.

TransX provides various transportation and logistics services, including intermodal, truckload, less than truckload and specialized services. The 55-year-old company will continue to be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and operate independently, CN officials said in a press release.

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CN to acquire TransX Group, move more frac sand for Source Energy

CN today announced it reached an agreement to acquire The TransX Group of Cos., one of Canada’s largest and oldest transportation companies.

TransX provides various transportation and logistics services, including intermodal, truckload, less than truckload and specialized services. The 55-year-old company will continue to be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and operate independently, CN officials said in a press release.

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Rail supplier news from Greenbrier, Alstom, Bombardier, HARTING, WSP USA and STV (Oct. 29)

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) last week announced they signed an agreement to both invest and generate investments totaling $270 million in Saudi Arabia’s rail industry. The companies plan to establish a joint venture to execute rail projects and supply rail cars in Saudi Arabia’s freight-rail market. Greenbrier and SAR aim to establish a multimodal business centered on creating and maximizing existing and new rail routes for freight movement throughout Saudi Arabia and, ultimately, the Gulf Cooperation Council region, according to a press release. Greenbrier also announced that in its fourth fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31, it generated revenue of $689.2 million and net earnings of $30.9 million. New rail-car deliveries totaled 6,000 units in the quarter, and the company’s backlog reached 27,400 units valued at $2.7 billion.

An Alstom-led Gibela joint venture recently inaugurated a train manufacturing facility in Dunnottar, South Africa. It is the largest and most advanced train manufacturing plant in Africa, Alstom officials said in a press release. The facility will produce a modern fleet of 580 six-car X’Trapolis Mega commuter trains over the next 10 years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, they said. The first train is expected to roll off the assembly line by 2018’s end.

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Ohio panel OKs Wheeling & Lake Erie's grade crossing project

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/29/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image Wheeling & Lake Erie will install lights and gates at the East Main Street/State Route 103 crossing in New Washington, Ohio.Photo – Wheeling & Lake Erie

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) to upgrade a rail crossing in Crawford County.

The project calls for W&LE to install lights and gates at the East Main Street/State Route 103 crossing in New Washington. The railroad is directed to complete the work by Oct. 24, 2019, PUCO officials said in a press release.

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