Railroad News

Lake State Railway hosts Rep. Kildee, advocates for 45G

Late last month, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) met with Lake State Railway officials to tour the short line's headquarters in Saginaw, Michigan, and discuss federal rail policy.

The tour was led by Lake State President and Chief Executive Officer John Rickoff and Vice President of Marketing and Sales Shasta Duffey. The group toured Lake State facilities and locomotives before discussing federal legislation and policy related to rail.

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Rail supplier news from Duos Technologies, Alstom, Thales and TE Connectivity (July 19)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/19/2019 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Duos Technologies Inc. has received a purchase order from Chicago commuter railroad Metra to provide an automated pantograph inspection system. The system captures high-resolution digital video of pantographs located on top of passenger rail cars. The imagery collected allows the pantographs, which relay current from overhead electrical wires to power the train, to be inspected for visual damage in the form of cracks, chips and bends, according to a company press release. Alstom released its first quarter orders and sales results for April 1-June 30. Alstom booked about $1.8 billion in orders, about $1.1 billion less than orders logged during the same period a year ago. Sales rose 2 percent to $2.4 billion compared versus the year-ago quarter, according to an Alstom press release. Meanwhile, Alstom has signed a nearly $56 million contract with Nanjing Metro to provide traction systems, train control and monitoring systems for 318 metro cars that will run on the Nanjing Line 7, the first ‘driverless’ line in Nanjing, China. Alstom also will conduct technical review for the system. In other news, Alstom's Atlas ERTMS Level 2 train control system has entered commercial service on Spain's Valladolid-Leon high-speed line. Thales has installed signaling and traffic management systems, security solutions and fixed telecommunications work on the 76-mile high-speed rail line between Antequera and Granada, Spain. Thales will maintain the system for 20 years, according to a press release. TE Connectivity has introduced a surge arrester for the rail sector. The RSTI 68 can be mounted directly on the transformer rather than on a train rooftop, TE Connectivity officials said in a press release.

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Ohio panel OKs grade-crossing upgrades for Class I, regional railroads

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) earlier this week approved construction authorization from the the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern Railway, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Co. and CSX to upgrade six rail crossings.

By July 17, 2020, NS will install lights and gates and expand the crossing surface at the Jefferson Street/State Route 103 grade crossing in the village of Bluffton, Ohio. NS also will install flashing lights, bells, sidelights and curbing at the Penn Street/Township Road 1383 crossing in Wells Township, PUCO officials said in a press release.

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AASHTO names Hendrickson deputy director

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/19/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Brandye HendricksonPhoto – Federal Highway Administration

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation (AASHTO) officials announced yesterday that Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Deputy Administrator Brandye Hendrickson is joining the organization as its new deputy director.

Hendrickson, who was appointed to FHWA's deputy administrator position in July 2017, also served as its acting administrator in 2017 and 2018.

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CSX named best place to work for disability inclusion

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 7/19/2019 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The Class I scored 100 percent on the 2019 Disability Equality Index.Photo – CSX Facebook

CSX has been recognized as a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion" by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

The Class I scored 100 percent on the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI), which serves as the nation's most comprehensive annual benchmarking tool on disability inclusion efforts in the areas of culture, leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices and community engagement, according to the Disability:IN website.

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Sound Transit marks 10 years of light-rail service

Sound Transit yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of Link light-rail service that connects Seattle to SeaTac, Washington. 

Over the past decade, the Link has logged more than 134 million total boardings, Sound Transit officials said in a press release. 

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CSX named best place to work for disability inclusion

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 7/19/2019 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The Class I scored 100 percent on the 2019 Disability Equality Index.Photo – CSX Facebook

CSX has been recognized as a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion" by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

The Class I scored 100 percent on the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI), which serves as the nation's most comprehensive annual benchmarking tool on disability inclusion efforts in the areas of culture, leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices and community engagement, according to the Disability:IN website.

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WisDOT unveils one-time grants for local infrastructure needs

Wisconsin's new 2019-21 budget includes $75 million in one-time funding for local transportation projects, the state's Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced yesterday.

The new program will enable local communities to prioritize their most immediate transportation needs, said Craig Thompson, WisDOT secretary-designee, in a press release.

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Kansas City Southern posts record Q2 results

Kansas City Southern today reported record second-quarter revenue of $714 million, a 5 percent increase on flat volumes compared with the previous year's same quarter.

Year-over-year revenue growth for the quarter was led by a 19 percent increase in chemicals and petroleum shipments, particularly to Mexico, as well as a 5 percent increase in automotive, KCS officials said in a press release.

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Kansas City Southern posts record Q2 results

Kansas City Southern today reported record second-quarter revenue of $714 million, a 5 percent increase on flat volumes compared with the previous year's same quarter.

Year-over-year revenue growth for the quarter was led by a 19 percent increase in chemicals and petroleum shipments, particularly to Mexico, as well as a 5 percent increase in automotive, KCS officials said in a press release.

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San Francisco MTA names Maguire interim director of transportation

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/18/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image SFMTA Interim Director of Transportation Tom Maguire.Photo – SFMTA

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) board earlier this week named Tom Maguire interim director of transportation to succeed Ed Reiskin, who will leave the agency next month.

Maguire will start his new duties Aug. 14 and serve until a new transportation director is appointed, SFMTA officials said in a press release.

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WMATA seeks solar provider at four stations

Rail News Home Sustainability 7/18/2019 Rail News: Sustainability
image Solar panels are expected to be installed at four stations and supplying renewable energy by late 2020 or early 2021.Photo – WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday issued a request for proposals (RFP) to develop and operate solar panels on the rooftops of parking garages at Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations.

WMATA is offering a 15-year solar ground lease to develop, install, operate and maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems on garage rooftops and on surface parking lots.

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North Carolina DOT proposes bridge over Norfolk Southern tracks

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 7/18/2019 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is soliciting public opinion on proposed grade separation project at a railroad crossing in Guilford County.The project calls for construction of a bridge over Norfolk Southern Railway mainline tracks at Hilltop Road in southwest Greensboro. NCDOT representatives will hold a meeting in Greensboro tonight to inform the public about the project.The project is estimated to cost $7.2 million and is included in the department's State Transportation Improvement Program. Construction is slated to begin in winter 2021.Building a bridge over the tracks will make the location safer for trains and motor vehicles, NCDOT officials said in a press release. In 2016, an average of 15,000 vehicles per day traveled through the crossing, they said.Comments on the project will be accepted until Aug. 18.

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NS appoints Melaragni VP human resources

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/18/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Norfolk Southern Corp. has named Anne Melaragni vice president of human resources effective July 29.Melaragni's responsibilities will cover all aspects of human resources for the company. She will be based in Norfolk, Virginia, and report to Annie Adams, executive VP and chief transformation officer. Prior to joining NS, Melaragni served for 15 years at a leading global provider of transportation and logistics services. Most recently, she served as global head of total rewards, responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of the multibillion-dollar corporation’s global compensation and benefit programs. "Her experience in the logistics and transportation industry will bring valuable insight to the Norfolk Southern team as we reimagine our organization," said Adams in a press release. "We are excited to have Anne assume a key leadership role as we execute our new strategic plan.”

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NJ Transit adopts FY2020 operating, capital budgets

The New Jersey Transit's board yesterday adopted a fiscal-year 2020 $2.39 billion operating budget and a $1.42 billion capital program. 

The capital program funds continue state-of-good-repair investments in transit stations and infrastructure, investments in the Northeast Corridor, fare modernization, safety initiatives, rail car purchases, positive train control installation, system expansion and support for local mobility programs, NJ Transit officials said in a press release.

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UP posts higher profit, lower expenses in Q2

Union Pacific Railroad reported today that 2019 second-quarter net income rose 4 percent to $1.6 billion, or $2.22 per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.

UP's operating income rose 8 percent to $2.3 billion and the company's operating ratio (OR) improved to 59.6 percent from 63.0 percent compared with second-quarter 2018.

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Short Line Safety Institute creates leadership development program

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 7/18/2019 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) yesterday announced the launch of an in-person leadership development program designed to address soft skills in short line management. The program combines roleplay, self-assessment and group discussion to cover topics such as using effective communication, providing constructive feedback, managing to agreement, coaching, building high performing teams and giving credit.  “Based on the findings of more than 70 safety culture assessments we’ve conducted on short line railroads, soft skills were identified as areas of opportunity to continuously improve safety culture,” said SLSI Executive Director Tom Murta said in a press release. The free program is designed for new and experienced short-line managers, and can be made available to an individual railroad or a broader group. Iowa Northern Railway in Waterloo, Iowa, hosted the first leadership program with 26 attendees from 12 short line railroads. “The training did a phenomenal job of engaging the learner and applying concepts through meaningful exercises,” said event participant Tom Leopold, chief of safety and compliance at Anacostia Rail Holdings Co.

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UP posts higher profit, lower expenses in Q2

Union Pacific Railroad reported today that 2019 second-quarter net income rose 4 percent to $1.6 billion, or $2.22 per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.

UP's operating income rose 8 percent to $2.3 billion and the company's operating ratio (OR) improved to 59.6 percent from 63.0 percent compared with second-quarter 2018.

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U.S. rail traffic down 5.6 percent in Week 28

U.S. rail traffic has continued its downward trend so far this month, with railroads posting a combined 5.6 percent decline to 527,908 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending July 13 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week fell 4 percent to 260,762 units, while intermodal volume plummeted 7.2 percent to 267,146 containers and trailers.

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Rail supplier news from McMillen Jacobs, ABB, HDR, WSP and Alliance Shippers (July 17)

McMillen Jacobs Associates appointed Victor Romero as executive vice president of its underground division. Romero has been with McMillen Jacobs for 28 years, providing underground engineering in the rail-transit, highway, water and wastewater sectors, company officials said in a press release. Isabelle Lamb will succeed Romero as managing director of the Australia and New Zealand region. Lamb has over 25 years of experience in the design and management of teams for the construction of tunnels, underground structures and associated surface facilities for transit, water and roadway projects.

ABB signed a five-year contract to provide the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) with its RER670 intelligent electronic device for transformer and line distance protection, ABB officials said in a press release. ABB has also supplied SBB with its REB500 busbar protection.

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