Railroad News

DART expands on-demand options in northern Texas

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 9/16/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image DART light-rail riders can use the GoPass mobile app to book a shared ride through UberPool.Photo – Uber

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) last week announced it has expanded its partnership with Uber in northern Texas.

DART light-rail riders can now use the agency’s GoPass mobile application to book a shared ride through Uber’s UberPool function at designated zones, agency officials said in a press release. 

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PANYNJ opens new transit-rail lobby at World Trade Center

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 9/16/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The World Trade Center Transportation Hub.Photo – Julie Sneider

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and Silverstein Properties last week announced that the 3 World Trade Center (WTC) transit lobby has been opened.

The lobby will provide employees in the 3 WTC with access to and from the Port Authority-Trans Hudson (PATH) railroad or New York City subways. The lobby is located at the southwest corner of the mezzanine level of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, near the current transit lobby entrance for 4 WTC, PANYNJ officials said in a press release.

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Metrolink hosts national rail safety conference

Rail News Home Safety 9/16/2019 Rail News: Safety
image National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy (pictured) was the keynote speaker of the Metrolink Rail Safety Summit.Photo – Metrolink

Metrolink last week welcomed safety and security leaders to its Rail Safety Summit to address topics such as crossing safety, quiet zone implementation and positive train control.

The summit — held in September to coincide with Rail Safety Month — also addressed how mental health and homelessness effect rail safety.

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KC Streetcar extension project nears engineering phase

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 9/16/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Kansas City Streetcar Authority completed 30 percent of the overall design for its proposed Main Street streetcar extension.Photo – HDR

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) has made a formal request to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to move the city's proposed Main Street streetcar extension project to the engineering phase, per the Federal Capital Improvements Grant (CIG) New Starts Program. 

KCSA, in partnership with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and the city of Kansas City, Missouri, recently completed 30 percent of the project’s overall design, including track alignment, system and facility design, KCSA officials said in a press release.

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TSA appoints Farmer, Hanson to lead security advisory committee

Rail News Home Railroading People 9/16/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently named Thomas Farmer chairperson of its Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee and Polly Hanson, vice chairperson.Farmer is assistant vice president for security at the Association of American Railroads. Hanson is director of security, risk and emergency management at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).The advisory committee advises TSA officials on surface transportation security issues, such as policy development, refinement and implementation, as well programs, initiatives, rulemakings and other surface transportation security directives, APTA reported today in Passenger Transport.TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia F.S. Cogswell cited Farmer and Hanson for their expertise and experience as leaders from the surface transportation field, APTA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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BART to move headquarters in 2021

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 9/16/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image In Spring 2021, BART will move its Oakland, California, headquarters from 300 Lakeside Drive to 2150 Webster Street (pictured).Photo – Lane Partners

Bay Area Rapid Transit's (BART) board last week approved the $142 million purchase of a building in Oakland, California, to house its headquarters starting in spring 2021.

The agency’s existing Oakland headquarters has been located in leased space since 2003. A 60-percent rate hike set to take effect after the lease expires in July 2021 prompted the board to move to its own site, BART officials said in a press release.

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LA Metro pushes timeline to complete key rail projects by 2028 Summer Olympics

The 2028 Summer Olympics will mark the third time Los Angeles has played host to the international games.

By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor

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Texas Central signs design-build contract for bullet train project

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 9/16/2019 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Texas Central's train will be based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen technology in Japan.Photo – Texas Central

Texas Central late last week announced it signed a contract with the Salini-Impreglio joint venture and its U.S. subsidiary Lane Construction Co. for the design and construction of a proposed high-speed rail service between Dallas and Houston.

As part of the design-build scope, Salini-Lane will supply the civil infrastructure work, including design and construction of the viaduct and embankment sections along the entire route, the installation of the track system and construction of related buildings and services along the route that will house maintenance and other rail system equipment, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

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Chemical shippers endorse STB effort to reform freight-rail ship rates

Rail News Home Shippers 9/16/2019 Rail News: Shippers
image The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents rail shippers in the chemical manufacturing industry, announced its support last week for the Surface Transportation Board's recently proposed changes to its process for reviewing freight-rail rates.The board last week announced new rules covering its rate review procedures. The proposed reforms are a "positive step toward improving how the STB addresses freight-rail problems," said ACC President and Chief Executive Officer Cal Dooley in a press release."We applaud the members of the STB for their thoughtful leadership and commitment to getting our nation’s freight-rail policies back on track," Dooley said. "Chemical manufacturers across the country have been negatively impacted by excessive freight- rail charges and lack of competitive rail service for too long."The STB's proposed rules would establish a new rate review option for smaller cases, the final offer rate review (FORR), that would use procedural limitations to contain the cost and complexity of a rate case. In addition, the board has proposed a streamlined market dominance process that could be used in any rate review proceeding.The changes are designed to make the procedures "more accessible, efficient, and transparent, including for small customers," STB officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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Rail supplier news from New York Air Brake, RailPros, IMC, WSP, Nexxiot and Werner (Sept. 13)

New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB) in late August demonstrated automatic control for throttle, dynamic brake, independent brake and air brakes with a positive train control-compliant consist including three locomotives and 30 loaded cars on 48 miles of test track at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colorado. NYAB’s LEADER® onboard train control and energy management system is designed to automatically control a train over a variety of terrain, such as starting and stopping on uphill, downhill and flat grades, company officials said in a press release.

RailPros hired Basem Muallem as vice president and manager of the Inland Empire area in California, as well as the statewide transportation lead for California. Before joining RailPros, Muallem worked for the California Department of Transportation for 32 years in various posts, including deputy district director for maintenance, program management and right of way. He also served as the division chief for maintenance and right of way in Sacramento, as well as the District 8 director.

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Valley Metro installs Tameron Kinsey, Cooksey-Williams in leadership roles

Rail News Home Railroading People 9/13/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image (Left to right) Valley Metro Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor Alexis Tameron Kinsey and Manager of Transportation Demand Management Abigail Cooksey-Williams.Photo – Valley Metro

Valley Metro yesterday announced it has hired Alexis Tameron Kinsey as chief of staff and senior advisor, and Abigail Cooksey-Williams as manager of transportation demand management.

Tameron Kinsey will manage government relations and provide strategic counsel to Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Scott Smith.

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Wisconsin DOT seeks applicants for multimodal grant program

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 9/13/2019 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image A train travels through Pewaukee, Wisconsin.Photo – Shutterstock.com/Drew Halverson

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is accepting applications for its $75 million Multimodal Local Supplement Grant Program (MLS), which is available to local and tribal governments.

Funding is available for new projects associated with railroads, harbors, transit agencies, roads, bridges, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

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Retail federation: Imports surge ahead of more tariffs

Rail News Home Intermodal 9/13/2019 Rail News: Intermodal
image In August, imports at the Port of Los Angeles rose 4.1 percent year over year to 437,613 TEUs.Photo – Port of Los Angeles

Imports at major U.S. ports reached "unusually high numbers" just prior to new tariffs on goods from China that took effect Sept. 1, the National Retail Federation (NRF) announced earlier this week.

Imports are expected to surge again before another round of tariffs take effect in December, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released Sept. 10 by the NRF and Hackett Associates.

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Women in rail: CP chair Courville talks workforce diversity

Canadian Pacific’s Isabelle Courville is the first woman to hold the position of board chair in Class I history.Photo – CP

By Vesna Brajkovic, Associate Editor

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Women in rail: CP chair Courville talks workforce diversity

Canadian Pacific’s Isabelle Courville is the first woman to hold the position of board chair in Class I history.Photo – CP

By Vesna Brajkovic, Associate Editor

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Metrolinx orders 36 additional rail cars from Bombardier

Rail News Home Mechanical 9/13/2019 Rail News: Mechanical
image Metrolinx has ordered 36 bilevel rail cars for its GO Transit network.Photo – Bombardier

Metrolinx earlier this week announced it will purchase 36 additional bilevel rail cars from Bombardier Transportation for GO Transit.

Metrolinx will add 31 standard and five accessible cars to an existing 125-car order it placed in 2016.

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Georgia port authority unveils dual rail service between Savannah, Chicago

Rail News Home Intermodal 9/13/2019 Rail News: Intermodal
image The GPA plans to double annual capacity at the Garden City Terminal in Savannah to 11 million 20-foot equivalent units. Photo – Georgia Ports Authority

To handle growing container volumes and attract additional business, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is expanding its rail infrastructure and offerings.

Yesterday, the authority announced plans to offer dual rail service from the Port of Savannah to Chicago. CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway will move cargo between the points in less than three days, GPA officials said in a press release.

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STB addresses rate review rules, revenue adequacy issues

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday proposed new rules covering its rate review procedures.

The rules would establish a new rate review option for smaller cases, the final offer rate review (FORR), that would use procedural limitations to contain the cost and complexity of a rate case. In addition, the board has proposed a streamlined market dominance process that could be used in any rate review proceeding.

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MTA: Hakim issues resignation, New York subway boosts performance

Rail News Home Railroading People 9/13/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Metropolitan Transportation Authority Managing Director Ronnie Hakim.Photo – MTA

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Managing Director Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim yesterday announced her resignation, effective at November’s end.

The MTA's performance is on the rebound and service is improving across all agencies, so she feels comfortable moving on from the post, Hakim said in a statement.

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Rail industry constituents recognize the need to develop more diverse workforces

Lack of diversity has consistently ranked among the top five workforce challenges in the rail industry, according to a workforce trend report issued by the Federal Railroad Administration.Photo – Alstom Transport / TOMA - S. Djenidi

By Vesna Brajkovic, Associate Editor

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