Railroad News

Port of Long Beach breaks TEU record in FY2018

Rail News Home Intermodal 10/15/2018 Rail News: Intermodal
image The port handled more than 8 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in FY2018Photo – Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach reported a 10.7 percent increase in volume in fiscal-year 2018 ended Sept. 30 compared with the previous year.

The port handled more than 8 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in FY2018 — the most ever during a fiscal year. The port is on track to break its calendar-year record by December's end, said Mario Cordero, the port's executive director, in a press release.

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BART fined $1.3 million for 2013 track worker deaths

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) late last week fined Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) $1.3 million for the death of two track workers during an October 2013 strike.

The commission also placed BART on three-year probation for safety failures that led to the deaths.

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Norfolk Southern continues Hurricane Michael recovery

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 10/15/2018 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
imageNorfolk Southern Railway is continuing efforts to correct damage caused by Hurricane Michael last week.The Class I is managing recovery efforts across its Pocahontas, Piedmont and Georgia divisions. All mainlines have been repaired and are open for operations."The municipal power companies are making good progress but there are areas across the region where power has not yet been restored," NS officials said in an operations update issued yesterday.In the Georgia division, all repairs have been completed, 53 locations are running on generator power and 122 locations had commercial power restored yesterday.In the Piedmont division, all repairs have been completed and 44 generators have been deployed. In the Pocahontas division, all mainline repairs have been completed, 71 locations remain without power and 52 generators have been deployed.Customers in affected areas should expect 24 to 48 hours delays, NS officials said.

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Norfolk Southern continues Hurricane Michael recovery

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 10/15/2018 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
imageNorfolk Southern Railway is continuing efforts to correct damage caused by Hurricane Michael last week.The Class I is managing recovery efforts across its Pocahontas, Piedmont and Georgia divisions. All mainlines have been repaired and are open for operations."The municipal power companies are making good progress but there are areas across the region where power has not yet been restored," NS officials said in an operations update issued yesterday.In the Georgia division, all repairs have been completed, 53 locations are running on generator power and 122 locations had commercial power restored yesterday.In the Piedmont division, all repairs have been completed and 44 generators have been deployed. In the Pocahontas division, all mainline repairs have been completed, 71 locations remain without power and 52 generators have been deployed.Customers in affected areas should expect 24 to 48 hours delays, NS officials said.

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Metrolink CEO Leahy to retire in January

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/15/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Leahy has served as the railroad's leader since 2015.Photo – American Public Transportation Association's Twitter account

Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy late last week announced he will retire Jan. 4, 2019.

A 47-year transportation industry veteran, Leahy became Metrolink's CEO in 2015 after leading the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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Many railroads seek PTC deadline extension to gain two more years for implementation, interoperability

A BNSF engineer monitors consoles linked to the Class I’s I-ETMS systemPhoto – BNSF Railway Co.

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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U.S. Rep. Paulsen tours Meyer Contracting

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minnesota) this week visited Meyer Contracting Inc.'s headquarters in Minnesota to discuss rail-related legislative issues with company, local and industry officials.

During his visit, Paulsen learned about Meyer Contracting's business operations and its impact on the state economy. He also toured the firm's headquarters and manufacturing shop in Maple Grove.

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Rail supplier news from Alstom, Siemens, WSP and LTK (Oct. 12)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 10/12/2018 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image From left to right: Alain Sauret, president of Safran Electrical & Power, Thierry Best, chief operating officer of Alstom, Alain Di Crescenzo, CEO of IGE+XAO Group and Jean Luc Moudenc, mayor of Toulouse, FrancePhoto – Lydie Lecarpentier Thomas / Alstom

Alstom, software publisher IGE+XAO Group and aerospace-component maker Safran S.A. today announced plans to establish a Center of Excellence in Toulouse, France, for the engineering of onboard rail electrical systems. Located on Safran's site, the center will accommodate up to 100 engineers. Using software packages from IGE+XAO, center staff will develop the "railway electrical systems of today," Alstom officials said in a press release.

German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) has ordered 18 7-car ICE 4 trainsets and 50 more power cars from Siemens Mobility. Bombardier Transportation will supply about one-third of the order, which is valued at $704 million, Siemens officials said in a press release. In total, DB will be receiving 1,511 cars it can configure into 12-car, 13-car and seven-car trainsets.

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CSX-served Florida business park completes first phase

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 10/12/2018 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The planned-unit development industrial site features a 4,000-foot CSX siding.Photo – floridacommercepark.com

Skyfarm Strategic Capital yesterday announced completion of the first phase of development on its rail-served Florida Commerce Park in Indiantown, Florida.

Located along State Road 710, the planned-unit development industrial site features a 4,000-foot CSX siding. The first phase involved grandfathering all entitlements and completion of horizontal infrastructure, including site work and grading, irrigation, and electrical and fiber optic work.

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CSX-served Florida business park completes first phase

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 10/12/2018 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The planned-unit development industrial site features a 4,000-foot CSX siding.Photo – floridacommercepark.com

Skyfarm Strategic Capital yesterday announced completion of the first phase of development on its rail-served Florida Commerce Park in Indiantown, Florida.

Located along State Road 710, the planned-unit development industrial site features a 4,000-foot CSX siding. The first phase involved grandfathering all entitlements and completion of horizontal infrastructure, including site work and grading, irrigation, and electrical and fiber optic work.

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Northern Lines Railway obtains Minnesota funds for grade crossing projects

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/12/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
imageThe Minnesota Department of Transportation's Rail Safety Office has designated $750,000 to improve five grade crossings on Northern Lines Railway's (NLR) route in St. Cloud and Waite Park.The funding comes from a mix of state and federal dollars. Some work is scheduled for three crossings this year and two more in 2019, according to a press release issued by Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., NLR's parent.NRL serves aggregate, agricultural and manufacturing customers on a 25-mile line in the St. Cloud area. The short line connects with BNSF Railway Co.'s network."We're very pleased to partner with the state on these important upgrades," said NLR President Justin Chalich. "This underscores our strong commitment to safety, for both our employees and the public we serve."The grade crossing projects include:
• replacing the existing signal system on 2nd Avenue North in Waite Park with new flashing lights and gates;
• replacing the existing signal system on Ridgewood Road in St. Cloud with new flashing lights, gates and cantilevers;
• upgrading the existing signal system on Saukview Drive in Waite Park, using relocated equipment from the Lincoln Avenue Northeast crossing in St. Cloud;
• upgrading the crossing at 10th Avenue South in Waite Park using relocated equipment from the U.S. 10 crossing in St. Cloud; and
• upgrading the crossing at 28th Avenue South in Waite Park with new LED lights.

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LA Metro to break ground on Orange Line's light-rail conversion project

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/12/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The agency plans to install four-quadrant gates at up to 35 busway intersections along the bus line's exclusive right of way.Photo – LA Metro's blog

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today will break ground on a project to prepare its Orange Line bus rapid transit line for eventual conversion to light rail.

The project includes installation of four-quadrant gates at up to 35 busway intersections along the bus line's exclusive right of way between North Hollywood and Chatsworth, California. Metro also plans to build aerial bridges and stations at Van Nuys and Sepulveda boulevards.

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Feds award Texas $10 million to shore up two Gulf Coast ports

The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $10 million in grants to Texas to improve critical port infrastructure to support business development and disaster resiliency following Hurricane Harvey.

The projects are expected to create and retain more than 15,000 jobs and spur $9.8 million in private investment, according to an EDA press release.

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TransLink to issue green bonds to finance transit expansion

TransLink next month expects to issue its first-ever green bonds, the agency announced this week.

Bond proceeds will fund projects in the agency's 10-Year Vision, the largest transit expansion in Vancouver, British Columbia. The plan includes SkyTrain's Broadway subway extension and construction of the new Surrey light-rail line.

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BNSF awarded $22.3 million California grant to pilot clean technology

BNSF Railway Co. and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District have been preliminarily awarded a $22.6 million grant from the California Air Resource Board to pilot emissions-reducing technologies in and around rail yards.

BNSF will collaborate with industry partners to test the feasibility of the technologies, company officials said in a press release.

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BNSF awarded $22.3 million California grant to pilot clean technology

BNSF Railway Co. and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District have been preliminarily awarded a $22.6 million grant from the California Air Resource Board to pilot emissions-reducing technologies in and around rail yards.

BNSF will collaborate with industry partners to test the feasibility of the technologies, company officials said in a press release.

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MBTA, Keolis to replace ties on the Fitchburg Line

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 10/11/2018 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image The agency and its commuter-rail operator plan to replace 30,000 ties along the route.Photo – MBTA

Keolis Commuter Services — the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail operator — next week will replace 30,000 ties between the Littleton/495 and Wachusett stations along the Fitchburg Line.

The project is slated to start Oct. 15 and will continue through November. The tie replacement is needed to help ensure a "smooth and comfortable ride for passengers," Keolis officials said in a press release.

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USDOT report highlights nearly $64 billion in transportation investments

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 10/11/2018 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
imageBy the end of fiscal-year 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will have made available more than $63.9 billion in FY2018 multimodal discretionary and formula transportation investments and $1.6 billion in FY2017 discretionary funds. In a statement highlighting its recent funding decisions, the USDOT noted the investments mark a "significant step forward" in addressing the Trump administration's infrastructure goals."Utilizing significantly increased levels of appropriations from Congress in the March 2018 omnibus funding bill, more investment is reaching areas and projects with the greatest impact," according to the statement.In six months, the USDOT:
• distributed the entire $56.2 billion in formula funds from FY2018;
• announced $7.8 billion in discretionary grant availability from FY 2018; and
• awarded $5.8 billion in FY2017 and FY2018 discretionary grants.The USDOT also highlighted specific projects and industries that received or had access to federal funding. For rail, the department noted that the Federal Railroad Administration issued notice of funding opportunities under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program totaling $568 million, of which $203 million for grants to support the implementation of positive train control were awarded Aug. 24.An additional $343 million is available for safety and infrastructure improvements.Moreover, the department's Small Starts Grant agreements included $75 million for Sound Transit's Tacoma Link light-rail project.

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MTA launches transit tech accelerator lab

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City yesterday launched the Transit Tech Lab, an accelerator program for startups looking to solve public transit challenges.

Early- and growth-stage tech companies can submit ideas to address the lab's two challenges: determining a way to better predict subway incident impacts, and finding a way to make buses faster and more efficient.

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Canadian Pacific announces 2018 Holiday Train tour

Canadian Pacific has released the Canadian and U.S. schedules for its 2018 Holiday Train.

Beginning Nov. 25 and 27, two CP trains — decorated with thousands of colorful, glittering lights — will leave Montreal to visit 164 communities along CP's network.

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