Railroad News

MTA’s eTix ticketing app sales surpass $47 million since August launch

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) eTix mobile ticketing smartphone application has seen a successful launch period since its August launch.

 

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Amtrak's 'Liberty' will be the latest of Alstom's high-speed Avelia trains

Rail News Home Amtrak December 2016 Rail News: Amtrak

image Amtrak chose Alstom's Avelia Liberty model for its new trainsets.Photo – Amtrak, Alstom By Julie Sneider, senior associate editor One of Amtrak’s biggest announcements this year was its $2.45 billion planned investment in the Acela Express service on the 457-mile Northeast corridor, which includes a contract with Alstom to acquire 28 next-generation high-speed trainsets. Amtrak chose Alstom's Avelia Liberty model for the trainsets, which will replace the aging Acela fleet that serves the corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston. The new trains will travel up to 160 mph, which is faster than current Acela trains but within the corridor’s speed limits. The trains will be able to travel up to 186 mph, which will enable the railroad to increase train speed after future Acela line upgrades are completed, Amtrak officials say. The new trains will be manufactured at Alstom’s facilities in Hornell and Rochester, N.Y., while parts for the units will come from suppliers in more than 30 states, according to an Amtrak press release. Under a technical support and spare supply agreement with Alstom, the trains will be maintained at Amtrak depots in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. Alstom will provide additional support from its sites in New York, Delaware and Illinois for 15 years, with an option for an additional 15 years. The Liberty — the newest Avelia high-speed train — will be a good fit for the Acela service, according to Scott Sherin, Alstom vice president for marketing and strategy. "One of the constraints Amtrak has is that the infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor today was not built or intended for high-speed rail," says Sherin. "Amtrak wanted to know how they could implement a faster service on infrastructure that was not intended for high-speed rail. The Avelia Liberty has some unique characteristics that will allow them to do that." One of those characteristics is Alstom’s anticipative tilting technology known as Tiltronix, which enables the train to maneuver curves safely at higher speeds while maintaining passenger comfort. "This technology allows the train, when it goes into a curve, to tilt much like you see a motorcycle tilt when it goes through a curve," says Sherin. "We have geopositioning on the train. It knows when it enters into a curve, and it will trigger preemptively this tilting motion so the passengers don’t feel the lateral acceleration." Another key feature is the train's articulated architecture, which has trucks placed between cars to minimize bouncing felt by passengers. Also, the trainsets will be equipped with Alstom’s crash energy management system. Safety will be further enhanced by concentrated power cars located at each end of the trainset, providing an extra buffer of protection. As for passenger amenities, the trains will be more spacious than the current Acela fleet, with room for up to 33 percent more passengers. Additional amenities include Wi-Fi service, USB chargers next to seats and options for reserved seating. The Avelia Liberty also will be designed as a premium train, with two classes of service — first and business, says Sherin. The new vehicles will be unique among the Avelia family of trains, but will feature the next generation of certain elements in existing Avelia trains, he says. For example, the power car that contains the propulsion system for the Liberty train is based on Alstom TGV trains used in France. The passenger vehicles are based on another Avelia train, the AGV, which operates in Italy. The Tiltronix technology comes from yet another Avelia, the Pendolino. The more spacious trains will accommodate Acela’s high ridership — many of its rush-hour trains are at capacity — and use 15 percent less energy, in part because they'll be significantly lighter than Acela's current stock. They’ll also be built with regenerative braking capabilities that will reduce operating costs and further increase Amtrak’s return on investment, says Sherin. As for the production timeframe, the trains are in the design phase. Once that's completed, Alstom will develop two prototypes for Amtrak to approve before the company begins production. The first trains are slated for commercial service in 2021. All the new trainsets are expected to be in service, and the current fleet retired, by the end of 2022, according to Amtrak. Email comments or questions to julie.sneider@tradepress.com.
Keywords Browse articles on Amtrak Acela Express Alstom Avelia Liberty Northeast Corridor Scott Sherin Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.
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FTA to assist Charlotte, Tacoma with rail-related TOD

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

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SEPTA, BLET, SMART-UTU join FRA close call reporting system

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), SMART United Transportation Union-Local 61 (SMART-UTU) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) signed an Implementing Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU) on Dec. 12 to join the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS).

 

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New York City Transit to begin Sandy-related repairs in Clark Street Tube

12/13/2016    

Rail News: MOW

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NCDOT helps kick off NCVA rail project

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Dec. 12 to celebrate improvements along a 52-mile rail corridor that will allow for the transport of 286,000-pound cars.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) hosted the groundbreaking for the North Carolina & Virginia Railroad (NCVA) project. The NCVA is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming, Inc., and runs between Boykins, Va., where it interchanges with CSX to east of Tunis, N.C. It's largest customer is Nucor Steel plate mill at Cofield, N.C.

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GWI UK to acquire Pentalver Transport

GWI UK Acquisition Company Limited, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI), has entered an agreement with a subsidiary of APM Terminals (A P Møller-Maersk A/S) to acquire Pentalver Transport Limited for approximately £87 million (approximately US$110 million).

 

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Texas A&M TTI names Winfree director

12/13/2016    

Rail News: People

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Port of Prince Rupert terminal expansion reaches milestone

The expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia has reached 75 percent complete and is on schedule to open in 2017.

 

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Schumer: Crosscheck all transit-rail employees with terror watch list

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Passenger Rail

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NRF: Retail imports up for holiday season

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Intermodal

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MBTA OKs plan to replace Red Line fleet

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Mechanical

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SEPTA, unions agree to implement close-call reporting system

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Safety

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G&W subsidiary to acquire Pentalver Transport

12/13/2016    

Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

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From the editor: 'Live' from New York – RailTrends sound bites

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends December 2016 Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

image Pat Foran, Editor — By Pat Foran, Editor RailTrends® 2016, held Nov. 17-18 in New York City, featured a star-powered speaker lineup and a whole lot of post-election, big-picture dialogue, as Tony Hatch writes. Thanks to the presenters, attendees and sponsors who made this year's event so dynamic — and, ultimately, a complement to our 2017 outlook coverage. We did some "live" tweeting at RailTrends; I've included a few sound bites here, along with other sentiments expressed from the lectern that exceeded Twitter's 140-character limit: AAR President and CEO Ed Hamberger: "Given the policy shift on Election Day, it’d be prudent for the STB to hit the pause button on regulation." STB Chairman Dan Elliott: "'Midnight regulation' … is not something I plan on doing. I want to make the transition as seamless as possible." RAC President and CEO Michael Bourque: "We are seeing a lot more regulation in Canada, and you guys are headed for a lot less." ASLRRA President Linda Bauer Darr: "We think we play very well into
President-elect Trump's plan for tax reform and infrastructure investment." NRC President Chuck Baker: "Some of the excitement about [Trump’s] infrastructure [plan] has been perhaps a little overblown." Oliver Wyman Global Rail Practice Head Rodney Case: "What got us here, post-Staggers, isn't what's going to get us there…. The rail industry has to recover its mojo on the technology [roadmap]." Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman, who graces this issue’s cover: "My first job is to work with the board and help find the right long-term person to do this job. … The good news is there’s work to be done, but it can be done. Amtrak’s not broken." KCS President and CEO Pat Ottensmeyer: "I've gotten used to saying there are more questions than answers about NAFTA … [but] I'm confident the proper people will be at the table to ensure the discussion is fact based." UP Vice President Planning and Analysis – Finance Jon Panzer: "There has been a resurgence in the chemical industry and it's been driven by shale energy. There's going to be a huge increase in U.S. production." Chevron Phillips GM of Global Supply Chain John Barrett: "The shale gas play has taken the U.S. from being one of the world's least competitive ethylene and polytethylene producers to one of the most competitive…. Intermodal will be a big piece of how we move our product." NS Vice President – Industrial Products Mike McClellan: "We're in the process of redefining 'industrial products' — that's kind of my job." CN CEO Luc Jobin on Claude Mongeau, who received our 2016 Railroad Innovator Award at RailTrends: "Claude would have been 'Innovator of the Year' in whatever field he went into…. His supply chain approach is such an elegant idea that others think, 'why didn't we think of this before?'"
Keywords Browse articles on RailTrends 2016 RailTrends Tony Hatch Ed Hamberger Dan Elliott Michael Borque Linda Bauer Darr Rodney Case Wick Moorman Amtrak Pat Ottensmeyer Jon Panzer John Barrett Mike McClellan Luc Jobin Claude Mongeau Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.
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From the editor: 'Live' from New York — RailTrends sound bites

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends December 2016 Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

image Pat Foran, Editor — By Pat Foran, Editor RailTrends® 2016, held Nov. 17-18 in New York City, featured a star-powered speaker lineup and a whole lot of post-election, big-picture dialogue, as Tony Hatch writes. Thanks to the presenters, attendees and sponsors who made this year's event so dynamic — and, ultimately, a complement to our 2017 outlook coverage. We did some "live" tweeting at RailTrends; I've included a few sound bites here, along with other sentiments expressed from the lectern that exceeded Twitter's 140-character limit: AAR President and CEO Ed Hamberger: "Given the policy shift on Election Day, it’d be prudent for the STB to hit the pause button on regulation." STB Chairman Dan Elliott: "'Midnight regulation' … is not something I plan on doing. I want to make the transition as seamless as possible." RAC President and CEO Michael Bourque: "We are seeing a lot more regulation in Canada, and you guys are headed for a lot less." ASLRRA President Linda Bauer Darr: "We think we play very well into
President-elect Trump's plan for tax reform and infrastructure investment." NRC President Chuck Baker: "Some of the excitement about [Trump’s] infrastructure [plan] has been perhaps a little overblown." Oliver Wyman Global Rail Practice Head Rodney Case: "What got us here, post-Staggers, isn't what's going to get us there…. The rail industry has to recover its mojo on the technology [roadmap]." Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman, who graces this issue’s cover: "My first job is to work with the board and help find the right long-term person to do this job. … The good news is there’s work to be done, but it can be done. Amtrak’s not broken." KCS President and CEO Pat Ottensmeyer: "I've gotten used to saying there are more questions than answers about NAFTA … [but] I'm confident the proper people will be at the table to ensure the discussion is fact based." UP Vice President Planning and Analysis – Finance Jon Panzer: "There has been a resurgence in the chemical industry and it's been driven by shale energy. There's going to be a huge increase in U.S. production." Chevron Phillips GM of Global Supply Chain John Barrett: "The shale gas play has taken the U.S. from being one of the world's least competitive ethylene and polytethylene producers to one of the most competitive…. Intermodal will be a big piece of how we move our product." NS Vice President – Industrial Products Mike McClellan: "We're in the process of redefining 'industrial products' — that's kind of my job." CN CEO Luc Jobin on Claude Mongeau, who received our 2016 Railroad Innovator Award at RailTrends: "Claude would have been 'Innovator of the Year' in whatever field he went into…. His supply chain approach is such an elegant idea that others think, 'why didn't we think of this before?'"
Keywords Browse articles on RailTrends 2016 RailTrends Tony Hatch Ed Hamberger Dan Elliott Michael Borque Linda Bauer Darr Rodney Case Wick Moorman Amtrak Pat Ottensmeyer Jon Panzer John Barrett Mike McClellan Luc Jobin Claude Mongeau Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.
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SEPTA opens travel info center at University of Pennsylvania

12/12/2016    

Rail News: Passenger Rail

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MTA to make Sandy-related repairs to Clark St. Tube

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin the next round of Superstorm Sandy-related repairs in spring 2017 with weekend closures of the Clark St. Tube to fix integral components.

 

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Water infrastructure bill includes South Carolina port expansion

12/12/2016    

Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

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Gov. Cuomo visits Second Ave. Subway as Phase 1 deadline approaches

With January under three weeks away, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited contractors and construction workers building the 72nd and 86th Street Stations on the Second Avenue Subway project to view progress.

Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to be completed at the end of the year and the governor is confident the deadline will be met.

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