Railroad News

Rail supplier news from GE, Siemens, Hanson and LRW (July 13)

GE Transportation and Ukrainian Railways earlier this week marked the completion of the first of 30 GE Evolution Series locomotives to be built under a framework agreement signed early this year. The TE33A locomotive features a 12-cylinder, 4,500-horsepower Evolution Series engine. Compared to the legacy Ukrainian fleet, the unit can "significantly reduce" emissions, economize fuel and oil costs, and increase time between maintenance overhauls, GE officials said in a press release. Production is occurring in the United States, with final assembly in Ukraine.

Siemens, South Korean train manufacturer Hyundai Rotem and Taiwanese construction company BES Engineering have obtained a contract to deliver electrical and mechanical solutions to the Green Line metro route in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Siemens' share of the project includes the Trainguard MT communications-based train control system, traction drives for the trains and direct-current traction power supply. The signaling system will enable full automation of the metro line, Siemens officials said in a press release.

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FRA's Batory tours CSX's Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory earlier this week toured CSX's Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction project in southeast Washington, D.C.

Joining Batory on the tour were CSX officials, along with representatives of Clark Construction, Delta Railroad Construction and Parsons, which are members of the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC).

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Caltrain wraps up Redwood City grade crossing work

Rail News Home Safety 7/13/2018 Rail News: Safety
image The Whipple Avenue crossing features a new signal cantilever and pedestrian gates.Photo – Caltrain's Twitter account

Caltrain has concluded safety upgrades at three grade crossings in Redwood City, California, the agency announced this week.

The project involved improvements to the Whipple Avenue, Main Street and Broadway crossings. Construction began in February.

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Short Line Safety Institute launches hazmat training program

The program is aimed at supplementing railroads' existing training protocols.Photo – American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor

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FRA seeks applicants for state rail safety grants

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 7/13/2018 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image "FRA first initiated this grant program in 2017 and looks forward to once again awarding crucial funding to promote rail safety and maintain federal industry standards," said Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory.Photo – Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is soliciting applications for $500,000 in state grants under the Railroad Safety State Participation Pilot Grant Program.

The grants may be used to fund approved technical training; travel expenses to attend FRA technical training, safety conferences, and meetings; and laptop computers required to support inspector reporting and data analysis.

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MTA upgrades LIRR interlocking in Queens

Rail News Home Communication and Signal 7/13/2018 Rail News: Communication and Signal
image The agency is now using a microprocessor-based signal system in the Harold Interlocking, the busiest interlocking in North America.Photo – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has finished upgrading the signal system in the Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, Queens.

A new microprocessor-based signal system is now in use for Amtrak and MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) trains. The system is designed to boost reliability and ensure trains continue to run even if problems arise, MTA officials said in a press release.

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Report: CSX VP O'Malley to join Brightline

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/13/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Earlier this year, Brightline submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Florida Department of Transportation to operate passenger trains along the Central Florida Expressway Authority's right of way between Orlando and Tampa.Photo – Brightline

A CSX executive is leaving the Class I to go to work for Brightline, the private passenger-rail service in southeastern Florida.

Bob O'Malley, vice president of state and local government relations for CSX, will leave his post today and join Brightline on July 16, according to The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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Panhandle Northern Railroad seeks CRISI grant for safety improvements

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 7/13/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image The city is the lead applicant for the grant, but is joined by the short line and the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission as co-applicantsPhoto – City of Borger website

The city of Borger, Texas, has applied for a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration's Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program that would help fund a project to improve the safety and security of the Panhandle Northern Railroad LLC (PNR).

The city is the lead applicant for the grant, but is joined by the short line and the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission as co-applicants, according to a city press release.

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Metrolinx Chair Prichard steps down

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/13/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Prichard served as chair for the past seven years.Photo – torys.com

Metrolinx Chair Robert Prichard resigned yesterday.

During his nine-year tenure at the agency, Prichard also served as president and chief executive officer. He cited the election of new government leaders in Ontario among his reasons for resigning. Prichard served as chair for the past seven years.

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Transit agencies tackle first- and last-mile challenges

LA Metro launched Metro Bike Share as a first-and-last-mile option for transit riders.Photo – LA Metro

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a link to the sidebar.]

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CTA reveals design for new Damen Green Line station

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/12/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The stop will be the fourth new station added to CTA's rail system since 2011.Photo – Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this week joined Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Department of Transportation officials to unveil design plans for a new Green Line station on the city's near west side.

Located at Lake Street and Damen Avenue, the new station is designed to improve public transit options for nearby residents, visitors to the United Center sports arena and businesses along the Kinzie Industrial Corridor.

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LA Metro to retire remaining P865 light-rail cars

The P865 models debuted on Metro's Blue Line when it opened in July 1990.Photo – LA Metro's blog

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) next month will retire its remaining P865 light-rail cars.

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Patriot Rail's Seaonus Stevedoring granted free-trade zone status at New Orleans port

Seaonus Stevedoring-New Orleans, a division of Patriot Rail Co., has been granted permission to operate the only on-dock foreign trade zone (FTZ) site in New Orleans, which will be at the Port of New Orleans' Alabo Street Wharf location.

The facility will offer covered and noncovered storage for a variety of cargo, including breakbulk commodities such as nonferrous metals and steel, company officials said in a press release.

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CN budgets CA$315 million for Ontario projects

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/12/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Planned expansion projects will include investments in a satellite intermodal facility near the railroad's Brampton Intermodal Terminal.Photo – CN's Facebook page

CN will spend CA$315 million on projects to expand and strengthen its network across Ontario this year, the Class I announced yesterday.

Planned expansion projects will include investments in a satellite intermodal facility near the railroad's Brampton Intermodal Terminal to provide temporary capacity; intermodal equipment and infrastructure at CN's Brampton Intermodal Terminal to serve growing cold supply chain business; and construction of a new train passing siding east of Sioux Lookout.

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CN budgets CA$315 million for Ontario projects

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/12/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Planned expansion projects will include investments in a satellite intermodal facility near the railroad's Brampton Intermodal Terminal.Photo – CN's Facebook page

CN will spend CA$315 million on projects to expand and strengthen its network across Ontario this year, the Class I announced yesterday.

Planned expansion projects will include investments in a satellite intermodal facility near the railroad's Brampton Intermodal Terminal to provide temporary capacity; intermodal equipment and infrastructure at CN's Brampton Intermodal Terminal to serve growing cold supply chain business; and construction of a new train passing siding east of Sioux Lookout.

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TRRA picks Walsh to rebuild Mississippi River rail bridge

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 7/12/2018 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image Built in 1889, the bridge is the oldest rail structure spanning the Mississippi River.Photo – Walsh Construction

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) has chosen Walsh Construction to rebuild the Merchants Bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

Built in 1889, the bridge is the oldest rail structure over the Mississippi River, Walsh officials said in a press release. The $172 million project calls for bringing the bridge up to current rail standards and adding capacity.

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AAR: U.S. intermodal volume jumped 12 percent in Week 27

U.S. railroads' intermodal volume surged 12 percent to 244,679 containers and trailers during the week ending July 7 compared with the same week in 2017, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload volume also rose during the week, up 5.4 percent to 240,514 units. Total traffic for U.S. railroads climbed 8.6 percent to 485,193 carloads and intermodal units during the week compared to a year ago, according to an AAR press release.

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SEPTA's first new Siemens locomotive hits the rails

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) yesterday marked the arrival and inaugural run of its first new Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotive.

The agency is buying 15 locomotives from Siemens. The new units will enable SEPTA to expand its fleet and replace eight aging locomotives, including the only remaining AEM-7 locomotives operating in the United States, agency officials said in a press release.

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NYSDOT awards $19 million to expand CSX's DeWitt terminal

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has awarded $19 million in state funding toward a CSX rail-yard expansion in the town of DeWitt in central New York.

The project will create central New York's first inland port, which will allow for containerized freight to be moved between the Port of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and CSX's DeWitt terminal, NYSDOT officials said yesterday in a press release.

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NYSDOT awards $19 million to expand CSX's DeWitt terminal

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has awarded $19 million in state funding toward a CSX rail-yard expansion in the town of DeWitt in central New York.

The project will create central New York's first inland port, which will allow for containerized freight to be moved between the Port of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and CSX's DeWitt terminal, NYSDOT officials said yesterday in a press release.

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