Railroad News

Rail supplier news from PrecisionHawk, CHA, ADVA, Urban Engineers, Unity Alliance and Tealinc (Jan. 24)

PrecisionHawk named James Norrod chief executive officer to succeed Michael Chasen, who will continue to lead PrecisionHawk’s advisory board and chair the Federal Aviation Administration’s Drone Advisory Committee. Norrod has more than 25 years of experience leading companies in regulated industries. Previously, he served at CEO of Tellabs, Zhone Technologies, Segway, Telebit, Adage and Infinite Power Solutions. PrecisionHawk offers drone inspection, survey and training services for rail, energy and agriculture clients.

CHA Consulting Inc. has fully integrated and rebranded its recent acquisition Wolverton & Associates under the CHA brand. Wolverton & Associates was acquired in June 2019, adding about 100 employees with experience in transportation, traffic, land development and land surveying to the firm. Combining the firms has fueled growth in the Southeast and provided clients with a deeper bench of technical talent and expertise, CHA officials said in a press release. 

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Pacific Harbor Line's Khatami to lead harbor association

Rail News Home Railroading People 1/24/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image Kimi Khatami is the new president of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce.Photo – Kimi Khatami

Kimi Khatami, director of customer service for Pacific Harbor Line, has been named president of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce (HAIC), a commercial and industrial trade association representing the business community of Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors.

The association advocates for its members on trade, transportation, energy, environmental and land use issues.

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NJ Transit to build storm-resilient power substation

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/24/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image New Jersey Transit will replace two Bay Head rail yard substations that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy.Photo – NJ Transit

New Jersey Transit yesterday began construction of a new power substation at the Bay Head rail yard on the North Jersey Coast Line.

The project — funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) — involves replacing two existing substations that were damaged by a storm surge during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

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TTC recommends state-of-good repairs, vehicle procurement

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/24/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image TTC will receive CA$4 billion over the the next 10 years through Toronto’s City Building Fund.Photo – TTC

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) staff yesterday recommended how the agency should allocate CA$4 billion in new infrastructure funding approved by the Toronto City Council earlier this month.

Of the CA$4.06 billion the TTC will receive over the the next 10 years through Toronto’s City Building Fund, TTC staff recommend allocating CA$3.09 billion to its subway’s state-of-good repair program and capacity improvements. 

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Cuomo calls for permanent ban on fracking in New York

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends 1/24/2020 Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
image Cuomo this week announced the legislation in the fiscal-year 2021 executive budget.Photo – Gov. Cuomo's Flickr page

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced legislation that would make the state's current fracking ban permanent.

The measure would restrict the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from approving permits that would authorize the ability to drill, deepen, plug back or convert wells that use high-volume hydraulic fracturing as a way to complete well projects.

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LOSSAN names DeMartino managing director

Rail News Home Railroading People 1/24/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image Donna DeMartino, LOSSAN rail corridor agency managing directorPhoto – LOSSAN

The Los Angeles–San Diego–San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor agency named Donna DeMartino managing director to succeed Jennifer Bergener, who was appointed deputy chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Effective Jan. 27, DeMartino will lead efforts to improve passenger-rail ridership, reliability and safety along the corridor, as well as oversee management and operations of the Amtrak-operated Pacific Surfliner service.

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Class Is to serve new auto terminal at Alabama port

Rail News Home Shippers 1/24/2020 Rail News: Shippers
image Pictured left to right: Roberto Murchison, general manager and chief executive officer of Grupo Murchison; James Lyons, director and CEO, Alabama State Port Authority; Fernando Reveco, VP of business development of Neltume Ports; Daniel Alexander, director of corporate development, Grupo Murchison.Photo – Alabama State Port Authority/Facebook

The Alabama State Port Authority and AutoMOBILE International Terminal (AIT) earlier this week signed a concession agreement for a $60 million automobile roll on/roll off terminal now under construction at the Port of Mobile.

AIT will operate the facility when it's completed in early 2021.

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Andy Byford resigns as NYCT president

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) President Andy Byford yesterday announced he will resign his post after two years on the job.

Byford was recruited to the NYCT two years ago to help revive the city's ailing subway system. During his tenure, his efforts have earned praise from subway riders and public transportation advocates for improvements made to update the antiquated system.

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TransLink increases capacity on Canada Line rail service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/23/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Twelve trains will be delivered from Hyundai Rotem in South Korea to TransLink this year.Photo – TransLink

TransLink in Vancouver, British Columbia, earlier this week added four new trains to the SkyTrain Canada Line service to increase rider capacity by 15 percent during peak hours. 

The four trains are the first of 12 that Hyundai Rotem in South Korea will deliver to TransLink this year. The trains will run on the Canada Line, a 12-mile route that links Vancouver, Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport. The line serves 16 stations.

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MTA explores passenger-rail service on Bay Ridge freight line

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/23/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Bay Ridge freight line is owned by MTA Long Island Rail Road and CSX.Photo – MTA Facebook

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced it has awarded AECOM a $1.3 million contract to study the feasibility of initiating passenger service on a freight-only rail line that runs from Bay Ridge/Sunset Park in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens, New York.

The study will evaluate cost and feasibility for subway, commuter-rail, light-rail or bus service that would operate in conjunction with existing freight-rail service to connect riders within Brooklyn and Queens, and create a potential for reverse commutes to the suburbs, MTA officials said in a press release.

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FRA approves Amtrak permit to move new Acela train to Colorado

Rail News Home Amtrak 1/23/2020 Rail News: Amtrak
image The image is from a video Amtrak released yesterday of the new Acela train being moved on track at the Alstom plant in Hornell, New York.Photo – Amtrak

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has signed off on Amtrak's permit application for a one-time movement of its next-generation high-speed train from the Alstom production plant in Hornell, New York, to the FRA's test track in Colorado, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced yesterday.

Earlier this month, Schumer called on the FRA to fast-track Amtrak's permit application so that the train can be moved to the Pueblo, Colorado, facility, where the train will be inspected and tested for safety.

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Rail industry honors Rep. Clyburn with 'Railroad Achievement Award'

Rail News Home Railroading People 1/23/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image "Congressman Clyburn (left) is one of the most effective leaders this generation has seen in advancing bipartisan policy, including every transportation bill of consequence for his nearly 20 years atop the Democratic caucus,” said AAR leader Ian Jefferies (right).Photo – AAR

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and GoRail on Tuesday presented U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) with the Railroad Achievement Award in his district.

The award honors Clyburn for his longstanding leadership on surface transportation issues, including matters that affect freight and passenger railroads in South Carolina and across the nation, AAR officials said in a press release.

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LA Metro names seven to executive team

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) yesterday announced the appointments of seven new executives to the agency's leadership team. The new appointees will oversee system security and law enforcement, ethics, auditing, risk management, sustainability, and equity and race. 

The new executives are: Robert Green, chief system, security and law enforcement officer; Cindy Morgan Kim, chief ethics officer; KeAndra Cylear Dodds, executive officer of equity and race; Kenneth Hernandez, chief risk, safety, and asset management officer; Shalonda Baldwin, interim chief auditor; Cris Liban, chief sustainability officer; and Heather Marie Repenning, executive officer of sustainability policy.

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North American railroads report mixed traffic results for Week 3

U.S. freight railroads logged 499,732 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Jan. 18, an 8 percent decline compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads during the week fell 8.4 percent to 237,394, while intermodal volume dropped 7.7 percent to 262,338 containers and trailers.

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FTA awards major grant, loan to Sound Transit for Federal Way Link light-rail extension

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/23/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Sound Transit was awarded $790 million through FTA's Capital Investment Grant program.Photo – Sound Transit

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced it has awarded Sound Transit a $790 million grant to extend the transit agency’s light-rail system 7.8 miles within King County, Washington, and approved Sound Transit for a $629.5 million loan.

The $790 million full funding grant agreement will help fund the agency’s Federal Way Link extension project, which will extend light rail from the existing Angle Lake Station in SeaTac through Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way in southern King County. 

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UP reports net income, revenue fell in Q4

Union Pacific Railroad reported today that fourth-quarter 2019 net income fell to $1.4 billion, or $2.02 per diluted share, from $1.6 billion, or $2.12 per diluted share, in fourth-quarter 2018.

Operating revenue dipped 9 percent to $5.2 billion during the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. Fourth-quarter business volume — measured by total revenue carloads — decreased 11 percent.

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UP reports net income, revenue fell in Q4

Union Pacific Railroad reported today that fourth-quarter 2019 net income fell to $1.4 billion, or $2.02 per diluted share, from $1.6 billion, or $2.12 per diluted share, in fourth-quarter 2018.

Operating revenue dipped 9 percent to $5.2 billion during the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. Fourth-quarter business volume — measured by total revenue carloads — decreased 11 percent.

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Toronto transit agency named a top employer for young people

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/22/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Toronto Transit Commission was recognized for its student co-op, internship and apprenticeship program.Photo – TTC Facebook

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) last week was recognized as one of Canada's top 100 employers for young people by Mediacorp Canada Inc. 

The annual competition recognizes organizations that offer the nation's best workplaces and programs to attract and retain young people starting their careers. The TTC was honored in part because of its robust student co-op, internship and apprenticeship program, TTC officials said in a press release.

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SEPTA honored for Chestnut Hill station restoration project

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/22/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Crews replaced rotted wood, renovated the roof, painted the shelter and performed other structural repairs to the station's canopy.Photo – septa.org

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) earlier this month was recognized with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy 2019 Preservation Recognition Award.

The award was presented Jan. 5 to recognize the transit agency's "commitment to preserving the character of community landmarks across the system," SEPTA officials said in a press release.

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Denton County transit agency completes A-train rail trail

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 1/22/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Denton County Transportation Authority completed construction of a 19-mile mixed-used trail along its commuter-rail line.Photo – DCTA Vimeo

The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) last month completed construction of a 19-mile mixed-used trail along its A-train commuter-rail line to connect pedestrians and cyclists between the Downtown Denton Transit Center and Hebron Station in Lewisville, Texas.

The $14 million project was completed in three phases. The trail's original 9 miles were completed in 2011 in conjunction with A-train line construction, followed by two other portions in 2016 and 2018. 

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