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Rail supplier news from TKDA, Wabtec, Teleste, Gradall, Icomera and Visiostack (Dec. 6)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 12/6/2019 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Justin HicksPhoto – TKDA

TKDA added Justin Hicks to its rail division. He has 10 years of experience as a designer and manager on an array of rail projects. Hicks has designed freight yard, mainline and industrial rail trackage; been involved in intermodal and port master planning projects; and has generated designs for a variety of other transportation infrastructure projects, TKDA officials said in a press release.

Wabtec Corp. recently delivered 10 ES30ACi Light Evolution Series locomotives to the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) and Ministry of Transportation, the first stage in fulfilling order and services agreements reached in 2017. The new locomotives will enable ENR to meet growing demand for an efficient transport system capable of supporting the country’s development plans, Wabtec officials said in a press release. Equipped with 12-cylinder, 3,200-horsepower engines, the locomotives feature air-conditioned dual cabs, AC propulsion systems, single-axle control and dynamic brakes to transport either freight or passengers.

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TTC eliminates ticket, token sales at stations

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/6/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Presto cards offer automatic renewal and reloading.Photo – TTC

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) last week stopped selling tickets, tokens and day passes at its train stations as part of a transition to the Presto reloadable fare card.

The Presto cards offer automatic renewal and reloading and the ability to pay fares across 10 other transit agencies that use the system, including GO Transit and the TTC streetcar.

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SunRail to test PTC on central Florida rail corridor

Rail News Home Positive Train Control 12/6/2019 Rail News: Positive Train Control
image SunRail’s test trains will operate on the entire 61.5-mile corridor from the DeLand Amtrak Station to the Poinciana SunRail Station in Kissimmee.Photo – SunRail Flickr

SunRail will test positive train control (PTC) overnight until Dec. 12 in preparation for full implementation of the safety system on the central Florida rail corridor, agency officials announced yesterday.

SunRail’s test trains will operate on the entire 61.5-mile corridor from the DeLand Amtrak Station to the Poinciana SunRail Station in Kissimmee.

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Ohio, Washington regulators OK grade crossing safety upgrades

Rail News Home Communication and Signal 12/6/2019 Rail News: Communication and Signal
image The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) earlier this week approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern RailwayWheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) and CSX to upgrade four crossings in three counties.NS will install lights and gates at the County Road 84 crossing in Hancock County by April 4, 2021. W&LE will upgrade and replace existing lights and gates at the Gilchrist Road crossing in Akron by Sept. 4, 2020.Meanwhile, CSX will install lights and gates and make the approach less steep at the Railroad Street crossing in Milton Center; and close the South Street crossing to vehicles and pedestrians in Milton Center by Dec. 4, 2020.Federal funding will be provided for the upgrades, although W&LE will share funding responsibility for the Gilchrist Road project, PUCO officials said in a press release. Meanwhile, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved more than $15,000 in grant funding for the Northwest Railway Museum to improve two crossings in North Bend and Snoqualmie.The UTC approved a Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant of $5,230 to replace signal control hardware at the State Route 202 crossing, also known as Bendigo Boulevard. The commission also approved a $10,603 GCPF grant to replace the signal control hardware and upgrade the existing warning lights to LEDs at the Snoqualmie Parkway crossing. The upgrades must be completed by June 30, 2020.

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WMATA solicits input on rail service improvement study

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/6/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Starting next week, WMATA will host a series of open houses in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to provide information about the draft concepts.Photo – WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday unveiled several preliminary concepts to improve reliability, meet future ridership demands and better serve riders on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

Starting next week, WMATA will host a series of open houses in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to provide information about the draft concepts, answer questions and gather public input, authority officials said in a press release.

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NJ Transit seeks 'next-generation’ solutions for Meadowlands service



Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/6/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The busy Meadowlands area poses mass transit challenges.Photo – NJ Transit Facebook

New Jersey Transit has issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to identify qualified and experienced firms capable of introducing innovative solutions for transportation services between the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus Junction and the Meadowlands complex.



The Meadowlands area poses unique challenges to mass transit, including sporting events and concerts held at MetLife Stadium; the new American Dream retail and entertainment complex that will have 20,000 employees and attract 40 million visitors annually; highly sensitive environmental features such as the Hackensack River; busy roads; and an existing rail line to the stadium from Secaucus Junction, NJ Transit officials said in a press release.



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CSX picks Kentucky rail bypass as latest ‘Select Site’

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 12/6/2019 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image CSX joined local officials this week in announcing that the Henderson Bypass Rail Site in Henderson, Kentucky, has been designated a CSX Select Site.Photo – CSX Facebook

CSX has designated the Henderson bypass rail site in Henderson, Kentucky, as a CSX Select Site.

Select Sites are development-ready properties along the CSX network where standard land use considerations and comprehensive due diligence issues have been addressed. The properties are able to meet the needs of a variety of manufacturers, reducing the time required to build facilities and ultimately bring products to market, CSX officials said in a press release.

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CSX picks Kentucky rail bypass as latest ‘Select Site’

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 12/6/2019 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image CSX joined local officials this week in announcing that the Henderson Bypass Rail Site in Henderson, Kentucky, has been designated a CSX Select Site.Photo – CSX Facebook

CSX has designated the Henderson bypass rail site in Henderson, Kentucky, as a CSX Select Site.

Select Sites are development-ready properties along the CSX network where standard land use considerations and comprehensive due diligence issues have been addressed. The properties are able to meet the needs of a variety of manufacturers, reducing the time required to build facilities and ultimately bring products to market, CSX officials said in a press release.

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Florida DOT launches crossing safety initiative

Rail News Home Safety 12/6/2019 Rail News: Safety
image “One fatality on our rail crossings is one too many," said FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault.Photo –

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) yesterday announced a statewide initiative to improve safety at grade crossings.

FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault issued the directive calling for “unprecedented” rail safety measures and the launch of a statewide education initiative with the goal of preventing additional fatalities on or near crossings, and on state roads and state-owned land crossings, FDOT officials said in a press release.

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NJ Transit unveils performance dashboard

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/5/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image NJ Transit created a performance dashboard to comply with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 80.Photo – NJ Transit Facebook

New Jersey Transit last week launched a performance dashboard to display system data on on-time performance, mechanical reliability and the cause of delays and cancellations. 

Dubbed Progress by the Numbers, the dashboard displays commuter-rail, light-rail and bus data from January 2017 to October 2019. Each month it will be updated with the previous month’s service.

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Orange County charts progress on streetcar work

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/5/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The OC Streetcar will be complete in 2022.Photo – OCTA

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) crews are advancing construction on the 4.1-mile, 10-stop OC Streetcar route between the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and a new transit stop in Garden Grove, California. 

Crews have begun pouring foundations for a maintenance and storage facility to be constructed along the former Pacific Electric Railway Co. right-of-way in Santa Ana throughout 2020.

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MTA technology accelerator program expands to six agencies

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/5/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image MTA’s Transit Tech Lab allows selected startups to pitch and then pilot an innovation or technology solution for a transit agency in less than six months.Photo – MTA NYCT Facebook

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Transit Tech Lab, an accelerator program for startups looking to solve public transit challenges, has expanded to five other New York City-area agencies to support a unified approach to transit innovation. 

The program enables selected startups to pitch and then pilot an innovation or technology solution for a transit agency in less than six months. 

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Secure Rail deadline approaching for 2020 conference presenters

Rail News Home Security 12/5/2019 Rail News: Security
image Tomorrow is the deadline for presenters to submit their proposals for the next Secure Rail Conference, which will be held April 21-22, 2020, in Chicago.Presented by Progressive Railroading, Secure Rail's mission is to bridge the gap between the future of rail technology and rail security.Conference organizers are seeking presenters with expertise in rail security,  emergency preparedness, hazardous materials transportation, positive train control, information technology, signaling and communications, border control, bridge and tunnel management and capital infrastructure programs.Presenters should provide a rail security perspective on their chosen topic.Presentation information may be submitted via this link.

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Vancouver residents support TransLink expansion, improvement

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/5/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Following a four-month outreach campaign, TransLink’s engagement report logged 4,000 submitted transit improvement ideas.Photo – TransLink Facebook

TransLink riders and other local residents support transit expansion and improvement as a top priority in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to a public engagement report the agency released yesterday. 

Following a four-month outreach campaign, the report logged 4,000 submitted improvement ideas and 31,700 responses to the agency’s 30-year regional transportation strategy for metro Vancouver.

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TWU Local 100, BLET announce tentative agreements

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/5/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, following six months of tense negotiations.Announced yesterday, the tentative agreement will go before Local 100's Executive Board today. If ratified by union members, the contract would cover about 37,000 subway and bus workers."This tentative agreement continues the forward momentum of NYC Transit that has led to a surge in subway on-time performance and ridership increases that reflect our customers’ returning confidence in the system," said MTA Chairman Patrick Foye in a press release.TWU Local 100 is MTA's largest union.Details of the agreement will be revealed after  Local 100's Executive Board has a chance to vote on it, said Local 100 President Tony Utano in a prepared statement. Utano also said he believed the membership will ratify the contract "in overwhelming fashion."Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a tentative agreement with Keolis Commuter Services in Boston for locomotive engineers employed at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).Ballots have been mailed and are due Jan. 3, 2020. Contract details have not been released.Keolis has operated and maintained MBTA's commuter-rail system since 2014.

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Gibson Energy, USD to build diluent recovery unit; CP, KCS to ship crude-oil product

US Development Group LLC (USD) and Gibson Energy Inc. this week announced an agreement to build and operate a diluent recovery unit (DRU) near Hardisty, Alberta. ConocoPhillips Canada has contracted to process the 50,000 barrels per day of inlet bitumen blend through the DRU to be shipped by Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

USD and Gibson are in discussions with other potential producers and refiners to secure long-term, take-or-pay agreements for an additional 50,000 barrels per day at the proposed DRU, USD and Gibson officials said in a press release.

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AAR: Uncertainty hurt rail traffic in November

Rail traffic continued to struggle in November, with U.S. railroads reporting 1,975,345 carloads and intermodal units, a 7.4 percent decrease compared with November 2018's levels, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. railroads originated 955,579 carloads last month, down 7.5 percent, and 1,019,766 containers and trailers, down 7.4 percent versus last year's figures.

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Rail supplier news from Wi-Tronix, Icomera, CloudMoyo, Alstom, HNTB and RSI (Dec. 4)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 12/4/2019 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Grupo Mexico Transportes (GMXT) is extending its partnership with Wi-Tronix LLC to deploy the Violet Edge 800s and Wi-PU Internet of Things platforms across broader sections of the Ferromex fleet. Ferromex is a subsidiary of GMXT. Once fully deployed, over 525 locomotives at Ferromex will be equipped with Wi-Tronix IoT platform technology, Wi-Tronix officials said in a press release. Icomera hired Alan Martin as vice president of finance; Greg Hawley as a project manager; and Mark Schaff as a senior sales engineer. Martin has 20 years experience in accounting, finance and operations. He has spent over half of his career working in the transportation industry, most recently serving as finance operations manager for Conduent Transport Solutions. Hawley has experience deploying large-scale telecom and data networks in the transportation, public safety and nonprofit sectors, Icomera officials said in a press release. Schaff has 20 years of experience in the wireless and transportation industries, specializing in the supply of onboard networks.  Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) selected CloudMoyo Operational Testing System (OTS) for implementation across its system. The cloud-based OTS uses advanced analytics to create configurable master test plans and allow rapid operational testing in the field utilizing mobile devices. "As our business grows, we are looking to scale our operational capabilities with modern, cloud-based digital technologies," said TRRA President Mike McCarthy in a press release. "With CloudMoyo OTS for short line railroads, our responses to new regulations and our implementation of new safety measures will be more streamlined and timelier.” Alstom signed a nearly $215 million contract with Ferrovienord to deliver 31 regional trains to the Lombardy region of Italy beginning in 2022. The agreement includes options to purchase 30 additional trains in eight years and for preventive and corrective maintenance service. Meanwhile, Ile-de-France Mobilites and the Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens awarded the Alstom and Bombardier consortium a $587 million contract to design and manufacture 44 metro trains to be deployed on three Paris metro lines between 2024 and 2026. The contract may be supplemented by an option for a total of up to 410 trains. Alstom also announced that the first Citadis X05 tram for Ile-de-France Mobilites’ Tram T9 line in Orly, France, was inaugurated. The tram is the first of 22 ordered by IIe-de-France. Delivery of the remaining trams will be completed in October 2020 with entry into commercial service in December 2020. HNTB Corp. hired Michael McNamara as regional senior director of rail and transit systems and vice president. He will provide program management and engineering oversight for HNTB’s major rail and transit projects throughout the eastern United States. He has over 40 years of experience in the design, construction and maintenance of railroads and transit systems, specializing in railway systems engineering, HNTB officials said in a press release. The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) has appointed Harrison Wadsworth, director of government affairs for Siemens Mobility, to RSI's board. He will fill a seat vacated by John Paljug, who retired last month as Siemens’ president of mobility management in North America. Wadsworth chairs RSI's Government and Public Affairs Committee.

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SEPTA-TCU Carmen ratify contract

Rail News Home Labor 12/4/2019 Rail News: Labor
image Union members "overwhelmingly" ratified the new agreement.Photo – septa.org

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UTA marks 20 years of light-rail service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 12/4/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The first segment of UTA’s TRAX light-rail system opened on Dec. 4, 1999.Photo – UTA

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) today marks 20 years of operation of the TRAX light-rail service. 

In 1998, UTA opened its first rail station in Midvale, Utah, and received delivery of its first fleet of Siemens SD100 trains. By 1999, the first light-rail line opened to connect riders between Salt Lake City and Sandy.

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