Railroad News

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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ASLRRA unveils President's Safety awards for Southern Region

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/11/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image The Terminal Railway-Alabama State Docks was honored for the most hours of injury-free operation.Photo – asdd.com

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has announced the winners of its President's Safety Awards in the Southern Region.

The awards recognize outstanding safety records of smaller railroads that have achieved either a 0.0 accident frequency rate, or the best safety rate as measured by the lowest accident frequency rate per man-hour of operation below the industry average, according to the ASLRRA.

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U.S. rail traffic up a bit in Week 40

U.S. rail traffic rose 1.2 percent to 554,238 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Oct. 6 compared with the traffic during the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Railroads reported 269,634 total carloads for the week, up 0.7 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Intermodal volume inched up 1.8 percent to 284,604 containers and trailers compared with a year ago, according to an AAR press release.

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Metra proposes 2019 budget, warns of railroad's 'deterioration'

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/11/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The railroad's proposed $185.6 million capital budget falls "far short" of its needs, Metra officials said.Photo – metrarail.com

Metra's 2019 budget proposals came with a stark warning about the railroad's continued deterioration and budget shortfalls.

The railroad on Monday proposed a $185.6 million capital budget that falls "far short" of its needs, Metra officials said in a news release. The budget is funded through $173.6 million in federal funds, $5 million in local Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) funds and $7 million in fare revenue.

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Texas Central picks Spanish firm Renfe as bullet train operator

Texas Central, developers of the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train, has selected international railway company Renfe as the railroad's operating partner.

Based in Spain, Renfe has more than 25 years of experience operating high-speed trains in Europe and other countries, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

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James Foote keeps the changes coming at CSX, with the intermodal franchise a fresh focus

Foote is striving to ensure precision scheduled railroading is well executed each day.Photo – CSX Corp.

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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James Foote keeps the changes coming at CSX, with the intermodal franchise a fresh focus

Foote is striving to ensure precision scheduled railroading is well executed each day.Photo – CSX Corp.

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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Rail supplier news from Siemens, Transplace, RailPros and Brookville (Oct. 10)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 10/10/2018 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
imageThe Societe du Grand Paris, owner of the Grand Paris Express subway project in France, has awarded a contract to Siemens Mobility-Thales to deliver an automated train control system using wireless communications-based train control technology (CBTC). Siemens will design and implement its CBTC fully automated technology, while Thales will design and implement operating control centers and trackside equipment for the new lines 15, 16 and 17. The agreement includes 12 construction and commissioning phases, with the first one scheduled to be completed in 2024. The remainder will wrap up by 2030, according to a Siemens press release, which did not disclose the contract's financial value.Transplace has acquired Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.'s intermodal marketing company and over-the-road freight brokerage group. The acquisition expands Transplace's North American intermodal capabilities and further supports its commitment to strategic growth as it works toward meeting the supply chain needs of it "growing customer base," company officials said in a joint press release. A subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc. is a global logistics and transportation provider with offices in 44 countries and regions. The transaction's financial details were undisclosed.RailPros has promoted Ken Koff to chief executive officer. He succeeds CEO and founder Johnny Johnson, who will become executive chairman. Before the promotion, Koff served as chief operating officer. He came to RailPros three years ago with more than four decade of rail industry experience, including railroad management at Class I and regional railroads. For his part, Johnson will remain "actively involved and continue to drive strategic growth for the company," RailPros officials said in a news release.Brookville Equipment Corp. last week was named manufacturer of the year at the 12th annual Global Light Rail Awards in London. The award is a "testament to the trust and confidence our customers have in us as a transit vehicle manufacturer," said Brookville Vice President of Business Development Joel McNeil in a press release. The company has built streetcar fleets for Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Detroit's QLINE streetcar system. Brookville also is manufacturing streetcar vehicles for Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. The company this year is marking its 100th anniversary.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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U.S. High Speed Rail Association names Richard chair

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 10/10/2018 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Dan Richard currently chairs the California High-Speed Rail Authority.Photo – California High-Speed Rail Authority

The U.S. High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) has selected Dan Richard as chair of its advisory board.

Richard currently chairs the California High-Speed Rail Authority — a position Gov. Edmund Brown appointed him to in 2012. Under his leadership, the agency has begun building the United States' first "true" high-speed rail network, USHSR officials said in a news release.

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Survey: Transit agencies cite ridership trends, state of good repair, funding and PTC as central issues

Many of this year’s comments are similar to topics that agency leaders have raised on surveys in previous years.Photo – Shutterstock.com

By Julie Sneider, senior associate editor

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Iowa panel OKs $3.1 million in rail project loans, grants

The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved more than $3.1 million in funding for five rail infrastructure and development projects under the state's Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant program.

The projects are expected to support the creation and retention of 136 jobs within three years of project completion. The proposed developments will leverage millions in new capital investments across the state, according to a press release issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

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AAR hires Arnakis as SVP of government affairs

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/10/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
imageThe Association of American Railroads (AAR) has named Adrian Arnakis its next senior vice president of government affairs.She will succeed Ian Jefferies, who will become AAR's next president and chief executive officer Jan. 1, 2019, following the retirement of Edward Hamberger.Arnakis has more than 13 years of experience in the U.S. Senate, where she established herself as a policy leader and trusted adviser on transportation and infrastructure issues, AAR officials said in a press release.Since 2016, she served as the deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Prior to that role, she was the committee's counsel and policy director of surface transportation and oceans from 2013 to 2015."Adrian's command of rail issues and proven record of legislative accomplishments makes her the ideal voice to lead the industry's government affairs efforts here in Washington," said Jefferies. "At the Senate Commerce Committee, she built bipartisan consensus to advance commonsense, forward-looking policies like the 2015 FAST Act and the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization. AAR and the rail industry will benefit immensely from her strategic guidance and expertise."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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NJ Gov. Murphy releases NJ Transit audit

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday unveiled a comprehensive audit of New Jersey Transit calling for leadership, operational and financial changes at the beleaguered transit agency.

Conducted by The North Highland Co., the audit identified the absence of both "strategic planning and a technology roadmap" as the two core issues at NJ Transit.

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Report: CSX sues NS, short line over port terminal business

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 10/10/2018 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The case alleges NS and the short line boxed out CSX from serving Norfolk International Terminals.Photo – Port of Virginia, NIT camera

CSX has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway and Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad (NPBL), alleging the Class I and short line have conspired to create a monopoly at the Port of Virginia's largest container facility, a local newspaper has reported.

Filed in Norfolk federal court, the case alleges NS and the short line boxed out CSX from serving Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported Oct. 8. The case names as defendants three NS vice presidents and the president of the Belt Line.

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El Paso streetcar starts pre-revenue service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/10/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The streetcar system is slated to begin service late this year.Photo – El Paso Streetcar's Facebook page

The El Paso Streetcar in Texas yesterday began pre-revenue service.

During this period, the streetcar will run its downtown and uptown loops without a safety escort, according to a press release issued by the Sun Metro Mass Transit Department.

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Report: CSX sues NS, short line over port terminal business

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 10/10/2018 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image The case alleges NS and the short line boxed out CSX from serving Norfolk International Terminals.Photo – Port of Virginia, NIT camera

CSX has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway and Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad (NPBL), alleging the Class I and short line have conspired to create a monopoly at the Port of Virginia's largest container facility, a local newspaper has reported.

Filed in Norfolk federal court, the case alleges NS and the short line boxed out CSX from serving Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported Oct. 8. The case names as defendants three NS vice presidents and the president of the Belt Line.

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Metra, business group to test new reverse-commute service

Metra and an economic development corporation have agreed to work together on testing and sharing the costs of a new "reverse commute" service to Lake County, Illinois.

Discussions between the Chicago-based commuter railroad and Lake County Partners began in April, when the private-sector group asked Metra to explore improving reverse-commute service to help Lake County employers recruit and retain employees living in Chicago, which is in Cook County.

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Remembering the deadly Chatsworth train crash 10 years later

Metrolink displayed this train bell as part of a memorial marking the 10th anniversary of the Chatsworth train disaster, which occurred on Sept. 12, 2008.Photo – Metrolink

By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor

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NYCT reopens 72nd Street subway station

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) late last week reopened the 72nd Street Station on the B and C rail lines following an extensive repair project.

The project involved fixing deteriorating infrastructure and installing digital signage with real-time service information.

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Tampa transit agency drops streetcar fares, boosts service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/9/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The agency obtained a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to eliminate fares and boost service.Photo – tecolinestreetcar.org

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) in Tampa, Florida, has eliminated fares and expanded service for its TECO Line heritage streetcar.

The streetcar will remain fare free for three years as a result of a $2.67 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. Previously, it cost $2.50 to ride the system.

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