Railroad News

Port of Coos Bay subsidiary to operate Oregon short line

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay yesterday announced its new subsidiary Coos Bay Rail Line Inc. (CBRL) will begin operating the 134-mile port-owned rail line between Danebo and Coquille, Oregon, Nov. 1.

The previous operator Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR) notified the port of its intention to divest its relationship with the port and cease operations on the line by October’s end. CBR owner ARG Transportation Services continues to pursue legal recourse because the company believes the port breached its contract with the short line, ARG President Scott Parkinson said in an email.

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San Francisco MTA's Haley retires

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced last week that Director of Transit John Haley has retired.

During his 30-year career as a transportation professional, he served as general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and deputy general manager of Bay Area Rapid Transit.

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BART to add parking at Antioch Station

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/30/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Antioch Station needs much more parking space, the agency says.Photo – BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has identified full funding to proceed with plans to nearly double the amount of parking at Antioch Station.

Since it opened in late May, the station has been “a tremendous success” and has pushed the demand for parking far beyond the space available at the facility, BART officials said in a press release. The station’s daily ridership is 3,050 trips while the projection prior to opening was 2,270 trips.

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PANYNJ appoints Ruda interim director to succeed Campbell

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/30/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image During his tenure at PANYNJ, Ruda has helped advance work on the ExpressRail Port Jersey and Greenville Yard projects.Photo – panynj.gov

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has named Sam Ruda interim port director to succeed Molly Campbell, who has left the authority to accept a fellowship at Harvard University.

Ruda, who had been serving as the port's deputy port director, began his new duties yesterday. He joined the authority last year after a 25-year career in transportation, which included 12 years in senior management at the Port of Portland, according to a PANYNJ press release.

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Ontario, Metrolinx form PPP to redevelop Toronto station

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/30/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image A rendering of the revamped Mimico Station.Photo – Metrolinx

Province of Ontario officials last week announced they are advancing a public-private partnership (PPP) to modernize GO Transit’s Mimico Station in Toronto’s Etobicoke district.

The province signed a letter of intent with Vandyk Group of Cos. to help develop the project. GO Transit’s owner Metrolinx and the Vandyk Group will negotiate the construction of the redeveloped station.

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BNSF issues 2017 corporate responsibility, sustainability report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/30/2018 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The 2017 report highlights the railroad's sustainability efforts.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday issued its latest corporate responsibility and sustainability report, which highlights the railroad’s progress in 2017 on implementing sustainable practices, engaging employees and connecting with communities.

The Class I used Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines — a globally recognized reporting framework for environmental, social and governance performance — to relay its most vital sustainability-related issues, BNSF officials said in a press release. The Class I last year conducted a materiality assessment to help guide the development of the report, seeking feedback from numerous internal and external stakeholders on the most impactful areas associated with operating in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.

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BNSF issues 2017 corporate responsibility, sustainability report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/30/2018 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The 2017 report highlights the railroad's sustainability efforts.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday issued its latest corporate responsibility and sustainability report, which highlights the railroad’s progress in 2017 on implementing sustainable practices, engaging employees and connecting with communities.

The Class I used Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines — a globally recognized reporting framework for environmental, social and governance performance — to relay its most vital sustainability-related issues, BNSF officials said in a press release. The Class I last year conducted a materiality assessment to help guide the development of the report, seeking feedback from numerous internal and external stakeholders on the most impactful areas associated with operating in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.

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Amtrak reveals next steps in Chicago Union Station development

Amtrak, Union Station Redevelopment Partners and Chicago city officials on Sunday announced the next phase of improvements that will be made at Chicago Union Station.

The work will include the addition of a new entrance on Clinton Street that will open the west side of the Amtrak-owned station’s Headhouse for development as a food court and retail space. 

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G&W posts 'strong' third-quarter results

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) today reported third-quarter net income of $69.6 million, or $1.16 per diluted common share, compared with net income of $50.2 million, or 80 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Also in the quarter, operating revenue rose 4.6 percent to $603.3 million; operating income jumped 16.4 percent to $127.8 million; and adjusted operating income climbed 14.3 percent to $130.5 million compared with last year's third-quarter financial results, according to a G&W press release. Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose 51.9 percent to $1.23.

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CN to acquire TransX Group, move more frac sand for Source Energy

CN today announced it reached an agreement to acquire The TransX Group of Cos., one of Canada’s largest and oldest transportation companies.

TransX provides various transportation and logistics services, including intermodal, truckload, less than truckload and specialized services. The 55-year-old company will continue to be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and operate independently, CN officials said in a press release.

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CN to acquire TransX Group, move more frac sand for Source Energy

CN today announced it reached an agreement to acquire The TransX Group of Cos., one of Canada’s largest and oldest transportation companies.

TransX provides various transportation and logistics services, including intermodal, truckload, less than truckload and specialized services. The 55-year-old company will continue to be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and operate independently, CN officials said in a press release.

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Rail supplier news from Greenbrier, Alstom, Bombardier, HARTING, WSP USA and STV (Oct. 29)

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) last week announced they signed an agreement to both invest and generate investments totaling $270 million in Saudi Arabia’s rail industry. The companies plan to establish a joint venture to execute rail projects and supply rail cars in Saudi Arabia’s freight-rail market. Greenbrier and SAR aim to establish a multimodal business centered on creating and maximizing existing and new rail routes for freight movement throughout Saudi Arabia and, ultimately, the Gulf Cooperation Council region, according to a press release. Greenbrier also announced that in its fourth fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31, it generated revenue of $689.2 million and net earnings of $30.9 million. New rail-car deliveries totaled 6,000 units in the quarter, and the company’s backlog reached 27,400 units valued at $2.7 billion.

An Alstom-led Gibela joint venture recently inaugurated a train manufacturing facility in Dunnottar, South Africa. It is the largest and most advanced train manufacturing plant in Africa, Alstom officials said in a press release. The facility will produce a modern fleet of 580 six-car X’Trapolis Mega commuter trains over the next 10 years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, they said. The first train is expected to roll off the assembly line by 2018’s end.

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Ohio panel OKs Wheeling & Lake Erie's grade crossing project

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/29/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
image Wheeling & Lake Erie will install lights and gates at the East Main Street/State Route 103 crossing in New Washington, Ohio.Photo – Wheeling & Lake Erie

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail Development Commission directing Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) to upgrade a rail crossing in Crawford County.

The project calls for W&LE to install lights and gates at the East Main Street/State Route 103 crossing in New Washington. The railroad is directed to complete the work by Oct. 24, 2019, PUCO officials said in a press release.

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Montreal transit agency launches worker recruitment campaign

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/29/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Some of the new employees will operate Montreal's Metro system.Photo – Societe de transport de Montreal

The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) is launching a workforce recruitment campaign this week as part of an effort to hire several hundred employees by 2020.

The employees will play a "key role" in implementing STM's major mobility projects and operating its rail and bus networks, agency officials said in a press release.

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Abrams to succeed Stephens as South Florida RTA’s executive director

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/29/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Steven Abrams will become SFRTA's next executive director. He will succeed Jack Stephens, who is retiring.Photo – SFRTA

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has named Steven Abrams executive director. He will succeed Jack Stephens, who will retire when his contract expires Dec. 31.

Abrams served on SFRTA's board from 2010 until he resigned in May to enter  the search process for the executive director position. He was chairman from July 2012 to June 2014, and again from July 2017 to June 2018.

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G3 Canada to establish CP-served grain elevator in Alberta

G3 Canada Ltd. on Friday announced plans to build a primary grain elevator near Carmangay, Alberta.

To be served by Canadian Pacific, the state-of-the-art facility will feature the same high-efficiency technology as the company’s other new elevators on the Prairies, which can load 134-car trains in a few hours on a loop track, G3 Canada officials said in a press release. The new elevator will have a storage capacity of 42,000 tons.

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Reading & Northern to appeal court decision on rail authority’s RFP

The Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (R&N) last week announced its intention to appeal a county court’s decision that granted summary judgment to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) regarding the solicitation of an operating agreement for the authority’s short lines.

R&N challenged the first phase of a request for proposals (RFP), which was issued by the JRA in 2014 seeking qualified operators for its rail lines.

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WMATA leader to seek board approval for operating budget proposal, service changes

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 10/29/2018 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Wiedefeld's recommendations to WMATA's board include increased rail service levels.Photo – WMATA

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld plans to issue several key recommendations to the agency’s board this week, including a fiscal-year 2020 operating budget proposal that calls for no fare hikes and an effort to increase rail service.

Wiedefeld is seeking board approval to expand rush-hour service with more frequent trains later in the morning and evening; charge a flat $2 fare for all weekend Metrorail trips; extend the Yellow Line to Greenbelt to double rush-hour service at nine stations; operate all Red Line trains to Glenmont to double rush-hour service at an additional three stations; lengthen all trains to eight cars; and enhance the value of Metro unlimited rail and bus and passes.

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AASHTO: USDOT to streamline environmental rules to speed up project delivery

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 10/29/2018 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
imageThe U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is expected to issue a final rule today that would streamline environmental requirements in order to speed up the permitting of rail and other surface transportation projects.In a conference call held last week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) noted that the 131-page final rule would modify certain regulations to include the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), giving it the same flexibility that the FHWA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have when it comes to environmental procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to a report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).The change should "eliminate confusion and increase efficiency" in terms of documentation requirements, AASHTO officials said.The new rule would reduce duplication of environmental reporting efforts between the FHWA, FRA and FTA. It also would reiterate the ability of state agencies to produce a single environmental document, as well as combine a final environmental impact statement with a record of decision document, AASHTO reported.Moreover, the rule would allow for greater flexibility on projects that occur within the operational right-of-way through the use of "categorial exclusions."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2018


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Several rail suppliers host U.S. representatives for tours, talks

U.S. representatives continued to make the rounds of rail suppliers hosting plant tours and policy discussions this month. Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Brian Mast (R-Florida) recently visited rail suppliers' facilities in Kentucky, Wisconsin and Florida.

Barr visited R. J. Corman's headquarters in Nicholasville, Kentucky, on Oct. 19. The company's rail group serves all seven North American Class Is, many regionals and short lines, and dozens of industries that use rail.

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