Railroad News

G3 opens grain terminal at Port of Vancouver, elevators in Alberta

Rail News Home Shippers 7/9/2020 Rail News: Shippers
image Construction of the new G3 Terminal Vancouver began in March 2017.Photo – g3.ca

G3 announced yesterday it opened a new grain export terminal at the Port of Vancouver on Canada's West Coast and new grain elevators in Morinville and Carmangay, Alberta.

The two new loop-track grain elevators will ship grain to G3 Terminal Vancouver. Construction on the terminal began in March 2017. It is designed with a focus on high velocity grain receiving and shipping, as well as environmental and safety standards, G3 officials said in a press release.

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EPA studying disinfectants for trains, stations

Rail News Home Security 7/9/2020 Rail News: Security
image EPA is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to evaluate anti-microbial products across New York City Transit to determine their ability to provide effective antivirus protection over time.Photo – MTA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers are evaluating a number of commercially available products for potential long-lasting effectiveness against the coronavirus on trains and at stations.

The EPA Office of Research and Development Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response is conducting the research, using the surfaces that mimic the high touch point on mass transit trains and stations, EPA officials said in a press release.

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Wainscott joins CSX board

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/9/2020 Rail News: Railroading People
image James WainscottPhoto – CSX Corp.

CSX Corp. has named James Wainscott to its board.

Wainscott is the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of AK Steel Holding Corp. He joined the company in 1995 as vice president and treasurer, was appointed chief financial officer in 1997 and became president, CEO and board member in 2003. In 2006, he was named AK Steel's chairman.

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CHSRA to release environmental document for San Francisco-San Jose segment

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 7/9/2020 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Rendering of the CHSRA high-speed rail project.Photo – CHSRA

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHRSA) tomorrow will release a draft environmental impact report and statement (EIR/EIS) for a 49-mile segment of the state’s high-speed rail project between San Francisco and San Jose

The segment would provide service between the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco and the San Jose Diridon Station along the Caltrain corridor primarily on a shared, two-track configuration.

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U.S. freight-rail traffic slipped 2.4 percent in Week 27

U.S. freight-rail traffic declined 2.4 percent to 437,989 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 4 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload volume decreased 12.7 percent to 192,767 units, while intermodal volume rose 7.7 percent to 245,222 containers and trailers during the week.

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Rail supplier news from Bombardier, Paceline, Sener, TekTracking, WSP and Bergmann (July 8)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/8/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Rendering of the Bombardier Movia metro train.Photo – Bombardier

India’s Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corp. (UPMRC) issued a letter of award valued at $275 million to Bombardier Transportation to build and deliver 201 rail cars and a signaling solution for the Agra-Kanpur Metro projects. Bombardier will provide the Agra Metro and Kanpur Metro 67 Bombardier Movia metro three-car trainsets and the Bombardier CITYFLO 650 rail control solution. UPMRC has an option of an additional 51 cars.

Affiliates of Paceline Equity Partners LLC, a private equity manager, acquired railroad maintenance-of-way equipment lessor R.E.L.A.M. Inc. Paceline affiliates also acquired the affiliated rail infrastructure and track maintenance services businesses, Acme Construction Co. Inc. and Timiny RR Construction Inc. The companies will operate with 1435 Rail Inc., a lessor of railroad MOW equipment that was acquired by Paceline affiliates in late 2019. John Roberts will serve as R.E.L.A.M.’s chief executive officer. He previously served stints at Marmon Crane Services Inc. and Railserve Inc.

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Calgary Transit unveils mobile ticketing app

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/8/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The My Fare app allows CTrain light-rail riders to purchase tickets from their smartphones.Photo – Calgary Transit

Calgary Transit last week launched a mobile ticketing application for its rail and bus riders in Calgary, Alberta.

The new app, My Fare, allows CTrain light-rail riders to purchase tickets and passes from their smartphones. Riders will then ‘activate’ the ticket prior to entering a fare restricted area at a CTrain station, and present the proof of payment to a Calgary Transit Peace Officer when requested. 

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Metro Transit-St. Louis launches on-demand service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/8/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Metro Transit-St. Louis, in partnership with Via, last week launched an on-demand, shared-ride transit service.  Via Metro STL is available in southwest St. Louis County and North St. Louis County. The Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 MetroLink light-rail station and Riverview Transit Center are included in those service areas. The service enables riders to hail a vehicle directly from a smartphone using the Via app, and travel to locations in the service area during operating hours. The service will not be restricted to having trips connect to Metro Transit.  On-demand rides will be free through the end of August, then cost $2 per rider starting in September.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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Metra, Metrolink launch digital tools to support social distancing

Rail News Home Security 7/8/2020 Rail News: Security
image Metra's ridership dashboard indicates the average number of riders per train car over a five‐day period.Photo – Metra Facebook

Metra in Chicago yesterday unveiled a dashboard reporting ridership trends so riders can better plan trips based on social distancing.

Released as a test starting with weekday trains only, the dashboard indicates the average number of riders per train car over a five‐day period. 

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PANYNJ blames pandemic for lower cargo volume in May

Rail News Home Intermodal 7/8/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image PANYNJ officials attributed the decline in cargo volume to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.Photo – panynj.gov

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) cargo volume dropped 16.5 percent in May to 537,412 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) from 643,706 TEUs in May 2019, authority officials announced Monday.

PANYNJ officials attributed the decline to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. The loss brings the authority's total cargo volume for 2020 through May to 2,854,319 TEUs, according to PANYNJ's Breaking Waves blog.

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FRA awards grants to anti-trespassing programs

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation 7/8/2020 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
image "This money will help local law enforcement agencies deter people from taking unnecessary risks around railroad tracks," said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory.Photo – fra.dot.gov

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday awarded more than $500,000 in Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grants to law enforcement agencies to support trespass prevention.

The $528,028 in grants were awarded to 11 projects in six states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and New Jersey. The agency received 23 eligible applications for consideration.

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Canada's rail fatalities, accidents rose in 2019

Rail News Home Safety 7/8/2020 Rail News: Safety
image In 2019, 1,246 rail accidents were reported to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), up from 2018's total of 1,169 and a 17 percent increase from the previous 10-year average of 1,064, the agency reported yesterday. The main-track accident rate last year was 3.3 accidents per million main-track train miles, up from 2.6 percent in 2018 and 42 percent above the 10-year average of 2.3, TSB officials said in a press release.  Rail fatalities rose to 72 last year from 57 reported in 2018, a figure about the same as the 10-year average of 73. Crossing accident-related fatalities rose to 28 last year from 19 the previous year, while trespasser fatalities rose to 38 from 34. Five rail employees were fatally injured, which is higher than the 10-year average of two.

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CN sets another grain haul record in June

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/8/2020 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN yesterday announced it achieved another monthly record in June, moving 2.7 million metric tons (MMT) of Canadian grain. In the first half of 2020, the Class I moved 15 MMT. That also represents a new all-time best quarter for CN with 8.15 MMT moved. June also was CN's fourth consecutive month of record grain movements, contributing to the railroad's record pace crop-year-to-date through June of 26.9 MMT versus the previous record of 26.5 MMT set last crop year. In addition, the Class I moved more than 1 MMT of Canadian grain from the Prairies crop year to date via container, which contributed to the railroad's record pace of Canadian grain intermodal shipments. "Despite all the difficulties we faced earlier this year, we are confident that the high volume of shipments experienced in June will continue until the end of the crop year and that CN and our partners of the supply chain will continue to deliver for the grain industry," said Allen Foster, CN's vice president of bulk, in a press release.  

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CN sets another grain haul record in June

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/8/2020 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN yesterday announced it achieved another monthly record in June, moving 2.7 million metric tons (MMT) of Canadian grain. In the first half of 2020, the Class I moved 15 MMT. That also represents a new all-time best quarter for CN with 8.15 MMT moved. June also was CN's fourth consecutive month of record grain movements, contributing to the railroad's record pace crop-year-to-date through June of 26.9 MMT versus the previous record of 26.5 MMT set last crop year. In addition, the Class I moved more than 1 MMT of Canadian grain from the Prairies crop year to date via container, which contributed to the railroad's record pace of Canadian grain intermodal shipments. "Despite all the difficulties we faced earlier this year, we are confident that the high volume of shipments experienced in June will continue until the end of the crop year and that CN and our partners of the supply chain will continue to deliver for the grain industry," said Allen Foster, CN's vice president of bulk, in a press release.  

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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Pandemic update: Santa Clara VTA unveils safety plan

Rail News Home Security 7/7/2020 Rail News: Security
image VTA plans to resume fare collections on Aug. 1.Photo – VTA Facebook

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) last week unveiled a 10-point plan to ensure light-rail riders are confident returning to its system in California. 

The 10-point plan includes:

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Minnesota freight program, Ohio projects target crossing upgrades

Rail News Home Communication and Signal 7/7/2020 Rail News: Communication and Signal
image The Minnesota DOT's freight program will help fund crossing upgrade projects.Photo – Union Pacific Railroad

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is accepting funding applications for projects that benefit freight movements in the state. Up to $56 million is expected to be available for fiscal years 2023-2025 through the Minnesota Highway Freight Program.

Railroads, ports, airports, waterways, and Minnesota cities and counties can apply for funding by Sept. 28.

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Pittsburgh transit agency begins two-year transit tunnel project

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/7/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The tunnel project will take about two years to complete.Photo – PAAC Facebook

The Port Authority of Allegheny County yesterday began nightly closures of the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel in Pittsburgh for repairs. 

Wellington Power Corp. will be replacing lighting and cable inside the tunnel as part of the project.

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KCS updates 2019 sustainability report

Rail News Home Kansas City Southern 7/7/2020 Rail News: Kansas City Southern
image The railroad has updated its 2019 sustainability report entitled "For the Long Haul: Delivering Prosperity, Valuing People, Protecting the Planet."Photo – KCS

Kansas City Southern in late June released an update to its 2019 sustainability report.

Safety statistics shared annually in sustainability reports now will include data from KCS’ Mexican operations, the update states. Titled "For the Long Haul: Delivering Prosperity, Valuing People, Protecting the Planet,” the 2019 report now shows the Class I improved its consolidated reportable train accident frequency ratio by 26 percent and consolidated reportable injury frequency ratio by eight percent.

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KCS updates 2019 sustainability report

Rail News Home Kansas City Southern 7/7/2020 Rail News: Kansas City Southern
image The railroad has updated its 2019 sustainability report entitled "For the Long Haul: Delivering Prosperity, Valuing People, Protecting the Planet."Photo – KCS

Kansas City Southern in late June released an update to its 2019 sustainability report.

Safety statistics shared annually in sustainability reports now will include data from KCS’ Mexican operations, the update states. Titled "For the Long Haul: Delivering Prosperity, Valuing People, Protecting the Planet,” the 2019 report now shows the Class I improved its consolidated reportable train accident frequency ratio by 26 percent and consolidated reportable injury frequency ratio by eight percent.

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MTA calls on developers to improve seat tracking app

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/7/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image MTA's virtual hackathon will assist in improving real-time train seating availability information for MTA Metro-North Railroad riders.Photo – Metro-North Railroad

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last week partnered with the State University of New York, City University of New York and Microsoft to launch a virtual hackathon for local students and professionals to assist in improving real-time train seating availability information for MTA Metro-North Railroad riders.

The event will connect participating developers, data scientists and designers with Microsoft’s cloud services, public datasets and the MTA’s in-house tech staff in an effort to help Metro-North build upon the functionality provided in the recently updated MTA Long Island Rail Road Train Time app.

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