Railroad News

APTA recognizes Li as outstanding public transportation manager

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/11/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Sacramento Regional Transit District General Manager and CEO Henry Li.Photo – SacRT

The Sacramento Regional Transit District’s (SacRT) General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Henry Li received the 2019 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). 

APTA presents the award to a transit agency manager who has made outstanding contributions to advancing public transportation in North America.

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Operation Lifesaver awards transit-rail safety grants

Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) has awarded $175,000 in grant funds to 10 transit-rail agencies in eight states to increase public awareness of rail safety, the nonprofit education organization announced yesterday.

The 10 agencies to receive grants are Charlotte Area Transit System in North Carolina; Hampton Roads Transit, Virginia; Metro Transit, Minneapolis; Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas; MTA Metro-North Railroad, New York City; Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain), San Carlos, California; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia; Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), Los Angeles; SunRail, Sanford, Florida; and Trinity Metro, Fort Worth, Texas.

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Kentucky awards grants for grade crossing, riverport improvements

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet yesterday announced nearly $1.3 million in grant awards issued to help fund improvements to multimodal freight transportation through the Kentucky Rail Crossing Improvement Program.

Awards were granted to Paducah & Louisville Railroad, R. J. Corman Railroad Group, Fredonia Valley Railroad and Louisville Metro Government. The grants will fund 20 safety improvement projects, including the reconstruction of 16 crossings, three signal upgrades and one crossing replacement, cabinet officials said in a press release.

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U.S. rail traffic slump continued in Week 27

U.S. railroads started July the same way they ended June: a year-over-year decline in carload and intermodal volume.

The railroads logged 448,459 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending July 6, a 7.5 percent decrease compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

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FRA issues grants for 45 rail projects

Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation July 2019 Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

image Alaska Railroad Corp. obtained more than $2 million in grant dollars under the federal Special Transportation Circumstances Program.
By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the nearly four dozen recipients of more than $326 million in grant funding under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) and Special Transportation Circumstances (STC) programs. Forty-five projects in 29 states received grants. The programs help fund state and local infrastructure projects designed to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger- and freight-rail systems. Grant applicants included state departments of transportation, municipalities, port authorities, rail commissions, Amtrak and short lines.“The participation of multiple partners demonstrates the importance of these funds and tells us they will be a key asset in improving safety for communities and railroads around the country,” said FRA Administrator
Ronald Batory in a press release. The $326 million includes more than $2 million in STC grant funds issued to the state of Alaska, which will be used by Alaska Railroad Corp. to purchase 10 new general service flat cars and install or convert 480/240-volt electric power capabilities on flat cars to allow temperature control on trailer-hauled freight. Big chunk for small railroads Among the CRISI grants, more than one-third of the total dollars were awarded to projects planned by regionals and short lines.
Individual grant awards and projects include:
• $28.8 million for the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis to rehab its MacArthur Bridge over the Mississippi River to accommodate heavier rail cars;
• $17.5 million to modernize 37 miles of mainline track on the Pan Am Railways in central Maine;
• $17.4 million for Sierra Northern Railway to rehab 55 miles of track from Riverbank to Central Valley to Standard, California;
• $10.2 million to complete preliminary engineering, federal environmental review, final design and construction of a roadway overpass to grade separate a crossing on the Norfolk and Portsmouth Beltline Railroad in Chesapeake, Virginia;
• $8.8 million for Lancaster and Chester Railroad LLC to add three new locomotives, rehab the Catawba River rail bridge and upgrade 46 miles of track in South Carolina;
• $8.7 million to replace 30 miles of rail and upgrade crossings and signals on Lake State Railway Co.’s network in north-central Michigan;
• $8.2 million for Nebraska Central Railroad Co. to improve 30 timber bridges, replace five timber bridges with steel beam span or rail girder bridges, and replace degraded rail and defective ties along its 320-mile system in northeastern and northcentral Nebraska;
• $7.2 million for the Indiana Rail Road Co. to replace nine timber rail bridges with concrete ones;
• $5.6 million for Lake County Railroad to rehab 55 miles of track between Northern California and southcentral Oregon;
• $4 million to complete track, bridge, tie and surfacing improvements on Georgia Central Railway to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars and allow for a speed increase on its mainline;
• $3.5 million for Montana Rail Link Inc. to complete preliminary engineering, federal environmental review and final design for positive train control;
• $2.8 million for the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad to upgrade 7.5 miles of track; and
• $2.6 million to upgrade 13 timber rail bridges, convert 5.45 miles of 85-pound rail to 115-pound rail and replace 11,000 ties on the Georgia Southwestern Railroad to support heavier cars moving at a faster speed.

Keywords

Browse articles on Federal Railroad Administration FRA Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grants CRISI Special Transportation Circumstances Ronald Batory Alaska Railroad Corp.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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From the editor: G&W to be acquired for $8.4 billion

By Pat Foran, Editor

On July 1, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) announced it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP, GIC and Brookfield Infrastructure’s institutional partners. The transaction is valued at about $8.4 billion, including outstanding debt. Brookfield Infrastructure’s investment will be about $500 million of equity, funded from existing liquidity that totaled about $1.9 billion as of June 30. The remainder of the business would be owned by Brookfield Infrastructure’s institutional partners and GIC.

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Rail supplier news from Wabtec, Ondas, Rescar, Hub Group, MUL Railcars, Wi-Tronix and Abloy (July 11)

Wabtec Corp. was selected to provide fully integrated positive train control (PTC), digital imaging, and data transfer and analytics capabilities for Iowa Northern Railway Co., as it prepares to deliver PTC operations for two Class I railroads. Wabtec will implement its interoperable electronic train management system PTC safety overlay solution, LDRS-V video recorder, training and system integration services across Iowa Northern’s entire locomotive fleet by late 2020, Wabtec officials said in a press release.

Ondas Networks Inc. has released its next-generation wireless data platform. The platform was developed to handle the higher data throughput needs of advanced Class I train operations as the railroads implement positive train control, rear-end protection and roadway worker protection, Ondas officials said in a press release. 

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In memoriam: Kenneth Lawson

Kenneth Lawson, a former engineer with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), died last month at his home in Virginia. He was 90.

Originally from Chicago, Lawson graduated from Northwestern University in 1951 with a degree in electrical engineering. He served as a gunnery officer on the USS Healy during the Korean War.

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VRE honored for financial reporting

Rail News Home Financials 7/10/2019 Rail News: Financials
image The Government Finance Officers Association determined that VRE’s financial report for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 demonstrated a “spirit of full disclosure.”Photo – VRE

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has received its 12th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

The certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, VRE officials said in a press release. 

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RTD: More than 1,200 train, bus tickets sold via Uber app

More than 1,200 train and bus tickets in the Denver area have been sold through the Uber Transit ticketing app since the option became available in May, Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) officials announced yesterday.

Uber Transit ticketing was launched to a small group of users in May and became available to all Uber users in Denver on June 25. Riders use the app to plan and book their transportation from home to work, appointments and the airport, RTD and Uber officials said in a press release.

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Montreal transit agency extends CEO's contract

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/10/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image STM Chief Executive Officer Luc Tremblay.Photo – STM

The Societe de transport de Montreal's (STM) board last week announced that Luc Tremblay will remain its chief executive officer until Dec. 31, 2022, following approval of a contract extension.

During his time at STM, Tremblay has overseen the agency’s extended service hours, the Montreal Metro Blue Line extension and an increase in universally accessible stations, STM officials said in a press release.

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DART appoints Elsborg VP, innovation officer

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/10/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Gregory ElsborgPhoto – dart.org

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has named Gregory Elsborg vice president and chief innovation officer, the first person to hold that title at the agency.

Elsborg will be tasked with driving new business partnerships, growing DART's mobility-as-a-service options and leveraging technology to aid innovation, DART officials said in a press release.

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DART appoints Elsborg VP, CIO

Rail News Home Railroading People 7/10/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Gregory ElsborgPhoto – dart.org

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has named Gregory Elsborg vice president and chief information officer, the first person to hold that title at the agency.

Elsborg will be tasked with driving new business partnerships, growing DART's mobility-as-a-service options and leveraging technology to aid innovation, DART officials said in a press release.

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Rail boosts South Carolina ports' cargo growth in FY19

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) handled nearly 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in fiscal-year 2019, which represents an 8.8 percent increase over FY2018 container volume, port officials announced yesterday.

In its first full year of business, Inland Port Dillon handled 29,580 rail moves in FY2019, which ended June 30, SCPA officials said in a press release.

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FTA allocates $300M for three transit-rail projects

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/10/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Los Angeles Metro’s third and final section of the Purple Line Extension project will receive $100 million in FY2019 Capital Investment Grant funds.Photo – LA Metro Facebook

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced a total of $300 million in federal funding allocations to three transit-rail projects in California, Washington and Arizona. 

Through tje FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, which provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments, each of the following projects with be allocated $100 million: 

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Kansas City Southern employs PSR to improve service performance, forge a traffic-growth foothold

The new mantra "service begets growth" was developed by KCS to emphasize the correlation between optimal operational performance and accelerated business generation. Senior execs believe a fluid and resilient railroad is much better positioned to capitalize on traffic-growth opportunities.Photo – Kansas City Southern

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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Kansas City Southern employs PSR to improve service performance, forge a traffic-growth foothold

The new mantra "service begets growth" was developed by KCS to emphasize the correlation between optimal operational performance and accelerated business generation. Senior execs believe a fluid and resilient railroad is much better positioned to capitalize on traffic-growth opportunities.Photo – Kansas City Southern

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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NRC names Wieland president

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 7/9/2019 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Ashley WielandPhoto – NRC

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has hired Ashley Wieland to serve as the organization's president.

Wieland previously worked for the NRC in roles that covered operations, conference planning, government affairs and grassroots events.

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PATH creates bike parking facility to generate revenue

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 7/9/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Oonee Pod is a secure, freestanding bike parking facility accessible via keycard or cellphone app for riders using the PATH system.Photo – Oonee Twitter

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) last week finalized an agreement with bike parking facility maintainer Oonee for placement of a 20-bike parking facility at the Journal Square Station in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Aug. 1.

The agreement is part of an effort to expand biking options for employees, riders and other patrons of the railroad's facilities. It will also generate revenue through a small subscription fee for users and paid advertisements on the facility exterior, PATH officials said in a press release.

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TriMet to begin light-rail track work

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way 7/9/2019 Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
image TriMet crews will replace some sections of track and switches, as well as upgrade signal components and eliminate a manual switch.Photo – TriMet Facebook

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) announced that later this month it will begin track improvements on the MAX light-rail near the Lloyd Center/NE 11th Avenue Station in Portland, Oregon. 

TriMet crews will replace some sections of curved track and switches, as well as upgrade signal components in the Rose Quarter area, located east of downtown Portland, TriMet officials said in a press release.

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