Railroad News

BNSF unveils capex projects for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday rolled out more of its state-by-state capital expenditure plans for 2019, announcing $445 million worth of projects slated for Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

In Kansas, the Class I will invest $165 million to replace and upgrade rail, ties and ballast. The maintenance program will include 560 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 30 miles of rail and 120,000 ties. In addition, BNSF plans to begin a multiyear project to install double track on portions of the Emporia Subdivision, which operates between Wellington and Kansas City.

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NJ Transit to restore full service of Atlantic City Rail Line in May

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/28/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
imageNew Jersey Transit will resume full service of the Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) and the Princeton Branch (Dinky) on May 24 after being closed since September 2018 for positive train control installation and maintenance inspections, the agency announced today. ACRL and Dinky have been subject to temporal service adjustments, including use of shuttle buses as an alternative service. In January, New Jersey Assemblymen Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato wrote to NJ Transit officials asking for a reopen date. The details of the line closures were not previously disclosed leading to the frustration of many commuters who have “endured crowded daily bus rides and length commutes for months on end,” they wrote.  “We understand that providing this timeline is so important to our customers’ ability to get their lives back to normal,’’ said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “We know that customers were inconvenienced by the service disruptions to the ACRL and the Dinky and I’m pleased that those disruptions will be ending soon.'’  

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U.S. rail traffic down a bit in Week 8

A dip in intermodal volume led to a 1.1 percent decline in total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 23 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S railroads moved 522,630 carloads and intermodal units during the week. Of that, carload volume was 256,954 units, up 2 percent, but intermodal volume was 265,676 containers and trailers, down 3.9 percent compared with 2018's levels.

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Amtrak to provide matching funds for Southwest Chief route

Rail News Home Amtrak 2/28/2019 Rail News: Amtrak
image Amtrak will use the newly available federal capital funding to continue needed work on the next route segment of the Southwest Chief in New Mexico.Photo – amtrak.com

Amtrak will provide a $3 million matching grant to help upgrade track on its Southwest Chief route in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, the railroad announced yesterday.

The announcement follows the passage of the federal government's fiscal-year 2019 Appropriations Act, which included funding for Amtrak and intercity passenger rail.

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Rail supplier news from RailWorks, Cubic, TRIG, STV, Sassar and KAI (Feb. 27)

RailWorks Corp., a rail track construction and maintenance company, announced it will restructure its leadership team into two divisions: large projects and track maintenance and service group. Led by John Young, the large projects division will focus on large-scale track construction and signal projects for railroads and transit operations. Young has over 20 years of experience in heavy civil works projects for the U.S. Army and several contractors. Led by 30-year railroad industry veteran Richard Carney, the track maintenance and service group division will be responsible for growing the company's regional and maintenance business, as well as the maintenance of way division. Promotions following the restructure include Jason Lauffer from vice president of business development to chief strategy officer, and Glenn Hartick to vice president of procurement. Chris Maynard joins RailWorks subsidiary HSQ Technology as senior vice president. Maynard has 20 years of experience in IT at Siemens Mobility. 

Cubic Corp., Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s technology service provider, appoints Kevin Eagan to senior vice president and chief digital officer. In this role, Eagan will oversee the new contactless fare payment system — coming to New York City subway riders in March — that is designed to replace metro fare cards by 2023. Eagan has 30 years of executive leadership experience at IBM and Microsoft in new product development, IT modernization and creation of digital business models.

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WSDOT, Sound Transit to expand small business mentoring program

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/27/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) partnered to begin their mentorship program between small businesses and transportation companies this spring. Launched in July 2018 under the Mentor Protege Program name, WSDOT and Sound Transit will rename the effort to the Capacity Building Mentorship Program. Now in partnership with Sound Transit, the program is designed to foster mentorships among successful large enterprises and emerging small and diverse businesses, according to a WSDOT press release. The program will be geared toward construction and transportation firms, providing opportunities for participates to improve their business practices, grow their firms and develop relationships with other companies. In fall 2017, WSDOT hired THOR Cos., a minority-owned construction company, to develop, support and implement WSDOT's mentorship program. This program is part of WSDOT's diversity roadmap and one of the highlighted efforts of Gov. Jay Inslee’s subcabinet on business diversity.  

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Cap Metro inks contractor to build downtown Austin station

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Cap Metro) board recently approved a $36.8 million contract with Jay-Reese Contractors Inc. to build a new downtown MetroRail station in Austin, Texas.

Construction on the station — which will be situated on the Red Line running between Austin and Leander — is slated to start in April. Completion is scheduled for early 2021.

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LIRR trains collide after car drives around lowered gates

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) today has reopened for service one of two tracks through Westbury, New York, that had been closed last night following a fatal collision involving two trains and a motor vehicle.

The incident occurred during rush hour when two LIRR trains traveling in opposite directions crashed into a car that had driven around lowered gates and onto the tracks. Three people who were in the car were killed and at least seven passengers on the trains were injured, according to The New York Times.

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BNSF unveils $105 million capex plan for Montana

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 2/27/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Consisting mostly of planned maintenance, the plan calls for replacing and upgrading rail, ties and ballast.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday announced it will invest $105 million this year on capital expenditures in Montana.

Consisting mostly of planned maintenance, the plan calls for more than 840 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 55 miles of rail and close to 110,000 ties. 

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BNSF unveils $105 million capex plan for Montana

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 2/27/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Consisting mostly of planned maintenance, the plan calls for replacing and upgrading rail, ties and ballast.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday announced it will invest $105 million this year on capital expenditures in Montana.

Consisting mostly of planned maintenance, the plan calls for more than 840 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 55 miles of rail and close to 110,000 ties. 

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Watco announces Roach's retirement, changes at Chicago Ferro Terminal

Watco Cos. LLC announced yesterday that Allan Roach, senior vice president of global strategy, will retire from full-time duties on Thursday.

Since joining Watco in 2005, Roach's main focus has been on improving and developing the company's marketing and business development teams. He has led or influenced many of the company's growth initiatives, Watco officials said in a press release.

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Rail groups ask Congress to oppose lifting truck weight, size limits

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) joined other organizations earlier this week in asking Congress to oppose legislative language that would increase maximum truck size or weight limits on federal highways.

In a Feb. 25 letter, the organizations also called on lawmakers to oppose legislative language that would allow bigger trucks in individual states through pilot programs.

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New York's Cuomo, de Blasio propose restructuring of MTA

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/27/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Gov. Andrew CuomoPhoto – Cuomo's office

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday unveiled a 10-point plan to reorganize the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and create "dedicated and sustained" funding streams for the agency.

The proposal includes the governor and mayor's endorsement of congestion pricing.

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Regional Transportation District rebrands microtransit service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/26/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image New FlexRide-branded white buses were added to the shuttle fleet in January 2019.Photo – rtd-denver.com

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver has rebranded its Call-n-Ride microtransit service to FlexRide. 

FlexRide allows commuters first- and last-mile connections to rail stations. The connections can be booked using a new mobile app, reducing the call-ahead booking time from an hour to 10 minutes before departure, RTD officials said in a press release.

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UE announces strike at former GE locomotive plant in Pennsylvania

Rail News Home Labor 2/26/2019 Rail News: Labor
image UE signs used during an informational picket held last week.Photo – UE's Facebook page

United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) announced this morning they've gone on strike at the former GE Transportation locomotive plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, less than a day after the plant became part of Wabtec Corp.

The strike involves UE Locals 506 and 618, which represent 1,700 workers at the Wabtec facility, according to a UE press release.

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LA Metro expands bike share network

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/26/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's bike share network expands to 40 stations.Photo – metro.net

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) partnered with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to expand its Metro Bike Share network by 40 stations and expand into central Los Angeles. 

The expansion is an effort to improve first and last mile journeys for Metro riders. Station locations, which can be viewed on the Metro website, were based on community feedback and input from neighborhood organizations.

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TTCI hires Moreira to direct business development

Rail News Home Railroading People 2/26/2019 Rail News: Railroading People
image Karalyn MoreiraPhoto – TTCI

The Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) has named Karalyn Moreira as executive director of business development.

Moreira joins TTCI after spending the past seven years as commercial director for Scomi Engineering Bhd in Brazil. Prior to that work, she served stints as director of business development operations at HKM Solucoes Tecnologicas in Brazil and director of finance and administration at EC Technologies Inc. in San Antonia, Texas.

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BNSF posts revenue, income growth in 2018

BNSF Railway Co. posted fourth-quarter operating income of $2.1 billion, up 3 percent over the same quarter's results in 2017.

A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BNSF logged quarterly revenue of $6.2 billion, up 10 percent, and a net income of $1.4 billion, up 30 percent, compared with 2017's results, according to a BNSF financial performance summary.

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Tutor Perini to take on major LA Metro station, NYC signal system projects

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/25/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Rendering of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Purple Line Extension Section 3 Stations project.Photo – LA Metro

Tutor Perini Corp. has been contracted to construct two large transit projects this year on the West and East coasts. 

Tutor Perini's joint venture, Tutur Perini/O&G, has received a notice of intent to take on the $1.4 billion design and construction of two new subway stations as part of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) Purple Line Extension Section 3 Stations project. 

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MBTA resumes construction of Green Line light-rail extension

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 2/25/2019 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image GLX construction crews at work.Photo – mbta.com

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will resume construction of its Green Line light-rail extension project, temporarily closing threes bridges in Somerville, Massachusetts starting March 22.

The Green Line Extension (GLX) project includes infrastructure improvements and widening efforts to accommodate light rail tracks and rights of way, which will lead to three bridge closures, MBTA officials said in a press release.

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