Railroad News

CN unveils 2020 capital expenditure plans for Alberta, Quebec

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/29/2020 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The capital expenditures are a "key part of our strategy to support growth" in both provinces, CN officials saidPhoto – cn.ca

CN will invest CA$305 million in Alberta and CA$235 million in Quebec this year to strengthen its rail network, the Class I announced last week.

In Alberta, capital expenditures will include expansion projects such as the construction of double track to allow more trains to pass on CN's mainline. The maintenance program will focus on the replacement of 71 miles of rail, installation of 210,000 new ties, rebuilding of 28 grade crossing surfaces, and maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

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CN unveils 2020 capital expenditure plans for Alberta, Quebec

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/29/2020 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The capital expenditures are a "key part of our strategy to support growth" in both provinces, CN officials saidPhoto – cn.ca

CN will invest CA$305 million in Alberta and CA$235 million in Quebec this year to strengthen its rail network, the Class I announced last week.

In Alberta, capital expenditures will include expansion projects such as the construction of double track to allow more trains to pass on CN's mainline. The maintenance program will focus on the replacement of 71 miles of rail, installation of 210,000 new ties, rebuilding of 28 grade crossing surfaces, and maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

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Rail supplier news from VTG, H&H, SightLogix, Strukton and Cambridge Systematics (June 26)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 6/26/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image VTG Rail Logistics completed modernization of its tank car fleet to transport liquefied petroleum gas.Photo – VTG

VTG Rail Logistics has modernized its tank car fleet to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The company has been renewing its fleet since 2014, with 800 of the nearly 1500 tank cars having been retrofitted or replaced, VTG Rail officials said in a press release. The wagons now can carry a larger payload and feature quieter braking systems and crash buffers. Most wagons are also equipped with the VTG Connector telematics module, which allows tracking and tracing. 

Hardesty & Hanover LLP hired Howard Swanson and Earl Wacker as senior project managers in the rail practice. Swanson will focus on managing large freight-rail projects. He has 32 years of experience with Norfolk Southern Railway, where he was responsible for ensuring that standard procedures for bridge management complied with Federal Railway Administration requirements. Wacker will focus on passenger- and freight-rail projects in his new position. He will be involved in transportation projects in the Midwest. Wacker has more than 37 years of experience at CSX and its predecessor railroads, where he served in operations, administration and service design and six years with CSX Intermodal.

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MARTA completes Inman Park Station upgrade

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/26/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Most of the station upgrade project focused on rehabilitating the pedestrian bridge linking the Inman Park and Reynoldstown neighborhoods to the rail station.Photo – MARTA

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has completed  $6.9 million in safety and aesthetic upgrades to the Inman Park/Reynoldstown rail station on the system’s East/West Line.   

New safety features include an accessibility ramp connecting Walthall Street to the Reynoldstown bus loop and a stair tower to Seaboard Avenue on the south side of the station. MARTA crews also rehabilitated two pedestrian bridges linking the station to parking lots, and built a speed table to slow vehicle traffic.  

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GPA: Savannah port achieves top status for ag exports

Rail News Home Intermodal 6/26/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image Peanuts are among Port of Savannah's exports.Photo – gaports.com

The Port of Savannah's proximity to major producers, direct access via road and rail and broad global network recently made it the top port in the nation for the export of containerized agricultural goods, Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) officials announced yesterday.

In calendar year 2019, agriculture accounted for 60 percent of Savannah's exports, or more than 843,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Forest products such as wood pulp, paper and logs made up the largest category of goods, followed by clay, cotton, poultry and peanuts.

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APTA posts white paper on sanitizing transit vehicles, facilities

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends 6/26/2020 Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
image MTA will deploy 150 UV lamps on its New York City Transit system.Photo – MTA Flickr/Marc Hermann

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) this week published a white paper on cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles and facilities during a contagious virus pandemic.

Designed to address the virus that causes COVID-19, the paper is designed to help transit agencies develop programs for maintaining, cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles and facilities, APTA officials said in the document.

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SC Ports Authority OKs 2021 financial, capex plans

Rail News Home Intermodal 6/26/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image The ports' May volumes were down year-over-year because the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains and led to businesses and manufacturers temporarily halting operations.Photo – SCPA

The South Carolina Ports Authority's (SCPA) board this week adopted a fiscal-year 2021 financial plan, as well as a $319 million capital spending plan that will be used to finish construction of the first phase of the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal.

Set to open in March 2021, the Leatherman terminal will be the first new container terminal in the United States since 2009, port officials said in a press release.

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Santa Clara VTA to expedite federal funding request for BART expansion

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/26/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image VTA will submit the first application to pursue funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program, VTA officials said.Photo – VTA

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) earlier this week announced it's pursuing federal funding for second phase of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Extension through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program. 

The EPD Program enables transit agencies to fast-track the federal funding process for major projects. In August 2019, FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams pledged $125 million of  $1.7 billion in federal funds that VTA will be requesting, VTA officials said in a press release.

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Port of Longview to begin North Rail Connection project

Rail News Home Intermodal 6/26/2020 Rail News: Intermodal
image BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad serve the port.Photo – portoflongview.com

The Port of Longview, Washington, this summer will begin a project to add more than 5,000 feet of new railroad track.

The port's commissioners earlier this week gave staff approval to buy materials to start the North Rail Connection project, which is designed to boost the port's rail capacity by realigning more than 1,900 feet of existing track and adding two lines totaling more than 5,000 feet, The Daily News reported.

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NJ Transit to restore regular rail service

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/26/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image New Jersey Transit will operate a full weekday rail schedule to provide added capacity to improve physical distancing.Photo – NJ Transit Twitter

Starting July 6, New Jersey Transit will operate a full weekday rail schedule to increase capacity to allow for physical distancing between riders on trains as ridership ticks up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A state executive order requires the agency to limit rider occupancy to 50 percent of the stated maximum vehicle capacity on all trains and light-rail vehicles. Riders are also required to wear masks.

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Poll: Bay Area voters support dedicated funding for Caltrain

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/25/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Of those polled, 63 percent indicated they would support a one-eighth cent sales tax to preserve Caltrain service.Photo – Caltrain Facebook

Nearly two-thirds of voters in the three California counties served by Caltrain would support a one-eighth cent sales tax to preserve Caltrain service during the COVID-19 pandemic and to expand service in the future, according to a public opinion poll commissioned by the agency.

The poll was conducted as Caltrain leaders consider advancing a ballot measure that would call for a dedicated revenue source to address the financial impact of the pandemic. Caltrain officials said in a press release said. To pass, the measure would need support from a combined two-thirds of voters in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. 

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WMATA to restore Silver Line service in August

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/25/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image WMATA on Aug. 16 will reopen six stations in Fairfax County, Virginia.Photo – WMATA Facebook

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on Aug. 16 will restore Silver Line service and reopen six stations in Fairfax County, Virginia, the agency announced yesterday. 

The reopening date is weeks earlier than originally planned, and reflects the progress crews made on rebuilding deteriorating station platforms and other rail extension integration work, agency officials said in a press release.

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USDOT extends short lines' RRIF Express loan deadline

Rail News - USDOT extends short lines' RRIF Express loan deadline. For Railroad Career Professionals


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DART to award bonuses to front-line, essential workers

Rail News Home Labor 6/25/2020 Rail News: Labor
image More than 2,900 DART employees are potentially eligible for the bonus pay.Photo – DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) board earlier this week approved $4.3 million to fund salary bonuses for the agency’s front-line and essential employees. 

More than 2,900 DART employees are potentially eligible for the bonus pay, including those whose core job functions pose a hazardous threat because of the nature of their work and their direct interaction with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Toyota honors CSX with logistics excellence award

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 6/25/2020 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image Toyota Logistics Services has awarded CSX the motor vehicle maker's President's Award for Rail Logistics Excellence in 2019. The award — the automaker's highest supplier honor — recognizes a Toyota service partner that best demonstrates combined excellence in quality, customer service, continuous improvement and on-time performance, CSX officials said in an announcement posted on social media. In addition to the President's Award, CSX received the On Time Performance Award, Environmental Award and Kaizen Award. In 2019, CSX handled more than 300,000 vehicles for Toyota. Over their 30-year business relationship, CSX and Toyota have shared a mutual dedication to continuous improvement and collaboration. "Working together, we ensure that the cars Toyota builds are transported across the country in a safe and reliable manner, while meeting Toyota's transit standards," said John Ahrens, director of automotive sales at CSX. "Our performance with Toyota is a great example of CSX's commitment to a positive customer experience and the positive impact on our auto industry customers."

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Toyota honors CSX with logistics excellence award

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 6/25/2020 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image Toyota Logistics Services has awarded CSX the motor vehicle maker's President's Award for Rail Logistics Excellence in 2019. The award — the automaker's highest supplier honor — recognizes a Toyota service partner that best demonstrates combined excellence in quality, customer service, continuous improvement and on-time performance, CSX officials said in an announcement posted on social media. In addition to the President's Award, CSX received the On Time Performance Award, Environmental Award and Kaizen Award. In 2019, CSX handled more than 300,000 vehicles for Toyota. Over their 30-year business relationship, CSX and Toyota have shared a mutual dedication to continuous improvement and collaboration. "Working together, we ensure that the cars Toyota builds are transported across the country in a safe and reliable manner, while meeting Toyota's transit standards," said John Ahrens, director of automotive sales at CSX. "Our performance with Toyota is a great example of CSX's commitment to a positive customer experience and the positive impact on our auto industry customers."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/25/2020


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ASLRRA recognizes Jimenez, Herod for rail safety efforts

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has recognized Jose Jimenez of The Belt Railway Co. of Chicago (BRC) and Travis Herod of Watco Cos. LLC for their efforts to improve rail safety.

Jimenez, a machinist, has been named the association's 2020 Safety Person of the Year. The award recognizes a non-management employee who exhibits knowledge and practice of safety procedures within his or her company, with no reported self injuries, and contributes off-duty time to safety procedures and awareness in their own communities.

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NJ Transit to receive $13.3 million in CARES funding

Rail News Home Passenger Rail 6/25/2020 Rail News: Passenger Rail
image Funds will be used to help sustain transportation service in rural areas of New Jersey.Photo – NJ Transit Facebook

New Jersey Transit yesterday announced it will receive $13.3 million in federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A majority of the funds will be used to help sustain transportation service in rural areas of New Jersey, particularly those used by senior citizens, riders with disabilities and riders who are economically disadvantaged, NJ Transit officials said in a press release.

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Freight-rail traffic decline continued in Week 25

U.S. freight railroads hauled 457,278 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending June 20, a 12.9 percent decrease compared with volumes transported during the same week in 2019, Association of American Railroads data.

Total carloads for the week were 201,823, down 21.8 percent, while intermodal volume was 255,455 containers and trailers, down 4.4 percent.

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Rail supplier news from STV, RailSolutions, Bombardier, WSP, BNSF Logistics and Powerbrace (June 24)

Rail News Home Railroading Supplier Spotlight 6/24/2020 Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight
image Richard Amodei, executive vice president of STV Inc.'s transportation and infrastructure divisionPhoto – STV

STV Inc. appointed Richard Amodei executive vice president of the transportation and infrastructure division to oversee its operations and growth. Amodei joined STV in 1999, having served as manager for the division's Northeast region and national director of business development for transportation and infrastructure in North America. Amodei succeeds Martin Boyle, who is retiring.

RailSolutions LLC named Mike Mahoney senior vice president. He will be responsible for customer relationships and day-to-day projects. Mahoney has over 40 years of experience in finance with the past 18 years in rail finance, RailSolutions officials said in a press release. Prior to joining RailSolutions, he served as a member of the Land Transport Finance team at DVB Bank and Helaba, and held senior positions at GE Capital.

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