The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on August 28, 2015 approved an updated set of rules for transporting hazardous materials by rail. Combined with Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) addition of four Federal Railroad Administration-certified rail inspectors, the rules “aim to improve the state’s ability to prevent incidents and respond to them if they occur,” OTC said.
Irving Oil Ltd., operator of Canada’s largest crude oil refinery, has stopped importing crude oil sourced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and shipped by rail in favor of cheaper crudes from such producers as OPEC, “reflecting a shift in crude costs affecting East Coast refiners during a global slump in oil prices,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
On Sept. 3, 2015, CRRC USA Rail Corp. will break ground on a new, 220,000-square-foot facility in Springfield, Mass., where it will manufacture 284 railcars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s “T” system in Boston.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has awarded Siemens Industry Inc. and Thales Transport & Security two 67-month contracts worth a total of $205.8 million to install communications-based train control (CBTC) on a portion of the New York City Transit (NYCT) Queens Boulevard Line (QBL).
Aside from unconfirmed reports of isolated tie damage to one Idaho short line, and moments of suspended service on both short lines and Class Is, the dozens of wildfires raging throughout the Northwest have, so far, caused no widespread damage to railway property. That’s remarkable considering the fact that one of the fires, the more than 280,000-acre Okanogan Complex in north central Washington, has been deemed that state’s largest wildfire in recorded history and is currently considered the number one fire priority in the nation. More than 1,200 firefighters are tackling that blaze alone, coming from as far away as Arizona, the East Coast, Australia, and New Zealand.
For the week ending August 22, 2015, total U.S. rail traffic was 567,943 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.4% compared with the same week in 2014, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on August 26, 2015.
The Regional Transportation Council-North-Central Texas Council of Governments (RTC-NCTCOG) has allocated $4.5 million to fund the planning, design and preliminary engineering for the construction of a high-speed rail link between Dallas and Fort Worth.
David Rose, Ph.D., has joined Gannett Fleming as Director of Management Consulting, based in New York City. He will lead Gannett Fleming’s management consulting practice, assisting clients to improve the performance and productivity of their assets. The practice focuses on performance and strategy, asset management and technology and serves, among other sectors, transit and rail.