U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 24, 2011 was up a hefty 11.9% compared with the same week one year ago, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the same week was up 22.9% from the same week last year.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley last week said the state will budget about $69 million in state funding for engineering work related to the proposed 16-mile Purple Line Light Rail project.
The proposed LRT line, planned to link with Washington, D.C.’s Metro rail system in at least four locations, arcs across D.C.’s northern suburbs across two counties in Maryland, from Bethesda to New Carrollton. Current construction costs are estimated at $1.925 billion.
The $69 million reportedly will cover costs for the next two years, and will be generated from increases in certificate and title fees for vehicles, as well as from higher fees for vanity tags and dealer processing charges, according to a spokesman from the Maryland Department of Transportation. While just 3.6% of the overall cost, the $69 million is politically significant, given past opposition to or neglect of the Purple Line proposal from previous state administrations.
As part of the launch of its 150th anniversary celebration website, Union Pacific Railroad says it will award more than $35,000 in prizes to the top entries that remake the company’s classic 1970s television commercial, “We Can Handle It.”
The Railway Supply Institute has noted a lobbying effort by the trucking industry could encourage Congress to increase truck sizes and/or truck weight on the nation’s roadways in the next surface transportation bill, now being considered; in both the House and the Senate. RSI calls this effort “the biggest threat we have seen in more than 20 years.”
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, announced that the Ministry of Railways over the past weekend launched a test train capable of achieving 500 km/h (310 mph) cruising speeds. CSR Corp. Ltd. built the train.
The Railway Association of Canada reported Tuesday that the nation’s rail sector has rebounded from the global economic downturn, posting solid volume growth and investing “significantly” in capacity and efficiency initiatives.
The Surface Transportation Board announced a ruling Wednesday clarifying the scope of a Presidentially-mandated review to determine “whether any o fits existing regulations may have become outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and how to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them, as appropriate.”
Bombardier Transportation said Thursday the Essen Transport Authority (EVAG) has ordered 27 FLEXITY Classic trams; the contract is worth $94 million.
Bombardier will deliver two pre-series vehicles in August 2013, while the rest of the order will begin being delivered in March 2014.
EVAG Chief Technical Officer Klaus-Peter Wandelenus said, “The tender was based on the good experience with the proven 70% low-floor technology which is characterized by ensuring a smooth ride and high comfort, low wear and tear of tracks and wheels and a long operating life. The BOMBARDIER FLEXITY Classic tram fully meets tender expectations. Moreover, we want to have the electrical and mechanical part provided by one manufacturer and not by two.” Bombardier Transportation President, Light Rail Vehicles, Germar Wacker said, “With this new order we are successfully continuing our long-standing cooperation with the Essen Transport Authority. We are grateful for the order and the trust placed in us. Our proven FLEXITY Classic trams will be modified to fit the infrastructure of Essen and fulfills the most recent standards.”
Sumitomo Corp. of America this week has affirmed that it, in conjunction with partner Nippon Sharyo, entered into an agreement October 31 to supply Greater Toronto Area’s Metrolinx with six additional diesel multiple-units (DMUs), slated for use on Toronto’s planned rail line linking Toronto’s Union Station with Lester B. Pearson International Airport.
The US$22 million contract will be for the middle flat-nosed “C Car,” which connects both ends of slanted-nose “A Cars” (pictured at left), Sumitomo said. Metrolinx plans to use these additional 6 cars as a middle car in three-car consists, but the “C Cars” can beoperated individually as well, Sumitomo said. Delivery of the “C Cars” is scheduled for 2015.
The new cars will meet the stringent Tier 4 emissions standards and will incorporate Crash Energy management (CEM) features that comply and exceed with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requirements. Final assembly of the cars will take place in Rochelle, Ill., with the facility beginning production in the second quarter of next year. "This new contract from Metrolinx solidifies our expanding share in the DMU market and invigorates our plans to increase our future presence in the market", said Hideyuki "Hugh" Ninomiya, director of Transportation Systems at Sumitomo Corp. of America.
ProTran1 says that After three years of development, the company has been awarded a major contract from Australia’s Imtram, Ltd., to supply several fail-safe bi-directional Portable Automatic Track Warning Systems which will be used by several Australian railways for work zone protection.