Dahlman Rose & Co. Director Equity Research and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jason Seidl sees “as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise weak rail environment” as some traffic sectors are beginning to show signs of recovery.
After investing heavily in Bombardier multilevel cars to augment its fleet, New Jersey Transit now says it’s ready to acquire electric multiple-unit (EMU) equipment to supplement its existing fleet of Arrow III cars, and eventually retire those cars.NJT has issues requests for proposals, according to Executive Director Richard Sarles, who observed, “Certain areas [of the NJT rail network] need quick acceleration” provided by EMU equipment, such as on stretches of right-of-way with short intervals between stations. NJT’s 230 Arrow III cars were last rebuilt beginning in the late 1980s.Sarles said any EMU order would be funded through the state Transportation Trust Fund.Not clear at this point is whether the order will include diesel units, with the “D” units allowing train consists to travel in both electrified and diesel rail territory; two major NJT routes, the North Jersey Coast Line and Boonton/Montclair Line, are electrified in part.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has chosen Hill International to manage the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, an LACMTA affiliate overseeing the design and construction of the $458 million, 11.4-mile extension of Gold Line light rail service from Pasadena to Azusa, Calif.
Britain’s Department of Transport announced Thursday that it has selected Agility Trains, a British-led group that includes Hitachi of Japan, as the preferred bidder for a $10.7 billion contract to build and maintain a fleet of new Super Express trains for the Great Western and East Coast main lines. John Laing and Barclays are also members of the winning consortium.
House Democrats Thursday demanded time to review the $789 billion economic stimulus bill crafted by congressional conference committee, but most political analysts still expected both the House of Representatives and theSenate to approve the measure. Should the package hold until President Obama signs it into law, freight and passenger railroads could benefit significantly.
Railway Age is collecting entries for its annual ShortLine/Regional Railroad of the Year competition, but applicants still have time to enter. Short lines and regionals—and there are more than 500 of them—are invited to submit entries describing outstanding achievement in one or acombination of areas. The entry deadline is Friday, Feb. 27, 2009.
Freight traffic on U.S. railroads during the week ended February 7 was off again in comparison with last year, although “up slightly” from the previous week ending Jan. 31, according to the Association of American Railroads. Total volume of 28.2 billion ton-miles was 15.1% lower than the comparable week in 2008.
H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, contains billions of investment dollars for rail projects, passenger and freight.
Calgary, Alberta’s C-Train light rail service, which opened in 1981, officially recorded its 1 billionth passenger Wednesday, as officials also noted the system now carries 280,000 riders per weekday.
One week is left for nominations to be submitted for Railway Age’s annual Short Line/Regional Railroad of the Year competition.