Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) said Thursday it had “completed final negotiations” to build phase 1 of an eventual 70-mile rail line in Sonoma and Marin counties, north of San Francisco. Phase 1 will link Santa Rosa and San Rafael, Calif., a distance of roughly 37 miles.
The Greenbrier Cos. Friday reported fiscal 2012 first-quarter revenue of $398.2 million, which it said was “double the $198.9 million realized in the prior year’s first quarter,” and net earnings of $15.5 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the comparable quarter of a year ago.
Shippers representing manufacturing, consumer goods, energy, and other markets made commitments in 2011 to develop new or expanded facilities on CSX and its connecting short lines. A total investment of $1.4 billion will ultimately yield more than $230 million in annual freight revenue, said Clark Robertson, assistant vice president-regional development.
Though a joint public/private effort to initiate light rail transit in Detroit has faltered, with public money now targeted to launch a 110-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, state and local elected officials now acknowledge Detroit’s private sector will continue to pursue LRT.
Indeed, private-sector interests, known as M-1 Rail, in essence have insisted on resurrecting their original plan for a short 3.4-mile starter LRT line (as depicted at left). And though the private sector holds to the LRT idea, last week Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing were the ones noting Detroit could still add LRT to the mix as part of a larger BRT plan.
"We see light rail as a part of regional transportation, so light rail is not dead," Mayor Bing said last Friday at a news conference attended by Gov. Snyder and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "It's back on the table." The amount of public money or effort to be dedicated to the LRT plan, however, remains unclear. M-1 Rail, comprised of private investors and philanthropic groups, includes Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, Roger Penske of Penske Corp., Peter Karmanos of Compuware, and the Troy, Mich.-based Kresge Foundation. The group first proposed adding LRT to Woodland Avenue in 2007.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will continue contracting out its regional rail passenger services, rejecting the option to operate trains itself. MBTA instead may opt for longer-term contracts with any operator involved.
Colo Railroad Builders, a provider of railroad construction and maintenance services to industrial, Class I, and short line railroads, says it has appointed Cene Cooley vice president of Operations in Texas.
Norfolk Southern Corp. said Monday it participated in the location of 73 new industries and the expansion of 27 existing industries along its rail lines during 2011, totaling an investment of about $9.5 billion.
Canadian Pacific Chairman of the Board John Cleghorn sent a letter Monday to shareholders describing “a multiyear plan to drive volume growth, expand the network, and control costs.”
The New York State Senate Monday confirmed Joseph Lhota as the new chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, replacing Jay Walder, who departed in October. Lhota had been serving as MTA executive director for five weeks pending his confirmation.
California’s High-Speed Rail Authority should not consider a proposed route for high speed rail along Interstate 5 in southern California and instead should study a proposed route through Palmdale, according to a study recommendation released Monday.