Douglas John Bowen

Douglas John Bowen

Douglas John Bowen is Managing Editor of RAILWAY AGE. He also served as Editor of Intermodal Age from 1989 to 1991, and has held various positions at Inbound Logistics magazine, High Speed Transport News, The Journal of Commerce, and CNN/Money. Bowen began his journalism career at the Asbury Park Press, a New Jersey daily newspaper. A graduate of Rutgers University, Bowen resides in Hoboken, N.J. He served as president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP) from 1987 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2010, serving on the NJ-ARP board from 1984 until 2012; he remains a member of the statewide organization.

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Facing $45 million in service cuts targeted for light rail and bus operations by March 30, St. Louis officials are seeking ways to apply $12 million in federal stimulus funds to blunt the budget knife. The $12 million, if able to be applied to operations, "means that close to a quarter of the deficit will be resolved if this switch goes through, and that's going to go to restoring service," said D.J. Wilson, a spokesman for East West Gateway Council of Governments, in St. Louis.

Friday, 27 February 2009 05:26

Austin rail debut faces further delay

Austin, Tex.’s Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority says testing and training for its 32-mile passenger rail line is behind schedule, and could further delay the route’s operational debut, currently set for March 30.

The slump continued for U.S. railroad freight traffic during the week ended February 21, compared with traffic in 2008, the Association of American Railroads reports. U.S carload freight fell 14.2% from the comparable week in 2008, with declines of 12.8% in the West and 16.0% in the East.

Monday, 02 March 2009 07:04

Connecticut DOT chief: We need LRT

Citing the successful re-introduction of light rail transit to cities nationwide, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie has called for the Nutmeg State to invest in LRT to keep the state economically competitive.

Southwest Signal Engineering Co. announced Monday that it has changed its corporate name to Xorail Inc. (pronounced "Zo-rail"). The move complements the company’s actions last September, when the provider of signal and communications services to the railroad industry and other sectors formed a separate construction subsidiary, called Xorail Construction Services, which specializes in construction services for railroads.

Dapco Technologies, a service arm of Ridgefield, Conn.-based Dapco Industries, has been renamed Nordco Rail Services to emphasize the company’s role in both rail diagnostic services and engineering. The company also announced a new president, Chris Smitka, and has relocated to a new facility in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Manhattan’s redesigned and repositioned South Ferry subway station, the recipient of $530million in rehabilitation, will open March 16, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says.


The upgraded station, served by the No. 1 (ex-IRT) line, will offer more streamline and sheltered connections with the Staten Island Ferry terminal at Battery Park. It also now will offer free transfers to the R and W lines at nearby Whitehall St. Station.


The new terminus can accommodate 10-car trains, eliminating the need for subway conductors to urge riders to reposition themselves in the first five cars of a train due to platform constraints.


A projected January opening was postponed after contractors and the MTA discovered the gap between the new platforms and train doors were wider than specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The project, part of MTA’s $15 billion capital construction program, originally was expected to cost $490 million.


Gov. David A. Paterson Monday released the 2009 New York State Rail Plan with a "comprehensive strategy forsupporting freight and intercity passenger rail service."

The plan includes “an inventoryof freight and passenger rail system infrastructure needs in New York Statetotaling more than $10.7 billion over the next 20 years. “ It also outlinespriorities for the award of funds from the $9.3 billion dedicated to intercityrail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as funds that willbe included in the reauthorized Federal Transportation Act that’s due next Oct.1.

Patterson was joined by StateDOT Commissioner Astrid Glynn in announcing the plan, which they described in astatement as “providing the first comprehensive update of the state’s railstrategy in 22 years and fulfilling requirements for federal funding for railcapital improvements."

The plan lists these specificgoals:

“Doubling the number of intercity rail passengers along New York’s three major corridors:New York City to Albany, Albany to Niagara Falls and Albany to Montreal, as well as strategies to increase reliability on all three corridors.

"Providingfrequent and convenient passenger rail service connecting cities across theState as an energy and time-saving alternative to driving or flying. 

"Achievingon-time performance of at least 95 % between Albany and New York City.

“Improvingrail service between Albany and Niagara Falls, with connections in Utica,Syracuse and Rochester. (The Plan also includes a Third Track Initiative, forwhich funding has not been identified, which would establish a dedicated newtrack for high speed passenger rail service from Niagara Falls to Albany.)

“Shorteningthe travel time for rail service between Albany and Montreal. Currently, trainstake about eight hours to make that trip. The s goal is to reduce that time to6.5 hours.

“Establishingnew passenger service where viable, such as between Saratoga and Albany, NiagaraFalls and Buffalo, and Binghamton and New York City.

“Increasingfreight rail usage by 25% to reduce growth of truck traffic and energyconsumption.

“Allowingmodern freight cars to access the New York City metro area and Long Island alongroutes east of the Hudson River.

“Addingat least three new intermodal facilities/inland ports across the state to servethe rapidly growing container segment of rail traffic, which will help removelong-haul trucks from highways and deliver products to consumers faster.

“Creatingthe first ‘green’ short line fleet in the nation.” 

Excludingthe third track initiative, the “priority” infrastructure projects areestimated to cost $671 million over the next five years and are expected to beeligible for federal funding assistance.

House Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a longtime rail advocate, commented: “Today’s announcement ofa state rail plan is truly historic. For decades, I have worked on this issueand have long awaited a forward-looking and comprehensive policy to guide andimprove the region’s vast rail network. This is big news for both passengersand freight, and it could have a major, lasting effect on our economy.”


House Resolution [H.R.} 233, the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009, currently being considered by Congress, would damage the public interest and severely distort the relationship between regulation and antitrust laws, the Association of American Railroads said Tuesday.

New Jersey Transit Wednesday said it will debut  rail service between Hoboken Terminaland Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., via Secaucus Junction, beginningSunday, July 26, when the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final title soccer match isscheduled.

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