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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Class I railroads employed 159, 333 people in mid-January, up 3.93% from January 2011, but down 0.24% overall from last December, according to figures provided by the Surface Transportation Board.

Thursday, 23 February 2012 13:07

AAR: U.S. freight traffic slumps in latest week

U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Feb. 18, 2012 declined 5.2% measured against the comparable week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the week also retreated, down 5.6%, compared with the same week last year.

Thursday, 23 February 2012 07:59

NS nixes Charlotte commuter line plan

Norfolk Southern says it cannot support a current plan for commuter rail service linking Charlotte and Mt. Mourne, N.C., calling the idea "fatally flawed."

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:26

RailAmerica, RMI sign software pact

Atlanta-based RMI Wednesday said it has reached a five-year agreement with RailAmerica, Inc. for the implementation of RMI's ExpressYard Car Repair Billing (CRB) and Operations Management Software System.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:50

CSX expands RailComm system

Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm said Wednesday CSX Transportation has expanded its Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) system located at Boyles Yard in Birmingham, Ala.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:45

WMATA awards contract to Unitrac

Unitrac Railroad Materials, Inc. said Wednesday it has received a three-year contract to supply special trackwork to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), valued at approximately $8 million over the three-year period.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 12:23

Wabtec sets record sales for 2011

Wabtec Corp. Tuesday reported sales of $1.97 billion and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $3.51, both records, for 2011. Non-GAAP EPS was $3.70, excluding special items disclosed in the second quarter.

Possibly due to any outcry of protest from numerous transport groups—and certainly due in part to defections within Republican House ranks—the House of Representatives has moved to delay consideration of any surface transportation authorization bill until Feb. 27 at the earliest.

The American Public Transportation Association said Thursday, “In delaying consideration of these parts of the bill, the leadership also cancelled the Rules Committee meeting previously scheduled for [Wednesday], where the Rules Committee planned to decide which amendments—including those on dedicated funding for transit and other transit issues—would be considered on the House floor. The House is currently debating the parts of the bill that would raise revenues through expanded oil exploration, and it could also debate parts of the bill related to changing federal pensions to offset transportation spending authorized in the bill.”

Still unresolved is how any bill would fund highway repair and/or expansion alone, even if public transport issues were waved away, per the intent of House bill H.R. 7. Proposals for expanded use of toll roads on portions of the Interstate highway system have caused, at minimum, consternation among self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives.

But the outcry over H.R. 7 and its potential negating of transit funding spans numerous transport groups, including APTA, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, Smart Growth America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups nationwide.

APTA on Thursday urged its members to “continue to urge their representatives to support a rule that allows consideration of the Nadler-LaTourette-Blumenauer-Gibson-Crowley-Turner-Rangle-Grimm-Lewis-Fitzpatrick-Norton-Hayworth-Lipinski-Dold Amendment on the House Floor and to support the amendment to restore dedicated transit funding when it is offered.”

Norfolk Southern Corp. said Friday it has earned the top ranking among railroads in the S&P 500 Clean Capitalism Ranking, published by Corporate Knights, a media, research, and financial products.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:41

For Ore./Wash. LRT, feds offer big money

Federal New Starts money would pay a substantial percentage of any light rail transit development on the proposed I-5 bridge linking Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., if the U.S. Department of Transportation has its way.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:25

AAR: U.S. freight traffic mixed in latest week

U.S. carload freight traffic advanced 1.7% in the week ending Feb. 11, 2012, compared with the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. But U.S. intermodal volume failed to keep pace, slipping 0.4% when measured against the comparable week last year.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:51

Sumitomo, Nippon Sharyo land VRE car order

Sumitomo Corp. of America, in conjunction with its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo, said Thursday it has landed a contract from Virginia Railway Express (VRE) "for 50 gallery-type bi-level passenger cars."

Friday, 06 February 2009 10:21

Analyst: "Glimmer of hope" for rail traffic

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.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009 05:34

NJ Transit sets sights on more EMUs

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.

Thursday, 12 February 2009 10:41

Stimulus package flexibility could benefit rail

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.

Friday, 13 February 2009 04:47

RA seeks Shortline/Regional award nominees

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.

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