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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Wednesday, 21 December 2011 07:29

STB clarifies regulatory-review issues

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.”

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Thursday, 22 December 2011 04:00

Bombardier wins Essen, Germany, tram order

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.”

Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:23

Sumitomo affirms Metrolinx DMU add-on order

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.

sumitomo GO_dmuThe 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.

Thursday, 22 December 2011 04:15

ProTran1 lands Australia contract

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. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011 09:48

MTA adopts budget, advances capital program

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York has approved a $12.6 billion operating budget with no planned fare increases of service cuts though it comes with a funding gap of $68 million. “The 2012 budget is largely similar to the Final Proposed Budget presented to the Board in November,” said MTA in a statement Wednesday.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 04:43

North American ameriTRAM tour continues

Contrary to published reports, KinkiSharyo has continued to showcase its prototype ameriTRAM streetcar even after the APTA Annual Expo in New Orleans last October. The company had its prototype on display at the maintenance shops for Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit (HBLRT) in Jersey City, N.J., on Dec. 23.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 04:18

Deutsche Bahn unit orders 90 Bombardier EMUs

Bombardier Transportation says it will supply 90 of its 430 series electric multiple unit (EMU) trains to Germany’s DB Regio AG, worth $648 million, to serve the Frankfurt metropolitan area.

Bombardier DB RegioThe new 90 four-car electric multiple units of the 430 series are to be used in the suburban-network Kleyer. The trains are able to accelerate rapidly and can reach speeds of up to 140 km/h (about 87 mph) during operation.

The EMUs have 24 electric swivel-sliding doors, enabling easier and more rapid passenger flow. The trains will also provide a spacious multi-purpose area to ensure greater convenience for passengers traveling with bicycles. Energy-saving indirect LED lighting integrated in the luggage racks enhances the interior ambience. Information on connecting trains is displayed in real-time via a modern passenger information system with a monitor in each of the entrance areas.

Bombardier notes the move follows a similar order for 87 430 series EMUs for the Stuttgart region; production of this order is under way. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 03:44

Veolia awarded Sprinter contract extension

Veolia Transportation says it has been awarded a two-year contract extension for operations and maintenance of the North Country Transit District (NCTD) Sprinter service in northern San Diego County, Calif. 

SPRINTERnctdSprinter, the nation’s second diesel light rail transit (DLRT) line to be established in modern times, spans 22 miles from Oceanside to Escondido, Calif., serving 15 stations. After a series of delays, Sprinter began passenger revenue service in March 2008.

The two-year contract extension, approved NCTD in November, calls for Veolia Transportation to manage the Sprinter service through December 2014 with an additional 18-month extension—at the discretion of NCTD’s Board of Directors— through June 30, 2016.  The original contract with Veolia was approved by the NCTD in April 2006. 

“Veolia Transportation welcomes the opportunity to continue its service to the NCTD and to provide safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly Sprinter transportation services to the community,” stated Richard Dahl, general manager, Veolia Transportation.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 05:29

Titan wins Amtrak marketing contract

Advertising company Titan says it has landed the exclusive right to sell Amtrak’s media in the Northeast Corridor from New York to Washington D.C., beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

raileducation penThe contract encompasses station dominations in Washington D.C.’s Union Station, Penn Station in Baltimore, 30th Street Station Philadelphia, and New York's Penn Station. In addition to those main hubs, there are more than 40 additional stations with Amtrak media that Titan will now also sell for Amtrak.

The new Amtrak hubs complement Titan's existing Northeast Corridor properties which include Southeastern Pennsylvania Transpiration Authority (SEPTA), Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) and New Jersey Transit. Together, these assets give Titan dominance in the region. Titan will run the business out of its New York and Philadelphia offices.

“We've wanted to partner with Amtrak since we first started working in Philadelphia back in 2005,” said Titan Executive Vice President and General Manager Jeff Randazzo. “We're looking forward to bringing new revenue-generating ideas to Amtrak, as well as to our clients. This certainly strengthens our ability to reach the business traveler and so many others who use Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.”

Titan says Amtrak’s station dominations are made up of diverse creative media formats, including two-sheets, three-sheets, stair risers, floor graphics, wall banners, kiosks, back-lit dioramas, column wraps, and clock media.

Employment numbers released by the Surface Transportation Board show Class I railroads employed 160, 119 people in mid-November, down 119 positions (0.08%) from the previous month but up 3.27% from November 2010.

Friday, 16 December 2011 03:30

NRC lauds rail’s share of TIGER III grants

In a letter Friday to “NRC Members and Friends,” National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association President Chuck Baker hailed the awarding of $5111 million in federal TIGER III grants “to 46 capital construction projects in 33 states,” and noted “when rail projects are considered against other modes in a truly merit-based competition, rail does extraordinarily well!” 

Jacksonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica, Inc. Monday announced the upcoming retirement of Charlie Patterson, senior vice president and chief commercial officer. Patterson’s retirement is effective December 31.

Monday, 19 December 2011 08:58

CN, m/w workers reach tentative pact

Canadian National and the United Steelworkers announced that they have reached a tentative agreement to renew the labor contract for approximately 2,800 maintenance-of-way workers in Canada. The current agreement expires Dec. 31. The ratification vote is expected to take approximately 60 days.

Monday, 19 December 2011 09:21

LIRR launches real-time train status pilot

MTA Long Island Rail Road Monday launched a pilot of LIRR Train Time™, a new service providing on-time train status information to passengers. 

LIRR M-7 BombardierLIRR said riders using the Port Washington Branch may go to mta.info/lirr/TrainTime, enter origin and destination, and “Train Time will then provide upcoming departure times and indications showing whether each train is running on time or, if late, by how many minutes. Train Time also displays scheduled arrival time at the destination station, track assignments at most origin stations, and a chance to click for a list of each upcoming train’s intermediate stops.” 

Train Time uses real-time train location information provided by a GPS system and LIRR’s signal system. “Its graphic interface is based on the one used by Metro-North Train Time™, a similar service that launched last year., said the railroad. “But because LIRR customers sometimes need to change trains at Jamaica or other stations, the Long Island Rail Road edition of Train Time has added space to show up to two transfers. Outside of Jamaica, the LIRR’s most common transfer points are Babylon, Hicksville, Huntington, Lynbrook, Mineola, Ronkonkoma and Valley Stream. 

The LIRR is using the Port Washington Branch for the test because the branch does not connect with other branches at Jamaica. The transfer columns will remain blank during pilot release. To the left of these columns, Train Time shows a train’s scheduled arrival time at the selected destination. And next to that, users can click on the “stops” button for each listed trip to view all the intermediate stops made by each train or combination of trains. 

Train delays are shown in number of minutes late. In keeping with industry-wide standards, trains arriving within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of schedule are listed as on time. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 04:33

Buffalo transit service cuts approved

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Monday approved service cuts and the elimination of 170 jobs in an attempt to address a $14.7 million budget deficit.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 09:34

Toyota Canada names CN Carrier of the Year

Canadian National has received Toyota Canada’s Carrier of the Year Award for 2011. The award goes annually to the rail or highway carrier that has exhibited the best performance in transit time, quality, and customer service.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 03:52

Charlotte LYNX to get $18 million upgrade

Charlotte’s Lynx Blue Line light rail will get an $18 million upgrade, allowing station platforms to be extended to handle three-car trains, boosting system capacity.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 07:13

RailComm chosen for BNSF Longview Yard

Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm has been selected to provide its wireless remote control automation system at BNSF’s Longview facility in Washington.

Friday, 16 December 2011 03:15

NS intermodal expansion aided by TIGER grant

Norfolk Southern said Thursday it is proceeding to expand operations at its Rutherford Intermodal Facility near Harrisburg, Pa., following a $15 million TIGER III grant from the federal Department of Transportation.

Madrid-based CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, SA) says it is working to address problems involving loose bolts in Pittsburgh’s light rail vehicle fleet, operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pennsylvania).

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