William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.

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Invensys Rail on Thursday said it will expand its North America headquarters staff in Louisville, Ky., adding 75 engineering jobs.

invensys_logo.jpgInvensys Rail will invest $3.2 million and lease an additional 4,000 square feet at its existing 120,000-square-foot Eastpoint Business Center in Louisville, the company said.

“The expansion of Invensys Rail’s Louisville headquarters is fantastic news,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release. “Invensys Rail has been an excellent corporate citizen, and it is rewarding to see their operation grow right here in the commonwealth.”

Through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, the state has approved up to $1.8 million in performance-based tax incentives for Chippenham, England-based Invensys Rail, a subsidiary of London-based Invensys plc.kevinriddett.jpg 

“Our decision to grow our engineering team serves as a testament to the relentless commitment of our employees and the sincere, tireless efforts of the Kentucky delegation who displayed a high sense of urgency to make this day possible,” said Invensys Rail President and CEO Kevin E. Riddett (pictured at right), who was named to the post Thursday.
Friday, 20 May 2011 06:32

UP opens new yard in western Wyoming

Union Pacific Railroad representatives, customers, and community leaders from western Wyoming Thursday officially opened a new $24 million rail yard about 20 miles west of Green River, Wyo. Rail yard construction began in August 2008 and was completed in December 2010.

up_logo.jpg“The Blacks Fork Rail Yard is the latest example of our company’s commitmentto grow with our customers and provide great service,” said Jim Young, UnionPacific chairman and chief executive officer. “By improving the way railcars are sorted for specific destinations, we are increasing efficiency,creating faster delivery time, and helping our customers compete in a globaleconomy.”

The Blacks Fork Rail Yard offers 47,000 feet of track, including three tracks with capacity to handle 150 rail cars each. It also includes a new bridge over the Blacks Fork River, five automatic electronic identification readers strategically placed inthe rail yard to assist in monitoring rail car movements, and 13 switches.

L.B. Foster Co. announced Monday that its president and chief executive officer, Stan L. Hasselbusch (pictured below), plans to retire Dec. 31. Hasselbusch joined the company in 1972 and achieved his present position in 2002.

stan_hasselbusch.jpg“Stan has done an outstanding job during his long career with L.B. Foster and on behalf of the board of directors and all our employees I want to convey our sincere appreciation for so many significant contributions that have left an indelible mark on the company,” said Lee B. Foster, chairman of the board.

“Stan indicated that he had been contemplating this move for some time and felt that the end of this year, with the Portec acquisition successfully integrated, would be the perfect time to make the move,” Chairman Foster added.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 06:44

DART orders recycled plastic crossties

Dallas Area Rapid Transit has placed a $250,000 order with Axion International for Axion's proprietary Recycled Structural Composite crossties for use on the Trinity Railway Express line that connects Dallas and Fort Worth, Tex.

dart_logo_circle.jpg.jpgAxion is servicing the contract through Herzog Transit Services, which operates the TRE line. The ties will be installed on a two-mile bridge known as the Beltline Overpass. Axion said the recycled plastic ties “should significantly lower the maintenance and replacement costs over the life of the bridge.”

The tie was developed in conjunction with Rutgers University’s Materials Sciences and Engineering Department.
The United Transportation Union has reported the death of two crew members, believed to be an engineer and conductor, in the rear-end collision of two CSX Transportation trains near Mineral Springs, N. C., in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday.

A report by the Associated Press said two other crew members were injured.

The AP quoted CSX as saying that the collision occurred at 3:54 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on northbound tracks and involved one train enroute to Hamlet, N.C., from New Orleans, and another bound for Charlotte, N.C., from Georgia.
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 06:54

Hotstart appoints new CEO, sales director

Hotstart, Inc. on Tuesday said Terry Judge has been named the company’s chief executive officer; Judge assumed the CEO position on March 18. He previously served as director of Sales and Marketing. Judge joined the company in2001.

Judge succeeds Rick Robinson, who retired in March after 23 years as company CEO.

Spokane, Wash.-based HOTSTART also said Trond Liaboe will replace Judge as director of Sales and Marketing. Liaboe previously served as International Market Manager and has been with the company since 2002.
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 07:30

NS sponsors

Norfolk Southern, aided by its giant pink ambulating public safety ambassador “Brainy,” will participate in the fifth annual Zombie Walk Friday in Memphis. This year’s parade is being held in support of the Mid-South Food Bank.

ns_logo.jpgReferring to the allusion to zombies, NS Vice President Safety and Environmental David Julian said, “It’s important to understand that most all train-car collisions and trespass injuries and deaths are preventable. By paying attention to our surroundings and to the warning signs and signals—maintaining situational awareness—we can keep ourselves and our families safe from harm.”

“Everyone can benefit by thinking smart at highway-rail crossings and staying well away from railroad property and equipment,” said Cynthia Ham, principal and chief public relations officer for archer>malmo, the Memphis marketing communications agency that administers Norfolk Southern’s “Train Your Brain” public safety awareness campaign.

Brainy’s participation in the Zombie Walk was the brainchild of Bruce Downs, an engineer in NS’ real estate department in Atlanta. Norfolk Southern launched Brainy and the campaign to “Train Your Brain” in 2007 in Memphis and so far has taken the message to high-traffic corridors in North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio.

U.S. freight carload traffic slipped 2.6% in the week ending May 7, 2011, measured against the comparable week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, while U.S. intermodal volume surged 11.2% in the same period.

aar_logo.jpgAAR said six of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, with grain, up 19.9%, and metals and products, up 13.1%, leading the pact. Declining groups were led by primary forest products, down 19.5%, nonmetallic minerals, down 16.3%, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.7%.

By contrast, Canadian freight carload traffic rose 3.3% for the week compared with a year ago, while intermodal also gained, up 8.7%. Mexican freight carload traffic also rose, up 8.4%, and intermodal advanced 28.7%, for the week ending May 7 compared with one year ago.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 18 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.1% compared with the similar period in 2010, while intermodal also rose, up 8.1%.

Friday, 13 May 2011 04:40

GE to open Texas locomotive plant

GE Transportation said Friday that it intends to open a new 900,000 square foot locomotive manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Tex., “to meet accelerating global demand.” GE said it will invest up to $96 million in the new plant and will create more than 500 new high-tech manufacturing jobs.

ge_transport.jpgAt the same time, GE Transportation also will expand its manufacturing workforce at its Erie, Pa., plant by hiring an additional 250 workers.

“GE Transportation is experiencing strong U.S. and global growth because of its technical leadership and we need to increase our manufacturing capacity and flexibility,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt. “This new state-of-the-art plant in Fort Worth, Texas will produce the world’s most advanced locomotives and transportation products, expand our service and repair capability, and create hundreds of new high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

“We are excited to expand our operational footprint in the United States to better serve our customers,” added Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Transportation. “We see robust growth in the U.S. and around the globe. A new site will help us to effectively respond to the cyclical demand in the transportation industry and to strengthen our overall position.”

The State of Texas will commit up to $4.2 million in incentives toward the projectthrough the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). GE Transportation said its new manufacturing site in the U.S. will complement its existing manufacturing operations in North America. The company noted it has recalled approximately 800 production workers at its Erie manufacturing facility since late 2010 and announced 450 new jobs since April (including those announced Friday). GE Transportation operates at more than 50 GE and customer facilities in the United States.

Friday, 13 May 2011 05:32

Amsted Rail acquires Holland

Amsted Rail said Thursday it has acquired Holland, L.P.’s Hollube® Wear Eliminator product line. Final agreement is scheduled to occur Friday, May 27. After that date, all orders and shipments will be initiated through Amsted Rail Customer Service, located in Granite City, Ill.

amstedrail_120.jpg“This acquisition is strategically important because it provides our customers the option to include key wear prevention components as part of their Amsted Rail Truck and End-of-Car System purchases,” said Brad Myers, Amsted vice president of Sales & Marketing.

“The sale of the Hollube® Wear Eliminator product line will enable our organization to concentrate its efforts on engineered solutions involving our growing load securement and product protection product lines,” said Holland, L.P. Group Vice President Leonard O’Kray.

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