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.
Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC has agreed to sell the Arizona Eastern Railway Co. to Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. in a $90.1 million cash transaction, subject to post-closing adjustments.
The Arizona Eastern was chartered in 1895 as the Gila Valley, Globe & Northern, and was constructed between Bowie and Miami, Ariz., about 133 route-miles. In the final two decades of the 20th Century, it changed hands several times. When IPH purchased it in 2004, “it was in severely deteriorated condition,” the company said. “IPH worked with all stakeholders to improve track and bridge conditions, and to develop additional freight business.” In 2008, the Arizona Eastern purchased an additional line between Clifton, Ariz., and Lordsburg, N.Mex., and connected through trackage rights over the Union Pacific to the original Bowie line.
“As a result of all these actions, since 2004, the Arizona Eastern’s freight traffic has grown dramatically, track speeds have increased, and there has been a significant reduction in derailments and a corresponding improvement in other safety metrics,” said IPH President Ed Ellis. “We are grateful to the hard working men and women of the Arizona Eastern for their diligence and creativity in assisting us with the turnaround of this important rail property. We also acknowledge the instrumental contributions of the major customer, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, toward track and bridge rehabilitation. We are confident that G&W will take Arizona Eastern to the next level in service and condition of its physical plant, and are pleased to hand the reins to G&W.”
IPH is a privately-held operator of freight and passenger short line railroads in the U.S. and U.K., focusing its acquisitions on turnaround opportunities.
Rising from the destruction inflicted by the 9/ll 2001 terrorist attack, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new, $1.4 billion Fulton Street Transit Center in lower Manhattan reached a milestone Tuesday with the opening of the 135 William Street entrance.
The Center is more than 50% complete and on schedule for a June 2014 completion. When finished, it will connect five subway stations and eleven subway lines, improving access for more than 300,000 daily riders.
“We have reached yet another significant milestone as we move forward to complete what will become a landmark transportation facility,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder. “Once complete, this complex will provide our customers with a more seamless experience at this major downtown hub. The Transit Center will improve travel for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters and Lower Manhattan residents and visitors while providing a modern and convenient retail location.”
MTA said other elements of the complex continue to progress. Superstructure steel for the transit center building is slated for completion this fall. The southbound Cortlandt Street platform will reopen on or before Sept. 11. Station rehabilitation on the 4/5 lines continues and the Dey Street Concourse is structurally complete. Restoration of the historic Corbin Building is continuing inside the 1888 landmark and is expected to be complete in late 2012.
Short line holding company Regional Rail LLC on Aug. 1 commenced operations in southeastern Pennsylvania on the York Industrial Track, which it has leased from Norfolk Southern. The York Industrial Track, which runs from York to Stony Brook, Pa., is now operated as part of Regional Rail subsidiary East Penn Railroad LLC, which serves southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. The new operation connects to NS and York Railway at York.
“We want to thank Norfolk Southern for its efforts and support in achieving a seamless start of our operations in York, and we look forward to working with NS to grow the business on this new line,” said Regional Rail President and CEO Bob Parker. Added Regional Rail Vice President Al Sauer, “We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of new business opportunities that customers have shared with us already. East Penn’s operation of the York line is off to a nice start. ”
Regional Rail LLC, based in Kennett Square, Pa., is also the parent company of the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad LLC, which owns and/or operates four short lines in southeastern New York State.
In the past two months, the Greenbrier Companies has received orders for 3,700 new railcar platforms valued at approximately $285 million. Combined with orders received since September 1, 2010 (the beginning of Greenbrier's fiscal year), Greenbrier’s cumulative number of railcar orders order now exceeds 18,000 units.
The latest orders are primarily for doublestack intermodal platforms, boxcars, covered hopper cars, and tank cars for the North American market, and various car types for the European market. Delivery of these orders is anticipated to occur principally in calendar 2012.
Greenbrier opened an additional new railcar production line in July and expects to open another in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, “in order to accommodate the increased demand in North America,” the company said. “In addition, production rates for tank cars are expected to increase on an existing production line in North America in late calendar 2011 to accommodate the expanding customer base for this type of railcar.”