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.
The Surface Transportation Board announced Monday that, beginning Dec. 15 ,it will implement a “grant stamp” procedure for “routine, unopposed decisions” issued by the Director of the Board’s Office of Proceedings.
STB said the new procedure, which was suggested by attorney Fritz Khan, will “streamline the agency’s processes, maximize efficient use of its resources, speed service to stakeholders, and better serve the public.” The Director has delegated authority to issue decisions addressing routine procedural matters.
“Some of these decisions, in matters such as unopposed motions for extensions of time or requests for a procedural schedule to which all parties have agreed to, require little, if any, discussion by the Director,” said STB. “In such cases, rather than preparing a separate decision, the Director will apply a stamp to the filed pleading, and the stamped pleading will constitute the Board's decision granting the relief sought.”
GE Transportation said Wednesday its intends to acquire transportation software provider RMI from global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group. Pending regulatory approval anticipated early next year, this acquisition expands GE Transportation’s Software and Optimization Solutions business to serve railroad customers worldwide, Erie-Pa.-based GE Transportation said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in early 2012. GE Transportation described RMI as “a leading provider of transportation management software solutions for railroads, rail shippers, railcar leasing companies, and intermodal services in North America with revenue of approximately $45 million. RMI’s software is designed to help its users to improve efficiency and productivity while reducing costs.” Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Transportation, said: “We’re excited about the prospect of RMI joining GE Transportation. The company is well-known for its leading software products and the expertise of its team members. RMI’s software offerings complement GE Transportation’s rail portfolio. This is incredibly strategic for us and provides a great platform for expanding our softwareand services capabilities.” Pete Kleifgen, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based RMI, said: “We are looking forward to becoming part of GE, a world-class company, and to expanding the reach of RMI’s software solutions to railroad and transportation logistics customers around the globe.”
GE Transportation is a subsidiary of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PA) has hired HDR, Inc. to rehabilitate the Greenville Yard in Jersey City, N.J., to improve ongoing rail-to-barge-to-rail freight movements across New York Harbor. The transload site, potentially a key freight component of cross-Hudson River traffic, has struggled in recent years due to obsolete equipment and lack of repair. HDR’s work will include rehabilitating a barge and transfer bridge used to move freight rail cars from the yard to the barges, designing a new barge and two new bridges, demolishing two bridges, rehabilitating the railyard and waterfront structures, and environmental permitting. The project also includes the addition of approximately 10,000 feet of new track and design of yard operations facilities. The improvement is one of the PA’s projects preparing to accommodate larger Panamax ships anticipated to serve East Coast ports following the Panama Canal expansion. The site also is being upgraded to allow movement of up to 11,000 tons a day of solid waste out of New York City by rail, much of which currently moves over the road. The yard has mainland connections to both CSX and Norfolk Southern through Conrail Shared Assets trackage.
Omaha, Neb.-based HDR, the prime design consultant, will perform a freight capacity analysis and provide context sensitive solutions. Ten bid packages will be prepared for the project’s phases. Sub-consultant Worley Parsons will perform themarine work (barge design, and rehabilitation of barge and fender system). Construction is expected to be completed within five years.
Said HDR Project Manager Pete Davis, “This highly complex and fast-paced project will set a standard for other rail/port facility projects.”
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has released its Final Proposed Budget for 2012 as well as an updated four-year Financial Plan.
Russian Railways (RZD) Thursday said that the company, through its subsidiary Transcontainer, has organized for a demonstration container freight train to travel along the route between Nahodka-Vostochnaya (in the port city of Nahodka on Russia’s Far Eastern Railway) to Shushari (in St. Petersburg on Russia’s Octyaberskaya Railway) in seven calendar days, covering 9,795 kilometers (about 6,073 miles).
The train will consist of 50 freight cars loaded with containers of automobile parts, as well as trailers and semitrailers sent by Hyundai. The demonstration train’s arrival in Shuhari is scheduled to coincide with the Second Railway Congress in Moscow on Friday, Nov. 18.
RZD also noted on Thursday it had posted “positive” economic numbers for the first nine months of 2011, but net profit of 56.1 billion rubles ($1.81 million) slipped 19.5% below the comparable period in 2010.
The company said cargo volume rose 3% to 921.7 million tons during the nine-month span. Overall revenue from freight traffic increased 6.9%.
RZD said its passenger service revenue fell 86% to 5.2 billion rubles ($160,000) in the first nine months of 2011, attributed to spinning off long-distance services to subsidiary OJSC Federal Passenger Co. on April 1, 2010, and also handing over regional passenger services to suburban passenger companies on Jan. 1.