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 Federal Transit Administration on Feb. 10, 2016 highlighted $3.5 billion recommended in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 federal budget to advance the construction or completion of 31 public transit projects in 18 states, including 15 first-time funding recommendations. The projects would be funded through the FTA Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program.
In what some industry observers believe may be a final attempt—short of a proxy battle—by hedge fund head Bill Ackman at a hostile takeover of Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific on Feb. 9, 2016, notified NS of its intent to submit a resolution to NS shareholders “to ask their board of directors to engage in good faith discussions with CP regarding a business combination transaction.”
In comments filed with the Surface Transportation Board’s Ex Parte 726, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on On-Time Performance under Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), Amtrak says that the only viable method of measuring passenger train on-time performance on a host freight railroad is one that includes intermediate stations as well as endpoints.
A U.S. Class I railroad has awarded Duos Technologies Group, Inc. a contract for a Vehicle Undercarriage Examiner (vue™) imaging system. The name of the railroad was not disclosed.
For a fourth consecutive season, CSX and Front Row Motorsports will join forces to promote public safety around railroad tracks with the No. 34 “Play It Safe” Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s 2016 Sprint Cup Series. This season, 2015 Xfinity Series Champion and 2016 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Buescher will drive the 34, which will be powered by Ford engines sourced from Roush-Yates Engines.
The crude by rail (CBR) boom that less than two years ago preoccupied the industry and generated intense regulatory scrutiny is, for all intents and purposes, over, according to a new analysis by RBN Energy.
2018 or 2020, whatever the case may be, isn’t very far off. According to a Positive Train Control implementation chart published on the Federal Railroad Administration website, 30 out 37 U.S. freight and passenger railroads required to have PTC—roughly 80%—will have the technology in place by the year-end 2018 extended deadline.
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. has promoted two senior-level executives to new positions. CFO Mark J. Rittenbaum, has been promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Commercial, Leasing and Finance. Lorie L. Tekorius, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer. Both report to Chairman and CEO William A. Furman.
Continuing its hostile pursuit of Norfolk Southern, and faced with some stiff political and rail industry opposition in the U.S., Canadian Pacific on Feb. 3, 2016 released a white paper, CP-NS: A Comprehensive Approach to Regulatory Approval “detailing the comprehensive, merit-based process any merger application would be subject to at the Surface Transportation Board,” CP said.
Gilbert Ellzey “Gil” Carmichael, former Federal Railroad Administrator, and founder of the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver, died Jan. 31, 2016 at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, Miss. He was 88.
A strategic business plan signed by General Electric and Russian locomotive and car builder Transmashholding for a diesel powerplant joint venture is an important component of a plan for GE to invest $1 billion in Russia’s oil and gas, power and transportation industries by 2020.
Siemens Mobility announced on Feb. 1, 2016 that it is expanding its footprint in Sacramento,Calif., with a new 60,000-square-foot plant dedicated to its rail service, maintenance and repair operations.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is suing Amtrak in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts after the two companies failed to reach agreement on new, vastly increased access fees for MBTA commuter trains operating between Attleboro, Mass., at the Rhode Island border, and Providence, R.I., on the Northeast Corridor.
Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., has awarded ABB Canada’s power and automation technology division a contract to engineer, manufacture and commission seven ENVILINETM Energy Storage Systems (ESS) wayside energy management systems with lithium-ion battery storage technology from Saft America, for SEPTA’s (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) rail transit network.
The Railway Supply Institute on Jan. 28, 2016 published its railcar industry order, delivery and backlog statistics for fourth-quarter 2015, and overall, the sector looks solid, according to Steve Barger, Managing Director and Equity Research Analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.
Norfolk Southern shareholders “continue to find themselves in the enviable position of having two Class I management teams competing to maximize shareholder value,” says Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl.
Though Norfolk Southern’s fourth-quarter and 2015 financial results aren’t all that different from those of most other Class I railroads, NS has been particularly compelled to develop an aggressive strategic plan because it is fending off a hostile takeover attempt.
Despite decreases in carloadings and revenue ton-miles, CN on Jan. 26, 2015 posted solid financials for fourth-quarter and full-year 2015. Significant in its results are record free cash flow and full-year earnings, and an operating ratio well below 60. The strength of the U.S. dollar figured in.
CN’s program to build its new, C$250 million Milton Logistics Hub in Ontario is moving ahead with a formal application to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), which is required to approve the project under the Canada Transportation Act.
Brightline, the higher-speed passenger rail service being developed by Florida East Coast Industries subsidiary All Aboard Florida, and Siemens Rolling Stock announced on January 26, 2016 that the first stainless steel carshell for the new service has been completed.