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.
For the week ending Nov. 21, 2015, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 532,532 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.7% compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported on Nov. 25. U.S. carloads fell nearly 10%; Canadian carloads dropped nearly 13%. Intermodal for some sectors saw modest gains.
Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corp., on Nov. 19, 2015 released the Ventra Mobile App for Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit, Metra regional/commuter rail and Pace suburban bus riders. The “one-stop” mobile app gives transit riders the ability to plan, manage and pay for their journeys for each of the region’s agencies.
The Seattle-Tacoma region’s Sound Transit has selected the route, stations and expanded operation and maintenance facility for its Tacoma Link Expansion light rail extension project, and named former FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff its new CEO.
Joe Leader, a 29-year veteran of MTA New York City Transit, resigned his post as Senior Vice President Subways on Nov. 18, 2015. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer-Service Delivery Wynton Habersham (below, left) will fill Leader’s position in an acting capacity. Leader had been SVP Subways for slightly more than two years.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail system contractor Keolis Commuter Services posted a non-adjusted weekday on-time performance rate of 90.44% for October, “the best performance for that month in nearly a decade.” When adjusted for slippery rail and other conditions or incidents not under Keolis control, on-time performance was 94.44%.
Siemens Mobility Division executive Sabrina Soussan has been named CEO of the division’s High Speed and Commuter Rail and Locomotive business units, reporting to Siemens Mobility Division CEO Jochen Eickholt.
The day after confirming that it had made an offer to Norfolk Southern—and NS’s tepid response—Canadian Pacific on Nov. 18, 2015 disclosed the contents of the offer letter it sent to NS chief executive Jim Squires “to clarify the details of a proposal that would result in the creation of a pro-competitive, pro-customer, coast-to-coast transportation solution.”
It’s official: Canadian Pacific on Nov. 17, 2015 sent an offer letter to Norfolk Southern proposing a merger (an acquisition, really) “that would create a transcontinental railroad with the scale and reach to deliver improved levels of service to customers and communities while enhancing competition and creating significant shareholder value.” On Nov. 18, CP, in response to NS’s tepid response to the initial offer, provided “full disclosure.”
New Jersey Transit Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim will be returning to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority after only 18 months leading NJT. She will become President of MTA New York City Transit on Dec. 28, replacing MTA Bridges and Tunnels President James Ferrara, who has been serving as NYCT Interim President since the August 2015 retirement of Carmen Bianco.
The City of Milwaukee and Brookville Equipment Corp. agreed to terms on November 13, 2015 for supply of four Liberty Modern Streetcars for the city’s 2.1-route-mile starter line in a contract valued at $18.62 million. The contract includes an option for an additional 20 vehicles to support the system’s expected expansion and future development.
OnTrackNorthAmerica (OTNA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank, has entered into working relationships with Dr. Pasi Lautala from Michigan Tech University and Dr. Mingzhou Jin, Director of the Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Engineering lab at the University of Tennessee.
BNSF has tested a UAS (unmanned aerial system, better-known as a drone) supplied by Boeing Co. subsidiary Insitu Inc. in east-central New Mexico, on approximately 132 miles of main line track.
Edward A. Lewis, 73, President of the Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad from 1987 through 2007, died Nov. 11, 2015, from Parkinson’s disease.
William J. Quinn, whose 40-year railroading career culminated as Chairman and CEO of the Milwaukee Road, died Oct. 24, 2015 at the Glen Care Center in Glenview, Ill. He was 104.
Sasser Family Holdings subsidiary NxGen Rail Services LLC has completed testing of its NxTrack™ automated track inspection system at TTCI in Pueblo, Colo.
Robert “Bobby” Bonds, 61, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., founder of Operation RedBlock, the internationally recognized substance abuse prevention and intervention program for railroad employees, died at his home Oct. 29, 2015 of cancer.
Today, Nov. 10, 2015, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on an amendment for a procedural motion that would provide instructions to the Senate conferees on the Highway Trust Fund Bill Conference Committee regarding double 33-foot trailer trucks. The Railway Supply Institute is urging the industry to contact Senate members immediately and urge them to vote yes on the amendment.
Canadian Pacific Railway has held early-stage merger talks with Norfolk Southern and is raising financing for an acquisition, according to Nov. 9, 2015 news reports citing confidential sources at both carriers. NS stock jumped 11%, the most since 2008, to $88.62 at the close of the New York Stock Exchange, while CP’s 5.7% rally to C$188.79 on the Toronto Stock Exchange was its biggest gain since 2013.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has named Paul Wiedefeld to become its new General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. Wiedefeld is expected to be formally appointed at WMATA’s Nov. 19 board of directors meeting.
California, Illinois and Maryland have ordered a combined 34 Charger diesel-electric passenger locomotives from Siemens Mobility, bringing the number of state Departments of Transportation procuring these units to six and the total number of units to 69. The locomotives will be built at the Siemens rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif.