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.
It takes tenacity—and lots of capital—to keep one of the nation’s largest rail transit systems rolling.
Rep. Reid Ribble’s (R-Wisc.) proposed amendment to H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, which would allow heavier trucks on the nation’s highways “will cost taxpayers billions of dollars in damaged roads and bridges while further straining already depleted federal coffers,” said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger. “The amendment should be parked.”
The U.S. House of Representatives, which I have grown fond of calling “The Society for Attaching Things to Other Things,” is scheduled to consider the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (a.k.a. the “Highway Bill”), H.R. 3763, and it has roughly three weeks to do something with it before H.R. 3819, the temporary extension for transportation funding, expires on Nov. 20.
The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) reported on Oct. 30, 2015 that an extension of the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation Investment Act, more commonly referred to as the 45G Tax Credit, now has 51 Senate sponsors, a majority. The House legislation, H.R. 721, secured a majority of 218 co-sponsors some months ago and currently has 246 sponsors. The credit, in place since 2005, expired on Dec. 31, 2014.
Twenty-five delegates to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Eastern Region Meeting in Erie, Pa., took advantage of an opportunity spend an afternoon touring the manufacturing facilities of Power Drives, Inc. (PDI), a supplier of diesel locomotive idle reduction technologies.
The National Railroad Hall of Fame has inducted Edward Gowen Budd, founder of the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Co. in Philadelphia in 1912. Bombardier Transportation, which acquired the Budd Co.’s passenger railcar designs and related assets of its mass transit equipment division in 1987, accepted the award on Edward Budd’s behalf during an Oct. 27, 2015 ceremony at St. Louis Union Station.
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Oct. 30, 2015 reported record financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full year ended Aug. 31, 2015.
Take a wild guess: Since the turn of the century, what nation has opened more new light rail and streetcar systems than any other on earth? Germany? Nein. Italy? No. China? 否. France? Non. Russia? Нет. Japan? いいえ. IThe Netherlands? Nr. It’s actually (drumroll please) . . . . . the United States of America.
The Toronto Transit Commission board of directors has voted unanimously to sue Bombardier Transportation for at least $50 million for failure to deliver new streetcars on time, and without defects, according to an Oct. 30, 2015 report in the Toronto City News.
The rail industry’s frenzied push to extend the Congressionally imposed deadline for implementing Positive Train Control—one of the largest unfunded mandates ever foisted upon a U.S. industry—finally came to fruition on Oct. 29, 2015.
The U.S. Senate on Oct. 28, 2015 confirmed Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg as the agency’s official head. Her appointment was simultaneous with the Senate’s vote passing H.R. 3819, which extended transportation funding for three weeks as a stopgap measure, and also extended the deadline to implement PTC until at least year-end 2018.
The Association of American Railroads on Oct. 27, 2015 awarded the 2015 Professional Environmental Excellence Award, “the highest honor for environmental professionals in the railroad industry,” to CSX’s Raghu Chatrathi, one of eight nominated.
The House of Representatives on Oct. 27, 2015 approved H.R. 3819, The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, legislation that funds and extends the authorization for federal highway and transit programs through Nov. 20, but more important, extends the deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control by at least three years. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has two days to consider it—with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) vehemently opposed.
E. Virgil Conway, who served as New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and as a member of the MTA Board, died Oct. 21, 2015, in Southampton, N.Y. He was 85.
House Republican leaders on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 unveiled a stopgap bill, H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, which would extend federal transportation funding through Nov. 20 in order to prevent a Highway Trust Fund shutdown. H.R. 3819 includes language for a PTC deadline extension identical to that in H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, passed Oct. 22 by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Société de transport de Montréal (STM) on Oct. 23, 2015 announced a three-year capital expenditures program valued at more than C$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion). The plan outlines spending from 2016-2018 on those investments needed to upgrade or replace equipment and infrastructure approaching the end of their service life in the next few years.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Oct. 22, 2015 unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763). Among the STRR Act’s numerous provisions is a minimum three-year extension of the looming PTC deadline.
Buffeted by decreases in operating income and revenue and business volumes compared to the prior-year quarter, Union Pacific still managed to post an all-time quarterly record operating ratio of 60.3% in 2015’s third quarter. A huge decrease in average quarterly diesel fuel costs—$1.81 per gallon, a whopping 40% lower than in third-quarter 2014—was the determining factor.
The Greenbrier Companies on Oct. 22, 2015 appointed veteran rail equipment finance executive Victoria McManus Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer, a new position. McManus served as a member of Greenbrier’s Board of Directors since 2009; she resigned from that position to assume her new role.
As part of ongoing work to improve Chicago Union Station, Amtrak, Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have launched several initiatives aimed at advancing iconic station’s master redevelopment plan.