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.
Regional Rail, LLC, on Friday said it has entered into an agreement with Norfolk Southern Corp. to lease and operate the Class I railroad’s York Industrial Track, which runs from York, Pa., to Stony Brook, Pa. Regional Rail said the line will be operated as part of its subsidiary East Penn Railroad, LLC, which serves southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Kennett Square, Pa.-based Regional Rail filed the notice of exemption with the Surface Transportation Board last week and plans to initiate service on the line on August 1. “This addition to our operations further illustrates our solid relationship with NS which has resulted from our mutually beneficial carload growth and quality service on our existing NS served lines,” said Regional Rail President and CEO Bob Parker.
Regional Rail Vice President Al Sauer said, “The presence of a number of existing customers, along with the opportunity to reactivate rail service to other customers and the ability to provide transload services to non rail served facilities gives us an established base from which to grow and expand the carload traffic on the York Line.” Regional Rail LLC also is the parent company of the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad, LLC which owns and/or operates four rail lines in southeastern New York State.
San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit has hired HNTB Corp. as a program manager to determine plans for an urban rail line. HNTB, with an office in the city, will work as VIA's in-house consultants to determine the potential rider market, route or routes, and whether light rail transit (LRT) or streetcar would better serve the city. VIA has tentatively proposed north-south and east-west streetcar lines through San Antonio’s downtown, and hopes HNTB will help it pinpoint more exact routes.“We're the glue that's going to be responsible for day-to-day focus on these efforts, supporting the staff here,” said Kyle Keahey, HNTB Corp.’s associate vice president and the VIA project program manager. HNTB also will counsel VIA on finding the financial means to build any rail system, something Keahey says must occur before the Federal Transit Administration will consider providing any fiscal support. “As program manager, we will help you find the money,” Keahey said.
San Antonio, population 1.33 million, is the largest city in Texas without an urban rail transit system.
Axion International announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Sicut Holding Ltd. to form a global joint venture for the manufacture and sale of Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) crossties utilizing their respective licenses from Rutgers University.
The new company, to be known as Axion Rail LLC, will be 65% owned by Axion, which is based in the U.S., and 35% by U. K.-based Sicut.
Axion’s current licenses cover markets in North America, South America, Australia, Russia, and a portion of the Chinese market. Sicut is the licensee of patents owned by Rutgers for Europe, India, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and part of the Chinese market.
“We have been working with our partners at Sicut since Axion’s founding,” said Steve Silverman, Axion’s president and CEO. “However, instead of dividing our efforts among the world’s different geographic regions, the time has come to take advantage of our synergies and combine forces to sell our innovative products on a truly global basis.”
Noted railroad author, photographer, and historian William D. Middleton, a contributing editor to the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp. Rail Group publications Railway Age, Railway Track & Structures, and International Railway Journal for many years, died June 11 in Livonia, N.Y. He was 83.
A prolific journalist, Middleton wrote or co-wrote Railway Age’s Urban Rail, Light Rail, and Regional/Commuter Rail Planner’s Guides, which were later consolidated into the magazine’s Passenger Rail Planner’s Guide. He also contributed numerous feature articles covering all aspects of passenger and freight railroading. He was co-editor, along with George M. Smerck, of Transit Connections, which Simmons-Boardman published in the mid-1990s. Middleton also organized a series of rail transit engineering conferences for RT&S.
During his lifetime, Middleton wrote or co-wrote 23 books. Among his best-known works are “The Interurban Era” (1961), “The Time of the Trolley” (1967), “When the Steam Railroads Electrified” (1974), “South Shore: America’s Last Interurban” (1970), and “North Shore: America’s Fastest Interurban” (1968). More recently, Middleton published his personal memoir, “Yet There Isn’t a Train I Wouldn’t Take” (2000), and, with his son William D. Middleton III, a biography, “Frank Julian Sprague: Electrical Inventor and Engineer” (2009). Along with co-editors Smerck and Roberta L. Diehl and guiding an 18-person editorial board, Middleton produced the “Encyclopedia of North American Railroads” (2004, Indiana University Press).
Middleton also was a frequent contributor to Trains magazine, producing more than 80 articles beginning in 1957. His photography appeared numerous times in Trains, Railway Age, and other publications.
Middleton was born in Davenport, Iowa, on March 25, 1928. His father, William, was a National Indian Service physician. His Scottish grandfather, also named William, was the first chief physician for the Rock Island Railroad.
Middleton graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering. He earned a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, then spent 30 years in the U.S. Navy in a career that included service in Korea, Japan, Turkey, and Morocco. After the Navy, he became chief facilities officer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He retired in 1993.
Middleton’s wife of 53 years, Dorothy, died in 2009. He is survived by two sons, Nicholas, in Seattle, and William, in Livonia.
La Grange, Ill.-based Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) on Monday said it has delivered seven Class 77 locomotives to Akiem, the leasing subsidiary of SNCF Geodis. Akiem will lease these locomotives to the cargo operating company Voies Ferrées Locales et Industrielles (VFLI). This contract was made possible through a financing structure organized by the Bank of America, EMD said.
SNCF Geodis will use the locomotives primarily for heavy cargo operations in northern France.
In addition, Electro-Motive Diesel Services International (EMSI), the after-sales service organization of EMD, and Akiem signed a contract for maintenance of the new locomotives. EMSI will also maintain other EMD locomotives obtained by Akiem through earlier mergers.
EMD said the Class 77, or JT42CWRM-100, “is a 3.300 brake horsepower, DC locomotive with French, German, and Belgium homologation and certification. It offers an enhanced gear case, which increases the tractive effort and makes the locomotive a good choice for operating heavy trains. The Class 77 locomotive is also equipped with EMD’s Euro IIIA emissions-compliant 12-710 engine, FIRE™ display system, and EM2000 control system.”
“EMD is proud that Akiem has selected the Class 77 locomotive to expand its fleet. We are confident that Akiem and VFLI will be very pleased with the performance of these locomotives and we look forward to a long-term relationship between our companies,’ said Glen Lehmann, chief marketing officer for EMD’s international operations.
Akiem CEO Fabien Rochefort said, “I consider these two contracts with EMD and EMSI as a new step into Akiem’s developments. This demonstrates to the market the ability and the commitment of Akiem to develop specific offers as required by its customers.”
EMD is a subsidiary of Progress Rail Services Corp.
Jeffrey E. Geary, a 30-year railroad industry veteran who most recently served as vice president and chief operating officer of Florida East Coast Railway and FEC Highway Trucking Services, has been named Amtrak’s vice president of operations. Geary, who will be based at Amtrak’s Consolidated National Operations Center in Wilmington, Del., will have oversight of the transportation, engineering, and mechanical departments. His appointment is effective June 20, 2011.
Geary has extensive freight rail operating experience—an asset considering that, with the exception of the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak operates almost exclusively on freight railroad right-of-way. He started his career in 1978 with Conrail, where he spent 21 years in several operating positions including trainmaster, terminal superintendent, and director of operations for one of the company’s largest divisions. In 2000, Geary joined CSX Transportation as assistant general manager of the Baltimore Division. At CSXT, he completed Six Sigma training and attained Master Black Belt status. From 2005 to 2007, Geary worked for Rail Link in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was responsible for eight short lines and one transload logistics operation. In 2007 he joined Rail America, Inc., as regional vice president, Southeast Region, responsible for eight short line properties. This region had the company’s best financial performance in 2009, and was injury and incident free for 14 months. While at FEC, Geary was credited with improving the bottom line, developing a new safety culture, and increasing ontime performance. He has completed the Executive Management Transportation course at Penn State University, along with media crisis training and10 years of hazmat training.
“Jeff has proven experience in operations, budgeting, forecasting, strategic planning, and performance management,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “This appointment is the latest step made by Amtrak to create a high-performing organization that is aligned to deliver excellent service. Jeff is a highly respected and dedicated railroad professional with a strong desire to increase safety on the railroad for our passengers and employees. His leadership is key for the effective operation of the railroad, which directly impacts the travel experience of our passengers and ultimately the success of Amtrak. His oversight responsibilities are fundamental to the delivery of service including train crews, the locomotives and other train equipment, and the Amtrak-owned infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor and elsewhere around the country.”
“I am excited to join the Amtrak team during this time when record numbers of passengers are boarding our trains,” stated Geary. “Amtrak is a vital component of the national transportation system and we must work to advance safety, improve ontime performance, and enhance the delivery of service for our customers.”
The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) board of directors has appointed Lisa Stabler as TTCI’s new President, effective Oct. 7, 2011. Stabler will succeed Roy A. Allen, who will retire this October.
Stabler has been TTCI’s Vice President of Operations and Training since arriving from BNSF Railway, where she was Assistant Vice President of Quality and Reliability Engineering. While at BNSF, she chaired the ATSI (Advanced Technology Safety Initiative) program, the Association of American Railroads-sponsored industry‐wide initiative “that redefined the way that freight car maintenance is performed,” TTCI said in announcing her appointment. Stabler was also Director of Marketing, Planning, and Administration at Delphi Corporation in Dayton, Ohio.
Stabler holds a Master’s in Science in Mathematics from Wright State University and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. She is certified by the American Society for Quality as a Quality Manager, Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, and Six Sigma Black Belt.
Roy Allen will retire with 40 years of service in the rail industry. During his career, he rose in the ranks from Senior Engineer at the Transportation Test Center (TTC) to Manager of the AAR Applied Technology Division for the R&T Department in Chicago, Assistant Vice President in charge of TTC, and to Vice President of the AAR R&T Department in Washington, D.C. Allen led the successful consolidation of all R&T Department activities to TTC, which led to the formation of TTCI. He is a previous chairman and board member of the International Heavy Haul Association and World Congress on Railway Research. Allen will conclude his career as President of TTCI.
“Under Roy’s tremendous leadership, TTCI has become the gold standard for rail research and innovation around the world,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Lisa brings tremendous talent and expertise—from both inside and outside of the rail industry—that will continue Roy’s legacy of advancing technology that enables rail to be the safest, most efficient, and productive way to move freight and people.”
Bombardier Transportation announced today that it is investing $17 million over the next 18 months in creating a Product Design and Development Center for North America in Saint-Bruno, Quebec, and building a new test track at its manufacturing plant in La Pocatiere, Quebec.
“Facing the challenge of an increasingly competitive market, we are proud to reinforce our presence in Quebec by making major investments to enhance our competitive edge and maintain our leadership,” said Raymond Bachant, President, Bombardier Transportation North America. “The Design Center is a unifying project that will encourage greater involvement by our customers, suppliers, and partners in the research and development of pioneering technologies that could be included in our manufacturing processes.”
Quebec Minister of Transport Sam Hamad, who was present for the announcement, commented: “Already one of our economy’s foremost manufacturers and a leader in the rail industry, Bombardier Transportation adds another string to its bow with this investment. I’m pleased to see Bombardier Transportation position itself at the forefront of the industry’s best worldwide practices and take action to reinforce its competitiveness.”
The new center will consolidate product development for future projects carried out across North America. The new test track will allow engineers to perform qualification tests on the metro cars Bombardier is building for Societe de transport de Montréal. Bombardier said the track will be multifunctional, so that tests can be carried out on all electric multiple-units powered by a third rail, including rolling stock on rubber tires.
RMI, a provider of transportation management software, has announced the
release of ExpressYard Barcode Repair Billing, designed to help railcar
repair shops simplify data capture, eliminate billing errors, and automate
RMI said the ExpressYard Barcode Repair Billing module “dramatically
improves the AAR railcar repair billing process by associating bar codes
with the correct repair data to provide a failsafe means to simultaneously
enter billing repair card line item information and capture inventory part
allocation all with one scan.” It works with both custom and standard
RMI is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group.