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.
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.
Bombardier Transportation announced Tuesday that it has won a
major contract, worth $577 million, for an automatic train control
signaling upgrade for London Underground. Bombardier will provide its
CITYFLO 650 ATC system, a communication-based train control (CBTC)
technology similar to that running successfully on the Madrid Metro.
Bombardier said the full scope of the contract is for the signaling renewal
and provision of an ATC system for four sub-surface lines (Metropolitan
District, Circle, Hammersmith, and City).
Bombardier will equip the 68 miles of track (28 miles in tunnels), 113
stations, 191 trainsets, 49 maintenance-of-way trains, and six heritage trains by
2018, followed by a two-year warranty period. The main project office will
be in London, with Bombardier sites in Bangkok, Helsinki, Madrid, Pittsburgh,
and the British cities of Plymouth, Derby, and Reading providing much of
the product supply and associated engineering works.
Andre Navarri, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier
Transportation, commented: “Bombardier's groundbreaking CBTC technology is
installed globally on 13 systems and is proven to significantly increase
capacity and quality of service for our customers. We are very pleased to be
awarded this new contract by London Underground and look forward to working
together on this exciting project to improve the transport network for
hundreds of thousands of passengers.”
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has selected a joint venture of AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) to provide conceptual planning and preliminary design for the $1.4 billion Metro Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project, also known as the Downtown Connector or Downtown Light-Rail Connector. Construction on the connector could begin in 2013 and be completed by 2019, depending on the availability of federal funding. The project envisions uniting disparate segments of Los Angeles’ rapidly growing light rail transit (LRT) network, as well as tying LRT in more completely with Union Station, served by Amtrak and Metrolink trains. (See map below.) The 1.9-mile-long underground rail connection will link the Metro Gold and Blue lines with the new Expo light rail through downtown Los Angeles, enabling passengers to travel from Azusa to Long Beach and from the Eastside to Culver City. The Connector will provide major regional north/south and east/west rail line linkages that will give more transit riders a one-seat, one-ticket ride and offer significant travel time savings. The connection itself will save approximately 20 minutes of time by eliminating line transfers through downtown. The project is estimated to provide access to 90,000 passengers daily, and encourage 17,000 new transit riders by 2035. The Regional Connector will receive partial funding from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by the voters of Los Angeles County in November 2008 as part of the Measure R program, funding transportation improvements totaling $40 billion over a 30-year period. The AECOM/PB joint venture, known as the Connector Partnership, will be responsible for creating an advanced conceptual plan for the project as well as preliminary engineering, with options for design support during construction and system activation. The joint venture will also assist LACMTA with project controls and risk assessment.
AREMA, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, has posted an alert on its home page, warning of a scam involving Railway Interchange 2011. AREMA is participating in the event, set for Sept. 18-21, 2011 in Minneapolis, in conjunction with its 2011 Annual Conference. “We are alerting all Exhibitors and Sponsors of an email, mail and/or phone scam wherein a company is claiming to be soliciting ads or ‘upgraded ads’ for the Show Guide for Railway Interchange in Minneapolis,” AREMA says. “Please be aware that we have not authorized any third party company or persons other than Simmons-Boardman Publishing to solicit ads for this Event. The company doing this unauthorized solicitation is using the name Fair Guide. It may claim to have all of your contact information for the Show. The address on the return envelope is Glendale Heights, Ill., and the other paperwork shows the publisher’s address in Bratislava, Slovakia. “Simmons-Boardman Publishing, the publishers of Railway Track & Structures and Railway Age magazines, is the official publisher of the Event Guide for Railway Interchange 2011.
“If you are contacted, we urge you to end the phone call immediately, delete the email, or discard the mailing and not to provide any credit card/data or secure information,” AREMA recommends.
A similar warning has been posted on the Railway Interchange 2011 website.
Atlanta-based TÜV Rheinland Rail Sciences, Inc. says it has upgraded and moved its Omaha testing and metallurgical analysis laboratory to a new facility in nearby La Vista, Neb., about 12 miles southeast of the company’s previous facility.
The company says the new facility will allow TÜV RSI to continue to offer a range of applied mechanical and materials engineering services, along with additional offerings, including advanced chemical analysis, among others.
“We feel our new lab will provide significant benefits to our customers,” said Gary Wolf, president of TÜV Rheinland Rail Sciences, Inc. “We have moved from crowded, shared space into a new dedicated facility with easier access to major transportation routes, enhanced work-flow paths and upgraded equipment. Our customers will immediately notice our faster turn-around times and the increased services we will provide.” Testing services the laboratory provides include: failure analysis; metallography; non-destructive testing (NDT); SEM and optical microscopy; mechanical (tensile, fatigue, impact) testing; corrosion analysis; and chemical analysis. Advanced chemical analysis services will be offered shortly after the laboratory’s new glow discharge spectrometer is installed, expected within the next two to three months. Additional services offered through this facility include finite element analysis (FEA), on-site testing and data acquisition, mechanical and materials design services, new product development assistance, supplier validation, quality control, accident reconstruction and expert witness testimony. Users of the laboratory’s services typically include: original equipment manufacturers; aerospace, automotive and general industrial manufacturers; materials and component manufacturers; pressure vessel manufacturers; railways and railroad suppliers; and others. TÜV RSI is a subsidiary of TÜV Rheinland North America Holding Inc., itself part of Cologne, Germany-based TÜV Rheinland AG.
Hoping to prompt resolution between CSX Corp. and New York State, the Empire State Passengers Association (ESPA) on Monday declared it supported CSX’s proposed 90 mph speed limit for CSX’s route between Buffalo and Schenectady. New York’s Department of Transportation, in negotiations with CSX to establish higher-speed rail (HrSR) service upstate, has sought a top speed of 110 mph, prompting objections from CSX, based in part on concerns over crew safety.In a statement, ESPA President Bruce Becker said, “The immediate needs of New York state's rail passengers are for reduced trip times and improved on-time performance reliability.” He added, “It is critical that New York state and CSX finalize the agreements necessary to allow the currently funded incremental improvement infrastructure projects to proceed forward as quickly as possible, particularly the vital, 110 mph second main track between Albany and Schenectady.” In response, a CSX spokesman said, “CSX appreciates the comments from the Empire State Passengers Association as we continue to work with the state toward solutions that will provide safe, efficient rail passenger service while ensuring CSX's ability to deliver safe, efficient, green, and economically vital freight rail service to the region.” The right-of-way in question is part of Amtrak’s Empire Corridor, with current top speeds of 79 mph. Amtrak trains on the Empire Corridor south of Albany can reach 110 mph over short spans of the route. ESPA’s Becker said accord on a 90 mph speed limit would trigger needed upgrades along the route, including a third track being discussed by CSX and the state to increase capacity. “That, from the passenger's perspective, would increase reliability,” he said. New York recently received federal funds, reapportioned from Florida’s rejection of high speed rail money, that is target to various portions of the Empire Corridor east of Schenectady, including the second track on the Empire Corridor between Albany and Schenectady, and a fourth track to expand capacity at Rensselaer Station.
Late Tuesday, Amtrak, in a statement, said, “Amtrak has and will continue to work with its partners at the State of New York and the host railroads to provide support and lend its expertise tothe further development of any high speed rail initiatives in the region.”
San Francisco's Transport Workers Union Local 250-A is pressuring MUNI to seek repeal of Proposition G, a voter initiative funding improvements to light rail and bus operations and infrastructure. The union's effort appears aimed at strengthening its bargaining position in upcoming talks. Repeal of the proposition reportedly could jeopardize $2 billion in federal funding for the capital projects involved. Lawyers for the union, which represents roughly 2,000 MUNI rail and bus operators, complained to the Department of Labor earlier this week that the initiative violates a Federal Transit Act guarantee of fair bargaining rights for employees. A union spokesman said labor officials could bar MUNI from receiving federal transit funds until it complies with federal labor standards. Such funds comprise the bulk of many MUNI capital projects.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates MUNI, already faces a $2.2 billion shortfall in its capital budget.