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.
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.
Board members expressed sympathy to objections by Federal Way that LRT’s arrival would be delayed from 2023 to as late as 2040. “The goodnews for Federal Way is I think we’re going to get there,” said board member and Sumner, Wash., Mayor Dave Enslow, although the mayor added, “I’m not exactly sure when.”
Examining an alternate route to Federal Way—elevated lightrail along Interstate 5 instead of state Route 99—could take a year, said Sound Transit planner David Beal.
Board Chairman Aaron Reardon said Sound Transit will try towork with Federal Way as best as it can and as Sound Transit’s finances will permit.
The White House on Thursday began unveiling what it said would be “hundreds of regulatory changes that could save businesses billions of dollars and tens of millions of hours of work.”
The proposals reduce costs while “maintaining the critical health and safety protections that Americans deserve.”
The White House announcement led the Association of American Railroads to issue the following statement from President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger:
“We are pleased to see the Administration continues to move forward with its review of federal regulations that stymie U.S. economic recovery and future growth. AAR has been working with the Federal Railroad Administration on its review of various rules, including implementation of positive train control (PTC) technologies as mandated by the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act.
"In March 2010, AAR on behalf of its member railroads filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to change certain aspects of the PTC regulations. On March 2, 2011 the parties asked the court to put the suit on hold while FRA agreed to undertake a review of its final rule. The D.C. Circuit granted the motion.
"A major issue is the scope of the PTC mandate. For example, while Congress clearly stipulated that PTC be installed on main lines used to transport passengers and TIH as of Dec. 31, 2015, FRA required PTC to be installed on lines used to transport passengers and TIH in 2008. This seven-year difference in implementation dates substantially affects the cost—according to AAR estimates by more than $500 million. AAR also estimates that at least 10,000 miles of track that saw TIH movements in 2008 would no longer be used for such movements by Dec. 31, 2015."
Bombardier Transportation has signed 10-year contract valued at $165 million with Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport to continue operating and maintaining the airport’s automatic people mover system. Bombardier received an order for the elevated dual-lane guideway system in 2000.
Known as Skylink, it connects Terminals A, B, C, D. and E. “Since it opened in 2005, the Skylink people mover system has helped transform DFW into one of the best connecting airports in the world by offering fast and easy access between all five of our terminals,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport.
“Skylink has dramatically improved the passenger experience at DFW, and we are truly pleased to continue our long-term partnership with Bombardier for the operations and maintenance ofthe Skylink system,” Fegan said.