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.
The North Central Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority (NCMRRA) on July 30, 2015 completed its acquisition of Grenada Railway, LLC and signed a 15-year lease agreement with a subsidiary of Iowa Pacific Holdings to operate and develop new business on the line.
Norfolk Southern operated its Whistle-Stop Safety Train in North Carolina and South Carolina the week of July 27, 2015 “to remind motorists and pedestrians to be safe and alert when around railroad tracks and trains.”
Midwest Terminals, a full-service cargo, bulk, ballast and transloading operator with facilities in Toledo and Cadiz, Ohio, has opened MWT Railcar Repair Shop, a new freight car repair facility.
MWT Railcar Repair Shop is located on 175 acres in Ironville, Ohio, near the Port of Toledo and is serviced by Norfolk Southern. Services include railcar inspection and assessment, slack adjusters (MA156), unit train inspections and repairs, railcar general repair “in less than 85 hours,” in-house yard switching with two GP9 and locomotives and a Plymouth yard engine, off-lease inspection, overcoating and stenciling, and on-site car scrapping.
The facility is equipped with 20,000 feet of track, 18,000 square feet car shop with 40 feet of clear height, a 25-ton overhead crane, and a delivery line with two NS switches per week
that interchanges with CSX, CN, BNSF and Wheeling & Lake Erie. The shop features AWS D15.1-certified welders, in-house certified welding inspectors and NDT (non-destructive testing) Level II technicians, electronic estimate submittals, AAR electronic billing, and air brake testing. The shop’s Maintenance ID is MWTT; the Company ID is C701.
Bakken crude oil hauled in unit trains may disappear by 2017, according to an analysis conducted by RBN Energy LLC.
Munich, Germany-based Siemens and Montreal, Canada-based Bombardier are engaging in preliminary talks to merge their rail businesses, according to a report in the July 29, 2015 edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Florida East Coast Industries subsidiary Flagler Global Logistics on July 27, 2015 broke ground on the new Titusville Logistics Center, Port Canaveral, Fla.’s first multimodal inland port facility. When complete, the center will accommodate up to 2.9 million square feet of industrial development, “offering flexible warehouse and distribution options with multi-modal transportation connections.”
Florida’s Tri-Rail regional/commuter rail system on July 24, 2015 placed its first bicycle car, a specially equipped Bombardier bilevel trailer coach, in service.
“Short-term pressure,” in the words of President and CEO Jim Squires, contributed to Norfolk Southern on July 27, 2015 posting second-quarter 2015 financials with significant declines in net income, operating revenues and earnings per share, and an operating ratio that rose 350 basis points.
Wabtec Corp. on June 23, 2015 reported record results for second-quarter 2015.
The Sunday, July 26, 2015 Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have not one, but two CSX-primary-sponsored Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusions running: The familiar blue and gold “Play It Safe Around Railroad Tracks” No. 34, driven by 22-year-old Brett Moffitt, and the new “FFA (Future Farmers of America) + CSX Living to Serve” No. 38, with David Gilliland at the wheel.
Worldwide rail infrastructure and maintenance firm Harsco Rail, a division of Harsco Corp., will move all its technology products and services under the Protran Technology brand, including Zeta Tech, the company announced on July 22, 2015.
Railroads that are revenue adequate and earn their cost of capital should not be punished by capping their shipping rates, which would discourage the substantial and mostly private investment in the nation’s critical rail transportation infrastructure, CSX Executive Vice President and CFO Fredrik Eliasson told the Surface Transportation Board at a July 22 hearing.
The Senate Finance Committee on July 21, 2015 met to debate S. 637, legislation put forward by Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to extend expiring tax credits, including the Section 45G Short Line Tax Rehabilitation railroad track maintenance credit. 45G has been publically endorsed by 38 Senators who have cosponsored S. 637, a bill by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to extend the credit.
Testifying at a July 22, 2015 Surface Transportation Board hearing on railroad revenue adequacy, the Association of American Railroads, executives from its member railroads and economic experts urged federal regulators “to beware of upending numerous national economic goals” if they choose to pursue re-instituting revenue caps on freight rail companies.
AECOM has appointed Diana C. Mendes, AICP, as director of transit/rail, Design and Consulting Services, Americas.
The Federal Railroad Administration on July 22, 2015 sent a reminder to railroads transporting crude oil that the Emergency Order issued May 7, 2014 (Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0067) requiring them to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) of the expected movement of Bakken crude oil trains through individual states and tribal regions remains in effect and “will be made permanent,” as previously announced.
Canadian Pacific Railway on July 21, 2015 posted its highest-ever net income and lowest-ever operating ratio for a second quarter.
A revenue decline in all but one commodity group, including a precipitous drop in energy revenue, resulted in a difficult second-quarter 2105 for Kansas City Southern, the railroad reported on June 17, 2014.
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) on July 11, 2015 opened a new dispatch center equipped with Wabtec Railway Electronics TDMS (Train Management Dispatching System) technology, which is being utilized to assist FEC train dispatchers in managing CTC (centralized traffic control) and TWC (track warrant control) across FEC’s 351-mile system.
Facing an approximate $56 million budget gap for its 2016 fiscal year, New Jersey Transit’s Board of Directors on July 15, 2105 adopted a FY2016 operating budget and capital program totaling $4.27 billion, and a fare and service plan that includes an average 9% fare increase.