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 first annual Rail Insights conference, which kicks off June 17 at the Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, will feature several prominent people in rail industry leadership positions who, with Railway Age’s experienced team of editors, will engage in an interactive dialogue to explore the challenges, issues and trends affecting the North American rail market.
Following the June 2, 2015 oversight hearing of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on Amtrak’s May 12 fatal derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 (which according to many observers had very little to do with discussing the accident itself and its possible cause—see David Schanoes’ blog), Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger commended Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman “for reinforcing his passenger railroad’s firm commitment to safety.”
Norfolk Southern’s Bellevue, Ohio yard, the largest classification yard on the NS system, will be renamed “Moorman Yard” in honor of Charles W. “Wick” Moorman, who retired June 1, 2015, as CEO after a 45-year career and has assumed duties as Executive Chairman of the railroad’s board of directors.
Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) is expanding its intermodal rail service into Central Florida to include next-day service to Fort Pierce on weekends. Previously, FECR provided next-day service to Fort Pierce six days per week.
MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco has announced his retirement, effective Aug. 1, 2015. In his time as president, Bianco “transformed the agency’s organizational culture to align management strategies, enhance safety and improve customer service,” the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority noted.
The Surface Transportation Board has announced the speakers for the Board’s June 10, 2015 public hearing, Rail Transportation of Grain, Rate Regulation Review, Docket No. EP 665 (Sub-No. 1), to explore the issue of making the Board’s rate-case process “more accessible to railroad shippers of grain.”
In reporting weekly U.S. rail traffic, as well as volumes for May 2015 and the first five months of 2015, the Association of American Railroads revealed that U.S. carload traffic in May dropped nearly 10%, while intermodal continued to beat last year’s numbers, with a gain of nearly 4% for the month.
At Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, Norfolk Southern dedicated its latest commemorative locomotive, an SD60E painted in a vibrant red, white and black livery with gold accents and insignia recognizing police, fire, and emergency services, honoring first responders. Numbered 9-1-1, the locomotive will enter general revenue service on NS’s 22-state network.
The Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) says it has moved to intervene in pending litigation in three federal courts to support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recently issued Final Rule covering transportation of flammable liquids by rail.
Following Amtrak’s tragic wreck of Northeast Regional train 188, the news media, as expected, sprung into action, filling the airwaves and cyberspace and newspapers with speculation, analysis, sensationalism—and even some accurate, straight and unbiased reporting, which doesn’t occur too often where railroads are involved. The dumbest thing that aired was an “investigative report” conducted by CBS-2 New York in which the reporter, using a cell phone app and a radar gun, clocked the speeds of NJ Transit commuter trains and, without consulting an employee timetable, said they were going too fast.
In 2013, the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M) substantially improved its locomotive fleet by acquiring three EMD SD70AC3 road units. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on May 29, 2015 issued a $6.8 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to the A&M for refinancing the locomotives.
John Harrison Marino Sr., 76, career railroader, professional engineer and co-founder of RailAmerica, died May 19, 2015, at home.
The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has appointed long-time ASLRRA contractor and exhibition manager Kathy Keeney as Vice President, Membership & Exhibit Services.
For the week ending May 23, 2015, U.S. rail traffic dipped nearly 3%, with a gain in intermodal only partially offsetting a sharp decline in carload traffic. The same held true for combined North American traffic for U.S., Canadian and Mexican carriers. U.S. traffic was relatively flat for the year’s first 19 weeks of 2015.
In the wake of the May 12, 2015 derailment in North Philadelphia of Amtrak Northeast Regional train 188, which claimed eight lives and caused more than 200 injuries, Amtrak will install inward-facing video cameras in its fleet of new Siemens ACS-64 locomotives in service on the Northeast Corridor by the end of 2015. All locomotives yet to be delivered under the 70-unit order will have the equipment installed before they go into service.
Parsons Corp. has appointed of Jannet M. Walker as Vice President and Deputy Eastern Sector Manager of the company’s Rail and Transit Systems Division. She will be based in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced the 2014 recipients of the Holden-Proefrock Award, Non-Accident Release (NAR) Grand Slam Award, and Perfect Game Award. In addition, TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) announced its National Achievement Awards. The awards were presented at the 28th Annual AAR/BOE (Bureau of Explosives) Hazmat Seminar in Addison, Tex.
U.S. Class I railroads originated 113,089 carloads of crude oil in the first quarter of 2015, down 17,982 carloads or 13.7% from the fourth quarter of 2014, the Association of American Railroads noted as it reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 16, 2015.
CBS News legends Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly, Charles Kuralt and Walter Cronkite must be turning over and hurling in their graves.
Union Pacific has awarded a contract to RailComm to replace a legacy hardwired derail control system with an automated Domain Operations Controller® (DOC®) proprietary yard control application at its intermodal facility in Long Beach, Calif. The system will expand automation to all tracks in the facility.