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 Toronto Transit Commission board of directors has voted unanimously to sue Bombardier Transportation for at least $50 million for failure to deliver new streetcars on time, and without defects, according to an Oct. 30, 2015 report in the Toronto City News.
The rail industry’s frenzied push to extend the Congressionally imposed deadline for implementing Positive Train Control—one of the largest unfunded mandates ever foisted upon a U.S. industry—finally came to fruition on Oct. 29, 2015.
The U.S. Senate on Oct. 28, 2015 confirmed Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg as the agency’s official head. Her appointment was simultaneous with the Senate’s vote passing H.R. 3819, which extended transportation funding for three weeks as a stopgap measure, and also extended the deadline to implement PTC until at least year-end 2018.
The Association of American Railroads on Oct. 27, 2015 awarded the 2015 Professional Environmental Excellence Award, “the highest honor for environmental professionals in the railroad industry,” to CSX’s Raghu Chatrathi, one of eight nominated.
The House of Representatives on Oct. 27, 2015 approved H.R. 3819, The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, legislation that funds and extends the authorization for federal highway and transit programs through Nov. 20, but more important, extends the deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control by at least three years. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has two days to consider it—with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) vehemently opposed.
E. Virgil Conway, who served as New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and as a member of the MTA Board, died Oct. 21, 2015, in Southampton, N.Y. He was 85.
House Republican leaders on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 unveiled a stopgap bill, H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, which would extend federal transportation funding through Nov. 20 in order to prevent a Highway Trust Fund shutdown. H.R. 3819 includes language for a PTC deadline extension identical to that in H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, passed Oct. 22 by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Société de transport de Montréal (STM) on Oct. 23, 2015 announced a three-year capital expenditures program valued at more than C$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion). The plan outlines spending from 2016-2018 on those investments needed to upgrade or replace equipment and infrastructure approaching the end of their service life in the next few years.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Oct. 22, 2015 unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763). Among the STRR Act’s numerous provisions is a minimum three-year extension of the looming PTC deadline.
Buffeted by decreases in operating income and revenue and business volumes compared to the prior-year quarter, Union Pacific still managed to post an all-time quarterly record operating ratio of 60.3% in 2015’s third quarter. A huge decrease in average quarterly diesel fuel costs—$1.81 per gallon, a whopping 40% lower than in third-quarter 2014—was the determining factor.
The Greenbrier Companies on Oct. 22, 2015 appointed veteran rail equipment finance executive Victoria McManus Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer, a new position. McManus served as a member of Greenbrier’s Board of Directors since 2009; she resigned from that position to assume her new role.
As part of ongoing work to improve Chicago Union Station, Amtrak, Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have launched several initiatives aimed at advancing iconic station’s master redevelopment plan.
Metrolinx, the agency that oversees most public transportation in Ontario’s GTA (Greater Toronto Area), and environmental and engineering consultant CH2M have selected global program management and construction consultancy Turner & Townsend to support GO Transit’s Regional Express Rail (RER) electrification program.
The newly patented Hand Brake Torque Indicator (BTI) from CMN Components Inc., a nationwide railc ar parts supplier, is a torque indicating device that directly replaces traditional vertical railcar hand brake wheel and hub assemblies. It was introduced at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis.
Major railroads on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Chemistry Council and other trade associations seeking to prevent the railroads from suspending service for shipments of TIH (toxic-inhalation hazard) commodities if Congress doesn’t extend the Dec. 31 PTC implementation deadline.
Norfolk Southern on Oct. 20, 2015 said, effective Dec. 1, 2015, it will no longer accept shipments of Poisonous-Inhalation-Hazard (PIH) commodities, and that passenger trains operated by Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express and Metra will be prohibited from operating on NS after Dec. 31.
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee has passed H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, commonly referred to as the “Highway Bill.” Buried deep within the document (p. 504) is language with provisions to extend the PTC deadline to Dec. 31, 2018, with up to 24 months of additional extensions granted by the FRA on a case-by-case basis.
AllTranstek LLC, North America’s largest commercial rail transport management and consulting firm, has undergone several organizational changes.
Augsburg, Germany-based Kontron, a supplier of ECT (embedded computing technology) and an IoT (Internet of Things) consultant, showcased its line of standards-based transportation computers at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis.
Up until now, GO Transit’s Bombardier Transportation BiLevel cab cars have been identical in appearance to their companion trailer coaches, giving the appearance that the train is travelling “backwards” when operating cab car-forward, by some observer accounts. That is beginning to change.