William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

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.

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Sunday, 25 October 2015 07:55

STM sets capex plan at C$2.1 billion

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.

Thursday, 22 October 2015 07:00

McManus joins Greenbrier in executive role

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.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 13:12

Metrolinx, CH2M turn to Turner & Townsend

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.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 12:02

Take the guesswork out of setting hand brakes

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.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 23:33

Railroads: Leave PTC with the STB

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.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 16:33

PTC: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

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.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 11:16

AllTranstek restructures executive team

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.

Friday, 16 October 2015 15:13

GO Transit gets a facelift

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.

Friday, 16 October 2015 13:13

Power Drives powers up at RI2015

Power Drives, Inc. (PDI), a Buffalo, N.Y.-based supplier of diesel engine heating/idle reduction and fuel filtration systems with manufacturing facilities in Erie, Pa., Falconer (Jamestown), N.Y., and Haiyu Town, Changsu City, China, spotlighted two recently introduced technologies at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis.

Railway Age’s 22nd Annual Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference is coming up soon, on Oct. 28 and 29, in Washington D.C. at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. A 20% discount is now available for all single-person registrations.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 13:00

Amtrak goes to Bermuda (for insurance)

Amtrak has obtained $275 million of insurance protection from PennUnion Re Ltd., an independent special-purpose insurer based in Bermuda.

BNSF and Union Pacific have each moved two of the longest and heaviest unit frac sand trains ever seen in North America. BNSF and short line Southwestern Railroad recently delivered a 150-car train to Rangeland Energy’s RIO Hub near Loving, N.Mex. UP operated a 233-car, DP (distributed power) train out of Mason City, Iowa in late September 2012.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 10:30

UP says “Your Life is Worth the Wait”

Union Pacific has taken a fresh, positive approach to educating the general public about railroad grade crossing safety. Rather than focus on the consequences of driving or walking around lowered railroad gates—death, serious injury—UP, in a new social media campaign, is emphasizing that life, and all its potential, is worth waiting for the brief amount of time it takes for a train to pass and the gates to go up.

Denver’s Regional Transit District (RTD) and Metro Transit in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul have exercised options worth a combined $132.1 million for 34 additional Siemens light rail vehicles.

At Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis, Kevin Riddett of Siemens Mobility shared his views on the marketplace, on a variety of topics ranging from PTC and CBTC to high-speed passenger rail and potential electrification of freight rail corridors, with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono. A video can be viewed BELOW.

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