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.
In reporting weekly U.S. rail traffic as well as volumes for August 2015 and the first eight months of 2015, the Association of American Railroads said that traffic is beginning to show some signs of growth.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is soliciting applications from states for $10 million in competitive grant funding to improve highway-rail grade crossings and right-of-way along routes that transport energy products such as crude oil and ethanol. Funding comes from the STEP (Safe Transportation of Energy Products) by Rail program administered by PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration).
Wabtec Corp. and RPC-UWC (Russian Research and Production Corporation-United Wagon Company) have signed a 10-year agreement for supply of freight car truck castings to the U.S. The joint venture was announced at the Fifth International Fair of Railway Equipment and Technologies EXPO 1520 in Sherbinka, near Moscow.
Norfolk Southern unveiled on Sept. 1, 2015 its new GP33ECO switcher locomotive during ceremonies at Inman Yard in Atlanta, Ga.
Nexala, a subsidiary of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble that supplies rail vehicle lifecycle management technologies, will be deploying its R2M real-time remote diagnostics monitoring system on Irish Rail’s CAF 29000 fleet of commuter rail DMUs.
The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on August 28, 2015 approved an updated set of rules for transporting hazardous materials by rail. Combined with Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) addition of four Federal Railroad Administration-certified rail inspectors, the rules “aim to improve the state’s ability to prevent incidents and respond to them if they occur,” OTC said.
Irving Oil Ltd., operator of Canada’s largest crude oil refinery, has stopped importing crude oil sourced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and shipped by rail in favor of cheaper crudes from such producers as OPEC, “reflecting a shift in crude costs affecting East Coast refiners during a global slump in oil prices,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
On Sept. 3, 2015, CRRC USA Rail Corp. will break ground on a new, 220,000-square-foot facility in Springfield, Mass., where it will manufacture 284 railcars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s “T” system in Boston.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has awarded Siemens Industry Inc. and Thales Transport & Security two 67-month contracts worth a total of $205.8 million to install communications-based train control (CBTC) on a portion of the New York City Transit (NYCT) Queens Boulevard Line (QBL).
Chicago’s Daily Herald Business Ledger has selected Wi-Tronix co-founders Lawrence (Larry) B. Jordan, Jr. and Michael (Mike) Heilmann to receive the 2015 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in the Innovation category.
David Rose, Ph.D., has joined Gannett Fleming as Director of Management Consulting, based in New York City. He will lead Gannett Fleming’s management consulting practice, assisting clients to improve the performance and productivity of their assets. The practice focuses on performance and strategy, asset management and technology and serves, among other sectors, transit and rail.
PTSI Transportation has commenced work on an application of its Route Learning System™ (the digital replacement for its Linear Route Profile™) for NJ Transit’s Newark Light Rail system.
ZTR Control Systems has introduced the NEXSYS™III-i MD Module, a new version of its NEXSYS™ locomotive control system designed for “mother-daughter” (traditionally known as “cow-calf” or “mother-slug”) locomotive applications.
The Board of Governors of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) has appointed Elizabeth (Beth) S. Caruso, CAE, as Executive Director/CEO, effective Sept. 1, 2015.
OnTrackNorthAmerica (OTNA) and Cisco Systems Inc. have signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) on a partnership “to build the next generation of transportation life-cycle cost and benefit measurement tools,” according to OTNA President and Founder Michael Sussman. “The purpose of this project is to develop clear, functional measures for future planning and investing in transportation infrastructure.”
During its 2015 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2015, Caltrain reached a record in total ridership of more than 18.5 million passengers., a 54.8% percent increase from just five years ago, when Caltrain carried 12 million riders.
The Indiana Rail Road (INRD) is participating in Indiana Rail Safety Week, which runs the week of Aug. 23-29, by partnering with the Terre Haute Police Department and Indiana Operation Lifesaver for a grade crossing safety “blitz.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded NJ Transit $71.4 million through the Federal Transit Administration’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program for repair, recovery and resiliency projects associated with Superstorm Sandy.
Hugely popular Pope Francis is visiting the U.S. in September, and Amtrak says its Northeast Corridor services are “uniquely suited” to carry passengers to and from various locations the Pope will be visiting in New York, Philadelphia and Washington and “is taking steps to prepare for an influx of rail passengers” by providing extra trains with added capacity to meet the anticipated demand.
Water Train Inc., an operating unit of Modoc Railroad, has begun solicitations of private persons, companies and municipal governments to participate in the operation of a water test train.