Teck plans during the next few years to increase production at the mines by 50%, and CP said it agreed to enhance capacity to handle the higher volume.
Noting that Teck had won approval from Canadian regulators in 2009 to shift some of its coal traffic from CP to rival Canadian National, Chief Executive Don Lindsay said the company will continue to do so.
Swedish rail company Statens Järnvägars (SJ) was expected Thursday to announce plans to begin high speed rail service between Copenhagen, the Danish capital, and the city of Odense on Funen, Denmark, a core railway stretch for Danish rail operator DSB.
SJ said it plans to operate the route using its high-speed X2000 train and that this was only the first step of a larger market push in Denmark.
Within Denmark, the X2000 is cleared for top speeds of 125 mph, but it will not be able to run that fast in Denmark.
DSB in turn has intensified its activities in Sweden, and currently operates several services within Sweden.
Harsco Corp. Thursday announced the debut of a new logistics super center business concept for the Harsco Infrastructure—Americas region with the launch of its first prototype center in LasVegas to serve the southwestern United States.
The super center model brings together Harsco's rental equipment resources for scaffolding, shoring and forminginto a network of fully equipped, region-level hub locations specificallydesigned by a team of outside industrial supply chain experts to moreefficiently and effectively serve larger geographic areas. The Las Vegascenter, for example, will replace various non-customer-facingfunctions previously done in Los Angeles, Denver, Salt Lake City, andPhoenix.
In addition, the new super centers will feature state of the art technologies such as a world-classwarehouse management system expressly designed to service customersfaster, better, and more efficiently. To ensureseamless continuity of service, customers will continue to be servedlocally by sales, engineering, customer service, and other necessaryresources,including the expedient availability of equipment.
“This is a new way of doing business for us that willdeliver more integrated solutions and greater value to ourcustomers,” said Harsco Infrastructure CEO Ivor Harrington, who joined Harsco inJuly. “Our next phase of implementation will replicatethis model across North America with additional centers in keystrategic locationsin the United States and Canada.
“Our broadly-based, multi-branch model of the past wasright for its time, but today’s climate requires a differentsolution,” said Harrington. “Our intent is not only to change withthe times, but to lead that change.”
Amtrak reached a settlement in a lawsuit with former reservation employees who worked for the passenger train provider between June 2004 and February 2010.
The lawsuit alleged that Amtrak forced them to work through lunches and off the clock. It was settled for $900,000; Amtrak acknowledges no wrongdoing.The complaint originated from within a customer service center in Riverside, Calif.
The 10,000-member International Right Of Way Association has named the Utah Transit Authority winner of its 2010 Infrastructure Project of the Year award.
In announcing the award on Wednesday, the association described UTA’s Frontlines Program of Projects as “one of the biggest, most aggressive and successful rail expansion projects in the country.”
The association noted that earlier this year “Forbes Magazine singled out Salt Lake City as the best city in the U.S. for commuters and credits the state’s investment in transportation infrastructure for the top ranking.”
UTA’s Frontlines Program was No. 1 among the top 10 infrastructure projects picked for recognition. Also on the list is the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority Link Light Rail.
Rae, who moderated, related how FRA is essentially “working in a greenfield site” with its high speed rail development program. “We are looking for consistency,” she said. “We need to build domestic manufacturing capacity as well as human capacity.” Rae referred to HSR and HrSR as “a network of multiple lines connected to other forms of public transportation.”
The perpetually exuberant Jolene Molitoris detailed the Ohio DOT’s ambitious plans for what she calls the “3C and D Project,” an HrSR network connecting Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, “the densest population corridor in the nation without passenger rail service.” ODOT’s short-term goal is implementing 79-mph conventional passenger rail service in the region by 2012, then using this as a base to get to 110-mph HrSR. She noted that the region is home to 220,000 university students located within 10 miles of proposed passenger rail stations. Providing these budding “talented young professionals” with a reliable rail transportation system “will help encourage them to stay in Ohio.”
“We are re-framing our public message on passenger rail to say that transportation must move our economies,” Molitoris said. “The [American Reinvestment and] Recovery Act taught us how to work faster, more collaboratively, more transparently, and more multimodally. Those same lessons will allow us to deliver the high speed and intercity rail network of the future.”
Molitoris also talked about Ohio’s commitment to freight rail, referring to the capital dollars the state has invested in public-private partnerships to build CSX’s National Gateway and Norfolk Southern’s Heartland Corridor.
Florida Rail Enterprise, said Kevin Thibault, is an agency within the Florida DOT created by the state legislature to administer Florida’s HSR program. The first phase consists of 84 miles and five stops connecting a downtown Tampa Multimodal Center to Orlando International Airport. Trainsets will operate at 168 mph, primarily using the median of Interstate 4. “This highway was purposely widened to the outside several years ago to accommodate a future HSR line,” he said. Fifty percent of phase one funding is in place, “and if all the stars align, we will release a Request for Qualification in late November 2010, followed by a shortlist and Request for Proposals in March 2011.” A DBOM (design-build-operate-maintain) contract is to be awarded in late 2011, with construction to commence in 2012.
Texas’s state rail plan is in its early development stages, said Bill Glavin. Texas has neary 10,400 miles of rail lines and 44 freight railroads. Only three intercity passenger trains—Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer, Sunset Limited, and Texas Eagle—operate in the state. The “Texas Triangle”—Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio—is among the fastest-growing population center in the U.S. and is ripe for passenger rail. Projects will be funded through PPPs, Glavin said. He also stressed that the state would take a “do no harm to our freight rail system” approach.
Al Engel opened his remarks by saying that Amtrak “hopes it wil have the opportunity to work with Florida, Texas, and Ohio as an operator.” He then described Amtrak’s long-range vision for Next-Generation High Speed Rail in the Northeast, which he’s named the “3T Corridor” because it “annually generates $3 trillion in economic activity with the largest population density” in the U.S. If all goes as envisioned, Boston-Washington trip times will be reduced to about three hours, “consistent with HSR systems in other nations.” Fully built out in about 30 years, Amtrak’s Northeast services will include Super Express, Regional Express, Shoreline Express, and Keystone Express services.
Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm said Tuesday it has been selected to provide a wireless remote control yard system at Union Pacific’s Englewood Yard in Houston.
The RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System will provide remote control to several GETS HydraSwitch machines. RailComm’s DOC® system will be configured to control all switches individually as well as provide eNtrance eXit (NX) routing functionality. RailComm’s 2.4GHz RADiANT™ data radios will provide a wireless communications network to link the office with the field locations.
The American Trucking Associations has thrown its support to a bill, the Freight FOCUS Act of 2010, which it says would protect “the depleted Highway Trust Fund” by requiring that funding for “critical freight transportation needs come from additional user fees paid by modes that benefit from projects.” Furthermore, the bill makes sure that revenue is distributed according to each mode’s financial contribution to the program, said the truck lobbying group.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.).
“This legislation will go a long way toward addressing critical bottlenecks on our nation's most important highway corridors,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “These chokepoints cost the trucking industry tens of billions of dollars each year, and force trucks to waste a tremendous amount of fuel. With Congresswoman Richardson’s help, we can begin to fix these problem areas, which will reduce shipping costs and lower emissions from all vehicles.”
ATA said it is “aware of other freight proposals under consideration by Congress and we look forward to continuing to work with members and the Administration to come up with the best available solutions to address the nation’s freight transportation challenges.”