Under a three-year contract valued at approximately $7.2 million, Unitrac Railroad Materials Inc. will supply special trackwork to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Unitrac is a wholly owned subsidiary of Healey Railroad Corp., and a specialty trackwork manufacturer and distributor of new and relay rail.
“Unitrac has supplied crossing frogs under a different contract to WMATA that was also over a three-year period,” said Ray Lambert, president of Unitrac. “This recent award demonstrates a vote of confidence by WMATA in our ability and commitment to provide high-quality specialty trackwork products in a timely manner.”
Scheduled to begin daily service this week between Quincy, Wash., and Chicago is a four-day, door-to-door refrigerated intermodal “Cold Train” container rail and distribution service. The service is a product of Rail Logistics, Columbia Colstor, LaGROU Distribution (Chicago Cold Storage), and the Port of Quincy.
“We already have our new 53-foot refrigerated containers arriving in Quincy and are currently booking loads,” said Steve Lawson, vice president of Rail Logistics, in a statement Tuesday.
“The PNW-Chicagoland Express Intermodal Cold Train Service will provide Washington State produce and perishable shippers with a cost-effective and speedy new shipping option to the Midwest,” said Don McGraw, CEO and owner of Columbia Colstor.
"With fuel prices continuing to be relatively high and with the increasing pressure on shippers to reduce carbon emissions, this new intermodal service will give agricultural and other shippers a fantastic new alternative that is both economical and more environmentally sustainable,” stated Pat Connelly, commissioner, Port of Quincy.
Pat Lombard, the general manager of Chicago Cold Storage (a business unit of LaGROU Distribution), commented that “the Cold Train program will not only enhance efficiencies in refrigerated commerce in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest, but eventually throughout the entire U.S., which will benefit perishable shippers all over the country.”
The Harsco Rail unit of Harsco Corp. has received a new ballast
tamper order from the Brazilian railway market. Brazilian contractor EGESA
Engenharia S.A. will employ the tamper in track construction throughout Brazil,
working on behalf of VALEC, Brazil’s federal railway construction agency. The
new tamper will be constructed at Harsco Rail’s U.S. production facility. Terms
of the order were not disclosed.
Harsco says the laser-guided tamper will be equipped with the
company’s Tie Sensor technology, a computer-aided tie indexing system that
increases productivity by programming the frequency and placement of the unit’s
tamping tools. “When completed and delivered later this year, the new
tamper will join a growing Harsco Rail equipment and support presence in
Brazil,” the company said.” “Harsco Rail is the largest provider of railway
track maintenance of way services and equipment in the U.S. and the second
largest in the world, serving customers in virtually every geographic sector. This
order marks another step forward in the our strategy for expanding our service
and product support within emerging market economies.”
John E. Fenton has been named chief executive officer of Metrolink, succeeding David R. Solow, who stepped down in December. Fenton will assume his role April 16.
Southern California Regional Rail Authority's board Chairman Keith Millhouse said, "With a unique combination of experience operating rail services and serving at the highest level of executive management, Mr. Fenton is well- prepared to ensure passenger safety and service in our complex railroad operating environment.”
Fenton was an operating partner of Miami Beach-based CIH Capital Partners, overseeing plans for acquiring short lines and negotiating with investors and railroad owners. He also served as president and CEO of OmniTRAX and was a vice president for both Canadian National and Kansas City Southern.
Fenton assumes the top spot as Amtrak prepares to operate Metrolink regional rail service in Southern California beginning in late June, as Metrolink puts enhance safety measures into place.
On a visit Friday to Amtrak’s Beech Grove, Ind., shops, where $32 million in stimulus funding has created 108 jobs repairing passenger railcars, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s dedication to creating a new era of fast intercity passenger trains.
LaHood told the assembled workers:
“We don’t know where all the lines are going to go. We don’t know where all the money's going to come from. But the president and his vision and the vice president and his vision for the high speed rail in America is really the opportunity for you to continue to have good work here to make sure we have the equipment so we can implement this program for America.”
Carload traffic on U.S. railroads continued to show “solid signs of recovery” during the week ended March 27, reaching its highest level since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads.
U.S. railroads originated 293,114 carloads during the week, up 16.5% from the corresponding week in 2009, though down 11.6% from 2008. Intermodal traffic, at 210,914 trailers and containers, was up 12% from last year but down 5.3% from 2008.
Total volume for the latest week up to 31.7 billion ton-miles, up 17.4% from last year but down 9.2% from 2008.
Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups posted gains from last year, led by metals, up 63%; waste and scrap, up 37.4%; and metallic ores, up 36.1%. Motor vehicles and equipment traffic was up 28.5%; grain, up 22.3%; coal, up 15.2%; and chemicals, up 14.1%. The only commodity showing a drop was pulp, paper, and allied products, down 11%.
Canadian railroads reported 75,378 carloads for the week, up 24.3% from last year, and 45,647 trailers or containers, up 10.3%. Mexican railroads originated 14,617 carloads, up 26.7% from last year, and 6,608 trailers or containers, up 34.3%.
UP’s No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive “was created as a tribute to the organization’s centennial celebration,” said Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president-Corporate Relations. “It honors Scouting’s 100-year impact on the nation and the many Scouting enthusiasts in Union Pacific’s work force and communities. Union Pacific and the Boy Scouts of America have played leadership roles in shaping America’s history. With UP No. 2010, we are proud to celebrate 100 years of Scouting, progress, and patriotism. No. 2010 will celebrate the BSA’s centennial as it hauls the freight that supports America across our 32,000-mile, 7,000-community network. Because it is one of the newest and most fuel-efficient locomotives, No. 2010 likely will carry service-sensitive freight such as automotive and intermodal.”
“We are deeply honored by the tribute Union Pacific has given to Scouting through the creation of this commemorative locomotive,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our UP employee Scouting alumni base, which has spearheaded the movement to create UP No. 2010. Their efforts mean that for years to come, the locomotive will serve as a reminder of the impact millions of Scouts have had on this country for 100 years.”
No. 2010 is decorated with the national Boy Scouts of America logo; the BSA’s 100th Anniversary logo; the words “100 Years o fScouting,” and ten emblems representing stages of Scouting plus an 11th emblemf or the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. UP has created only 14 commemorative locomotives in its nearly 150-year history.
Photos, from top:
UP No. 2010, a GE six-axle road unit, will celebrate the BSA’s centennial as it hauls freight across the railroad’s 32,000-mile,7,000-community network.
Boy Scout Peter Barber spoke to the crowd about earning the railroading merit badge earlier this year. Seated behind, from left, are Bob Turner, senior vice president-Corporate Relations, Union Pacific; Bob Mazzuca,chief scout executive-BSA; Tom Varnell, president and scout executive-BSA SamHouston Council, and John Gottschalk, national volunteer president-BSA. No tpictured is Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County, Tex.
Bob Turner, senior vice president-Corporate Relations, Union Pacific, presents gifts of appreciation to several UP employees who helped with the development and unveiling of UP No. 2010. From left are Wayne Huddleston, director-Records and Mail Management, Omaha, Neb.; Charles Fennen, manager-Network Planning and Operations, Omaha, Neb.; Stuart Schroeder, dispatcher, Spring, Tex.; and Brian McGavock, general superintendent-Transportation, Spring, Tex.
U.S. railroads reported 144 train accidents in January, down 26.9% from the 197 accidents recorded in January 2009, according to a preliminary report released March 31 by the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis.
Derailments declined 27.1% to 102, and collisions were down 82.4% to three. The number of yard accidents dropped 28.6% to 65.
Taking exposure to risk into account, the rail accident rate was down 23% in January from January 2009, and the yard accident rate dropped 20.7%.
There were 43 reported fatalities in January, an increase of 7.4% from January 2009. Reversing a long downward trend, trespasser fatalities increased 33% to 24. Continuing a trend, rail-highway crossing fatalities dropped 5.6% to 17. Two employee fatalities were recorded, compared to four in January a year ago.