Latest News Continued

Transit officials in Vancouver are evaluating various transit services set up in part to handle Winter Olympic crowds, trying todetermine which pieces should remain in operation to handle the city’s residents and workers.

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TransLink may embed the price of transit into ticket prices for one-day sporting events, such as Vancouver Canucks hockey games, to help maintain the TravelSmart program established during the winter games.

During the 17-day Olympic activities, which formally ended Sunday, record numbers of people used transit, with 280,000 boarding the Canada Line on Feb. 18 alone. During the first week of the Olympics, an average of more than 1.6 million people a day used buses, SkyTrain, the SeaBus, and the West CoastExpress.

But most roads closed during the Olympics will reopen Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly undercutting any trend toward public transit established during the games. "We've had more people using transit for a variety of reasons, including the daily commute," TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said. "It'll be interesting to see if the cars are still there."

--> Transit officials in Vancouver are evaluating various transit services set up in part to handle Winter Olympic crowds, trying todetermine which pieces should remain in operation to handle the city’s residents and workers. ...

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting in Sochi Feb. 27 at which Russian Railways (RZD) President Vladimir Yakunin announced that the company’s investment budget for 2010-2011 is 555 billion rubles (more than $18.5 billion).

Yakunin noted that 78% of the investment budget, 120 billion rubles ($4 billion), will be used to build a road/rail link between Adler and the Alpika-Service mountain resort.

Other investments include 72 billion rubles ($42.4 billion) to buy new rolling stock, plus funds to renew and improve track, bridges, signaling, and communications systems.

Yakunin says Russian Railways has found investment funds "severely restricted" by the world economy and now depends on the willingness of state regulators to approve rate increases.

The presence of Prime Minister Putin at the meeting was seen as an indication of the priority railways command in the national transportation policy.

While the Russian railway budget exceeds those of many systems, it pales in comparison with the $60 billion planned this year by China's railways.

--> Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting in Sochi Feb. 27 at which Russian Railways (RZD) President Vladimir Yakunin announced that the company’s investment budget for 2010-2011 is 555 billion rubles (more than $18.5 billion). ...

Railroad purchases of new wood crossties dropped 5.6% in 2009 to 19.60 million and are expected to decline a further 1.3% this year to 19,37 million, according to the Railway Tie Association's latest forecast.

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Class I purchases will account for a projected 15.234 million wooden ties this year, and "small market" purchases for 4.03 million ties.

"Recent purchases peaked in the period 2006 [20.78 million] to 2008 [20.76 million]," said the RTA. "By 2012, purchases are expected to exceed records of the recent past."

Focusing on "growth path after recovery," RTA said its econometric forecast model predicts a strong market emerging in the next two years, adding: "This may be somewhat surprising, and it must be admitted that timing is far from certain. However, it is also the conclusion reached by the 'Freight-Rail Bottom Line Report' from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials."

--> Railroad purchases of new wood crossties dropped 5.6% in 2009 to 19.60 million and are expected to decline a further 1.3% this year to 19,37 million, according to the Railway Tie Association's latest forecast. ...
28 February 2010

Take a look at this!

In recent years, machine-vision technology has found applications in the railway industry in detectors such as wheel profile measurement (WPM) systems and brake shoe measurement (BSM) systems. This type of technology enhances the inspection process by providing historical data that can be used fo ...

Doublestack clearance projects are central to the Heartland Corridor and Crescent Corridor projects. Domestic intermodal, says Wick Moorman, “is going to be a driver of the industry's growth.”

As job locations and residential housing patterns shift throughout Chicagoland, Metra continues to thrive, and continues preparing to expand, setting an example other regional railroads might envy.

Fulfilling a promise made by President Obama roughly 10 months ago (RA, May 2009, pp. 11-14), the Federal Railroad Administration late last month awarded nearly all of its $8 billion “down payment” in high speed rail funding.

28 February 2010

Don’t jolt me!

Multiple forces in a freight train can damage cargo, at high cost. Modern load securement devices can mitigate them.

Roadway worker protection—preventing casualties or injuries caused by moving trains to maintenance-of-way and bridge workers and signal maintainers operating within their limits of authority—is among the primary requirements of Positive Train Control. Roadway worker limits of authorit ...

The deadline is fast approaching for nominations advocating the stellar short line and regional railroads of 2010; Railway Age is accepting nominations for its annual Short Line/Regional Railroad of the Year competition through Friday, March 5, 2010.

Industry observers, be they suppliers or rail operators themselves, are invited to nominate the short line and/or regional railroad in North America they believe deserves recognition for outstanding performance. Short lines and regionals can nominate themselves. The 2010 winners will be awarded specially designed plaques at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Annual Convention inOrlando, Fla., at ASLRRA’s gala dinner Tuesday, May 4.

Articles describing their achievements will appear in Railway Age’s April 2010 issue, which will be distributed at the show. Railway Age will work with the winners to publicize the awards in online and national media, as well as any in-house websites available.

Submit your entries to: Douglas John Bowen, Managing Editor, Railway Age, 345 Hudson Street, 12th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10014. E-mail: dbowen@sbpub.com. Fax:(212) 633-1863. Entries should contain the name, position, and contact information of the nominator and an approximately 500-word description of the achievement(s) of the nominated railroad. (Longer and short descriptions are admissible; 500 words is only a guideline.) Entry forms are may be obtained from Bowen by fax or e-mail. 

--> The deadline is fast approaching for nominations advocating the stellar short line and regional railroads of 2010; Railway Age is accepting nominations for its annual Short Line/Regional Railroad of the Year competition through Friday, March 5, 2010. ...
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