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The National Gateway coalition, which includes CSX Corp., Monday announced that it has been honored as “Competitiveness Project of theYear” by the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, an infrastructure identification and development group. The forum's award recognizes the National Gateway as the “project which contributes most to the [North American] region's capacity for global competitiveness.” 

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The $842 million National Gateway public/private partnership also includes several Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states seeking to increase capacity efficiency on freight rail routes between Mid-Atlantic ports and Midwestern markets.

To date, CSX has provided $395 million in funding commitments; state sources are expected to fund $189 million, while $258 million has been requested from the federal government.csx_logo.jpg.jpg

“Today there is an urgent need for strategic investment in transportationinfrastructure,” said Carl Warren, director of strategic infrastructure for CSX Intermodal. “This award is an acknowledgement of the National Gateway’s role in meeting those critical needs.”
 
Warren thanked the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for their leadership in this partnership to enhance the region’s competitiveness. 

--> The National Gateway coalition, which includes CSX Corp., Monday announced that it has been honored as “Competitiveness Project of theYear” by the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, an infrastructure identification and devel ...
Dapco Industries, Inc., Ridgefield, Conn., and Simmons Machine Tool Corp., Albany, N.Y., have signed an agreement to offer Dapco’s Turnkey Ultrasonic Inspection Systems for use with the Simmons Stanray and Hegenscheidt U2000-400 underfloor wheel profiling machines and other Simmons Axle and Wh ...

The Surface Transportation Board has determined that the railroad industry's pre-tax cost of capital for 2008 was 11.75%, slightly higher than the previous year's 11.53%.

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This means there's still a wide gap between the cost of capital and the industry's return on investment (ROI). The STB recently announced that the average ROI in the 12 months ended June 30, 2009 was 8.94%, down from the 9.20% ROI posted in the prior 12-month period.

In the STB's most recent calculation, two railroads earned an ROI that exceeded the cost of capital—Norfolk Southern (10.33%) and Soo Line (CP), 12.09%. The ROI of other Class I railroads ranged from Kansas City Southern's 7.13% to BNSF's 9.69%.

In announcing its new cost of capital determination, the STB noted that it uses the figure "in evaluating the adequacy of individual railroads’ revenues each year" and in “determining the reasonableness of a challenged rail rate, considering a proposal to abandon rail line, or valuing a particular railroad operation.”

--> The Surface Transportation Board has determined that the railroad industry's pre-tax cost of capital for 2008 was 11.75%, slightly higher than the previous year's 11.53%. ...

bombardier-584-web.jpgBombardier Transportation's joint venture, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd., will build 80 ZEFIRO 380 very high speed (236 mph) trains (1,120 cars) for the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR). The contract covers the supply of 20 eight-car trainsets and 60 sixteen-car trainsets; Bombardier's share of the contract is estimated at $2 billion. The first train is scheduled for delivery in 2012.

“The new trainsets will be an integral part of an evolving high speed rail capability in China, which is developing more than 6,000 kilometers of new high speed lines to create one of the most advanced high speed rail networks in the world,” Bombardier said in an announcement Monday. The trains will be based on Bombardier's next-generation ZEFIRO high speed rail technology and powered by the energy-efficient BOMBARDIER MITRAC propulsion and control system.

Bombardier said the trains will also incorporate its advanced ECO4 energy saving technologies to create  “best-in-class energy and operating efficiencies.”

The ZEFIRO 380 trains will be manufactured at Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation production facilities in Qingdao, China. Engineering will take place in Qingdao and at Bombardier centers in Europe, with project management and components provided from sites in Europe and China.

Established in 1998, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd. is a joint venture of Bombardier and CSR Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Ltd. dedicated to supplying passenger rail rolling stock for China. It has delivered more than 1,000 passenger railcars into China since its inception, including a range of high speed trains and high-grade passenger coaches.

Bombardier Inc. President And CEO Pierre Beaudoin commented: "We are very pleased to be delivering leading-edge very high speed rail technology through Chinese expertise and resources. This illustrates the strategic importance of delivering the most advanced rail technology for China from within China."

--> Bombardier Transportation's joint venture, Bombardier Sifa ...
As rail freight traffic rebounds, making sense of “volume volatility” has been difficult, says Dahlman Rose & Co. Director Equity Research and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jason Seidl in his latest weekly analysis ...
Safetran Systems Corp., an Invensys Rail company, has appointed Glenn Sieja Vice President, Projects & Engineering, with responsibility for the strategic direction and daily management of Safetran’s transit project and application engineering organizations both in North America and int ...

Iowa Pacific Holdings says it has filed two TIGER Grantstimulus funding applications, one for each of two short line propertiesSouthwest. Each of the packages, if approved, will dramatically improve freighthandling capabilities and position the carriers to offer long-term,unsubsidized local passenger operations in their respective service territorie,the company says.

IPH seeks funds for improvements to its San Luis and RioGrande Railroad, serving south-centralColorado, including a new inland port facility to transfer products betweenrail and truck, new local passenger operations between local communities, andtrack upgrades to support heavier volumes and higher train speeds for passengeroperations. IPH claims the short line would commit to provide local passengeroperations at its own expense, without subsidy, for 20 years, linking SouthFork, Alamosa, and Antonito, Colo., with four trains per day.

A second short line, Arizona Eastern Railway, in partnership with Arizona’s Department ofTransportation, has developed a proposal to upgrade rail facilities andposition the carrier to divert thousands of truckloads of mining-relatedfreight from the two-lane highways and rural communities of southeastArizona.  Federal stimulus fundsare sought to develop a new rail spur to the Freeport-McMoran Safford minefacility and for new local passenger operations between Globe and Safford,Ariz.,  via the San Carlos ApacheReservation. 

--> Iowa Pacific Holdings says it has filed two TIGER Grantstimulus funding applications, one for each of two short line propertiesSouthwest. Each of the packages, if approved, will dramatically improve freighthandling capabilities and position the carriers to of ...

Garold B. Adams has been appointed executive vice president and Global Business Development manager of Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. (PTG), effective October 1. In his new role, Adams will lead PTG's global sales and marketing program.

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Adams (pictured at left) joined Parsons in 1991 and has held a succession of positions with increasing responsibilities, including manager of PTG’s Transportation Operations sector, manager of the Road & Highway Division’s Western United States sector, manager for PTG’s Southern California operations, and office manager for a former Parsons subsidiary.  His most recent position wassenior vice president and manager for the Road & Highway Division.

“Gary has a diverse engineering background and has held key roles in several of North America’s largest highway corridor design-build projects,” said Tom Barron, current executive vice president and Global Business Development managerof PTG, who will take on the position of PTG President on October 1. “He has made significant contributions to our business, and we are excited to have him serve in this capacity.”

PTG is the primary global business unit of Pasadena, Calif.-based Parsons Corp. Adams is based in Parson’ Washington, D.C., office.

--> Garold B. Adams has been appointed executive vice president and Global Business Development manager of Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. (PTG), effective October 1. In his new role, Adams will lead PTG's global sales and marketing program. ...

Rail carload traffic in the week ended Sept. 19 posted only a single-digit decline--9.6%--compared with the corresponding week in 2008. But the improvement was more apparent than real.

As the Association of American Railroads noted: "While the weekly year-over-year percentage decline was better than for the previous week ending Sept. 12, 2009, down 19.8%, this week in 2008 was impacted by service disruptions associated with Hurricane Ike." Regionally, loadings were down 4.8% in the West and 15.8% in the East.

Intermodal traffic of on U.S. railroads was down 12.4 % from last year. Container volume fell 6.29% and trailer volume was off 35.5%.

While most of the 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year, chemicals were up 17.4%, petroleum products were up 6.7 %, and farm products (excluding grain) rose 3.3%.

For the first 37 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,831,638 carloads, down 18.2% from 2008; 6,936,253 trailers or containers, down 16.8%, and total volume estimated at 1.05 trillion ton-miles, down 17.3%.

Canadian railroads reported carload volume for the latest week down 10.7% from last year, and intermodal volume was down 11.4%. For the first 37 weeks of 2009, Canadian railroads had total volume of 2,235,077 carloads, down 22.8% from last year, and 1,500,252 trailers or containers, down 16.3%.

Mexican railroads reported 10,836 carloads in the week ended Sept. 19, down 0.8% from last year, and 6,223 trailers or containers, down 7.8%. Volume for the first 37 weeks of 2009 was 420,254 carloads, down 14.1%, and 189,297 trailers or containers, down 19.1%.

--> Rail carload traffic in the week ended Sept. 19 posted only a single-digit decline--9.6%--compared with the corresponding week in 2008. But the improvement was more apparent than real.As the Association of American Railroads ...

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System Thursday awarded Siemens Transportation Systems a $205 million contract for 57 light rail vehicles specifically designed to increase consist size and avoid blocking intersections in downtown San Diego. The 60-passenger LRT cars are 81 feet long, nine feet shorter than existing ones, and will be used as part of three-car consists on C Street in downtown without blocking intersections, according to MTS.

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"This is a major purchase of new vehicles and allows MTS to bring the convenience of low-floor light rail vehicles to our entires ystem," said Harry Mathis, chair of the MTS board, citing another customer convenience (while also complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act). "It also marks the beginning of a rehabilitation project for our Blue and Orange lines to significantly enhance our operations and customer experience.”

Siemens will manufacture the cars at its facility inSacramento, Calif, with delivery beginning in late 2011. 

--> San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System Thursday awarded Siemens Transportation Systems a $205 million contract for 57 light rail vehicles specifically designed to increase consist size and avoid blocking intersections in downtown San Diego. The 60-pa ...
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