French Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau Wednesday announced the creation of a transportation company with the objective of promoting the creation of short line freight operations (“opérateurs de fret de proximité,” or OFPs).
Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corp. will work with French national rail infrastructure manager and owner Réseau Ferré de France and development bank la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, as well as local investors.
The short line operating joint venture will promote initiatives and innovations to generate increased railcar traffic. Bussereau, in a statement, said several tools have been put in place to support the creation of the effort, including legislative and regulatory measures.
RDC is a joint-venture partner with operators in South andCentral America, and also operates U.S. short line Iowa Interstate Railroad.
In a transaction valued at $C160 million (US$129 million), GO Transit will acquire Canadian National’s Weston Subdivision for expanded commuter rail service between Toronto's Union Station and regions northwest of the city.
GO Transit and VIA Rail currently operate 48 passenger trains a day over the line, which accommodates GO's Georgetown commuter rail service as well as VIA intercity trains operating between Toronto, Kitchener, and other points in southwestern Ontario. CN operates three daily local freight trains along the corridor.
GO said that by owning the corridor, it will be better positioned to add more infrastructure and expand service. The acquisition aligns with GO Transit's Strategic Plan GO 2020.
"This is a major step forward for future growth and expansion along this already busy corridor," said GO Transit Chairman Peter Smith. "This purchase sets the framework for future GO rail corridor purchases, and we look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with CN."
Under an agreement announced Wednesday, CN and VIA Rail will continue to operate over the line.
For months Minnesota Public Radio has protested the routing of St. Paul’s Central Corridor light rail transit line, expressing concerns about vehicle vibrations and other impacts potentially affecting its broadcasting capability. But MPR and the Metropolitan Council Wednesday announced an agreement to pursue mitigation efforts to address any impact on MPR Broadcast Center in the Minnesota state capital.
For months Minnesota Public Radio has protested the routing of St. Paul’s Central Corridor light rail transit line, expressing concerns about vehicle vibrations and other impacts potentially affecting its broadcasting capability. But MPR and the Metropoli ...
New Class I railroad employment figures released Tuesday by the Surface Transportation Board show that the number of men and women employed to operate trains--the official category is transportation (train and engine)--declined 9.57% to 61,333 between February 2008 and February 2009.
Total railroad employment in that period was down 3.74% to 156,997. Professional and administrative employment was down 1.34% to 13,642.
Four employment categories registered increases during the 12-month period: transportation (other than train and engine), up 6.30% to 7,175; maintenance of way and structures, up 0.31% to 34,390; maintenance of equipment and stores, up 0.07% to 30,322; and executives, officials, and staff assistants, up 0.23% to 10,135.
In mid-February 2009, employment was highest on Union Pacific, at 49,964, followed by BNSF Railway, 38,141; Norfolk Southern, 29,687; CSX, 28,404; CN/GTW, 5,573; Kansas City Southern, 2,917; and Soo Line, 2,411.
Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD) Wednesday said it has signed a contract with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund-Ministry of Finance to manufacture 25 SD70ACS heavy haul AC diesel electric locomotives for Saudi Railway Company (SAR).
The units will serve the nation’s North-South line, carrying minerals on roughly 1,482 kilometers (about 920 miles) of newly constructed track. The locomotives also are capable of operating reliably in a desert environment.
Delivery is scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2010, and will increase the number of EMD locomotives operating in Saudi Arabia to 72.
La Grange, Ill.-based EMD says the SD70ACS is a 4,500 BHP AC locomotive that includes an EMD IGBT AC drive system. This locomotive also features a pulse filtration system and movable sand plows on the pilot and trucks that makes the SD70ACS ideal for the extreme desert environment of Saudi Arabia. These units are equipped with the EMD 710-T1 fuel-efficient diesel engine and the EM2000 microprocessor locomotive control system, as well as the ERTMS/ETCS train control equipment. The units are also equipped with FIRE™ display system.
Crew comfort features that are being built into the locomotive include an isolated cab to reduce noise and vibration, as well as air conditioning, es to make the locomotive a better and safer environment for the crew.
"Saudi Arabia is a key market for EMD in the Middle East region," said Vice President International Sales & Service Albert Enste, in a statement. “EMD is committed to supplying the highest quality products and services to Saudi Railway Co. (SAR), and we look forward to a long lasting relationship between our two companies on future opportunities."
STV Inc. has received the 2009 Henry A. Stikes Grand Conceptor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) North Carolina Chapter. STV, doing business in the Tar Heel State as STV Ralph Whitehead Associates, was honored for its work on Charlotte’s South Corridor Light Rail Transit System (Lynx Blue Line), the state’s first light rail project.
STV played a lead role in the design and construction management of the Blue Line, which began revenue service in November 2007 andis operated by Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). The $462 million, 9.6-mile initial route, part of plans for a larger light rail network, links Charlotte’s southern neighborhoods with the city’s uptown Central Business District.
New York-based STV provided program management support to CATS, full construction management of the entire system, and designed various elements of the program.
ACEC, based in Washington, D.C., represents more than 5,500 firms throughout the U.S. involved in a wide range of engineering. The North Carolina chapter is one of 51 ACEC state and regional councils.
The Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) used by the Surface Transportation Board to determine a railroad's variable costs is coming under new scrutiny. URCS calculates system-average variablecosts for each Class I railroad each year. The data is used in railroad rate cases and other regulatory proceedings.
The STB has scheduled a public hearing April 30 "to determine whether, and to what extent, modifications are needed to account forrecent changes in agency procedures, to improve system outputs, and to furtherthe national rail transportation policy set by Congress."
Intent to participate in the hearing should be communicatedto the board no later than April 23. Notice of the hearing is availablefor viewing and downloading at www.stb.dot.gov under E-LIBRARY.