Peter M. Rogoff, who helped develop funding mechanisms for mass transit and Amtrak as a long-time member of the Senate Appropriations Committee staff, has been selected by President Obama to head the Federal Transit Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In addition to his work on funding initiatives, Rogoff has played a key role in the development of security and safety legislation.
He earned a B.A. degree at Amherst University and an MA degree with honors by Georgetown University.
William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association, said Rogoff "understands what is needed to guide our country's federal policy on public transportation."
"As staff for the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee for 22 years, he is very familiar with transit plans and projects around the country," said Millar. "Additionally, he has worked on numerous transportation appropriation bills and issues as well as on the past three federal surface transportation bills."
Canadian National has developed a "Pipeline on Rail" strategy that the company says could move oil-sands production quickly and cheaply to markets in North America or Asia. CN believes it can offer a price-competitive alternative to conventional pipelines shipping oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Increasing pipeline capacity could cost considerable time and money, making the CN alternative even more competitive, the company says.
CN said that by the end of this year, it will be shipping 10,000 barrels daily from producers whose reserves are now stranded.
"Not enough pipeline capacity exists today to move bitumen (viscous oil-sands production), diluted bitumen, or synthetic crude," said Jim Foote, CN executive vice president of sales and marketing. "We can get their products today to market using the concept of a pipeline on rail and move it directly either into the U.S. or to the West Coast (for export to Asian markets), which creates the flexibility. It means smaller producers are not just tied to a refinery down in Texas."
CN recently acquired the Athabasca Northern Railway linking Edmonton to Fort McMurray, Alta., to tap the oil-sands market more fully. CN plans to deliver the oil-sands production through the use of insulated and heatable railcars or by reducing its viscosity by mixing it with condensates or diluents.
Lake Oswego, Ore.-based railway equipment supplier Greenbrier Cos. Inc. reported a net loss for its second quarter, ended Feb. 28 ,of $6.9 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with earnings of $1.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in the comparable period a year ago. Analysts had expected a loss of 7 cents a share. As a result, the company has suspended its quarterly dividend.
In a statement, Greenbrier said its performance was affected by a deferral of revenue and related margin on a portion of the sale price of certain railcars sold and paid for in full during the period.
Greenbrier’s revenue grew 11% to $287 million during the quarter, helped by increased sales at its manufacturing and refurbishment andparts segments. But its new railcar manufacturing backlog fell 5% to 15,100 units as of Feb 28. Additionally, General Electric Railcar Services Corp., which is scheduled to receive about 79% of the total railcar backlog, has informed Greenbrier that it may substantially reduce, delay, or otherwise cancel deliveries under the contract.
"Greenbrier believes its contract with GE contains adequate protection in the event of an attempted cancellation or renegotiation of railcar deliveries," the company said.
Company CEO William Furman said he did not expect the current economic downturn to reverse in the near future. "Year-to-daterail loadings in North America are down 16.3 %, and it is estimated that about 20%-to-25% of North American railcar fleet is currently idle, as manufacturers worldwide drastically reduce or halt production," he said.
France’s Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP, or Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports) announced Wednesday its decision to award and sign a contract with an Alstom-Bombardier consortium for the supply of 60 MI09 trainsets for the use on Paris' regional rail network (RER).
Pursuant to the contract to be signed, Bombardier will supply the three middle cars of the five-car sets, which will be designed and assembled at Bombardier's site in Crespin in the Valenciennes area. Delivery of the first train is scheduled for December 2010.
In the 1990s through 2000, the same consortium designed and built the MI2N suburban trains, on which this new train is based, with added capacity, higher performance, environmentally friendly technology, andupdated to meet current norms and regulations.
Jean Berge, president of Bombardier Transportation France, said: "Bombardier is pleased to participate, along with Alstom and the RATP, in the development and production of the MI09, a new generation train with many additional features."
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 ...