The Association of American Railroads said Monday the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has become the association’s newest associate member. SFRTA operates Tri-Rail, the 70.9 mile regional rail line linkingMiami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, Fla.
As an affiliate member of AAR, SFRTA will have access to association services and will be eligible to serve on select AAR committees.
“We are pleased to welcome South Florida Regional Transportation Authority to the AAR family,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Expanding our membership in both the freight and passenger communities is important for the future of the industry as we continue to promote the benefits of moving both people and freight by rail.”
SFRTA was formed in 2003 through legislation passed by the Florida Senate and House of Representatives and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush.
The new authority was created with a vision to provide greater mobility in South Florida, thereby improving the economic viability and quality of life of the community, region, and state. Tri-Rail’s governing board consists of representatives from all south Florida counties.
Bombardier Transportation and two consortium partners announced Monday that they will design, deliver, and install a $1.44 billion, 18-mile BOMBARDIER INNOVIA Monorail 300 system that will serve as an extension of the Sao Paulo Metro Line 2. Bombardier’s share of the contract is $818 million.
Known as Expresso Tiradentes, the line will be able to transport 40,000 passengers per hour per direction between the Vila Prudente and Cidade Tiradentes urbanizations. A journey that now takes almost two hours will be cut to approximately 50 minutes, benefiting 500,000 users daily.
The consortium is led the Brazilian contractor Queiroz Galvao and incorporates construction firm Construtora OAS, with Bombardier as electrical and mechanical equipment supplier. Bombardier will design and supply 17 stations and 54 seven-car trains as well as providing project management, systems engineering and integration, testing, and commissioning for the new trains and signaling.
Manufacture of the initial cars will be carried out by Bombardier in Pittsburgh and subsequent cars will be built in Brazil at Bombardier's plant in Hortolandia. Phase One of the system is expected to open for passenger service by 2014.
The Greenbrier Companies Monday said it has received orders for 3,000 new railcars with an aggregate value of approximately $200 million. The orders announced Monday, which consist of 2,250 doublestack intermodal platforms, 500 covered hopper cars, and 250 railcars of various types for the European market, are expected to be delivered in calendar 2010 and 2011.
Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Greenbrier noted the new orders are incremental to the orders to build 1,700 new railcars and refurbish 1,100 existing railcars announced on August 25.
The company Monday also announced preliminary unaudited financial results for its fourth quarter ended August 31, 2010. Based on the Company’s initial closing, revenue is expected to be approximately $185 million. Greenbrier anticipates a net loss for the quarter, before a special item, to be in the range of $0.15 to $0.20 per share. In addition, the company anticipates earnings of $0.50 per share, related to a special non-cash item for the release of the liability related to the 2008 deconsolidation of its former subsidiary, TrentonWorks.
Net earnings (including the special item) are anticipated to be in the range of $0.30 to $0.35 per share. The preliminary quarterly results announced are subject to further review by Greenbrier and year-end audit, and the company stressed that the results “should be considered preliminary and subject to change.”
In a statement, William A. Furman, president and chief executive officer of Greenbrier, said, “Over the past two months, we have received orders for over 4,700 new railcars and refurbishment work for 1,100 existing railcars, which taken together have a combined value of approximately $330 million. These new orders are expected to have a meaningful positive impact on our financial results in 2011 and reinforce our view that a recovery is under way in the overall North American new railcar market.”
He continued, “Our fourth-quarter financial results were below our expectations, due primarily to our refurbishment & parts and marine operations. New railcar manufacturing and leasing & services exceeded our expectations.”
CN and the Montreal Port Authority have signed memorandum of understanding that they say commits them to “develop a best-practices vision for the gateway’s supply chain, improve productivity, and leverage these gains to increase their transportation market share.” They noted that “the Port of Montreal is a leading gateway for freight traffic moving between North America's industrial heartland and northern European and Mediterranean markets.”
“The agreement flowing from this MOU will fulfill CN’s objective of reaching supply chain collaboration pacts with all of Canada’s major east coast and west coast ports,” said Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer. “We believe these agreements will bolster the competitiveness of these important maritime gateways and enhance the competitiveness of our customers in global markets.”
“There is no doubt that this agreement will help strengthen the Port of Montreal’s position as the market leader in the North Atlantic,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and chief executive officer of the MPA. “It will also confirm the status of the port as an intermodal gateway serving global markets.”
U.S. energy options in the coming decades will need to be plentiful and diverse. Count on the Reading & Northern Railroad to contribute to any solution.
The Maryland Transit Administration has reached a contract agreement with Bombardier Transportation.
In a letter to congressional leaders, the Association of American Railroads has made clear its objections to proposals increasing truckweight limits on Northeast U.S. highways to 100,000 pounds. The exemption is included in the Obama Administration’s continuing resolution proposal.
AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger (pictured at left) said such increases, particularly onInterstate highways in Maine and Vermont, could provide enough momentum to trucking interests to lift the federal truck weight ban elsewhere.
“Not only do extremely heavy trucks today exact a serious wear and tear toll on America’s already overextended highways, but much of the costs to repair roads and bridges damaged by heavy-load trucks is paid by taxpayers and not thetrucking companies responsible for the damage,” said Hamberger.
Calling it the “largest locomotive purchase agreement in the history of Brazil,” Brazilian rail operator MRS Logistica S.A. and GE Transportation announced Thursday plans to deliver 115 AC44i locomotives to MRS. The contract includes an option for 100 additional locomotives.
Both companies made the announcement Thursday at InnoTrans 2010 in Berlin.
Erie, Pa.-based GE Transportation will manufacture the locomotives at the company’s plant in Contagem, Brazil. GE’s plant in Grove City, Pa., will supply key components, including the 12-cylinder FDL diesel engine.
The locomotives will be delivered between 2011 and 2015, the companies said. Ninety units are scheduled for delivery in 2011, including 30 units covered under a previous contract and 60 as part of the newly signed agreement. GE will provide the remaining 55 locomotives between 2012 and 2015. GE says the new locomotives generate up to 15% fewer greenhouse gas emissions while lowering operating costs by approximately 15%. Three AC44i locomotives generate enough tractive effort to replace four older generation locomotives, GE claims.
“GE’s locomotives will be utilized to meet the growing demand for locomotive power in light of dynamic infrastructure development in the years ahead,” said MRS Development Director Henrique Ache Pillar. “We are looking forward to increasing our transportation capacity.” “GE is a global locomotive manufacturer who partners with railroad customers around the world,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Transportation. “We are pleased to serve our customer MRS by providing advanced AC technology that requires less maintenance, reduces fuel consumption, and lowers emissions.”
Amtrak Thursday announced it has hired Albrecht P. Engel to head up its new high speed rail department so that Amtrak can expand its HSR opportunities. Engel, an ardent supporter of U.S. high speed rail, comes to Amtrak from AECOM.
“Engel has more than 40 years of experience in the rail transportation business and over that time has been active in the study, advocacy, and development of high speed rail projects,” said Amtrak. Engel was involved in the launch of the highly successful Acela service on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor 10 years ago.
Engel (pictured at left), currently vice president and high speed rail director with AECOM, also serves on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) board of directors. He also has served as chairman of the High Speed Ground Transportation Association.
“Al has considerable expertise, is a dedicated proponent for public transportation, and shares our conviction that Amtrak plays a vital, leading and necessary role in expanding and operating high speed rail service across the country,” Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman said.
Said Engel in a statement, “Amtrak is an integral part of America’s high speed rail future as highways and aviation networks reach capacity in our urban areas. … I am very enthused to have this opportunity to work for Amtrak and with national and regional leaders to help implement a new balanced transportation vision for the U.S.”