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Siemens Mobility said Thursday that it’s ready to expand its manufacturing plant at Sacramento to meet U.S demand for high speed trains and associated rail infrastructure technologies. Specific actions include the now-completed purchase of 20 acres of land adjacent to its existing 34-acre light rail vehicle manufacturing facility in Sacramento. Power supply will also be added from renewable energy sources.

siemens-velaro.jpg“We applaud the Obama Administration's commitment to building America’s high speed rail system. Siemens is ready to not only bring its proven high speed train technology to the U.S. market, but also to build the systems right here in the United States,” said Oliver Hauck, president of Siemens Mobility in the U.S.

“Siemens makes a line of trains that run up to 220 mph that are currently operating in Germany (pictured, the Velaro), China, Russia, and Spain,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “These trains are a match for the systems proposed for California and Florida.” Siemens also produces a line of trains that operate between 110 mph and 125 mph that it saidwould fit the requirements of higher speed rail (HrSR) on existing freight/passenger corridors, such as in the Midwest.

“We can also design and implement rail automation and electrification equipment to move high speed rail systems safely, efficiently, and with as little impact on the environment as possible,” said Hauck.

Siemens says the Sacramento facility “is the only permanent LRV manufacturing facility in the U.S.” Siemens employs more than 700 people in this facility, which recently underwent a $26 million expansion (see aerial photo with diagram). The company is also expanding its solar energy system, doubling the capacity from one megawatt to two full megawatts, “which will meet nearly all of the factory’s current power needs and a portion of those required for the manufacture of high speed trains.”

 

siemens-mobility-aerial.jpg“Siemens is the market leader for LRV production in North America,with half the market share for those currently being built,” the company said. “Additionally,Siemens manufactured one-third of the cars currently in use in 13 cities,including Denver, Charlotte, San Diego, and Portland.”  Siemens also announced last month thatit would lead the consortium involved in the $321 million upgrade of the PortAuthority of New York and New Jersey’s PATH rapid transit system’s signalingand train control system with CBTC (communications-based train control).

--> Siemens Mobility said Thursday that it’s ready to expand its manufacturing plant at Sacramento to meet U.S demand for high speed trains and associated rail infrastructure technologies. Specific actions include the now-completed purchase of 20 acres of land adjacent ...

Trinity Industries, Inc. said that during the fourth quarter of 2009, TrinityRail® shipped approximately 1,350 railcars and received orders for approximately 510 railcars. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, TrinityRail® shipped approximately 9,100 railcars. On Dec. 31, 2009, its backlog totaled approximately $195 million, representing 2,320 railcars.

The RailcarLeasing and Management Services Group reported fourth-quarter revenues of $87.1million and operating profit of $30.8 million. Trinity Industries Leasing (TILC) had approximately 50,090 railcars in its fleet on Dec. 31, compared to TILC’s 47,850 cars on Dec, 31, 2008. Lease fleet utilization rose to 97.8% as of Dec. 31, 2009, compared to 97.2% as of Sept. 30, 2009.

Trinity Industries, which also operates Inland Barge, Emery Equipment, and Construction Products groups, had net income of $14.6 million, or $0.19 per common diluted share for the fourth quarter. Net income for the same quarter of 2008 was $43.3million, or $0.54 per share.

For the year ended Dec. 31, Trinity reported a net loss of $137.7 million, or $1.81 per common diluted share—results that Trinity said “include an after-tax charge of $243.3 million in the second quarter for the impairment of goodwill related to its rail businesses.” Net income was $105.6 million, or $1.33 per common diluted share, excluding the special charge. Net income for 2008 was $280.9 million, or $3.45 per common diluted share.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $508.2 million, compared with revenues of $883.8 million for the same quarter of 2008. Revenues for the year ended Dec.31, 2009, were $2.6 billion, compared to $3.9 billion in 2008.

“Despite a challenging year, our businesses did a good job of remaining flexible and making adjustments as demand shifted and changed,” said Timothy R. Wallace, Trinity's chairman, CEO, and president. “Our manufacturing flexibility, backlogs, and strong liquidity proved to be critical assets as we navigated through the downturn in 2009. I am pleased with the strength of our liquidity at the end of the fourth quarter. We had $681 million in unrestricted cash and short-term marketable securities, which contributed to a total liquidity of$1.35 billion as we ended the year.”

 

--> Trinity Industries, Inc. said that during the fourth quarter of 2009, TrinityRail® shipped approximately 1,350 railcars and received orders for approximately 510 railcars. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, TrinityRail® shipped approximately 9,100 ra ...

Atlanta-based RMI announced that the South Carolina Public Railways (SCPR) has decided to implement RMI’s RailConnect® Transportation Management System (TMS). SCPR also plans to implement RMI’s mCrew module forremote train crew reporting, and ShipperConnect® to provide its customers with real-time information on their shipments.

“By implementing the advanced features of RailConnect TMSsuch as mCrew and ShipperConnect, our train crews, managers, and customers will all have more timely information to support operating decisions,” said SCPR President Jeff McWhorter.

SCPR is a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce and operates the Port Terminal Railroad, which provides switching services to terminals of the State Ports Authority, interchanging with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern; and the East Cooper & Berkeley Railroad, a short line that serves BP Chemical and Nucor Steel.

RMI also announced that it was awarded Union Pacific’s Partnership Award in a presentation that took place at UP’s inaugural Intermodal Symposium in Omaha.

RMI said that in the past year it has enhanced its OASIS Terminal Operating System to support UP’s HUB Group business, chassis roadability initiatives, and UMLER data utilization.

--> Atlanta-based RMI announced that the South Carolina Public Railways (SCPR) has decided to implement RMI’s RailConnect® Transportation Management System (TMS). SCPR also plans to implement RMI’s mCrew module forremote train crew ...
The U.S. DOT today announced the award recipients of $1.5 billion in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grants— 51 projects across the country. TIGER, according to the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, Inc. (NRC), “has b ...

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s declared intention to slash $32.7 million from New Jersey Transit’s state operating support could drive train and bus fares up 20% to 30% and exact severe service cuts, according to labor leaders who have met with NJT officials to protest the plan.

The cutbacks, if enacted, would take place in June. Public hearings would be held across the state prior to the move.

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NJ Transit said it would announce more specifics following the regular monthly meeting of its Board of Directors Wednesday. “We expect the executive director to talk in detail about NJ Transit’s budget challenges for fiscal year 2010 and 2011,” an NJ Transit spokeswoman said. “The budget plans have not been finalized and there will be a process for public input on how to balance the budget.”

Even before the governor’s announced intent, fare increases already were being contemplated due to a projected $200 million gap in NJ Transit’s fiscal year 2011 budget. New Jersey’s fiscal year begins on July 1.

--> New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s declared intention to slash $32.7 million from New Jersey Transit’s state operating support could drive train and bus fares up 20% to 30% and exact severe service cuts, according to labor leaders who have met wit ...

Management changes at CN continue under the new administration of President and CEO Claude Mongeau. The most recent changes have taken place in CN’s marketing group, where Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest has announced the appointments of six senior officers.

cn-logo.jpg• Vee Kachroo, vice president, industrial products. Kachroo, based in Montreal,“has extensive experience in forest products and metals and minerals marketsand was most recently assistant vice-president, sales, for these two groups atCN, ” said Ruest.

• James Cairns, vice president, petroleum and chemicals. Cairns is based inCalgary, “a growth area for CN. Cairns developed innovative products in hismost recent position as assistant vice-president of CN domestic intermodal andground transportation, and previously spent three years working as director ofmarketing for CN's petroleum and chemicals unit.”

• Andy Gonta, vice president, bulk. Gonta, based in Edmonton alongside thecompany's Network Operations Centre, will be responsible for CN’s grain,fertilizers, sulphur, and coal businesses. “Gonta was a successful vice presidentof automotive sales and marketing prior to undertaking the CN Railroad MBAprogram to enhance his railroading skills. He has held a number of seniorpositions in operations since completing the program in 2005.”

• Paul Waite, vice president, intermodal. Waite, based in Toronto, will overseeboth domestic and international intermodal services. “He has wide experience inrail intermodal and was instrumental in developing CN's industry-leading IMX(Intermodal Excellence) model.”

• Keith Reardon, vice president, supply chain solutions. Reardon, based in Chicago,will be responsible for CN’s non-rail transportation activities intransloading, freight-forwarding, warehousing, vessels, docks, and a smallgroup of supply chain experts serving all business units, as well as marketingactivities for the company's automotive business. “Reardon has developedleading-edge skills in non-rail and supply chain activities, and will play akey role in leveraging CN's rail franchise and developing new growthopportunities.”

• Doug MacDonald, vice president, corporate marketing. MacDonald, based inMontreal, will oversee marketing planning, e-business innovations, andstrategic account planning activities, “areas in which he has several years ofexperience. MacDonald will also lead the regional sales groups that focus onthe growth of small accounts.”

CN also announced that Stan Jablonski, most recently senior vice president, sales, hasagreed to serve as senior advisor to the company through the organizationaltransition of the marketing group “after several years of exceptionalcontribution to CN,” said Ruest.

“This is a great team of railroaders who know our markets, care about customerneeds, and understand how we operate at CN,” Ruest said. “With this team, we’llbe in a position to deliver real value to our customers and shareholders.” --> Management changes at CN continue under the new administration of President and CEO Claude Mongeau. The most recent changes have taken place in CN’s marketing group, where Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacqu ...

--> L.B. Foster Company, the 108-year-old manufacturer, fabricator, and distributor of products and services for the rail, construction, energy, utility, and recreation markets with approximately 30 locations throughout the U.S., plans to acquire 104-year-old Portec Rail Products, Inc., to “exp ...

Greenbrier Management Services, LLC (GMS), a full-serviceprovider of railcar management services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of TheGreenbrier Companies, is providing railcar management services to RailAmerica,Inc. GMS services include processing for car-hire payables and receivables, andcar repair payables.

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GMS began processing car-hire payables on railequipment that is interchanged onto RailAmerica's network of 39 regional andshort line railroads in late 2009, as well as car-hire receivables generated byRailAmerica’s railcar fleetTo date, implementation of payables and receivablesprocessing has been completed for three of RailAmerica’s five regions. Finalimplementation is expected to be completed early in 2010, ahead of schedule.

GMS utilizes its proprietary Enable™ car accountingprocessing system to perform these services. “Enable is a robust, web-enabled,proprietary product, with patent pending, that integrates the processing ofcar-hire payable and receivable data,” GMS said. “The system allows customers toproactively manage their car-hire by processing data daily and gives customersan unmatched combination of functionality, scalability, and value backed by GMS’sstrong commitment to customer service. Enable is appropriate for deployment byrailroads, shippers and lessors of all sizes and complexities, including ClassI’s. Clients are assured their data remains confidential through rigorousannual third party audits.”

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In addition to car-hire processing, GMS is providingcar repair payables processing for RailAmerica utilizing its proprietaryEntrust™ maintenance management system. As part of this service, GMS isproviding Association of American Railroads and shop billing audits plus backoffice administration to meet RailAmerica’s railcar repair requirements. Theweb-based Entrust system “provides accurate invoice audits, shop estimate andrepair processing, bad-order disposition and wreck management, plus maintenancecost analysis reporting,” said GMS.

GMS customers include Class I’s, short lines andregionals, major operating lessors, industrial shippers and financialinstitutions, and investors. GMS provides rail asset management systems and/orservices to more than 70 railroads and 223,000 railcars. Services include auditingrepair invoices, managing AAR repair billing, performing ongoing maintenance ofrailcars, compiling maintenance data, and servicing damaged equipment.

--> Greenbrier Management Services, LLC (GMS), a full-serviceprovider of railcar management services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of TheGreenbrier Companies, is providing railcar management services to RailAmerica,Inc. GMS services in ...
As the Obama Administration handed out $8 billion in high speed rail seed money last month, the President (as the New York Times reported) warned that the U.S. was far behind in an important global race.   “Other countries aren’t waiting,” he said. “They wan ...

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s “countdown clocks” are designed to bring next-train information to passenger platforms. One system, tested on the L (Canarsie) line (pictured), New Yorks first line equipped with CBTC, was recently deployed to several Bronx stations on the No. 6 line.

 

canarsie-line-signage.jpgA pilot project on the A and C lines, announced today, signals a new and less costly approach as technology is developed for the lettered subway lines. “While plans are in place to activate customer information signs at all of the stations on the numbered subway lines by next year, the same technology does not exist on the lettered lines, requiring innovative solutions to provide the same information to customers,” said MTA in statement. “The PA/CIS (Public Address/Customer Information Screen) pilot in operation along a northern segment of the Eighth Avenue Line utilizes previously installed electronic signs in four stations, tying them in with existing infrastructure. This method eliminates the need for major capital construction and related service disruptions while allowing it to be up and running as quickly as possible. The initial phase of the pilot will provide next train arrival information at 181st, 175th, 168th, 163rd, 155th, and 145th Street Stations. While audio announcements will be available at all six stations, Customer Information Screens will be up and running at the four southernmost stations only.”

 

“This is another part of the initiative to offer real-time train arrival information to our customers,” said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast, “but here we are going about it in a different manner using existing infrastructure rather than waiting for the installation of an entirely new communications system. We looked at the equipment that was already in place and we have designed a pilot that responds to MTA Chairman Jay Walder’s call to find affordable ways to make customer improvements as quickly as possible.”    

 

MTA said that, unlike the more advanced system on the numbered lines, which receives its information from the scheduled data provided by ATS (Automatic Train Supervision), the simpler system identifies train location using the signal system’s track circuits and sending this information to existing equipment. Due to the limitations of the information transmitted by the signal track circuits, the demonstration pilot will provide information on train movement on a specific track only and cannot identify specific trains as the ATS system is able to do.     In stations equipped with screens, the information will transmit how many stations away the train is, along with the estimated length of time to arrive. For example: “Train 2 stations away. Approximately 2 minutes.” Information for the express track begins transmission to stations downtown as the train approaches 181st Street. Local track information transmission begins at 168th Street.    

 

“If this first pilot is successful and well received,” said MTA, “we will look to implement it at other stations on the lettered lines. Additionally, other pilots that will test different technology options are currently being investigated. These efforts follow the release of ‘Making Every Dollar Count,’ a report of Chairman Walder’s first 100 days at the MTA.” --> ...
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