Bombardier Transportation said Thursday it has received an order from the Hungarian State Railway company, MÁV, for 25 Bombardier TRAXX P 160 AC Locomotives, with an option for 25 more. The contract is worth approximately $112 million. Delivery of the first locomotive is scheduled for spring 2011.
According to MÁV, the locomotives, which operate with alternating current (AC), are intended for passenger service in Hungary as well as for cross-border transport to Austria and Germany.
Said MAV-TRAKCIO Co. CEO Dr. Imre Markus, “Our locomotive investment project and the purchase of the new TRAXX locomotives are very important for achieving better energy efficiency within our fleet and replacing older locomotives. The new locomotives will contribute to the modernization and energy effectiveness of the Hungarian railways. They will enable MÁV-TRAKCIÓ Co. to reduce maintenance costs and continue to fulfill more contractual obligations for international corridors.”
Åke Wennberg, president of the Locomotives and Equipment Division of Bombardier Transportation, said: “The TRAXX locomotive isproving itself superbly in the market. There are currently around 800 TRAXX locomotivesin service in Europe alone. We are very pleased that MÁV too, has now placedits trust in our electric locomotives, and that we can therefore contribute tothe further development of passenger rail transport in Hungary.”
Final assemblyof the AC locomotives for MÁV will take place at the Bombardier plant in Kassel,Germany. The car bodies will be produced at Bombardier’s site in Wrocław,Poland, the bogies in Siegen, Germany, and the bogie frames in our Hungariansite of Mátranovák. The Mannheim and Hennigsdorf sites, in Germany, will supplythe propulsion and controls technology as well as the propulsion equipment.
Madrid-based CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, SA) says it is working to address problems involving loose bolts in Pittsburgh’s light rail vehicle fleet, operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pennsylvania).
Keith N. Nippes has joined Kustom Seating Unlimited, Inc.(KSU), Bellwood, Ill., a supplier of OEM and aftermarket seating products to the transportation industry, as its new president. KSU founder Joseph Lazzara will continue in his role as CEO.
Nippes has held the positions of president of Vapor Bus International, vice president-sales and marketing for Ricon Corp., and, most recently, president and COO of Ultimate North America Transportation Equipment, LLC.
“Keith will lead our dynamic team of professionals in meeting established company goals and objectives aimed at expanding our present market share, while maintaining our position as the leader in rail transportation seating andrelated products,” said Lazzara.
“His knowledge and experience gained through his numerous previous successes will be a valued asset to KSU,” Lazzara added.
CSX Corp. late Tuesday said its fourth-quarter earnings were up 23% compared with the same quarter a year ago, with earnings per share of 77 cents beating Wall Street analyst estimates by one cent. But analysts also acknowledged special circumstances for that gain and expressed some disappointment in the railroad’s slumping volume, attributed primarily to weak demand for coal.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX last year sold its famed Greenbrier Hotel located in West Virginia; excluding that action of one year ago, CSX earnings from operations fell 16%.
Morgan Stanley analysts William Greene and Adam Longson commented: “CSX's 4Q09 operating income shortfall vs. consensus and tepid views on both coal (likely to remain depressed through 2010) and domestic intermodal (pricing pressure continues) are likely to fuel bearish sentiment around rails.”
Green and Longson added, “Though CSX reported a headline beat of $0.77 vs. consensus of $0.76, consistent with our model, an unexpected tax benefit of $15 million accounted for ~$0.04 of the result. In fact, CSX missed our operating income forecast by $30 million or $0.05 per share with lower than expected revenue (other revenue in particular) driving much of the miss, offset slightly by better than expected operating costs. In the earnings release, management set a marginally bearish tone by specifically noting that they expect utility coal demand to remain weak well into 2010 and that competitive truck pricing continued to weigh on domestic intermodal yields.”
They concluded: “Looking forward, we see high likelihood of a pullback during the 4Q09 earnings season; however, we expect such an event will prove to be a buying opportunity, as it was during 3Q09 earnings, if it occurs. Long-term, we reiterate our Attractive View on rails as a result of growth driven by (1) pricing power, (2) productivity improvements, and (3) rebounding volumes.”
Said CSX Chairman, President, and CEO Michael Ward in a statement, "The economy continued to show modest, sequential improvement in the quarter.” He added, “CSX worked aggressively on gaining operating leverage and further strengthening the fundamentals of our business for the future."
The consortium, led by the Siemens Mobility Division, includes Invensys Rail Corp. (formerly Safetran Systems) and D/A Builders, LLC, a joint venture of Daidone Electric of Newark, N.J. and Aldridge Electric of Libertyville, Ill. The CBTC system will be radio-based, using WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). The project is due to be completed in 2017.
Siemens said CBTC will increase PATH’s passenger capacity from 240,000 per day to 290,000, by shortening headways. PATH’snew PA-5 cars, supplied by Kawasaki Railcar USA, are “CBTC ready” and are now being placed into service. “Upgrading the system to CBTC will shorten the distance between operating trains, enabling more trains to move into and out of New York City on the basis of the existing infrastructure,” said Siemens. “CBTC will also enhance the system's throughput to meet future peak time demands, inaddition to increasing safety and reliability while reducing ongoing maintenance costs. In addition to this increase in capacity, a new Siemens-provided train supervision system will help PATH operate more efficiently and know exactly where each train is located in the rail network.”
The PATH rail system is more than 100 years old, running from both Newark and Hoboken in New Jersey to the World Trade Center and Herald Square in Manhattan.
Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. announced Tuesday that it is constructing a rebuild facility for traction motors and other electrical equipment in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
“This new traction motor rebuilding facility will be the best in North America,” said John S. Hamilton, president and CEO of Electro-Motive Diesel. “With nearly 24,000 EMD locomotives in operation throughout North America, the San Luis Potosi operation will be uniquely positioned to enhance the reliability of every one of them.”
The city of San Luis Potosi is the capital and most populous city in its namesake state, and lies at the crossroads of distribution, commercialization, and import-export activities between its cities, borders and ports. EMD considers the city one of the most important railway centers in Mexico, due both to the number of rail-oriented workshops and the combined length of installed track.
New proof of the railroad industry's investor appeal came Tuesday with the report that the Dow Jones Railroad Index has improved around 76% since its low point in March 2009, easily exceeding the 50% gain posted during the same time by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The comparison appears in a chart published in the Wall Street Journal, a Dow Jones newspaper, and it comes with a note of caution: While "the improving economy likely helped railroad companies deliver better fourth-quarter results ... there's been a recent slowdown in rail demand."
CSX will report is third-quarter results Wednesday, and the Thompson Reuters analyst poll expects the railroad to post its third consecutive quarterly increase in earnings.
One of Portland TriMet’s new substations, located at Southwest Jackson, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, is designed to tap solar and wind power for much of its operation.
The $1.2 million substation, expected to begin operating next month, will be completed by this fall. Roughly $1 million is funded though federal renewable energy project funds. From all sources, the substation is designed to power about one-third of the Portland mall light rail route, recently converted from a bus mall.
"This is something we've never really done," TriMet architect Bob Hastings said. "It's the first of its kind anywhere on a transit system."
A 50-kilowatt solar array will cost $750,000, while complementary wind turbines are estimated to cost about $250,000. The two elements will be paid for with public funding, energy tax credits, and a renewable energy fund financed by Portland General Electric. Combined, the solar and wind sources are expected to produce 75% to 90% of the power needed; excess energy will be sold back to Portland General Electric.
Amtrak's second daily round trip launched last summer between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has attracted enough passengers to bolster its chances of continuation following the Winter Olympics, which Vancouver will host next month.
The second frequency, supported in part by the state of Washington, has averaged 67 riders per train, above the 60 per train anticipated by the Washington Department of Transportation.
WashDOT will decide whether or not to continue the service based not only on post-Olympics ridership, but also depending on whether it and Canada’s Border Services Agency can agree on how to cover the costs of passenger clearance at the U.S.-Canada border. At present, Canada has agreed not to seek coverage of the cost, which it says amounts to $1,500 per day.
Washington State maintains that highway users and air travelers aren’t expected to cover such costs, and making Amtrak passengers do so reflects a modal bias.