Caltrain says its Board of Directors expects to certify a Final Environemental Impact Report April 1 for its electrification program covering the major portion of its service route. Caltrain began the environmental clearance process for electrification in 2001, but the project has faced numerous delays, mostly due to funding constraints.
Should the EIR be approved, Caltrain will proceed with detailed engineering for the project,which would electrify the rail route between San Jose and San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal.
The EIR evaluated “both electric locomotives and electric multiple unit (EMU) cars,” while noting “Diesel-operated trains could continue to be operated on the Caltrain alignment under electrification,” as well as to points south of San Jose's Tamien Station, terminating in Gilroy, currently served by Caltrain, once electrification is in place. The document adds that the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board “has identified the Electrification Program Alternative with EMU rolling stock as the preferred alternative.”
The EIR also notes “an electrified Caltrain system would set the stage for an expanded modern regional electric express service and, potentially, for a statewide high-speed rail (HSR) service as well. It is anticipated that any future HSR service would be fully electrified. The Electrification Program facilities would be designed to accommodate HSR service as well as Caltrain service.” [Italics are in the document.]
They don’t usually show up on the industry’s “green” index, but the millions of crossties in place make a solid contribution to a better environment.
With capacity available, this is a good time to buy freight cars, says Michael Ward. So he’s buying about 1,400.
Norfolk Southern, which transported approximately one-half million Toyota vehicles in 2009, has for the seventh time received the Toyota Logistics Services President's Award foroverall logistics excellence among rail carriers.
It's Toyota's highest award for logistics providers and has been given since 1996.
Norfolk Southern's Toyota movements last year included those originating from NS-served plans in Georgetown, Ky., Lafayette, Ind., and Princeton, Ind.
“Norfolk Southern is proud to have been a strong logistics partner with Toyota for more than two decades,” said RichardKiley, NS group vice president—automotive. “We remain committed to continue meeting Toyota’s high standards for excellence by providing safe, damage-free, on-time service.”
Huron Central Rail will be provided with C$15 million of provincial money for its infrastructure upgrades to keep the 186-mile short line operational, as part of the 2010 Ontario provincial budget unveiled Thursday.
“The provincial-territorial base funding agreement has been signed by the province and the $15 million for Huron Central is in the budget,” said David Orazietti, member of Parliament, who represents Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, Huron Central’s hub city. “This is absolutely great news for Sault Ste. Marie and businesses that rely on the rail line to deliver their product,” he said.
Added fellow member of Parliament Tony Martin, “It's good news. That's what we were looking for in the budget and now Huron Central can move forward and this will help our industries and communities.” Martin said the provincial funds likely would trigger matching funding from the federal government.
The announcement comes just days before Huron Central’s self-imposed deadline that the railroad said would prompt it to start winding down operations during the spring and summer.
Huron Central is operated by Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.
Brookville Equipment Corp. said Friday its Board of Directors has named Vice President of Operations Larry J. Conrad to the post of President. Conrad accepted the position during a Board meeting March 18, 2010. Dalph McNeil is retiring after serving as the company’s president for nearly 33 years.
Conrad joined the company as employee number eight in 1979 as a design engineer. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1975 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and had previously worked in the engineering department of McCreary Tire & Rubber for three years prior to his arrival at Brookville.
Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm says it will provide a comprehensive yard automation system at CSX’s new intermodal facility under construction in North Baltimore, Ohio.
The all-inclusive system includes direct switch control, NX routing, control point monitoring, track protection via derails and blue flags, automatic equipment identification and tracking, and a shove track protection system.
The RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System will interface to Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) portals to associate all traffic movement within the facility to each specific car identifier. The DOC® system also will provide remote control and monitoring of all connected devices, with an extensive communication network comprised of RailComm RADiANT™ data radios.
For the fourth consecutive week, including the latest week ended March 20, freight traffic on U.S. railroads was up compared with the same period a year ago according to the Association of American Railroads.
U.S. railroads originated 287,639 carloads during the week, up 4.3% from the comparable week in 2009, though still down 10.7% from 2008, prior to the onset of severe recession. Intermodal traffic totaled 201,300 trailers and containers, up 9.5% from last year but also down 4.6% compared with 2008. Total volume for the week was estimated at 31.3 billion ton-miles,up 5.4% from last year but down 7.7% from 2008.
U.S. railroads in the West saw traffic gain 5.9% compared with the same week last year, but off 7.8% compared with 2008. In the East, freight carloads were up 2.1% compared with 2009, but down 14.6% compared with 2008.
Sixteen of 19 carload commodity groups showed gains from ayear ago, with 13 of them showing double-digit gains, led by a 69.2% increase in loadings of metals and products. Other gainers included grain, up 24%; motor vehicles, up 20.8%; waste and scrap, up 33.1%; lumber and wood products, up 21.8%, and chemicals, up 14.4%. Coal loadings continued to lag behind as per recent weeks, down 6.4% during the week ended March 20, while pulp, paper, and allied products slipped 6.1%.
Canadian railroads reported volume rose 21.1% from last year, while intermodal climbed 12.8% from 2009. Mexico’s two major railroads reported carload freight trafficc rose 10.4% while intermodal soared, up 63.3%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 11 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 3,941,811 carloads, up 3.6% from last year, and 2,772,992 trailers and containers, up 8.7% from last year.