Latest News Continued

Still struggling to launch its first rail service after months of delays, Austin, Tex., nonetheless is also weighing a commitment to light rail transit or streetcar services, including the building of a rail bridge over Lady Bird Lake.

cap_metro_logo.jpgCity Transportation Director Robert Spillar said the bridge could be built farther east or west, and not necessarily over the lake. Austin and its consulting engineers are settling on a preferred route and are scheduled to unveil it Feb. 25 to the City Council. Spillar says the upcoming map will not specify a route across Lady Bird Lake, instead leaving as possibilities existing bridges at Congress Avenue or South First Street or a new bridge.

Voter approval of such the overall plan is required, and a referendum could be offered to the voters this November. Anti-rail partisans in the state capital, still feasting on the woes of Capitol Metropolitan Transportation Authority to initiate regional rail service on a 35-mile starter line, are expected to oppose any additional rail plan.

 

--> Still struggling to launch its first rail service after months of delays, Austin, Tex., nonetheless is also weighing a commitment to light rail transit or streetcar services, including the building of a rail bridge over Lady Bird Lake. ...

The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association has announced the the availability of five undergraduate scholarships for tuition assistance in 2010. “This year, we are offering a $5,000 REMSA President's Scholarship Award and four individual scholarships at $2,000 each,” the organization notes.

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The REMSA undergraduate scholarship program is open to REMSA member companies only. Information and applications are sent to the REMSA representative of each member company, usually at the beginning of eachcalendar year. Representatives are responsible for disseminating REMSA scholarship program information to employees, and students are invited to call REMSA directly, (703) 341-8514, to request scholarship information.

To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must: be a full-time employee or the spouse, son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter of a current full-time employee of a a REMSA member; be enrolled and in attendance at the time of application as a full-time college student at an accredited two-year college offering an associate's degree or an accredited college or university offering a bachelor's degree; and demonstrate successful completion of the previous year of study and a willingness to continue.

 

--> The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association has announced the the availability of five undergraduate scholarships for tuition assistance in 2010. “This year, we are offering a $5,000 REMSA President's Scholarship Award and four individual ...

San Francsico officials, including representatives from the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), Wednesday marked the start of construction of the Central Subway, Phase II of the city’s Third Street Light Rail Project.

The 1.7-mile, $1.6 billion extension of the existing LRT line, tunneling under Chinatown, “represents adramatic investment in San Francisco´s transportation future," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "Tens of thousands of residents and visitors will use this environmentally friendly subway to get to work, school, and to see their families and friends."

"It is incredibly gratifying to see construction begin on the Central Subway," said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. "We appreciate the tremendous amount of support from federal, state, and local officials and the incredible efforts of so many community partners who are helping to make this project a reality."

The extension is slated to open for service in 2018.

--> San Francsico officials, including representatives from the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), Wednesday marked the start of construction of the Central Subway, Phase II of the city’s Third Street Light Rail Project. ...

The Department of Energy on Tuesday withdrew 116 water applications it had filed with the Nevada State Engineer for building a rail line to haul nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nev., signaling the end of an effort by the government to establish the line to serve the proposed waste site.

“This is the first card in hopefully a domino of cards that is ready to fall,” said Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General Marta Adams.

The letter from DOE Federal Project Director Ned B. Larson to State Engineer Tracy Taylor said the department does not intend to pursue the Caliente rail line water applications “in light of recent developments.” The statement appears to reflect the Obama Administration's plan to zero out funding for the project and Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s announcement that the department would withdraw the license application within 30 days. A review of the license application by nuclear regulators has been suspended temporarily.

DOE filed the Caliente rail line water requests on Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Obama took office. Nevada filed its protests on April 1. Yucca Mountain was the only site being considered for a national nuclear waste repository.

 

--> The Department of Energy on Tuesday withdrew 116 water applications it had filed with the Nevada State Engineer for building a rail line to haul nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nev., signaling the end of an effort by the government to establish the line to s ...

More than 500,000 rail riders on Virgin Train’s West Coast Main Line in Britain have logged onto the new high speed wireless internet service, with the number of monthly users increasing, to over 90,000, according to communication provider Nomad Digital.

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In addition, Nomad Digital says, “Hotspot” service, provided by Nomad Digital and partner T-Mobile, which allows Virgin rail travelers Internet access, email, and other applications, will be upgraded soon to enable simultaneous use of multiple data channels, thus increasing the available bandwidth to passengers.

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Customers who subscribe to the T-Mobile Broadband "pay monthly’ service can access the Internet at no extra cost. First Class passengers receive complimentary access, while other passengers can purchase Hotspot passes online from their Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Nomad Digital Chairman Nigel Wallbridge said, “We are delighted with the popularity of this service which replicates the success we have had in providing the world’s first-ever rail broadband Wi-Fi on the London to Brighton route, on all Heathrow Express trains, and on public transport systems in the U.S., continental Europe, and the Middle East. The introduction of bandwidth aggregation will allow us to give an even better service to passengers.’’

Graham Leech, executive director, Commercial, for Virgin Trains, said, “The Hotspot service allows Virgin Trains passengers to make even better use of their time when traveling.”

--> More than 500,000 rail riders on Virgin Train’s West Coast Main Line in Britain have logged onto the new high speed wireless internet service, with the number of monthly users increasing, to over 90,000, acco ...

 

Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday it will supply 18 additional doubledeck coaches to Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) AG. The order isworth approximately 24 million euros ($33 million). DB AG is exercising an option from a 2003 framework agreement, “comprising the delivery of 298 double-deck coaches as well as an option for a further 300 double-deck coaches,” Bombardier said.

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The additional cars will be used by DB Regio in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and in Baden-Württemberg; the cars are expected toenter into service beginning in December.

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DB Regio NRW GmbH will receive 13 double-deck coaches with high-floor entrances. These coaches include air conditioning systems, convenient luggage racks, and wider entrance areas.

DB Regio AG in Baden-Württemberg will receive five double-deck intermediate coaches with low-floor entrances. These coaches willbe in use on the Stuttgart-Karlsruhe and Stuttgart-Singen routes, and have multipurpose compartments with space for wheelchairs, children’s strollers, and bulky luggage. The coaches for Baden-Württemberg will also be equipped with electronic displays for information and entertainment as well as exterior loudspeakers.

Bombardier says all coaches will feature LED lighting, which save energy, while indirect lighting will ensure a pleasant ambience for passengers. Bombardier will produce the cars at its plant in Gorlitz, Germany. 

-->  Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday it will supply 18 additional doubledeck coaches to Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) AG. The order isworth approximately 24 million euros ($33 million). DB AG is exercising an ...
Trespassers on railroad rights-of-way aren’t always on foot. During the winter months, some may be on snowmobiles. Operation Lifesaver considers this serious enough to justify a public service video, which has been widely distributed on YouTube.Just in time for the Mid-Atlantic&rsquo ...
MTA New York City Transit’s new R160 subway cars have set a record for service reliability: A Mean Distance Between Failures (MDBF) of 1.2 million miles for the month of December 2009. The cars’ 12-month average is over 650,000 miles, “significantly above the contract target of ...
08 February 2010

HMM lands GCT project

MTA Metro-North Railroad has awarded Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) an $18.9 million construction management services contract for a design/build project at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.   ...

LaGrange, Ill.-based Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. said Monday it has received the the Illinois Governor's Continuous Improvement Award, marking the fourth time it has been honored for its significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy.

EMD said the company naturally generates waste as a result of its various manufacturing and rebuilding operations.  But through its efforts in the most recent award year, the company was able to further decrease its total annual waste output by 13%.

"The sustainability programs and activities that you have undertaken reflect your strong commitment to the well-being of your clients, employees and neighbors," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. EMD's actions, he said, "certainly serve as an example for others to follow."

emd_logo.jpgEMD said careful segregation led to a 7% reduction in the facility's landfilled industrial waste.  Additional efforts included improving ISO14001 procedures, implementing visual control enhancements, and continuing employee education.  Annual water usage was also decreased by 9%, an achievement accomplished by replacing a leaking cooling tower, and changing a fuel oil cooling system from once-through potable water to a recycling cooling tower arrangement. The EMD machining operations reduced cutting fluid disposal by 110,830 gallons, or more than 78%, by completely revamping equipment cleanout schedules, resulting in fewer emergency cleanouts.

As well, the old high-pressure sodium and self-ballasted mercury lamps previously used in the engine rebuild area were replaced with highly efficient T5HO fluorescent lighting.  The change saved 134,351 kilowatt-hours of energy, and eliminated 201,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while saving $15,800 electrical expense annually and earning a $12,000 "Smart Ideas" rebate from utility company Commonwealth Edison, the company said.  An additional 33,000 kilowatt-hours and 42 billion BTUs of natural gas were saved through other conservation projects, doing away with another 5.15 millionpounds of carbon dioxide emissions. --> LaGrange, Ill.-based Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. said Monday it has received the the Illinois Governor's Continuous Improvement Award, marking the fourth time it has been honored for its significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain ...
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