Union Pacific announced that it hauled its 200,000th coal train out of the Southern Powder River Basin on Tuesday, a benchmark that UP said "proves the capital investment in our coal corridor continues to pay dividends for our customers."
UP's announcement coincided with the railroad's testimony at a congressional hearing on re-regulation legislation that UP says could "significantly" reduce its capital spending.
"One rail car of coal provides the energy to generate enough electricity for more than 20 homes for a year," noted the railroad. “Union Pacific's 200,000 trains out of the SPRB have carried enough coal to power all the homes in the United States for five years. Approximately 50% of America's electricity comes from coal, one of the most affordable and reliable energy sources."
Some of the railroad industry's utility coal customers are among those "captive shippers" who have been supporting a bill in Congress that would removes the industry's few remaining antitrust exemptions, which the Association of American Railroads says could be the backdoor to re-regulation on a broad scale.
After being buffeted for years by fiscal concerns and by diverse opinion and critique enveloping the overall rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center site, the site’s Transportation Hub final design has been unveiled by architect Santiago Calatrava. A model of the design will be on display through Aug. 31 at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York, as part of an exhibition entitled, "Santiago Calatrava: World Trade Center Transportation Hub."
The Transportation Hub will serve the Port Authority’s PATH bistate rapid transit line, and serve as an access point for numerous subway lines operated by MTA New York City Transit.
The final design has emerged from a torturous political process launched in late 2003, as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey selected Downtown Design Partnership, a joint venture of DMJM + Harris, STV Group Inc., and Parsons Transportation in association with Santiago Calatrava S.A. to design the facility, as part of the larger effort in lower Manhattan to rebuild on (and under) Ground Zero.
Calatrava’s glass and steel structure allows natural light to flood the Transportation Hub during the day; at night the illuminated building will serve as a lantern for the plaza and the (still undetermined number of) office towers surrounding it. The roof of the Hub's freestanding structure will be fitted with an operable skylight located along the central axis. During good weather, and on September 11th each year, the skylight will open, providing the interior space with a slice of sky and its natural light.
In a statement, Calatrava said, “In its revised state the project retains all of its fundamental beauty and functionality.” He added, "It is my hope that the Transportation Hub will serve generations of commuters, subway riders, pedestrians, and local residents well into the years to come."
Flouting traditional routes taken by most state departments of transportation, Maryland transportation officials are emphasizing financing the proposed 16-mile Purple Line light rail project, traversing the northern Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., while demoting two “major” road projects in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Choosing the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. 2009 Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., as its announcement stage, GE Transportation on Tuesday said it has launched the Connection line of Positive Train Control-compliant products for rail networks operating in the United States.
The Erie, Pa.-based subsidiary of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. said the PTC-compliant line was in response to passage last October of the Rail Safety Improvement Act, which mandates PTC for most major rail routes throughout the U.S., and for all rail routes handling a mix of freight and passenger rail traffic.
GE said the Connection line addresses four issues railroads must prevent with a PTC system: train-to-train collisions; “over speed” derailments; incursions into established work zone limits; and movement of a train through a switch left in the improper position.
In a statement, GE Transportation said, “This means upgrades for approximately 100,000 miles of track, close to 90% of the total rail network, and 17,000 locomotives to make North American railroads PTC ready. Today, there are more than 100,000 wayside signal devices alone on rail lines throughout the U.S. and Canada. In some cases, larger railroads will need to add PTC functionality to several wayside locations per day, every day, just to meet the mandate within the specified timeframe.”
On Monday, GE Transportation unveiled its Evolution® Series locomotive Model ES44C4.
House Resolution [H.R.} 233, the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009, currently being considered by Congress, would damage the public interest and severely distort the relationship between regulation and antitrust laws, the Association of American Railroads said Tuesday.
CSX Transportation has chosen RailComm to to provide awireless remote control yard system at the Class I carrier’s Tilford Yard inAtlanta. The RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System will provideremote control to 17 GETS HydraSwitch machines and a crossing gate.
RailComm’sDOC® system will be configured to control all switches individually as well asprovide eNtrance eXit (NX) routing functionality.
RailComm’s 2.4 GHz RADiANTTM data radios will provide awireless communications network to link the office with the fieldlocations.