CSX Transportation will continue to expand its RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) system in its Rice Yard, located in Waycross, Ga. RailComm will provide modifications to the existing DOC® server to add control for 39 additional GETS HydraSwitch machines in the pull back and forwarding areas of the yard.
The DOC® system includes redundant auto failover and eNtrance & eXit (NX) routing capability, providing a yard master with selection and cancellation control of individual and through routes within the controlled territory.
Geneva, Ill.-based freight car component supplier Miner Enterprises, Inc., has announced its release of an updated Installation and Inspection Pocket Guide. The company says the guide, Version 4.0, is available in English or Spanish, and contains information related to the installation and inspection on Miner's TecsPak constant contact side bearings, draft gears, and brake beams.
The side bearings portion of the guide includes information such as selection guides, set-up height, and wear indicators, as well as new and retrofit installation information. The draft gear section features general descriptions of Miner's gears as well as a procedure for determining the gear's serviceability. The area of the guide relating to brake beams also includes a general description of the beams as well as inspection and strut hand change procedure information.
An electronic version of the guide can be obtained from Miner's website; interested parties also can request a free printed version by calling Miner at (630) 232-3000.
U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ended March 28 declined 24.4% from the comparable week in 2008, the Association of American Railroads reported, with coal traffic slumping significantly. U.S. intermodal traffic also fell, down 15.4%. Volume of an estimated 26.6 billion ton miles was down 23.8% from the year-ago period.
Canadian freight carload traffic for the week was down 24.7%, while intermodal declined 16.3%.
AAR said a decline in coal shipments impacted the month of March and 2009’s first-quarter numbers significantly, as did weather-related woes. "A blizzard in the Wyoming coal fields, flooding in the Midwest, and other weather-related problems added a 'kick them when they're down' element to the month, dropping already depressed rail traffic levels even further in March," said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.
U.S. coal traffic fell 20.9% in the week ended March 28 compared with last year, and was down 4.2% for the quarter compared with 2008's first three months.
Overall, U.S. freight carload traffic in March fell 17.3% compared with the 2008 counterpart month; intermodal traffic fell 14.9%. For the quarter, U.S. freight carload traffic declined 16.3% compared with the first quarter of 2008; intermodal traffic fell 15.5%.
Canadian rail carload traffic fared similarly, down 21.7% in March 2009 from March 2008 levels; Canadian intermodal traffic in March fell 13.3%. For the first quarter of 2009, Canadian rail carloadings plunged 19.5% compared with the 2008 quarter; Canadian intermodal traffic for the quarter was down 12.1%.
Though U.S. rail carloadings of coal fell during the first quarter, impacting overall volume, other commodities suffered even more in percentage terms, including motor vehicles and equipment (down 51.8%), metals and metal products (down 52.1%), and grain (down 22.4%).
The Caltrain Board Thursday unanimously approved an agreement with the California High Speed Rail Authority to establish an initial organizational framework where the authority and Caltrain will engage as partners in planning, design, and construction of improvements along the Caltrain corridor to be shared by both Caltrain and a portion of the state’s planned $44 billion, 700-mile HSR network.
The agreement will allow the parties to incorporate high speed rail in the Caltrain corridor on a phased basis.
"Community outreach is an extremely important part of this agreement," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Don Gage, who is chair of the Caltrain board and also serves on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, in a statement. "As we move forward, there will be many opportunities for people to voice their opinions. I would encourage everyone to participate in the process."
Since the ultimate configuration of the system has yet to be determined, references to a four-track system were deleted from the agreement before it was approved. The agreement states, "The Caltrain corridor will consist of a multiple track, grade-separated high speed rail system."
Caltrain had voiced some concern that its needs wouldn’t be protected adequately if HSR was established. Similar concerns, along with other dissent, have been voiced by some of the communities Caltrain serves. Caltrain provides service linking San Francisco, San Jose, and Gilroy, Calif.