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U.S. Class I railroads employed 159,511 workers in mid-January 2009, 2.11% fewer than in mid-January 2008, the Surface Transportation Board reported in new statistics posted Wednesday.

The biggest decline was in the transportation (train and engine) category, where employment was down 6.95% to 63,187. The number of professional and administrative workers declined 0.35% to 13,753.

But the numbers improved in the four other categories, led by an 8.44% increase in transportation (other than train and engine) employment to 7,312. The number of maintenance of way and structures employees increased 1.47% to 34,449; maintenance of equipment and stores employment rose 0.86% to 30,689; and the number of executives, officials, and staff assistants was up 0.03% to 10,121.

--> U.S. Class I railroads employed 159,511 workers in mid-January 2009, 2.11% fewer than in mid-January 2008, the Surface Transportation Board reported in new statistics posted Wednesday.The biggest decline was in the transport ...

kcs.jpgAtlanta-based United Parcel Service, Inc. has recognized Kansas City Southern Railway Co. with an award for providing consistent, reliable service and achieving a perfect peak season for 2008. In the fourth quarter, KCSR ran trains for UPS without a service failure.

"Service performance of this caliber is only possible with the cooperation and commitment of the entire KCSR team," said Scott Arvidson, KCSR executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a statement. "This peak-season performance demonstrates KCSR's ability to provide consistent and reliable service across its network. On behalf of the entire KCSR team, I'd like to thank UPS for their business and this recognition."

--> Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, Inc. has recognized Kansas City Southern Ra ...

Utah Transit Authority says its will begin installing a state-of-the-art bridge foundation made of 40-foot Geofoam blocks March 19, as part of its West Valley Light Rail line construction project. An inaugural ceremony will mark use of the Geofoam blocks on the first of four bridges that are included in the project.

ach.jpg UTA says the Geofoam blocks fit together “like Lincoln logs”; the material, a lightweight fill and ground stabilizer, will be placed under the concrete portion of the bridge(s) and light rail track.         

The authority says the use of Geofoam, a product of Denver-based ACH Foam Technologies, instead of other fill material “could save up to three years of construction time waiting for the material to settle. This saves the costs involved in extending the project timeline.”

The West Valley line, one of UTA’s several LRT extension projects will extend light rail service from the existing Sandy/Salt Lake TRAX line, adding five miles and four new station stops at an estimated cost of about $290 million. The extension is expected to draw 9,000 additional riders by 2025.

 

--> Utah Transit Authority says its will begin installing a state-of-the-art bridge foundation made of 40-foot Geofoam blocks March 19, as part of its West Valley Light Rail line construction project. An inaugural ceremony will mark use of the Geofoam bloc ...

On St. Patrick’s Day, when many people are sporting the color green, CSX touted “green” by unveiling its first low-emission, fuel-efficient switcher locomotives deployed in Illinois.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., has been awarded design framework contracts by Crossrail Ltd. (CRL) for tunnels, shafts, and stations associated with a new rail line that will be built across London at an estimated cost of 15.5 billion pounds sterling ($21.7 billion).

Jacobs' work will include the detailed design, and management of the design, for CRL during the construction phase. Within the tunnel, shaft, and station categories, Jacobs will have the further opportunity to compete for packages of design.

Scheduled to open in 2017, Crossrail will operate over a route extending from Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport in the West  through the capital to Essex and Kent in the East.  Its high-frequency mainline-size trains will each have a capacity of 1,500 passengers.

--> Pasadena, Calif.-based Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., has been awarded design framework contracts by Crossrail Ltd. (CRL) for tunnels, shafts, and stations associated with a new rail line that will be built across London at an estimated cost o ...

mulvey144.jpgThe Surface Transportation Board on March 17 announced that Vice Chairman Francis P. Mulvey has been named Acting Chairman of the agency by President Obama, succeeding former Chairman Charles D. Nottingham. Nottingham plans to continue serving as a member of the board through the end of his term, which expires Dec. 31, 2010.

The announcement follows the Board's receipt of an official order signed by the President March 12 and delivered to STB.

Mulvey was sworn in as the eighth Member of the STB on June 2, 2004. He was nominated to the Board by President George W. Bush on November 17, 2003, for a four-year term expiring on December 31, 2007. Bush nominated Mulvey to a second term ending December 31, 2012.

At the time of his appointment to the STB, Mulvey was Staff Director for Railroad Subcommittee and Staff Director for Pipelines and Hazardous Materials for the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He was responsible for all railroad legislative matters for the Ranking Democratic Member of the Committee and served as advisor to the Ranking Member on overall transportation policy issues.

Mulvey's other positions held include Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Rail, Transit, and Special Programs, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General; Assistant Director for Social Security and Pension Issues, U.S. General Accounting Office; Assistant Director for Competition, Economic, and Regulatory Analyses in the Transportation Issues Area, U.S. General Accounting Office; Director of Economic Research for the NY State Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management; Programs Manager, National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board; and Vice President for Research, American Bus Association. He has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the R.H. Smith School of Business and Public Administration, Univ. of Maryland. He has also taught economics and statistics at Northeastern University, Wheaton College, and Bowling Green State University. Mulvey holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington State University (1974); a B.S. in Economics from New York University (1966); and an M.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley (1968).

 

--> The Surface Transportation Board on March 17 announced that ...

Italy's Trenitalia has awarded a contract to GE Transportation worth an estimated $60 million for the design, supply, and installation of 400 onboard SSC (Sistema di Supporto alla Condotta) train-protection systems for passenger and freight diesel locomotives. Trenitalia is the operating company of Italian State Railways.

--> Italy's Trenitalia has awarded a contract to GE Transportation worth an estimated $60 million for the design, supply, and installation of 400 onboard SSC (Sistema di Supporto alla Condotta) train-protection systems for passenger and freight diesel ...

Systra Consulting Inc. has released some details of its ongoing study for light rail transit on Staten Island, in advance of the study’s completion, expected at the end of April. Systra is conducting the study on behalf of the Staten Island Economic Development Corp., which has been vociferous in its support for LRT, arguing that New York City's transit plans once again have overlooked "the Forgotten Borough."

At present, the plan calls for extending New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit (HBLRT) system south across the Bayonne Bridge (and the New Jersey-New York border). A first phase stretching roughly three miles would link the Elm Park and Bloomfield neighborhoods, serving an estimated 9,900 riders per day with service at 10-minute frequencies. Of those initial riders, Systra found that roughly 1,500 would travel within the borough itself. The initial segment, with four stations, would cost an estimated $1.2 billion.

Extensions beyond the first phase would route LRT south in the median of the West Shore Expressway to Richmond Valley, at the southern tip of the island, where the LRT route could connect to the Staten Island Railway, which runs along the borough’s eastern shoreline and to the Staten Island Ferry. Estimate cost for the full route, about nine miles in length, is $1.8 billion.

Plans to replace the current Bayonne Bridge with a new structure make any link with HBLRT uncertain; the bridge (and replacement project)  is managed by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. “The Bayonne Bridge will be a problem because there's no definite replacement plan yet," said Joseph Carroll, district manager of Community Board 1.

New York’s MetropolitanTransportation Authority currently operates X89 bus service linking Staten Island and Manhattan via New Jersey, with the route providing transfers to and from HBLRT. HBLRT currently carries roughly 45,000 riders each weekday.

--> Systra Consulting Inc. has released some details of its ongoing study for light rail transit on Staten Island, in advance of the study’s completion, expected at the end of April. Systra is conducting the study on behalf of the Staten Island Economic Dev ...

BNSF’s Amarillo Yard in Texas has added RailComm’s automation system to control derails. RailComm’s outdoor-rated Operator Control Panel provides wireless remote control to severalbi-directional derail locations within the yard. Proximity Detection Loops were selected to provide reliable “over the derail” protection, preventing the derail from being remotely operated when a locomotive is in the protection zone.

RailComm’s Operator Contro lPanel features an event recorder function, which logs all commands and indication state changes from each derail machine. The company’s 2.4 GHz RADiANTTM data radios provide a wireless communications network to link the control panel with the field locations.

--> BNSF’s Amarillo Yard in Texas has added RailComm’s automation system to control derails. RailComm’s outdoor-rated Operator Control Panel provides wireless remote control to severalbi-directional derail locations within the yard. Proximity De ...

Federal funds may provide the fiscal spark for a streetcar line in Milwaukee denied the city by state and county planners. Wisconsin U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and David Obey, both Democrats, inserted language in the recently passed $410 billion federal omnibus spending bill identifying $91.5 million for Milwaukee, with roughly $55 million (60%) of that targeted for launching a streetcar project.

--> Federal funds may provide the fiscal spark for a streetcar line in Milwaukee denied the city by state and county planners. Wisconsin U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and David Obey, both Democrats, inserted language in the recently passed $410 billion federal omnibu ...

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