BNSF Railway Tuesday said it has honored 93 shippers with BNSF’s Annual Product Stewardship Award for the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail during 2009. The 93 companies have successfully implemented the ethics of Product Stewardship under the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care® initiative.
In 2009, BNSF presented 86 customers with its Stewardship Award.
Implemented in 1997, BNSF's Product Stewardship Award is presented to shippers who transported a minimum of 500 loaded tank cars of hazardous materials during the previous year with zero non-accident releases (NARs) during the entire transportation cycle.
“This is a record year for the number of customers who have received BNSF’s Stewardship Award. We are pleased that each year the numberof customers receiving this award grows. It demonstrates our customers and the rail industry’s focus on the safe transportation of hazardous materials,” Katie Farmer, BNSF vice president, Industrial Products Sales, said at a special presentation at BNSF's corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Tex. “The product stewardship of these 93 customers helps support the safety of our employees, the communities we serve, and the environment.”
SYSTRA Engineering, Inc., and AECOM Technology Corp. on Monday announced that MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and MTA Metro-North Railroad (MNR) chose their joint-venture effort to provide support services for the both railroads’ Positive Train Control (PTC) initiatives.
The joint venture partners said the project will meet the requirements of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which requires passenger and freight railroads to supplement existing train control systems with new high-tech safety systems by 2015. The program will initially involve the creation of a PTC Implementation Plan for Federal Railroad Administration approval.
Once the plan is accepted, the SYSTRA/AECOM team will provide preliminary and final design as well as construction-related services for the PTC systems—encompassing wayside signal systems, rail vehicle onboard systems, office systems, and data radio communications infrastructure.
“As a leader in the design and implementation of PTC systems worldwide, we are proud to receive this contract and delighted to support this initiative,” said Diego Diaz, SYSTRA president (pictured above left).
“AECOM is thrilled to be working with the two largest commuter railroads in the United States to achieve the federally mandated requirement for Positive Train Control. Being selected for this project further solidifies AECOM’s leadership in the Transit Systems arena,” said Michael Sweeney, AECOM’s U.S. Northeast Region transit leader.
RENFE, Spain’s national rail operator, can now increase the commercial speed from the present 200 km/h to 250 km/h (from 125 mph to 155 mph) and therefore reduce the travel times in some of its routes, Bombardier said.
RENFE ordered 45 AVE S-130 trains withvariable gauge from a Talgo-Bombardier consortium in order to serve the entire Spanish railway network, operating under AC and DC current systems as well as under all existing ATP systems in Spain. Bombardier said this train series is the only one in the RENFE fleet that can work with all the existing national signaling technologies (ERTMS, LZB, EBI Cab 900 TBS, and ASFA).
Bombardier is providing the complete electric and electronic equipment, including the propulsion and auxiliary power systems and the ATP system. The approval of the EBI Cab 2000 system covers operation in ETCS Level 1 and Level STM (specific transmission module) mode and will allow the AVE S-130 trains to make dynamic transitions between ETCS Level 1 and all national wayside ATP systems by interfacing with integrated STMs.
The train-by-train authorization for the Bombardier’s ETCS technology has initially been awarded for 23 trains to operate on the Madrid-Valladolid and Madrid-Lérida lines.
Anders Lindberg, head of the Bombardier Transporation Rail Control Solutions Division, said in a statement, “This is a significant milestone for Bombardier in Spain and adds to our global portfolio of ERTMS deliveries. In addition, we are pleased to be contributing to the high speed rail program being implemented in Spain, one of the most advanced in the world.”
DB last month acknowledged its attempt to acquire the company; representatives from Arriva have declined to comment on the matter.
DB already has a substantial presence outside its traditional domain within Germany, including its operation of the Chiltern Railways route between London and Birmingham; DB also runs rail freight operations in Britain under subsidiary Deutsche Bahn Schenker.
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor says it has extended its Request for Proposals deadline to April 26, 2010 (end of business day), from the original deadline of April 21.
The complete Request for Proposals document and support information, issued by Portage, Ind.-based Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, is accessible at the port’s website at www.portsofindiana.com/railrfp.
The port, located 18 miles from Chicago on the south shore of Lake Michigan, seeks a rail switching provider to handle sea-to-land traffic, which includes 15% of U.S. steel trade with Europe. The port says it handles international ships via the Great Lakes connection to the Atlantic Ocean and barges via inland river links to 38 states and the Gulf of Mexico.
At the depth of the recession, railroads had miles of freight cars and locomotives in storage and thousands of train crew members on furlough. With recovery now well on the way, that picture is fast changing, as figures released this week by CSX Corp. demonstrate.
As of the second week in April, CSX had:
As of the second week in April, CSX had:
* Reduced its number of furloughed rail and engine crews from a peak of 2,533 to 1,093.
* Cut the number of locomotives in storage from 707 to 272.
* Reduced the fleet of stored freight cars from 30,533 to 12,321.
CSX noted that locomotives and freight cars can be returned to service within a week, demonstrating a railroad’s ability to quickly size its operations to either rising or falling demand.
Chicago Transit Authority Friday introduced prototypes of the agency's new 5000-series rail cars, produced by Bombardier Transportation, and said it will begin testing the cars in revenue next week. The 10 cars are the first of a total of 406 rail cars costing $603.6 million.
The 5000-series prototypes, which already have been undergoing testing by CTA engineers and Bombardier representatives for several months, will debut on the Red Line and then will be tested on all eight rail lines through at least the end of the year. This in-service testing of the 10 railcar prototypes will seek to determine how they perform when operating in the conditions that CTA's rail fleet is subject to throughout the year. The cars must successfully complete testing before the CTA will finalize the order of the remaining 396 rail cars.
The new rail cars will replace CTA's oldest rail cars,between 32 and 41 years old, such as the 2200-series Budd cars that werepurchased in 1969-70 and currently run on the Blue Line, as well as the 2400-series Boeing-Vertol cars purchased in 1976-78 currently operating on the Green and Purple lines.
Equipped with regenerative braking technology, the 5000-series cars also include new diagnostic systems that will alert a train operator to any issues with equipment when they occur on a digital display in the motor cab. The new cars will use AC propulsion, and also have new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems designed to withstand severe weather conditions.
Paul Clark, former vice president, Communications & Public Affairs, for CanadianPacific, passed away April 12. At CP, Paul was the creative force behind theHoliday Train, which has raised close to $5 million and 2.2 million pounds offood for Canadian Food Banks since its inaugural run in December 1999. Inlieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alberta Cancer Foundation -Strategic Lung Initiative - Dr. Donald Morris, 1331 - 29 Street N.W., Calgary,Alberta, T2N 4N2.
With the threat of state legislative interference looming in the background, the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council late Thursday reached at least a partial accord on the $957 million Central Corridor light rail line planned for downtown St. Paul.
The university, along with Minnesota Public Radio, has consistently challenged design and engineering plans for the LRT line; the university has claimed the route could disrupt sensitive scientific equipment on campus. The university has even filed a lawsuit to prevent such a possibility. Pro-rail critics of the university have accused the institution of posturing, possibly for financial leverage, and have challenged the university to provide data backing its concerns.
Met Council spokesman Steve Dornfeld issued the following statement: “The Metropolitan Council and University of Minnesota have reached an interim agreement that will allow construction to proceed on the Central Corridor LRT project while fully protecting the university's sensitiveresearch facilities. The agreement included University approval of temporary easements needed for road improvements in the campus area that was scheduled for this summer.”
Such an agreement would allow construction to proceed on the route and remove much uncertainty, which many have claimed could jeopardize federal support for the project.
The 11-mile Central Corridor route (map above) will link St. Paul’s Union Depot with the existing Hiawatha Line LRT operation in neighboring Minneapolis. The line includes 18 stations, with 17 in St. Paul and one new stop in Minneapolis, and serve five existing Hiawatha Line stations. The Hiawatha Line opened in 2004.
Barring continuing delays, the new line is scheduled to begin revenue operation in 2014. While some light construction activity is ongoing, Met Council says heavy construction on the Central Corridor is scheduled to commence in August near the state Capitol.
The agreement doesn’t supersede the lawsuit the university has filed against Met Council over disputes on the project. University officials say the lawsuit will be dropped once all pending negotiations are finalized. Negotiations are set to resume April 26.
Raymond James Financial Services analyst Steven Hansen told clients in a note Thursday that railroad recovery in Canada has reached a state of “reasonable health and vigor,” and he accordingly upgraded earnings estimates for both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.
He increased his price target for CP to $68 a share from a previous $65 and maintained an “outperform” rating. He increased his target for CN to $67 from $54.50, with a “market perform” rating that reflected an earlier run-up in the price.
“Weekly volumes are not only improving, but also surging to fairly robust levels—in some cases recovering to pre-recession levels,” Hansen said.
He noted that CN carload freight traffic increased 14.6% in the first quarter compared to the 2009 quarter, and CP carloads grew 9.1%.
Both railroads will report their first-quarter earnings late in April.