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Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday that, together with its consortium partner, Dusseldorf, Germany-based Vossloh Kiepe GmbH, it signed an option to supply an additional eight FLEXITY Swift light rail vehicles to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive’s (GMPTE’s) Metrolink in Britain. The option, part of the contract signed with GMPTE in April 2007, is valued at 16 million pounds ($24 million); Bombardier said its share is worth approximately $18 million.

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GMPTE’s initial order in 2007 included 12 vehicles, and included an option for up to 97 additional cars. The first option order for 28 more light rail vehicles followed in June 2008; the additional eight announced brings the total to 48 LRVs. Delivery will be completed in the second half of 2011.

Philip Purdy, director of Metrolink, said: “We are pleased to be requesting an additional eight vehicles in addition to the trams already on order, and of course those that are now successfully serving the existing Metrolink lines. The new trams are an integral part of the expansion and improvement of Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network.”

Colin S Walton, chairman of Bombardier Transportation, U.K., said, “We are delighted to continue our long and successful partnership with GMPTE, helping to improve the attractiveness of public transport services in and around Manchester.”

 

--> Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday that, together with its consortium partner, Dusseldorf, Germany-based Vossloh Kiepe GmbH, it signed an option to supply an additional eight FLEXITY Swift light rail vehicles to Greater Manchester Passenger Transpo ...

Pat Gamble, president and CEO of the Alaska Railroad since 2001, has resigned to become president of Alaska’s state university system this summer.

The railroad has grown under Gamble's leadership and major new growth is in sight. Just a few days ago, the Surface Transportation Board released a draft environmental statement in connection with the railroad's application, filed Dec. 5, 2008, to build a 30-to-50 mile new line that would provide a rail freight connection between Port McKenzie and interior Alaska.

The state-owned railroad has not announced a successor to Gamble.

 

 

--> Pat Gamble, president and CEO of the Alaska Railroad since 2001, has resigned to become president of Alaska’s state university system this summer.The railroad has grown under Gamble's leadership and major new growth is ...
--> As the U.S. economy emerges from the Great Recession, the freight rail industry’s growth “is in high gear,” according to Dahlman Rose & Co. Director-Equity Research and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jason Siedl (pictured). “Recent Class I ...

The Chlorine Institute, Inc. (CI) fears that the Positive Train Control (PTC) rule, which the Federal Railroad Administration published Jan. 14, "drastically underestimates the rule’s benefits," and it has asked the FRA to re-issue the rule with a corrected cost-benefit analysis.

"This faulty analysis could foster a situation that would allow railroads to impose on shippers of chlorine and other toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals an unfairly large share of the costs of applying PTC technology," the CI told the FRA in a petition filed Tuesday.

"The railroads have already announced that they will attempt to recover their investment in PTC from those shippers offering TIH materials for rail movement,” CI President Arthur Dungan wrote. “These efforts will have a direct and substantial impact on prospective TIH rail shippers and a strong incentive to move TIH shipments from the safer rail mode to the less-safe highway mode of transportation. Certainly, TIH shippers also will be negatively impacted by the railroads rolling their PTC investments on regulated shipments into their regulatory rate base, thereby leading to a double recovery of PTC costs well into the future…”

But Thursday the Association of American Railroads disputed CI's interpretation of the PTC rule. “The truth is that in weighing all the factors involved in PTC implementation, FRA's examination of the costs versus the benefits of PTC clearly shows that there are no present business benefits to the railroads. In fact, the cost-benefit carries an inverse relationship of 20 to one. The FRA estimates the costs of installing PTC to be $10 billion to $13 billion over 20 years with about a $500 million safety benefit,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.

“The Chlorine Institute is attacking the FRA’s cost-benefit analysis of PTC as a smoke screen to hide the fact that their shipments will raise the cost of rail transportation for all customers. The high cost of the PTC mandate is a direct result of the toxic nature of chlorine shipments,” noted Hamberger. “Instead of bashing the FRA cost benefi tanalysis, the Chlorine Institute should join AAR in improving the safety and efficiency of rail transportation, as well as reducing the exposure of the American public to toxic-by-inhalation (TIH) hazardous materials, through product substitution and other means of reducing the transportation of TIH.”

CI based its appeal on a CI-commissioned follow-up cost-benefit study by L.E. Peabody & Associates, Inc., Alexandria, Va.

CI said this analysis “found that the final rule underestimated the net direct and indirect benefits of implementing PTC by $12 billion-plus. In addition to safer operation, key benefits to railroads, shippers, and the public afforded by the PTC rule include:

“• Fuel savings for railroads from better fuel monitoring and more efficient operations;

“• Increased rail-line segment capacities;

“• Improved rail equipment reporting, monitoring and utilization;

“• Improved rail dispatching operations leading to greater efficiency;

“• Reduced total cost for all rail shippers resulting from improved rail transit times and reliability, and

“• Decreased highway crashes, congestion, maintenance costs and truck emissions, all of which would result from fewer trucks on roads as shippers take advantage of better rail service (and/or reduced rail rates), and shift freight shipments from truck to rail.”

--> The Chlorine Institute, Inc. (CI) fears that the Positive Train Control (PTC) rule, which the Federal Railroad Administration published Jan. 14, "drastically underestimates the rule’s benefits," and it has asked the FRA t ...
16 March 2010

Bruce P. DeVito, 62

--> Bruce P. DeVito, who served as a vice president and regional director of rail and transit services with Gannett Fleming, died March 2, 2010, after a lengthy illness. He was 62.DeVito joined Gannett Fleming after a long, successful careeras chi ...

KeyBanc analyst Steve Barger has upgraded the shares of American Railcar Industries and the Greenbrier Cos. from "Hold" to "Buy" and, at the same time, reaffirmed his "Buy" rating on a third freight railcar builder, Trinity Industries.

While sticking with his earlier 2010 estimate of 10,925 new freight cars delivered—noting that cars in storage can take help take care of immediate increases in demand—Barger increased his 2011 forecast of new car deliveries to 19,000 from 14,800.

--> KeyBanc analyst Steve Barger has upgraded the shares of American Railcar Industries and the Greenbrier Cos. from "Hold" to "Buy" and, at the same time, reaffirmed his "Buy" rating on a third freight railcar builder,&nbs ...

New Mexico's Rail Runner Express, next week will begin serving a new station Kewa Pueblo Station, located on tribal land between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.

Augusta Meyers of the Mid-Region Council of Governments said passengers will see only small changes in the Rail Runner's operating schedule when the station opens.  The new station is the 12 on the growing system, which runs approximately 100 miles between Santa Fe and Belen, N.M.

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the station is set to occur March 23. The station will offer free parking and about 40 spaces.

RailRunner began operations in July 2006, and service was extended to Santa Fe in December 2008. 

--> New Mexico's Rail Runner Express, next week will begin serving a new station Kewa Pueblo Station, located on tribal land between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.Augusta Meyers of the Mid-Region Council of Governments said passengers wil ...

Pittsburgh-based Portec Rail Products Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 5%, as a tax gain and cost-cutting efforts partially offset a steep decline in sales.

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Portec earned $1.4 million, or 15 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $1.5 million, or 16 cents per share, in the comparable period a year ago. The most recent quarter included a tax gain of 2 cents per share. Revenue fell 21% to $19.2 million from $24.3 million in the comparable 2008 quarter. Portec said the company reduced inventory levels during the quarter.

For full-year 2009, earnings fell to $6.8 million, or 71 cents per share, from $7.8 million, or 81 cents per share, in 2008. Revenue fell to $92.2 million, from $109 million in 2008.

Last month, L.B. Foster, also based in Pittsburgh, announced its plans to acquire Portec’s 9.6 million shares of stock for $112 million, or about $11.71 per share. The deal is expected to close before the end of the second quarter.

At midday Tuesday, shares of Portec were trading at $11.75, down fractionally.

--> Pittsburgh-based Portec Rail Products Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 5%, as a tax gain and cost-cutting efforts partially offset a steep decline in sales. ...
--> Philip Edwin Pierce, who retired from Safetran Systems (now Invensys Rail) as Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Service in 2000, died March 11, 2010. He was 75.Pierce began his long carer in the railroad industry at the Chicago, Burlington & Qu ...
The Michigan State University Railway Management Program (RMP), now in its second year, is undergoing significant improvements, including an upgrade in location and addition of a master’s program. MSU is consolidating the RMP with university’s nationally top-rated Supply Chain ...
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