Latest News Continued

Iowa Northern Railway has extended its contract with RailComm for its computerized Track Warrant Control system.RailComm’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) dark territory train control system is accessed through a web-enabled Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. RailComm’s SaaS offering provides a “pay-as-you-go” model, thus eliminating capital equipment procurement constraints.

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The DOC® (Domain Operations Controller) software-based control system is an advanced command, control, communications, and information (C3i) server-based platform that supports a wide variety of uses for indication, control, access, and distribution of critical operational data across the corporate enterprise.

RailComm says that through SaaS, local IT support is minimized, traditional capital constraints are eliminated, and DOC® customers receive regular updates as RailComm continues to add functionality to its product.

The DOC® system is designed with built-in expansion capabilities for adding workstations and/or field control nodes without interrupting operation of the current system. Since the DOC® control application resides on servers within RailComm’s managed data center in Rochester, N.Y., the requirement for local IT support at each railroad is greatly reduced, the company says. 

--> Iowa Northern Railway has extended its contract with RailComm for its computerized Track Warrant Control system.RailComm’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) dark territory train control system is accessed through a web-enabled Software-a ...

Las Condes, Chile, a suburb of the nation’s capital, Santiago, has awarded Alstom-Comsa a development contract worth $1 million to develop a light rail system plan, with results to be presented next April.

Should ridership demand and other factors justify the project, as expected, technical evaluations, construction, operations, and maintenance will be overseen by the international consortium, comprised of Paris-based Alstom SA and Barcelona, Spain-based Grupo Comsa. 

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Las Condes is the first city to take advantage of Chile's new Law of Urban Shared Finance (FUC), designed to encourage private-sector investors to enter public-private partnerships, including design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) projects, to advance public infrastructure needs.

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The Las Condes project is envisioned to serve between 10 and 14 stations. Bids for the project are projected to begin next September, with construction tentatively scheduled for 2011.

In April 2008, Alstom and Comsa, along with two other Spanish companies, Acciona and Necso, were chosen by Barcelona’s Autoritat del Transport Metropolita Spa (ATM), the regional transportation authority, to advance that city’s 10.4-mile LRT project. 

--> Las Condes, Chile, a suburb of the nation’s capital, Santiago, has awarded Alstom-Comsa a development contract worth $1 million to develop a light rail system plan, with results to be presented next April. Should ridership deman ...

Florida State Sen. Paula Dockery, who is running for governor next year, continues to oppose the proposed 61.5-mile SunRail project envisioned for Orange County, with Orlando as its hub. But she emphasizes her objections as fiscal ones protecting the state’s taxpayers and not an anti-rail stance in itself.

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"I am not anti-commuter rail," Dockery said at a recent meeting of the Winter Park City Commission. "In fact, I probably like mass transit more than many others."

Dockery, a Republican, said the state is simply paying the too much money, about $10 million per mile, for the 61.5 miles of right-of-way that SunRail requires. She compared that to a recent agreement CSX reached with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts advancing MBTA passenger rail service to Worcester, Mass. "Whyis Florida paying $10.5 million a mile and Massachusetts is paying $1.5 million a mile?" she asked.

"I was told this is a done deal, sit down, and shut up," she said, defending her leadership role in opposing the SunRail plan. But she added, "We never intended to try to stop a commuter rail project ... I was trying to cut a good deal for the people of Florida."

--> Florida State Sen. Paula Dockery, who is running for governor next year, continues to oppose the proposed 61.5-mile SunRail project envisioned for Orange County, with Orlando as its hub. But she emphasizes her objections as fiscal on ...
01 December 2009

Pierson named PB CEO

Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed President and Chief Operating Officer-PB Americas George J. Pierson as Chief Executive Officer effective Jan. 1, 2010. Pierson, who will retain his PB Americas post, succeeds Keith J. Hawksworth, who becomes Chairman. He will report to Balfour Beatty Chief Executiv ...

CSX Transportation has named David A. Brown to become executive vice president and chief operating officer effective with the retirement of Tony Ingram on Dec. 31.

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"I am excited about the leadership and experience David will provide. He is well qualified to continue the outstanding work of Tony Ingram and our team in safety, reliability, and customer service," said Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president, and CEO.

"Tony plans a well-deserved retirement after nearly 40 years in railroading. In the last few years, he has delivered to CSXT, its customers, employees, and communities one of the most successful operating tenures in U.S. railroading. Among many other accomplishments, Tony has built an exceptional team that will continue, and build upon, his remarkable legacy," Ward said.

Brown, 50, has a nearly 30-year railroad career, most recently serving as vice president and chief transportation officer.

Succeeding Brown as vice president and chief transportation officer will be Cindy M. Sanborn, 44, who has been serving as vice president-Northern Region.

"Cindy is a veteran railroader with vast knowledge of operations after more than 22 years of service. She has demonstrated strong leadership and delivered exceptional results in a variety of field and headquarters posts," Ward said.

 

--> CSX Transportation has named David A. Brown to become executive vice president and chief operating officer effective with the retirement of Tony Ingram on Dec. 31. ...

The Association of American Railroads reports that in the week ended Nov. 21, freight traffic on U.S. railroads rose to its highes tlevel so far this year.

The Class I carriers originated 287,087 carloads of freight, down 6.8% from the same week in 2008 and down 0.7% from the same week in 2007. Volume increased 2.1% from the previous week this year. The comparison weeks from both 2007 and 2008 included the Thanksgiving holiday.

Intermodal traffic totaled 213,382 trailers and containers, down 3.1% from a year ago but up 11.5% from 2007. It was up 2.6% from the previous week this year.

While 13 of the 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year, there were increases in nonmetallic minerals (26.5%), grain (8.1%), chemicals (8.1%), waste and scrap metal (6.5 %), grain mill products (6.4%), and food and kindred products (0.4%). Declines in commodity groups ranged from 0.3% for petroleum products to 22.1% for crushed stone, sand, and gravel.

Total U.S. volume for the week ending Nov. 21 was estimated at 32.1 billion ton-miles, down 6.1% from the corresponding week last year but up 4.9% from 2007.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 72,120 cars for the week, down 4.5% from last year, and 43,085 trailers or containers, down 7.3%. Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 11,992 cars, up 1.3% from last year, and 6,410 trailers or containers, up 9.7%.

--> The Association of American Railroads reports that in the week ended Nov. 21, freight traffic on U.S. railroads rose to its highes tlevel so far this year.The Class I carriers originated 2 ...

Canadian Pacific is working with Natural Resources Canada in what is described as "an industry-leading biodiesel fuel pilot project," part of the National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative. The test marks the first use biodiesel fuel in Canadian cold-weather rail service. The fuel is made from vegetable oils and animal fat.

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"As part of a five-month test cycle, CP will operate four GE AC4400 diesel locomotives with FDL-16 engines in captive service between Calgary and Edmonton," said the railroad.

General Electric and Calgary-based fuel supplier 4Refuels are cooperating with CP during this testing phase, which began in early November and will run through the end of March.

"Canadian Pacific will undertake routine detailed mechanical examinations of the locomotives in the pilot project. The information gathered will be used to determine if a biodiesel mixture of 5% (B5) has any significant adverse effects on a locomotive or its associated systems in cold-climate operation. Impact to reliability, potential changes to the overhaul ormaintenance work scope, and reviews of specific components on the locomotives will also be monitored," CP said.

--> Canadian Pacific is working with Natural Resources Canada in what is described as "an industry-leading biodiesel fuel pilot project," part of the National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative. The test marks&nb ...
Matthew K. Rose, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, has been named 2010 Railroader of the Year by railroad industry trade journal Railway Age. ...

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports that U.S. truck tonnage in October was down just 5.2% from October 2008, "the best year-to-year showing" since November 2008.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the improvement shows that the economic recovery is "still trying to gain balance. The trucking industry should not be alarmed by the small decreases in September and October. The economy is behaving as expected, with starts and stops,” he said, adding that despite "ups and downs" in coming months, the trend will be moderate improvement.

ATA calculates truck tonnage each month based on reports by its member companies.

--> The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports that U.S. truck tonnage in October was down just 5.2% from October 2008, "the best year-to-year showing" since November 2008.ATA ...

Their success in sizing operations to demand helped Class I railroads maintain a relatively high return on investment (ROI) during the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

During a period that contained many of the worst months of the recession, the industry earned an average return of 8.42% on its net investment, compared with 9.88% in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2008, according to the Surface Transportation Board.

BNSF Railway earned an ROI of 9.27% during the latest 12-month period vs. 10.66% a year earlier. Union Pacific's respective returns were 7.88% and 9.62%.

In the East, Norfolk Southern experienced one of the biggest swings in ROI, dropping to 9.48% from 14.42%. CSX Transportation posted a return of 8.15% this year vs. 8.55% in the same period last year.

Kansas City Southern earned an ROI of 0.38% this year, down from 8.70%. Soo Line's return declined to 9.79% from 15.84%. CN/GrandTrunk's ROI dropped to 6.05% from 10.97%.

Industry-wide, total railway operating revenues in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2009, dropped sharply to $49.9 billion from the $58.4 billion reported a year earlier. Net railway operating income, on which ROI is based, dropped to $5.7 billion from $7.2 billion.

 

--> Their success in sizing operations to demand helped Class I railroads maintain a relatively high return on investment (ROI) during the 12 months ended Sept. 30.During a period that contained many of the worst months of the r ...
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