Efforts proceed to assure continued service on Huron Central Railway along Lake Huron’s northern shores, but some sticking points remain, according to Bill Therriault, chair of the multi-modal steering committee for the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Therriault told a City Council that a critical component of the plan to save the rail line owned by Canadian Pacific, and leased to Huron Central, was government funding from city, provincial, and federal sources. Ontario and the federal government have pledged C$30 million of the C$33 million (US$31 million) deemed necessary, mostly for capital infrastructure upgrades. The line links Sault Ste. Marie with Sudbury, Ontario, over roughly 190 miles of right-of-way.
The short line has continued to operate under an interim agreement signed on June 17, which provided C$16 million to cover operating costs, but that agreement terminates August 14. If a subsequent agreement has not been reached by that deadline, Huron Central has said, it will abandon the line. CP has said it will not continue to maintain it unless another operator can be found.
Huron Central is a subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.
Kansas City Southern’s Board of Directors has elected Michael R. Haverty (left), current chairman and chief executive officer of the Class I railroad, to executive chairman, effective Aug. 1. As well, David L. Starling, current KCS president and chief operating officer, will become president and CEO, also effective August 1.
KCS said Haverty will continue to concentrate on the strategic direction of the company and oversee long-term business decisions. Starling will report to Haverty and focus on execution of the company’s long-range plan, with responsibility for oversight and management of all facets of the company’s operations, as well as those of its subsidiaries and affiliates.
“When Dave Starling assumed the position of president and director general of PCRC (Panama Canal Railway Company, a KCS affiliate) in June 1999, he began a reporting relationship to me as co-chairman of PCRC,” said Haverty. “In July 2007, we engaged him as executive representative of KCS, in addition to his position at PCRC, so that he could work with ocean carrierscalling on the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico, as well as the Port of Balboa in Panama. This gave Dave exposure to our intermodal network in Mexico.”
Haverty added, “Dave came to Kansas City in July 2008 as president and chief operating officer of KCS with the thought in mind that he could succeed me as CEO. After two years, we are ready. David is a great team leader, and I truly believe we have the best management team, both north and south of the border, that we have had in the 15 years I have been associated with KCS.”
Starling’ career, which began in 1971, includes stints with the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad (the Frisco) and successor Burlington Northern, Mi-Jack Products, and American President Lines.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become CEO of KCS at a time that many positive things are happening with the company,” said Starling in a statement. “The past two years have been challenging, but also fulfilling as we weathered a deeprecession and are coming out of it even stronger. The Kansas City Southern Railway Company and Kansas City Southern de Mexico are working closer together than ever and our cross-border business now accounts for a quarter of KCS’ total revenue.”
A final rule published Monday by the Federal Railroad Administration gives states with the worst grade crossing safety records one year from Aug. 27 to complete five-year action plans that address the problem.
The states—Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas—are the 10 with the highest number grade crossing accidents/incidents on average during 2006, 2007, and 2008.
“States can reasonably develop such plans within one year from the date this regulation goes into effect,” states the rule. “A five-year period is appropriate because many of the remedial actions that may be included in these plans (e.g., closures and grade separations) may take up to five years to implement. In addition, any identified State that has already developed an action plan in conjunction with a recommendation from DOT’s Office of Inspector General must ensure compliance with this final rule and must resubmit the plan as required.”
Melbourne, Australia-based Aconex said Tuesday it has been selected by Denver’s Regional Tranportation District to provide online support services for RTD’s $6 billion FasTracks transit expansion program. Aconex will be used to facilitate the information and records management needs for design, construction, testing, and startup of the FasTracks project.
Aconex will provide RTD and its project partners with a single, web-based point of contact, communication, and collaboration forrecords management for the FasTracks project, allowing stakeholders to access information from any location at any time in a secure, real-time environment. The Aconex platform offers quick implementation and will minimize RTD’s in-house resource requirements for implementation, maintenance, training, and end-user support, the company said.
The FasTracks program includes 122 miles of regional rail and light rail and the redevelopment of Denver Union Station, among other infrastructure additions.
“The Aconex online collaboration platform eliminates the tremendous inefficiencies that have always sat at the heart of large-scale construction projects,” said Aconex Vice President Dexter Bachelder. “With Aconex, agencies like RTD Denver can build out new public infrastructure in the most efficient, transparent way possible, saving taxpayer dollars while shortening total construction time.”
“Our constant goal in the implementation of the FasTracks program is to maximize the value of every dollar spent,” said Lisa Alvarado, RTD-FasTracks document control manager. “An online collaboration platform should save the program significant time and resources, helping us to reach our milestones faster and more efficiently, hopefully providing better risk management and the highest levels of build quality and program transparency.”
Portec Rail Products, Inc. said late Monday that, as a result of a court order June 24, the company and L.B. Foster Co. “are no longer prohibited by the Court from completing the tender offer and merger.
“Portec and L.B. Foster intend to continue to pursue the completion of the tender offer and related merger, which remain subject to certain closing conditions, including the tender of 65% of the outstanding shares of Portec common stock and regulatory approval,” Portec said.
The decision by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pa., supersedes its issuing a preliminary injunction on April 21, enjoining the completion of the tender offer by L.B. Foster Co. for all of the outstanding shares of Portec common stock and the related merger of Portec into L.B. Foster.
The economic downturn brought a great deal of hardship to carriers across the supply chain. Many shippers took the opportunity to re-bid their trucking contracts out of cycle, placing even more pressure on companies in the trucking sector.
Ongoing fiscal distress continues to roil New York’s subway operations, but system expansion literally is on a full bore.
No longer the lone star even within the Lone Star State, DART still is leading the rail transit renaissance within Texas—and the United States—by example.
Amid the high-profile meeting of the G20 nations in Toronto during the weekend, High Speed Rail Canada said Monday it has reviewed all the Group of 8 (G8) and G20 countries and their high speed rail systems and plans, and found that Canada trails the pack in many respects.
“After reviewing the G8 countries high speed rail systems, it is a fact that Canada is only country that does not have a high speed rail system,” the group said in a release Monday. “After reviewing the G20 countries high speed rail systems, Canada is one of only four countries that does not have a high speed rail system. Further, Canada is the only G20 government that has not committed to building a high speed rail system in the last 10 years.”
Lamented Paul Langan, the group’s founder, “The federal Conservative government has no national policy or plan on passenger rail. The end result of this debacle is that Canada's passenger rail system is 30 years behind the rest of the modern world.”
The group’s complete analysis of the situation is available at http://highspeedrail.ca.