Breaking News

CSX taps Trainyard Tech for Selkirk Yard upgrades

CSX Transportation has contracted with Trainyard Tech, LLC for a CLASSMASTER™ hump yard process control system and ROUTEMASTER™ receiving yard NX system at Selkirk Yard (former New York Central/Penn Central/Conrail), near Albany, N.Y. “This will bring Selkirk Yard up to 2018 standards and beyond for increased throughput, safety and user-friendly control and reporting,” Trainyard Tech said.

Transit veteran jumps to Hyperloop

Jay Walder, who spent several years at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in executive-level positions, has accepted the CEO post at Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), one of several companies competing to build the first revenue-service version of the hyperloop, Elon Musk’s sub-sonic (700-mph) maglev-vehicle-inside-a-frictionless-vacuum-tube concept. Walder will replace Rob Lloyd, who headed VHO for three years.

Veteran power salutes veterans: KCS

In observation of Veterans Day (Nov. 12) in the United States, Kansas City Southern (KCS) unveiled 4006, a 13-year-old EMD SD70ACE based at the railroad’s Shreveport, La., Locomotive Shop, newly painted in a U.S. flag- and military-inspired scheme. KCS hosted a photo shoot with the locomotive and its Shreveport-based military active-duty and veteran employees.

RSI appoints Thomure safety, regs chief; names new board members

The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) has named veteran railcar professional Randall Thomure Director of Regulatory Affairs and Safety, with oversight responsibility for technical and regulatory strategies related to safety and operations. He will also manage RSI’s project committees, and collaborate with members and stakeholders “to promote policies that incentivize new technologies to improve safe, efficient railroad operations.”

CP cooking with grain

Canadian Pacific reports that it has broken all-time records for grain shipments, moving 2.64 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products in October, the railroad’s biggest month ever for this commodity. The previous record was set in September 2017. CP also set a new record for biofuel shipments.

More metro cars for Montreal

Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) has exercised a $340 million (C$448 million) option on an October 2010 contract with the consortium of Bombardier Transportation and Alstom for 153 additional AZUR rubber-tired metro cars, configured as 17 nine-car trainsets. Bombardier’s share is valued at $213 million (C$281 million), Alstom’s at $127 million (C$167 million).

Opinion

A failure of public enterprise?

From the November 2018 issue of Railway Age: Were Amtrak a business school case study, it would be advertised as “The Failure of Public Enterprise”—users receiving services for which they don’t pay the full cost; taxpayers subsidizing the difference; a failure to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as if Bernie Madoff were Amtrak’s chief accountant, and conflict of interest collaboration with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to impede entry by more efficient private-sector competitors.

Who will protect the French Fries?

Financial Edge, November 2018: In mid-September, CSX filed a report to the FRA stating that its June 2018 derailment near Princeton, Ind., (about 150 miles south of Indianapolis) was caused by buckled track. The derailment included 23 freight cars and caused the evacuation of nearby homes (within a radius of about one mile from the crash site) as a precautionary measure. Some of the derailed cars were carrying liquid petroleum gas (LPG or NGLs) and liquid propane (LP). 60,000 gallons of liquid NGLs were released. One tank railcar filled with leaking propane was on fire.

Amtrak’s Anderson not a random choice

Watching Washington, November 2018: When a 1978 labor dispute hobbled Northwest Airlines, North Dakota Gov. Arthur A. Link ventured to Minneapolis with a request of Chief Executive Donald Nyrop. Would Northwest—the lone east-west airline serving the state in the pre-deregulation era—withdraw an objection to competitor North Central temporarily providing the service?

A failure to communicate—again

I began using a CPAP machine in 2008—four years before I retired from my career as a locomotive engineer—and I continue to do so religiously. I didn’t have to be badgered or threatened. It wasn’t made a condition of my continued employment. My motive was and remains strictly self serving: I want to live.