Breaking News

The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference—RTSA

The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference at Railway Interchange 2019 “serves to educate attendees on new technologies and trends in the rail industry and provide an opportunity for industry networking and collaboration. There are more than 50 educational sessions on railcar maintenance, rail operations, air brake technologies and trends and a focus on leadership in the rail industry,” RSI notes. “Session content is provided by the Railway Supply Institute, the Air Brake Association, the International Association of Railway Operating Officers, the League of Railway Women, the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association and the Railcar Technical Services Association.

Hemphill Heading Uinta Basin Railway Project

Rio Grande Pacific Corp. has named rail industry veteran Mark Hemphill to lead development and construction of the Uinta Basin Railway project, a $1.5 billion new-build that, when completed in late 2022 or early 2023, will serve northeastern Utah’s energy, mineral and agriculture industries. The new railroad is being built through a DBFOM (design-build-finance operate-maintain P3 (public-private partnership) comprised of Rio Grande Pacific, Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure Partners and the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition

KC Streetcar Fleet Nearly Complete

Kansas City’s sixth and final streetcar, no. 806, is schedule to arrive on the property Aug. 26. Manufactured by CAF USA, Inc., 806 is the second of two new streetcars added to the KC Streetcar Authority system, which launched operations with four vehicles (801-804) in May 2016. No. 805 joined the fleet in May 2019.

NJT Accelerating TOD

New Jersey Transit (NJT) is ramping up its Transit Oriented Development (TOD) efforts, reaching out to local communities that have expressed interest in new development to learn more about TOD opportunities with the agency.

The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference—LMOA

The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference at Railway Interchange 2019 “serves to educate attendees on new technologies and trends in the rail industry and provide an opportunity for industry networking and collaboration. There are more than 50 educational sessions on railcar maintenance, rail operations, air brake technologies and trends and a focus on leadership in the rail industry,” RSI notes. “Session content is provided by the Railway Supply Institute, the Air Brake Association, the International Association of Railway Operating Officers, the League of Railway Women, the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association and the Railcar Technical Services Association.”

Opinion

“It Ain’t Over ’Till The Fat Lady Sings”

A 2007 class-action antitrust suit brought by a large group of rail shippers against four Class I railroads took yet another turn in its 12-year court dance, this one in the defendants’ favor, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Aug. 16 against class-action certification. The plaintiffs contend that the railroads—BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific—colluded to engage in unlawful price fixing to set fuel surcharges.

Be Prepared for Anything

In 1907, Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, an English soldier, devised the Scout motto—Be Prepared. He published it in Scouting for Boys in 1908. Upon publishing the Scout motto, Baden-Powell was asked the inevitable follow-up question: Be prepared for what? “Why, for any old thing,” he answered.

Part 7: A Misleading Analysis of Delays, A New Commission, and A New Obstacle to Funding

When we published the sixth article in this series last month, we promised continuing coverage of the Gateway saga. What we did not know at that time was that so much news would come to us so quickly. At a Board meeting of the Gateway Program Development Corp. on July 22, a Gateway spokesperson presented an analysis of delays that he attributed to the existing Portal Bridge and the existing Hudson Tunnels (also known as the North River Tunnels) on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) and criticized the plan currently under way to rehabilitate the Canarsie Tunnels in New York City. Both analyses omitted facts that indicate that Gateway’s Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects are not as cost-effective or necessary as he made them appear. Later that day, the Gateway Corporation became a “Commission” with questionable fundraising authority. Despite that change, a former offer by New Jersey Transit (NJT) to impose a surcharge on future rail trips to and from New York has been scuttled, raising the question of how New Jersey can replace the money that would have come from the surcharge.

Clickbait Journalism at The New York Times

FINANCIAL EDGE, AUGUST 2019: With a 100-plus-degree F temperature and/or heat index blanket covering half the U.S., the summer doldrums are fully upon us. The time of year lines up with the anniversary of one of the most horrible rail tragedies in recent memory—the Lac-Mégantic derailment in July 2013. The 47 deaths that occurred as a result of that accident are unrecoverable losses for families and communities. Their memory should always serve as a reminder of the importance of safety and the need for best practices throughout the railroad industry.