Breaking News

BNSF Going BIG in Barstow

Barstow, Calif., a major hub on the BNSF Southern Transcon in San Bernardino County where the Needles, Mojave and Cajon subdivisions come together, and the location of Barstow Yard, will be the site of Barstow International Gateway, a $1.5 billion investment described as a “state-of-the-art master-planned integrated rail facility, and the first being developed by a Class I railroad.”

CSX Supports Hurricane Ian Relief Efforts

CSX is contributing $200,000 to support relief and recovery efforts under way in the Florida and South Carolina communities affected by Hurricane Ian, the Class I railroad reported on Sept. 30.

TransLink’s mural installation on a section of the Canada Line Bridge showcases designs from three xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band) artists. (Photograph Courtesy of TransLink)

Transit Briefs: TransLink, CTA, LYNX, MDOT MTA, Metrolink, Metrolinx, NYMTA

Metro Vancouver’s TransLink installs three digital murals “reflecting the past, present and future of the region, through the lens of colonialism and reconciliation.” Also, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) celebrates 75 years of service; Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) of Charlotte, N.C., advances the LYNX Red Line project; Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) launches a campaign to address sexual harassment on transit; Southern California’s Metrolink and local law enforcement promote highway/rail grade crossing safety; Metrolinx awards a contract for work to connect the Yonge North Subway Extension to existing TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) Line 1 service; and a limited-edition “1904 Sandwich” has been created in recognition of the New York City subway’s 118th anniversary.

BTS: DOT-117 Compliance Tops 85%

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. crude oil rail tank car fleet exceeded 85% compliance with DOT-117 safety standards, in 2021, up from 80% in 2020.

Commentary

Pandemic Recovery: A Few “Long-COVID” Effects

When the COVID-19 virus struck in March 2020, ridership on passenger trains and rail transit in the United States and Canada fell precipitously. Railway Age, RT&S and International Railway Journal joined to cover that and other events in on the rail scene: passenger, transit, and freight, here in North America and around the world. Then, as events unfolded, we continued to follow ridership and service recovery on Amtrak, VIA Rail, and rail transit. Now, at the 2½-year mark, it is time to report again.

WMATA Communications Systems Audit Report Released

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail rapid transit system has safety gaps related to communications system training, supervisory oversight, safety promotion, maintenance, documentation, hazard identification, and procedural compliance, according to a 2022 Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) audit report released Sept. 29. As a result, WMSC has issued nine findings requiring WMATA to develop corrective action plans, plus two recommendations that the transit agency must address.

Harsco Rail COO Claus Heuschmid (left) says the company's "continued relarionship with the Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern markets is a significant milestone for [Harsco]." (Historic photo to the right courtesy of SAR)
  • News

Supply Side: Harsco Rail, Transdev, Alstom, Siemens

Harsco Rail signs contract with Saudi Railway Company. Also, Transdev pledges to hire refugees through partnership with Tent; Alstom celebrates 70 years in Mexico; and Siemens launches new digital service portfolio for fire safety.

Reports: CRRC MBTA Railcar Delays Mount

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials were recently notified that delivery of new Red and Orange Line railcars from CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.) will be postponed further because the firm “expects it will need several more months to finish manufacturing” due to “nagging pandemic-related supply and labor issues.”

An aerial view of the work that will take place during the Codman Yard project.

MBTA Readies Public for Yard Expansion Project

As part of the MBTA’s Capital Programs, the Capital Transformation team will hold a virtual pre-construction public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. to discuss work to be completed at Codman Yard.

Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) recently added Nissan to its list of customers at the Port of Brunswick’s Colonel’s Island terminal. (Photograph Courtesy of GPA)

Intermodal Briefs: GPA, Port Saint John

Nissan North America selects Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Port of Brunswick, Ga., as a new point of entry to serve U.S. markets. Also, Canada’s Port Saint John in New Brunswick reaches a 100,000-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) milestone.

BART Add Fare Machines inside stations, which also serve as parking payment machines, now accept credit and debit cards.

Transit Briefs: BART, Amtrak, SEPTA, HART, MTC, NJ Transit

Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Add Fare machines undergo major upgrades to improve customer experience. Also, Amtrak trains could be coming into the Miami Intermodal Center; the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) breaks ground on new accessibility project at Tasker-Morris Station; the Honolulu Authority for Rail Transportation (HART) and Hitachi Rail run small-scale exercise drills in partnership with the city’s first responders; the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopts a new Transit-Oriented Communities Policy to promote commercial development near transit stations; and NJ Transit rolls out two initiatives as part of its ongoing Safety Education Program.

ASLRRA presented plaques to the winners of its Presidents Awards during the Association's Eastern and Southern Region Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 28. (Photo Courtesy of ASLRRA via Twitter)
  • News

Association Roundup: ASLRRA, APTA

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) recognizes safety winners at its Eastern and Southern Region Meeting. Also, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announces that public transportation ridership has risen to more than 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

PHMSA Awarding $32.4MM for Hazmat Safety

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will distribute $32.4 million to states, territories and tribes for six hazardous materials safety grant programs in FY 2022.