After the derailment of several trains hauling hazardous materials, namely crude oil, Transport Canada has issued new orders around the speed of these trains, which are now classified as “key trains” and “higher-risk key trains.”
Most of us are aware of the heroic and dedicated work performed around the clock by health care workers and first responders in the daily battle against the coronavirus, which has had its grip on our planet for the past several months. Moreover, many have likely seen various tributes to these front-line workers in the form of neighborhoods around the world singing, playing music, banging pots and pans, and making noise to honor these professionals. The FDNY has even assembled fire trucks at various hospitals and medical centers with emergency lights flashing and sirens blaring.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will host three webinars to provide information about FTA’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. FTA leadership and program staff will discuss funding amounts, eligible expenses and other funding features.
Conrail plays a critical role in providing its owners, Class I giants CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, safe and efficient rail service. Conrail turned to NARSTCO steel turnouts for their lower installation costs, reduced maintenance needs and longer in-service life.
Editor’s Note: The following story was posted on the Rail Talk area of the BNSF website. It is shared here in its entirety, with permission. We think it presents a useful example of what the rail industry is doing as an essential service in the national supply chain, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. — William C. Vantuono
Fitch Ratings downgraded approximately $800 million of outstanding TRB Series 2020C (transportation revenue bonds, climate bond certified) to be issued by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from AA- to A+ and outstanding TRB anticipation notes to F1 from F1+, but removed the agency’s long-term rating from Rating Watch Negative status. The Rating Outlook is Negative.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), via the CARES Act, recently allocated a total of $25 billion in Federal funding to help the Nation’s public transportation systems respond to COVID-19.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is taking additional measures to protect customers and employees from the spread of the coronavirus by adding ultra violet technology (UV-C) to its arsenal of disinfectant procedures.
An intermodal platform railcar developed at the turn of the century looks set to finally come into its own, as a new service, an innovative loading/unloading semi-trailer method called Megaswing, launches to improve intermodal freight movements between Germany and Austria.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the City of New York have agreed on “a site-specific value capture strategy” to jump-start development of 341-7 Madison Avenue, the site of the MTA’s former headquarters in East Midtown Manhattan.
Texas Central says that the $20 billion project is now “shovel ready,” and following collaboration with the federal government, the State of Texas and a team of experts, it is ready to
Editor’s Note: In 1918, the world was dealing with a deadly coronavirus pandemic, the “Spanish Flu.” Longtime Trains Editor and Publisher Kevin P. Keefe, now retired and a columnist for Classic Trains, sent me his April 2, 2020 “Mileposts” blog, in which he extensively references Railway Age. It is reposted here with permission, with some added photos. “It’s great to have a 170-year-old magazine around!” he said in his note to me. Actually, it’s 164, but who’s counting? Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. – William C. Vantuono.
On March 3, 2020, Railway Age published my early observations on the COVID-19 pandemic’s potential impact on North America’s freight railroads. In just over three weeks, our world has become a very different place.
This is not a forecast. It’s a prudent warning. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic and our social reaction so far are driving our business culture toward a high-risk economic impact. Stay-in-place warnings and increasingly mandated government requirements will drive down income and gross domestic product (GDP). Fundamentally, the American economy will likely face choosing survival spending tactics.
And so we have agreement in the Senate on a stimulus package to rescue the U.S. economy from the economic ravages of the COVID-19 virus. And now it’s on to the House for passage, perhaps later this week. The sheer size is stunningly immense at some $2 trillion, give or take a few billion.
As America increasingly is sheltering in place, losing unprecedented numbers of jobs and retirement savings, fearful of COVID-19, and facing a stress level unfamiliar except to those who have endured war zones, Amtrak and its workforce face only unpleasant choices if the railroad and their jobs are to survive. Fare-paying passengers have vanished—almost entirely on Northeast Corridor Acela trains; significantly on all others.