Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) reported that its Link light rail system in the Seattle metropolitan area is running on carbon-free electricity.
Randy Harris, who spent 40 years with CN in the areas of safety, regulatory and incident investigations, has partnered with Wi-Tronix® LLC to help the company “expand customer asset utilization innovations.” Harris’ services are provided by Ellamar Consulting LLC.
CN is renewing its support of research and education programs at the Centre for Supply Chain Management (SCM) in Waterloo, Ontario, with a C$500,000 donation. It contributed C$500,000 to the Centre, based at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, in 2015.
Canadian Pacific (CP) is building business at the Port of Saint John in New Brunswick with an extension of its service agreement with global liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyld AG, which will begin regular intermodal service via CP from the Atlantic Canada port starting in 2021.
Simmons Machine Tool Corp. has established the Niles Technical Application Center (NTAC) at its manufacturing facility and headquarters in Albany, N.Y., to offer Niles-Simmons machinery to the rail, aerospace, defense and other non-automotive industries in North America.
New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) will participate in a multi-week test of new technologies—from air purification to antimicrobial light—to help protect employees and riders during the pandemic. It is part of the COVID-19 Response Challenge that launched in July.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has renewed its contract with Amtrak for regional/commuter rail operations services, beginning Jan. 1, 2021 and expiring June 30, 2025. Amtrak will also provide and manage engineers and conductors.
Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has completed track installation to link the Garden City Terminal’s Chatham and Mason Mega rail yards, which it said boosts on-terminal storage capacity 35% and helps accommodate nearly 10,000-foot-long unit trains for CSX and Norfolk Southern.
VIA Rail Canada’s third-quarter 2020 results include an 86% drop in rider revenue and 82% decrease in ridership from the same period last year due to the pandemic. Total revenues for 3Q20 fell 84%, on a 79% reduction in capacity as travel demand plummeted. Total operating expenses decreased by 27.5%. (See chart below.)
CSX announced Nov. 30 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pan Am Railways, Inc., the 1,800-mile Class II in New England, expanding its reach in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, while adding Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to its existing 23-state network.
I have worked in the operating and compliance departments of various short lines for more than 25 years. There have been times that the marketing and sales department has made promises or deals with customers that were unrealistic or even unattainable, but I agree that the need for “Sales Engineers” is vital to the railroad industry.
We hosted rail industry experts in our third Suds with Seidl event. The overall mood was optimistic. The outlook for 2021 was strong, with one participant noting he was surprised to hear just how bullish his customers were this past week. Class I’s may be missing business opportunities, but there is still hope for greater communication via technology initiatives. We remain positive on the rail group.
It has been an honor to serve on the Amtrak Board for the past decade. I am extremely proud of the hardworking employees at Amtrak who keep America moving. Our current circumstances remind us of just how fortunate we are to have their commitment and dedication. It is because of their efforts that Amtrak began 2020 in the strongest position since we were created nearly 50 years ago. Ridership, revenue and financial performance were at record levels. With the support of our state partners, Amtrak was on track to generate revenues exceeding operating expenses for the first time ever. The company began preparing for next-generation Acela trains, and had a bold vision of expanding train service in new and existing corridors across the country.
Smart ticketing is gaining more and more prominence lately, with the launch of innovations such as the open-loop concept, which enables passengers to simply utilize their debit or credit cards or mobile devices with payment functionalities, like wearables, for ticket payments.
As freight transportation providers build up traffic volumes from pandemic-related lows, there remains a strong focus on supply chain visibility among ship operators, railroads and truckers. Additionally, shippers and beneficial cargo owners want better tools to see and track shipments from release to delivery, in the same way consumers track Amazon or UPS shipments. As consumers become more accustomed to better tracking and service standards, these capabilities are needed now at every stage of the transportation and handling process.