Breaking News

Virgin Trains USA, Morgan Stanley: $1.75B in PABs

Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) has closed on $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PABs) underwritten by Morgan Stanley and purchased by 67 different investors to help fund the company’s expansion from West Palm Beach, on the Florida East Coast Railway, to Orlando. Virgin described the closing as “one of the largest PAB transactions to date.”

MTS rolling out new Trolleys

As the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) gets set to roll out the next generation of light rail vehicles (LRVs) for service on the UC San Diego Blue Line on April 20, MTS officials recently unveiled the first car of the new LRV series during a “Trolley Open House.”

Petroleum fuels gains

Continuing on the heels of last week’s trend, three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted a year-over-year increase—and total carloads were slightly up—but all other traffic declined, according to figures released on April 17 by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) for the week ended April 13.

LIRC, RCPE accept Railway Age awards

The Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC) and the Rapid City Pierre & Eastern accepted Railway Age’s annual Short Line & Regional Railroads of the Year Awards at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) CONNECTIONS Convention in Orlando, Fla., on April 9.

Opinion

Adapt or die: Railroads must embrace advanced technologies

Advancements in the logistics industry over the past ten years have been vast, especially in over-the-road shipping modes with shippers utilizing 3PLs at record levels for domestic transportation management. The move toward partnering with logistics service providers has allowed shippers to use the power of modern technology to increase visibility and track product movements throughout their supply chains with greater efficiency than ever before. Unfortunately, rail has not seen advancement at the same pace, leaving shippers with the perception that rail carriers are behind the times.

Repeat actions don’t produce different outcomes

Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson and his chief deputy, Stephen Gardner, have proposed eliminating the company’s interregional trains in favor of a scattering of discontiguous, higher frequency short corridors connecting nearby city pairs. But this reflects a deep misapprehension of the performance of the company’s three primary business groups, and a surprising emphasis on minimizing the returns on investment of the company’s capital resources.

Part 2 of 6: Politicians Wrangle as Costs Climb

The original Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Project started with a semblance of consensus but ended its 15-year life in controversy. Its replacement, Gateway, was proposed in February 2011, and has been surrounded by controversy for the entire eight years of its life, so far. The politicians and planners who are pushing the program consider it inevitable, just as they considered the now-defunct ARC Project inevitable almost until the day it was killed in 2010.