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Visualize, Allocate, Execute, Report

RAILWAY AGE, SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE – Using Big Data, algorithms and IoT tools to manage locomotive assets: Freight volumes on North American railroads have been showing reductions on monthly year-on-year comparisons throughout 2019. The AAR reported that in the first half the year, cumulative volume was down 3.1% from the same point last year and intermodal units were down 3.5% from last year. While this economic situation continues to play out, the railroads are in the midst of a revolution in the availability of massive amounts of data being produced and captured. Expanding sets of information flow into organizations daily from GPS systems, signaling, Positive Train Control (PTC), Internet of Things (IoT) sources and locomotive on-board event recorders.

CRRC MA Refuting “Protectionist Rhetoric”

CRRC MA Corp. on Sept. 12 released an infographic “outlining the U.S. supply chain for passenger trains being manufactured for America’s first transit system, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).” The infographic “reveals that all software and electronic components on CRRC MA railcars are Buy America compliant, provided by American suppliers, and installed by an American unionized workforce,” CRRC said in a press release.

LIRR Debuts M-9s

After roughly two years’ worth of delays, MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has taken the wraps off its new M-9 EMU (electric multiple-unit) commuter railcars. The first eight-car trainset departed Sept. 11 at 6:50 am from Huntington.

Opinion

NJT Hoboken 2016, the Final 39 Seconds

The news of the day the other day read “Train Engineer in Fatal 2016 Hoboken Train Crash Wins Back Job with NJT.” The locomotive engineer, Thomas Gallagher, had been dismissed after over-running the end of Track 5 in Hoboken Terminal. The resulting collision damaged the supports for the train shed roof. A woman not on the train but walking on a platform was killed as she was struck by the collapsing structure.

Lesson Learned? Perhaps, But Too Late For Some

A recently issued arbitration decision directs New Jersey Transit (NJT) to re-employ Thomas Gallagher, the locomotive engineer who in 2016 ran an NJT commuter train into a bumping post and onto the platform at Hoboken Terminal. While the arbitrator found that the engineer “… bore some responsibility for the crash,” she also found that, “… NJ Transit had failed to follow its own procedures for screening engineers in his case.”

Rail Safety, Skateboards and Google

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE: On Aug. 14, the ESPN show ¿Highly Questionable? showed a video clip of a skateboarder sliding underneath a moving passenger locomotive, riding the rail on the skateboard and then sliding back out from underneath the train before the second wheelset (1). (The clip can be seen starting at about 16:30 into the video.) The hosts were suitably shocked and aghast over the audacity of the act of sliding underneath a locomotive and unsurprisingly thoughtless about the carelessness of the rider.

Wall Street Darlings or Revenue Inadequate?

RAILWAY AGE, WATCHING WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 2019 – Although a purchase is said to be worth precisely what a buyer agrees to pay, not all buyers possess equivalent market power as sellers. United Parcel Service (UPS), for example, may choose between truck and rail. But where freight cannot efficiently move by truck, shippers wishing to remain in business typically pay higher freight rates than if they had effective alternatives to rail.