Breaking News

Aerial view of the San Pedro Bay Port Complex in California. (Photograph Courtesy of Port of Los Angeles)

San Pedro Bay Ports Set April Records

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., handled 887,357 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) and 820,718 TEUs, respectively, in April 2022. Volumes are expected to grow this summer once COVID-19 lockdowns end in China.

Wabtec is providing a total of 2,304 doors to Alstom for the 36 eight-car Metropolis trainsets it is building for São Paulo (Brazil) Metro under a July 2021 contract.

Supply Side: Wabtec, Shift5

Wabtec has landed a contract to supply on-board doors for São Paulo (Brazil) Metro trainsets, to be built by Alstom. Also, Shift5 has been selected as a cybersecuity award finalist by CyberRisk Alliance.

First Look: Amtrak/Alstom Acela II

On May 23, Railway Age Publisher Jon Chalon and Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono toured Amtrak’s new Alstom-built Acela II high-speed Northeast Corridor trainset at Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Three of the 28-unit order are on the property.

Hyundai Motor Group expects to begin construction of its new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant at the Bryan County (Ga.) Megasite in January 2023, with full production expected in early 2025.

Hyundai to Launch EV, Battery Plant in Georgia

Seoul, South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group will invest $5.54 billion to open its first dedicated full electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing plant in the United States. It will be located in Bryan County, Ga., and served by Genesee & Wyoming’s Georgia Central Railway (GC).

To accommodate growth, Watco has more than doubled the size of its Safe Performance Center, boosting the number of employees who can receive on-site training there each day from 40 to 150.

Small-Road Briefs: Watco, FGA

Watco has completed a $3 million expansion of its Fairfield, Ala.-based training center. Also, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has awarded $3.2 million to Okaloosa County to expand roads, rail lines and utility infrastructure at the Shoal River Ranch industrial mega site, to be served by the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad (FGA).

FRA reported on May 19 that more than 70,000 inspections were conducted in FY 2021 to assess railroad compliance with regulations and laws that govern track, motive power and equipment, operating practices, signal and train control, hazardous materials, grade crossing signal system safety, industrial hygiene, and safety management systems.

FRA Issues FY21 Safety Enforcement Report

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released its annual enforcement report summarizing the regulatory compliance inspections and audits conducted in the past fiscal year by FRA or state inspectors participating in FRA’s rail safety program, as well as the civil penalty enforcement actions arising from them.

CBC ‘Welcomes’ Face-to-Face Mediation

Leaders of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) Rail Labor Unions* say they are hopeful the in-person mediation sessions scheduled for May 24-26 before the National Mediation Board (NMB) “will help to settle their ongoing national contract dispute.”

Shauneen Bruder (pictured) and 10 other Director nominees proposed by CN management were elected to the CN Board at the railroad’s annual meeting of shareholders on May 20.

For CN, a New Board Chair

Shauneen Bruder has been elected Chair of the CN Board of Directors, succeeding Robert Pace, who in March 2021 announced he would not seek re-election when his term expired.

Mike Knutton, Former IRJ Chief Editor, Dies

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Mike Knutton, former Editor-in-Chief of International Railway Journal, following a short illness. Mike worked at IRJ for 29 years and was chief editor for 19. He leaves behind his widow, Yan.

Commentary

Threat Lurks to STB’s Independence

Once upon a time, conservative jurists were the best friends to federal regulatory agencies such as the Surface Transportation Board (STB). When those agencies pushed the boundaries of their decision-making independence, federal courts considered them experts in their field and accordingly deferred to their interpretations of the statutes they administered.

Why High-Speed Rail is Such a Heavy Lift

Railway Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono’s “From the Editor” about high-speed rail in America asking “Why is High-Speed Rail Such a Heavy Lift?” compelled me to put together some possible answers to the question. And to those I have added some other “fresh” ideas that people in the rail industry may not have seen in other places. First, some observations.

Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl

Potential Modal Shifts as Diesel Stays Hot: Cowen

U.S. diesel pricing remains elevated, passing along significant costs to shippers via fuel surcharges. At Cowen and Company, we believe sustained high diesel pricing will ultimately benefit the railroads and IMCs (intermodal marketing companies) as shippers explore different modes of transport.