The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is holding a virtual conference Dec. 18 to address a new approach for considering class exemption and revocation issues.
TRAC Intermodal, North America’s largest marine and specialty chassis pool manager and equipment provider, offers a case study on how its Metro Pool chassis pool model at the Port of NY/NJ “has supported significant increases in container cargo volumes over the past few years.” The study, “Port of NY/NJ Chassis Pool Model Success in the Face of Record Cargo Growth,” according to CEO Daniel Walsh, “identifies ways in which the Port’s chassis provisioning model along with our quality fleet care programs have enabled port growth and offer motor carriers ready access to safe, high-quality equipment, operational efficiencies and equipment choices to meet their needs.”
Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have continued their partnerships with the Homes for Heroes Foundation (HFHF) and The Salvation Army, respectively, to hold fundraisers for local communities.
A $237 million highway/rail grade separation project on what is described as “the busiest, most congested at-grade rail junction and rail bottleneck in California” has been awarded a $100 million TCEP (Trade Corridor Enhancement Program) grant from the California Transportation Commission (CTC).
Paris Transport Authority (RATP) has teamed with Wabtec Corp. to test “Green Friction” technology for brakes in an aim to improve tunnel air quality.
RAILWAY AGE, DECEMBER 2020 ISSUE: Industry 4.0 (also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is a reality. Railroads, including their partners in the transportation supply chain, are at the beginning of their journey to establishing true end-to-end digital continuity. For example: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT); Positive Train Control (PTC) and Enhanced Train Control (ETC); and AI (artificial intelligence)-based automation such as expanding autonomous inspection to include predictive analytics for track data. How do we know that these solutions and systems are safe and that there are no lurking issues? How do we know that the integration of multiple components from vendors, partners, and even from within meet safety objectives? How do we know if safety integrity is preserved after a change is made? How do we shift the paradigm where safety moves from a cost center to a value-added business driver?
The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) will offer train and bus riders another mobile fare payment option: the Lyft app. Ticket prices will be the same. Rollout is expected in the coming weeks.
The December 2020 issue of Railway Age is now available digitally.
CN and Canadian Pacific (CP) have again reported record grain moves for November.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a final rule amending Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR2). It is effective Dec. 28, 2020.
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.