Author: Marybeth Luczak

(Norfolk Southern Photograph)

Intermodal Continues Downward Trend

Intermodal slowed in September as consumer consumption continued to switch from goods to services, according to John T. Gray, Senior Vice President of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The group’s monthly rail traffic report, issued Oct. 5, showed not only an intermodal volume decline of 4.8% from the prior-year period, but also a carload decrease of 1.1%.

Brightline will begin testing trains up to a maximum speed of 110 mph, in preparation for opening its $2.7 billion extension to Orlando, Fla., in 2023. (Photograph Courtesy of Brightline)

Transit Briefs: Brightline, MBTA, NYMTA, SEPTA, WMATA

Ahead of service to Orlando, Train testing of up to 110 mph is scheduled for Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad. Also, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) reports that an additional $1 billion will be needed to complete Orange and Red line repairs; safety messages from New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell are now playing throughout the subway system; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has released a safety and security plan; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is launching a campaign to deter fare evasion.

ATDA Members Ratify Freight Rail Agreement

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most U.S. Class I railroads (and many smaller ones) in national collective bargaining, reported on Oct. 4 that the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) membership has ratified the tentative labor agreement.

Paul Wiedefeld, Northeast Region Transportation Director, HDR (left) and Chris Dillon, Vice President, Government Affairs, North Carolina Railroad Company.
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People News: HDR, NCRR

Paul Wiedefeld joins HDR as Northeast Region Transportation Director. And North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) appoints Chris Dillon as Vice President, Government Affairs.

The CN 2022-23 winter plan is said to be guided by four objectives: operating safely, delivering the best possible service, increasing network productivity, and improving resilience. (CN Photograph)

CN Releases 2022-23 Winter Plan

CN has issued its “2022-23 Winter Plan—Meeting the Challenge,” a framework to ensure it meets customer and stakeholder needs in the months ahead.

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Now On Line: Railway Age October 2022 Digital Edition

Railway Age’s October 2022 issue is now available digitally, covering how the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Brightline are building for the future and presenting the 2023 Railroad Financial Desk Book.

HART’s 2022 Recovery Plan was submitted to the FTA in June, and proposes a truncated project scope with an interim terminus at the Civic Center Station, and a temporary deferral of the Pearl Highlands Parking Garage. The FTA is currently conducting an environmental reevaluation of the truncated scope. (Photograph Courtesy of HART)

Transit Briefs: HART, MARTA, Santa Clara VTA, WMATA

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approves Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART) 2022 Recovery Plan. Also, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) celebrates completion of Edgewood/Candler Park transit-oriented development; San Jose (Calif.) State University, the city of San Jose, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) help launch a free transit-pass program; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reports Potomac Yard Station project delays.

Pictured: South Point and Ohio Railroad, a subsidiary of Agracel Rail Holdings Company. (Courtesy of Agracel, via LinkedIn)
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ORDC Awards Rail Infrastructure Grants

The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) late last month approved grants to South Point & Ohio Railroad (SPOR) and packaging systems manufacturer and consultant ORBIS for rail infrastructure rehabilitation and expansion, respectively.

Union Pacific on June 7 joined the RailPulse coalition, which was formed in late 2020 to “develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies in North America’s freight rail industry.”

RailPulse Outlines Three-Phase Pilot

RailPulse is developing a cloud-based telematics platform in an aim “to accelerate the adoption of GPS and other technologies across the North American railcar network.” Late last month, it outlined a three-phase approach to development, which is slated to be complete in second-quarter 2023.

Trinity Lands $1.8B Multi-Year Railcar Order

Trinity Industries on Oct. 3 reported that it will supply a mix of 15,000 newly built tank and freight railcars to GATX through 2028, with GATX having an option to order up to 500 more railcars per year from 2023 to 2028.