Author: William C. Vantuono

With Railway Age since 1992, William C. Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age’s leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts, among them Next-Generation Train Control, Light Rail, and Rail Insights. He is the author or co-author or editor of several books, among them All About Railroading; John Armstrong’s The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does; Railway Age’s Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary; and Planning, Engineering, and Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey.

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.”

Greenbrier acquiring ARI

In a transaction valued at $400 million, the Greenbrier Companies, Inc. (GBRX) has entered into an agreement to acquire the manufacturing business of American Railcar Industries (ARI) from ITE Management LP (ITE), the hedge fund that bought ARI from investor Carl Icahn in December 2018. GBX said the result will be “a larger U.S. railcar manufacturing footprint, adding ARI’s two manufacturing facilities in Arkansas. It will employ more U.S. workers at cost-competitive and flexible facilities, with a more-efficient delivery model throughout North America, due to lower transportation costs.”

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.

Abou-Rahme named Bentley Systems Chief Research Officer

Bentley Systems, Inc. has appointed Dr. Nabil Abou-Rahme as Chief Research Officer for Bentley Institute’s Digital Advancement Academies, London. He will lead Bentley’s efforts in digital advancement research, collaborating with government, university, and industry “to promote innovative solutions for advancing infrastructure.” He was introduced April 10 to fellow researchers attending the Future Infrastructure Symposium at the Academies.

ASLRRA honors Gilbertson, safety leaders

At its 2019 CONNECTIONS Convention in Orlando, Fla., the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented Peter A. Gilbertson, President and CEO of Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., with the 2019 Thomas L. Schlosser Distinguished Service Award, and honored Cleo Johnson, Jr., Maintenance-of-Way Foreman, Mississippi Export Railroad, was as Safety Person of the Year and David Nagy, Executive Director of Safety, Springfield Terminal d/b/a Pan Am Railway, as Safety Professional of the Year.

Fighting Trump’s border-slowdown threat

Eighteen North American trade associations representing railroads, truckers and their customers that ship between the United States and Mexico have joined forces to tell the Trump Administration and Congress that restricting cross-border trade by either complete shutdown or slowdown, as President Trump has threatened, will have serious, highly damaging economic and social consequences.