On Feb. 11, HR 510, which calls for permanence of the 45-G short line tax credit, formally received its 100th co-sponsor. The bill, introduced Jan. 11 by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), “has rapidly garnered significant bi-partisan support, as it has every Congress since the credit was introduced in 2004,” said the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). “House support for this legislation is growing at a record pace, with 106 co-sponsors in just four weeks.”
Author: William C. Vantuono
U.S. rail freight traffic rose a negligible one-tenth of 1% in the first week of February 2019, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on Feb. 13. An intermodal gain was almost completely negated by a drop in carload traffic.
BNSF Railway will invest $3.57 billion in capital in 2019—a 5% increase from 2018—toward “maintaining and expanding its network with an unwavering focus on operating a safe railroad that meets customers’ demands.”
Miami-based Virgin Trains USA LLC, previously known as Brightline before it rebranded itself following a 2018 partnership forged with Virgin Enterprises Ltd. and founder Richard Branson, has canceled issuing the IPO scheduled for the week of Feb. 11, saying it will pursue other fundraising options. No indication was given whether it will reconsider an IPO in the near future.
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), operator of the Tri-Rail regional/commuter rail system, has restructured its senior management team and promoted several staff members, Executive Director Steven L. Abrams announced on Feb. 12.
Wabtec Corp. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stéphane Rambaud-Measson has resigned from his position and as a Director of the company “to pursue other interests,” Wabtec announced on Feb. 12.
The Center for Railway Research and Education in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University has completed the inaugural session of a new continuing education program focused on sustainability: “Railway Motive Power and Alternative Propulsion.”
Norfolk Southern, at its Feb. 11 Investor and Financial Analyst Conference in Atlanta, said it plans to hold capital expenditures to between 16% and 18% of revenues through 2021, as the railroad targets a 60% operating ratio by that year.
Veteran railway engineering professional Dave Semple will join Wi-Tronix LLC as Director – Wi-Tronix Australia/New Zealand on March 4. Based in Sydney, Australia, Semple will lead the region’s market strategy and execution as Wi-Tronix continues to build a global client base.
Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General on Feb. 8 said it has “found longstanding management weaknesses in the company’s transport program for privately owned railcars, including inadequate controls for cost and revenue management, a lack of standard operating procedures, and limited safety and parking guidelines.”