PTC

From Penn State Altoona, a new generation of railroaders

In its eighth year, Penn State Altoona’s bachelor of science degree program in Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE) remains the only one of its kind in the country. Having met the standards set by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in goals, objectives and educational outcomes, students graduating from this program are prepared and eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, the first step toward becoming a licensed professional engineer.

Adapt or die: Railroads must embrace advanced technologies

Advancements in the logistics industry over the past ten years have been vast, especially in over-the-road shipping modes with shippers utilizing 3PLs at record levels for domestic transportation management. The move toward partnering with logistics service providers has allowed shippers to use the power of modern technology to increase visibility and track product movements throughout their supply chains with greater efficiency than ever before. Unfortunately, rail has not seen advancement at the same pace, leaving shippers with the perception that rail carriers are behind the times.

Improving railroad cyber-threat resilience

Railroads are a critical component of America’s transportation infrastructure, and have been making significant investments in advanced networked computer control systems and information technologies. This has enabled the employment of new capabilities such as “Positive Train Control and “Precision Railroading” with increased operational efficiencies and improvements in safety. However, the introduction of these new technologies also results in increased organizational and system vulnerabilities to disruption arising from cyberattacks .

A new voice for commuter rail

“Commuter rail,” says Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski, “needs a distinct voice.” Derwinski and a group of current and former passenger rail industry executives led by former New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Director of Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Standards and Benchmarking KellyAnne Gallagher, have launched the Commuter Rail Coalition (CRC), described as “an association representing the interests, needs and benefits of the nation’s commuter railroads.”

DeGraffe named PATH GM

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has promoted PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) Deputy Director Clarelle DeGraffe to General Manager and Director of Rail Transit, effective March 25. The first woman in the position in PATH’s 111-year history, she succeeds Mike Marino, who announced his retirement late last year.