When consideration is given to track engineering and maintenance, many newcomers to the railroad industry don’t realize what massive amount of effort is put forward to properly manage thermal rail stress by track engineering and track maintenance professionals. A concept even more difficult to grasp is the relationship of thermal rail stress to undergrade bridges.
Short Lines & Regionals
Rio Grande Pacific Corp. has named rail industry veteran Mark Hemphill to lead development and construction of the Uinta Basin Railway project, a $1.5 billion new-build that, when completed in late 2022 or early 2023, will serve northeastern Utah’s energy, mineral and agriculture industries. The new railroad is being built through a DBFOM (design-build-finance operate-maintain P3 (public-private partnership) comprised of Rio Grande Pacific, Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure Partners and the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition
Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-Minn.) joined the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) and RailWorks Corporation at the latter’s project office in Lakeville, Minn.
In 1907, Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, an English soldier, devised the Scout motto—Be Prepared. He published it in Scouting for Boys in 1908. Upon publishing the Scout motto, Baden-Powell was asked the inevitable follow-up question: Be prepared for what? “Why, for any old thing,” he answered.
A looming U.S. economic recession—just look at freight rail traffic figures from the past six months—and “cyclical industrial fears” have significantly impacted rail equipment equities, creating opportunities for long-term investors with what Cowen and Company analysts Matt Elkott, Jason Seidl (Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor) and Adam Kramer describe as “quality companies with self-forged narratives” like Wabtec, Trinity and Greenbrier.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended August 10, 2019, and it’s still trending in the wrong direction—though the U.S.’s neighbor to the north saw a slight uptick.
FINANCIAL EDGE, AUGUST 2019: With a 100-plus-degree F temperature and/or heat index blanket covering half the U.S., the summer doldrums are fully upon us. The time of year lines up with the anniversary of one of the most horrible rail tragedies in recent memory—the Lac-Mégantic derailment in July 2013. The 47 deaths that occurred as a result of that accident are unrecoverable losses for families and communities. Their memory should always serve as a reminder of the importance of safety and the need for best practices throughout the railroad industry.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, AUGUST 2019: The Surface Transportation Board (STB) and other independent regulatory agencies operate as a fourth branch of government, exercising quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers.
Bentley Systems Inc. has announced the finalists for its Year in Infrastructure 2019 Awards program, which honors “the extraordinary work of Bentley software users advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world.” Twelve independent jury panels of industry experts selected the 54 finalists from 571 nominations submitted by more than 440 organizations in more than 60 countries.
For a sleep inducer, consider working with the Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS), long a general costing system indispensable for determining maximum reasonable rail rates. Worse, its second side-effect is indigestion, as this 30-year-old accounting relic is much like a classic car lacking modern GPS and satellite radio. Practitioners too often become frustrated with its built-in averages from a time when railroads, rather than shippers, owned most of the freight car fleet and line hauls were shorter as the modern merger movement had not yet run its course.