While New Mexico Rail Runner Express (NMRX) service remains suspended due to COVID-19, work is under way to upgrade the wireless network for its commuter rail fleet, which includes nine Wabtec-manufactured Rail Runner locomotives and nine cab cars. Positive Train Control (PTC) installation also continues.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it is distributing $320.6 million to 50 projects that improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of freight rail and intercity passenger service in 29 states.
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) today released the RSI-100 Product Quality Certification Standard for tank car components.
In the two weeks following Cowen and Company’s mid-September Transportation and Sustainable Mobility Conference, analyst Matt Elkott, with input from colleagues Adam Kramer and Jason Seidl (Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor), noted that railcar inquiries “have ticked up. While translation into orders may not yet be commensurate with inquiries due to election and pandemic uncertainty, there appears to be an improvement in underlying demand” that should carry forward into a recovery in 2021.
During a recent two-year period, engineers from Norfolk Southern (NS) and Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) evaluated rail performance on four curves on the NS Whitethorne District, near Roanoke, Va., during two periods of 39 to 40 MGT (million gross ton) traffic accumulation. The objective was to document RCF (rolling contact fatigue) development, rail friction, and rail wear as influenced by the TORFC (top-of-rail friction control) materials NS currently uses. The rails were ground at the beginning of the test and again halfway through the test in April 2017, with the intent of producing similar conditions, after which a 39-40 MGT monitoring effort commenced, each with a different TORFC product.(1,2) The curve rails differed by rail mill, age and wear.
RAILWAY AGE, SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE: Whether it’s the track structure or the equipment that operates on it, there are many things that the naked eye cannot readily see. Increasingly, machine vision technology is becoming the best way to identify potential flaws before they lead to failures.
Despite the dramatic nature of railroad accidents, conveying goods and passengers by rail is the safest form of ground transportation when compared to other modes. Railway owner-operators are continually finding and implementing new safety innovations that could help prevent accidents and disruptions to service.
PART 1, THE CASE FOR SYSTEM SAFETY: Industry 4.0 (also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is a reality. Railroads, including their partners in the transportation supply chain, are at the beginning of their journey to establishing true end-to-end digital continuity. For example, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Positive Train Control and Enhanced Train Control; automation: autonomous inspection; AI-based automation: expanding autonomous inspection to include predictive analytics for track data. How do we know that these solutions and systems are safe and that there are no lurking issues? How do we know that the integration of multiple components from vendors, partners, and even from within meet safety objectives? How do we know if safety integrity is preserved after a change is made? How do we shift the paradigm where safety moves from a cost center to a value-added business driver? In Part I, we make the case for system safety as the necessary discipline for railroads to embed as they move forward in innovating and advancing in the 21st century.
California’s North County Transit District (NCTD) has awarded Siemens Mobility a 20-year service and parts contract for its fleet of up to nine Siemens Charger locomotives. They power COASTER regional/commuter rail between Oceanside and San Diego.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will distribute $1 billion among 70 surface transportation infrastructure projects in 44 states through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program. The Fiscal Year 2020 program is for planning and capital investments.