APTA conferees contemplate LRT’s future

There is no dispute that the proliferation and popularity of light rail and streetcars has been the great success story on the North American transit scene since the 1980s. Forty years ago, only seven American cities and Toronto in Canada retained even a single streetcar line that survived from the “golden age” of rail transit. Today there are dozens of lines in the U.S. and Canada, including new starts in their first few months of service.

Freight traffic: Batting only .300

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted a year-over-year increase, but, as has been the case for some time now, all other rail traffic has declined, according to figures released on April 10 by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) for the week ended April 6.

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.

Trackmobile, Zephir S.p.A., LEAF form Global Railcar Mover Group

Trackmobile, Zephir S.p.A. and LEAF locomotive have joined forces under the Berkshire Hathaway, Marmon Holdings, Inc. umbrella to form Global Railcar Mover Group (GRMG), which aims to “demonstrate its unparalleled commitment to safe rail operations and elevate each member to the next level in their commitment.”

RSI supporting next-gen railroaders

The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) announced on April 9 that it’s accepting 2019-2020 school year applications for its Thomas D. Simpson Annual Undergraduate Scholarship, and that it’s creating a new scholarship to help students attend Railway Interchange 2019.

Ironhorse Resources acquires two short lines

Ironhorse Resources, Inc. on April 9 acquired two Tennessee-based Class III carriers: the Sequatchie Valley Railroad (SQVR) and the Walking Horse and Eastern Railroad (WHOE). They have been renamed Sequatchie Valley Switching Company (SQSC) and the Walking Horse Railroad (WHRR).

Teal promoted to Simmons Product Manager

Simmons Machine Tool Corp. announced on April 8 that it has promoted Brandon Teal to Product Manager, Wheel Truing/Re-profiling.

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.

Winkler named Tai Ginsberg Director

Tai Ginsberg & Associates, LLC (TG&A) announced on April 5 that Sean Winkler has been named Director. Winkler, who will assist the government relations firm with its transportation and infrastructure, municipal, and technology clients, will begin on April 8.

Brennan joins FTA as Chief Counsel

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced on April 8 that John J. Brennan III is set to join the DOT agency as Chief Counsel.