Passenger

The FRA report found that Amtrak trains experienced approximately 1.3 million minutes of delay during first-quarter 2022, up 9% from the previous quarter. System-wide, first-quarter 2022 train-miles were up 8% from fourth-quarter 2021, coming in at 8,790,595 train-miles, as Amtrak continued to restore service following the pandemic. (Amtrak Photograph)

FRA Issues Amtrak OTP Report Card for 1Q22

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a report measuring the performance and service quality of Amtrak intercity passenger train operations for first-quarter 2022 (ending Dec. 31, 2021). Among the findings: the Auto Train, Capitol Limited and Sunset Limited were delayed most.

Paul J. Wiedefeld on May 16 retired from his role as General Manager and CEO of WMATA. His original retirement date was June 30, 2022.

WMATA: GM/CEO Wiedefeld, COO Leader Out (UPDATED)

Just one day after Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that it was removing from service 72 rail operators due to a lapse in recertification, General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld decided to step down—weeks ahead of his expected retirement date—and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader resigned, the transit agency reported late May 16.

On May 23, Bernard Jackson will become COO of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

DART Names Jackson COO

Bernard Jackson is leaving Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) to join Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) as Chief Operations Officer, effective May 23.

(Photo Courtesy of Amtrak OIG, Via Twitter)

OIG to Amtrak: Update (and Verify) Unified Operations Center Business Case

Amtrak’s plans to save costs and consolidate personnel/functions in a Delaware building it purchased for $41.1 million in May 2020 “have not materialized because it didn’t effectively verify the feasibility of its plan before it made the purchase,” according to a new report from the Amtrak Office of Inspector General (OIG).

“Lapse in Metrorail [WMATA] operator recertification results in changes to certain trains effective Monday [May 16]. Green and Yellow line rail service moves to every 20 minutes beginning Monday,” WMATA reported via Twitter on May 15. (Photograph Courtesy of WMATA, Via Twitter)

WMATA Removes 72 Rail Operators

Nearly half of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 500 rail operators have lapsed recertification, WMATA reported May 15, prompting the agency to remove from service 72, who became out of compliance more than a year ago.

Gulf Coast Battle: An Interim Report

The witness phase of the slugout between Amtrak on one side and CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) and the Port of Mobile on the other, ended May 12 as its 11th day concluded. It ended not with T.S. Eliot’s oft-quoted “whimper” but truly with a bang.

FRA Launches Corridor ID Program

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has established the Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program that “will serve as a key vehicle for directing federal investments and technical assistance toward new or improved intercity passenger rail services across the nation.” Amtrak expressed its support.

“SEPTA is committed to ensuring our trolleys meet the needs of riders today and tomorrow,” SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards said. “We are thrilled to start acquiring vehicles that open our trolley service to everyone.” (Rendering Courtesy of SEPTA)

SEPTA Issues Trolley RFP

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) on May 12 released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase of 130 trolley vehicles, with an option for up to 30 more.

“Like many companies in the transportation industry, VIA Rail continued to face the impacts of the various waves of the pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Marie-Claude Cardin reported. “Nonetheless, as we have always done over the past two years, we found ways to strike a balance between our important public service mandate while proactively managing the financial impacts on our operations.” (VIA Rail)

VIA Rail Releases 2021 Annual Report

“Despite the upheaval caused by the pandemic, we have successfully pursued our strategic plan, including the unveiling of our new fleet and the advancement of the High Frequency Rail project,” VIA Rail Canada Board Chair Françoise Bertrand said upon release of the railroad’s 2021 Annual Report.