A few weeks ago, the Federal Rail Administration asked for input from the rail industry and the public about the role automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can play in rail. It is a sign that FRA recognizes the rail industry will need to leverage technology to safely and efficiently transport more freight and passengers by rail in the coming decades across the U.S.
First cars, then rockets. Now a major U.S. city will find out if Elon Musk can revolutionize rail travel.
New Jersey Transit’s Board of Directors on June 13 approved a financing agreement with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) that provides up to $600 million toward the construction of the first phase of a new Portal Bridge, a key component of the ambitious Gateway Project to improve passenger rail service between New York City and New Jersey. The funding commitment “solidifies New Jersey’s local share of the project cost,” NJT said.
New York Air Brake (NYAB) has appointed Ulisses Camilo President and CEO. Camilo will succeed current President and CEO Michael J. Hawthorne, who has accepted the position of President and CEO at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a sister company within the Knorr-Bremse Group, NYAB’s parent company.
HDR Vice President Maggie Walsh was recently appointed Chair of the WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) International Board of Directors. WTS, of which Walsh has been a member for 20 years, focuses on promoting equity and access for women in transportation careers. Her two-year term started in May.
North Carolina’s capitol will open a new train station later this month, as the city becomes the second-busiest Amtrak stop in the state.
Amtrak, working with BNSF, will the week of June 11 implement Positive Train Control (PTC) on BNSF-owned subdivisions that host the Southwest Chief and California Zephyr, marking the first activation on host-owned territory used by Amtrak. Full PTC activation on BNSF routes that host these two long-distance trains is expected by the end of August.
The CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) partners—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Cook County, Association of American Railroads (AAR), Metra, Amtrak and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)—have received a $132 million U.S. Department of Transportation INFRA (Infrastructure For Rebuilding America) Grant for the $474 million 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP). This project will grade-separate several freight and passenger rail lines in Chicago’s Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham neighborhoods that currently intersect, creating significant delays and congestion.
The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) on June 11 appointed Marc Brazeau President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 3, 2018. Brazeau succeeds Michael Bourque, President and CEO from April 2012 to November 2017. Gérald Gauthier has been running RAC in the interim.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYMTA) is partnering with Waze, a popular smart phone and tablet computer navigation app, to improve safety at Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad highway/rail grade crossings.