Commuter/Regional

As 1918 Shows, Railroads Have Been Through This Before

Editor’s Note: In 1918, the world was dealing with a deadly coronavirus pandemic, the “Spanish Flu.” Longtime Trains Editor and Publisher Kevin P. Keefe, now retired and a columnist for Classic Trains, sent me his April 2, 2020 “Mileposts” blog, in which he extensively references Railway Age. It is reposted here with permission, with some added photos. “It’s great to have a 170-year-old magazine around!” he said in his note to me. Actually, it’s 164, but who’s counting? Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. – William C. Vantuono.

Fitch Downgrades NYMTA Bonds, Removes “Rating Watch Negative”

Fitch Ratings downgraded approximately $800 million of outstanding TRB Series 2020C (transportation revenue bonds, climate bond certified) to be issued by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from AA- to A+ and outstanding TRB anticipation notes to F1 from F1+, but removed the agency’s long-term rating from Rating Watch Negative status. The Rating Outlook is Negative.

You Can Rely Upon Lithium-Ion

Even dedicated environmentalists have trouble “doing the right thing” when it comes to traveling by today’s railways. In December 2019, activist Greta Thunberg was headed from Lisbon to Madrid to speak at a United Nations conference dealing with climate change, when she ruled out a flight due to its impact and instead opted to journey by rail. But the lack of fully electrified rails between Vilar Formoso, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain still required a heavily polluting diesel locomotive for more than an hour of her journey.