A Look Inside Amtrak’s Next-Gen Acela Express

Amtrak’s Acela Express, which replaced the iconic Metroliner service that helped define the Northeast Corridor for the better part of 30 years, is now approaching age 20 (kind of old for a train). The equipment, popular with customers but sort-of affectionately called “The Fast Pig” in railroading circles, will soon be replaced with new, lighter, sleeker and faster trainsets from Alstom.

Amtrak, MassDOT To Launch Valley Flyer Service

Amtrak, in conjunction with MassDOT, is launching a new state-supported, seven-day-a-week passenger train for a two-year pilot program on August 30 called the Valley Flyer.

Two Grants Aim to Improve Amtrak Midwest Network

A pair of State Departments of Transportation received federal grants to improve service along the Amtrak Midwest network.

FTA Seeks Public Comment on PMO Rule

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that it is seeking public comment on revisions to its Project Management Oversight (PMO) rule, which guides federal oversight of large transit capital investments.

WSP Names New Leadership Team

WSP USA has announced the appointments of four staff into leadership roles in Los Angeles.

Ungerer Joins HNTB as Project Director, AVP

Dr. Janet Ungerer, Ph.D., P.E., has joined HNTB Corp. as Project Director and Associate Vice President in the firm’s Baltimore office.

FRA SOGR Grants Top $272MM

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded more than $272 million in grants to 10 passenger rail projects in as many states. The funding is provided through FRA’s Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (SOGR Program), and will help to repair and rehabilitate railroad infrastructure around the country.

Thermal Rail Stress and Undergrade Bridges

When consideration is given to track engineering and maintenance, many newcomers to the railroad industry don’t realize what massive amount of effort is put forward to properly manage thermal rail stress by track engineering and track maintenance professionals. A concept even more difficult to grasp is the relationship of thermal rail stress to undergrade bridges.

Part 7: A Misleading Analysis of Delays, A New Commission, and A New Obstacle to Funding

When we published the sixth article in this series last month, we promised continuing coverage of the Gateway saga. What we did not know at that time was that so much news would come to us so quickly. At a Board meeting of the Gateway Program Development Corp. on July 22, a Gateway spokesperson presented an analysis of delays that he attributed to the existing Portal Bridge and the existing Hudson Tunnels (also known as the North River Tunnels) on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) and criticized the plan currently under way to rehabilitate the Canarsie Tunnels in New York City. Both analyses omitted facts that indicate that Gateway’s Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects are not as cost-effective or necessary as he made them appear. Later that day, the Gateway Corporation became a “Commission” with questionable fundraising authority. Despite that change, a former offer by New Jersey Transit (NJT) to impose a surcharge on future rail trips to and from New York has been scuttled, raising the question of how New Jersey can replace the money that would have come from the surcharge.

CRRC Pushes Back, On Line

CRRC MA, the U.S. subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., has launched a website, “Get The Facts,” to counter what it says is its “positive presence in the U.S. being threatened with the U.S. House and Senate’s intention to constrain CRRC’s growth in the U.S. market with new laws and regulations.”