Simmons Machine Tool Corp. has established the Niles Technical Application Center (NTAC) at its manufacturing facility and headquarters in Albany, N.Y., to offer Niles-Simmons machinery to the rail, aerospace, defense and other non-automotive industries in North America.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has renewed its contract with Amtrak for regional/commuter rail operations services, beginning Jan. 1, 2021 and expiring June 30, 2025. Amtrak will also provide and manage engineers and conductors.
VIA Rail Canada’s third-quarter 2020 results include an 86% drop in rider revenue and 82% decrease in ridership from the same period last year due to the pandemic. Total revenues for 3Q20 fell 84%, on a 79% reduction in capacity as travel demand plummeted. Total operating expenses decreased by 27.5%. (See chart below.)
Larry Willis, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), died Nov. 29 due to injuries sustained from a Nov. 22 biking accident. He was 53.
Transport Canada has updated the Duty and Rest Period Rules for Railway Operating Employees, placing new limits on duty-period length; increasing the minimum rest period between shifts; and establishing limits on total hours worked per week, month and year.
Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner has been appointed President, effective Dec. 1, 2020, succeeding Bill Flynn, who will remain as CEO and continue to serve on the company’s board of directors. Gardner’s appointment, Amtrak said, “is part of a broader set of actions taken under Flynn’s leadership, working with the Board of Directors, to ensure that Amtrak is well-positioned for success in fiscal year 2021 and beyond.”
Hans von Lange, an iconic figure in the global railway maintenance-of-way supply industry, died Nov. 16, 2020. He was 97. Son Michael Lange, one of nine children and head of Exton, Pa.-based Globe-Connect LLC, provided the following memorial for his father, who he says “lived a life full of adventure, challenges, dangers, failures and successes”:
Florida’s Brightline announced it has entered into an agreement with Walt Disney World Resort to build a train station at Disney Springs, near Orlando.
Amtrak reported today preliminary results for fiscal year 2020 (October 2019-September 2020), including an operating loss of $801.1 million due to the pandemic. Operating revenues were $2.3 billion, a decrease of 31.9% over FY 2019. It also reported advancing $1.9 billion in infrastructure and fleet work.
Several “project stakeholders” in New Jersey’s passenger rail network—Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Menendez and Booker (both Democrats), NJ Transit and Amtrak—have expressed “strong reservations” about the feasibility of proposals in an independent report prepared by London Bridge Associates Ltd. (LBA) and released Nov. 23 by the Gateway Program Development Corporation (GDC) on the Hudson Tunnel Project portion of the Gateway Program. Basically, they are saying that one new tunnel must be constructed and placed in service prior to shutdown and rehab of one of the two existing, 110-year-old tunnels.Interestingly, two of the stakeholders are GDC officials.