Regulatory

BNSF PTC: We’re ready—but you’re not

BNSF announced in December 2017 that it had fully installed and was operating under Positive Train Control (PTC) on all mandated subdivisions in advance of the Dec. 31, 2018 interim federal deadline. However, on June 13, it submitted a request to the Federal Railroad Administration for an alternative schedule, a two-year extension to Dec. 31, 2020, because “full implementation status cannot be achieved until all non-BNSF trains and/or equipment operating on its PTC-equipped lines are also PTC-compliant.”

Let me off this plane—no, train

I am a frequent flier. Since very few commercial airliners crash, I naturally assume that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines themselves are doing everything possible to ensure that flight crews are medically fit to fly commercial airplanes.

Amtrak marks PTC progress on BNSF lines

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.

CP replacing grain hopper fleet

Canadian Pacific plans to invest more than a half-billion dollars in nearly 6,000 new high-capacity grain hopper cars, and expects to place more than 500 in service before the end of 2018, increasing capacity of its unit grain trains. National Steel Car, Hamilton, Ont., has received CP’s initial order for 1,000 units.

Darr leaving ASLRRA

American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Linda Darr on June 5 announced her resignation, effective July 27, from the organization she has led since late 2014. She has accepted the CEO position at the American Council of Engineering Companies, a trade association described by ASLRRA Chair Judy Petry as “a considerably larger organization and industry.” Twenty percent of ACEC members are companies that do business is the railway space.

Silverman to expand Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell rail practice

Suzanne Silverman has joined the New York City office of Denver-based Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP as a partner. She will be part of the firm’s Rail, Transit, Highways, and Infrastructure practice group, working with Adam Giuliano, an attorney involved in leading the KK&R’s public-private partnership (P3) and alternative project delivery practice group.

RSSI PTC forum: Interoperability the final hurdle

OMAHA, MAY 21, RSSI PTC SEMINAR – U.S. Class I railroads have made significant progress implementing Positive Train Control, to the extent that all the requirements for the Dec. 31, 2018 interim deadline will be met, making them eligible to apply, if needed, for an extension to Dec. 31, 2020 to complete their systems.

A tutorial for new STB members

Watching Washington, May 2018: Railroads, as do all for-profit undertakings, earn their crust by selling at a price-multiple above production costs. Otherwise, they become revenue inadequate, meaning they lose investors, cease renewing assets, hollow out service and fail.