CSX announced Nov. 30 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pan Am Railways, Inc., the 1,800-mile Class II in New England, expanding its reach in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, while adding Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to its existing 23-state network.
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.”
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is distributing $1.37 million in grants among six transit agencies for projects that demonstrate and evaluate innovative technologies to maintain a state of good repair.
We hosted rail industry experts in our third Suds with Seidl event. The overall mood was optimistic. The outlook for 2021 was strong, with one participant noting he was surprised to hear just how bullish his customers were this past week. Class I’s may be missing business opportunities, but there is still hope for greater communication via technology initiatives. We remain positive on the rail group.
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”:
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors has appointed David Leininger interim President/Executive Director, as a nationwide search for a new leader continues. He returns to the agency as it completes the 30% level of preliminary design for the D2 Subway project, proposing a second light rail alignment through the Dallas Central Business District.
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to authorize the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) blocked grade crossing reporter website as a three-year pilot project.
Robert Primus and Michelle Schultz, whose confirmation as the fourth and fifth members of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board have been on hold for months, were confirmed by the U.S. Senate late on Nov. 18. They are expected to be sworn in shortly, giving the STB its full complement of five members, a number set by the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act.