news

Commentary

Coincidence—Or Not?

The Federal Railroad Administration released on Sept. 22—six years after it was completed—a commissioned study, “Human Error Analyses Associated With Locomotive Cab Automation,” which “addressed the potential for errors that may occur during human-automation interaction with automated systems.”

Commentary
  • News

TTC’s Second Half-Century: An Expanded Role

A short drive east of Pueblo, Colo., north of the Arkansas River, flanked by the Sangre de Christo Mountains, and surrounded by shortgrass prairie, lies the Transportation Technology Center, the Federal Railroad

Map of the proposed Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago intercity passenger rail service. This project would add an additional daily round-trip passenger train to the existing Amtrak Empire Builder corridor between the Twin Cities and Chicago. (Caption and Map Courtesy of MnDOT)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, CATS, GCRTA, NYMTA, SEPTA, STM

The Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Project (TCMC) is now in the final design phase. Also, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in North Carolina introduces fare capping; Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) in Ohio is launching a pilot project to address “last-mile” gaps; a $57.9 million design and engineering base contract has been approved for the New York Penn Station project; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has released design concepts for new trolley stations; and starting next month, Société de transport de Montréal (STM) métro riders can bring their pet dogs on board.

Commentary

NEARS 2022 Conference: Day One Takeaways

At the NEARS (North East Association of Rail Shippers) Fall 2022 Conference, participants say they are still waiting to see consistency in rail service. Technical metrics are gradually improving, but in our view, fluidity will not show significant improvement until first-half 2023. On the first day of sessions (Sept. 21), many attendees expressed surprise that CSX reached outside the rail network for its new CEO. Also, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin Oberman foreshadowed a more proactive STB. Our key takeaways follow.

Starting Nov. 19, the Central Subway will open with dedicated shuttle service on weekends. (SFMTA via Twitter)

Service on SFMTA’s New T Third Line Extension to Begin November

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on Sept. 20 announced that, beginning Nov. 19, a soft launch of the Central Subway Project, an extension of the T Third Line, will open with dedicated shuttle service on weekends between 4th and Brannan Station to Chinatown/Rose Park Station, stopping along the way at Yerba Buena and Union Square where passengers can make transfers to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service and the Market Street subway.

Brian L. Glassberg (right) will take over the role of GTX Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary once Deborah A. Golden (left) retires at the end of November.
  • News

People News: GATX, UP, WSP (UPDATED)

Deborah A. Golden set to retire from GATX Corporation (GATX). Also, Union Pacific’s (UP) Wendy Whalen earns a Women in Supply Chain Award; and Rob DiAdamo joins WSP as Senior Director of the firm’s Advisory Enterprise and Strategy Team.

ASLRRA Briefs

What’s the value of attending American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) regional meetings? ASLRRA Board Chair Stefan Loeb weighs in. Also, September is National Preparedness Month in the U.S., and the association is offering disaster preparedness tools for members.

BNSF’s Nober to Retire

BNSF Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Roger Nober has announced his retirement effective Jan. 1, 2023. His replacement will be Vice President and General Counsel Jill Mulligan.

Commentary

Might Union Chiefs Override Member Vote?

If tentative wages, benefits and work rules agreements reached between rail labor unions and most Class I railroads (and many smaller ones) fail to be ratified by union members in coming weeks, might leadership of those unions override a majority “no” vote and unilaterally impose the tentative agreement or, alternatively, submit it to binding arbitration rather than pursue further collective bargaining or authorize a strike?

Lori Burchett has taken over leadership of the Connector streetcar system in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photograph courtesy of the Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering)
  • News

People News: Connector, CSX, The Washington Companies

The Cincinnati (Ohio) Department of Transportation & Engineering appoints Lori Burchett as Deputy Director for Streetcar Services (Connector). Also, Florida’s Jacksonville Business Journal names CSX’s Funto Ajayi a Tech Leader of the Year; and The Washington Companies President and CEO Larry Simkins steps down.

(Photograph Courtesy of Norfolk Southern)

AAR: Carloads Up, Intermodal Down for Week 37

While U.S. carloads rose for Week 37 (ending Sept. 17, 2022), intermodal volume fell, bringing total traffic down compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on Sept. 21. Traffic was also down cumulatively for the year’s first 37 weeks.

The Hitachi Energy RESIBLOC® Rail offers an integrated cooling system and a voltage rating of up to 25 kV. (Image Courtesy of Hitachi Energy)
  • News

Supply Side: Belden/Cylus, Cummins, Hitachi

Belden and Cylus are teaming on a rail cybersecurity platform for rolling stock and signaling systems. Also, Cummins’ Tier 4 QSK95 engine can now be used with renewable diesel; and Hitachi Energy is offering a new oil-free traction transformer with integrated cooling system.

Gov. Hochul, MTA Chief Executive Officer Janno Lieber, and Demetrius Crichlow, Senior Vice President of NYCT Subways tour a 7 train with newly installed high- resolution security cameras at the Corona Maintenance Facility in Queens, Tuesday Sept. 20, 2022. Eventually, all 6,500-plus subway cars in the NYCT system will be outfitted with two high resolution video cameras to ensure safety for straphangers. (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Transit Briefs: NYMTA, LA Metro, OKC Streetcar, RTD, Boston’s South Station, Metro-North, LIRR

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to install security cameras in every subway car. Also, LA Metro releases new photos of the K Line’s Hyde Park Station artwork; the OKC Streetcar reaches one million rider milestone; the Regional Transportation District (RTD) closes financial transaction reducing its annual debt service by more than $144 million over 200 years; officials celebrate the next chapter in the redevelopment of Boston’s South Station; and Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will get their own police detail.