New Cattron website offers better navigation

Cattron Group International, a global manufacturer of remote control products and professional services for the industrial, mining, commercial mobile, and railroad markets, said Friday it had launched a new website,  The company,

Metra’s Pagano struck and killed by train

Metra Executive Director Philip A. Pagano, who has been under investigation for financial misconduct, was struck and killed by a Metra train in Crystal Lake, Ill., Friday morning.  The Crystal Lake police

IRSE-NAS events set for RSSI

The North American Section of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE-NAS) isholding its Annual General Meeting and Mini Conference on Monday, May 17, beginning at 1:00 p.m., in Omaha, prior to

Van Ark to head California HSR Authority

Alstom Transportation, Inc. President Roelof van Ark has been named the new chief executive officer of the California High Speed Rail Authority.

roelof-van-ark.jpgSeveral industry sources say Van Ark, 58, an unabashed supporter of high speed rail and its potential in the U.S., was chosen in part to address the image problems the proposed $44 billion, 700-mile California system has acquired in recent months. Those problems were highlighted in a report released last month by the California state auditor, claiming the HSR program “risks delays or an incomplete system because of inadequate planning, weak oversight, and lax contract management.”

Van Ark’s appointment is backed by those who note he has served both Alstom and Erlangen, Germany-based Siemens AG, major potential suppliers for any U.S. high speed rail effort. Critics, however, suggest those very qualifications could put van Ark at a disadvantage, possibly a conflict of interest, should either of the two companies be considered for the project.

Van Ark succeeds Mehdi Morshed, who stepped down from his role as executive director in March after spending 11 years to advance HSR in California. According to a CHSRA news release, his $375,000 annual salary is “substantially less than his current compensation in the private sector.”

“California is leading the nation in high speed rail,” van Ark said. “I have seen how high speed rail projects transform the places where they have been built, creating incredible new opportunities by connecting the world s great cities. As someone who has devoted his career to this industry, there’s no doubt in my mind that California is the place to be, and I’’m honored to be given the opportunity to work with all partners to move California’s high speed train project forward."

Van Ark has been president at Alstom Transportation Inc. for the past five years, and he previously served as president of Aviation Security for Invision Technologies Inc. Prior to that he spent more than 20 years as an executive, managing director, general manager, senior technical manager, and senior project engineer for Siemens, manufacturer of Germany’s ICE high speed trains. While with Siemens, van Ark worked in Germany, South Africa, and most recently in Sacramento, where he served as president and CEO of Siemens Transportation Systems from 1999-2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.





Study committee backs streetcar for Milwaukee

Efforts to establish streetcar or light rail service in Wisconsin’s largest city, stymied for years by state and county opposition, got a boost Thursday when a Milwaukee study committee, in a 3-1 vote, approved preliminary engineering on a $95.8 million streetcar for downtown.

North American freight rail traffic keeps rising

Carload and intermodal rail traffic continued to gain ground in all three reporting North American nations for the week ended May 1, 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. AAR noted

National Train Day set for May 7-8

The third annual National Train Day, hosted by Amtrak, kicks off on Friday, May 7, with a ceremony at New York’s Penn Station. Actor and railroad enthusiast Taye Diggs (star of “Private

Environmental advocates cite freight rail benefits

The BlueGreen Alliance and the Economic Policy Institute have released a new study, “Full Speed Ahead: Creating Green Jobs Through Freight Rail Expansion,” which states that continued investment in freight rail “can

Solar-powered crossing signals a first in North Carolina

February 14, 2001 The North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division has installed the state’s first solar-powered highway-rail grade crossing warning system. Consisting of lights, bells, and gates, the system, designed and

NS lauds chemical customers for safety

Norfolk Southern has awarded 46 customers its 14th annual Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award for 2009 “in recognition of their safe handling of hazardous chemical products.” The award is earned by a company

Kawasaki apparent choice for NYMTA subway cars

Kawasaki Railcar USA is the apparent winning bidder tosupply 23 new R-188 subway cars to MTA New York City Transit under an $87million contract. The contract contains a $384 million option to

New York & Atlantic locomotives going green

A $1 million U.S. Department of Transportation CMAQ (CongestionMitigation and Air Quality) grant will enable the New York & AtlanticRailway, which operates MTA Long Island Rail Road’s freight service, to loweremissions from

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CSX and D&H propose joint use of NYC-Canada corridor

CSX Transportation and Canadian Pacific subsidiary Delaware & Hudson Railway have asked the Surface Transportation Board to approve a joint use arrangement in a north-south rail corridor linking the New York City metropolitan area with

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Union Pacific earns Supplier Excellence Award

Union Pacific said late Thursday it is the first railroad to earn the Eastman Chemical Company Supplier Excellence Award for overall company performance. The award signifies consistent performance in providing Eastman with

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New Greenbrier-managed fleet adds 4,000 cars

WLRoss-Greenbrier Rail Holdings, which was formed by WL Ross & Co., a private equity firm, and The Greenbrier Companies, announced Friday that it has acquired a lease portfolio of nearly 4,000 railcars valued at approximately

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Parsons Brinckerhoff names new chairman

Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Richard A. Schrader chairman, succeeding Keith J. Hawksworth, who is retiring after 33 years with the firm. In his new position, Schrader, currently Executive Vice President and Chief