Report: Another Delay for Amtrak’s Acela II

It won’t be until sometime in 2024 that Amtrak’s new Acela II high-speed trainsets for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) will begin revenue service, three years behind schedule, as problems during testing have

GRR received Honorable Mention in Railway Age’s 2021 Short Line and Regional Railroad Awards program.

GRR Enters Asset Purchase Agreement

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on May 25 granted Grenada Railroad LLC’s (GRR) request for a partial waiver of a 60-day advance notice requirement, allowing the short line to enter into an asset purchase agreement and operate approximately 228 miles of rail line in Mississippi on or after May 28, 2023.

Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner earlier this month received the Honorable Ray LaHood Award for 2023 at WTS International’s annual conference in Atlanta, Ga. (Amtrak Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, LACMTA, Maryland DOT Maryland MTA, SMART, TTC

WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) International recognizes Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner for his commitment to advancing women in transportation. Also, the TAP fare card program for 26 Los Angeles County transit agencies, including LACMTA, expands its vendor network; Baltimore (Md.) Metropolitan Council issues a long-range regional transportation plan, which includes capital projects for Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration; Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) in California is launching an on-demand microtransit shuttle to the airport; and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Ontario, Canada selects SNC-Lavalin to provide enterprise asset management services.

AAR: North American Rail Volume Down Through 21 Weeks

For the first 21 weeks of 2023 (ending May 27), total U.S. weekly rail traffic dipped 4.1% from the same point last year, according to the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) May 31 report. Both Canada and the U.S. saw declines, while Mexico saw an increase.

"These proposed updates enhance FTA’s safety framework, as future safety-related rules, regulations, and guidance will be informed by the National Public Transportation Safety Plan,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.

FTA Seeks Comment on Updated National Public Transportation Safety Plan

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on May 31 released an updated version of the National Public Transportation Safety Plan and is encouraging the public to submit comments on the proposed changes.

Under FRA’s proposed rule for dispatcher certification, railroads would be required to have “formal processes for training prospective dispatchers, as well as verifying that each dispatcher has the requisite knowledge, skills, safety record, and abilities to safely perform all of the safety-related dispatcher duties mandated by federal laws and regulations, prior to certification.” (Union Pacific Photograph)

FRA Eyes Dispatcher, Signal Employee Certification

Freight railroads, Amtrak and commuter railroads would be required to develop certification programs for network dispatchers and signal employees under new Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposals.

PANY&NJ, SLRF See Growth Potential

At the recent FreightWeekSTL 2023 conference in St. Louis, Mo., Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANY&NJ) Deputy Port Director Michael P. Bozza said there is growth potential for the

UP is introducing service between the Barbours Cut Container Terminal at Port Houston and five metropolitan areas on its rail network. “Ocean carriers and Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCO) will have more options to move their containers inland to Union Pacific-served markets,” according to the Class I railroad.

UP Expanding Port Houston Intermodal Service

Union Pacific (UP) on June 1 will launch a new on-dock service at Barbours Cut Container Terminal at Port Houston, Tex., providing international shippers of consumer goods with direct rail access to Denver, Colo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; and El Paso, Tex.

Ryan Risdon, Manager, Program Support for the Short Line Safety Institute

Ryan Risdon Joins SLSI

The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) has appointed Ryan Risdon to the new position of Manager, Program Support.

Dr. MD Islam, Colorado State University (left) and Kari Gonzales, MxV Rail (MxV Rail Photograph)

MxV Rail, CSU Pueblo Team on Education, Training, Research

MxV Rail and Colorado State University Pueblo (CSU Pueblo) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a framework to work together on future education, training and research related to the