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Confederation Line Opens in Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s National Capitol, regained an electric rail transit system when its eight-mile crosstown Confederation Line opened to revenue passengers on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. The line’s name reflected the original hope of opening the service in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming a nation. Somewhat ironically, it was 60 years ago, 1959, that the city’s streetcars were abandoned.

New York City Transit subway

MTA to Increase Train Speed 50% on Certain Track

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released preliminary findings of the Train Speed and Safety Task Force that demonstrate subway train speeds on certain sections of track can be increased by as much as 50%. The task force initiated the study with engineering firm STV, with the help of Transport Workers Union, that remains ongoing but has already determined four core areas of focus that would lead to faster trains while prioritizing customer and employee safety.

Cowen Survey: Railcar Demand Holding

Railcar demand appears to be holding up at the modest levels seen in second-quarter 2019, “despite continued rail traffic declines and ongoing PSR implementation,” according to a Cowen and Company’s third-quarter shipper survey. “Barring a recession, orders are unlikely to fall below replacement demand of about 10,000-12,000 units/quarter for the balance of the year.”

Observations From NEARS Fall Conference: Cowen

After attending the North East Association of Rail Shippers (NEARS) Fall Conference in Burlington, Vt., Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl “came away with the view that while economic growth is sluggish, most do not expect a full-blown recession. In addition, several railroad executives admitted that the rails need to do a better job marketing to and servicing their customers. It was clear that Class I’s, short lines, and shippers need to do a better job of working together if rail wants to take share from the trucking space in the future.”

Sales and Marketing Restructuring at CSX

CSX has made several changes in its sales and marketing leadership team, promoting Farrukh Bezar to Senior Vice President Marketing and Arthur Adams to Vice President Merchandise Sales. Vice President Industrial Products Dean Piacente and Vice President Food and Agricultural Products Tim McNulty are retiring following more than 30 years of service.