Rep. Peterson’s office tours PortaCo’s Moorhead facility

On Feb. 8, 2016, Congressman Collin Peterson’s (D-MN-7) Chief of Staff, Allison Myhre, and Economic Development Officer, Toni Merdan, joined representatives from PortaCo to tour its Moorhead, Minn. facility, learn about its various maintenance-of-way and railroad tools, and discuss public policy priorities for the business and rail communities in western Minnesota. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA), a non-profit trade group representing over 350 railway engineers, contractors, consultants, and M/W suppliers across the country, coordinated the event. The $5 billion M/W industry supports over 35,000 jobs nationwide. Locally, PortaCo employs 17 individuals.

For MBTA and Amtrak, FAST Act a fast track to federal court

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is suing Amtrak in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts after the two companies failed to reach agreement on new, vastly increased access fees for MBTA commuter trains operating between Attleboro, Mass., at the Rhode Island border, and Providence, R.I., on the Northeast Corridor.

Will FAST Act bring fast results?

After years of delays and extensions, a multi-year surface transportation bill is finally in place. Will it deliver on the advertised?

UITP to launch international urban rail platform for North America

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) announced Jan. 12, 2016 the creation of the International Urban Rail Platform for North America, which will bring together key rail industry players from the region and the rest of the world.

RSI looks to sustain momentum in 2016

In 2015, the Railway Supply Institute, Inc. (RSI) advocated quite heavily against keeping truck size and weight from increasing. And it was successful on both accounts. Now, according to RSI’s Nicole Brewin, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, intercity passenger rail funding outside of the appropriations process is big on the association’s 2016 agenda.

Wabtec lands $45 million PTC contracts with Metra, PTG

Wabtec Corporation has signed contracts worth about $45 million to provide equipment and services for a Positive Train Control (PTC) system for the Metra, the Northeast Illinois commuter rail system. The contracts are with Metra and Parsons Transportation Group (PTG).

FAST Act on the fast track to approval

Congressional conferees on Dec. 1, 2015 reached an agreement on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill and the first long-term bill of its kind in a decade. It comes after years of predeccesor-bill extensions and partisan bickering. Of  interest to freight railroads are key provisions on safety enhancements for tank cars moving flammable liquids in the U.S. and electronically-controlled pneumatic (ECP) train braking.