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VIA RAIL LAYS OFF 1,000 EMPLOYEES DUE TO PROTEST BLOCKADES: VIA Rail Canada is temporarily laying off about 1,000 employees because of ongoing protest blockades on CN rail lines. [Progressive Railroading, 2-20-20]

ATLANTA-AREA VOTERS APPROVE PENNY SALES TAX TO FUND RAIL, BUS SERVICES: Voters in all four jurisdictions in the MARTA service area of Atlanta have approved a 1-cent sales tax to fund rail and bus service in Atlanta and Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties through 2057. [Progressive Railroading, 2-20-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Febr. 15, 2020, was 479,137 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-19-20]

CN FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN ONTARIO, LEAKS CRUDE OIL: A Canadian National freight train derailed late Febr. 18 with about 30 cars off the track near Emo, Ontario, and crude oil was leaking. [Globe & Mail, 2-19-20]

OPTIFUEL SYSTEMS GETS TIER-4 CERTIFICATION FOR INTERNAL CUMBUSTION ENGINE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted OptiFuel Systems a Tier-4 certification for its internal combustion engine that produces zero nitrogen oxide or particulate matter emissions. [Progressive Railroading, 2-19-20]

CN LAYS OFF 450 IN EASTERN CANADA: Canadian National is temporarily laying off about 450 employees in its Eastern Canada operations after canceling more than 400 trains over the past week in response to protest blockages along its rail lines. [Progressive Railroading, 2-19-20]

CLEANUP CONTINUES FOLLOWING CSX DERAILMENT IN KENTUCKY: Cleanup remained underway Febr. 18 at the site of a massive CSX train derailment, with crews working to remove the remaining locomotives from the crash site. The derailment occurred Febr. 13 sending two crew members to the hospital. [WSAZ, 2-18-20]

ALSTOM AGREES TO BUY BOMBARDIER'S RAIL BUSINESS: French train manufacturer Alstom has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire Canada-based Bombardier's rail business for $6.2-billion to $6.7-billion. Selling its rail business will allow Bombardier to focus exclusively on its aviation business. [Progressive Railroading, 2-18-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO CLOSE ITS ROANOKE DISTRIBUTION CENTER: Norfolk Southern has announced the closure of its Roanoke, Va, distribution center, and the planned transfer of the work of its Roanoke shop to Altoona, Pa. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-18-20]

RENFE LAUNCHES GRANADA-SEVILLE HIGH-SPEED TRAIN SERVICE: Spain's national rail operator Renfe has launched a new 155-MPH train service between Granada and Seville. [International Railway Journal, 2-18-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending February 16, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 30 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-17-20]

DAYTON SEEKS TO BUY 6.5 MILES OF ABANDONED RAIL LINE FOR TRAIL: Dayton, Ohio, wants to create a multi-use trail that would connect downtown with eastern neighborhoods over an abandoned rail line. But the city has been unable to agree with Norfolk Southern to a price. The city appraiser values the track at $785,000, but the railroad puts the asking price at $3.5-million. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-17-20]

EAST BROAD TOP RAILROAD TO RUN AGAIN: The East Broad Top narrow-gauge railroad in Pennsylvania now has a new owner. It is a non-profit foundation organized by a group of prominent rail-industry figures and longtime EBT fans. EBT Foundation Inc. will own 27 miles of the line along with its shops, rolling stock and equipment. EBT has been closed since late 2011, and before operations can be renewed, the foundation will need to overhaul track and equipment. The foundation will offer several events this year, but it is not anticipated that it will be in a position to run trains over the line until sometime in 2021. MORE.. [The Sentinel, 2-15-20]

NEW 224-MPH TRAIN BEING TESTED IN JAPAN: A prototype of the Alfa-X Shinkansen train made its first test run in Hokkaido, Japan, on Febr. 12. The new train is being developed by East Japan Railway with the aim to introduce it at the same time as the Hokkaido Shinkansen that is being extended to Sapporo. The railway seeks to operate the Shinkansen at a maximum speed of 224 MPH. The train has 10 cars, and has a defining characteristic of a lengthy nose on the front to mitigate shock when entering a tunnel at speed. [Japan News, 2-15-20]

BOMBARDIER REPORTS DROP IN REVENUE: Bombardier released its consolidated full-year 2019 results on Febr. 13, confirming a 7 pct drop in revenue for the Transportation division to $8.2-billion, just the day after the board of Alstom reportedly met to discuss a potential takeover deal. [International Railway Journal, 2-14-20]

FEDS GRANT $7.3-M TOWARD RAIL TRANSIT SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: The Federal Transit Administration has made available $7.3-million for projects that demonstrate and evaluate new technologies, safer designs and practices to improve rail transit safety. [Progressive Railroading, 2-14-20]

MBTA ADVANCING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority has announced a number of subway and commuter rail shutdowns over the coming year as part of plans to speed up construction projects system-wide. This will allow the work to be done nearly eight years ahead of the originally-planned schedule. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-14-20]

PLANS CONTINUE FOR AMTRAK SERVICE TO QUAD CITIES, ROCKFORD IN ILLINOIS: Plans are continuing smoothly for Amtrak's proposed service to the Quad Cities and Rockford. For the state of Illinois, the next step is getting a cosultant to manage the project. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-14-20]

STADLER RAIL LANDS NEXUS CONTRACT TO MAINTAIN 42 TRAINS IN U.K.: Stadler Rail has entered into a $914-million contract with Nexus to supply and maintain 42 new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro in northeast England. The new trains will replace the existing fleet by 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 2-14-20]

CSX ETHANOL TRAIN DERAILS IN KENTUCKY: A CSX train with 96 loaded ethanol cars derailed two locomotives and an unknown number of cars into the Big Sandy River in Draffin, Kentucky, early Febr. 13, after striking a rock slide. Two crew members made it safely to shore and were then transported to a hospital. One of the locomotives and some of the cars were burning. [WYMT, 2-13-20]

VIA RAIL HALTS PASSENGER SERVICE ACROSS CANADA DUE TO PROTESTS: VIA Rail is halting passenger services across Canada in the face of protests, and CN is shutting down its eastern Canada operations. [Calgary Herald, 2-13-20]

FREIGHT RAILROADS, UNION FREE TO NEGOTIATE TRAIN-CREW STAFFING, COURT SAYS: A federal court has issued an order allowing freight railroads to begin ngotiations over train crew staffing with the union that represents conductors. [Progressive Railroading, 2-13-20]

N.Y. CITY TRANSIT RETIRES REMAINING R-42 SUBWAY CARS: New York City Transit has retired the last remaining R-42 subway cars from service, ending a 51-year run. Two of the cars will be saved for housing at the New York Transit Museum. The retired fleet is being replaced by R-179 cars, and eventually R-211 cars. [Progressive Railroading, 2-13-20]

TESTING TO BEGIN ON NEW AMTRAK ACELA TRAIN SET: The first of Amtrak's new Acela train sets, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast corridor in 2021, will be arriving shortly at the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado, for nine months of dynamic testing. [Amtrak, 2-13-20]

INDIANA DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT GETS CLEARANCE TO PROCEED: The Federal Transit Administration has given clearance for the addition of a second commuter-rail track between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana, along with the elimination of 21 grade crossings in Michigan City. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-13-20]

PAN AM RAILWAYS REPORTS PARTIAL WALL COLLAPSE IN HOOSAC TUNNEL: Pan Am Railways has reported a partial wall collapse in the Hoosac tunnel which affects all trains operating between Mechanicsville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts. The company's engineering department is evaluating the situation. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-12-20]

READING & NORTHERN, TOWN OF JIM THORPE RESOLVE AMUSEMENT TAX DISPUTE: Reading & Northern Railroad and the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., have resolved their amusement tx dispute, and the railroad will resume tourist rail service to and from Jim Thorpe this spring, with the first trips coming at Winterfest on Febr. 15. [Railway Age, 2-12-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Febr. 8, 2020, was 485,329 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-12-20]

VEHICLE STRUCK BY METROLINK TRAIN: A vehicle was hit by a Metrolink train in Simi Valley late Febr. 12. There were no reported injuries to passengers on the train, but one occupant of the vehicle was transported to a hospital as a precaution. [VC Star, 2-12-20]

CSX HIKES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND: The CSX board of directors has increased the quarterly dividend 8 pct from 24 cents to 26 cents per share. [CSX, 2-12-20]

NEW RAIL CAR STORAGE YARD TO BE BUILT IN ALBERTA: The Canadian govrnment will invest $15-million (C) toward construction of a 1,930-railcar storage yard in Sturgeon County, Alberta, aimed at reducing bottlenecks on the western Canadian rail network. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

PRESIDENT'S FY-2021 BUDGET CUTS FUNDING FOR AMTRAK: President Trump's administration has proposed its FY-2021 budget calling for cutting Amtrak funding by more than 50 pct, compared with previous year's budget, and a plan to phase out support for long-distance trains. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

GRANT AWARDED TOWARD CONSTRUCTION OF RAIL SPUR TO INDUSTRAIL PARK IN INDIANA: The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will award up to $1-million to LaPorte County to halp pay for a $6-million prject to build a rail spur to connect Kingsbury Industrial Park to the CSX main line. CSX has designated the industrial park as a 'Select Site' for prospective developers. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

PIPELINE PROTESTS DISRUPT CN SERVICE: CN says it will be forced to shut down significant parts of its Canadian rail network unless blockades on its rail lines are removed. Individuals blocking the lines say their opposition to pipelines is not related to CN activities, but blockads have already caused cancelation of hundreds of trains over the past five days. [CN, 2-11-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their schduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Febr. 9, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-10-20]

CANADA IMPOSES SPEED RESTRICTIONS ON HAZMAT TRAINS: Transport Canada has ordered all freight trains hauling 20 or more cars of dangerous goods to limit their speed to 20 MPH in metropolitan areas, and 25 MPH outside of metropolitan areas, to last for 30 days. [Freight Waves, 2-10-20]

METROLINX TO INSTALL TRESPASS-RETARDANT PANELS AT 18 GRADE CROSSINGS: Toronto's Metrolinx will install rubber panels at 18 grade crossings on GO Transit's Lakeshore corridors to deter peple from trespassing on tracks. Three such panels were installed last year, testing their capability, and the agency noticed a drop in trespassing at the affected locations. The panels are made of material that is difficult to walk upon. [Progressive Railroading, 2-10-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN MAIN LINE BRIDGE WASHED OUT IN S.C.: A Norfolk Southern main line bridge near Columbia, S.C., washed out, and the line will remain out of service for about one week. Rail traffic is being rerouted. The bridge is about four miles west of a Febr. 7 derailment, but the two incidents are not related. [Norfolk Southern, 2-9-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN S.C.: Three locomotives and eight cars derailed Febr. 7 in Columbia, S.C., after a train struck a tree in Columbia, S.C., Norfolk Southern said. No injuries were reported. [WLTX, 2-8-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN ILLINOIS: A BNSF train derailed early Febr. 8 south of Sesser, Illinois. Approximately 20-25 cars derailed, some onto their sides. There was no risk to public safety, officials said. [WSIL-TV, 2-8-20]

DERAILED CP TRAIN STILL BURNING IN SASKATCHEWAN: It was the second fiery train derailment in two months near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, when the accident involving 31 cars of a 104-car train occurred Febr. 6. No injuries were reported, but twelve cars were still burning as of the evening. The previous derailment was Dec. 9, 2019, when 34 cars left the tracks. [CBC, 2-7-20]

CN TO CLOSE MONTREAL DISPATCHING CENTER: Canadian National has announced that it will close its rail traffic control center in Montreal on Sept. 14, and move 108 positions to Alberta. [CBC, 2-7-20]

MONTANA RAIL LINK PROMOTES THREE: Montana Rail Link has promoted Joe Racicot to vice-president of administration and general counsel, Jim Lewis to vice-president of sales and marketing, and Ross Lane to vice-president of corporate relations. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

WABTEC BRAKES GROUND ON PLANT IN BOCHUM, GERMANY: Wabtec has broken ground on a 200,000-square-foot plant for developing and manufacturing brakes, and maintaining brakes and couplers for transit vehicles in Bochum, Germany. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

SCI RAIL HOLDINGS ACQUIRES SALCO PRODUCTS: SCI Rail Holdings, through a subsidiary, has acquired Salco Products, a supplier of circular hatch covers, tank car valves and other rail-car components. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 11 CORADIA CONTINENTAL BATTERY-ELECTRIC TRAINS FOR GERMANY: Alsom has entred into a $109.6-million contract to build, deliver and maintain 11 Coradia Continental battery-electric trains for the Leipzig-Chemnitz route in Germany. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

HIGH-SPEED TRAIN WRECK IN ITALY KILLS TWO, INJURES ABOUT 30: A high-speed passenger train derailed in northern Italy before dawn Febr. 6. Its detached engine slammed into the car of a work train on an adjacent track and ripped away part of a building wall. Two train employees were killed and about 30 people were injured. [ABC News, 2-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN N.J.: A Norfolk Southern train derailed early Febr. 6 on the main line in Bound Brook, N.J., causing the route to and from north New Jersey including Croxton and Ports of New York to be out of service. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STOPS HANDLING CONTAINERS AT HARRIS YARD, MEMPHIS: Norfolk Southern has stopped handling intermodal freight containers at Harris yard in mid-city Memphis, and has moved those operations to suburban Rossville. [Daily Memphian, 2-6-20]

READING & NORTHERN OPENS NEW BRIDGE SPANNING LEHIGH RIVER IN PA.: Reading & Northern, on Febr. 5, opened a new $14-million rail bridge over the Lehigh River in Nesquhoning, Pa., connecting the line's Reading and Lehigh divisions. The bridge now allows expedited movement between Reading and Scranton. [Progressive Railroading, 2-6-20]

CP TRAIN DERAILS, CATCHES FIRE IN SASKATCHEWAN: A Canadian Pacific train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire early Febr. 6 in Guernsey, Saskatchewan. There were no injuries to the crew, and the railroad said there was no impact to waterways. Response teams were working to contain the fire. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-6-20]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN CONSTRUCTION SPANS 119 MILES: California's high-speed rail construction contracts now total nearly $4-billion with 30 active sites spanning 119 miles across five counties. Rail operations are anticipated to start in 2027 on 171 miles of rail. [Streetsblog California, 2-6-20]

JANUARY 2020 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,410,813 carloads and intermodal containers in January 2020, a drop of 5.6 pct compared with the same month last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-5-20]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY FORMER EMPLOYEE IN WHISTLEBLOWER INCIDENT: A U.S. district court has ordered BNSF to pay over $696,000 in lost, back and future wages to a former employee who reported track defects, bringing the total paid to the individual to more than $1.74-million. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2-5-20]

MOBILE COUNCIL COMMITS $3-M TOWARD GULF COAST AMTRAK RUNS: The Mobile, Alabama, city council has voted to commit around $3-million, starting in the year 2023, for restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast. But advocates stressed that more work is needed, and a train station will have to be built. [AL.com, 2-4-20]

ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS STRAND NEC TRAINS SOUTH FROM N.Y. PENN: A day after horror stories from stranded commuters in and out of New York's Penn Station via the Hudson River tunnels, the delays of 90 minutes or longer were from lost electrical power after contact with overhead wires failed. It happened whee the overhead catenary wires intersect with the tunnel's flood gates. [NJ.com, 2-4-20]

ACUPUNCTURIST SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMTRAK: A licensed California acupuncturist has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for fraudulently billing Amtrak's healthcare plan for millions of dollars' worth of procedures that were not medically necessary, or were not provided at all. [Orange County Register, 2-4-20]

BNSF TO SPEND $3.4-B IN CAPEX THIS YEAR: BNSF will spend $3.4-billion on capital expenditures this year. The largest, $2.55-billion component, will be for replacing and upgrading its track and maintaining rolling stock. [Progressive Railroading, 2-4-20]

PERSON STRUCK, KILLED BY TRAIN ON NORTHEAST CORRIDOR IN MD.: Amtrak and MARC trains saw delays of 20 to 40 minutes the morning of Febr. 3 after a person was struck and killed by a train near the Seabrook, Md., MARC station. [WTOP, 2-3-20]

CAROLINA COASTAL RAILWAY TO BE ACQUIRED: Short line operator Regional Rail LLC has agreed to acquire Carolina Coastal Railway, which operates 180 miles of track in the Carolinas. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

LIRR REOPENS RENOVATED NOSTRAND AVENUE STATION IN BROOKLYN: Long Island Rail Road has reopened its Nostrand avenue station in Brooklyn following a more than two-year, $28-million renovation. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

MAGNOLIA PARK TRANSIT CENTER IN HOUSTON REOPENED: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, has reopened the improved Magnolia Park Transit Center in Houston following an upgrade. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

PERSON STRUCK, KILLED BY MARC TRAIN IN ROCKVILLE, MD.: A pedestrian was struck and killed by a MARC train the afternoon of Febr. 3 near Randolph road, Rockville, Md., causing a suspension of Brunswick line train service due to the investigation. [WDVM, 2-3-20]

N.J. TRANSIT'S OLDEST LOCOMOTIVE IS 50 YEARS OLD: New Jersey Transit locomotive 4100, the agency's oldest unit, began its career as one of 13 FP40P engines, built by General Motors and purchased by NJT to keep commutr trains running on the bankrupt Central Railroad of New Jersey. [NJ.com, 2-2-20]

AMTRAK SERVICE IN VA. EXPECTED TO DOUBLE WITHIN DECADE: Amtrak trains in Virginia carried nearly a million passengers last year. Virginia's pledge to invest $3.7-billion in rail over the next decade promises even more growth for Amtrak, and the number of trains in the state is expected to double by 2030. Virginia is one of 18 states to sponsor Amtrak service. [Roanoke Tims, 2-1-20]

JANUARY 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in January 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 10 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-1-20]

CN MAIN LINE DAMAGED BY STORM IN B.C.: Heavy rainfall has caused significant flooding in the mountains of British Columbia, closing sections of highway 5 and washing away thr gound beneath a section of Canadian National main line near Hope. [Coast Mountain News, 2-1-20]

TRACK REPAIRS DELAY LONDON-PARIS TRAINS: Passengers on the first trains between London and Paris following Britain's departure from the European Union faced lengthy delays, some by more than two hours.. But overrunning engineering work and track problems - not Brexit - were to blame. Trains between London and Brussels were also delayed.. [U.S. News & World Report, 2-1-20]

AMTRAK'S DOWNEASTER BREAKS RIDERSHIP RECORD IN 2019: Amtrak's Downeaster between Maine and Boston broke its ridership record in 2019, when it attracted 574,404 passengers. This was an 8 pct increase over the previous year. [WHDH, 2-1-20]

TEEN KILLED BY MBTA COMMUTER TRAIN: An 18-year-old male is dead after he was struck late Jan. 30 by a Massachusetts Bay commuter train while on the right-of-way in Concord, Massachusetts. [Boston Herald, 1-31-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN BREAKS DOWN, BLOCKS TEXAS CROSSING 16 HOURS: A Union Pacific freight train that had broken down early Jan. 30 remained stationary over 16 hours blocking crossings in the town of West, Texas, until crews could arrive and make repairs. School zone traffic was described as being a 'nightmare' during the ordeal. [KWTX, 1-30-20]

STATE AUDITOR CRITICIZES N.J. TRANSIT RAIL OPERATIONS: A scathing report by the state auditor has critized N.J. Transit's operations, saying the cost to install positive train-control technology ballooned to $500-million, and expressed doubts that the agency will meet the year-ending mandate to have it running. The report also contends 47 bridges with poor or bad components were left off the priority repair list. [NJ.com, 1-30-20]

MAN DRIVES AROUND GATE, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: A man was killed late Jan. 29 in East Oakland, California, after he drove his vehicle around activated railroad crossing gates and was struck by an Amtrak train. [S.F. Chronicle, 1-30-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 4-Q, FULL YEAR EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported fourth-quarter net income of $666-million and diluted earnings per share of $2.55; and full year 2019 net income of $2.72-billion and diluted EPS of $10.25. During its first year of its three-year strategic plan, the company produced a record operating ratio of 64.7 pct while managing the headwinds of a 5 pct decline in carload volumes. Railway operating revenues for the year were $11.3-billion, a drop of 1 pct compared with the prior year. [Norfolk Southern, 1-29-20]

N.Y. TRANSIT RETURNS R179 RAIL CARS TO SERVICE: New York City Transit has returned 298 Bombardier R179 rail cars to service after having removed them from the subway fleet in response to reports of door problems. [Progressive Railroading, 1-29-20]

FLORIDA OFFICIALS CONSIDER LEGISLATION TO CURB FATALITIES ON BRIGHTLINE TRACKS: In its first two years, more than 40 people have been killed by Brightline trains on tracks and crossings, a rate of more than one a month. Brightline trains run at up to 79 MPH, somewhat faster than the freight trains that operate on the same tracks, often through densely-populated areas. Fencing the right-of-way could be one solution, and Florida officilas are considering legislation would might require such an effort, but Brightline says that fencing would cost more than $200,000 per mile, something the company says could threaten its transportation project. [WUFT, 1-29-20]

CP REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR ENDING RESULTS: Canadian Pacific announced record revenues of $2.07-billion, an operating ratio of 57 pct, and record diluted earnings per share of $4.82 in the fourth-quarter 2019. For the full year, revenues increased 7 pct to a record $7.79-billion and adjusted diluted EPS of $16.44, and increase of 13 pct from the prior year. [CP, 1-29-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Jan. 25, 2020, was 485,282 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.1 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-29-20]

MAN KILLED BY FREIGHT TRAIN IN WEST PALM BEACH: A man died Jan. 28 after being struck by a freight train in West Palm Beach while walking near the Florida East Coast right-of-way. Crossings were blocked for several hours because of the incident, police said. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-29-20]

UNION PACIFIC REOPENING 58 INTERLINE SERVICE LANES WITH CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Union Pacific will reopen 58 interline service lanes with CSX and Norfolk Southern beginning Febr. 1. The lanes had been originally cut in 2018 in connection with the company's version of precision railroading. [Supply Chain Dive, 1-29-20]

RUSSIAN RAILWAYS RECEIVES 12 THREE-SECTION DIESELS FOR NON-ELECTRIFIED SERVICE: Bryansk has delivered 12 three-section diesel locomotives with AC-DC transmission designed for harsh weather conditions in non-electrified sections in the far east of Russia. [Railway Gazette, 1-29-20]

MOBILE POSTPONES GULF COAST TRAIN FUNDING VOTE: The future of Amtrak passenger rail service remains hanging in the balance after city leaders in Mobile postponed their vote Jan. 28. A favorable vote would pave the way for the return of Gulf Coast Amtrak rail service. [WLOX, 1-28-20]

CN REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END RESULTS: Canadian National's fourth-quarter and year-ending results were impacted by its eight-day labor strike and weakened traffic demand. Quarterly revenues of $3.58-billion (C) were a drop of 6 pct compared with the same quarter last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.25 were a decrease of 16 pct, and adjusted operating ratio of 65.2 pct increased 4.0 points. Full year 2019 revenues of $14.9-billion (C) represented an increase of 4 pct, and adjusted operating ratio of 61.7 was an increase of 0.2 points. [CN, 1-28-20]

SEPTA SHUTS DOWN ROUTE 15 STREETCAR: Philadelphia's SEPTA Route 15 streetcar, which operated 8.4 miles along Girard avenue, made its final run Jan. 24. SEPTA offered only a four-day notice, posting the discontinuance as a service advisory on its website, and did not issue a press release. Bus service has been substituted. SEPTA claimed that one of the reasons for shutting down the line was a shortage of operable vehicles. [Railway Age, 1-27-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Sixty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week nding January 26, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 56 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-27-20]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYEMENT DOWN IN MID-DECEMBER: As of mid-December 2019, Class I rail employment was 131,486, down 1.31 pct since mid-November, and down 11 pct from one year earlier, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 1-27-20]

PROPOSED RAIL-TRAIL ADDITION IN NORTHERN VERMONT GETS BOOST FROM GOVERNOR: Vermont's governor has asked lawmakers to approve $2.8-million as the state's share toward completion of the remaining 60 miles of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, located on a rail line that operated until the 1980's.. A 30-mile section is already open, and the completed trail would connect with a number of other trails in Vermont and adjacent states. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-25-20]

MISSOURI OWES AMTRAK MILLIONS: For the last decade, Missouri has not paid its full contract for the River Runner service. The state has several million dollars in overdue bills. Two trains are involved, each making a round-trip every day between St. Louis and Kansas City, with eight stops in between. Amtrak, meanwhile, has been very patient with the state. It has not treatened to stop service. But a state official believes it could eventually come to that point if the bill remains unpaid. [News Tribune, 1-25-20]

EXTENSION OF HEARTLAND FLYER TO KANSAS BEING CALCULATED: Officials from Oklahoma and Kansas, along with advocates, met with Amtrak this week to discuss a possible extension of the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City and Newton, Kansas, where there would be a connection with the Southwest Chief. Host carrier BNSF will release a cost analysis in February. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

AMTRAK MAKES NEW BUS CONNECTION IN N.C.: Swansboro, N.C., is now a stop for the Amtrak Thruway Bus, which will provide service to and from Wilson, N.C. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

BOMBARDIER IN TALKS WITH ALSTOM TO POTENTIALLY COMBINE RAIL BUSINESSES: Bloomberg reports that Bombardier has initiated discussions with Alstom to potentially combine their rail businesses. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

SOUND TRANSIT GETS FEDERAL GRANT FOR LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: The Federal Transit Administration has announced $1.4-billion toward Sound Transit's 10.9-mile Federal Way light-rail link extension from Angle Lake for completion in 2024. [International Railway Journal, 1-24-20]

AMTRAK TRAIN COLLIDES WITH MAINTENANCE TRUCK ON THE TRACK IN CONNECTICUT: An Amtrak train collided with a maintenance truck Jan. 24 on the tracks in Connecticut. Two workers in the truck were able to escape unharmed prior to impact, but six people on the train had minor injuries. [Associated Press, 1-24-20]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported fourth-quarter 2019 net income of $1.4-billion or $2.02 per diluted share, which compares with $1.6-billion or $2.12 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating ratio was 59.7 pct, a fourth-quarter record. Full year net income was $5.9-billion or $8.38 per diluted share, and operating income was $8.6-billion, flat compared with 2018. [Union Pacific, 1-23-20]

MAN STABBED TO DEATH ON MINNEAPOLIS LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN: A man riding on a light-rail train in a Minneapolis suburb was fatally stabbed by a fellow passenger early Jan. 23 following an argument. The suspect was arrested. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-23-20]

MAN STRUCK, KILLED BY FREIGHT TRAIN IN GERMANTOWN, MD.: A 60-year-old man died after being struck by a CSX freight train the evening of Jan. 22 at the MARC train station at Germantown, Md. Initial investigation found that the man was crossing the tracks at the platform when he was hit. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-23-20]

NEW YORK CITY MTA TO STUDY PASSENGER SERVICE ON FREIGHT-ONLY LINE: New York City's Metropolitan Transporttion Authority has awarded a contract to study the feasibility of initiating passenger service on a freight-only line running from Sunset Park in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens. [Progressive Railroading, 1-23-20]

UNION PACIFIC TO REDUCE WORKFORCE BY NEARLY 3,000 THIS YEAR: Union Pacific plans to run its railroad with nearly 3,000 fewer workers this year, its CEO told the Wall Street Journal. The company plans to reduce its average number of workers by about eight percent, after reducing staffing by 11 percent last year. [Seeking Alpha, 1-23-20]

GRAIN CAR ROLLS AWAY AT HIGH SPEED IN B.C.: A grain car rolled away at high-speed on Canadian Pacific tracks for about four miles Jan. 14 at Field, B.C., near the site where a derailment killed three crew members almost a year ago. There were no injuries in the runaway incident. [CBC, 1-23-20]

AMTRAK ENDS POLICY OF INFLATED SURCHARGE FOR WHEELCHAIR PASSENGERS: Amtrak says it will end a policy that led it to quote a price of $25,000 for a group of activists who use wheelchairs to travel when seats needed to be removed to accommodate the wheelchairs. The policy was never meant to be applied to this situation, Amtrak said, for passage between Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois, the regular fare for which is just $16. [The Hill, 1-23-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S TRIPLE CROWN TO MOVE ITS HEADQUARTERS: Longtime Fort Wayne business Triple Crown Services, a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern, is moving its headquarters out of Fort Wayne on July 31, an employee has confirmed. [WANE, 1-22-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending January 18, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 499,732 carloads and intermodal units, down 8 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 8.4 pct, and intermodal was down 7.7 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-22-20]

TRAIL BUILT NEXT TO COMMUTER RAIL LINE IN TEXAS: The Denton County, Texas, Transportation Authority has completed a 19-mile mixed-use trail along its A-Line commuter rail line to connect pedestrians and bicyclists between the downtown Denton transit center and Hebron station in Lewisville, Texas. [Progressive Railroading, 1-22-20]

LIRR DELAYS HIT THREE-YEAR LOW: Long Island Rail Road's on-time performance was 92.4 pct in 2019, the highest since 2016, when it was 92.7 pct. Much of the success was due to the railroad's 'Forward' program, designed to eliminate problems before they result in delays. Elements of the program include replacement of old switches, new safety devices at grade crossings, vegetation management, and elimination of wet leaves on the rails. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-21-20]

SEVEN COMPLETE NJT ENGINEER TRAINING CLASS: New Jersey officials have recognized NJ Transit's latest locomotive engineer training class for completing classroom training. The class of seven trainees will graduate in the upcoming weeks after they complete their necessary certifications. [Insider NJ, 1-21-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their schduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 19, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 52 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-20-20]

DRIVER KILLED WHEN TRUCK STRUCK BY TRAIN IN FLORIDA: An 87-year-old Florida man died after he drove his truck onto the railroad tracks and was hit head-one by a freight train early Jan. 20 in Volusia County, Florida. There were no injuries to crew members aboard the train. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-20-20]

UNION PACIFIC TESTING NEW TIE-REMOVAL TECHNOLOGY: Union Pacific has begun using new tie-removal technology to accelerate used-tie cleanup. The railroad is testing the use of two excvators that ride along the top of a series of connected rail cars. Operators load tie bundles left in stacks and transport them to one of three facilities where ties are recycled or shredded for fuel. The system doubles the ties that can be disposed of per day compared with the traditional system. [Progressive Railroading, 1-20-20]

AUSTRIA BEGINS NEW 'NIGHTJET' RAIL SERVICE: Austrian Federal Railways, on Jan. 19, launched a new Nightjet rail connection with two services operating twice a week between Vienna and Innsburck. The new service is an extension of the existing Vienna/Innsbruck-Dusseldorf Nightjet, which has been diverted to Brussels via Aachen. [International Railway Journal, 1-20-20]

ESSEX COUNTY, N.Y., SEEKS TO RETAIN RAIL BRANCH FOR FREIGHT: Essex County, N.Y., supervisors are asking their counterparts in Warren County to hold off asking for a declaration of the Sanford Lake branch of the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad as 'abandoned.' The branch has trackage in both counties. Negotiations broke down for a new rail operator on the branch last fall, and Warren County has since passed a resolution to begin the process to declare the branch abandoned. Many push for conversion of it to recreational trail use. Essex County, meanwhile, says more effort should be made into finding a company to use the line to move freight. [Adirondack Daily Enterprise, 1-18-20]

KCS REPORTS 2019 EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern reported 2019 revenues of $2.9-billion, an increase of 6 pct on a 1 pct decline in carloads. Operating income was $886.3-million and the reported operating ratio was 69.1 pct. Full year net income was $540.8-million or $5.40 per diluted share. [Kansas City Southern, 1-17-20]

METROLINK'S VAN NUYS STATION UPGRADE NEARS COMPLETION: Metrolink has held a ceremony to mark the $32-million rebuilding of Van Nuys station in Los Angeles under a two-year project which is nearing completion. It is on the Ventura line, a Union Pacific route, which is also served by Amtrak. An island platform has been constructed, replacing side platforms. [Railway Gazette, 1-17-20]

AMTRAK EYES NEW ATLANTA-NASHVILLE TRAIN WITH CHATTANOOGA STOP: Amtrak has been discussing with Tennessee officials a proposal to establish an Atlanta to Nashville run. A stop could include Chattanooga. The state's house transportation committee chairman said the state is certainly interested, but he cautioned it's too early for anyone to conclude that it will happen within the next four of five years, if at all. [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1-16-20]

RIDERSHIP ON HARTFORD LINE PASSES ONE MILLION MARK: Ridership on the Hartford line, which connects rail commuters between New Haven and Springfield, has passed the one million mark. The service was launched June 18, 2018, and passenger rail use has been growing at a rate of 25 pct year-over-year, said the Connecticut Department of Transportation. [Mass Live, 1-16-20]

CSX REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END RESULTS: CSX has announced fourth-quarter net earnings of $771-million or 99 cents per share, versus $843-million or $1.01 per share in the same period last year. Operating ratio set a fourth-quarter record of 60 pct. For the full year 2019, CSX generated net earnings of $3.33-billion or $4.17 per share, versus $3.31-billion or $3.84 per share in 2018. Full year operating ratio was 58.4 pct, which represents a new U.S. Class I railroad record. [CSX, 1-16-20]

MALMO-KOLN SUGGESTED AS FIRST ROUTE FOR NETWORK OF NIGHT TRAINS: Swedish transport agency Trafikverket has suggested that Malmo-Koln could be the first route to begin as part of a proposed network of overnight trains connecting Sweden with other European countries. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

FIRST OF GREATER ANGLIA'S CLASS 720 COMMUTER EMU DELIVERED FOR TESTING: The first of the class 720 Aventra electric multiple-units which Bombardier is supplying for Greater Anglia's London commuter services has been delivered for testing. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

BARCELONA-VALENCIA TRAINS ACCELERATED AS VANDELLOS CUTOFF OPENS: Commercial services began using a cutoff between Camp de Tarragona and Vandellos on Jan. 13 upon completion of a further section of upgrading of Spain's Barcelona-Valencia Mediterranean corridor. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

READING & NORTHERN ADDING TWO F-UNITS FOR EXCURSION TRAINS: Reading & Northern recently purchased two F-unit diesels from Norfolk Southern to use in tourist passenger service. The locomotives date to the early 1950's, but they were rebuilt 15 years ago by Norfolk Southern. They have been repainted into the Reading & Northern scheme, and will be used on a mainline trip April 18 from Reading to Pittston, Pa. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending January 11, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 501,624 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-15-20]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES NAMES JEAN SAVAGE CEO, PRESIDENT: Trinity Industries has named Jean Savage chief executive officer and president, effective Febr. 17. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

DUOS TECHNLOGIES IMPLEMENTS RAIL INSPECTION PORTAL FOR CSX: Duos Technologies has completed full-scale implementation of its Rail Inspection Portal for CSX. This installation allows automation of the railroad's railcar mechanical inspections, which historically wee conducted manually. The next phase of the project includes artificial intelligence algorithms, to be installed over the coming months. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

SECO MACHINE BEGINS PRODUCTION AT NEW PLANT IN OHIO: Seco Machine, a provider of machining services and products for rail customers, has begun production at its ew plant in Green, Ohio. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

TIDEWORKS TECHNOLOGY TO PROVIDE INTERMODAL SOLUTIONS FOR U.K. RAIL NETWORK: Genessee & Wyoming subsidiaries Freightliner and Pentalver have selected Tideworks Technology as the intermodal solutions provider for their rail and container terminal network in the United Kingdom. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

AMTRAK PRESENTS PROPOSAL FOR ADDITIONAL CHICAGO-MEMPHIS TRAIN: Rail passengers in Memphis could see an additional daylight route to Chicago if Amtrak;s visions for additional service in Tennessee reach fruition. Amtrak representatives were in Nashville on Jan. 14 seeking support for the idea with state lawmakers. Amtrak hopes to add routes throughout the country, and especially in the booming Southeast region. [Commercial Appeal, 1-15-20]

STRIKERS STOP TRAIN FROM LEAVING MINE IN KENTUCKY: For the second time in less than a year, striking coal miners in eastern Kentucky have occupied a set of railroad tracks, blocking a coal train from leaving. About a dozen employees of Quest Energy have pledged to hold their position until the company pays them back wages. [Lexington Herald-Leader, 12-14-20]

L.A. METRO ADVANCES PURPLE LINE EXTENSION WORK: Los Angeles Metro has announced its 2020 targeted construction goals for its Purple line extension project. Crews this year will tunnel west to Wilshire/La Cienega station and add 3,280 more feet of tunnels, finish piling for the Wilshire/Rodeo station, complete early utility relocation in Westwood, and begin piling for the Westwood/UCLA station. Once completed in 2023, the project will extend the route nine miles west of the line's current terminus and add seven stations to connect downtown L.A., Beverly Hills and Westwood. [Progressive Railroading, 12-14-20]

OMNITRAX NAMES TWO TOP EXECUTIVES: OmniTRAX has promoted Sergio Sabatini to president, and Gord Anutooshkin to chief operating officer, both effective immediately. [Railway Age, 1-14-20]

GERMANY, DEUTSCHE BAHN TO INJECT $100-B INTO RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE: The German government has signed a deal with state-owned train operator Deutsche Bahn to inject almost $100-billion into the country's rail infrastructure over the next decade. [My Northwest, 1-14-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 12, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-13-20]

AMTRAK MIGHT POSSIBLY TURN A PROFIT THIS YEAR: For the first time in its 50-year history, Amtrak is poised to post a profit. Fox Business reports that while the company posted a $29.8-million operating loss in 2019, it had record revenues of $3.3-billion, and set a nw ridership record of 32.5 million riders. [Business Traveller, 1-13-20]

N.Y. TRANSIT WITHDRAWS 298 BOMBARDIER R179 RAIL CARS FROM SERVICE: New York City Transit has withdrawn 298 Bombardier R179 rail cars from service as a result of reported door problems that could indicate a systemic problem. Older, spare cars have been substituted, and there has been no impact to service. [Progressive Railroading, 1-13-20]

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SABOTAGING CSX RAILROAD SIGNALS IN PA.: A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to sabotaging railroad signals at locations along CSX rail lines in Braddock and McKeesport, Pa., in November 2017, resulting in signal failures. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12-13-20]

WINTER STORM CAUSES DAMAGE TO PORT OF MILWAUKEE: A winter storm Jan. 11 caused damage to the port of Milwaukee. Parts of the port and Jones Island were under up to four feet of water, leaving behind ice up to a foot thick in some areas when the water receded. Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific officials will inspect the rails before cargo operations can be restarted. [WISN, 1-13-20]

NJT TO REPLACE TIER-I ENGINES WITH TIER-IV ENGINES ON RIVER LIGHT-RAIL LINE: New Jersey Transit is upgrading its River light-rail line vehicle engines with more than 20 Tier-IV diesel engines from Cummins to replace the current 15-year-old Tier-I engines. The upgrade should be completed by Spring 2022. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-13-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN WISCONSIN: A Union Pacific train derailed late Jan. 12 near the village of Knapp, Wisconsin, resulting in a massive pileup of rail cars and closing adjacent U.S. highway 12. There were no reported injuries, and no hazardous materials were involved. [WEAU, 1-12-20]

MOBILE FINANCIAL SUPPORT KEY TO RESUMPTION OF GULF COAST AMTRAK RUNS: The Mobile, Alabama, city council will decide on Jan. 28 if it will support committing $3-million over three years toward the restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast. The funds would be combined with a federal grant, similar to funds from Mississippi and Louisiana, to help pay operational costs to connect by rail New Orleans and Mobile, and four stops in between. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

CONSUMER GROUP SUES AMTRAK OVER ARBITRATION CLAUSE: Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen will be suing Amtrak over the introduction of a forced arbitration clause included in the purchase of tickets, arguing the clause is unconstitutional and exceeds the railroad's Congressional-granted authority. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

NEW DINING CAR SERVICE TO RETURN TO THE SILVER STAR: After a nearly five-year absence, first-class dining on Amtrak's Silver Star is returning on May 1. Featured will be the same flexible dining menu that is currently available on the Capitol and Lake Shore limiteds, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent and Silver Meteor. The dining car and its menu will only be available to first-class passengers, not those in coach. Lounge car cafe service will still be available to all passengers. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

AMTRAK'S CRESCENT TO BE SUSPENDED BETWEEN ATLANTA AND NEW ORLEANS ON CERTAIN DATES: Between Jan. 19 and Febr. 20, Amtrak's Crescent will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans Monday through Thursday. Motor coach service will be substituted. The train will operate normally per schedule Friday through Sunday. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

GREENRIER COMPANIES REPORT 1-Q EARNINGS: The Greenbrier Cos. has reported $7.7-million or 23 cents per diluted share on revenue of $769.4-million in the first fiscal quarter ending Nov. 30, 2019. Results include $2.2-million of integration expenses from the American Railcar Industries acquisition. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-20]

RAILWAY & INDUSTRIAL SERVICES TO SELL ITS CREST HILL, ILLINOIS, REPAIR FACILITY: Railway & Industrial Services is selling its 39-acre railcar repair facility in Crest Hill, Illinois. The site offers direct access to CN's mainline via an active spur. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-20]

N.Y. PENN STATION GETTING UPDATED WAITING AREA: Work has begun to update a ticketed waiting area at Penn Station in New York City. As part of a $7.2-million investment, the seating area at the Amtrak upper-level concourse on the 8th avenue side will feature new furniture, fixtures, family area, and other features. The project will be in two successive phases, expected to be finished in June. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

LIGHT-RAIL SERVICE THROUGH PITTSBURGH'S MOUNT WASHINGTON TUNNEL DISRUPTED: Portions of Pittsburgh's Mount Washington tunnel were closed June 8 due to continued landslides caused by stormwater runoff. The outbound track has been taken out of service; inbound trains will be detoured through the Allentown neighborhood, and outbound trains will use the inbound track. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

BRIGHTLINE HAS HIGHEST PER-MILE DEATH RATE OF U.S. RAILROADS: Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains USA, has 178 grade crossings and 66.5 miles of track between Miami and West Palm Beach. The line has the highest per-mile death rate of the nation's 821 railroads, according to the Associated Press. Most of the deaths were of trespassers, including suicides. [Florida Bulldog, 1-9-20]

METRO-NORTH TO MAKE THREE BRONX STATIONS ADA ACCESSIBLE: Metro-North will make the Williams Bridge, Woodlawn and Wakefield stations in the Bronx accessible to Americans With Disabilities act standards as part of its four-year capital plan. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

GREATER ANGLIA'S FIRST STADLER INTERCITY TRAIN SET ENTERS SERVICE: The first of 10 class 745/0 intercity train sets Stadler is supplying for Greater Anglia's Norwich-London Liverpool main line entered service Jan. 6. Remaining sets are expected to be in traffic by mid-April. [Railway Gazette, 1-9-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: In the week ending Jan. 4, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 414,014 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.1 pct compared with the correspnding week in 2019. [Association of American Railroads, 1-8-20]

WABTEC ACQUIRES RELCO LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec has acquired RELCO locomotives for $29-million on a cash and debt-free basis. RELCO's projected wales for 2019 are about $50-million. [Railway Age, 1-8-20]

ALSTOM TO OVERHAUL 56 PENDOLINO TRAINS IN U.K.: Alstom has signed a $839.9-million deal with Avanti West Coast to overhaul all 56 electric Pendolino trains deployed on the West Coast mainline in the United Kingdom. [Progressive Railroading, 1-8-20]

FERROMEX TRAIN, BUS COLLIDE, AT LEAST SEVEN KILLED, DOZENS INJURED: Ferromex said on Jan. 7 that at least seven people were killed and more than 30 injured after a bus collided with one of its trains in the northern border state of Sonora. [KFGO, 1-8-20]

INTERMODAL FACILITY ALONG NORFOLK SOUTHERN IN W.VA. FIZZLES: The excitement associated with a Norfolk Southern intermodal facility near Charleston, W.Va., has faded to frustration and doom in the four years the facility has been open. The railroad projected that there would be at least 15,000 lifts of containers, but in the most recent budget year there were only 579 lifts. It costs the state more than $500,000 per year to operate it, but the revenue generated between Dec. 2015 and Sept. 2019 was only $30,797. Then, in Oct. 2019, the railroad cut off access to the facility. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-8-20]

CSX ADDS AUTOMATED TRAIN INSPECTION PORTAL IN GEORGIA: CSX's first train inspection portal has been installed in Waycross, Ga., with ultra-high definition cameras and high-powered illumination to scan passing trains at track speed. The portal identifies defects and will automatically flag cars for repair. [Railway Age, 1-7-20]

LANDSLIDE BLOCKS RAIL LINE BETWEEN SEATTLE AND PORTLAND: Amtrak service between Seattle and Portland has been suspended because of a landslide blocking the tracks. Motor coaches will be used to ferry passengers between these points. [Oregonian, 1-7-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 5, 2020, The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 37 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-6-20]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC IN 2019: The Association of American Railroads reports that U.S. rail freight traffic fell 5 pct to 26.704.974 carloads and intermodal units in 2019, compared with the previous year's levels. Total carloads declined 4.9 pct, and intermodal units were down 5.1 pct. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

HUGE DELAYS ON N.Y. SUBWAYS: Signal problems near the Grand Central-42nd street station caused numerous delays to a number of New York City's subway lines the morning of Jan. 6. [4 NBC N.Y., 1-6-20]

SOUND TRANSIT BEGINS EAST LIGHT-RAIL CONSTRUCTION: Sound Transit, on Jan. 4, began construction to integrate a new light-rail segment to the east side of its existing Link System in downtown Seattle. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

N.Y. GOVERNOR PROPOSES EXPANDING N.Y. PENN STATION WITH EIGHT NEW TRACKS: New York's governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing acquisition of the block south of Penn Station to add at least eight new underground tracks, which, he says, will boost train capacity by 40 pct. The station now has 21 tracks, and operates at full capacity during peak periods, leading to delays when trains or infrastructure break down. [Daily Star, 1-6-20]

FATAL BUS CRASH IN PA.: A massive crash early Jan. 5 involving a New York to Cincinnati bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Pittsburgh left at least five people dead - three of whom were on the bus, including its driver and a nine-year old passenger - and about 60 injured. The Z&D Tour bus reportedly struck an embankment on a downhill curve, then was struck by two tractor-trailers, then another truck and a car. There were 56 passengers on the bus at the time, according to the bus company. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 1-6-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN IDAHO: A rapid response to a Jan. 1 derailment on BNSF's Kootenai River subdivision in northern Idaho got the track cleared by Jan. 4. A 113-car manifest train traveling from Minneapolis to Pasco struck a rock slide east of Bonners Ferry, derailing three locomotives and six cars. The lead locomotive slid nose-first into the river, and the crew was rescued by boat. During the two and one-half-day closure, Amtrak employed motor coaches to ferry passengers between Whitefish and Spokane. [Railway Age, 1-6-20]

UNION PACIFIC CUTS OPERATIONS AT ARMOURDALE YARD IN KANSAS: Union Pacific has severely cut operations at its Armourdale yard in Kansas City, Kansas, resulting in 20 to 50 layoffs. The railroad said operations will be moved to the 18th street yard. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-6-20]

BOMBARDIER RENEWS FIVE-YEAR TRANSIT-SYSTEM CONTRACT AT KENNEDY AIRPORT: Bombardier Transportation has renewed a $309-million, five-year contract with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide operations and maintenance services for the automated transit system at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN FURLOUGHS NEARLY 70 IN ROANOKE: Norfolk Southern announced furloughs of nearly 70 employees in Roanoke, Va., early Jan. 6. The affected employees may still apply for other positions within the company. [ABC 13 News, 1-6-20]

CP SETS RECORD QUARTER FOR CANADIAN GRAIN MOVEMENTS: Canadian Pacific moved more Canadian grain and grain products in the fourth-quarter 2019 than in any prior quarter in the railroad's history. [Canadian Pacific, 1-6-20]

MOROCCO RECEIVES FIRST PRIMA M4 LOCOMOTIVE FROM ALSTOM: Alstom has delivered the first of 30 Prima M4 locomotivs that Morocco national railway operator ONCF ordered in 2018. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

GROUP RESTORING MAINE CENTRAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE: A group of volunteers in Hancock, Maine, is restoring locomotive 470, the last steam locomotive operated by Maine Central Railroad. The locomotive has not run in 65 years, and until 2016 was on display in Waterville, out of doors. The plan is for Down East Scenic Railroad to eventually use the locomotive on train excursions. It may be another 10 to 15 years before restoration is complete. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-4-20]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN IOWA: Local traffic resumed early Jan. 4 in LeClaire, Iowa, after a derailment the day before sent more than a dozen cars off Canadian Pacific tracks just yards from the Mississippi River. There were no injuries in the accident, but some vehicles in a nearby parking lot were damaged. The railroad said it found no significant air or water contamination. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-4-20]

AMTRAK BEGINS LATEST RENEWAL WORK AT N.Y. PENN STATION: Amtrak's latest round of renewal work at Penn Station in New York City has begun. Work is focused on tracks 11 and 14, and is expected to be completed by April 17. Unlike in previous years, the winter work will not involve service disruptions for Amtrak or N.J. Transit trains, but there will be minimal schedule modifications for Long Island Rail Road trains. [Progressive Railroading, 1-3-20]

FRED ROONEY DIES, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, RAIL ADVOCATE: Fred Bernard Rooney, former U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, died Dec. 23. He ws instrumental in passage of the 1976 Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act, which created Conrail, introduced the concept of railroad revenue adequacy, and provided steps toward greater railroad economic deregulation. He was 94. [Railway Age, 1-3-20]

TWO KILLED IN CAR STRUCK BY NJT TRAIN: Two women were killed when a New Jersey Transit train struck their vehicle at a crossing in Middlesex Borough on the Raritan Valley line early Jan. 3. [NJ.com, 1-3-20]

DECEMBER 2019 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,919,036 carloads and intermodal units in December 2019, down 9.4 pct from the same month in 2018. [Association of American Railroads, 1-3-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN IDAHO, CREW RESCUED BY BOAT: A BNSF train derailed late Jan. 1 leaving the crew members to be rescued by boat and authorities working to contain diesel fuel leaking into Kootenai River. [ABC News, 1-3-20]

NORWAY OPTING FOR BATTERY TRAINS, PARTIAL ELECTRIFICATION TO REPLACE DIESEL: A study by Norway's railway directorate has concluded that the best replacement for diesel traction is battery trains combined with partial electrification. Other options that were considered included hydrogen, biogas, biodiesel, and battery trains without partial electrification. [International Railway Journal, 1-3-20]

MD. ANNOUNCES FIRST PART OF PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE WILL OPEN IN LATE 2022: The Maryland Dept. of Transportation has announced that the first part of its D.C.-area Purple line will open in late 2022 between New Carrollton and College Park. The second segment from College Park to Bethesda will open the following year. When completed, the 16-mile line with 21 stations will connect with MARC trains, Washington Metrorail and Amtrak at both ends. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

CP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CENTRAL MAINE & QUEBEC RWY: Canadian Pacific, on Dec. 30, completed its acquisition of Central Maine & Quebec Railway, subject to U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

PROGRESS RAIL SELLS MAINTENANCE OF WAY LEASING UNIT: Paceline Equity Partners has acquired Progress Rail Equipment Leasing Corp. from Progress Rail for an undisclosed price. Progress Rail is a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

UKRAINE TO ACQUIRE 40 GE LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec will supply 40 GE class TE33AC diesel locomoites to Ukrainian Railways, and will provided maintenance services for these and 30 other locomotives previously supplied. [International Railway Journal, 1-2-20]

DECEMER 2019 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in December 2019. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and nine minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-1-20]

CHINA ADDS NINE DAILY SLEEPING-CAR TRAINS: China National Railway has added nine daily electric multiple-unit trains, seven of which connect with cities directly from Beijing. [International Railway Journal, 1-1-20]

 

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