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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]

AMTRAK PRESENTS IDEA 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]

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]

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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