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STB DIRECTS UNION PACIFIC TO DELIVER CERTAIN UNIT TRAINS FOR FEED PRODUCER: The Surface Transportation Board on Dec. 30 directed Union Pacific to deliver certain unit trains of corn from origins in the Midwest to California on behalf of Foster Poultry Farms to alleviate immediate service issues while it further considers the feed producer's petition for an emergency service order. The agency in June issued an emergency service order to the railroad following Foster Farms' first petition due to similar service issues. [Railway Age, 12-31-22]

OPENING OF GRAND CENTRAL MADISON DELAYED: Long Island Rail Road's opening of Grand Central Madison, originally slated for this month, will instead be 'a few days later,' sometime in January. The project will bring service to Manhattan's East Side through the facility beneath Grand Central Terminal. [Railway Age, 12-30-22]

UNION PACIFIC ISSUES 'CATASTROPHIC EMBARGO' FOR TRAFFIC IN THREE STATES: Union Pacific has told customers it is implementing a catastrophic embargo for all traffic into and out of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, resulting from impacts of severe winter weather. [Railway Age, 12-30-22]

PULLMAN COMMUNITY IN CHICAGO DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK: Legislation signed by the President on Dec. 29 includes a provision that changes the designation of Pullman National Monument to Pullman National Historical Park. [Historic Pullman Foundation, 12-30-22]

R&LHS HONORS BILL HOWES BY ADDING AWARD CATEGORY FOR PASSENGER RAIL JOURNALISM: William F. Howes Jr., who died July 31, was a noted career rail official (mostly B&O/CSX) and nine-year president of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. To his honor the society has added a category to its railway history awards. Recognizing 'excellence in magazine journalism devoted to past or present passenger rail service,' it is the 'William F. Howes Jr. Passenger Rail Article Award.' [Railway Track & Structures, 12-29-22]

OPENING OF PAWTUCKET-CENTRAL FALLS TRAIN STATION PLANNED IN JAN.: The Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation has announced that the Pawtucket-Central Falls train station, which will connect the MBTA commuter rail service with the Rhode Island Public Transit's bus service at Pine street, Pawtucket, could open on Jan. 23, according to a report. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-29-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 400,289 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Dec. 24, 2022, down 4.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 4.1 percent, and intermodal was down 5.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-28-22]

HISTORIC SECTION FOREMAN HOUSE BEING RESTORED IN WAYZATA, MINNESOTA: Wayzata, Minnesota, on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, is the home of a section foreman house built by the Great Northern in 1902. At one time there were such houses every 20 miles for the use of foremen and their families. The one in Wayzata is one of just two remaining in the state, and it is in the process of being restored as a tribute to its legacy and railroad's influence on the community's development. The BNSF Railway Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Wayzata Conservancy to assist in the project, part of a park extending to a boardwalk alongside BNSF tracks. [Railway Age, 12-28-22]

CLASS-I RAIL EMPLOYMENT RISES IN NOVEMBER: Class-I railroads employed 118,944 people as of mid-November, a 0.62 percent from mid-October, and a 4.38 percent increase year-over-year, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 12-28-22]

EMPIRE BUILDER REMAINS SUSPENDED WEST OF ST. PAUL: Empire Builder trains remain suspended west of St. Paul, with no substitute transportation available, for trains originating Dec. 28. The eastbound train originating Dec. 29 is canceled in its entirety. [Amtrak, 12-28-22]

AMTRAK FAULTED IN COMMUNICATION GAPS IN TRAIN SET PURCHASE: A report from Amtrak's office of inspector general says Amtrak experienced early challenges in communications in its intercity train set acquisition and maintenance facility modification work, leading to scope changes, schedule delays and cost increases. Examples include waiting until three months after signing its contract with Siemens before Amtrak's food and beverage personnel reviewed the design and found flaws in needed storage space and passenger access through the galley car, and not engaging key personnel at the maintenance facilities who identified elements that would have adversely impacted maintenance issues. [Railway Age, 12-28-22]

GAO REPORT FINDS IMPACT OF PSR ON SAFETY 'INCONCLUSIVE': Precision scheduled railroading has resulted in longer trains and reductions in staff and assets, but the strategy's impact on rail safety is 'inconclusive,' according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office in a report issued last week. Rail and union officials, shippers and other stakeholders were interviewed in preparation for the report. [Progressive Railroading, 12-27-22]

FRA CLEARS WAY FOR ADVANCING DESIGN OF LIVINGSTON AVE RAIL BRIDGE IN ALBANY: The Federal Railroad Administration has cleared the way for advancing the final design of the Livingston avenue railroad bridge replacement in Albany and Rensselaer, N.Y., with its 'finding of no significant impact' ending the environmental review process. [Progressive Railroading, 12-27-22]

BALTIMORE METRO TRAIN DERAILS, FIVE INJURED: One car of a Baltimore Metro train partially derailed, but remained upright, late Dec. 26 as the train was approaching the Rogers avenue station. Five riders were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. [CBS Baltimore, 12-27-22]

QUBE ACQUIRING 12 NEW GT46 LOCOMOTIVES FROM PROGRESS RAIL: Australian-based logistics provider Qube is acquiring 12 new GT46 locomotives from Progress Rail, for delivery beginning Aug. 2023, to be used for new services between Melbourne and Sydney. [Railway Age, 12-27-22]

UNIONS SUPPORT IOWA BILL TO LIMIT TRAIN LENGTH IN STATE: Unions representing rail workers are lobbying for an Iowa law that would limit the length of trains. There is currently no limit in state or federal law on how long a train may be, but a bill to set 8500 feet (about 1.6 miles) as the maximum length cleared initial review in the 2022 Iowa legislature. [Radio Iowa, 12-26-22]

WEEKLY 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 the week ending Dec. 25, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived three hours and seven minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-26-22]

FEDS PROVIDE $27.5-M LOAN TO SOUTH SHORE LINE DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation is providing a $27.5-million railroad rehabilitation & improvement financing loan for a portion of the double-track project along a 26.6-mile segment of the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana. The project also includes separating vehicular traffic along two miles of street-running rail line. [Railway Age, 12-23-22]

AMTRAK SUSPENDS CERTAIN LONG-DISTANCE RUNS DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER: Due to dangerous winter weather throughout many parts of the country, Amtrak has canceled the following long-distance trains on dates of origin: Train 3 on Dec. 23, trains 7 and 8 on Dec. 21 through 25, trains 29, 30, 48 and 49 on Dec. 22 and 23, train 50 on Dec. 22 and 24, and train 51 on Dec. 23. [Amtrak]

HART SET TO OPEN EAST KAPOLEI-HALAWA RAIL LINE PORTION THIS SPRING: According to a Hawaii News Now report, the portion of HART's long-delayed $500-million rail project from East Kapolei station to the Halawa/Aloha Stadium station will welcome its first riders in March or April of 2023. [Railway Age, 12-23-22]

CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAIN NETS FUNDS, FOOD FOR FOOD BANKS: The Canadian Pacific Holiday train has completed its 24th year, raising more than $1.3-million (C) and collecting 121,000 pounds of food for local food banks and food shelves so far, with final numbers still being calculated. [Railway Age, 12-23-22]

CONSTRUCTION OF MARC'S $64.2-M MAINTENANCE FACILITY IN BALTIMORE COMPLETED: Maryland's Dept. of Transportation on Dec. 16 marked completion of its $64.2-million MARC Riverside Heavy Maintenance facility in Baltimore. Set to be fully operational by mid-2023, it includes four maintenance slots for locomotives, and will free up the existing shop building to streamline preventive maintenance and inspections. The facility also supports a proposed Penn-Camden connector, a commuter rail connection between the two rail lines. [Railway Age, 12-22-22]

NEW INTERMODAL FACILITY OPENS IN OREGON: The Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal center in Millersburg, Oregon, opened Dec. 15. The 64-acre $35.5-million facility is located where Union Pacific main line, Portland & Western Railroad and Interstate 5 converge. [Progressive Railroading, 12-22-22]

N.Y.C. MTA SETS 2023 BUDGET, MAJOR PROJECTS: New York City MTA's 2023 budget and four-year financial plan includes Second avenue subway and the Long Island Rail Road third track, and is awarding a contract for the Metro-North Park avenue viaduct rehabilitation project. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-22-22]

FEDS PLEDGE $9-B TO MODERNIZE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has issued a notice of funding opportunity making available nearly $9-billion to upgrade and expand passenger rail service along the Northeast corridor. [Railway Age, 12-22-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 476,232 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Dec. 17, 2022, down 5.5 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.2 percent, and intermodal was down 7.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-21-22]

ALASKA R.R. PREPS FOR CENTENNIAL: The Alaska Railroad is getting ready to mark 100 years since the completion of its 470-mile main line with winter service and a new travel package. The railroad is debuting a new limited edition 'Centennial Special.' The itinerary includes destinations along the line, including time in Seward, Anchorage, Spencer Glacier, Denali National Park, and Fairbanks. The 12-day package is available starting at $5,009 per person. [Railway Age, 12-21-22]

ALSTOM DELIVERS PHX EXTENSION AT PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIRPORT: Alstom announced Dec. 20 that is has successfully delivered the 2.5-mile extension to the PHX Sky Train APM system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, providing connections to the light-rail train system and rental car center. Alstom delivered a full turnkey solution comprised of electro-mechanical and guideway equipment, expansion of the current maintenance and storage facility, a maintenance recovery vehicle, retrofitted the wayside signaling system, and upgraded vehicles already in operation. [Railway Age, 12-21-22]

HOUSTON METRO LAUNCHES 4TH GENERATION LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLE: The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County has begun operating the first of 14 new fourth-generation light-rail vehicles that will be added to the Houston agency's fleet over time. The new vehicle entered service on the 13-mile Red line between Northline Transit Center and Fannin South Station. [Progressive Railroading, 12-21-22]

AMTRAK CANCELING EMPIRE BUILDER TWO DAYS DUE TO ADVERSE WINTER WEATHER: Amtrak's Empire Builder originating Dec. 20 and 21 have been canceled due to severe winter weather expected over large segments of the route. [Railway Age, 12-20-22]

UNION PACIFIC SEEKS TO REPLACE TRAIN CONDUCTORS WITH GROUND-BASED EMPLOYEES: Union Pacific wants to begin a pilot program to replace on-board conductors with what the company calls 'ground-based expediters.' The theory is that an on-board conductor is typically not needed while the train is en route, except if there is an emergency or trouble with the train, and a ground-based utility person could be dispatched by truck from a nearby location to the site to attend to the defect more efficiently than an on-board person who may have to walk a great distance to reach it. [North Platte Bulletin, 12-20-22]

FEDS TO ISSUE 15 RAIL TRANSIT STATION GRANTS IN NINE STATES TO IMPROVE ACCESS: The Federal Transit Administration will issue 15 grants for rail station projects in nine states to help make it easier for people with mobility needs to access some of the nation's oldest and busiest transit rail systems. Agencies getting the grants include New York City MTA, Chicago Transit and SEPTA. [Progressive Railroading, 12-20-22]

TRAIN STRIKES TRUCK IN TENNESSEE, DERAILS, TWO INJURED: A train derailed early Dec. 20 in Collegedale, Tennessee, after striking a truck at a crossing carrying a 134-foot concrete bridge beam. Two Norfolk Southern employees were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the truck was not injured. [WTVC, 12-20-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA: A Union Pacific freight train derailed about two dozen cars on tracks operated by BNSF in Victorville, California, early Dec. 20. The incident blocked one of two vital rail routes into and out of southern California. No injuries were reported. [KABC, 12-20-22]

BNSF TRAIN STRANDED BY SNOW NEAR DALTON, TEXAS: The blizzard that stopped traffic on much of the Texas Panhandle last week has crews working to reopen the BNSF rail line near Dalton. A stranded train on the line needed heavy equipment to access it and move the two-person crew to a safe location. [News Channel Nebraska, 12-20-22]

CALIFORNIA HSR AUTHORITY AWARDS DESIGN CONTRACT FOR MERCED-MADERA EXTENSION: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has awarded Alberta-based engineering firm Stantec a $41-million contract to design the 33.9-million Merced-Madera extension, a key portion to connect the 500-mile-long project between the Bay area and Los Angeles. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-20-22]

SPANISH HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK EXTENDED: Passenger rail services on the final 9.9-miles of high-speed line between Orihuela and Murcia began on Dec. 20. The 1,435-mm-gauge line is currently single track, running on the east side of the single 1,668-mm-gauge line. There is a 1.5-mile portion of dual-gauge track into Murcia del Carmen station, which is approached through a 1.1-mile tunnel. [Railway Gazette, 2-20-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Dec. 18, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-19-22]

CSX TO IMPLEMENT REVISED ATTENDANCE POLICY: CSX will implement a revised attendance policy for all craft employees on Jan. 1. Employees will now earn five points of good attendance credits for each calendar year quarter worked without an absence, but points will not be assessed for documented hospital stays, emergency care or scheduled medical appointments. The new policy will be 'nondisciplinary and non-punitive,' the company said. [Progressive Railroading, 12-19-22]

UNION PACIFIC PUTS EMBARGOES ON HOLD: Union Pacific says it will cease imposing temporary limits on certain businesses' shipments while it reviews the policy that federal regulators and shippers criticized at a hearing last week. The company had put more than 1,000 of these embargoes in place this year. [AP News, 12-19-22]

MBTA'S NEW GLOUCESTER DRAWBRIDGE CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: Construction has wrapped up on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's new Gloucester drawbridge that will carry the Rockport line over the Annisquam River. The project includes side-by-side single-track movable bridges, a relocated control tower, and an updated east approach trestle. Boat access beneath the bridge has also been improved. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-19-22]

KCS RAISES MORE THAN $215,000 FROM HOLIDAY EXPRESS TO SALVATION ARMY: Kansas City Southern raised more than $215,000 to benefit the Salvation Army in 20 communities across eight states where the train visited, welcoming almost 48,000 visitors. [Railway Age, 12-19-22]

PA. AWARDS $3-M TO COUNTRY VIEW FAMILY FARMS FOR LOOP TRACK, EQUIPMENT: The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation is awarding Country View Family Farms in Union County $3-million to construct a 110-car capacity loop track and unloading equipment for new rail service to the feed mill. [Railway Age, 12-19-22]

TORONTO UNION STATION SOUTH CONCOURSE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS: Crews have begun piling work at Toronto's Union Station on the south passenger concourse, which will connect passengers between Bay and York streets. Once completed, the concourse will span about 1,066 feet, or roughly the length of a 12-car GO Train, according to Metrolinx. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-19-22]

CHINA OPENS HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE IN YUNNAN PROVINCE: A high-speed rail line between Mile and Mengzi in Yunnan province opened Dec. 16 with 155 MPH services providing a 69-minute journey between Kunming Nan and Honghe station in Mengzi. The 66-mile line starts at a junction with the Nanning-Kunming high-speed line south of Mile, ending at Honghe, with five intermediate stops. [Railway Gazette, 12-19-22]

AMTRAK OFFERS GLIMPSES OF ITS AIRO TRAIN SETS: There was an event Dec. 16 in New York's Moynihan Train Hall hosted by Amtrak's development team working to finalize the interiors of Amtrak's new Airo Train sets which are planned to enter service in 2026. First to get the trains are the Cascades, followed by other state-supported services along with the Northeast corridor. The first actual train car should be in final assembly by next spring. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-16-22]

MBTA OPENS GREEN LINE EXTENSION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Dec. 12 celebrated the opening of the Medford branch extension of the Green line. The project extends the Green line about 4.7 miles. Seven new stations have been added along with a new vehicle storage and maintenance facility in Somerville. Twenty-four new trolleys have been added to the existing fleet. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-16-22]

DENVER TO DISCONTINUE TWO LIGHT-RAIL LINES: The Regional Transportation District of Denver will permanently discontinue its C and F light-rail lines starting Jan. 8, 2023. The changes are part of the agency's system optimization plan. [Progressive Railroading, 12-16-22]

BRIGHTLINE SET TO OPEN TWO NEW STATIONS: Brightline plans to open new stations Dec. 21 in Boca Raton and Aventura, Florida. The initial schedule for each will focus on peak morning and evening weekday service. In non-peak hours and weekends, service will be provided about every other hour. [Railway Age, 12-16-22]

MBTA SEEKS TO BUY LAND FOR SERVICE, LAYOVER FACILITY NEAR SOUTH STATION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has authorized the start of negotiations for the purchase of about 24 acres of land at Widett Circle, one mile from Boston's South Station, for a new commuter rail layover yard to service and store trains overnight and between trips. The existing facilities facilities are at or beyond capacity, the agency says. [Railway Age, 12-16-22]

AMTRAK PREPS FOR GROWTH: Amtrak has been working on securing billions in grant funds, including those that could help pay for passenger rail expansion. The Federal Railroad Administration has begun a process that will eventually identify and establish new rail corridors through which Amtrak could expand thereto. The FRA has been collecting 'expressions of interest' from regions, states, local governments and other entities for consideration of future service. The agency will publish a notice by the end of the year seeking formal proposals for evaluation. [Progressive Railroading, 12-15-22]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO DEVELOP NEW CONTROL, TRAINING CENTER: Chicago Transit plans to develop a new control and training center on Chicago's West Side to replace its current, outdated center. The new center will oversee operation with buses, trains and power on the rail system. It will also serve as the agency's main training center for operating, maintenance and customer-facing personnel. [Railway Age, 12-15-22]

D.C. METRO NEEDS TO ADDRESS MAINTENANCE, TRAINING, REPORT FINDS: The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission has detailed an audit of the Metro agency's track maintenance and training practices for corrective action. Included were findings that the agency's structure prevents effective assurance that track is kept in a state of good repair, it is not maintaining track in rail yards in accordance with standards, it is not meeting its training requirements with inconsistencies in documentation, it does not assure that personnel wear proper protective safety equipment, and it lacks capability to complete safe rail-grinding activities. The commission also found that the agency has not met requirements of an earlier audit to address vegetation overgrowth on the tracks. [Progressive Railroading, 12-15-22]

METRA APPROVES CONTRACT TO REBUILD THREE STATIONS ON SOUTH SIDE ELECTRIC LINE: Chicago's Metra board has approved a $33.9-million contract to rebuild and make accessible the 79th, 97th and 103rd street stations on the Electric line on the South Side of Chicago. The work is part of a multi-year Metra Electric Community initiative to transform 13 stations on the line, to be done in stages, requiring the stations to be closed for about seven months, but not more than two at any one time. [Railway Age, 12-15-22]

ONTARIO ADVANCES NORTHLANDER SERVICE REVIVAL: Ontario will spend $139.5-million (C) to purchase three Siemens Mobility train sets as part of its plan to reinstate Northlander service between Toronto and Timmins. The route will have a connection to Cochrane with a connection to the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee. [Railway Age, 12-15-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 500,310 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Dec. 10, 2022, down 2.5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.3 percent, and intermodal was down 5.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-14-22]

PALMETTO RAILWAYS TO SERVE BOISE CASCADE FACILITY IN S.C.: Building materials manufacturer and distributor Boise Cascade plans to expand its South Carolina operations with a new $9-million facility in Colleton County. It will have direct access to the Palmetto Railways subdivision rail line, connecting to the national freight rail network. [Railway Age, 12-14-22]

CN, CP, CSX RECOGNIZED AS SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS IN DOW JONES INDICES: Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and CSX have been recognized as 'sustainability leaders' through their inclusion in the 2022 Dow Jones Sustainability indices. [Railway Age, 12-14-22]

BLET MEMBERS ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT: Eddie Hall, a local officer out of Div. 28 in Tucson, Arizona, has been elected president of the 28,000-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, defeating incumbent Dennis Pierce with 53 percent of the vote. Hall will assume office Jan. 1, pending official certification of the results, and will lead the larger of the two unions that make up the Teamsters Rail Conference. [More Perfect Union, 12-14-22]

RAIL CONDUCTOR TRAINEE KILLED IN ALABAMA ACCIDENT: A 43-year-old train conductor trainee was killed this morning in a railway accident in Bessemer, Alabama, according to police. [WBRC, 12-13-22]

LOUISIANA TO BUILD $1.8-B CONTAINER FACILITY AT PORT OF NEW ORLEANS: Louisiana's governor announced Dec. 12 that a $1.8-billion state-of-the-art container facility will be built at the Port of New Orleans. It will be located on the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish. Once operational, the terminal will handle two million 20-foot equivalent units annually. The port is served by BNSF, Canadian National, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and New Orleans Public Belt. [Progressive Railroading, 12-13-22]

UNION PACIFIC UNDER SCRUTINY BY STB OVER EMBARGOES: Union Pacific and its CEO Lance Fritz are the subject of a Surface Transportation Board hearing this week, and the board said that so far the railroad has failed to provide details on its use of 1,000 embargoes in 2022. Union membership data reviewed by CNBC tell a different story than hiring information provided by railroads to the STB. The board says it has received numerous reports that shippers are suffering supply-chain problems as a result of Union Pacific's embargoes. [CNBC, 12-13-22]

PUBLIC SUPPORT OF NORFOLK TRAIN SERVICE 'TREMENDOUS,' AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority say that since passenger rail service was re-established in Norfolk ten years ago, service has expanded to three daily round trips, and 1.7 million passengers have traveled through the city's train station since its inception. Public support for the Norfolk station is 'tremendous,' Amtrak said. [WTKR, 12-13-22]

EMPIRE BUILDER DELAYED OVER SIX HOURS IN MINNESOTA DUE TO BROKEN RAIL: Amtrak's westbound Empire Builder was involved in a delay of more than six hours Dec. 9 at Winona, Minnesota, while Canadian Pacific crews attended to a broken rail. Repairs were complicated because the break occurred at a highway crossing. [Trains Magazine, 2-13-22]

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 Dec. 11, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 58 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-12-22]

FOUR NEW METRO-NORTH STATIONS BEING ADDED IN THE BRONX: Ground was broken Dec. 9 on the Metro-North Penn Station Access project, which will add four new stations in the Bronx bringing rail service within one mile of 500,000 residents. The stations will be in Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-Op City. The expansion will use the Hell Gate line to access Penn Station. [Railway Age, 12-12-22]

MBTA MARKS 'SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION' OF SOUTH COAST RAIL MAIN LINE PROJECT: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority last week marked the substantial completion of the South Coast Rail Main Line project, which is scheduled to begin passenger service late next year. The contract for phase 1 included construction of stations in Freetown and Fall River, as well as the new Weaver's Cove layover facility, modernization work on 12 miles of track, and other improvements. [Progressive Railroading, 12-12-22]

MARTA SUSPENDS STREETCAR SERVICE OVER WHEEL ISSUES: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority on Nov. 29 suspended all streetcar service after discovering a wheel degradation. The agency will work with Siemens to make the necessary repairs, slated to be completed in early spring 2023. Meanwhile mobility vehicles will replace the streetcar service. [Progressive Railroading, 12-12-22]

LIRR ASSUMES OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF GRAND CENTRAL MADISON: Long Island Rail Road on Dec. 11 took operational control of Grand Central Madison from MTA Construction & Development, which has been building the new facility below Grand Central Terminal. The transfer represents a step taken toward the terminal's opening, expected before the end of the year. [Progressive Railroading, 12-12-22]

BRIGHTLINE EYES COMPLETION OF MIAMI-ORLANDO SERVICE BY EARLY FALL 2023: Brightline's rail service linking Miami with Orlando could be complete by late summer or early fall 2023, according to the company. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-12-22]

AMTRAK FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST UNION PACIFIC OVER SUNSET LIMITED PERFORMANCE: Amtrak has taken aim at Union Pacific over its late performance of the Sunset Limited. Amtrak accuses Union Pacific of 'deliberately engaging in a pattern and practice of violating Amtrak's legal right to preference,' and to demand a remedy. Amtrak puts much of the blame on precision scheduled railroading, which results in freight trains longer than what can be accommodated in sidings, thereby retarding the ability of the Sunset Limited to get around slower freight trains. MORE.. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-9-22]

STRIKE AT METROLINX: Union maintenance-of-way workers rejected an offer from Ontario's Metrolinx and began a strike Dec. 9. Management has been called to maintain track, signals and other wayside equipment. [Railway Age, 12-9-22]

WINCHESTER & WESTERN R.R. TO SERVE STEEL MILL IN FALLING WATERS, W.VA.: OmniTRAX affiliate Winchester & Western Railroad will serve Commercial Metal's steel mill being built in Falling Waters, W.Va., anticipated to open in late 2025. [Progressive Railroading, 12-9-22]

BLET MEMBERS RATIFY NEW LABOR PACT WITH LIRR: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen members have voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with Long Island Rail Road. The four-year agreement covers pay, health and welfare, pensions, and work rules for nearly 500 locomotive engineers. [Progressive Railroading, 12-8-22]

SOUTH BEND COMMUTER RAIL STATION TO MOVE TO OTHER SIDE OF AIRPORT: What originally began as a temporary location, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District station has remained on the east side of the South Bend Airport for a number of years. The South Shore Line operator's board has now decided to move the station to the west side of the airport. The work will include realigning the tracks to reduce at-grade road crossings and reduce trip time. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-7-22]

SWISS LUXURY TRAIN SET TO BEGIN THROUGH INTERLAKEN-MONTREUX SERVICE: Dec. 11 will mark the start of a long-awaited through service by luxury train between Interlaken and Montreux in Switzerland. The gauge-changing Golden Pass Express is expected to become a major attraction between the two lakeside resorts. [Railway Gazette, 12-8-22]

AMTRAK SEEKS TO RETIRE 10 WAYSIDE SIGNALS ON PHILADELPHIA-HARRISBURG LINE: With both positive train-control and cab-signal systems operational, Amtrak is seeking federal approval to remove 10 automatic wayside 'distance' signals along the Philadelphia to Harrisburg main line as being redundant. The signals are located between Park and Roy interlockings, and Amtrak says safety and operation will not be affected. In the event of a failure of either positive train-control or cab-signal systems, or both, rules are already in place to protect the safe running of trains. If permission is granted, the affected signals can be eliminated starting immediately and completed within two years, Amtrak said. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-7-22]

NOVEMBER 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,393,027 carloads and intermodal units in November 2022, down 3.3 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.9 percent, and intermodal was down 5.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 12-7-22]

FEDS GRANT $2.3-B IN FUNDING TOWARD INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL: Almost $2.3-billion in funding is available in FY-2022 to expand and modernize intercity passenger rail through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grant program. It was announced Dec. 7 by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Grant funding was announced Dec. 7 by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for projects nationwide, except on the Northeast corridor, and applications are due March 7, 2023. [Railway Age, 12-7-22]

AMTRAK ADVANCING B&P TUNNEL REPLACEMENT: The 1.4-mile B&P Tunnel in Baltimore was built during the Civil War, and it poses safety threats and train delays. Amtrak plans to build a new tunnel, named for Frederick Douglass, with two new high-capacity tubes, new roadway and rail bridges, new rail systems and track, and a new ADA-accessible MARC station at West Baltimore. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-6-22]

ROUTE APPROVED FOR L.A. GOLD LINE PHASE 2 EXTENSION: The Los Angeles County Metro will extend its Gold line light-rail approximately 4.6 miles east from the current terminus at Pomona/Atlantic to Greenwood station in Montebello. The board on Dec. 1 approved this alignment as the initial operating segment for the nine-mile Eastside Transit corridor phase 2 project, which will extend the line in phases to Whittier. [Railway Age, 12-6-22]

LIRR COMPLETES GREAT NECK POCKET TRACK EXTENSION PROJECT: The Long Island Rail Road reports that work has been completed on the extension of track east of Great Neck, N.Y., that will improve reliability on the Port Washington branch in connection with the opening of the new Grand Central Madison station. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-6-22]

MASSACHUSETTS SEEKS GRANT TOWARD SPRINGFIELD-WORCESTER INLAND ROUTE PROJECT: The Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation on Dec. 5 reported applying for more than $108-million from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements grant program for infrastructure work between the Springfield-Worcester Inland Route project. The improvements would result in increased train speeds and additional capacity along the 53-mile portion of the CSX Boston-Albany line. [Railway Age, 12-6-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Dec. 4, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-5-22]

SPUR TRACK TO BE BUILT AT OKLAHOMA'S PORT OF INOLA: The city of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority in Oklahoma has awarded a contract for the construction of a 4.4-mile rail spur at the Tulsa Port of Inola connecting with Union Pacific. [Railway Age, 12-5-22]

D.C. METRO INCREASING RED LINE FREQUENCY: Beginning Dec. 5, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is increasing service frequency on the Red Line to trains operating every eight minutes during peak hours, and 10 minutes off-peak. The agency recently got approval to begin adding 7000-series cars, which make up the majority of the fleet. [Progressive Railroading, 12-5-22]

FIRST PHASE OF NEW CHARLOTTE STATION CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: The first test train arrived Nov. 30 at Amtrak's new Gateway Station in Charlotte, N.C., marking completion of the first phase of station construction. Once complete, the station will provide Amtrak riders with direct access to uptown Charlotte, and is close to Greyhound. Currently, riders use an older station. The city is responsible for the new station's $52-million second phase, with includes a multi-story building with space for retail, residential, commercial and dining accommodations. [Railway Age, 12-5-22]

REGIONAL RAIL LOOKS TO ACQUIRE THREE MORE SHORT-LINES: Regional Rail, a Pennsylvania-based short-line holding company, has filed notice to acquire control of Class III carriers Effingham Railroad and South Point & Ohio Railroad, as well as Illinois Western Railroad upon its becoming a Class III carrier. [Railway Age, 12-2-22]

SUNSET LIMITED MAY BYPASS PALM SPRINGS STATION IN SANDSTORM CONDITIONS: Due to high winds resulting in hazardous sandstorm conditions, Amtrak advises that its Sunset Limited may avoid stopping at the Palm Springs, California, station if these conditions are occurring when the train arrives. Passengers ticketed to Palm Springs will be advised that they will be accommodated instead to Ontario, California, with no alternate transportation from there to Palm Springs. [Amtrak, 12-2-22]

R.J. CORMAN TO PROVIDE SWITCHING SERVICES AT WESTLAKE, LA. COMPLEX: R.J. Corman Railroad Switching Co. has been awarded a five-year contract to provide Sasol with switching service operations to the company's Lake Charles Chemical Complex in Westlake, Louisiana. [Railway Age, 12-2-22]

EQUIPMENT, STAFF SHORTAGES TO CONTINUE INTO 2023, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak management acknowledged Dec. 1 during a public board meeting that despite their best efforts, shortages are going to keep crimping service for much of 2023. But Amtrak's president rejected the suggestion that furloughs in the mechanical crafts are to blame for the backlog of equipment now stranded in shops. He explained that during the pandemic Amtrak could not hire and train mechanical employees, and the company could not overcome the attrition. Then, last year, the company hired 3,600 people, but it also lost 1,600 during that same time. Amtrak hopes to bring on another 4,000 new employees in the coming year, primarily in mechanical crafts where the need is most acute. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-2-22]

PSR FAULTED FOR RAIL EMPLOYEE UNREST, RPA SAYS: Our association is concerned that the new rail labor agreement fails to address the root of harsh working conditions. Precision Scheduled Railroading, combined with the harsh penalty system for taking legitimately needed days off, is significantly at fault. Congress can stop rail workers from striking, but it cannot stop the workers from quitting. It is association's hope that these past few months have opened the eyes of ordinary Americans and elected officials alike to the problems flowing from poorly executed precision scheduled railroading, and that we continue to work on fixing those root-cause issues. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 12-2-22]

N.Y. ANNOUNCES UPGRADE PACKAGE FOR STATIONS: New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced a sweeping package of accessibility upgrades to five subway stations, and make seven LIRR stations in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties fully accessible for the first time, while replacing elevators at two additional LIRR stations. [Railway Track & Structures, 12-2-22]

CONGRESS PASSES LEGISLATION TO AVERT RAIL STRIKE: Congress has passed legislation adopting new contracts between major freight railroads and unions, thus preventing a nationwide strike that could have begun Dec. 9. The House of Representatives had amended the agreement to include additional sick time, but the Senate opted just to impose the tentative agreement, which four of the unions had rejected by earlier vote of their members. [Railway Age, 12-1-22]

NOVEMBER 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty (40) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in November 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 12-1-22]

ACWR SEEKS TO ACQUIRE NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S PIEDMONT SUB: Class III rail carrier Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway has filed notice of its intention to acquire Norfolk Southern's 104-mile Piedmont Subdivision, which ACWR has operated since 1989. [Railway Age, 12-1-22]

AMTRAK WAITING ROOM CLOSES AT GALLUP, N.M.: The Gallup, N.M., train station is closed with no access to its waiting room or restrooms. Amtrak advises passengers to wait in their vehicles until the train arrives and go directly to the train. [Amtrak, 12-1-22]

VIA RAIL ISSUES 3-Q RIDERSHIP REPORT: VIA Rail Canada has issued its third-quarter report that operations have returned to levels that are slightly below those of before the pandemic, but of a significant increase compared to the corresponding report of 2021. Capacity increased by 52 percent in terms of train miles, and by 77.6 percent in terms of seat miles. [Railway Age, 12-1-22]

DURBAN & GREENBRIER VALLEY R.R. BRIDGE BEING REBUILT FOR SERVICE: Efforts are underway to rebuild a bridge spanning Trout Run in West Virginia that was washed away in 1985 preventing the Cass Scenic Railroad from running a portion of the Durban & Greenbrier Valley line between Cass and Durbin. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-30-22]

AMTRAK RIDERSHIP GROWS 89 PCT IN FY-2022: Amtrak continued rebuilding its business and began a new era of intercity passenger rail in FY-2022 by growing ridership by 89 percent. Demand for Amtrak service returned strongly in the second-half of the period with overall ridership reaching about 85 percent of pre-COVID levels. [Progressive Railroading, 11-30-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 413,305 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Nov. 26, 2022, down 4.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.1 percent, and intermodal was down 6.9 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-30-22]

HOWARD CROFT DIES, SHORT-LINE PIONEER: Howard Croft Jr., who served from 1968 to 1989 as president of the American Short Line Regional Railroad Association, has died at age 95. He was the association's longest-serving president. [Progressive Railroading, 11-30-22]

GAO URGES IMPROVED COMMUNICATION IN RAIL CLOSE-CALL REPORTING: The U.S. Government Accountability office is recommending communication be improved between the Federal Railroad Administration and the wider railroad industry about the close-call reporting system. The FRA could improve its communication with industry stakeholders by sharing information from the program with non-participants, including broader safety trends and success stories, GAO officials wrote. [Progressive Railroading, 11-30-22]

CGI TO CONTINUE MANAGING VIA RAIL'S ON-LINE RESERVATION SYSTEM: VIA Rail Canada and CGI Inc. have announced a long-term agreement for CGI to continue providing managed services for VIA's business applications, including its new on-line reservation system. The two companies have worked together since 2020. [Progressive Railroading, 11-30-22]

PRESIDENT URGES CONGRESS TO AVERT RAIL STRIKE: President Biden has called upon Congress to pass legislation adopting the tentative labor agreement between the nation's major freight railroads and their unions. A rail strike could cost the U.S. economy about $2-billion a day, according to the Assn. of American Railroads. [Progressive Railroading, 11-29-22]

HOLIDAY EXPRESS OFF TO A GOOD START, KCS SAYS: Kansas City Southern says its Holiday Express this season is off to a good start, with more than 6700 visitors turning out for events in Monroe, Louisiana, and Vicksburg and Pearl, Mississippi. [Railway Age, 11-29-22]

SAN JOAQUIN MOVES TO RENEWABLE DIESEL FOR ACE LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission has moved to the sole use of renewable diesel for its ACE locomotive fleet, a move slated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent, the agency says. [Railway Age, 11-29-22]

CHELATCHIE PRAIRIE R.R. REHAB SET TO BEGIN: The first phase of a $4.7-million rehabilitation project will start this fall on the 33-mile Chelatchie Prairie Railroad in Washington State. Clark County leases the north end of the line between Heisson and Chelatchie Prairie to seasonal excursion train operator Battle Ground, Yacolt & Chelatchie Prairie Railroad. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-29-22]

STADLER TO SUPPLY 20 ELECTRIC MULTIPLE-UNITS TO FINLAND: Finnish national operator VR has awarded Stadler a $258-million contract to supply 20 electric multiple-units for commuter lines beginning spring 2026, with options for 50 more, and full maintenance. [Railway Gazette, 11-29-22]

REVOLUTION RAIL FILES TO ACQUIRE 33 MILES OF RAIL IN NEW YORK STATE: Revolution Rail Holding Company has filed notice to acquire about 33 miles of rail line from SNCR, a heritage railway that began operations in 2011, ending in 2018, from North Creek, N.Y. [Railway Age, 11-29-22]

STADLER SWITCHES FLIRT PRODUCTION FROM BELARUS TO POLAND: Stadler Rail has switched production of Flirt multiple-units for Azerbaijan Railways from its Fanipol plant in Belarus to Siedice in Poland. The move was due to sanctions imposed on Belarus due to the war in Ukraine, Stadler said. [Railway Gazette, 11-29-22]

U.S. RAIL CROSS-BORDER TRAFFIC SURGES IN SEPT.: Trans-border freight moved by rail between U.S., Canada and Mexico surged 14.9 percent to $169-billion worth of goods in Sept. compared with the same month last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. [Progressive Railroading, 11-28-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Nov. 27, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-28-22]

NYC TRANSIT GRADUATES 84 NEW SUBWAY OPERATORS, 10 NEW CONDUCTORS: New York City Transit has graduated 84 new subway operators and 10 new conductors following a six-month training program at the agency's Brooklyn learning center. [Railway Age, 11-28-22]

VIA RAIL EXTENDS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PILOT TO MONITOR FUEL CONSUMPTION: VIA Rail Canada announced Nov. 24 that it is extending a pilot program to test the use of artificial intelligence to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions produced from its rail operations. [Railway Age, 11-28-22]

PA. SHORT-LINE SERVING NEW PROPANE TERMINAL IN NORTHUMBERLAND: The Pennsylvania North Shore Railroad is now serving a new 240,000-gallon propane terminal in Northumberland, Pa., which opened Nov. 22. The railroad, which opened for business in 1984, is a 49.8-mile former Conrail branch interchanging with Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-25-22]

AGREEMENT REACHED IN AMTRAK GULF COAST PASSENGER RAIL CASE: Participants in the lengthy case before the Surface Transportation Board concerning Amtrak's proposal to add passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast between Mobile and New Orleans have reached an undisclosed settlement agreement. Details of the settlement are not being released at this time due to their 'confidential nature.' [Progressive Railroading, 11-23-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 491,794 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Nov. 19, 2022, down 3.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.6 percent, and intermodal was down 5.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-23-22]

METRA TO ADD TRAINS TO ITS UP-WEST WEEKDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE: Chicago's Metra will add 18 trains (nine in each direction) to its current 40-train Union Pacific West weekday service schedule as part of a pilot plan beginning Dec. 5. [Railway Age, 11-23-22]

CP HOLIDAY TRAIN PROGRAM BEGINS: The Canadian Pacific holiday train program began Nov. 23. The first of two brightly-decorated trains left from the Montreal area for the opening show in Maine. The trains will be making stops in communities on the railroad's network in eight states and six provinces. The final show will be Dec. 18 in Port Coquitlam, B.C. [Railway Age, 11-23-22]

JACQUELINE GRAY TO SUCCEED SUSAN STUART AS NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S VP AUDIT & COMPLIANCE: Norfolk Southern has announced that Jacqueline Gray, currently assistant vice-president of sourcing, will succeed the retiring Susan Stuart as vice-president of audit & compliance on March 1, 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 11-23-22]

MARTA DONATES 42-YEAR-OLD RAIL CAR TO SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has donated a 42-year-old rail car to the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia. It entered service in 1981 and was retired in 2011. [Progressive Railroading, 11-22-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO ACQUIRE CINCINNATI SOUTHERN RWY: Norfolk Southern plans to acquire all assets of Cincinnati Southern Railway, a 337-mile line owned by the city of Cincinnati, that operates between Cincinnati and Chattanooga. It is operated by the New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railway, a Norfolk Southern subsidiary, and as many as 30 trains a day travel the route. [Progressive Railroading, 11-22-22]

BNSF OPENS NEW SANDPOINT CONNECTOR BRIDGE: BNSF opened its new three-quarter-mile Sandpoint Connector bridge over Idaho's Lake Pend Oreille on Nov. 20. The old bridge, 50 feet from the new one, will be closed for rehabilitation until mid-2023, and then both bridges will be available for service. [Progressive Railroading, 11-22-22]

STB ORDERS UNION PACIFIC TO EXPLAIN ITS INCREASED USE OF EMBARGOES: The Surface Transportation Board is ordering Union Pacific executives to appear at a Dec. 13-14 public hearing on what it is calling a 'substantial increase' in the carrier's use of embargoes as a method of reducing rail traffic congestion. The agency says such embargoes have increased from 27 in 2017 to more than 1,000 to date. [Railway Age, 11-22-22]

MAJOR RAIL UNION SPLITS VOTE ON NATIONAL CONTRACT: Workers in the SMART-TD (Transportation Division of International Assn. of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers) reached a split decision in their members' votes to accept or reject the proposed national contract. The division's yardmasters voted to accept it, but train and engine service members voted to reject it. A strike, if it occurs, could begin on Dec. 9, but it could also be stopped by negotiations or legislation. The Assn. of American Railroads has estimated a national rail strike could cost the U.S. economy about $2-billion a day. [Progressive Railroading, 11-21-22]

AMTRAK MOVES FORWARD ON SUSQUEHANNA BRIDGE PROJECT: Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Maryland Transit Administration plan to award contracts next year toward the replacement of the Susquehanna River rail bridge. The $1.5-billion project calls for construction of a pair of two-track fixed bridges to replace the existing two-track movable bridge, along with five miles of realignment and additional construction. [Progressive Railroading, 11-21-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Nov. 20, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 31 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-21-22]

K.C.-CHICAGO SUSPENSION OF ONE ROUND-TRIP TO CONTINUE, AMTRAK SAYS: Kansas City-Chicago service will continue to have one daily trip suspension through Dec. 4, due to equipment issues, Amtrak says. [Rail Passengers Assn., 11-18-22]

TRAIN COLLIDES INTO ANOTHER TRAIN IN GERMANY: A freight train collided into another freight train that was stopped early Nov. 17 near the northern German town of Gifhorn, causing several cars to tip over. Two tank cars were damaged and began leaking propane into a wooded area. The engineer of the colliding train was taken to a hospital for treatment. [Deutsche Welle, 11-18-22]

RAILROAD STRIKE COULD RESULT IN RECESSION, CHEMISTRY COUNCIL SAYS: A labor strike resulting in the shutdown of the U.S. freight rail network could push the nation's economic recovery into a recession, according to an economic analysis conducted by the American Chemistry Council. Such a strike would be felt almost immediately in the form of business shutdowns, scarcity of materials and goods and lost economic activity. A one-month strike would put a major chill on several leading economic indicators through the first half of 2023, according to the analysis. [Progressive Railroading, 11-17-22]

RAIL-SERVED POLYMERS FACILITY TO BE BUILT IN ORANGE, TEXAS: Chevron Phillips and QatarEnergy are building an $8.5-billion rail-served integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas, slated to become operational in 2026. [Railway Age, 11-17-22]

MULTIPLE ARRESTS MADE IN CALIFORNIA RAIL THEFTS: Two theft rings netting more than $18-million in merchandise from trains along railroad tracks in Los Angeles County have resulted in more 700 arrests by a task force, authorities said. [L.A. Times, 11-17-22]

WABTEC STRIKE IN K.C. CONTINUES: More than 100 workers at Wabtec's Kansas City facility, which builds products for locomotives and rail cars, have been on strike since Oct. 27. Their union says the strike is not likely to end anytime soon. [KCUR, 11-17-22]

WORLD'S LARGEST HYDROGEN TRAIN FLEET SET TO BE DEPLOYED: Rhein-Main transport authority has demonstrated the first of 27 Cordia iLint fuel cell multiple-units being delivered by Alstom, which are due to enter service in December. [Railway Gazette, 11-17-22]

D.C. METRO'S SILVER LINE EXTENSION OPENED: Washington DC Metro on Nov. 15 celebrated the opening of its Silver line extension, offering connections to Dulles International Airport, Reston, Herndon, and eastern Loudoun County, Va. [Railway Age, 11-16-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 490,350 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Nov. 12, 2022, down 2.5 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.2 percent, and intermodal was down 4.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-16-22]

OPTIONS TO BE STUDIED TO IMPROVE PASSENGER RAIL IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO: The Canadian government has appointed consultants to study options to improve passenger train frequencies, on time performance and shortened travel times in southwestern Ontario. Conclusions are to be submitted by the end of next year. [Railway Gazette, 11-16-22]

INTERLOCKING TOWER 55 GETTING DEMOLISHED IN FORT WORTH: Union Pacific's Tower 55 in Fort Worth, Texas, is being demolished. According to a report by Trains Magazine, the tower was originally built of wood, and replaced by one of brick in the 1930's. Its levers were removed in 1989, and the tower itself was closed in 1995. [Bill Haines, 11-15-22]

PITTSBURGH'S MOUNT WASHINGTON TRANSIT TUNNEL SET TO RESUME REGULAR SERVICE: Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus and light-rail vehicles will resume regular operations through the Mount Washington transit tunnel Nov. 19 for the first time since a $14.1-million electrical system upgrade began more than two years ago. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-15-22]

R.J. CORMAN ADDING SHORT LINE IN N.C.: With the purchase of a 43-mile rail branch and lease of a 20-mile branch from Norfolk Southern, R.J. Corman Railroad is launching the Raleigh & Fayetteville Railroad, its 19th short line. It will begin operations in December, following regulatory approvals, serving customers in Wake, Harnett and Cumberland counties, N.C. It will interchange with Norfolk Southern, CSX and Aberdeen & Rockfish. [Railway Age, 11-14-22]

AMTRAK COMPLETES ACCESSIBILITY UPGRADES TO STATION IN LA PLATA, MISSOURI: Amtrak on Nov. 13 held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for completing a $6-million station accessibility project in La Plata, Missouri, Built in 1887, the station is served by the Southwest Chief. [Railway Age, 11-14-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty (40) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Nov. 13, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 44 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-14-22]

CINDY SANBORN STEPS DOWN AS NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Cindy Sanborn, who had spent 30 years with CSX, followed by a brief stint with Union Pacific, will be stepping down as executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Norfolk Southern on Jan. 1, 2023. She will be succeeded by Paul Duncan, currently senior vice-president of transportation and network operations. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-14-22]

FLORIDA TO HELP FUND FORT LAUDERDALE-AVENTURA COMMUTER LINE: Florida's Dept. of Transportation will help fund a new commuter rail line between Fort Lauderdale and Aventura. The agency and Broward County have been evaluating various alternatives along the Florida East Coast from Miami-Dade County since Jan., 2021, and Miami-Dade is also studying service from downtown Miami to a proposed station in Aventura serving Brightline, known as the 'Northeast corridor.' [Railway Track & Structures, 11-11-22]

PARTNERSHIP FORMED TO DEVELOP TECHNOLOGY TO BURN HYDROGEN IN LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec and Argonne & Oak Ridge National Labs have formed a partnership to develop technology designed to burn hydrogen in locomotive engines. The partnership involves the installation of Wabtec's single-cylinder dual-fuel engine at the National Transportation Research Center. [Progressive Railroading, 11-11-22]

SASKATCHEWAN'S GREAT SANDHILLS RWY JOINS REGIONAL RAIL: The 123-mile Great Sandhills Railway in Saskatchewan is now part of Regional Rail, a Pennsylvania-based short-line holding company. Regional Rail has also acquired interests in three other freight rail assets in western Vanada from G3 Canada Limited. [Railway Age, 11-11-22]

HITACHI TO PROVIDE 46 NEW TRAINS FOR MILAN METRO: Hitachi Rail has been awarded a contract to provide 46 new metro trains for the Milan, Italy, Metro. The first 21 trains, to be used on the M1 line, are to be delivered by spring 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 11-11-22]

UKRAINE-ROMANIA RAIL LINE REOPENED: The 12-mile cross-border rail link between Rakhiv, Ukraine, and Valea Viseului, Romania, has been reopened to regular traffic. The line, through the Carpathian mountains, had been out of service since 2007. [Railway Gazette, 11-11-22]

DESIGNING BEGINS FOR GLASSBORO-CAMDEN LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Work has begun to design the 18-mile diesel light-rail transit project that will restore passenger rail service between Glassboro and Camden, N.J., that has been absent since the 1950's. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-10-22]

VOTERS IN TWO MASSACHUSETTS CITIES APPROVE JOINING MBTA: New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts, residents have voted to join the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, a precondition for launching service on the South Coast Rail Line. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-10-22]

S.F. VOTERS APPROVE EXTENSION OF HALF-CENT SALES TAX FOR TRANSPORTATION: San Francisco residents have voted to extend a half-cent sales tax for transportation, with transit getting the lion's share of revenue. The plan calls for 41 pct to go towards maintaining and enhancing Muni, BART, Caltrain and local ferries; and 23 pct for major upgrades and expansion of rail and bus transit services. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-10-22]

CONTRACT AWARDED FOR 9.7-MILE ONTARIO LINE: Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have awarded a $6-billion (C) South Civil contract for the 9.7-mile Ontario Line, a planned Toronto Transit Commission line linking the Ontario Science Center and Exhibition/Ontario Place. [Railway Age, 11-10-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 502,106 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Nov. 5, 2022, down 0.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.2 percent, and intermodal was down 3.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-9-22]

BNSF COMPLETES WILLMAR BYPASS: A new rail bypass project has been completed for BNSF near Willmar, Minnesota. It involves 2.8 miles of new track and wye. Trains no longer have to enter Willmar and stop in the middle of town to change directions. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-9-22]

GROUND BROKEN FOR NEW CONTAINER YARD IN ROCHELLE, ILLINOIS: Ground was broken Nov. 9 for a new intermodal container yard within an industrial park in Rochelle, Illinois, to be known as Rochelle Intermodal Transload Center. It will be served by the City of Rochelle Railroad, a city-owned short line that connects with Union Pacific and BNSF, and provides switching services to 14 industries. [Railway Age, 11-9-22]

NO NATIONWIDE RAIL STRIKE UNTIL AT LEAST DEC. 4: The National Carriers' Conference Committee and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have extended the current cooling-off period, previously set to expire Nov. 19, to a new expiration date of Dec. 4. [Reuters, 11-9-22]

ITALY'S MERCITALIA TO ORDER 400 LOCOMOTIVES: Freight rail carrier Mercitalia plans to order 400 electric and bi-mode locomotives, along with 3,600 next-generation cars, in an investment intended to bring down the average age of rolling stock to seven years from the current 30. [Railway Gazette, 11-9-22]

CP BREAKS MONTHLY GRAIN VOLUME RECORD: Canadian Pacific moved 3.14 million metric tons of grain in October, breaking its previous record set in October 2020 by more than 100,000 metric tons. Meanwhile, the railroad is completing an investment to acquire 5,900 new high-capacity grain hoppers. [Progressive Railroading, 11-8-22]

RAIL WORKER DIES IN TEXAS FUEL EXPLOSION: A railroad worker died Nov. 5 from an explosion caused by fuel at a railroad track near Old Town Spring, Texas. Fire officials said two rail workers were doing welding work on the rail line when some sort of fuel gas was ignited, causing the explosion. [KPRC, 11-7-22]

BILL SHEFFIELD DIES, HELPED GROW ALASKA R.R.: Bill Sheffield, who helped lead and grow the Alaska Railroad for 40 years and served as its CEO, chairman and president, died Nov. 4. He was 94. His leadership was instrumental in the railroad reaching many milestones, officials said. From 1982 to 1986 he served as the state's fifth governor, during which time he brokered a deal to purchase the railroad from the federal government, saving it from being shut down. [Progressive Railroading, 11-7-22]

BNSF REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: BNSF's after-tax earnings declined 6 percent in the third-quarter 2022, and rose 4 percent in the first nine months of the year compared with the same periods last year. Operating income for the quarter was $2.1-billion, and the average revenue per car/unit increased 23 percent for the quarter. [Railway Age, 11-7-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Nov. 6, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 17 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-7-22]

ANOTHER RAIL UNION VOTES TO RATIFY NATIONAL LABOR CONTRACT: The International Association of Machinists has become the seventh of 12 unions to ratify amendments to the national railway contract. Two unions have voted to reject that contract, and three unions have yet to complete the ratification process. A nationwide railroad strike looms a possibility as early as Nov. 19. [Railway Age, 11-5-22]

NO LAYOFFS AT BEECH GROVE, AMTRAK SAYS: Amtrak has confirmed that it is not laying off staff at its Beech Grove, Indiana, maintenance shop. There had been an online rumor that layoffs were occurring, but Amtrak officials insist that their shop is currently short of staff and the company continues to hire workers. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-4-22]

CALTRAIN NAMES MICHELLE BOUCHARD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Caltrain's board has appointed Michelle Bouchard as the agency's first permanent executive director. She has worked for Caltrain for more than 20 years, and its acting executive director since April 2021. [Progressive Railroading, 11-4-22]

METROLINK SET TO BREAK GROUND ON BURBANK JCT SPEED IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: Southern California's Metrolink plans to break ground Nov. 9 on the Burbank Junction speed improvement project. It calls for the interchange of the existing Brighton siding track work with new, higher-speed track. [Progressive Railroading, 11-4-22]

CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS QUESTION BONUS PAYMENTS TO AMTRAK EXECS: Top Republicans on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee have questioned six-figure bonuses given to Amtrak executives in 2021. In a letter to Amtrak's board chairman, the members criticized the company for giving nine top executives financial bonuses in excess of $200,000 during the global pandemic, devastating ridership, and the company was making decisions to furlough front-line workers. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 11-4-22]

CN TRAIN DERAILS IN LOUISIANA, HOMES EVACUATED: Canadian National crews are responding to an eight-car derailment on Nov. 2 in Paulina, La., in which one of the cars leaked hydrochloric acid. About 200 homes were evacuated. No injuries were reported, and there were no fires. [Progressive Railroading, 11-3-22]

CANADA ADVANCES PROCUREMENT FOR HIGH-FREQUENCY RAIL PROJECT: Canada's ministry of transport has announced advances in the procurement process for its high-frequency rail project that will offer connections between Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto. On some routes, travel times could be shortened by up to 90 minutes. The government is updating its request for expressions of interest. [Progressive Railroading, 11-3-22]

UNION PACIFIC OPENS NEW GRAIN TRANSLOAD FACILITY IN JOLIET, ILLINOIS: Union Pacific reports its new grain transload facility at the Global 4 intermodal terminal in Joliet, Illinois, is now open. Producers and processors can transport their grain products by truck to the facility where the cargo will be transloaded into containers for rail shipment to West Coast ports. [Progressive Railroading, 11-3-22]

FRA BEGINS NEW AMTRAK DAILY LONG-DISTANCE STUDY: As directed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Federal Railroad Administration has begun a new Amtrak Daily Long-Distance study to evaluate restoration of daily service and the potential for new long-distance routes. The agency may evaluate potential new routes along with routes that were in service initially in 1971 but no longer operated. [Railway Age, 11-2-22]

OCTOBER 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,014,496 carloads and intermodal units in Oct. 2022, down 0.5 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.5 percent, and intermodal was down 1.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 11-2-22]

MBTA'S GENERAL MANAGER TO LEAVE POST: Steve Poftak has announced he will step down as general manager of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Jan. 3, 2023. He has held that position since Jan. 1, 2019. [Railway Age, 11-2-22]

JAMES REAM NAMED BOARD CHAIR OF GATX: GATX announced Nov. 1 that James B. Ream has been named the company's independent chair of its board of directors. He succeeds Brian Kenney, retired president and CEO, who served until Oct. 31 as transitional non-executive chair. [Railway Age, 11-2-22]

ALL PARTIES IN AMTRAK'S GULF COAST SERVICE CASE REQUEST MEDIATION EXTENSION: Once again, all parties in the Amtrak Gulf Coast case have agreed to a 30-day extension of mediation, requesting such to the Surface Transportation Board. [Railway Age, 11-2-22]

WATCO'S TEXAS TRANSLOAD EXPANSION PROJECT COMPLETED: Watco has announced the completion of a $6.7-million expansion and improvement project at its rail, storage, transloading facility near Refugio, Texas. The project involved adding 20,000 linear feet of track and security upgrades. [Progressive Railroading, 11-2-22]

PLASSER AMERICAN ACQUIRES RAIL INSPECTION TECHNOLOGY COMPANY: Plasser American has announced the acquisition of DPR, a rail inspection technology company. The acquisition provides Plasser American with cutting-edge products in the use of ultrasonic technology for railway inspection. [Railway Track & Structures, 11-2-22]

OCTOBER 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in October 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 18 minutes late. For the year-to-date, 32 percent of the affected trains were on time, and the remaining trains were, on average, one hour and 40 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 11-1-22]

D.C. METRO'S SILVER LINE EXTENSION TO OPEN NOV. 15: Washington DC Metro reports that opening day for its Silver line extension is Nov. 15. The extension includes six new stations: Reston, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn. [Railway Age, 11-1-22]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON CSX IMPROVEMENT PROJECT IN N.C.: Construction has begun on a CSX rail improvement project in Waxhaw, N.C., for 2,500 feet of additional track and a 13,000-foot passing siding. A new bridge will also be built, replacing a grade crossing. [Progressive Railroading, 11-1-22]

PENNSYLVANIA FUNDS $3.7-M TOWARD RESTORATION OF SCRANTON-NEW YORK PASSENGER RAIL: Pennsylvania has made a $3.7-million investment toward restoration of passenger rail between Scranton and New York City through the Poconos and New Jersey. The funding would be matched with an equal amount from the federal government to install 43,000 new railroad ties between Delaware Water Gap and Gouldsboro, allowing trains to reach a top speed of 80 MPH. [Scranton Times-Tribune, 11-1-22]

AMTRAK MOVES FORWARD ON REPLACING CONNECTICUT RIVER BRIDGE: Amtrak will start procurement in early 2023 for a design-build contract to replace the 1907 Connecticut River bridge. The new structure will accommodate a double-track electrified main line with a 'resilient' movable section to accommodate shipping. [International Railway Journal, 10-31-22]

D.C. METRO TO RETURN 7000-SERIES RAIL CARS TO SERVICE IN A THREE-PHASE PROCESS: Washington DC Metro plans to return all 7000-series rail cars to service following approval by the Metrorail Safety Commission. There are three phases. The first will return up to eight of the cars per day, the second will return up to 20 cars per day with an additional 12 cars to be added on a metered basis throughout the phase. The final phase has not yet been determined. [Progressive Railroading, 10-31-22]

AMTRAK'S VALLEY FLYER SERVICE TO BECOME PERMANENT: Massachusetts and Amtrak have announced that the pilot Valley Flyer will become permanent with seven-day-a-week service, allowing convenient travel between western Massachusetts, central Connecticut and New York. The travel option is an extension of the New Haven-Springfield service, with stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Two round-trips are being offered on weekdays, and one round-trip Saturday and Sunday. [Railway Age, 10-31-22]

SUPPORT GROWS FOR INCREASED PASSENGER RAIL IN OHIO: In a broad display of support for passenger rail service in Ohio, a bi-partisan coalition of mayors along with several of the state's planning agencies have formally requested the Federal Railroad Administration to include a list of Ohio rail lines in its corridor identification program. [All Aboard Ohio, 10-31-22]

FRA SETS HEARING ON TWO-PERSON TRAIN CREW RULE: The Federal Railroad Administration will hold a Dec. 14 hearing to accept public comments on the proposed rulemaking to establish minimum safety requirements for the size of most train crews. The agency will extend to Dec. 21 the public comment period on the proposed rule. [Progressive Railroading, 10-28-22]

GLASSBORO-CAMDEN LINE MOVES FORWARD: South Jersey Transit Partners has been selected to provide preliminary engineering, design, project management and professional services for the pre-construction phase of the 18-mile light-rail line to cross through Gloucester and Camden counties, N.J., along an existing rail line. [Railway Age, 10-28-22]

MARTA CONFIRMS COLLIE GREENWOOD AS CEO, GM: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has confirmed Collie Greenwood as the agency's CEO and general manager, positions he has held on an interim basis since January. [Railway Age, 10-28-22]

TRANSDEV TO ACQUIRE FIRST TRANSIT: Transdev has agreed to acquire First Transit Inc., a mobility solutions company specializing in transit systems. [Progressive Railroading, 10-28-22]

STB SCHEDULES TWO DAYS OF HEARINGS ON AMTRAK'S GULF COAST SERVICE APPLICATION: The Surface Transportation Board has scheduled two potentially final days of hearings Nov. 17 and 18 in Amtrak's long-running attempt to compel Norfolk Southern and CSX to permit Amtrak to operate service between Mobile and New Orleans. A decision by the board could possibly be made on Dec. 7. [Rail Passengers Assn., 10-28-22]

NJT EXPANDS HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: New Jersey Transit has added GP40PH-2 locomotive 4101 to its revenue fleet, repainted into an original c-1978 'Bluebird' N.J. DOT scheme. The unit joins sister locomotive CNJ-4109, PRR-4636 (ALP46), and EL-4519 (ALP45-DP) on NJT's heritage fleet. [Railway Age, 10-27-22]

FRA, ENSCO KICK OFF TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY CENTER: The Federal Railroad Administration and ENSCO Inc. officially launched their collaboration at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, on Oct. 25, marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the center. It is the largest railroad testing facility in the world with 50 miles of track. [Railway Age, 10-27-22]

L.A. METRO HALTS WORK ON PURPLE LINE SUBWAY WORK: Los Angeles Metro has stopped all work on the second phase extension beneath Wilshire boulevard due to ongoing safety concerns. Nine injuries have occurred over the last year, including five in the last three months, and two in the last 10 days. Before work may continue, the contractor needs to execute a thorough evaluation of past injuries. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported third-quarter results which include new records for operating revenue, operating income, net income and diluted EPS. Net income soared 27 percent to $958-million or $4.10 diluted earnings per share, from $3.06 diluted EPS in the same quarter last year. Railway operating revenue was $3.3-billion, up 17 percent, and operating ratio was 62 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 10-26-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 505,322 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Oct. 22, 2022, down 1.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.7 percent, and intermodal was down 1.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-26-22]

CN REPORTS 3-Q RESULTS: Canadian National reported record third-quarter revenue of $4.5-billion (C), a 26 percent increase, and record operating income of $1.9-billion, a 44 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share of $2,13 was a 10 percent decrease caused primarily by a merger termination fee. However, on an adjusted basis, the diluted EPS climbed 40 percent. Operating ratio of 57.2 percent was down from 62.7 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 10-26-22]

CP REPORTS 3-Q RESULTS: Canadian Pacific announced its third-quarter 2022 revenues were $2.31-billion, operating ratio was 59.5 percent (adjusted was 58.7 percent), diluted earnings per share were 96 cents, and core adjusted diluted EPS were $1.01. Revenue of $2.31-billion increased by 19 percent compared with the same period last year. [Canadian Pacific, 10-26-22]

ALBERTA MIDLAND RAILWAY TERMINAL ACQUIRED: Alpenglow Rail Services and partner Conner Clark & Lunn Infrastructure have acquired Alberta Midland Railway Terminal, a facility served by both CP and CN near Edmonton. It spans 300 acres with 1,400 rail car storage spots and a unit train-capable loop track. [Progressive Railroading, 10-26-22]

ANOTHER UNION REJECTS TENTATIVE R.R. LABOR AGREEMENT: The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen became the second of 12 rail unions to reject a tentative agreement with the nation's major freight carriers. The other was the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees. While these rejections could lead to a nationwide railroad strike, all parties have agreed to maintain status quo until each of the 12 unions have completed their respective votes on the tentative agreement, which will likely occur in early December. At that time, further developments might be taken, such as preemptive legislation, or an agreement to a settlement through binding arbitration. [Railway Age, 10-26-22]

MEXICO COMMITS TO COMPLETE TREN MAYA PROJECT IN 2023: Mexico's president has reaffirmed his government's commitment to complete the 961-mile, $10-billion Tren Maya project next year. The line is expected to cut journey times and costs for passengers and freight in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintano Roo. Serving 16 stations, it will provide a more environmentally sustainable way of accessing archeological sites in southeast Mexico. [Railway Age, 10-26-22]

CP BACKS AMTRAK'S EXPANSION EFFORTS: Canadian Pacific has agreed to back Amtrak's efforts to work toward its plan to expand and enhance passenger rail service in several locations, according to Amtrak's final brief on the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. CP has committed to Amtrak that the merger would not cause Amtrak trains to operate below on time performance standards, Amtrak's brief states. [Progressive Railroading, 10-25-22]

NEW CONTAINER TERMINAL TO BE BUILT FOR PORT OF BALTIMORE: Transforming the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Plant at Sparrows Point, Md., Tradepoint Atlantic has announced plans to build a new container shipping terminal to serve the Port of Baltimore. With up to 130 acres of capacity, shipments will be made to more than 150 countries. [WMAR, 10-25-22]

CHARLOTTE COUNCIL APPROVES $14.8-M FOR EXPANSION OF LIGHT-RAIL MAINTENANCE FACILITY: According to a report, the Charlotte, N.C., city council has approved $14.8-million for the expansion of light-rail maintenance facilities near Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood. The expansion of almost 18 acres is currently part of the larger Norfolk Southern rail yard, adjacent to the current LYNX Blue line and its North Brevard light-rail facility. The new land would also be envisioned to serve the proposed Silver line project, which calls for a new 29-mile, 21-station light-rail line from Belmont in Gaston County through uptown Charlotte and on toward Union County. [Railway Age, 10-25-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON FOREST HILL FLYOVER IN CHICAGO: Ground was broken on Oct. 25 on the Forest Hill Flyover project at CSX Forest Hill railroad yard, marking the start of construction of the 71st street grade separation. The project entails a bridge to eliminate conflicts between north-south and east-west train movements at Forest Hill Junction, and significantly improve the flow of Belt Railway, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Metra trains. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-25-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Oct. 23, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 14 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-24-22]

LIRR TO COMPLETE SIGNAL CUTOVER NEAR QUEENS VILLAGE: Long Island Rail Road crews will complete a signal cutover near Queens Village the weekend of Oct. 29-30. The work will require tracks to be taken out of service between New Hyde Park and Hicksville, along with service adjustments on other lines. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-24-22]

EASTERN MAINE RWY PLANS TO ACQUIRE TRACKAGE IN MAINE FROM CENTRAL MAINE & QUEBEC RWY: Class-III Eastern Maine Railway has filed a verified notice of exemption to acquire about 36.57 miles of main line and nine miles of branch line in Maine from Central Maine & Quebec Railway, which is owned by Canadian Pacific. [Railway Age, 10-24-22]

CN TO SERVE NEW FERTILIZER FACILITY IN STANLEY, WISCONSIN: Northside Elevator Inc. is building a $20-million fertilizer facility in Stanley, Wisconsin, to be served by Canadian National. The facility is expected to open in March 2023, and will include a tower system manufacturing plant, rail spur, warehousing, storage and office space. [Railway Age, 10-24-22]

UTAH'S GOVERNOR SAYS HIGH-SPEED RAIL IS STATE'S LONG-TERM TARGET: Utah's governor Spencer Cox says high-speed rail is a long-term target in his state. Discussions about a high-speed rail line have been going on for the past three years, and Utah's vast rural landscape could be the perfect landing spot for such a service, according to the state's transit authority. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-24-22]

LIRR IN FINAL TESTING STAGES FOR SERVICE TO GRAND CENTRAL MADISON: The Long Island Rail Road says that crews have entered the final stages of testing the escalators, elevators, HVAC systems and safety equipment needed to begin service to Grand Central Madison terminal later this year. This will give the commuter railroad two entry points to Manhattan's central business district. LIRR riders will see weekday service increase 41 percent system-wide, and there will be 269 trains added per weekday for a total of 936 trains. [Railway Age, 10-24-22]

AMTRAK SETS GOALS OF REDUCING GHG EMISSIONS: According to an Amtrak office of inspector general report, Amtrak set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below its 2010 baseline by 2030. To help reach this target, Amtrak set goals to purchase 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030, and to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035. Amtrak has undertaken initiatives including buying more efficient electric locomotives for the Northeast corridor and more fuel-efficient diesel locomotives for use nationwide. [Railway Age, 10-21-22]

RAIL-SERVED MIDLAND LOGISTICS PARK OPENS IN N.C.: The Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway has announced the opening of the Midland Logistics Park in Cabarrus County, N.C. The 70-acre park is anchored by the short line's Midland Transload yard and includes three properties available for prospective rail customers. Railroad officials anticipate the yard will become a central distribution hub for the Charlotte area. [Railway Age, 10-21-22]

MARC CAMDEN LINE A.M. SERVICE SUSPENDED OCT. 21 DUE TO CROSSING ACCIDENT: Due to a CSX freight train striking a vehicle east of Dorsey, Md., service on the MARC Camden line was suspended the morning of Oct. 21. Seven trains were canceled. [Eldersburg Patch, 10-21-22]

CSX REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: CSX reported 2022 third-quarter operating income of $1.58-billion compared to $1.44-billion in the prior year period. Net earnings of $1.11-billion or 52 cents per share compared to $968-million or 43 cents per share in the same period last year. Revenue reached $3.9-billion for the quarter, increasing 18 percent year-over-year. Operating income of $1.58-billion increased 10 percent compared to the prior year. Third-quarter results include additional labor and fringe expense related to tentative union agreements. Operating ratio increased to 59.5 percent. Diluted earnings per share of 52 cents increased 21 percent from 43 cents for the same period of 2021. [CSX, 10-20-22]

CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC R.R. IMPACTED BY TRACK EROSION, CANCELS SOME TRAINS: The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad reports that the National Park Service has closed portions of the tracks used by the railroad due to significant erosion from the Cuyahoga River. Accordingly, National Park Scenic, Fall Flyer, Bike Aboard, Hale Farm, Explorer Program and Family Fun Loop runs have been canceled Oct. 19 through Nov. 6. The Cleveland Dinner & Event train will continue to run on Fridays from Rockside to Fitzwater, concluding Oct. 28. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-20-22]

ARROW RAIL SERVICE IN CALIFORNIA BEGINS OCT. 24: The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and Metrolink will open the new Arrow rail service Oct. 24. More than a decade in the making, Arrow extends Metrolink's San Bernardino line by nine miles, featuring new stations between San Bernardino and Redlands. The new route will also connect riders to the Inland Empire-Orange County lines. [Progressive Railroading, 10-20-22]

KOPPERS TO ACQUIRE GROSS & JANES, CROSSTIE SUPPLY COMPANY: Koppers has signed an agreement to acquire Gross & Janes, a Missouri-based crosstie supply company. Gross & Janes is the largest independent supplier of untreated railroad crossties in North America. [Progressive Railroading, 10-20-22]

FACILITY TO BE BUILT ON CSX SELECT SITE IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA: Manna Capital Partners' Montgomery facility will be built on 180 acres at the CSX Select Site off Interstate 65, and be owned and operated by affiliate Manna Beverages & Ventures. It is expected to begin operations in early 2025. [Railway Age, 10-20-22]

VIA RAIL ADDING 'BUFFER' CARS TO TRAINS WITH STAINLESS STEEL EQUIPMENT: VIA Rail Canada is adding buffer cars at the front and back end of all trains with stainless steel equipment to reduce the consequences if there were a train-to-train collision. The action is in compliance with a ministerial safety order. The empty buffer cars will serve as 'crumple zones' on trains that include 1950's-era stainless steel cars to better protect those on board. [Railway Age, 10-20-22]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 3-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported 2022 third-quarter net income of $1.9-billion or $3.05 per diluted share. These results include a $114-million charge for a change to prior period accounting estimates related to new, tentative and ratified labor agreements. Excluding that charge, adjusted net income was $2-billion or $3.19 per diluted share. This compares to 2021 third-quarter net income of $1.7-billion or $2.57 per diluted share. Operating revenue of $6.6-billion was up 18 percent driven by higher fuel surcharge revenue, volume growth, and core pricing gains. [Union Pacific, 10-20-22]

D.C. METRO SET TO OPEN SILVER LINE EXTENSION IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING: Washington DC Metro says it will be able to open the 11.4-mile Silver line extension to the Dulles Airport and Loudoun County, Va., in time for Thanksgiving, subject to approval of a safety certification report. The first phase of the Silver line opened in 2014 and currently operates between Largo and Wiehle-Reston East.. [Railway Age, 10-20-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 500,304 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Oct. 15, 2022, up 0.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.2 percent, and intermodal was down 1.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-19-2022]

CLASS-I RAIL EMPLOYMENT INCREASES IN SEPT.: Class-I railroads employed 117,582 workers in the U.S. as of mid-September, a 0.49 percent increase from the prior month, and a 2.95 percent increase year-over-year, according to Surface Transportation Board data. [Progressive Railroading, 10-19-22]

BNSF RELEASES FEATURE FILM ILLUSTRATING PASSION FOR RAILROADING: BNSF has released feature film 'Train Time' highlighting its trains and workers, and it is now playing in IMAX and other theaters. Viewers join crews on a journey including visits to Cajon Pass, Columbia River, Rocky Mountains, and more. BNSF says the film pays tribute to the industry and illustrates the passion many have for railroading. MORE.. [Railway Age, 10-18-22]

HITACHI RELEASES FINAL DESIGNS FOR NEW TRAIN FACTORY IN MARYLAND: Hitachi Rail has unveiled the final designs for its $70-million train factory under construction in Hagerstown, Md. The factory and 800-yard test track will be built on a 41-acre site with expected completion in the first-quarter 2024. Employees will then begin work on 256 new 8000-series rail cars for Washington D.C. Metro, the contract for which includes options for up to 800 cars. Up to 460 people will be directly working on-site. [Progressive Railroading, 10-18-22]

FRONT RUNNER COMET CARS REMOVED FROM SERVICE, BEING AUCTIONED: Twenty-five Front Runner Comet rail cars purchased used by Utah Transit in 2008 have been removed from service and are now up for auction. The agency says it had become a challenge keeping the 50-year-old cars in good and safe operating condition. [Railway Age, 10-18-22]

METRA TO RENOVATE HOMEWOOD STATION: The board of Chicago's Metra has awarded a $14.5-million contract to renovate the Homewood station along the Metra Electric line. The two-year project is to begin this coming spring, and follows a $15-million investment by Amtrak to rehabilitate its part of the shared facility. [Railway Age, 10-18-22]

REHAB WORK ON TORONTO'S ROUGE RIVER BRIDGE COMPLETED: One of East Toronto's oldest rail bridges has received a rejuvenation and is now ready for the next 20 years of service. The Rouge River bridge is 118 years old and provides a connection for the Lakeshore East GO line between Toronto and Pickering. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-18-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Oct. 16, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 22 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-17-22]

FIFTY CN DASH-9 LOCOMOTIVES GETTING MODERNIZED WITH AC PROPULSION: Wabtec has debuted the first of 50 modernized Dash-9 locomotives for Canadian National. The units, built in 2000, are converted from DC to AC propulsion, with control system and engine upgrades, and enhanced fuel efficiency. [Railway Age, 10-17-22]

TWO WORKERS KILLED BY TRAIN ON BEN FRANKLIN BRIDGE: Two workers were struck and killed late Oct. 14 by a Port Authority Transit Corp. train on the Ben Franklin bridge between Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia. They were working on a long-term rehabilitation project slated for completion in Dec. 2024. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-17-22]

AMTRAK'S MISSOURI RIVER RUNNER TRAINS 311, 316 TO BE SUSPENDED: Amtrak's Missouri River Runner trains 311 and 316 are temporarily suspended Oct. 24 to Nov. 16 due to a shortage of equipment. Trains 318-319 will still operate. [Amtrak]

INDONESIA GEARS UP TO START NEW HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: Indonesia is preparing to start southeast Asia's first high-speed rail service. It will cut travel between Jakarta and Bandung from the current three hours to about 40 minutes. The train is designed to reach a speed of 217 MPH, and to adapt to the country's tropical climate with systems to track earthquakes and other emergency conditions. The service is expected to start running in June 2023. [Carroll County Times, 10-15-22]

STB CREATES OFFICE TO ANALYZE AMTRAK'S ON-TIME PERFORMANCE: The Surface Transportation Board has established the Office of Passenger Rail to investigate and analyze issues related to Amtrak's on-time performance. The metric calls for a minimum standard of 80 percent of arrivals at stations to occur within 15 minutes of scheduled time for any two consecutive calendar quarters. Amtrak welcomes the action. The board's chairman says their office stands ready to handle any on-time performance cases that are filed. [Progressive Railroading, 10-14-22]

ANOTHER UNION RATIFIES LABOR AGREEMENT WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers has ratified a tentative three-year agreement with the nation's freight railroads. This is the sixth union to ratify an agreement. Five other unions have yet to ratify, and the members of one union have voted to reject it. [Progressive Railroading, 10-14-22]

CP'S HOLIDAY TRAIN TO RETURN THIS YEAR: Canadian Pacific will return its Holiday Train to the tracks this year after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. It will travel to Canadian and U.S. cities to raise money, food donations and awareness for local food banks along the railroad's network. Musicians will perform at stops, and shows are free to attend. The tour begins in Maine on Nov. 23, and will feature 168 live shows during its run, ending in British Columbia on Dec. 18. [Progressive Railroading, 10-13-22]

SMART-MD MEMBERS RATIFY TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: Members of the Mechanical Division of the International Assn. of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers have voted to ratify a tentative agreement with the National Carriers' Conference Committee. However, as previously reported, members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees had voted to reject the contract. A work stoppage by that or any of the other six unions that have yet to ratify is not anticipated before late November, if at all. [Railway Age, 10-13-22]

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL'S KENT AVE. GRADE SEPARATION PROJECT COMPLETED: The California High-Speed Rail Authority reported it has completed the Kent avenue grade separation, the second structure to be built in Kings County. The overcrossing is 215 feet long and 35 feet wide, taking traffic over the future high-speed line. [Progressive Railroading, 10-13-22]

MISSISSIPPI EXPORT R.R. CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL: The Mississippi Export Railroad celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The line hauls commodities such as coal, wood pellets and liquefied petroleum across 42 miles of track between Pascagoula and Evanston, and interchanges with four class I carriers. It also handles switching operations with the Terminal Alabama State Docks and Port of Pascagoula. Founded in 1922 by Gregory Luce, it is now headed by his great-great granddaughter Kate Luce who took over as president and CEO in 2017. [Progressive Railroading, 10-13-22]

D.C. METRO BOARD QUESTIONS COMMITMENT TO RETURNING MORE TRAINS TO SYSTEM: Washington D.C. Metro board members on Oct. 13 questioned their regulatory agency's commitment to returning more trains to the system and its awareness of overcrowding problems, expressing frustration over a year-long rail car shortage. The growing tension came one day after Metrorail marked a pandemic-era ridership high, a milestone that was celebrated but also marred by crowded trains. More than half of Metro's cars were suspended by the Metrorail Safety Commission because of a wheel defect. In response, safety commission officials said that Metro has not used the daily allotment of the 7000-series cars it has been allowed to use, also it has not turned in a plan for use of more cars that would resolve safety concerns. [Washington Post, 10-13-22]

WATCO LANDS AKIEM LOCOMOTIVE SERVICE CONTRACT IN FRANCE, GERMANY: Wabtec has signed a five-year contract with European rolling stock leasing company Akiem to maintain locomotive components for rail operator customers in France and Germany. Operating in 21 European countries and serving more than 80 customers, Akiem offers a fleet of 620 locomotives. [Railway Age, 10-13-22]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY $5,000 TO EACH OF 45,600 TRUCK DRIVERS FOR PRIVACY VIOLATIONS: A jury has ordered BNSF to pay $228-million to 45,600 truck drivers for requiring them to scan their fingerprints, without their written consent, when picking up or dropping off loads at BNSF facilities in Illinois. Each of the drivers will receive $5,000, the maximum allowed under Illinois law. [Reuters, 10-13-22]

AMTRAK PASSENGERS STRANDED MANY HOURS ON TRAIN: Dozens of Amtrak passengers on Oct. 7 endured a 10-hour trip on the westbound Wolverine, stranded for many hours without heat, ventilation, lights, food or working toilets. Some of the passengers opted to open the doors to flee, and take their chances. MORE.. [Rail Passengers Assn., 10-13-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 494,413 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Oct. 8, 2022, down 2.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.8 percent, and intermodal was down 2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-12-22]

OMNITRAX TO PURCHASE 155-MILE COLORADO SHORT LINE OUT OF BANKRUPTCY: OmniTRAX on Oct. 12 reported entering a contract to purchase out of bankruptcy the assets of San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, a 155-mile Colorado short line. Originally built in 1870, the line traverses the La Veta Pass over the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, connects the eastern plains of Colorado to the San Luis Valley, and interchanges with Union Pacific at Walsenburg. [Railway Age, 10-12-22]

METRA UNVEILS FIRST REBUILT SD70MACH TO LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: Chicago's Metra unveiled the latest addition to its locomotive fleet on Oct. 11. The rebuilt SD70MACH was painted in heritage RTA colors to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of its formation. Metra's contract with Progress Rail comprehended 15 remanufactured and repurposed diesel locomotives to modernize the agency's fleet, and includes options for up to 27 additional units. [Railway Age, 10-12-22]

SPANISH NATIONAL OPERATOR ORDERS 28 BATTERY-ELECTRIC TRAIN SETS: Spanish national operator RENFE has awarded CAF a contract to supply 28 electric train sets equipped with batteries to enable them to cover short distances on non-electrified routes, or during a power failure. The contract includes options to order up to 42 additional train sets. [Railway Gazette, 10-12-22]

AMTRAK'S SILVER METEOR SET TO RETURN TO SERVICE: Amtrak's website reservations section indicates that the Silver Meteor will be restored to daily service southbound on Oct. 14, and northbound on Oct. 15, after a suspension of more than eight months. Its sister train Silver Star is currently only operating between New York and Jacksonville due to problems resulting from hurricane Ian. Both trains are actually scheduled to run through to and from Miami, as conditions permit. Meanwhile, both City of New Orleans and Crescent have been restored to daily service, rather than just five days a week. [Railway Age, 10-11-22]

RAILROAD MAINTENANCE WORKERS REJECT TENTATIVE LABOR PACT: The union of railroad track maintenance workers has rejected a tentative agreement with the nation's freight carriers, renewing the threat of a possible strike later this fall. [CNN Business, 10-10-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Oct. 9, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-10-22]

CSX TO SERVE NEW ALUMINUM PLANT IN ALABAMA: Ground has been broken for Novelis' $2.5-billion low-carbon aluminum recycling and rolling plant now under construction in Bay Minette, Alabama, the first fully-integrated aluminum mill built in the U.S. in 40 years. CSX will serve the plant. [Progressive Railroading, 10-10-22]

L.A. METRO OPENS K-LINE: Los Angeles Metro has officially opened the K-Line for light-rail service. It marks the return of rail service on Crenshaw boulevard, which has not had rail access since 1955. [Progressive Railroading, 10-10-22]

CN RAIL BRIDGE BURNS IN ALBERTA: Canadian National reported that a fire on a major bridge near Latornell, Alberta, on Oct. 5, shut down rail traffic moving in and out of the Great Prairie area until further notice. There was no immediate estimate on how long it will take to restore traffic. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-7-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO ADD SIX HYBRID-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES: Union Pacific has partnered with ZTR to build hybrid-electric locomotives. They will be built at the railroad's facility in North Little Rock, with the first prototype to be delivered late next year. Five additional units will arrive in 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 10-7-22]

CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN ON CONFEDERATION GO STATION IN HAMILTON, ONTARIO: Ontario government officials on Oct. 6 announced that construction will start on the Confederation GO station in Hamilton, with completion of the $50-million (C) project anticipated by 2025. [Railway Age, 10-7-22]

BNSF COMPLETES DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT ON EMPORIA SUB IN KANSAS: BNSF has announced that the project to install a second main line track on the Emporia subdivision, from Kansas City to Wellington, Kansas, part of the railroad's Southern Transcon, has been completed. The Emporia subdivision installation is just part of a larger multi-year project to add 50 miles of double-track through the heart of the state. When that project is complete, the entire Southern Transcon from southern California to Chicago will be more fluid. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-6-22]

BLET MEMBERS RATIFY AGREEMENTS WITH BNSF IN RESUMPTION OF SERVICE ON MRL: Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen have ratified agreements with BNSF regarding the resumption of service on Montana Rail Link. After more than 30 years of operating BNSF-owned main line between Huntley, Montana, and Sandpoint, Idaho, MRL announced back in January that it would cease its long-term lease with BNSF. [Railway Age, 10-6-22]

CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA, STATION TO BE SOLD TO BRIGHTLINE WEST: Owners of a five-acre portion of property in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, California, have approved the first step in a sale of Cucamonga station to Brightline West for development of a high-speed rail line between southern California and Las Vegas. [Railway Age, 10-6-22]

COMMODITY RAILPORT PLANNED FOR IRON COUNTY, UTAH: Savage, a global provider of industrial logistics infrastructure and supply-chain services, has announced it plans to build, own and operate a multi-commodity railport in Iron County, Utah, northwest of Cedar City. The Savage Railport is expected to be operating within 12 to 15 months, with direct access to Union Pacific. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-6-22]

SEPT. 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,939,894 carloads and intermodal units in Sept. 2022, down 3.1 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.1 percent, and intermodal was down 4.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 10-5-22]

SEMINOLE GULF RWY DISABLED BY HURRICANE DAMAGE: It may not be until next year when the Seminole Gulf Railway sees carloads moving again. Hurricane Ian ruthlessly disabled the short line. A total of six bridges were destroyed - three near Fort Myers, and three around Arcadia - and the line's rail yard is still under water. [Railway Age, 10-5-22].

BRIGHTLINE TO BEGIN SPEED TESTING ALONG NEW 11-MILE TRACK PORTION: After many months of laying track and building grade crossings, Brightline will begin testing trains at up to 110 MPH on an 11-mile portion of new track in Martin and St. Lucie counties beginning the week of Oct. 17, continuing over a six-week period. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-5-22]

RAIL PASSENGER RIDERSHIP IN VIRGINIA SETS ANOTHER RECORD: For two months in a row, Virginia rail passengers have gotten on board, topping previous ridership highs. More than 119,000 passengers rode regional rail and Amtrak in August, an 8.2 percent increase over the already record-breaking numbers of July. [CBS-19, 10-5-22]

TRAIN DISPATCHERS RATIFY LABOR CONTRACT WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: Members of the American Train Dispatchers Assn. have ratified the labor contract with the major freight carriers, joining three other unions that have already done so. There are now eight other unions that have not ratified. [Freight Waves, 10-4-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN COMBINES TRANSPORTATION, NETWORK OPERATIONS: Norfolk Southern has created a combined transportation and network operations department and promoted Paul Duncan to lead the group as senior vice-president. He will lead the team responsible for designing network operations, executing network plans, and coordinating the movement of trains. [Progressive Railroading, 10-4-22]

CANADIAN GRAIN BACKS UP DUE TO RAIL CAR SHORTAGE: Canada has a bin-busting grain harvest this year, but there are not enough rail cars to transport it all. There were almost 2400 outstanding grain car orders for Canadian National and Canadian Pacific in the latest data from Ag Transport Coalition. [Bloomberg, 10-4-22]

BALTIMORE PENN STATION GETTING 'MODERNIZED': Construction is underway to modernize the 111-year-old Penn Station in Baltimore. The last major renovation was in 1984. The $150-million redevelopment is expected to extend the concourse, add two new train platforms, redo the exterior finishes, and add dining, retail and office space to the vacant levels of the building. [Baltimore Banner, 10-4-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Oct. 2, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 14 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-3-22]

SURFLINER SERVICE INTERRUPTED SOUTH OF IRVINE: Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service has been temporarily suspended south of Irvine, California, due to erosion concerns and emergency repairs. Metrolink, which share the same set of tracks, has suspended service south of the Laguna Niguel/ Mission Viejo station. [Progressive Railroading, 10-3-22]

MBTA NEEDS ANOTHER $1-B TOWARD ORANGE, RED LINE REPAIRS: MBTA officials say that another $1-billion will be needed to complete repairs on the agency's Orange and Red lines. The Red line needs new track and significant expansion at Codman Yard, and the Orange line needs more track work in the Southwest corridor, a new signal system, and more maintenance. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-3-22]

TRINITY LANDS $1.8-B RAIL CAR ORDER FROM GATX: Trinity Industries will supply a mix of 15,000 newly-built tank and freight cars to GATX through 2028 in a deal worth $1.8-billion. GATX has an option to order up to 500 more cars per year from 2023 to 2028. [Railway Age, 10-3-22]

D.C. METRO'S REOPENING OF POTOMAC YARD STATION DELAYED: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has again delayed completion of the Potomac Yard Station project. The station was to reopen in late October, but the contractor did not meet the project delivery deadline, and completion has been extended to 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 10-3-22]

STB EXTENDS CP-KCS MERGER HEARING: The Surface Transportation Board's hearing on the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern has been extended. The hearing began Sept. 28, was to be concluded Sept. 30, but it will continue Oct. 3 and 4. [Progressive Railroading, 10-3-22]

LIRR THIRD-TRACK PROJECT COMPLETED: Long Island Rail Road's third-track project has been completed on time and under budget. The new 9.8-mile track from Floral Park to Hicksville gives the railroad more flexibility when Grand Central Madison opens later this year. Construction of the third track is the centerpiece of the larger $2.5-billion main line expansion, which includes the renewal of five stations, the elimination of eight grade crossings, upgrades to seven bridges, and other improvements. [Railway Track & Structures, 10-3-22]

AMTRAK ADDS NEW PLATFORM AT LAUREL, MISSISSIPPI, DEPOT: The city of Laurel, Mississippi, is celebrating the completion of a new ADA platform at its Amtrak station. Ribbon cutting was Sept. 30. [WHLT, 10-3-22]

BNSF TO BUILD NEW SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RAIL FACILITY: BNSF has announced plans to invest more than $1.5-billion to construct a master-planned rail facility in southern California, the first being developed by a Class I railroad. The Barstow International Gateway will be an approximately 4500-acre new integrated facility consisting of a rail yard, intermodal facility and warehouses for transloading freight from international containers to domestic containers. The facility will allow the direct transfer of containers from ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to trains for transport through the Alameda corridor onto BNSF up to Barstow. [BNSF, 10-1-22]

SEPTEMBER 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in September 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 10-1-22]

CSX TO SERVE NEW PAPER PRODUCTS PLANT IN JACKSON, TENNESSEE: Georgia-Pacific is slated to invest more than $425-million in a new 900,000-square-foot Dixie paper products plant in Jackson, Tennessee, to be served by CSX. [Railway Age, 9-29-22]

ELECTRICAL WORKERS RATIFY NEW CONTRACT WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have ratified the recent tentative agreement with the nation's major freight railroads. The union is the third to ratify an agreement. Tentative agreements with nine other organizations remain subject to ratification, each having different procedures and timelines for the process. [Progressive Railroading, 9-29-22]

CN TRAIN DERAILS NEAR DETROIT: Thirteen cars of a 151-car Canadian National train derailed just outside of Detroit Sept. 29. Three of the cars were carrying liquid chlorine and unrefined alcohol, one of which developed a small leak. There were no injuries. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-29-22]

BATTERY-HYBRID TRAINS ENTER JAPANESE SERVICE: Central Japan Railway has entered its Series HC85 hybrid multiple-units on limited express services between Nagoya and Takayama. Branded on this route as 'Hida,' the trains will also be deployed on Nanki limited express services between Nagoya, Shingu and Kii-Katuura. [Railway Gazette, 9-29-22]

CSX TO REVIVE ANNUAL SANTA TRAIN: Marking its 80th anniversary, the CSX Santa Train will be back on the rails this year for the first time since 2019, CSX reported. Earlier it had said it would not operate the train, citing supply-chain issues and staffing shortages, but the company reversed its decision after an outpouring of support from communities along the route, and positive developments in staffing. The train will run on Nov. 19 from Shelby, Kentucky, to Kingsport, Tennessee. [Railway Age, 9-28-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 489,111 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Sept. 24, 2022, down 4.4 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.2 percent, and intermodal was down 5.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-28-22]

AMTRAK SUSPENDING AUTO TRAIN, SILVER STAR DUE TO APPROACHING HURRICANE: Amtrak announced on Sept. 27 that its Auto Train and Silver Star will be canceled in both directions Sept. 28-30, and the northbound Silver Star is also canceled Oct. 1, due to hurricane Ian. Other adjustments may be made as need requires. [Amtrak, 9-27-22]

PATRIOT RAIL TO ACQUIRE DELTA SOUTHERN R.R.: Patriot Rail has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Delta Southern Railroad, a short-line operating two line segments over 40 miles of track in Louisiana serving two port facilities on the Mississippi River. [Progressive Railroading, 9-27-22]

AMTRAK TRAINS MAY BEGIN USING MIAMI INTERMODAL CENTER: Amtrak's silver service trains might soon come into the Miami Intermodal Center, just east of the airport. The facility opened in 2015, but Amtrak trains could not initially enter the station because of their length and disruption to traffic. Reconstruction of impacted streets has since been accomplished, and Amtrak completed tests back in February in which its longest train entered the station without disrupting traffic. Lease arrangements are under negotiation. [Miami Today, 9-27-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 25, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 33 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-26-22]

JAMES FLORIO DIES, PRINCIPAL AUTHOR OF STAGGERS RAIL ACT: James Joseph Florio, former governor of New Jersey and eight-term U.S. representative who was the principal author of the 1980 Staggers Rail Act that partially deregulated the industry, died September 25. He was 85. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-26-22]

SEPTA'S BOARD APPROVES PURCHASE OF LAND FOR KING OF PRUSSIA RAIL LINE PROJECT: The SEPTA board has approved the purchase of land for the King of Prussia line project. The line will extend the existing Norristown high-speed line four miles into King of Prussia. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-26-22]

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA, PLANS REMOVAL OF RAIL TRACK THROUGH DOWNTOWN: Cedar Falls, Iowa, officials are now planning to remove over 11,000 feet of track through the downtown area. The Iowa Northern Railway had used the line to deliver coal to a utility, but that kind of action has not been seen since 2010. Crossings will be removed, and an old railroad bridge will be converted into a pedestrian bridge. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-26-22]

PROGRESS RAIL TO PROVIDE ZERO-EMISSION LOCOMOTIVES TO BNSF: Progress Rail will supply up to four EMD Joule battery-electric locomotives to BNSF, to replace diesel units operating in Southern California. The first locomotive will be delivered with eight MWh of storage capacity, making the SD70J the largest battery-electric locomotive in North America. [Progressive Railroading, 9-26-22]

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., STATION IMPROVEMENT ADVANCES: The New Brunswick, N.J., train station on the Northeast corridor will benefit from a $49-million state investment to extend and replace platforms, rehabilitate escalators and elevators, install efficient lighting, upgrade heating and air-conditioning, and other improvements. [Railway Age, 9-26-22]

AMTRAK PLANS FOR ZERO GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY 2045: Amtrak announced Sept. 22 plans to achieve net zero greenhouse-gas emissions across its network by 2045. The new goal focuses on expanding efforts across the railroad's entire carbon footprint to reduce the environmental impacts of operations, Amtrak said. [Progressive Railroading, 9-23-22]

STB ASKED TO EXTEND MEDIATION PERIOD FOR AMTRAK'S GULF COAST PLAN: CSX, Norfolk Southern, the Port of Alabama and Amtrak today asked the Surface Transportation Board for another 15 days of mediation in hopes of reaching a mutual agreement on how to restore passenger service between New Orleans and Mobile. An earlier extension expires Sept. 25, and it is likely that the board will agree to extend the mediation period to Oct. 11. [Rail Passengers Assn., 9-23-22]

L.A. METRO TO OPEN K-LINE OCT. 7: Los Angeles Metro announced Sept. 22 that it will officially open the K-Line (formerly known as the Crenshaw/LAX line) to the public on Oct. 7. The line extends from E-Line (Expo) at Crenshaw, and eventually merges with C-Line (Green) at Aviation/LAX, connecting the Crenshaw corridor, Inglewood and El Segundo. Rail transit has not served the area since the L.A. Railway's yellow cars shut down in the 1950's. [Railway Age, 9-23-22]

SEPTA RELEASES DESIGN CONCEPTS FOR NEW TROLLEY STATIONS: The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has released design concepts for new trolley stations. Many trolley stops currently feature just signs along a sidewalk with few or no amenities. The new stations will feature easier navigability and level boarding. [Progressive Railroading, 9-23-22]

AMTRAK TO TEMPORARILY ELIMINATE CHECKED BAGGAGE ON CAROLINIAN, PENNSYLVANIAN: Amtrak has issued an alert that it will not be checking baggage on the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian through at least Nov. 17. Bicycle service on the Carolinian is also suspended, and trackside checked bicycle service is suspended on the Pennsylvania. Amtrak said the suspension is due to lack of equipment. [Rail Passengers Assn., 9-23-22]

AMTRAK TO IMPROVE 450 RAIL CARS OVER THREE YEARS: Amtrak will improve more than 450 rail cars during the next three years, beginning with its superliner fleet. This will be followed by viewliner sleepers. The company will also include updates to onboard dining. [Rail Passengers Assn., 9-23-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS ON BRIDGE IN LAFAYETTE, INDIANA: A Norfolk Southern train derailed Sept. 21 while crossing a bridge spanning the Wabash River in Lafayette, Indiana. Three rail cars fell into the river. There were no injuries, but there was considerable damage to the bridge. The bridge was also used by CSX and the Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-22-22]

WATCO'S FIRST-EVER TOURIST TRAIN MAKES INITIAL RUN: The first-ever tour train provided by Watco-owned Agawa Canyon Railroad carried its first passengers recently from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to Agawa Canyon Park. The 113-mile route travels past dozens of lakes and rivers, and around more than 800 curves, with 10 hours of untouched wilderness. [Railway Age, 9-22-22]

THREE INJURED WHEN DENVER R-LINE TRAIN DERAILS: In Denver, Colorado, three people were injured when an R-Line train left the tracks at the intersection of Exposition avenue and Sable boulevard. It was the second time in four years that a train has derailed at this intersection. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-22-22]

PROJECT TO IMPROVE BOSTON'S SOUTH STATION BEGINS: A project to expand and improve Boston's South Station has begun. Currently, the station's train and bus terminals are separate structures, making connections between them challenging. The project will create comfortable and convenient transfers between all modes of transit, with direct connections between rail and bus. The outdoor concourse area will increase by two-thirds, will be transformed into an architecturally significant gateway to the city, tracks and platforms will be covered, and the bus terminal will increase its capacity by more than one-half. [Railway Age, 9-21-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 490,654 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending September 17, 2022, down 2.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 2 percent, and intermodal was down 7.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-21-22]

STADLER TO SUPPLY FOUR HYDROGEN-POWERED FLIRT TRAINS TO CALIFORNIA: Stadler has signed a memorandum of understanding with California for the design and delivery of four zero-emission hydrogen FLIRT trains, with additional options for up to 21 more. The vehicles would be deployed statewide. Stadler sold a FLIRT H2 train to San Bernardino County back in 2019, which is expected to enter service in 2024 as the initial hydrogen-powered passenger train in the U.S. The FLIRT model is a single-deck, multiple-unit train, and the company has sold 2,000 units in 21 countries. [Progressive Railroading, 9-21-22]

ISSUES WITH D.C. METRO'S 7000-SERIES RAIL CARS MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO TRACK GAUGES: Washington DC Metro's issues with 7000-series rail cars might have been linked to the rails, not to the wheels themselves. The agency earlier suspended the cars focused upon their wheels. But a study done years earlier has revealed that the system's turnouts and switches might have flangeways that are too narrow or are more restrictive than they ought to be. The 2015 report said improperly installed restraining rails could cause the wheels of the cars to shift apart. Moreover, an internal report that looked at work that was done later discovered that inspectors did not agree with the agency's standards for restraining rails, and wanted Metro to put together an engineering study and revise track design criteria. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-21-22]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT INCREASES IN JULY: Class I railroads employed 117,014 workers in the U.S. as of mid-August 2022, a 0.52 increase from the previous month, and a 2.26 increase year-over-year, according to Surface Transportation Board data. Year-over-year, the number of train and engine employees was up 3.5 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 9-21-22]

CP UNVEILS EMISSION CALCULATOR: Canadian Pacific has launched a web-based carbon emissions calculator designed to provide customers insight into the carbon footprint of its freight-rail transportation services. The calculator enables customers to determine the impact of their own emissions footprint by selecting their freight service. [Progressive Railroading, 9-21-22]

MAN CHARGED WITH ATTACKING LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER WITH A KNIFE: A 40-year-old man in Minnesota has been charged for allegedly attacking a train engineer with a knife, causing the engineer to jump from the moving train. The incident happened near Sauk Rapids on Sept. 20. The train eventually stopped in Sartell, and the man was apprehended, charged with assault with a deadly weapon. [Fox9, 9-21-22]

CSX TO TEMPORARILY RELOCATE SOME CREW MEMBERS TO ADDRESS SHORTAGES: To address crew shortages, CSX will temporarily relocate some of its train service employees who agree to a six-month transfer. They will receive $5,000 after qualifying in the new area, plus a $17,500 bonus after six months. Locations to which transfers will be made include Buffalo, Syracuse, Selkirk, West Springfield and Philadelphia. The number of openings was not specified, but 20 employees have already been transferred to Selkirk this month. [Railway Age, 9-20-22]

RAIL CUSTOMERS ASK CONGRESS TO 'REAUTHORIZE' STB: In a letter to the U.S. House Transportation Infrastructure Committee, the Rail Customer Coalition stated its support for the proposed Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act to reauthorize the Surface Transportation Board to address a 'major decline in freight rail service.' The letter stated that the railroads are failing to deliver for farmers, manufacturers, energy producers and consumers, and the economy and supply chain are being weakened by chronic and widespread rail service problems. [Progressive Railroading, 9-20-22]

WABTEC LANDS KAZAKHSTAN ORDER FOR BATTERY-POWERED SWITCHERS, DIESEL REBUILDS: Wabtec and Kazakhstan National Railway have signed a $600-million memorandum of understanding for 150 FLXdrive battery-electric switchers and modernization work to transform the main-line diesel fleet into NextFuel liquefied natural gas-powered locomotives. [Railway Age, 9-20-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 18, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and nine minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-19-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON NEW STATION, TRACK PROJECT IN WINDSOR LOCKS, CONNECTICUT: Ground has been broken on a new train station and track improvement project in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Located downtown next to an historic station, the new station will include a high-level platform, while roadway and track improvements will address issues on the Hartford line, allowing for later expansion. [Progressive Railroading, 9-19-22]

OMNITRAX SEEKS TO PURCHASE SAN LUIS & RIO GRANDE R.R.: OmniTRAX, which owns and operates over 20 short lines in the U.S., has signed a letter of intent to purchase the bankrupt San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad. The company's offer is $5.75-million, but about $4-million will need to be spent on back taxes. A short line operator in New Mexico, North Central Railcorp, is also interested in acquiring the line, but has not obtained financing. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-19-22]

LIVONIA, AVON & LAKEVILLE TAKES CONTROL OF ONTARIO MIDLAND: The Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad has added the 52-mile Ontario Midland Railroad to its 400-plus-track-mile network with the acquisition of 55 percent of the line's stock. [Railway Age, 9-19-22]

POLICE PARK PATROL CAR ON TRACKS TO MAKE AN ARREST, TRAIN HITS THE CAR: A 20-year-old woman was seriously injured in Plattville, Colorado, when police put her in the back of a patrol car that was parked on a rail crossing, and the car ended up being hit by a train. The woman was taken to a hospital with significant brain injury. The officer who parked the patrol car on the tracks has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. [, 9-19-22]

LEXINGTON, N.C., SET TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION OF PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT: After nearly 20 years since the city of Lexington, N.C., first began discussions about providing passenger rail service, the city is preparing to kick off the construction phase of the project. The project includes two new boarding platforms, renovation of the historic freight depot as an interim passenger station, a vehicle tunnel under the tracks, improving tracks, and closing a grade crossing. [Railway Age, 9-19-22]

BOISE SEEKS AMTRAK SERVICE TO SALT LAKE CITY: The city of Boise, Idaho, is aiming for long-distance Amtrak service, and is partnering with Salt Lake City for service from Caldwell and Boise to Salt Lake City. This would be part of the Federal Railroad Administration's Corridor ID program, which identifies routes previously operated by Amtrak, and part of broader effort to reboot the Pioneer line stretching Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City. There is also discussion of studying a north-south route from Utah to Las Vegas. [East Idaho News, 9-19-22]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 17 ADDITIONAL CORADIA STREAM TRAINS FOR ROMANIA: Alstom and the Romanian Railway Reform Authority have signed an addendum to the initial contract for the delivery of additional Coradia Stream inter-regional trains with 15 years of maintenance. The 17 additional trains will supplement the first 20 trains ordered in March, creating the first passenger railway fleet provided by Alstom in the country. [Progressive Railroading, 9-19-22]

RAIL LABOR AGREEMENT TO AVERT A STRIKE HAS 'POTENTIAL' TO FALL APART: The White House-brokered agreement to avert a rail strike has the potential to fall apart, threatening widespread economic disruption. If any of the 12 rail labor unions fail to ratify a new contact, nearly 125,000 rail workers could be headed for a strike. Vote counting is certain to drag into October. [The Hill, 9-18-22]

MERCHANTS BRIDGE IN ST. LOUIS REOPENED: The city of St. Louis and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis on Sept. 15 celebrated the reopening of the Merchants Bridge, a 133-year-old structure spanning the Mississippi River. The bridge is a vital link serving Amtrak and six Class I freight railroads. The project took four years and $222-million to complete. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-16-22]

TRAIN TRAVELS 730 MILES ON HYDROGEN FUEL WITHOUT REFILL: Alstom reports its Coradia iLint train traveled 730 miles across Germany without stopping to refill its hydrogen tank. It only emitted water and low levels of noise. Alstom has been contracted to supply 27 of the trains for use in the Frankfort metropolitan area and 14 trains in Lower Saxony. [Progressive Railroading, 9-16-22]

SEAPORT MANATEE IN FLORIDA GETS FEDERAL GRANT TOWARD EXPANSION: SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, Florida, has received a nearly $12-million federal grant to advance a 16.5-acre expansion of container yard facilities. The port's short line, Port Manatee Railroad, directly connects to a CSX main line. The grant will fund design and construction of additional cargo-handling space, a new container yard access road and installation of electrical systems for two new mobile harbor cranes which are already on site. [Progressive Railroading, 9-16-22]

ALSTOM TO DELIVER TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO KIWIRAIL IN NEW ZEALAND: Alstom has announced it will deliver a fully-integrated traffic management system for New Zealand's KiwiRail network. The new Iconis system will improve the way the network operates by providing greater safety, security and resilience, Alstom said. [Progressive Railroading, 9-16-22]

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED, NATIONWIDE RAIL STRIKE AVERTED: President Biden early this morning announced a tentative agreement has been reached between the major freight railroads and unions after an all-night negotiation session. The agreement must still be ratified by the unions' membership, but the pact averts a nationwide strike that could have started as early as tomorrow. [Progressive Railroading, 9-15-22]

AMTRAK WORKING TO RESTORE RAIL SERVICE FOLLOWING LABOR AGREEMENT: Amtrak is working to quickly restore trains that were canceled in face of a possible rail strike and reaching out directly to impacted customers to accommodate on first available departures. [Amtrak, 9-15-22]

CEO, PRESIDENT JAMES FOOTE TO RETIRE FROM CSX: James M. Foote will retire from the top leadership roles at CSX, including his membership on the board, on Sept. 26, 2022. He will remain with the company as an advisor through the end of March 2023. He will be replaced as CEO and president on Sept. 26 by Joseph R. Hinrichs, who served previously as president of Ford Motor Company's automotive business. Ford is a long-time railroad customer. [Railway Age, 9-15-22]

PATRIOT RAIL COMPLETES ITS ACQUISITION OF PIONEER LINES: Patriot Rail announced yesterday it has completed its acquisition of short-line holding company Pioneer Lines following regulatory authorization. Patriot now operates 31 railroads in 23 states. [Progressive Railroading, 9-15-22]

AMTRAK SUSPENDING CERTAIN TRAINS IN ADVANCE OF THREATENED STRIKE: Amtrak has begun the suspension of long-distance trains due to the looming threat of a railroad strike, and not wanting to strand passengers and crew on account of it. First to be curtailed were the California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Texas Eagle and Southwest Chief, effective from origin Sept. 13. State-supported trains outside of the Northeast corridor will likely be suspended Sept. 15. Trains operating solely on the Northeast corridor, Keystone, Empire service, Downeaster and Hartford line trains are not impacted. [Rail Passengers Assn., 9-14-22]

ADA-COMPLIANCE UPGRADES COMPLETED AT LONGVIEW, TEXAS, AMTRAK STATION: Local leaders in Longview, Texas, and Amtrak officials joined together Sept. 14 to celebrate the completion of a $5-million Americans With Disabilities act improvement at Longview station in Texas. Longview is served by Amtrak's Texas Eagle, along with a thruway bus to Galveston. The Colonial Revival depot was built in 1940 by the Texas & Pacific Railway. [Railway Age, 9-14-22]

MAJOR TIE PROJECT TO BEGIN ON METRA'S UNION PACIFIC NORTH LINE: Union Pacific will begin a two-month project to replace 68,000 ties, beginning Sept. 20, on 45 miles of track on Metra's UP-North line between Ravenswood, Illinois, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Work will be performed at night to minimize commuter train disruptions. [Progressive Railroading, 9-14-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 464,261 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending September 10, 2022, down 0.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.2 percent, and intermodal was down 1.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-14-22]

SUPPLY-CHAIN CONCERNS GROW AS THREAT OF RAIL STRIKE NEARS: Business groups and political officials are growing increasingly concerned about the potential for a freight rail strike that could further snarl the country's supply chains if a union contract with railroads cannot be reached. A strike could cause problems that reverberate across the economy, even after a strike ends. [NBC News, 9-13-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 11, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 14 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-12-22]

UNION PACIFIC ANNOUNCES TRAIN CURFEW IN AREA OF CEDAR CREEK FIRE IN OREGON: Union Pacific has informed customers that a curfew for train movement has been initiated in the area of Oakridge, Oregon, due to the Cedar Creek fire. Customers with shipments through the impacted area should expect a delay of 24 hours. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-12-22]

THREE MORE UNIONS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: Unions representing railroad maintenance-of-way, mechanical department and boilermakers have reached tentative agreements with the National Carriers' Conference Committee. Two major operating craft unions continue to hold out. [Railway Age, 9-12-22]

W.M. SCENIC R.R. SUSPENDS OPERATIONS DUE TO TIE DAMAGE: The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad suspended operations Sept. 8 through 11 because crews will be repairing about 250 feet of railroad ties near the line's Ridgeley, W.Va., shop and rail yard that were damaged during heavy rains. The Heritage Days Festival will take place during the closure, which is a busy time of the year for the railroad. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-9-22]

RAILROADS TO TAKE STEPS FOR POSSIBLE STRIKE: The six Class I freight railroads participating in national bargaining will begin taking steps as early as Sept. 12 to manage and secure shipments of sensitive materials in light of a possible rail labor strike. Carrier representatives will continue meeting through the weekend of Sept. 10-11 with the unions that have not made tentative agreements. [Railway Age, 9-9-22]

TWO UNION PACIFIC CREW MEMBERS DIE IN CALIFORNIA ACCIDENT: Two Union Pacific train crew members were killed early Sept. 8 when their train crashed into freight cars near the Salton Sea in California. Their train had been traveling through a desolate stretch of desert along the eastern coast of the sea when it was switched from the main track onto a siding and collided with the standing cars, derailing the locomotive and seven of its cars. Amtrak's Sunset Limited arrived in the area shortly after the crash, but it was able to slow to a stop. [L.A. Times, 9-8-22]

FIRE AT CROSSTIE YARD IN NEVADA LEADS TO EVACUATIONS: Firefighters spent much of Sept. 7 battling a crosstie fire in Hazen, Nevada. People close to the fire were evacuated, and a portion of U.S. highway 50 was closed. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-8-22]

LIRR OPENS 'PARTIALLY RECONSTRUCTED' CONCOURSE AT N.Y. PENN STATION: The Long Island Rail Road on Sept. 6 opened a partially reconstructed and modernized 33rd street concourse at New York's Penn Station. It is now nearly doubled in width from 30 to 57 feet, and its ceilings have been raised to 18 feet. The project is on scheduled to be completed next year, and will have more retail and dining options, and other amenities. [Railway Age, 9-7-22]

AUGUST 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2.525.510 carloads and intermodal units in August 2022, up 0.4 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 2.3 percent, and intermodal was down 1.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-7-22]

KCS HOLIDAY EXPRESS RETURNING TO THE RAILS: Kansas City Express has announced its Holiday Express will return to the rails this year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The Holiday Express will continue its tradition of charitable giving to the Salvation Army. The train will be in operation or display at a number of system locations from November 23 to December 18. [Kansas City Southern, 9-6-22]

TWO MORE UNIONS REACH TENTATIVE LABOR AGREEMENTS WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: The National Carriers' Conference Committee has announced that the unions representing electrical workers and train dispatchers have reached tentative labor agreements. Combined with the tentative agreements announced earlier, five of the 12 unions in national bargaining have reached tentative pacts, with those five unions representing more than 21,000 employees. [Progressive Railroading, 9-6-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN HAMPTON, IOWA: A Union Pacific train derailed early Sept. 5 in Hampton, Iowa, impacting about 44 train cars and spilling asphalt into a creek. The railroad said the spilled asphalt has since been contained, but hazmat teams remained on the scene. No injuries were reported. [WOI-TV, 9-6-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS: A Union Pacific train derailed early Sept. 6 in downtown Jonesboro, Arkansas, involving about 11 train cars and causing major traffic delays. There were no injuries. [Jonesboro Sun, 9-6-22]

D.C. METRO TO REINTRODUCE MORE OF ITS 7000-SERIES RAIL CARS TO SERVICE: The Washington Area Metropolitan Transportation Authority will reintroduce more of its 7000-series rail cars to service starting Sept. 12. The agency's updated and approved return to service plan allows for it to safely operate up to 20 of its 7000-series trains per day, up from the current limit of eight trains. [Progressive Railroading, 9-6-22]

COMPLETION OF HUDSON RIVER TUNNEL PROJECT DELAYED UNTIL 2038: Pandemic-related inflationary pressures are cited as the reason for an increase in cost and time as the Gateway Development Commission updated the public on the Hudson River tunnel project. While the governors of New Jersey and New York remain committed to the current structure of the project, the completion date has been pushed back from 2031 to 2038. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 9-2-22]

AMTRAK'S OTTUMWA DEPOT GETTING TWO-YEAR MAKEOVER: Amtrak is investing $13.8-million to update the Ottumwa, Iowa, depot, which has remained mostly untouched since 1951. The station will remain open during its two-year makeover. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 9-2-22]

AMTRAK'S WOLVERINE SUSPENDED UNTIL SEPT. 16: Amtrak's Wolverine train 350-355 will be suspended until September 16 as staffing issues continue to bottleneck equipment repair facilities. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 9-2-22]

AUGUST 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in August 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-1-22]

CROSS-BORDER AMTRAK CASCADES TRAINS RETURNING SEPT. 26: Amtrak has announced that Cascades passenger rail service will return to Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 26, following a two-year suspension due to the pandemic. A morning train will run from Seattle to Vancouver, and an evening train will run from Vancouver to Seattle. The single round-trip will be offered daily, and a second round-trip will be added in the future as staffing and equipment allows. In addition to standard entry documents, travelers crossing the border will need to provide COVID-19 vaccination record. Masks are required in Canadian train stations. [Progressive Railroading, 9-1-22]

FEDS AWARD $1.5-M GRANT TOWARD RAIL SPUR, OTHER IMPROVEMENTS IN COLE COUNTY, MO.: The U.S. Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.5-million grant to Cole County, Missouri, which will be used to help pay for a new rail spur and other transportation-related infrastructure necessary for construction of a multimodal transload facility at the Algoa Industrial Park in Jefferson City. The grant will be matched with $1.7-million in local funds. [Progressive Railroading, 9-1-22]

CONTRACTOR FOR SAN JOSE TUNNEL WANTS TO IMPLEMENT SOME CHANGES: The prime contractor for Bay Area Rapid Transit's light-rail extension project wants to do some 'unstacking.' Approved plans for the line from Berryessa, through San Jose, and northwest to Santa Clara call for tunnels to be 'stacked' on top of each other, creating a single 43-foot-wide tunnel section. But now the contractor wants to place two sets of track side-by-side with a 48-foot-wide tunnel. The original work was estimated to cost $9.1-billion, but it is unclear if the change will save money or spend more of it. Results of an independent review of the two options are expected in the coming weeks. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-31-22]

FEDS ISSUE REPORT OF ADDITIONAL MBTA SAFETY CONCERNS: Following a safety inspection of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's rail transit system, the U.S. Federal Transit Administration issued a report of findings and informed both MBTA and the state's Dept. of Public Utilities of needed safety changes in addition to those identified back in June. The new directives require the agency to address personnel, operating conditions, policies, procedures, training, and track maintenance. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-31-22]

RIDERSHIP ON AMTRAK'S VIRGINIA ROUTES REACHES ALL-TIME HIGH: Ridership on Virginia's state-supported Amtrak trains reached 110,256 passengers in July, a 28.9 percent increase from June, and a 19.8 percent increase compared with pre-pandemic ridership in July 2019. The latest ridership figure is an all-time high. Two new round-trip trains were added last month - one to Roanoke and one to Norfolk. Also added was a round-trip to Newport News that had been suspended due to the pandemic. [Progressive Railroading, 8-31-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 511,574 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending August 27, 2022, up 1.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.4 percent, and intermodal was down 0.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-31-22]

CSX TRAIN STRIKES SEMI IN ROSEDALE, MD.: A CSX train struck a semi-truck in Rosedale, Md., late Aug. 30. The crossing is protected by just a sign, not by gates or flashers. There was a train idling near the crossing on one of the two tracks, but another train was advancing on the second track, which evidently the driver did not see or hear. It collided with the vehicle. No injuries were reported. [WBAL-TV, 8-31-22]

UNION PACIFIC CONDUCTOR DIES IN EL PASO RAIL ACCIDENT: A Union Pacific conductor was killed Aug. 29 in El Paso as he was guiding his engineer into a track and a rail car derailed, crushing the victim. The movement involved running into a derail protective device applied to the track earlier in the day for track work, according to a report. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-30-22]

SECOND PORTION OF LIRR THIRD-TRACK PROJECT COMPLETED: The Long Island Rail Road opened a 2.5-mile second section of its latest third-track project, just two weeks after opening the first section. The newest section is between Merilion avenue and Mineola stations. The project also included the elimination of two grade crossings and other improvements. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-30-22]

THREE RAIL UNIONS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH U.S. FREIGHT CARRIERS: The National Carriers' Conference Committee announced Aug. 29 that three unions representing more than 15,000 employees have reached tentative agreements with U.S. freight railroads calling for implementation of Presidential Emergency Board settlement recommendations. The pacts are the first to be reached since the board issued its Aug. 16 recommendations. [Progressive Railroading, 8-30-22]

BOY SCOUTS HONORED FOR HEROISM IN DERAILMENT OF SOUTHWEST CHIEF: Four of the Boy Scouts from Appleton, Wisconsin, who were on board during the Southwest Chief derailment near Mendon, Missouri, on June 27 have been named heroes and presented with awards from the American Red Cross for their dedication to assisting passengers and crew aboard the overturned train. The scouts, from two different troops, were returning home from a scout camp in Colorado, and they used their skills to help passengers evacuate the train, along with their first-aid training, and comforted those in need until help arrived. [WSAW-TV, 8-29-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending August 28, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-29-22]

KCS SET TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION OF SECOND LAREDO INTERNATIONAL RAIL BRIDGE: Kansas City Southern is set to begin construction in October or November of a second international rail bridge connecting Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The new $75-million bridge will parallel Kansas City Southern's current one which handles about 26 trains a day. [Freight Waves, 8-28-22]

CSX REACQUIRES 24 C40-8 LOCOMOTIVES: After selling or retiring its entire roster of more than 100 standard-cab C40-8 locomotives a number of years ago, CSX once again owns 24 of the 1980's units that came back to the company as part of its June acquisition of Pan Am Railways. It is not clear if CSX intends to use the locomotives throughout its network, keep them on the former Pan Am network, or assign them elsewhere. [Trains Magazine, 8-26-22]

MARYLAND'S PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE CONSTRUCTION STARTUP IS SOON TO BEGIN: Maryland's Purple line project's construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks. The project is four years behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. The previous contractor walked off the job due to contractual issues. Completion time is now Fall 2026. The 16.2-mile line will connect the D.C. Metro stations in Bethesda and New Carrollton. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-26-22]

HEAVY RAINS LEAD TO MISSISSIPPI TRAIN DERAILMENT: Heavy rains that have been hitting the southern portion of the U.S. has led to a train derailment east of Brandon, Mississippi. The train cars involved in the Aug. 24 accident were carrying carbon dioxide. No injuries were reported. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-26-22]

STB ASKED TO EXTEND MEDIATION PERIOD IN AMTRAK GULF COAST SERVICE DISPUTE: The parties involved in the dispute over Amtrak's proposed Gulf Coast passenger rail service, including Amtrak itself, have jointly asked the Surface Transportation Board to extend for 30 days the mediation period for the parties to settle their dispute. The parties opposed to the service are CSX, Norfolk Southern, Alabama State Port Authority and its Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks. [Progressive Railroading, 8-25-22]

CANADIAN SAFETY BOARD CALLS ON MAJOR RAILS TO SPEED UP AUTOMATIC TRAIN-CONTROL IMPLEMENTATION: Canada's transportation safety board has called for all major Canadian railroads to step up implementation of physical fail-safe train controls on the nation's key rail routes. The board is also calling on Transport Canada to require carriers to develop and implement formal crew resource management training for railroad operating employees. [Progressive Railroading, 8-25-22]

NEW CALTRAIN TRAINSETS, SOUND TRANSIT RAIL CARS ARRIVE: Caltrain this week received its third and fourth electric trainsets at San Jose, California, and will undergo testing until they enter service in 2024. Meanwhile, Seattle's Sound Transit has received the first two of 11 new cars for the Sounder S line. [Progressive Railroading, 8-24-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS NEAR PORT OF TACOMA, WASHINGTON: A BNSF train passing near the Port of Tacoma, Washington, derailed Aug. 24, knocking down power lines and blocking traffic. It was the third time in 12 months that a freight train has derailed near this location. No one was injured, according to reports. [News Tribune, 8-24-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 501,548 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending August 20, 2022, up 0.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 2.9 percent, and intermodal was down 2.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-24-22]

WISCONSIN PROPOSES KENOSHA-RACINE-MILWAUKEE COMMUTER RAIL SERVICE: The state of Wisconsin has formally endorsed a proposal to implement commuter rail service along a 33-mile existing rail corridor from downtown Kenosha, continuing through Racine, and on to Milwaukee. The line would serve nine stations and provide a connection to Metra's Union Pacific North commuter rail line in Kenosha. [Railway Age, 8-24-22]

RAILWORKS ACQUIRES H&H ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION: RailWorks Corp. has acquired H&H Engineering Construction, a California-based rail maintenance and construction contractor that provides services to transit, ports, freight railroads and rail-served industrial companies. [Progressive Railroading, 8-24-22]

HYDROGEN-POWERED TRAINS BEGIN SERVICE IN GERMANY: Five Alstom hydrogen trains powered by fuel cell propulsion began running on Germany's Elbe-Weser Railway's Bremervorde route Aug. 24. Fourteen of the trains will eventually replace diesel trains on that route. Just one kilo of hydrogen fuel can do the same as 4.5 kilos of diesel. [CNN, 8-24-22]

RUSSIAN MISSILE STRIKES TRAIN STATION IN UKRAINE, OVER 20 KILLED: A Russian missile hit a train station in eastern Ukraine on Aug. 24, killing over 20 people, with a number of others injured. Passenger rail cars were crushed and set on fire. [N.Y. Times, 8-24-22]

WATCO NAMED RAIL OPERATOR AT KANSAS INDUSTRIAL PARK: Watco has been selected as the new rail operator of the Great Plains Industrial Park in Parsons, Kansas, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Watco will provide switching, transload, warehouse, material handling, logistics services and an approved foreign trade zone for customers within the park. [Progressive Railroading, 8-23-22]

UNION PACIFIC ADVANCES PLAN TO SUPPORT CUSTOMER DEMAND: With its volumes up 2 percent so far this quarter, Union Pacific has pulled nearly 3,000 of its own rail cars from storage to begin adding unit train sets to support customer demand, graduated 597 train, engine and yard service employees so far this year, which is on track to meet the year-end goal of 1,400. [Progressive Railroading, 8-23-22]

METROLINK RESTORES ST. LOUIS BLUE LINE SERVICE FOLLOWING FLOOD DAMAGE: Metro Transit in St. Louis has restored MetroLink rail service at all Blue line stations. The service had been suspended after record rainfall and flooding three weeks ago. [Railway Age, 8-22-22]

SAN FRANCISCO-SAN JOSE HIGH-SPEED RAIL CORRIDOR CLEARS ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: The California High-Speed Rail Authority's board has certified the final environmental impact report for the 43-mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose. [Progressive Railroading, 8-22-22]

L.A. METRO DEDICATES FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS K LINE STATION: Los Angeles Metro has dedicated its Fairview Heights K Line station, which will provide the Inglewood community with rail connections to the city's affordable housing, entertainment venues, and a 5.5-mile pedestrian-bicycle path, now under construction. The K Line is expected to open later this year. [Railway Age, 8-22-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending August 21, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-22-22]

FEDS GRANT UP TO $20-M TOWARD FINAL DESIGN TO REPLACE AMTRAK'S SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BRIDGE: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has announced a grant of up to $20-million toward final design to replace the 115-year-old Susquehanna River Bridge serving Amtrak, MARC and freight operators on the Northeast corridor in Maryland. The new bridge will have a higher clearance above the river and a movable span that can more efficiently open and close to river traffic. The bridge will also increase train speeds from 90 to 125 MPH. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 8-19-22]

EAST PENN R.R. TRAIN DERAILS IN CHESTER COUNTY, PA.: An East Penn Railroad train jumped the track in Newlin, Chester County, Pa., ending up just a few feet from the side porch and garage of a home. As of late Aug. 19, crews were working with heavy equipment to unload the cars and get them upright to clear them from the yard. [CBS, 8-19-22]

AMTRAK LACKS CENTRALIZED REPOSITORY TO STORE PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS, INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT SAYS: Amtrak does not have a centralized and automated repository to store its procurement contracts, and instead stores them in multiple locations, according to an Amtrak office of inspector general report. This practice affects the company's ability to determine the number of contracts, suppliers and other contract information, the report says. [Railway Age, 8-19-22]

RHINECLIFF, N.Y., STATION PROJECT GETTING FEDERAL GRANT MONEY: The Rhinecliff, N.Y., station high-level platform, vertical circulation and interlocking project will be getting up to $28.222.898 from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The project will replace the current 520-foot low-level platform with a longer high-level platform. Related track and signal work will increase operational flexibility for current and projected future demand. The upgrades are part of projects needed to increase daily Empire corridor round trip trains from 13 to 17. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 8-19-22]

AMTRAK GETTING MORE THAN $65-M TOWARD CONNECTICUT RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has announced a grant of up to $65,200,799 toward Amtrak's replacement of the aging Connecticut River bridge with a modern movable bridge. The new bridge will improve river traffic by providing a bascule movable span with additional vertical clearance. Rail speed on the new bridge will be 70 MPH, up from 45 MPH on the current span. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 8-19-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN TEXAS, NO INJURIES: Seventeen cars of a BNSF train derailed overnight Aug. 17 northeast of Hereford, Texas. No injuries were reported. [Amarillo Globe-News, 8-18-22]

FEDS AWARD $3-M TOWARD DESIGN COMPLETION TO CHICAGO UNION STATION CONCOURSE RENOVATIONS: The Federal Railroad Administration will award $3-million in funding to complete the design for planned renovations to the concourse at Chicago Union Station. The grant will be matched with funds from Metra, Amtrak, Chicago and Illinois departments of transportation, and Cook County, Illinois. [Progressive Railroading, 8-18-22]

METRA TO CONVERT UP TO SIX LOCOMOTIVES TO BATTERY POWER: Chicago's Metra plans to convert up to six of the agency's oldest diesel locomotives to zero-emission battery power. The contract with Progress Rail calls for a base order of three locomotives, with options for three more, and the base order is expected to take three and one-half years to complete. The units will have an estimated range of 150 miles per charge, and they will be tested on the Rock Island line. [Progressive Railroading, 8-18-22]

PRESIDENTIAL EMERGENCY BOARD ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS TO RESOLVE RAIL-LABOR CONTRACT DISPUTE: President Biden has received recommendations from the presidential emergency board he appointed last month to help resolve the labor contract dispute between major freight railroads and unions. The recommendations include a call for annual wage increases of 4 to 7 percent through 2024, further suggesting a 3 percent retroactive wage increase for 2020 and 3.5 percent for 2021, and recommended service bonus recognition payments of $1,000 per year for 2020 through 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 8-17-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 502,775 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending August 13, 2022, down 0.3 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.3 percent, and intermodal was down 1.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-17-22]

AMTRAK HAS OVER 4,000 POSITIONS AVAILABLE: Amtrak says it has more than 4,000 positions available spanning several disciplines, including project management, finance, technology, onboard services, electrical and customer service. It will be hosting over 50 hiring events and career fairs in major cities to attract new talent. According to Amtrak, the starting pay for all onboard service crafts is $21.00 per hour, and journeyman electricians start at $34.07 per hour. Passenger service says it also offers hiring bonuses and relocation packages to fill critical positions. [Railway Age, 8-17-22]

BART DEVELOPS EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM: When an earthquake strikes, every second counts. Bay Area Rapid Transit has developed technology that leverages U.S. Geological Survey-managed 'ShakeAlert,' built through partnerships with California's office of emergency services and Berkeley Seismology Lab. Ground motion sensors placed throughout the state detect quakes before shaking reaches humans, thus alerting train operators to come to a stop and advising passengers to 'drop, cover and hold on.' [Railway Age, 8-17-22]

CALTRAIN TESTS ELECTRIC TRAIN SET FOR CLEARANCE SAN JOSE TO SAN FRANCISCO: Caltrain announced that its first electric train set (pulled by a diesel locomotive) has undergone further testing from San Jose Dirdon station to San Francisco station to ensure that the trains and tracks meet all clearance requirements. The electrification project will cover the corridor from San Francisco to about the Tamien station in San Jose. The electric trains will each have seven cars, rather than the current five or six, and will offer better service than the current diesel-powered trains. [Railway Age, 8-16-22]

CHICAGO'S RED LINE EXTENSION PROJECT CLEARS ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: The Federal Transit and Highway administrations have published their final impact statement & report of decision regarding the Chicago Transit Authority's Red line extension project. The project now advances to the next step to begin construction, which would extend the line 5.6 miles from 95th street to 130th street, including four new stations and a modernized rail car storage yard and maintenance facility. [Progressive Railroading, 8-16-22]

UTAH TRANSIT'S VINEYARD STATION OPENED: Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner Vineyard station is now open. The agency held an opening party on Aug. 12. New bus service will connect the new station with Orem and Provo. [Railway Age, 8-15-22]

LIRR'S THIRD-TRACK PROJECT EXPANDS ANOTHER 10 MILES: The first section of Long Island Rail Road's 10-mile stretch between Floral Park and Hicksville opened Aug. 15 during the morning rush-hour. The third track allows more trains and better recovery from delays. [Railway Age, 8-15-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending August 14, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-15-22]

STB CHAIR 'NOT OPTIMISTIC' OVER PACE OF RAIL SERVICE IMPROVEMENT: Marty Oberman, Surface Transportation Board chair, at an AFL-CIO roundtable on Aug. 12, expressed doubt that the four major U.S. Class I railroads could ramp up rail service and reach the service targets they laid out by December. Said he: "I have to say that if you look at the regular reporting metrics we're getting, they are a long way from their six-month targets, and we're about halfway through that six-month period." The unions, meanwhile, blame rail service deterioration on precision scheduled railroading, saying that the model designed to 'streamline' operations has instead caused the railroads to cut their staffing too deeply. [Freight Waves, 8-15-22]

LAC-MEGANTIC BYPASS WORK CONTINUES: Nine years after the crude oil train runaway wreck at Lac-Megantic, QC, that claimed 47 lives and destroyed much of the village's downtown, preliminary work continues on building a new 7.75-mile bypass rail line. The line, now owned by Canadian Pacific, continues to operate through town. The project also includes building two yard tracks in the Lac-Megantic industrial park to allow the relocation of Nantes and Frontenac railway operations to this location. At the end of the project, the existing track will be dismantled. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-15-22]

PROGRESSIVE RAIL PROMOTES ANDREA DOBBELMANN TO CEO: Progressive Rail has promoted Andrea Dobbelmann to CEO. She succeeds Lon Van Gement, who retired after leading the company since July 2019. [Progressive Railroading, 8-15-22]

NEW CARROLLTON, MD., AMTRAK STATION GETS $20.5-M FEDERAL GRANT FOR UPGRADES: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has awarded a $20.5-million Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability & Equity grant toward transit station improvements for the New Carrollton, Md., Amtrak station. The project includes a new train hall, incorporating connections to transit and intercity bus along with the planned Purple light-rail line, and other improvements. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 8-12-22]

FORMER B&O DESHLER, OHIO, DEPOT DEMOLISHED: The former B&O depot in Deshler, Ohio, was demolished Aug. 11. The former interlocking tower still stands. [Bill Haines, 8-11-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 496,526 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending August 6, 2022, down 2.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.6 percent, and intermodal was down 3.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-10-22]

AMTRAK CASCADES SERVICE GETTING EIGHT NEW TRAIN SETS: In about four years, Amtrak Cascades service in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will see a complete overhaul from the introduction of a new fleet of eight new train sets. The trains will be the Siemens Venture model, which is also used on Brightline in Florida, and are being introduced to VIA Rail for its Quebec City to Windsor route. [Daily Hive, 8-10-22]

READING & NORTHERN ADDS PASSENGER COACH TO LEHIGH GORGE FLEET: Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern has added an old passenger coach to its Lehigh Gorge fleet in Jim Thorpe, Pa.. Coach 450, dubbed 'The Pagota,' named for the Reading Pagoda found south of Reading, is a six-axle heavyweight car built in the 1920's, originally for Illinois Central. It was recently purchased in a railcar auction, and was a major project for the railroad's restoration and paint department over the summer. [Progressive Railroading, 8-10-22]

AMTRAK'S NEWEST MARKETING PROGRAM FOCUSES ON SPORTS: Amtrak's newest marketing and advertising program focuses on sports by leveraging partnerships with MLB, NHL and WNBA teams and college athletes playing in the Northeast corridor between Boston and Washington. The program is intended to reach fans and travelers via creatative assets at stadiums and arenas, on teams' digital channels and social platforms, as well as via custom program integrations. [Railway Age, 8-10-22]

PATRIOT RAIL TO ACQUIRE PIONEER LINES: Patriot Rail has entered into an agreement to acquire Pioneer Lines from BRX Transportation Holdings. Pioneer Lines operates 15 short lines in 12 states. If approved by regulators, the acquisition will increase Patriot Rail's short lines to 31. [Progressive Railroading, 8-9-22]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: FreightCar America posted a strong second-quarter and raised its revenue and delivery outlook for FY-2022. Consolidated revenues for the quarter were $56.8-million compared with $37.4-million in the same quarter 2021. The company delivered 468 rail cars compared with 313 in the prior-year period. Net income was $14.5-million or 58 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $4.2-million in the second-quarter last year. [Railway Age, 8-9-22]

UNION VOTES TO STRIKE GO TRANSIT: A strike vote impacts a major transit agency in Toronto, and includes agency maintenance workers. GO Transit is comprised of bus operation and maintenance personnel who work directly for Metrolinx. While GO Transit also operates a large network of commuter rail trains, rail operations and maintenance are contracted to Alstom. The most immediate issue facing GO Transit is the need to cancel some commuter rail trips for the next couple of weeks due to a sickout. Ninety-three percent of members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 voted to strike, if the union deems it necessary, so the situation could get worse. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-9-22]

FEDS GRANT $20-M TOWARD PLANNED BATON ROUGE-NEW ORLEANS PASSENGER RAIL: The Baton Rouge-New Orleans passenger rail project will receive $20-million in federal funding toward real estate acquisition, design and construction of the Baton Rouge and Gonzalez train stations. [Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, 8-9-22]

BNSF REPORTS NET 2-Q PROFIT: BNSF's second-quarter net profit rose 10 percent year over year amid higher freight revenue and despite lower rail volumes. Net income was $1.66-billion compared with nearly $1.52-billion in the same quarter last year. Overall revenue rose 14 percent with freight revenue increasing by 15 percent. BNSF is privately-owned by Berkshire Hathaway. [Freight Waves, 8-8-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Seventeen (17) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending August 7, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and nine minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-8-22]

WABTEC REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Wabtec reported second-quarter 2022 earnings per share of 91 cents, up 37.9 percent year over year. Adjusted earnings per diluted share climbed 16 percent to $1.23, while sales rang up at $2.05-billion, and cash from operations reached $263-million. [Progressive Railroading, 8-5-22]

L.B. FOSTER CO. SELLS RAIL SPIKES, ANCHORS TRACK COMPONENTS BUSINESS: L.B. Foster Co. has announced the sale of its rail spikes and anchors track components business in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, to Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. for about $7.8-million. [Progressive Railroading, 8-5-22]

STB CHAIR SAYS CLASS I RAILROADS NEED TO PAY MORE TO RECRUIT, RETAIN TRAIN CREWS: Surface Transportation Board chair Martin Oberman says railroad service is suffering because the big four Class I systems aren't paying enough to retain and recruit trains crews. He declined in an interview on the negotiations process or the presidential emergency board, but he said it is clear that higher pay would help the railroads attract enough new workers to restore service to normal levels. [Trains Magazine, 8-5-22]

NEW SHORT LINE IN N.C.: Jagual Transport Holdings on Aug. 1 began operating the Kinston Railroad, its ninth short line. Jaguar said that it acquired leasehold rights to about six miles of track owned by the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation. Previously the line was operated by Kinston & Snow Hill Railroad, and interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Kinston. [Railway Age, 8-4-22]

MBTA TO CLOSE ORANGE LINE FOR 30 DAYS: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will shut down its Orange rail line entirely from Aug. 19 through Sept. 18 to enable the agency to perform major revitalization work. [Progressive Railroading, 8-4-22]

D.C. METRORAIL FAILED TO CORRECT COMMITMENTS, SAFETY COMMISSION SAYS: The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission issued a statement claiming that D.C. Metrorail did not follow through on all safety safety commitments it had made in April and May of this year. The report focused on conditions in station train-control rooms. A commission followup demonstrates that the agency did not follow through safety inspections of all station train-control rooms, and not beginning such inspections of other similar rooms. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-4-22]

FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS PARTNER TO SUPPORT HUDSON BAY RWY: The Hudson Bay Railway is the 'only affordable, year-round, all-weather mode of passenger and freight transport' to access several northern Manitoba communities. The governments of Canada and Manitoba have partnered to jointly invest up to $147.6-million (C) over two years to the Arctic Gateway Group to upgrade the Hudson Bay Railway. The line connects with Canadian National in The Pas and runs north through Manitoba to the Hudson Bay at the Port of Churchill. [Railway Age, 8-4-22]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES SEMI IN BRUNSWICK, MD.: One person was injured when Amtrak's Capitol Limited struck a tractor-trailer at the MARC station in Brunswick, Md., August 3. The tractor-trailer had attempted to clear the Maple avenue crossing before the train approached, but was blocked from moving further by congested traffic. The train struck the rear of the trailer, which was still fouling the track, at it in turn struck a passenger truck waiting in the other lane, shoving that truck into the train station. The driver of the passenger truck was taken to a hospital, but there were no other injuries. [Frederick News-Post, 8-3-22]

JULY 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,940,809 carloads and intermodal units in July 2022, down 1.5 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.2 percent, and intermodal was down 3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-3-22]

WATCO BEGINS SERVICE ON TEXAS COASTAL BEND R.R.: Watco begins providing rail service on the 63-mile Texas Coastal Bend Railroad located within the Port of Corpus Christi Aug. 3. It is Watco's newest short line. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-3-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON AMTRAK BAY ST. LOUIS STATION CONSTRUCTION: Ground was broken Aug. 1 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to officially mark the start of construction of ADA upgrades to the city's Amtrak station in preparation for passenger rail service. According to a report by Mississippi Today, the construction is 'symbolic for now,' as Amtrak is still awaiting a decision from the Surface Transportation Board to allow the service to operate east of New Orleans to Mobile. [Railway Age, 8-2-22]

BILL IN CONGRESS WOULD BOOST AUTHORITY OF STB TO REGULATE FREIGHT RAILROADS: The Surface Transportation Board would get more authority under a shipper-friendly bill that would reauthorize the agency that regulates freight railroads. The Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act would give regulators more teeth to deal with service emergencies, require railroads to include service standards in customer contracts, and give shippers the ability to slap fees on railroads that delay privately-owned rail cars. [Trains Magazine, 8-2-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON NEW PORTAL NORTH BRIDGE PROJECT IN N.J.: Officials gathered Aug. 1 in Kearny, N.J., to mark the official groundbreaking of the new Portal North Bridge project. The project is a major part of the larger Gateway program, one of the nation's largest infrastructure projects. The program is designed to eventually double rail capacity between Newark and New York. [Progressive Railroading, 8-2-22]

HAYS WATKINS DIES, FORMER CSX CHAIRMAN, CEO: Hays Thomas Watkins, former CSX chairman and CEO, died July 29 in Richmond, Va. He was 96. He was a 42-year veteran of CSX and its predecessor companies. He was elected president and CEO of the combined C&O and B&O in 1971, becoming chairman in 1973, and chairman, president and CEO of Chessie System in 1975. He retired as CSX chairman of the board in 1991. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-1-22]

BILL HOWES DIES, LONGTIME B&O, CHESSIE, CSX OFFICIAL: William F. Howes Jr., a longtime B&O, Chessie System and CSX official, author, and president of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society from 1994 to 2003, died in Jacksonville on July 30. He was 83. He hired on with the B&O in 1963, and spent the rest of his career there with successors Chessie System and CSX. Eventually, he worked in the operating, industrial, engineering, passenger services, casualty prevention and executive departments. He retired as vice-president of research & analysis in 1988. He was particularly noted for his role in the running of the Chessie Steam specials in the 1970's, with the blessing of Hays Watkins, then chair of Chessie System, who died just one day earlier than Howes. [Trains Magazine, 8-1-22]

IMPROVEMENTS COMPLETED AT TWO AMTRAK DEPOTS IN KANSAS: Amtrak held ribbon-cutting ceremonies in late July at the stations in Dodge City and Hutchinson, Kansas, celebrating the completion of improvements totaling nearly $7-million. Both stations are served by the Southwest Chief. [Railway Age, 8-1-22]

JULY 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in July 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and seven minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-1-22]

FIRST OF FOUR NEW REPLICA VINTAGE COACHES ARRIVES AT EAST BROAD TOP: The iconic East Broad Top narrow-gauge railroad in Pennsylvania has taken delivery of the first of four new 19th century replica passenger coaches built for the line by Hamilton Manufacturing in Bellingham, Washington. The cars feature a finished wood interior, electric lighting, restrooms, large viewing windows, and heat. The East Broad Top began operating once again in May of this year following a decade in hibernation. [Railway Age, 7-29-22]

AMTRAK SELECT S ICOMERA TO INSTALL MOBILE INTERNET SERVICE FOR VENTURE CARS: Amtrak has selected EQUANS' subsidiary Icomera to install, maintain and monitor onboard mobile internet service for 88 new Siemens Venture single-level passenger cars on behalf of state-sponsored runs in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. [Railway Age, 7-29-22]

REHAB BEGINS ON METRA'S STATION IN BLUE ISLAND: Metra on July 28 marked the start of a $3.8-million rehabilitation project involving the 1868 station on the Rock Island line in Blue Island, Illinois. The project calls for interior and roof renovation, reconstruction of original chimneys, door and window replacement, asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, new landscaping, and accessibility improvements. [Progressive Railroading, 7-29-22]

LIGHT-RAIL IN ST. LOUIS SUFFERS EXTENSIVE STORM DAMAGE: Metro Transit-St. Louis has calculated this week's flash floods and record rainfall caused $18-million to $20-million in damage to the MetroLink light-rail system. The worst damage occurred on equipment between the Forest Park-DeBaliviere and Delmar Loop stations. One train, valued at $10-million, is expected to be a total loss. Station elevators, communication equipment, signal systems and track beds were also significantly damaged. [Progressive Railroading, 7-29-22]

GOATS AT WORK CLEARING GRASS, REDUCING FIRE DANGER FOR BART SERVICE: For the past few years, Bay Area Rapid Transit has put goats' proclivity for munching to work in reducing fire danger on grassy properties near the tracks. Currently, the goats can be seen grazing away on hillsides in Walnut Creek and Hayward. The animals are closely watched by a herder, and they are protected from the tracks by an electrified fence. [Railway Age, 7-29-22]

LAST-MINUTE DOWNGRADES PLAGUE AMTRAK: A number of long-distance Amtrak passengers who booked their travel, sometimes months in advance, have been complaining of last-minute downgrades from sleeper service to coach because of a lack of equipment. The root cause appears to be a shortage of mechanical department employees needed to maintain and turn what little equipment Amtrak has for these routes during the peak summer demand period. It's a 'perfect storm,' as when cars become unavailable, Amtrak winds up dropping the car from the consist, often without notice. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 7-29-22]

AMTRAK MODIFIES SERVICE WEST OF ALBANY BECAUSE OF WEAKENED BUILDING NEAR TRACKS: Due to a potential safety concern with a privately-owned building at risk of collapsing near the tracks, Amtrak made the decision to temporarily modify service west of Albany. Full service remains between New York and Albany, but bus transportation will be provided on the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express. [Amtrak, 7-29-22]

PEAK SUMMERTIME HEAT IMPACTING AMTRAK OPERATIONS: Summertime brings extreme heat that can impact Amtrak operations by causing rail, bridge and catenary wires to expand. As a safety measure, Amtrak and host railroads often impose speed restrictions, which require trains to operate at lower speeds than under normal operation conditions. [Amtrak]

CP REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Canadian Pacific posted second-quarter 2022 revenue of $2.2-billion (C), a 7 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Operating income was $868-million compared with $820-million a year ago. Operating ratio of 60.6 percent was up from 60.1 percent, and an adjusted operating ratio of 59.7 percent was up from 55.3 percent last year. [Progressive Railroading, 7-28-22]

FRA PROPOSES TWO-PERSON TRAIN CREW REQUIREMENT: The Federal Railroad Administration is proposing a rule that would require a minimum of two crew members on trains. There would be some exceptions. The rule would replace an existing patchwork of state laws regulating train crew size. The Association of American Railroads responded that the proposed rule is 'misguided,' and would set the rail industry back. [Progressive Railroading, 7-27-22]

WABTEC TO MODIFY 600 UNION PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec, in a $1-billion deal, will modernize 525 of Union Pacific's AC4400 and AC6000 locomotives, and 75 Dash-9 locomotives. [Progressive Railroading, 7-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported second-quarter 2022 railway operating revenue of $3.3-billion, up 16 percent compared with the same period last year, and an all-time quarterly high. Income from railway operations was $1.3-billion, up 9 percent, also a new high. Net income of $819-million was about the same as a year ago, and diluted earnings per share of $3.45 was up 5 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 7-27-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 498,901 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 23, 2022, down 0.8 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.1 percent, and intermodal was down 2.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-27-22]

BNSF DEVELOPING NEW RAIL HUB AT PORT OF TACOMA, WASHINGTON: BNSF is developing a new rail hub at the Port of Tacoma, Washington, in partnership with the Northwest Seaport Alliance. BNSF said its Tacoma South facility will accommodate more than 50,000 annual container lifts and complement the current domestic intermodal facility in Tukwila, serving the seaport alliance's Seattle Harbor. [Railway Age, 7-27-22]

GROUP TO RESTORE HISTORIC GREENSBORO, N.C., TRAIN DEPOT: The North Carolina Railroad has announced a partnership with the city of Greensboro, the Preservation Greensboro Development Fund, and Downtown Greensboro Inc., to preserve and restore the city's historic train depot. The group will purchase the depot from Norfolk Southern. First built in 1899 by Southern Railway, it initially served as a passenger rail station, then became office space for Southern Railway, and is still used for Norfolk Southern offices. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [Progressive Railroading, 7-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RESUMES HUMP OPERATIONS AT TWO YARDS: Norfolk Southern has resumed hump operations at its classification yards in Macon, Georgia, and Bellevue, Ohio. Both yards had been converted to flat-switching in 2020 after volume decreased at the onset of the pandemic. [Trains Magazine, 7-27-22]

UNION PACIFIC ADOPTING NEW LOCOMOTIVE PAINT SCHEME: Union Pacific has begun applying a new paint scheme to its locomotives. The American flag is being moved closer to the front to help keep it clean and protect it from heat, and the wings surrounding the Union Pacific shield on the nose is being removed to allow the shield to 'take center stage.' [Railway Age, 7-26-22]

BUCKINGHAM BRANCH R.R. TO OFFER TOURIST TRAIN RUNS FROM STAUNTON, VA.: The Buckingham Branch Railroad will begin tourist train runs on Aug. 4 from Staunton, Va., through the Shenandoah Valley, with two daily departures. Called the Virginia Scenic Railway, the Blue Ridge Flyer will travel east through the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Alleghany Special will travel west toward the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, turning back at Goshen. All trains will depart from the Amtrak station in Staunton. [Progressive Railroading, 7-26-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fourteen (14) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 24, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and four minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-25-22]

GROUPS SEEK TO PURCHASE NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S SALUDA GRADE CORRIDOR FOR TRAIL: Several non-profit groups are working together to purchase Norfolk Southern's inactive Saluda Grade rail corridor, part of the carrier's W Line in Polk County, N.C., for a proposed 31-mile rail trail. The potential trail would run from Inman, S.C., to Zirconia, N.C. [Railway Age, 7-25-22]

BIG BOY LOCOMOTIVE SET TO MAKE CHEYENNE-DENVER ROUND-TRIP RUN: Union Pacific has announced that its Big Boy steam locomotive 4014 will depart July 28 for a round trip tour between Cheyenne and Denver, where it will be on display the following day, to honor Union Pacific's 160th anniversary. On July 30, the Union Pacific Museum will host a special passenger trip back to Cheyenne as a gala fundraiser for the museum. The public will have the rare opportunity to travel on historic, heritage equipment. Passengers must be 18 years or older to attend. [Railway Age, 7-22-22]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific posted second-quarter 2022 net income of $1.835-billion or $2.93 per diluted share, up 2 percent from $1.798-billion or $2.72 per diluted share in the same period last year. Operating revenue of $6.269-billion was up 14 percent. Business volumes as measured by total revenue carloads were down 1 percent, and operating ratio was 60.2 percent. Operating income of $2.495-billion was up 1 percent. [Railway Age, 7-21-22]

METROLINK PLACES FIRST OF 50 NEWLY-RENOVATED PASSENGER CARS INTO SERVICE: Metrolink on July 20 placed into service a newly-refurbished passenger car, the first of 50 slated for renovation at the southern California regional carrier. The cars will offer upgraded amenities. [Progressive Railroading, 7-21-22]

MBTA TRAIN CATCHES FIRE ON BRIDGE, PASSENGERS EVACUATED: A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train caught fire while crossing the Mystic River early July 21, prompting an evacuation that led many to climb out of windows, and one person to leap into the water below. There were no injuries. The person who jumped into the river declined medical attention. The fire started after a metal strip came loose from the train and made contact with the third rail. [N.Y. Times, 7-21-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 498,899 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 16, 2022, down 2.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.4 percent, and intermodal was down 3.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-20-22]

THIRD TRACK UNION PACIFIC CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN IN CHICAGO SUBURB: A six-mile stretch of the Union Pacific/Metra West line will get a third track with construction set to begin next month. It will be from Kress road in West Chicago to Peck road in Geneva. Freight and commuter traffic on this portion has caused congestion for years. The project will take about two to three years to complete. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-20-22]

UINTA BASIN RWY CLEARS LAST MAJOR HURDLE TOWARD CONSTRUCTION: The proposed Uinta Basin Railway cleared its last major regulatory hurdle when the U.S. Forest Service dismissed an objection to a right-of-way it granted across 12 miles of mostly roadless land in the Ashley National Forest in Utah. The railway is expected to increase oil production in the basin by linking its oil fields to national rail networks. Construction could begin next year. The project calls for construction of 88 miles of rail line. [Progressive Railroading, 7-20-22]

CSX REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: CSX delivered slightly better profit in the second-quarter, even though volume was flat and the railroad still struggled to handle all the goods companies wanted to ship because it is having a hard time hiring. CSX said its profits grew 5 percent to $1.18-billion or 54 cents per share, compared with $1.17-billion or 52 cents per share a year ago. Without a one-time gain on a real estate sale, the railroad earned 50 cents per share. Revenue jumped 28 percent to $3.82-billion in the period as CSX increases shipping rates and charged customers more fuel surcharges. [AP News, 7-20-22]

KCSM TO INVEST IN CELAYA RAIL LINE: Kansas City Southern's affiliate Kansas City Southern de Mexico has reached an agreement to fund a new investment in the Celaya-NBA Line Railway Bypass and other infrastructure. The investment will not to exceed about $185.5-million. In exchange for the investment, the Mexican Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications & Transportation has agreed to amend the carrier's 'concession title' to extend its exclusivity rights to 2037. [Progressive Railroading, 7-20-22]

ALBERTA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT TO ACQUIRE CANDO RAIL & TERMINALS: Alberta Investment Management Corp. will acquire a 100 percent stake in Cando Rail & Terminals Ltd. under an agreement with TorQuest Partners. Cando, headquartered in Manitoba, operates an interconnected network of more than 40 industrial rail yards, nine owned terminals, and one short line. [Progressive Railroading, 7-20-22]

HEAVY RAINS IMPACT RAIL SERVICE IN N.Y. AREA: New York City Transit and Metro-North Railroad were impacted by heavy rainfall during the evening rush-hour commute July 18. Crews from both agencies worked through the night removing downed trees and clearing tracks of high water to ensure the following morning's commute could run smoothly. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-19-22]

THREE AMTRAK TRAINS TO BE RESTORED TO DAILY OPERATION IN OCT.: Daily operation of Amtrak's Silver Meteor, Crescent and City of New Orleans will be restored in early October. The Silver Meteor was suspended in mid-January, and it will be restored to service Oct. 3. The Crescent and City of New Orleans, currently operating five days a week, will be restored to daily operation. [Railway Age, 7-19-22]

TRACTOR STRUCK BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: Service on Amtrak's Capitol Corridor was shut down for nine hours July 15 after a Union Pacific front-load tractor was struck by a Capitol Corridor train. The tractor was working on the middle track of a three-track section of line when it was hit, and the operator of the tractor had major injuries. Two other people were also injured, including one passenger on the train. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-19-22]

TAMPA COMMITS $1.5-M TOWARD REFURBISHING ITS UNION STATION: Tampa city leaders have voted to commit $1.5-million to refurbish the city's 110-year-old union station. Over the years, the facility has become rundown and updated, but the leaders hope the uplift could pave the way for even bigger plans. The station is on the National Register of Historic Places, and currently serves more than 100,000 Amtrak passengers a year. [WTSP, 7-19-22]

ROAD & RAIL SERVICES ACQUIRES SOUTHERN NATIONAL TRACK SERVICE: Road & Rail Services, a third-party logistics services provider, has acquired Southern National Track Service of Rockledge, Florida. Southern National will continue serving customers as a division of Road & Rail. [Progressive Railroading, 7-18-22]

VRE TO SUSPEND FARES IN SEPT.: Virginia Railway Express passengers will ride for free in September. The agency's operations board decided to suspend fares to make VRE a 'more attractive and viable option' for D.C. Metro riders during the closure of Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airport, slated to begin Sept. 10. [Railway Age, 7-18-22]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON SOUTH PORT COMMERCE CENTER IN LITTLE ROCK: Ground was broken July 14 on the South Port Commerce Center in Little Rock, and construction has begun. The Port of Little Rock Railway connects with both Union Pacific and BNSF. [Progressive Railroading, 7-18-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 17, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and three minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-18-22]

COMEAU BRIDGE IN MASSACHUSETTS TO BE REPLACED: The 114-year-old Comeau rail bridge in Haverhill, Massachusetts, spanning South Elm street for Amtrak, commuter and freight traffic will be demolished as soon as a new rail bridge is built. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-18-22]

PRESIDENTIAL EMERGENCY BOARD CREATED, FORCING PAUSE TO RAIL STRIKE: President Biden has signed an executive order creating a presidential emergency board, forcing a 60-day pause to permit a neutral panel to spend 30 days coming up with a potential solution to the impasse between labor and the railroads. After the board makes its recommendations, all sides have another 30 days to work out a deal, or accept the board's solutions. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 7-15-22]

AMTRAK ASKS STB TO REJECT CN'S EFFORT TO OBTAIN KCS'S E.ST.LOUIS-KANSAS CITY LINE: Amtrak is asking the Surface Transportation Board to reject Canadian National's effort to obtain Kansas City Southern trackage between East St. Louis and Kansas City. CN had earlier asked the STB to grant it certain trackage in the region as a condition of the board's approval of Canadian Pacific's acquisition of KCS. Amtrak said it opposes CN's request because of the potential impact on Amtrak's on-time performance when operating its trains over the line.

BLET WORKERS VOTE IN SUPPORT OF NATIONWIDE RAIL STRIKE: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen members have voted in support of a nationwide strike. The process is currently in a 'cooling off period,' which is set to expire at 12:01 a.m., July 18. At that point self-help is available to the parties, unless a presidential emergency board is appointed. [Railway Age, 7-13-22]

DEVELOPERS ACQUIRE CMC RAILROAD, HOUSTON LOGISTICS PARK: Liberty Development Partners on July 11 announced the acquisition of CMC Railroad and Houston Logistics Park, a 1,158-acre rail-served industrial park. Liberty also recently acquired 200 acres adjacent to the park, which will expand capacity. The park has access to both BNSF and Union Pacific. [Progressive Railroading, 7-13-22]

NJ TRANSIT GETS FEDERAL FUNDS TOWARD NEWARK LIGHT-RAIL STUDY: New Jersey Transit has received a $519,750 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to study ways to modernize Newark's light-rail network. The study will examine options for improving existing station designs and rider experience. It will also explore options to make the last four non-ADA-compliant system stations in becoming compliant. [Progressive Railroading, 7-13-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 437,600 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 9, 2022, down 3.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.3 percent, and intermodal was down 4.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-13-22]

TWO MORE BRIGHTLINE TRAIN SETS EN ROUTE TO FLORIDA: Brightline's 'Bright Pink 2' and 'Bright Green 2' train sets are en route to Florida from Siemens Mobility's factory in Sacramento. They will eventually operate along Brightline's Phase 1 from Miami to West Palm Beach, and its Phase 2 extension to Orlando. [Railway Age, 7-13-22]

RAIL BRIDGE CATCHES FIRE IN OKLAHOMA CITY: A Stillwater Central Railroad bridge fire in Oklahoma City has knocked out rail service in the area, and officials do not know when traffic will be able to continue. Fire department officials believe a grass fire sparked the blaze, and creosote-treated crossties made the fire difficult to extinguish. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-13-22]

VIA RAIL, UNION REACH TENTATIVE LABOR PACT, STRIKE AVERTED: VIA Rail Canada has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor, a development that averts a strike involving some 2,400 VIA Rail employees. If ratified, the agreement will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022, and remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 7-12-22]

CSX FACES FINES OWING TO DEC. 30 EXPLOSIONS IN BALTIMORE: CSX has been cited by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration for violations in connection with the Dec. 30, 2021, explosions at its Curtis Bay coal terminal in south Baltimore. The company faces a total $121,200 in fines. According to the agency, improper equipment had been used, CSX did not properly test the atmosphere prior to employees entering a coal hatchway feeder, and employees entering escape tunnels to perform work were not wearing appropriate respirators. [Baltimore Brew, 7-12-22]

NJ TRANSIT ADVANCES HOBOKEN TRAIN STATION REDEVELOPMENT: New Jersey Transit is moving to the next phase of the Hoboken Connect project. It calls for significant developments and improvements to the historic Hoboken train station. The project calls for creating new office and retail space and affordable housing, and improvements to the streetscape around the station. It consists of private and public components over at least the next five years. [Progressive Railroading, 7-11-22]

L.A. METRO DEDICATES FUTURE EXPO/CRENSHAW STATION: Los Angeles Metro has held a ceremony for the dedication of the future Expo/Crenshaw station. The Crenshaw/:AX transit project, now the K Line, is a $2-billion project in the communities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo. The 8.5-mile line will provide a link to destinations, and will extend light-rail from the existing E Line at Crenshaw and the C Line in El Segundo, and include eight new stations. Crenshaw will serve as a transfer station for the E and K lines. [Progressive Railroading, 7-11-22]

CARTHCART RAIL ACQUIRES THE ANDERSONS' RAILCAR REPAIR BUSINESS: Carthcart Rail on July 8 completed its acquisition of the Andersons' railcar repair business. With the sale, The Andersons finalizes its exit from the rail segment. [Railway Age, 7-11-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 10, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and eight minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-11-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN S.C., TWO EMPLOYEES HURT: A train derailment in Columbia, S.C., on July 11 caused a fuel spill and sent two railway employees to the hospital. The Norfolk Southern train collided with another already derailed industry locomotive that was in its way. [WCSC, 7-11-22]

METRO-NORTH SERVICE BEING INCREASED IN CONNECTICUT: Connecticut is boosting service along two Metro-North rail lines, a move that comes as ridership on the commuter railroad serving Connecticut and New York moves closer to pre-pandemic levels. Six new express trains on the New Haven line and seven new weekday trains on the Waterbury Branch line are being added. [AP News, 7-11-22]

UPGRADES TO AMTRAK'S WESTERLY, R.I., STATION COMPLETED: ADA improvements to the Amtrak station at Westerly, R.I., have been completed. Included in the project were two new elevators, constructed with enclosures at platform level in the historic style of the station; an accessible pathway to and from the public right-of-way; a sloped walkway for accessing the platform; modified handrails, and other features. [Railway Age, 7-8-22]

TORONTO UNION STATION IMPROVEMENTS IN FULL SWING: Construction at Union Station in Toronto is underway. The project is preparing the station for increased Metrolinx GO service levels. Improvements include a new south passenger concourse, two new wider GO Transit platforms with canopies, new stairs and elevators, and two new south tracks to replace the current three-track configuration. [Progressive Railroading, 7-8-22]

CN TO INVEST $485-M IN CAPITAL PROJECTS IN EIGHT U.S. STATES: Canadian National will invest a total of $485-million this year in capital projects in Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The work includes technology, capacity, rolling stock, decarbonization and network improvements. [Railway Age, 7-8-22]

FUNDING AWARDED TO VALLEY RAIL EXTENSION PROGRAM IN CALIFORNIA: The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission has been awarded $57-million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital program towards extending the Valley Rail program from Ceres to Turlock. Valley Rail is a program that includes improvements and expansion of passenger rail between the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and the Bay Area. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-8-22]

NEW COALITION BACKS CHICAGO UNION STATION ACCESS PROJECT: A broad coalition of U.S., state and local leaders has formed in support of the $418-million Chicago Union Station access project. The coalition reported that the project would create a new way for trains to access the station from the south; provide greater capacity for the new routes and increased frequencies Amtrak plans for the Midwest; transition Amtrak's southbound service off CN tracks between Chicago and Joliet; modernize concourses and platforms, and other improvements. [Railway Age, 7-8-22]

RAIL CONGESTION AT WEST COAST PORTS GETTING WORSE: Rail congestion from BNSF and Union Pacific at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is getting worse. Sixty percent of all long-dwell containers at those ports are rail-bound, and container wait for rail is between seven and one-half and eight days. Meanwhile, the freight railroads and their 12 rail unions have been embroiled in a labor dispute and are currently in a 30-day cooling off period. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to the President, Labor and Transportation secretaries, urging the administration to get involved. [CNBC, 7-8-22]

AMTRAK OFFERING PROVIDENCE-NEWPORT SHUTTLE CONNECTIONS TO FERRY TERMINAL: Amtrak will partner with Rhode Island and SeaStreak for another season offering travelers connecting service from Providence station to Newport via shuttle connections to and from the SeaStreak Ferry terminal. There will be four daily round trips available through Sept. 5, and three daily round trips from Sept. 6 through Oct. 10. [Railway Age, 7-7-22]

UNION MEMBERS VOTE TO ISSUE STRIKE MANDATE AGAINST VIA RAIL: Members of Unifor, which represents VIA Rail Canada workers, have voted to issue a strike mandate. Unifor represents more than 2,000 maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff. Unifor's bargaining committees are 'committed to meet with VIA Rail right up to the strike deadline,' which is July 11, union officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 7-7-22]

SECOND AMTRAK RIVER RUNNER TRAIN BEING RESTORED: Missouri has approved funding for restoration of the second daily round trip of Amtrak's St. Louis-Kansas City River Runner. The service resumes July 18. [News Tribune, 7-7-22]

UNION PACIFIC FACES SUIT OVER 'CANCER CLUSTERS' IN TEXAS: The city of Houston and Harris County, Texas, are planning on suing Union Pacific over a site that they are calling contaminated. The site is being blamed for 'cancer clusters' taking place in communities for years. It was once used to treat crossties with creosote. A state study has shown that children living close to the site have had elevated levels of leukemia. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-6-22]

N.Y., N.J. SIGN FUNDING AGREEMENT FOR PHASE 1 GATEWAY PROJECT: The governors of New York and New Jersey have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining sources, uses and timing of funding on behalf of the states for the Portal North bridge and Hudson tunnel projects. They represent the approximately $14-billion first phase of the massive Gateway program, which will eventually double rail capacity between Newark and New York. [Railway Age, 7-6-22]

JUNE 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,480,674 carloads and intermodal units in June 2022, down 3.2 percent from the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.5 percent, and intermodal was down 4.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-6-22]

CSX SENDING 137 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY JOBS TO INDIA: CSX is partnering with an India-based company to outsource some of its information technology services, affecting 137 jobs. Tata Consultancy Services is providing operation, maintenance and support services for CSX. The transition began in mid-April, and is being phased in over four to six months. [WJCT News, 7-6-22]

ALSTOM LANDS CONTRACT TO DELIVER 156 MOVIA METRO CARS FOR INDIA: Alstom has been awarded a contract to deliver 156 Movia metro cars, with 15 years of comprehensive maintenance, for the Bhopal and Indore metro projects in India. [Progressive Railroading, 7-6-22]

IBEW ENDS STRIKE AT CN: Canadian National has announced that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has agreed to binding arbitration, bringing a strike launched by the union to an end. The strike had begun June 20 after the two parties could no reach an agreement on a new contract. [Progressive Railroading, 7-5-22]

CROSS-BORDER CASCADES RAIL SERVICE TO RESUME IN SEPT.: Amtrak Cascades service to all stops north of Seattle, through to Vancouver, B.C., will resume in September. When the trains begin running again, Amtrak plans one round-trip each day. If demand increases, eventually, there will be two round-trips. [Railway Age, 7-5-22]

BNSF COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN NEBRASKA: BNSF suffered a coal train derailment June 30 on a spur line east of Bennet, Nebraska. Eighteen cars derailed, and a bridge was caused to collapse. There were no injuries to the crew. The line will be closed for about three weeks while cleanup and repairs are made, according to the railroad. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-5-22]

TWO NEW CHINESE HIGH-SPEED RAIL ROUTES OPEN: The 263-mile Xiangyang-Wanzhou section of the Chongqing-Zhengzhou high speed rail corridor, and the 121-mile Zhengzhou-Puyang section of the Zhengzhou-Jinan route opened on June 20. On the same date, Beijing Fengtai station reopened following a multi-year modernization. [Railway Gazette, 7-5-22]

RAILMARK HOLDINGS TO OPEN NEW HEADQUARTERS IN HENDERSON, KY., UNION STATION: Railmark Holdings will locate its new corporate office in Union Station, Henderson, Kentucky. Now headquartered in Wixom, Michigan, the company plans to combine its two existing properties in Henderson. Union Station opened in 1902, and the final passenger train departed in 1971. The building was vacant until Railmark purchased it in Dec. 2021. [Progressive Railroading, 7-5-22]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE FOR FIRST HALF OF 2022: Thirty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the six-month period January through June 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 41 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-1-22]

BNSF REPORTS RIGHT-OF-WAY AT MISSOURI AMTRAK CRASH SITE HAS REOPENED: BNSF has reported that both tracks on the portion of its Southern Transcon at the Missouri crash site of Amtrak's Southwest Chief with a dump track on June 27 reopened to rail traffic June 29. BNSF continues to work closely with Amtrak, the National Transportation Safety Board and other officials to investigate the tragic incident. [Railway Age, 7-1-22]

VIRGINIA, NORFOLK SOUTHERN FINALIZE DEAL TO EXPAND AMTRAK TO NEW RIVER VALLEY: The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority and Norfolk Southern have announced the financial closing of a deal that will expand Amtrak service from Washington DC to Roanoke and the New River Valley. The state is acquiring about 28 miles of Norfolk Southern's V-line including existing tracks from Christiansburg to the Salem crossovers and the Roanoke station platform. Norfolk Southern will continue to provide freight service on the line. [Railway Age, 7-1-22]

PORT OF BENTON, WASHINGTON, TERMINATES LEASE WITH TRI-CITY R.R.: The Port of Benton, Washington, has terminated its lease with Tri-City Railroad as the operator of the southern connection rail network. The termination follows a court ruling that found that Tri-City was in default of its lease agreement as it had not properly maintained the rail line, port officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 7-1-22]

VRE TO CONTRIBUTE $119.2-M TO SUPPORT PURCHASE OF CSX RAIL CORRIDOR: Virginia Railway Express will contribute $119.2-million to support Virginia's purchase of rail right-of-way in the I-95 [RF&P] corridor from CSX. The commuter railroad will use proceeds from a closed public bond sale on June 28 to make the contribution. [Progressive Railroading, 6-30-22]

AMTRAK TRAIN WAS WITHIN SPEED LIMIT BEFORE CRASH IN MISSOURI: The National Transportation Safety Board said the Amtrak train was running at 89 MPH when the horn blew, which was a quarter of a mile out from the crossing, and at 87 MPH at the time of impact. The track speed limit was 90 MPH. The safety board also said that there is a 'very steep' approach to the crossing. The board has launched a 16-member 'go-team' to investigate the derailment. The Federal Railroad Administration also dispatched personnel to the scene. [Railway Age, 6-30-22]

MISSOURI AMTRAK CRASH WAS AT A 'PASSIVE' GRADE CROSSING, NTSB SAYS: The fatal Amtrak train derailment in Missouri occurred at a 'passive' grade crossing, said the National Transportation Safety Board. The grade crossing was 'passive' in that it had no crossing arms, lights or bells to warn drivers of an oncoming train. About 130,000 passive crossings exist in the U.S., which is about half of all grade crossings. [Progressive Railroading, 6-29-22]

COUNTY COMMISSION HAD EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT CROSSING WHERE ACCIDENT OCCURRED: For more than two and one-half years the Chariton County, Missouri, commission had tried to get concerns about the safety of the Porche Prairie avenue railroad crossing addressed, but BNSF and the state's department of transportation were largely unresponsive to those concerns. Residents in the area contacted the commission back on May 23 about overgrown brush obstructing the view at the crossing, further limiting the sightlines. The commission contacted the state's rail safety team, but never received a response, according to the presiding commissioner. [KSHB, 6-29-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 493,374 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 25, 2022, down 4.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.1 percent, and intermodal was down 5.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-29-22]

THREE DIE, MANY INJURED AS AMTRAK TRAIN DERAILS IN MISSOURI: Amtrak's eastbound Southwest Chief en route to Chicago derailed near Mendon, Missouri, June 27, after the train collided at a crossing with a dump truck. Two people [later revised to three] aboard the train and the driver of the truck were killed, and at least 50 passengers and crew members were injured. Two locomotives and eight cars derailed. About 275 passengers and 12 crew members were on board the train, according to Amtrak. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation. [Progressive Railroading, 6-28-22]

AMTRAK ISSUES STATEMENT CONCERNING DERAILMENT OF S.W. CHIEF: We are deeply saddened to learn that the Missouri State Highway Patrol is now confirming that three people [later revised to four] have lost their lives as a result of this grade crossing accident. There are also several reported injuries among the passengers and crew members traveling on the train. Amtrak is working with local authorities to make sure those who are injured get medical care and everyone else receives services and transportation. We are grateful for the support from the local authorities who provided assistance and resources for our customers and employees. The National Transportation Safety Board has activated, and we will fully support them with its investigation. [Amtrak, 6-28-22]

BOY SCOUTS ABOARD DERAILED TRAIN ASSISTED PEOPLE FOLLOWING ACCIDENT: Two Boy Scout troops who were on the Amtrak train that derailed after hitting a dump truck in Missouri assisted fellow passengers in getting them to safety and provided first-aid. In the immediate aftermath of the derailing, the two groups of scouts broke windows and helped pull people out of train cars. They also used their advanced first-aid training to help injured passengers before first-responders arrived at the crash site. One of the scouts, a 15-year-old, located the driver of the dump truck and assisted him before the driver died from his injuries. [Fox News, 6-28-22]

S.W. CHIEF PASSENGER DESCRIBES ACCIDENT AS 'HELL ON EARTH': A passenger on board Amtrak's Southwest Chief that crashed into a truck in Missouri, killing four people, described the incident as 'Hell on Earth.' He said he was riding backwards, so this prevented him from flying forward on impact. All he heard was a bam, bam, boom. All of a sudden the train dropped down, and then the train bounced as it advanced along the ties. Then the car overturned and fell to the left, but continued to skid. Meanwhile, his window smashed and rocks from the ballast came streaming in. He was taken to a hospital where he was tested for cardiac issues because his heart rate was so high. After a day in the emergency department, he finally made it home. [National Public Radio, 6-28-22]

LOCALS COMPLAIN OF OVERGROWN VEGETATION AT RAIL CROSSING: Taking care of overgrown vegetation might have helped the driver of the dump truck cross BNSF railroad tracks. The visual obstacle, however, appears to be just one of several issues, as the truck was struck by an Amtrak train. The impact demolished the truck and caused the train to derail. Local farmers who have had to deal with the crossing daily predicted something bad could happen. A steep approach leading up to the tracks, brush that has not been cut back in months, and the lack of signals and signal lights are all hazards at the crossing. The Missouri Dept. of Transportation has been working to improve dangerous rail crossings for the past five years. About 20 have been taken care of, and the crossing at the scene of the accident was on the list of crossings that would receive attention. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-28-22]

TWO DIE IN CROSSING ACCIDENT IN DETROIT: After some late-night drag racing in Detroit got broken up by the police, two people were killed when their vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train. At around 12:30 a.m. in southwest Detroit, the arrival of officers on the scene put a stop to some drag racing, sending vehicles fleeting in several directions. One of the vehicles continued speeding off an attempted to outrun the train, but they did not make it. [WWJ, 6-28-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 26, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours and one minute late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-27-22]

ARUP SELECTED TO DESIGN NEW TRACKS, PLATFORMS, CONCOURSES FOR N.Y. PENN PROJECT: Amtrak has contracted with Arup to begin designing options for the first new tracks, platforms and concourses for the New York Penn Station project. The work is part of a plan to roughly double capacity into Penn Station from the west. The design is expected to take about two years and cost $73-million. [Progressive Railroading, 6-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ROLLS OUT NEW OPERATING PLAN: Norfolk Southern has officially launched its latest operating plan designed to improve service, enhance productivity and create a platform for growth. The plan, known as TOP|SPG, builds on previous Thoroughbred operating plans. Shipments will travel more directly across the company's network with one-market origin to one-market termination. Norfolk Southern worked with customers to ensure the plan would have minimal impact on their operations. [Progressive Railroading, 6-27-22]

AMTRAK'S MAPLE LEAF TO RESUME SERVICE INTO AND OUT OF CANADA: Amtrak has announced the resumption of service to Toronto via the Maple Leaf train. The first northbound through train will depart from New York June 27, and the first southbound train will depart Toronto the following day. These will be the first Amtrak trains to cross the border on this route since 2020. [Amtrak, 6-27-22]

PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN HARRISBURG AND PITTSBURGH TO BE EXPANDED: Pennsylvania has reached a deal to expand passenger access to railroads in western Pennsylvania and to add a second daily train between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Infrastructure improvements must be made before the new service may be added, and this could take as many as three years, according to the state. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6-27-22]

ROGER HARRIS NAMED PRESIDENT OF AMTRAK: Amtrak's CEO has announced the promotion of Roger Harris to president, effective July 5. He has more than 25 years of experience in the transportation industry, and has served as Amtrak's chief commercial officer in charge of marketing and revenue since April 2019. [Progressive Railroading, 6-24-22]

TEXAS SUPREME COURT RULES TEXAS CENTRAL MAY EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN: The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that Texas Central Railway qualifies as an interurban electric railway and therefore can exercise eminent domain authority. The ruling ends years of litigation landowners have claimed that the company is neither an electric railway nor a railroad in its effort to construct a high-speed rail line. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 6-24-22]

BNSF TO EMBARGO CERTAIN FREIGHT TRAFFIC INTO CALIFORNIA: BNSF plans to issue a temporary embargo affecting some westbound traffic en route to destinations in California. Automotive shipments and specific agricultural and industrial commodities are included, and the embargo begins June 29 and is scheduled to expire July 31. Intermodal shipments are not covered by the embargo. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-24-22]

AMTRAK ORDERS 50 ADDITIONAL ALC-42 CHARGER LOCOMOTIVES: Another 50 locomotives have been ordered by Amtrak from Siemens Mobility. Together with the initial order of 75 units, the 125 environmental-friendly diesel units, made in the U.S., are an important part of Amtrak's sustainability initiative. Amtrak is paying a total of up to $2-billion for the new locomotives and supplemental multiyear maintenance support. [Amtrak, 6-23-22]

GROUND BROKEN FOR EXPANSION OF CSX'S 63RD STREET CONTAINER STORAGE YARD IN CHICAGO: Ground has been broken for an expansion of CSX's 63rd street intermodal container storage yard in Chicago. The more than $25-million facility, expected to begin operation in December, will provide additional options for manufacturers and distributors through the region, CSX said. The expanded site will provide greater container storage capability to support operations at CSX's 59th street and Bedford Park intermodal terminals. [Progressive Railroading, 6-23-22]

MBTA PULLS ALL OF ITS ORANGE LINE CARS FROM SERVICE: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has pulled all of its Orange line rail cars from service due to a battery failure in one car. The car was not in service at the time. The agency is now running fewer trains on three of its subway lines, akin to a weekend schedule. [Progressive Railroading, 6-22-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 501,207 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 18, 2022, down 2.5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.4 percent, and intermodal was down 4.9 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-22-22]

BART TRAIN DERAILS: A Bay Area Rapid Transit train derailed during the afternoon of June 21 on the northeast section of the system, on the Yellow line between Pleasant Hill and Concord stations. It involved two trailing cars. Fifty riders were safely removed from the train and right-of-way. One person was taken to a hospital with back pain. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-22-22]

GLOBAL RAIL TRUST ACQUIRES ADVANCED RAIL MANAGEMENT CORP.: Global Rail Trust has acquired Advanced Rail Management Corp. Global Rail Trust, with offices in Austria, Germany and Spain, provides consulting services to rail and mobility infrastructure providers. Advanced Rail Management, based in the U.S. and Canada, provides rail and wheel maintenance services to passenger and freight systems. [Progressive Railroading, 6-22-22]

STB ISSUES EMERGENCY ORDER TO UNION PACIFIC: The Surface Transportation Board on June 17 issued an emergency order to Union Pacific to deliver on its commitment with preference and priority to move unit trains of corn on behalf of Foster Poultry Farms from origins in the Midwest to California. According to a petition by the customer, it was alleged that service failures began in February. [Progressive Railroading, 6-21-22]

WATCO SUBSIDIARY TO SERVE SOYBEAN CRUSHING PLANT IN KANSAS: Bartlett Co. has broken ground on a $375-million soybean crushing plant in southeast Kansas that will be served by Watco's South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad. Featuring a loop track, the plant will be located in Montgomery County, and operations are expected to begin in early 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 6-21-22]

COAL TRAINS DERAIL IN KANSAS, BRITISH COLUMBIA: Two separate, unrelated coal train derailments occurred this past weekend. The first occurred on Union Pacific late June 17 in Lawrence, Kansas. Between 20 and 30 loaded cars derailed, spilling coal over a considerable area with major track damage. The second occurred June 18 on Canadian National's line east of Lytton, B.C., with 15 loaded cars derailed, and a small fire was reported. No injuries were reported in either incident. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-20-22]

TWO D.C. METRO EXECUTIVES STEP DOWN IN WAKE OF SAFETY REPORT: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's general manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld and chief operations officer Joe Leader stepped down May 16 after the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission issued a report detailing lapses in recertification status for about half of the agency's 500 rail operators. Wiedefeld had planned to retire in June. [Progressive Railroading, 6-20-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO SERVE MIDDLE GEORGIA MEGASITE: Norfolk Southern will provide rail service to the Middle Georgia Megasite, which the state and Peach County Development Authority purchased through a partnership. The 1100-acre site is located adjacent to Ga. Highway 96 with access to Interstate 75. Rail service will be provided by Norfolk Southern on the north side, plus an additional rail line on the west side. [Progressive Railroading, 6-20-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Nineteen (19) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 19, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived three hours and 10 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-20-22]

CN ELECTRICAL WORKERS GO ON STRIKE AGAINST CN: Canadian National workers went on strike after failing to reach an agreement on June 18 over benefits and wages, according to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers lead negotiator. The railroad reported it has implemented an operation contingency plan, and operations continue at normal levels. [Bloomberg News, 6-19-22]

ETHAN ALLEN EXPRESS TO EXTEND ITS RUN TO BURLINGTON, VT.: Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express will extend service north from its current terminus at Rutland, Vermont, beginning July 29. It will add stops in Middlebury and Vergennes, Vermont, and continue on to Burlington. [Amtrak]

METROLINK ADVANCES EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM: Metrolink on June 16 announced advancements in its earthquake early warning system that will automatically apply brakes during an earthquake. The agency deployed a previous version in Sept. 2021 that could send automated messages to train crews, but did not include automated brake enforcement. The updated technology is being tested along the 91 Perris Valley line between Riverside and Perris, California. [Progressive Railroading, 6-17-22]

LIRR COMPLETES NEW HYDE PARK STATION RENOVATION, REMOVES THREE GRADE CROSSINGS: The Long Island Rail Road has completed its New Hyde Park station renovation project which included a pedestrian overpass, an accessible pedestrian underpass, two ramps to each platform, and platform replacement and expansion to accommodate 12-car trains. Also, three grade crossings were removed. The improvements are part of the $2.5-billion third-track project. [Railway Age, 6-16-22]

WABTEC ACQUIRES COLLINS AEROSPACE'S ARINC RAIL SOLUTIONS BUSINESS SEGMENT: Wabtec has announced its acquisition of Collins Aerospace's ARINC rail solutions business segment, a rail dispatch and back-office system provider. Wabtec said the transaction will expand its digital and electronics portfolio. [Railway Age, 6-16-22]

IBEW ISSUES NOTICE OF INTENDED STRIKE AGAINST CN: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has notified CN of its intention to strike as of July 18. IBEW signals and communications workers in Canada last ratified a five-year contract with the carrier at the end of April 2017. [Railway Age, 6-16-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 510,295 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 11, 2022, down 3.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.8 percent, and intermodal was down 4.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-15-22]

AMTRAK SEEKS FEDERAL GRANT TOWARD CHICAGO UNION STATION UPGRADE: Amtrak is applying for a federal grant to help fund Chicago Union Station upgrades as part of a larger series of projects aimed at improving routes into and out of Chicago. Each year, the station hosts nearly 20,000 trains and serves more than 3.3 million riders. If funded, the project's estimated investment would total $850-million. [Progressive Railroading, 6-15-22]

FRA ISSUES RULE ON RAIL WORKER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT: The Federal Railroad Administration has published its long-awaited rule on rail worker fatigue management. It requires railroads to identify and analyze 'applicable hazards and take action to mitigate, if not eliminate, that fatigue risk.' Rail safety plans will also need to address factors that may influence employee fatigue, including scheduling practices and an employee's consecutive hours off-duty. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 6-15-22]

RAIL LABOR NEGOTIATIONS MOVE TOWARD POSSIBLE WHITE HOUSE INTERVENTION: Major railroads and their unions remain at an impasse after a government board ended efforts to mediate a settlement, a move which will likely force the Biden administration to intervene and prevent a strike that could cripple an already-strained U.S. supply chain. The National Mediation Board sought to move the process into binding arbitration, but the unions rejected the offer. The talks will now enter a 30-day cooling off period, and then a presidential emergency board could resolve the dispute. [Bloomberg News, 6-14-22]

ACELA TRAINS CAN NOW TRAVEL FASTER ON SEGMENT IN N.J.: Amtrak passengers can now travel even faster on Acela as recent improvements along a 16-mile segment of the Northeast corridor between South Brunswick and Trenton, N.J., known as the 'Raceway,' can allow speeds up to 150 MPH. It is the first of many speed upgrades anticipated on the corridor, Amtrak said. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-14-22]

CEO, PRESIDENT OF TEXAS CENTRAL STEPS DOWN: Carlos Aguilar, CEO and president of Texas Central, has stepped down. The company is still searching for much needed cash and is facing a lawsuit. Aguilar admitted that he could not align current stakeholders on a common vision for a path forward, and Texas Central still needs to submit an application to the Surface Transportation Board to begin construction. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-14-22]

CLASS I RAILROADS SLAMMED OVER GAPS IN SERVICE RECOVERY PLANS: The Surface Transportation Board is criticizing the four major U.S. Class I railroads for not providing enough pertinent information on their rail service recovery plans, and it is asking the railroads to supplement what they have already provided. The board required the four railroads each to draft recovery plans in response to shippers' concerns about deteriorating service in recent months. The plans generally omitted important information needed to assure that the carriers were addressing their deficiencies and have a clear and measurable trajectory for doing so, the board said. Moreover, Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern were additionally criticized for refusing to provide six-month targets for achieving their performance goals, as required in the board's order. [Freight Waves, 6-14-22]

CSX, CN SCUTTLE MASSENA LINE TRANSACTION: CSX and CN have mutually terminated their transaction in which CN would purchase CSX's Montreal-Syracuse Massena line and fold it into CN's Bessemer subdivision, the former Bessemer & Lake Erie, which CN acquired in 2004 as part of its larger purchase of holding company Great Lakes Transportation. The Surface Transportation Board had approved the transaction, but with provisions. [Railway Age, 6-13-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE PERFORMANCE: Twenty-seven percent of Amtrak's long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 12, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 43 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-13-22]

RAIL UNIONS UPDATE THEIR TAKE ON NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS: The bargaining rail unions concluded their third week of compulsory joint National Mediation Board mediated negotiations with the National Carriers' Conference Committee on June 8. These joint mediation negotiations resulted from the unions' request to be released from mediation after more than two years of bargaining with the major U.S. Class I carriers. The rail unions remain united in their effort to negotiate a fair agreement and stand together in rejecting all proposals that the railroads have advanced. Our members have earned a contract that recognizes their contributions. None of the carrier proposals to date come close to that. Instead, the carriers continue to advance proposals that insult the very employees who made their record profits possible. The only pathway to resolving this dispute is for the NMB to put forth a proffer of arbitration to move the dispute to the final steps of the Railway Labor Act. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 6-9-22]

PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY CHANGES NAME: The Pennsylvania agency known as the Port Authority of Allegheny County is now known as 'Pittsburgh Regional Transit.' The agency's 2600 employees operate, maintain and support light-rail, bus, inclines and paratransit. [Railway Age, 6-9-22]

PASSENGER TRAIN IN IRAN STRIKES EXCAVATOR, DERAILS, AT LEAST 22 KILLED: A passenger train traveling through eastern Iran struck an excavator and nearly half of its cars derailed before dawn June 9, killing at least 22 people and injuring 87 others. About 350 people were aboard the train at the time. [N.Y. Post, 6-9-22]

ARCHEOLOGICAL DIGS IMPACTING PROGRESS OF MAYA TRAIN PROJECT IN MEXICO: According to a report from Yucatan Magazine, the Maya Train project in Mexico is at least one and one-half years behind schedule, and is under the threat that it could eventually be abandoned. An archeologist the magazine spoke with was doing work in section three, which will have rail running between Calkini, Campeche, and Izamal in Yucatan, said he had come across some interesting finds and was excited to see what else would be dug up. However, the researcher said there is enough work to fill six years, and was skeptical work would be finished on time. Meanwhile, an engineer in section four, which covers the distance between Izamal, Yucatan and Cancun, said work was extremely behind schedule. He said auditors said construction could take more than 10 years. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-9-22]

ASHLAND, VA., TRAIN STATION ACCESSIBILITY UPGRADED: The accessibility and safety of the Ashland, Va., train station has been upgraded with the construction of two brick platforms, placement of a mobile lift on each platform, and an accompanying canopy. The new platforms connect with sidewalks, crosswalks and a pedestrian grade crossing so riders can safely travel between the train and station. [Railway Age, 6-8-22]

NEW TRANSCONTINENTAL RAIL SERVICE AVAILABLE TO SHIPPERS: Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, the Port of Virginia and ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd are now offering shippers a new option to reach West Coast markets. 'OceaNS Bridge Express' moves inbound containers from Norfolk International Terminal via Norfolk Southern to Chicago, and Union Pacific to California. [Railway Age, 6-8-22]

AMTRAK ADDS NEW THRUWAY BUS CONNECTION IN PA.: Amtrak has begun a new bus service, operated under an agreement with Krapf Coaches, with two daily round-trips connecting Reading and Pottstown, Pa., to Amtrak's network via Philadelphia. [Progressive Railroading, 6-8-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 475,513 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 4, 2022, down 2.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1 percent, and intermodal was down 4.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-8-22]

OPERATION LIFESAVER CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF SAFETY EDUCATION: Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at crossings, and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Over the past five decades, Operation Lifesaver and its partners have helped reduce crossing incidents by 84 percent. [Operation Lifesaver, 6-8-22]

TRAIN OPERATOR KILLED, EIGHT INJURED AS CHINESE HSR TRAIN HITS MUDSLIDE, DERAILS: The operator of a high-speed train in southern China was killed and eight people were injured when two cars derailed early June 4 after hitting a mudslide. The accident occurred midmorning as the train was entering a tunnel. Those injured were in stable condition, and the other 136 people aboard the train were evacuated safely, state broadcaster CCTV reported. [CBS News, 6-8-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO PERFORM MAJOR TIE PROJECT ON METRA UP-WEST LINE: Union Pacific will embark on a major tie project on the UP-West line beginning June 8. It will cover a 40-mile stretch from Chicago's west side to Elburn with replacement of about 90,000 ties. Forces will be working on all three tracks used by Metra. Most of the work will be performed overnight, but Metra riders may experience minor delays through the end of September. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-7-22]

REPRESENTATIVE PORTER URGES STB TO REJECT CP-KCS MERGER: U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) has urged the Surface Transportation Board to reject the proposed Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger, arguing that the combination would stifle competition. Preserving what rail competition remains after decades of consolidation is important to the U.S. economy, she wrote. [Trains Magazine, 6-7-22]

CONSORTIUM TO RESEARCH CLIMATE-CHANGE RISK TO U.S. RAIL NETWORK: San Jose State University will use a $4.6-million federal grant to help create a multi-university consortium that will establish a climate-change and extreme events training and research center. It will partner with Colorado State University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of Hawaii to create the new center. The consortium plans to work with railroads and test technologies at the Transportation Technology Center and on revenue service track, officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 6-7-22]

CSX 'STRUGGLING TO MEET DEMAND': CSX is turning away business. The company is struggling to meet demand, acknowledged its CEO, James Foote. He blamed the problems on shortages in personnel, saying that the company has struggled to recruit sufficient staff. He said that CSX is missing out on 'lots of business.' [The Load Star, 6-7-22]

N.C. TO UPDATE PASSENGER RAIL STUDY: The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation has announced it is updating a feasibility study for passenger rail in Wilmington. The Southeastern North Carolina Passenger Rail Study evaluates potential service connecting Raleigh to Wilmington along the NC-Line. The study will consider two CSX alternatives: a route that passes through Goldsboro following the AC-Line, or a route that passes through Fayette following the A-Line. [Progressive Railroading, 6-6-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 5, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-6-22]

CN ORDERS 'PRECISION DISPATCH SYSTEM' FROM WABTEC: Wabtec reported that Canadian National is the first railroad to order its latest precision dispatch system. It is designed for moving trains in both signaled and dark territory. Its command and control system analyzes data coming from all rolling stock and wayside devices as well as positive train-control. It provides advanced automation through end-to-end electronic delivery of mandatory directives and automatic implementation of authorities in dark territory. Thirty-seven desks in CN's control center will use the new software after a phased rollout, expected to wrap up in 2023. [Railway Age, 6-6-22]

AMTRAK ADVANCES NORTHEAST CORRIDOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS: Amtrak is making necessary infrastructure improvements between Washington and New York as part of a larger effort to improve the railroad. The company has committed approximately $130-million for rail improvements, of which over $55-million will be performed this summer. Amtrak has hired 500 new employees to complete these projects, and will continue to hire additional workers. Specific work includes replacing 40 switches throughout New York and the Northern and Southern Mid-Atlantic regions, and updated up to 25 miles of track in the Southern Mid-Atlantic Region. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-6-22]

PAUL WINGO DIES, RETIRED BLE, BLET VICE-PRESIDENT: Paul L. Wingo Jr., retired international and national vice president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, died June 6. He was 78. He began his railroad career as a switchman with the Southern Railroad in 1966, was promoted to engineer in 1969, and retired from his position with the BLET in June 2006. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 6-6-22]

AMTRAK ADDS BICYCLE CAPACITY TO CAPITOL LIMITED: Amtrak is adding bicycle capacity on the Capitol Limited. Each departure through mid-September will offer 12 spots for bike reservations at a flat fare of $20. [Amtrak]

FRA AWARDS $368-M IN GRANTS TO 46 RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: The Federal Railroad Administration will be awarding $368-million in grants to 46 projects across 32 states and D.C., part of a broader effort to upgrade and modernize U.S. infrastructure. Approximately $154-million will go to 14 projects that directly benefit passenger rail corridors. The big winner is North Carolina, which receives $57.9-million to complete preliminary engineering for the Raleigh-to-Richmond corridor, including construction of a grade separation on the S-line in Wake Forest. Other notable projects include a $15.9-million grant to Brightline to support its Phase III extension between Orlando and Tampa, and $13.9-million to Connecticut for a new station in Enfield as part of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail program. [Rail Passengers Assn., 6-3-22]

MARYLAND COMPLETES FIRST PHASE OF STUDY FOR EAST-WEST REGIONAL TRANSIT CORRIDOR: The Maryland Transit Administration has completed the first phase of a feasibility study of a proposed east-west regional transit corridor. It includes Essex, Bay View, downtown Baltimore, West Baltimore, Woodlawn and Ellicott City. Three of seven alternatives that were developed involve rail. [Progressive Railroading, 6-3-22]

PASSENGER TRAIN DERAILS IN GERMANY, AT LEAST FOUR KILLED: At least four people died and about 30 more were injured after a passenger train derailed in the German state of Bavaria on June 3. The incident sparked large-scale rescue operations. Authorities said 15 people were being treated for serious injuries in hospital. About 140 passengers were on board the train at the time of the accident. [DW Akademie, 6-3-22]

FORBES MAGAZINE LISTS AMTRAK AS ONE OF AMERICA'S BEST EMPLOYER FOR NEW GRADS: Amtrak has been named to Forbes magazine's 2022 America's Best Employer for New Graduates list. The designation comes as Amtrak aggressively recruits people to serve in operations, information technology, finance, marketing, government affairs and human resources. [Progressive Railroading, 6-2-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CEO SELLS 1000 SHARES OF HIS COMPANY'S STOCK: Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw sold 1,000 shares of Norfolk Southern stock at a value of $241,840 on June 1. He still owns 34,255 shares. [Market Beat, 6-2-22]

CSX COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF PAN AM RAILWAYS: CSX on June 1 reported completion of its Pan Am Railways acquisition, six weeks after CSX received regulatory approval from the Surface Transportation Board. Pan Am expands CSX's reach in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, while adding Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to its existing 23-state network. Pan Am has owned and operated a nearly 1,200-mile rail network across New England, with a partial interest in the more-than 600-mile Pan Am Southern that it has jointly owned with Norfolk Southern. [Railway Age, 6-1-22]

MAY 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,031,300 carloads and intermodal units in May 2022, down 4 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.7 percent, and intermodal was down 4.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-1-22]

MAY 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-seven (27) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in May 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 43 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-1-22]

NEW LIRR TERMINAL TO BE NAMED 'GRAND CENTRAL MADISON': New York's governor has announced that the 700,000-square-foot Long Island Rail Road terminal nearing completion below Grand Central Terminal and Madison avenue from 43rd street to 48th street will be named 'Grand Central Madison.' The new terminal is the largest passenger rail terminal to be built in the U.S. since the 1950's. The $11.1-billion project to connect LIRR to the East Side will provide benefits for the entire downstate region and its visitors. [LIRR, 5-31-22]

KCS TRAIN DERAILS IN TEXAS, NO INJURIES: Several railroad crossings in downtown Jefferson, Texas, were blocked after a train derailed May 28. Police said a car in the middle of a Kansas City Southern train went off the rails in the downtown at about 3 p.m., causing the rails to buckle. No injuries were reported. [Tyler Morning Telegraph, 5-28-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN PA., MULTIPLE CARS FALL INTO RIVER: Seventeen cars and two locomotives of a Norfolk Southern train derailed May 26 in Harmer, Pa., near Pittsburgh, following a collision at a private crossing with a stone hauler. Nine of the cars toppled into a tributary of nearby Allegheny River. Of those nine cars, four were carrying crude oil. Two Norfolk Southern crew members and the driver of the stone hauler were transported to a hospital. [WTAE, 5-27-22]

BERKS COUNTY, PA., GETS GRANT FOR RAIL IMPROVEMENTS: Berks County, Pa., is receiving a $14.7-million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements grant toward rehabilitating 8.6 miles of track and rehabilitating or replacing 14 bridges between Boyertown and Pottstown, and construction of two rail-served transload yards and improvement of drainage issues. [Progressive Railroading, 5-27-22]

UNION PACIFIC COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN NEBRASKA: An eastbound Union Pacific train carrying coal from Wyoming derailed early May 26 near Gothenburg, Nebraska. The railroad said about 30 cars derailed. No injuries were reported. [KNOP, 5-26-22]

FUNDING APPROVED FOR PORT TERMINAL EXPANSIONS IN NEW BRUNSWICK: The Canadian government will provide $21.2-million (C) to fund a project to upgrade rail terminals in Saint John and McAdam, N.B. The New Brunswick Southern Railway will contribute the same amount. The government will also provide up to $21-million to the Saint John Port Authority to increase the cargo laydown capacity of the West Side Terminal to enhance its crane capabilities and handle wheeled cargo. [Progressive Railroading, 5-26-22]

CSX, NS, PORT AGAIN SEEK MEDIATION IN GULF COAST AMTRAK SERVICE CASE: CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Alabama State Port Authority are again requesting Surface Transportation Board-sponsored mediation in Amtrak's Gulf Coast passenger rail service case. [Railway Age, 5-25-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 506.976 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 21, 2022, down 4.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.7 percent, and intermodal was down 4.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-25-22]

READING & NORTHERN RECEIVES FIRST FRAC SAND UNIT TRAIN: Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad has announced the arrival of its first frac sand unit train. Norfolk Southern delivered the train to the short line's North Reading yard, where crews help transport it to Reading & Northern's sand storage facility in Pittston, Pa. Frac sand is an anchor commodity of the new Tunkhannock Transload Terminal that opened for business earlier this year. [Progressive Railroading, 5-25-22]

COOS BAY PORT SIGNS LEASE AGREEMENT FOR NEW INTERMODAL SITE: The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has announced that a definitive lease agreement with NorthPoint Development has been executed for the future development of an intermodal facility on the North Spit of the Coos Bay harbor. It will result in construction of a modern, rail-served maritime port capable of processing over one million containers annually. [Progressive Railroading, 5-25-22]

FREIGHT RAILROAD SLOWDOWNS UNDER MICROSCOPE AMID SUPPLY CHAIN CRUNCH: Freight railroads are failing to keep pace with consumer demand, putting additional strain on the nation's supply chains that have been plagued by trucker shortages and congested ports. Trade groups representing energy and agricultural producers say that rail service disruptions are delaying shipments of raw materials and driving up prices. Shippers have described the leading freight carries as 'regional monopolies' that lack efficient completion in their respective markets. [The Hill, 5-25-22]

LIGHT-RAIL PLANNED FOR SOUTHERN MARYLAND: Officials have broken in a light-rail project with $5-million to help start the Southern Maryland Rapid project. The line would connect White Plains to Branch Avenue Metro and feature 13 stops. The system was previously designed into the route 5 corridor, and once trains begin running alongside U.S. 301 they would share tracks with CSX. Up to 28,000 people could ride the system daily, officials say. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-24-22]

GEORGIA CENTRAL TO SERVE HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP PLANT IN GA.: Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Georgia Central Railway will serve a new, dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in Georgia for Hyundai Motor Group. The short line operates 211 miles of track from Macon to Savannah, and interchanges with CSX, Norfolk Southern and Heart of Georgia Railroad. [Progressive Railroading, 5-24-22]

M8 ELECTRIC TRAINS BEGIN OPERATING ON SHORE LINE EAST IN CT.: Today, May 24, M8 electric trains begin operating on the Shore Line East commuter rail line in Connecticut. The M8 electric multiple units represent a milestone for the rail line, which will no longer be served by diesel-powered trains. [Progressive Railroading, 5-24-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 22, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 33 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-23-22]

VALLEY METRO'S FIRST MODERN STREETCAR ROUTE OPENS IN TEMPE, ARIZONA: Valley Metro's first modern streetcar in Tempe, Arizona, opened for passenger service on May 20. The three-mile route will cover major employment centers, entertainment destinations, historic neighborhoods and regional transit network hubs. The streetcars run on hybrid power, travel to 14 stops in Tempe, and connect to Valley Metro rail service in two locations. [Progressive Railroading, 5-23-22]

VIA RAIL'S PRESIDENT, CEO RESIGNS: Cynthia Garneau, president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, resigned effective May 20. She had been VIA Rail's leader since May 2019, and she did not share her reasons for stepping down. [Progressive Railroading, 5-23-22]

SECOND ROANOKE AMTRAK TRAIN MAY BEGIN RUNNING THIS SUMMER: Passenger rail service to and from the New River Valley won't start until 2026, but a second train serving Roanoke could begin operating this summer. Members of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority board have been told the train is likely to start in July, pending final agreement with Norfolk Southern and Amtrak. In the draft schedule, the eastbound train would leave Roanoke at 4:35 p.m. and arrive in Washington at 9:35 p.m. Meanwhile, it was learned that Roanoke ridership on its current train has rebounded to 2019 levels. [WDBJ, 5-23-22]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN ALBERTA: Cleanup is underway after 43 Canadian Pacific Rail train cars carrying potash left the track early May 22 east of Fort Macleod, Alberta. No injuries were reported. [CTV News, 5-22-22]

MEGABUS OVERTURNS ON I-95 IN MARYLAND, 27 INJURED: A Megabus carrying 47 people rolled over on southbound Interstate 95 near Kingsville, Md., early May 22. No other vehicles were involved. Officials said 27 people suffered minor injuries, 15 of whom were taken to hospitals. [WBAL-TV, 5-22-22]

FREIGHT TRAIN INTERFERENCE PLAGUES AMTRAK, METRICS REPORT SHOWS: During the first quarter of fiscal 2022, not a single Amtrak long-distance train met the new regulatory standard for customer on time performance. Freight train interference grew 12 percent over the previous quarter and remained the biggest contributor to late trains, the Federal Railroad Administration said this week in its new quarterly metrics and standards report. The overall picture shows delays worsening, although ridership is recovering from pandemic lows. Meanwhile, customers reported 80 percent or better customer satisfaction with 31 out of 41 routes. Only one route (Auto Train) dipped below 70 percent. Amtrak on-board personnel generally got high marks from riders. The lowest-performing category across the board was on-board food service. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-20-22]

D.C. METRO INSTALLS SYSTEM TO TEST 7000-SERIES RAIL CAR WHEELSETS: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has installed the first automated inspection system to test the 7000-series rail cars' wheelsets in real time, keeping the agency on track to return the vehicles to service in late summer. Engineers will soon begin configuration, testing and commissioning the system. The return-to-service plan includes new inspection procedures and trainings to guide the staff to safely inspect and maintain the rail cars upon their return. [Progressive Railroading, 5-20-22]

WATCO COMPLETES EXPANSION OF SAFE PERFORMANCE CENTER IN ALABAMA: Watco has marked the completion of its expansion of the company's Safe Performance Center in Fairfield, Alabama, a training center for Watco railroads and transportation workers. The new 11,000-square-foot building includes classrooms, a conference room and a locomotive simulation lab. As part of the expansion, a confined-space simulator (a tank car modified for training) was added to a piece of track outside the new building. Its addition allows hands-on confined-space rescue training. First responders will also be able to use the simulator. [Progressive Railroading, 5-20-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 505,120 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 14, 2022, down 5.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 5.2 percent, and intermodal was down 5.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-18-22]

BRIGHTLINE ROLLS INTO ORLANDO STATION: Brightline is another step closer to extending its 67-mile Miami-to-West Palm Beach line north to Orlando. On May 17, the first train arrived for testing at the Orlando International Airport station. Brightline reported that its $2.7-billion, 170-mile extension is nearly 80 percent complete. Service is expected to begin in early 2023. [Railway Age, 5-18-22]

REPORT BLASTS D.C. METRO FOR POWERING THIRD RAIL WHILE WORKERS ARE ON TRACKS: A report from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission notes that work that involves shutting off the electrified third rail is not following proper protocol to keep workers safe. Back on April 26 a crew was working near a station when the power was restored in a work zone while the workers were still on the roadway. The report points out that three times in the month of May alone, procedures were not followed by workers in multiple departments, which led to powered-up third rails in work zones where workers were still present. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-18-22]

FRA PUBLISHES 1-Q REPORT ON PERFORMANCE METRICS FOR AMTRAK'S INTERCITY TRAINS: The Federal Railroad Administration has published a report on performance metrics for Amtrak's intercity trains, covering the first-quarter of fiscal-year 2022. The rule sets a minimum standard for on time performance. At least 80 percent of passengers must arrive on time or no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival for any two consecutive calendar quarters. The largest single category of delays is freight train interference, at 22 percent of total delay minutes. [Progressive Railroading, 5-18-22]

BNSF MODIFIES ITS ATTENDANCE POLICY: BNSF has been monitoring progress and making adjustments to its 'Hi-Viz' attendance policy, some of which take effect June 1. Unions, so far, are not impressed. The railroad now plans to offer seven bonus points to workers who log the most hours in a month, and they will receive one additional point if they remain available to work right before or after planned vacations, show up on holidays and other in-demand days, or if they have to report to work between Friday afternoon and mid-day Saturday. Still, the railroad's unions counter that the changes do not offset the overall effect of the policy as earning an extra point or two will not offset provisions such as the 15-point deduction for not being able to work on a holiday. Hundreds of BNSF employees have quit and recruitment of new employees has become a nightmare over the policy, the unions say. [Railway Age, 5-17-22]

MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT D.C. METRO: Paul Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, has agreed to retire immediately, and Joe Leader, chief operating officer, has resigned, also immediately. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-17-22]

OHIO EXPLORING AMTRAK EXPANSION: Ohio has taken the first formal step in signaling interest in expanding Amtrak service in the state. The state's governor has asked the Ohio Rail Development Commission to work with Amtrak to study potential new routes. Amtrak wants to construct a new line connecting Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Cincinnati, and has agreed to cover the cost of construction, track upgrades and operating costs for at least five years, then split the annual operating costs with the state. In working with Amtrak, the state will be identifying corridors to best place lines, assessing what costs would actually be, looking at environment impacts and seeing what the infrastructural needs are. [Columbus Dispatch, 5-17-22]

D.C. METRO REMOVES 72 RAIL OPERATORS FOR LAPSED RECERTIFICATIONS: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has removed 72 rail operators from service for being out of compliance from lapsed recertification for more than a year. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to operator shortage. Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May. [Railway Age, 5-16-22]

BUILDERS SELECTED FOR UINTA BASIN RWY: AECOM, Skanska-Clyde Joint Venture and Obayashi Corp. have landed the final engineering and construction contacts for Uinta Basin Railway, slated to serve mineral, energy, agricultural, construction and manufacturing industries in northeastern Utah. [Railway Age, 5-16-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 15, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-16-22]

TRAIN OPERATOR KILLED, DOZENS HURT AS PASSENGER TRAIN, FREIGHT TRAIN COLLIDE IN SPAIN: The operator of a suburban passenger train died and dozens were slightly injured after two trains crashed outside of Barcelona, Spain, late May 16. Some 85 were injured, 77 were released on the spot, and eight were taken to a hospital. The collision happened when a freight train derailed and crashed into a passenger train at the station in Sant Boi de Llobregat, about nine miles from Barcelona. [Reuters, 5-16-22]

AMTRAK CREWS REPAIR BENCHWALL SYSTEM IN NORTH RIVER TUNNEL: Amtrak crews recently remediated damage to the benchwall system in the south tube of the North River tunnel without interrupting regular train service. The tunnel's north and south tubes are used by Amtrak and N.J. Transit trains to travel beneath the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York Penn Station. [Progressive Railroading, 5-13-22]

SEPTA TO PURCHASE 130 TROLLEY VEHICLES: SEPTA has released a request for proposals for the purchase of 130 trolley vehicles, with an option for up to 30 more. The agency's eight trolley lines run a total of 68 miles connecting communities in west, southwest and north Philadelphia and Delaware County with Center City and University City. [Railway Age, 5-13-22]

VIA RAIL REPORTS A JUMP IN RIDERSHIP FOR 2021: VIA Rail Canada reported that its ridership increased 31.9 percent in 2021, compared with the previous year, with passenger revenue climbing 54.3 percent year over year. VIA Rail has been adjusting its gradual service resumption plan as the pandemic and health and safety guidelines evolve. [Progressive Railroading, 5-13-22]

FRA ESTABLISHES PASSENGER RAIL CORRIDOR I.D., DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: The Federal Railroad Administration has established the new corridor identification & development program. It is the first step in an undertaking to transform America's passenger rail network through the President's bipartisan infrastructure law. The program will establish a pipeline of projects ready for funding, allowing them to be implemented faster and with greater coordination than ever before. The FRA will select corridors for participation based on readiness to commence development and statutory criteria. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-13-22]

BOB BRYANT DIES, FOUNDED BUCKINGHAM BRANCH R.R.: Robert Earl Bryant, founder and board chair of the Buckingham Branch Railroad, died May 8. He was 87. He began his railroading career in 1953 on the C&O Railway, and he retired in 1987 as marketing manager with CSX. Together with his wife Annie, he founded Buckingham Branch in 1988. Grown from 17.3 miles to 280 miles in four divisions, it is now the largest short line in Virginia. [Railway Age, 5-12-22]

CSX TO SERVE FUTURE ALUMINUM RECYCLING, ROLLING PLANT IN ALABAMA: CSX will serve Novelis Inc.'s future $2.5-billion aluminum recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama. The low-carbon facility will be the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the U.S. in 40 years. [Progressive Railroading, 5-12-22]

SOUTHERN INDIANA RWY ACQUIRED BY LOUISVILLE & INDIANA R.R.: Louisville & Indiana Railroad, a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, has acquired the assets and operating rights of the former Southern Indiana Railway. The Surface Transportation Board approved the acquisition on April 5, and Southern Indiana Railway had served customers until 2020. [Railway Age, 5-12-22]

AMTRAK OFFERING NEW APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: Amtrak is offering a new apprenticeship pilot program to help participants learn skills on the job and develop a professional career path. The program will be offered to a mix of new hires and existing employees with diverse backgrounds. Students will begin in the classroom and move to hands-on work in a specific trade, Amtrak said. The program will be funded from the federal infrastructure investment and jobs act. [Progressive Railroading, 5-11-22]

PASSENGER KILLED AS METRA TRAIN COLLIDES WITH TRUCK: The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Metra's first passenger death since 2005 after a train collided with a truck May 11 at a crossing in Clarendon Hills, Ill. It resulted in the death of a woman and minor injuries to two other passengers and the engineer and conductor. Trains were suspended for about six hours on the BNSF, Metra's busiest line, with limited service resuming for the afternoon rush. [Daily Herald, 5-11-22]

SENECA R.R. & MINING ACQUIRED BY COMET INDUSTRIES: Comet Industries has acquired Seneca Railroad & Mining. Seneca, located in northwestern Ohio, manufactures high-quality polyurethane insulated rail joints, insulated rubber plates and pads for railroad crossings, turnouts and switches. Comet specializes in sales of new and reconditioned freight car parts. [Railway Age, 5-11-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 504,927 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 7, 2022, down 3.5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.9 percent, and intermodal was down 4.9 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-11-22]

CP GETS UNSOLICITED MINI-OFFER TO PURCHASE 1.5 MILLION COMMON SHARES OF ITS STOCK: Canadian Pacific has received notice of an unsolicited mini-tender offer from TRC Capital Investment Corp. to purchase up to 1.5 million common shares, representing about 0.16 percent of the outstanding shares of CP common stock at a price of $88.50 (C) per share. CP does not endorse this offer, and has advised shareholders that the offer has been made at a price of 4.37 percent and 4.49 percent, respectively, below market price as of CP's closing price on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges on May 2, the date of the offer. [Progressive Railroading, 5-10-22]

NEW CEO, GM NAMED TO LEAD D.C. METRO: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has selected Randy Clark as the agency's next CEO and general manager. He comes from Capital Metro in Austin, Texas, and will join D.C. Metro in late summer. He replaces Paul Wiedefeld, who will retire June 30. [Progressive Railroading, 5-10-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 8, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 43 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-9-22]

AMTRAK ANNOUNCES SUMMER SCHEDULE: Amtrak has announced its summer schedule featuring the most Acela frequencies since the onset of the pandemic, and Northeast Regional departures nearing 80 percent of pre-pandemic service levels. The new summer schedule also includes the restoration of four long-distance trains to daily service: California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited and Southwest Chief. [Amtrak, 5-9-22]

STB TO REQUIRE CERTAIN RAILROADS TO FURNISH SERVICE RECOVERY PLANS: The Surface Transportation Board has announced it will require 'certain railroads' to submit service recovery plans, additional data and regular progress reports on rail service, operations and employment. The announcement follows its April 26-27 hearing, during which it received testimony on severe rail service issues from shippers, customers, labor, industry experts and government officials. [Progressive Railroading, 5-9-22]

AMTRAK PALMETTO'S SCHEDULE TO BE DISRUPTED: Amtrak's New York-Savannah trains 89-90 will be canceled May 9-12 and May 16-19. There will be an adjusted schedule May 13 and 20, but the train will run its normal schedule May 14 and 15. [Amtrak]

GROUND BROKEN FOR HARVEY, ILLINOIS, STATION REHAB: Ground has been broken for a project to rehabilitate the 147th street/Sibley boulevard Metra station in Harvey, Illinois. Starting May 16, the facility will be closed for 12 to 15 months so crews can complete the upgrades. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-22]

HYDROGEN PRODUCTION, FUELING STATIONS TO BE BUILT FOR CP: ATCO Group has agreed to provide Canadian Pacific with engineering, procurement and construction services for two hydrogen production and refueling facilities in Alberta. The infrastructures in Calgary and Edmonton will include a 1-megawatt electrolyzer, compression, storage and dispensing capabilities for locomotive refueling. In Calgary, the electrolyzer will be powered in part by renewable electricity from the railroad's existing 5MW solar power facility co-located at their headquarters. The facilities will advance a hydrogen locomotive program at CP, which aims to build North America's first line-haul hydrogen-powered freight locomotive. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-22]

NORTH SHORE R.R. RUNS FIRST TRAIN TO KREAMER, PA.: North Shore Railroad on May 4 ran its first train to Kreamer, Pa. The former Conrail line was purchased in April from Norfolk Southern by the Susquehanna Economic Development Association, plus those serving Selinsgrove and Shamokin Dam. The lines now make up North Shore's Selinsgrove Branch, extending its original operation that runs from Northumberland through Danville, Bloomsburg, and Berwick to Beach Haven, Pa. [Railway Age, 5-5-22]

HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASHOUTS TO UNION PACIFIC IN OKLAHOMA: Torrential rains early May 5 around Muskogee, Okla., caused multiple washouts on Union Pacific's network. Limited reroutes were available around the impacted location, but customers were advised to expect delays from 24 to 48 hours. [Union Pacific, 5-5-22]

BNSF LOSING EMPLOYEES OVER NEW ATTENDANCE POLICY: More than 700 BNSF railroaders have resigned in the last three months because of the railroad's new attendance policy, union officials say. The policy, the officials say, is 'the worst and most egregious attendance policy ever adopted by any rail carrier.' [Montana Free Press, 5-5-22]

NORMAN MINETA DIES, FORMER U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Norman Mineta, 90, former federal transportation secretary, died May 3. He led the department during the crisis of Sept. 11, 2001. After the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center, he ordered the grounding of all civilian aircraft, the first such order given in U.S. aviation history. He resigned in 2006 after five and one-half years in his post, making him the longest serving transportation secretary since the agency was created in 1967. [AP News, 5-4-22]

APRIL 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,002,854 carloads and intermodal units in April 2022, down 5.8 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.4 percent, and intermodal was down 7.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-4-22]

MBTA UPGRADING WELLINGTON YARD IN MEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is working on significant upgrades to its Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility in Medford, Massachusetts. The Orange Line Transformation team has rehabilitated the facility with modern fixtures and equipment, and replaced over four miles of track and 55 units of special track work in the yard. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-4-22]

TEMPE, ARIZONA, STREETCAR SYSTEM OPENS MAY 20: The Tempe, Arizona, streetcar system is set to open on May 20. Six vehicles will run along the three-mile, 14-station route. Valley Metro's system will connect downtown, Arizona State University, and the employment corridor of Rio Salado Parkway, and offer links to existing light-rail serving Phoenix, Mesa, and Sky Harbor International Airport. [Railway Age, 5-4-22]

THE ANDERSONS TO SELL ITS RAIL CAR REPAIR BUSINESS: The Andersons Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its rail car repair business to Cathcart Rail. The sale will complete The Andersons' exit from the rail segment. [Progressive Railroading, 5-4-22]

MINNESOTA'S NORTHERN LIGHTS PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT TERMINATED: The Northern Lights passenger rail system has been 'extinguished' in Minnesota. The plan had been to connect the Twin Cities to Duluth, with stops in Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinkley, and Superior, Wisconsin. The state senate amended language in a larger supplemental and policy bill that prevents funding of the project. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-3-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN N.D.: The track at the site of a BNSF derailment between Burlington and Des Lacs, N.D., was reopened to train traffic early May 2. On May 1, at about 1 a.m., 15 cars of an eastbound train derailed. Fire departments responded to a fire in containers of paper products and frozen foods. Amtrak's Empire Builder uses the same tracks. [Minot Daily News, 5-3-22]

CHARLOTTE WESTERN R.R. BEGINS RAIL OPERATIONS IN N.C.: Charlotte Western Railroad, a subsidiary of Jaguar Transport Holdings, began rail service May 2 in North Carolina. It operates on 13 miles of track leased from the state, and has access to both Norfolk Southern and CSX, along with a rail-served warehouse the company acquired. [Progressive Railroading, 5-3-22]

NORTHEAST CORRIDOR TRAINS IMPACTED BY DOWNED POWER WIRES: Downed power wires stopped Northeast corridor trains between Philadelphia and New York during the May 2 morning rush. The issues were the result of a car striking a pole in Edison, N.J. Trains began running again in the afternoon. [NBC Philadelphia, 5-2-22]

NEW PRESIDENT, CEO OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN BEGINS HIS FIRST DAY: Alan Shaw on May 1 began his first day at Norfolk Southern's new president and chief executive officer. The following day he sent to employees an open letter outlining the company's priorities under his leadership, starting with restoring service to meet customers' expected level of service quality. The railroad is 'taking the right steps' toward that goal by accelerating its new operating plan and hiring the conductors needed to execute the plan. [Progressive Railroading, 5-2-22]

PORT OF LONG BEACH ADDS RAIL CAPACITY: The Port of Long Beach has completed its double-track access project from Pier G to Pier J, which adds a second rail line to boost capacity. The 8000-foot line enables four terminals in the south basin area to simultaneously handle arriving and departing trains. [Progressive Railroading, 5-2-22]

APRIL 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final scheduled destination on time or earlier in April 2022. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 59 minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 24 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-1-22]

UNION PACIFIC DONATES PORTION OF ITS HISTORIC RAIL FLEET TO MUSEUM: Union Pacific has donated a portion of its heritage fleet to Railroading Heritage of Midwest America. The railroad said the donation allows it to focus on its remaining fleet, which includes Big Boy 4014 and Living Legend 844. Equipment to be moved later this year to Silvis, Illinois, includes 4-6-6-4 Challenger 3985; 2-10-2 Class TTT 5511; Centennial DD40X diesel 6936; E9B passenger locomotive shell; four 1950's coaches; a diner-lounge; a baggage car; a caboose; and business cars Selma and Stanford. [Railway Age, 4-29-22]

FUNDING AGREED FOR L.A. UNION STATION MODERNIZATION: The board of California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved a multi-million dollar project management and funding agreement to modernize the historic Los Angeles Union Station through the Link Union Station project. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-28-22]

AMTRAK RESTORING SERVICE TO HARTFORD LINE: Amtrak is restoring service of Hartford line trains operating between New Haven and Springfield by way of Hartford. Seven total trains are returning, including two weekday trains, one Saturday train, and four Sunday trains. This restores all Amtrak Hartford line trains to pre-pandemic levels. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-28-22]

CP REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific reported first-quarter 2022 revenues of $1.84-billion, down 6 percent from the same period last year. Operating ratio increased from 60.2 percent to 70.9 percent, and diluted earnings per share decreased 30 percent to 63 cents. [Canadian Pacific, 4-28-22]

AUTO TRAIN GETTING NEW SCHEDULE IN MAY: Beginning May 2, Amtrak's Auto Train will depart 5 p.m. and arrive the following day at 9:59 a.m. Check-in for vehicles will be from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and station hours will be from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. [Amtrak]

CSX COSMETICALLY RESTORES C30-7 LOCOMOTIVE FOR KENTUCKY STEAM HERITAGE: CSX's locomotive shop in Huntington, W.Va., has cosmetically restored former L&N C30-7 locomotive 7067 for the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp. It was in danger of being scrapped just a year ago, but Kentucky Steam Heritage negotiated its donation from the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which was liquidating some of its assets. The unit now looks as much as it did in 1980, when it was delivered to L&N. [Railway Age, 4-27-22]

BERKSHIRE FLYER TO OPERATE THIS SUMMER: Amtrak will run the Berkshire Flyer as a seasonal pilot service this summer, on weekends, between New York City and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, beginning July 8. It will run northbound on Friday evening and southbound on Sunday evening with stops in Yonkers, Croton-Harmon, Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff, Hudson and Albany-Rensselaer. [Railway Age, 4-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO PERMANENTLY PROTECT OVER 1,100 ACRES OF S.C. WETLANDS: Norfolk Southern has announced plans to permanently protect 1,105 acres of wetlands along South Carolina's coastal plain through a conservation easement. The land is home to the Coldwater Branch Stream and Wetland Mitigation Bank at Brosman Forest, the company's 14,400-acre timer and wildlife preserve northwest of Charleston. It is the third easement donated by Norfolk Southern to Lowcountry Land Trust. Earlier donations were in 2008 and 2015. [Progressive Railroading, 4-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported first-quarter 2022 operating revenue of $2.9-billion, a first-quarter record, up 10 percent from the same quarter last year. Income from railway operations was $1.1-billion, net income was $703-million, and diluted earnings per share were $2.93. Financial results were 'solid,' despite current network challenges, the company said. [Norfolk Southern, 4-27-22]

NTSB CLOSES RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE RAIL WORKER FATALITIES: The National Transportation Safety Board has closed its recommendations for reducing rail worker fatalities, one of the 10 issues on its 'most wanted list' of safety improvements for 2021-22. The closed recommendations are related to deaths of two rail workers who were struck by a Washington DC Metro hi-rail vehicle in January 2010. The Federal Transit Administration issued a safety advisory in response to those recommendations, which direct safety oversight agencies to work with rail transit agencies to assess elements in place to protect right-of-way workers. [Progressive Railroading, 4-27-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 498,011 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 23, 2022, down 7.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 4.5 percent, and intermodal was down 9.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-27-22]

CN REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Canadian National reported first-quarter 2022 revenues of $3.71-billion (C), an increase of 5 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Operating income of $1.23-billion decreased 8 percent, and adjusted operating income of $1.24-million was up 4 percent. Diluted earnings per share of $1.31 decreased 4 percent. [Canadian National, 4-27-22]

ALTOONA, PA., GETTING GRANT TO RENOVATE RAIL, BUS HUB: The city of Altoona, Pa., will receive a $1.29-million state grant to revitalize its transportation center, a multimodal transportation hub for passenger rail and bus services. The project calls for completing safety and connectivity improvements, renovating utilities, and other improvements. [Progressive Railroading, 4-26-22]

TRINITY METRO NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, CEO: Trinity Metro has announced that Richard Andreski has been selected as the agency's next president and chief executive officer, effective June 20. He is a public transportation veteran with 23 years of experience and more than a decade of executive leadership. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-26-22]

STB PROPOSES AMENDMENT TO EMERGENCY SERVICE RULES: The Surface Transportation Board has issued a 'notice of proposed rulemaking' to amend its emergency service rules to provide relief for shapers in situations that require immediate relief. The proposed rule would clarify that the board may act on its own initiative to direct emergency rail service, and to establish an accelerated process for acute service emergencies. Over the past year, the board has heard informally from a range of stakeholders about inconsistent and unreliable rail service. In recent weeks, rail service has become even more unreliable, with most stakeholder concerns focusing on crew shortages and inability to move trains, STB officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 4-25-22]

GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI, AMTRAK STATION UPGRADES COMPLETED: Amtrak has announced the completion of the Greenwood, Mississippi, station upgrades, making the facility ADA-compliant. The $5.4-million project included a new concrete platform and renovated waiting room, and the station now has two ramped connections from the parking lot. [Progressive Railroading, 4-25-22]

RAIL UNIONS SEEK ARBITRATION IN NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS: The National Carriers' Conference Committee on April 22 proposed to enter interim agreements with all rail labor organizations in national handling providing for advance payments of up to $600 per month, representing amounts that are expected to be due under future national collective bargaining agreements. The 10 unions of he Coordinated Bargaining Coalition rejected that proposal, and now seek a proffer of arbitration. [Railway Age, 4-25-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty (30) percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 24, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-25-22]

BNSF RAIL BRIDGE IN TEXAS DESTROYED BY FIRE: A fire in Potter County, Texas, destroyed a BNSF railroad bridge over the weekend. Rail traffic was stopped prior to the collapse, and rail traffic is being rerouted. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-25-22]

DOUBLE-TRACKING, STATION UPGRADES COMING TO BARRIE GO TRAIN SERVICE LINE: Expanding GO Train service along the Barrie line is on track as construction starts at Maple and King City stations, and work gets underway to install a second set of tacks. Metrolinx is working towards faster, two-way, all-day service, and these projects pave the way for the electrification of the corridor up to Aurora station. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-25-22]

AMTRAK ADDING MORE LONG-DISTANCE RUNS ON MAY 23: Amtrak has announced a number of updates to its summer operating schedule. Beginning May 23, the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited will revert to full seven days a week departures. For the time being, both the Crescent and City of New Orleans will remain in their current five days a week schedule. There are also some equipment updates, including eliminating the shared equipment run of the Capitol Limited and Texas Eagle, and the two-hour dwell time in St. Louis. There are also consist adjustments on several routes. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-22-22]

UNION PACIFIC POSTPONES SUMMER TOUR OF BIG BOY LOCOMOTIVE: Citing operational and supply chain congestion, Union Pacific has decided to postpone its planned tour of Big Boy steam locomotive 4014, which had been scheduled to begin at Cheyenne June 26. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-22-22]

READING & NORTHERN ACQUIRES PROPERTY FOR STORAGE, MAINTENANCE SITE: Reading & Northern Railroad has acquired the former north campus of the Kovatch Fire Truck Company, a complex of nine buildings spread across 10 acres in Nesquehoning, Pa. The storage and maintenance facility will serve the railroad's feet of freight and passenger cars and other equipment. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-22]

STB SET FOR FREIGHT RAIL SERVICE HEARING: The Surface Transportation Board has announced details for its two-day hearing on issues related to freight rail service. To be held April 26 and 27, the hearing will address recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving BNSF, CSX, NS and UP. It will be held in-person, and streamed live on the agency's You Tube channel. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON PERTH AMBOY, N.J., STATION UPGRADE: New Jersey Transit on April 21 broke ground on the Perth Amboy station, which is set to receive a $45.5-million upgrade. Renovations will include two new high-level platforms, four new elevators, and additional ramps and stairs. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2024. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-22]

ALSTOM TO PROVIDE 100 FLEXITY LIGHT-RAIL TRAINS TO VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: The Dept. of Transport in Victoria, Australia, has signed a contract with Alstom to provide 100 Flexity low-floor Next Generation light-rail trains. The contract includes 15 years of maintenance. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-22]

METRA TO OVERHAUL 147TH STREET RAIL STATION: Chicago's Metra has announced a major overhaul to its 147th street/Sibley boulevard station in Harvey, Illinois. It will be closed to riders for 12 to 15 months starting May 16 with a project calling for replacing the platforms, adding an elevator, and replacing its head house and passenger shelters with the addition of a canopy. [Progressive Railroading, 4-21-22]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported first-quarter 2022 net income of $1.6-billion or $2.57 per diluted share. This compares to $1.30-billion or $2.00 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating revenue of $5.9-billion was up 17 percent, driven by higher fuel surcharge revenue, volume growth, core pricing gains, and a positive business mix. Operating income of $2.4-billion was up 19 percent. [Union Pacific, 4-21-22]

AMTRAK ENCOURAGES MASKS ABOARD TRAINS OR IN STATIONS, BUT ARE NOT REQUIRED: While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so. [Amtrak]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 489,801 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 16, 2022, down 8.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 6.8 percent, and intermodal was down 9.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-20-22]

WABTEC TO ACQUIRE WAYSIDE INSPECTION BUSINESS FROM TRIMBLE: Wabtec has signed an agreement to acquire the Beena Vision wayside inspection system business from Trimble. Installed by railroads worldwide, Beena Vision's machine vision-based, non-contact wayside systems assess rolling stock condition from component level to full train inspection. [Railway Age, 4-20-22]

CSX REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: CSX reported first-quarter 2022 net earnings of $858-million or 39 cents per share, compared with $706-million or 31 cents per share in the same period last year. Operating income was $1.28-billion compared with $1.10-billion in the prior-year period, a 16 percent increase. [Railway Age, 4-20-22]

SMITH COUNTY, TEXAS, APPROVES SUPPORTING DALLAS-ATLANTA PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE: The Smith County commissioner's court has approved a resolution of support in development of a passenger train service from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, through east Texas, to Atlanta, along the I-20 corridor. The commissioner's court also voted to support the merger between Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific. A full track will not need to be built as there are existing tracks, but there is no rail service currently from Marshall, Texas, to Meridian, Mississippi. [KETK, 4-20-22]

JUDGE STRIKES DOWN FEDERAL MASK MANDATE FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: A Florida judge on April 18 struck down a federal mandate requiring the use of masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs. Railroads are now deciding whether to keep the mandate in place until May 3, or make mask-wearing optional. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-19-22]

METRA PLANNING TO REBUILD DECAYING BRIDGES: Chicago's Metra is responding to concerns that some rail bridges are showing signs of decay. One of the bridges, which passes over Peterson avenue in Chicago, has support beams that are in poor condition, some with holes from severe corrosion. Metra says the bridges can no longer be economically repaired and maintained, so it will rebuild the Union Pacific North Line and the 11 bridges on the route. Metra will also be addressing the West Peterson avenue bridge. A new station is being built near the span, and that project will include the needed renovation work. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-19-22]

LONG BEACH PORT'S ON-DOCK RAIL PROJECT GETS ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVAL: The U.S. Maritime Administration has issued a final environmental impact statement and record of decision, approving the planned Pier B On-Dock rail support facility at the Port of Long Beach. The planned $1.5-billion project is the centerpiece of the port's rail improvement program. The facility is designed to shift more cargo to 'on-dock rail,' where containers are moved directly to and from marine terminals by rail, significantly reducing trips by truck. [Progressive Railroading, 4-19-22]

READING 2102 READY FOR RAMBLES: The Reading & Northern Railroad reports that its T-1 steam locomotive 2102 has successfully completed its test runs following its extensive five-year rebuild. The locomotive made a homecoming on April 6, stopping briefly at Reading Outer Station with hundreds of people looking on. It also visited Tamaqua on April 6 and 7, plus Nesquehoning and Jim Thorpe on April 8. [Railway Age, 4-18-22]

COMET CARS REMOVED FROM FRONTRUNNER COMMUTER SERVICE: The 25 Comet cars Utah's FrontRunner commuter service has been using since its service began in 2008 have been removed from regular runs. The agency said maintenance on the 50-year-old cars has been increasingly difficult as replacement parts are hard to find. The cars will be kept for backup service, if needed. [Railway Age, 4-18-22]

MINNESOTA SELECTS NEW ROUTE FOR BLUE LINE LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: After years of failed negotiations with BNSF, Minnesota's Metro Council has come up with a new route for its Blue line light-rail extension. The original project called for the trains to run alongside BNSF in the Bottineau corridor, but BNSF and the council were unable to reach an agreement. The new route, the agency believes, will be a bigger success. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-18-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 17, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 25 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-18-22]

CSX, NS, UP RANKED AMONG BEST COMPANIES FOR WOMEN: CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific are among the more than 270 companies named as best places to work in 2022 by the Women's Choice award. They were also recognized as best companies for diversity. [Railway Age, 4-18-22]

TWO KILLED AS AMTRAK TRAIN, CAR COLLIDE AT CROSSING IN HOUSTON: Two people were killed April 16 when the driver of a car tried to beat an Amtrak train to a crossing in Houston and collided. The car then engulfed in flames, two people from the car were ejected and died at the scene. The train had minor damage to the front, but no injuries were reported to any of the passengers or crew. [NBC News, 4-17-22]

AMTRAK SEEKS TO TAKE OVER CONTROL OF WASHINGTON UNION STATION: Amtrak intends to use its eminent domain powers to attempt to seize control of Washington Union Station, according to a report in the Washington Post. The station, Amtrak's second busiest, is owned by the federal government, but Amtrak is looking to acquire control of the facility from Union Station Investco, which owns the subleasing rights through 2084. Amtrak says that Investco has repeatedly failed to partner with the railroad to allow for necessary repairs to critical infrastructure elements. It also said gaining control over the station will allow it to finally begin this work, as well as accelerate a number of 'quality of life' improvements, such as a long-overdue expansion of the crowded passenger concourse. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-15-22]

STB APPROVES CSX-PAN AM COMBINATION: The Surface Transportation Board has approved CSX's proposal to acquire Pan Am Systems and its short line railroad subsidiaries, effective May 14. Acquiring Pan Am will expand CSX's reach in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, while adding Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to its existing 23-state network. [Railway Age, 4-14-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN EXPANDS CONDUCTOR TRAINEE INCENTIVE PROGRAM: Norfolk Southern has expanded its conductor trainee incentive program with three new 'priority' locations, where trainees are eligible to receive starting bonuses of $5,000. The newly-added locations are Bellevue, Ohio, and Elkhart and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Altogether there are now 15 priority locations on the Norfolk Southern system. [Railway Age, 4-14-22]

MARYLAND GETS $1.76-B FEDERAL LOAN TOWARD PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Build America Bureau has provided a loan of up to $1.76-billion for Maryland's long-delayed Purple Line Light-Rail Transit Project. It will finance up to one-third of the $5.9-billion in eligible project costs. The 16.2-mile, 21-station line will link Bethesda and New Carrollton. [Railway Age, 4-14-22]

METROLINK BECOMES FIRST U.S. PASSENGER RAIL AGENCY TO BE POWERED ENTIRELY BY RENEWABLE FUEL: Metrolink in southern California has become the first U.S. passenger rail agency to be powered entirely by renewable fuel. Metrolink switched all of its locomotives to operate on cleaner burning alternatives such as natural fats and vegetable oils. [Progressive Railroading, 4-14-22]

UNION PACIFIC RECALLING EMPLOYEES TO PINE BLUFF SHOP: Union Pacific has confirmed that some furloughed employees will be recalled to the Pine Bluff shop. The railroad originally closed the Pine Bluff yard in Febr. 2019, after laying off the majority of workers from the facility. [Deltaplex News, 4-14-22]

COURT SIDES WITH UNION IN SUIT OVER UNION PACIFIC'S INTERFERENCE IN UNION BUSINESS: There was an incident in 2021 at a union meeting in Texas when there was a 'physical altercation' among certain members, who were employed by Union Pacific, and the railroad suspended six of the employees as a result of the incident. The union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, argued that the encounter happened at a private meeting, off railroad property, and involved employees were were not on duty. A federal court agreed, and the members were put back to work. Then, on April 13, 2022, a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier court's ruling, citing the Railway Labor Act for illegal interference in union business, and prohibited the railroad from 'spying on union activities.' [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 4-14-22]

FERTILIZER COMPANY SAYS THAT RAIL CONGESTION WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT SPRING PLANTING: CF Industries, a major fertilizer company, says the limits Union Pacific is putting on rail traffic to clear up congestion will delay shipments that farmers need for the spring planting season. The company says that the railroad ordered it to cut its shipments nearly 20 percent. The railroad says it is limiting rail traffic as part of its plan to improve service after grain and ethanol shippers complained about shortcomings. CF said the limits will affect fertilizer deliveries to Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and California, adding that it believes it is one of just 30 companies Union Pacific has imposed restrictions on. [AP News, 4-14-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 508,343 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 9, 2022, down 1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.4 percent, and intermodal was down 3.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-13-22]

KEYSTONE SERVICE GETTING MORE TRAINS: Beginning April 25, Amtrak will add trains to the Keystone service operating between Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York. Currently, Amtrak operates 18 weekday trains between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and 14 weekday trains and 10 weekend trains between New York and Philadelphia. Once the additional service begins, 24 weekday trains will be offered between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, with 14 available on Saturdays and 16 on Sundays. Between New York and Philadelphia, 20 weekday trains will be offered with 12 on Saturdays and 11 on Sundays. [Progressive Railroading, 4-13-22]

N.J.T. ADVANCES PROJECT TO RESTORE LACKAWANNA CUTOFF RAIL SERVICE: N.J. Transit's board advanced the project to restore rail service to Sussex County along the Lackawanna Cutoff with the approval of a contract to rehabilitate the Roseville Tunnel. The project focuses on the planned restoration of passenger service on the east end of the Lackawanna Cutoff, between Port Morris and Andover, building a new rail station in Andover, and replacing about seven miles of track. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-13-22]

RAILWAY AGE MAGAZINE NAMES SHORT LINE, REGIONAL RAILROADS OF THE YEAR: Railway Age's 2022 Short Line of the Year is Vermont Railway, and Regional of the Year is South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad. [Railway Age, 4-13-22]

ONTARIO TO INVEST TO REINSTATE NORTHLANDER PASSENGER RAIL BETWEEN TORONTO AND TIMMINS: The government of Ontario plans to invest $75-million (C) to reinstate passenger rail service between Toronto and Timmins. Sixteen stations could be included. The Northlander train, which ran between Cochrane, North Bay and Toronto, was discontinued in 2012. Buses currently operate the route. [Railway Age, 4-13-22]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT INCREASED IN FEBRUARY FROM JANUARY: As of mid-February, U.S. Class I railroads employed 113,822 people, a 1.85 percent increase compared with mid-January, but a 0.22 percent decrease year over year, according to Surface Transportation Board data. [Progressive Railroading, 4-12-22]

STB TO HOLD HEARING ON RAIL CAPACITY ISSUES: The Surface Transportation Board has scheduled a hearing for April 26 and 27 to look into the causes of the dearth of rail capacity. Shippers, regulators and rail labor groups say the heart of the problem is that railroads cut too deeply when they eliminated nearly one-third of their work force in recent years in the name of efficiency. Railroads say they are addressing the problems by hiring aggressively and asking customers to cut the number of carloads they are shipping to reduce congestion. Meanwhile, shipper groups say they hope the board will consider requiring railroads to open up their networks to allow competing railroads to bid on hauling shipments from companies that are currently served by only one railroad. [AP News, 4-12-22]

MBTA TO SUSPEND BLUE LINE SERVICE TO ACCELERATE TUNNEL, BRIDGE WORK: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Blue line service will be suspended for a number of days to help accelerate work in the harbor tunnel and on a pedestrian bridge. The work schedule change will save between $2- and $3-million in tunnel activities alone. Service will be paused from April 25 to May 8 between Airport and Bowdoin stations, and May 12 to 29 between Wonderland and Orient Heights. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-12-22]

PORTAL NORTH BRIDGE PROJECT GETS NOTICE TO PROCEED: The 'notice to proceed' on the new Portal North bridge project has been issued. Part of the larger Gateway Program, the project is intended to improve capacity and reliability for rail travel between New Jersey and New York City. [Progressive Railroading, 4-11-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 10, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-11-22]

CHICAGO SOUTH SHORE & SOUTH BEND TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEES GET FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT: The Chicago South Shore & South Bend and the union representing its transportation employees (SMART-TD) has approved a five-year contract, retroactively from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2026. [Progressive Railroading, 4-11-22]

AMTRAK SEEKS $3.3-B IN TOTAL GRANT FUNDING FOR FY-2023: Amtrak is seeking $3.3-billion in total grant funding for fiscal-year-2023 as part of the railroad's appropriation request from Congress. Of the request, $1.1-billion would be allocated to the Northeast corridor, and $2.2-billion to the national network. [Progressive Railroading, 4-11-22]

ROCKETS STRIKE UKRAINIAN TRAIN STATION, MANY KILLED OR WOUNDED: Scores of people, including children, have been killed or wounded when rockets hit a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Ukrainian official say thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains on April 8, desperate to flee heavy Russian shelling across the wider Donetsk region. [BBC, 4-8-22]

STB SETS HEARING TO ADDRESS RAIL SERVICE COMPLAINTS: The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing April 26 and 27 on recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving several Class I carriers. The board will direct operating and human resource executives of BNSF, CSX, NS and UP to appear at the hearing. The board will also invite executives from CN, KCS and CP to attend. Other railroads, rail customers, labor unions and interested parties are welcome to report on recent service issues. [Progressive Railroading, 4-8-22]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 25 ZEFIRO EXPRESS HIGH-SPEED TRAINS FOR SWEDEN: Alstom has signed an agreement with Sweden's national rail operator SJ to supply 25 Zefiro Express electric high-speed trains, with an option of 15 additional trains. They will be the country's fastest ever, capable of maximum speeds of about 155 MPH, scheduled for delivery in 2026. [Progressive Railroading, 4-8-22]

U.S. DOT ANNOUNCES LARGEST-EVER INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC TRANSIT: Officials on April 6 announced a more than $20-billion investment in public transit in FY-2022 to help agencies modernize and expand service in communities of all sizes. The investment represents a 58 percent increase in transit funding due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Full-year funding is available following a congressional passage of an appropriations bill in March. [Progressive Railroading, 4-7-22]

K.C. BREAKS GROUND ON STREETCAR EXTENSION: Officials have broken ground on a $351-million project to expand the streetcar system in Kansas City. The project calls for adding 3.5 miles of track to the existing system. It will connect the current southern terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. [Progressive Railroading, 4-7-22]

MONTREAL PORT, CN TO DEVELOP NEW TERMINAL'S RAIL COMPONENT: The Montreal Port Authority and Canadian National have agreed to integrate rail transport at the port's new container terminal in Contrecoeur, Quebec. A private partner will be retained to develop and operate the terminal. The agreement is designed to strengthen the new terminal's position with shippers and give companies greater access to markets in Ontario and the U.S. Midwest. [Progressive Railroading, 4-7-22]

AMTRAK STREAMING ON TWITCH IN BEEF WITH FREIGHT RAILROAD: Amtrak set up a Twitch stream in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on April 6 that shows an empty railroad track in front of a parking lot. The effort was the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute with CSX and Norfolk Southern over restoring passenger service between Mobile and New Orleans. The freight carriers argue that the addition of passenger trains would seriously disrupt their freight operations along what they say is a 'very busy corridor.' So Amtrak set up its Twitch stream to see just how busy that corridor actually is. An Amtrak spokesperson said that if CSX would answer questions to the media about how many through trains are on this route, then Amtrak would not need to set up cameras to find out. [, 4-6-22]

MARCH 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. freight railroads originated 2,507,684 carloads and intermodal units in March 2022, down 3 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.2 percent, and intermodal was down 6.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-6-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN DONATES TO MUSEUM HISTORICAL N&W DOCUMENTS, ARCHIVES: Norfolk Southern has donated the complete collection of historical documents and archives from predecessor company Norfolk & Western to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. The collection dates back to the 1840's and includes thousands of photographs and glass plate negatives, as well as business records, annual reports, blueprints, plans, bridge drawings, advertisements, portraits and three-dimensional artifacts from predecessor railroads. The company will also donate $750,000 to support the collection in perpetuity. [Progressive Railroading, 4-6-22]

TWO OF METRO-NORTH'S OLDEST STATIONS TO BE RESTORED: Metro-North's Hastings-on-Hudson and Tuckahoe stations, two of the railroad's oldest, will be restored. Crews will follow the original station blueprints to ensure the structures have architectural finishes similar to the original designs. Hastings-on-Hudson was built in 1910, and Tuckahoe in 1901. [Progressive Railroading, 4-6-22]

OMNITRAX-SERVED COLD-STORAGE FACILITY BEING DEVELOPED IN COLORADO: Lineage Logistics and customer JBS USA will open a 200,000-square-foot automated cold-storage facility at the Great Western Industrial Park in Windsor, Colorado, in 2023. It will be served by OmniTRAX. [Railway Age, 4-6-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PARTNERS WITH COMMTREX TO HELP CONNECT SHIPPERS WITH TRANSLOAD FACILITIES: Norfolk Southern has signed on with Houston-based Commtrex to help connect shippers with its 32 transload facilities in the U.S. The Commtrex platform allows shippers to search for transload facilities by location, commodities and other parameters. Close to one-third of the 2,500 Commtrex members are said to be rail-served shippers. BNSF, CP, CN, KCS, UP's Loup, and CSX TransFlo have also teamed with Commtrex. [Railway Age, 4-6-22]

VALLEY METRO BUILDING NEW TRACK IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX: Crews are about to begin work to connect current and future lines creating a two-line light-rail system and transfer hub in downtown Phoenix. This spring, workers will install nine sections of special track, reconstruct more than 1000 feet of track, and build one station foundation as part of the downtown hub. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-6-22]

FIRE ENGULFS WEST TEXAS R.R. TRACKS: Law enforcement officials joined ranchers, firefighters and volunteers to contain a fire along the railroad tracks west of Marathon, Texas. It happened the morning of April 6. The fire was quickly contained, despite high winds and dry conditions. [CBS News, 4-6-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PROMOTES FLOYD HUDSON TO V.P. TRANSPORTATION: Norfolk Southern has promoted Floyd Hudson to vice-president transportation. Previously he served as general manager of the company's Southern Region. He succeeds Hunt Cary, who is leaving the company. [Railway Age, 4-5-22]

COURT REQUIRES UNION TO 'FULLY ENGAGE' MULTI-EMPLOYER BARGAINING WITH FREIGHT RAILROADS: A federal court has issued an order requiring the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters to 'fully engage' in multi-employer collective bargaining with the nation's freight rail carriers, The court ruled that the Railway Labor Act does not permit the union to insist upon local negotiations with certain freight rail carriers over wages, health care and other key issues that historically have been bargained through a multi-employer process known as 'national handling.' [Progressive Railroading, 4-5-22]

SECTION OF INACTIVE R.R. BRIDGE IN N.J. COLLAPSES, BLOCKS CANAL: A section of a railroad bridge that has been inactive for years collapsed, blocking the channel of Cape May Canal. The section, which had served as a fender to protect the bridge supports from passing vessels, has been removed, but the problem remains. New Jersey Transit owns the tracks, but the line is leased to Cape May Seashore Lines, contracted with Revolution Rail to use the tracks for rail-bike operation. Cape May Seashore Lines is responsible for bridge maintenance. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-5-22]

FIVE DIE AS TRAIN STRIKES VEHICLE, DERAILS IN HUNGARY: A train derailed and overturned after striking a vehicle in Hungary early April 5, leaving five people dead and others injured, police said. The accident occurred in Mindszent when a flatbed truck carrying workers drove onto train tracks and was struck by a train, which derailed from the force of the collision. [Washington Post, 4-5-22]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 29 CORADIA STREAM DOUBLE-DECK MULTIPLE UNITS FOR GERMANY: Alstom has signed a contract with Germany's DB Regio AG for 29 Coradia Stream high-capacity electric double-deck multiple units. The trains will be used on the Frankfurt-Fulda-Bebra and Frankfurt-Wachtersbach lines starting in Dec. 2025. [Progressive Railroading, 4-5-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Twenty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 3, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 21 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-4-22]

STB DENIES MOTION TO ORDER MEDIATION IN AMTRAK'S GULF COAST APPLICATION: The Surface Transportation Board has denied a motion from opponents of Amtrak's Gulf Coast service application for mediation in the matter, noting that not all parties had agreed to mediation. Instead, the evidentiary hearing is scheduled to begin April 4. Any party in the case may ask for mediation to resolve remaining issues after the hearing is held, the board said. [Progressive Railroading, 4-4-22]

MEREDITH RICHARDS ELECTED BOARD CHAIR OF RAIL PASSENGERS ASSN: Rail Passengers Association's volunteer leaders have elected Meredith Richards as board chair. She is president of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute, former president of Virginians for High Speed Rail, and former deputy mayor of Charlottesville, Va. She will serve a two-year term. [Railway Age, 4-4-22]

BNSF ACQUIRES LAND IN ARIZONA FOR WESTERN HUB: BNSF has acquired 3,508-acres of land in the Phoenix region with plans to develop it as its Western hub, according to state records. The land is adjacent to the BNSF rail line in West Valley between Wittmann and Surprise. Public records in Arizona show that the railroad is proposing a logistics park along the north portion, a logistics center through the middle section, and an intermodal facility at the southeast segment. [Freight Waves, 4-4-22]

PACIFIC N.W. BULLET TRAIN STARTS GETTING FUNDING: There is now $150-million included in the state of Washington's transportation package to support ultra high-speed rail, and the hope is to receive four times as much in support from the federal infrastructure bill. With that amount, the Cascadia bullet train, proposed to connect Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C., would be one step closer to reality. Still, the funding gap would be great. A study marked the cost of the project at from $24-billion to $42-billion, depending on how much tunneling would be required. The train could reach speeds of up to $250 MPH using its own dedicated track. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-2-22]

MARCH 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in March 2022. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 57 minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-1-22]

AMTRAK DISPLAYS INTERIORS OF NEW ACELA TRAIN SETS: Amtrak and its supplier Alstom unveiled the interiors of the new Acela train sets during an event held March 31 in Philadelphia. The trains will incorporate comfort, technology, innovation and safety features on the railroad's most environmentally sustainable fleet to date, Amtrak officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 4-1-22]

CSX NAMES STEVE FORTUNE TO HEAD DIGITAL, TECHNOLOGY: CSX has announced the appointment of Steve Fortune as executive vice-president and chief digital and technology officer. He will focus on harnessing transformative technologies to unlock growth and enable continued efficiency across the business, the company said. Prior to the appointment, he spent 30 years at BP, most recently as chief information officer of the global BP Group. [Progressive Railroading, 4-1-22]

FIRST TALGO TRAIN SET FOR EGYPT DELIVERED: The first of seven Talgo train sets for Egyptian National Railways has been delivered from Spain. Talgo was select to supply and maintain the fleet of 99-MPH intercity trains for the principal routes linking Alexandria, Cairo and Aswan. Each 14-car train set will have five first-class and eight second-class coaches plus a buffet car, offering a total of 492 seats. [Railway Gazette, 3-31-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 504,817 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 26, 2022, down 3.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.5 percent, and intermodal was down 6.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-30-22]

GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY BOARD APPROVES $538-M EXPANSION PLAN: The Georgia Ports Authority's board has approved a $538-million expansion plan aimed at boosting port capacity in Savannah and Brunswick. Projects at Savannah, served by CSX and Norfolk Southern, are expected to increase annual capacity from 6 million to 9.5 million 20-foot equivalent units by 2025. Plans at Brunswick include development of 85 additional acres, with space for vehicle processing facilities. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-22]

SUNRAIL M-OF-W WORKERS VOTE BROTHERHOOD OF R.R. SIGNALMEN REPRESENTATION: Maintenance-of-way workers at Alstom/Bombardier, who maintain SunRail in central Florida, have voted to be represented by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-22]

NORTH CAROLINA R.R. TO ASSIST WITH CONSTRUCTION OF NEW AUTO RAMP: The North Carolina Railroad will invest about $1-million to assist with the construction of a new auto ramp that will serve VinFast's future electric vehicle assembly and battery manufacturing plant at the Triangle Innovation Point site in North Carolina. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-22]

JIM WRINN DIES, LONGTIME EDITOR OF TRAINS MAGAZINE: Jim Wrinn, the longterm editor of Trains Magazine, died at home March 30 after a lengthy illness. He was 61. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-30-22]

HISTORIC BRUNSWICK, MD., INTERLOCKING TOWER TO BE MOVED: An iconic piece of Brunswick, Md., history will finally move to a new home on April 2. WB (for West Brunswick) Tower, which has been in the Brunswick rail yard since 1910, will move about 100 feet to a property owned by the city. Built by the B&O Railroad, the building was retired from service by CSX in 2011, prompting the city to begin a decade-long project to move the building in order to preserve it. The city secured a state funding grant in 2020. If the city had not taken steps to move and preserve the building, it would have been demolished by CSX. [Frederick News-Post, 3-29-22]

OPPONENTS IN AMTRAK GULF COAST CASE SEEK MEDIATION: CSX, Norfolk Southern, the Alabama State Port Authority and its affiliated railroad are asking the Surface Transportation Board to order mediation with Amtrak over its proposed Gulf Coast service. In response to the request, Amtrak said board-sponsored mediation at this time is 'premature.' Amtrak asked the STB to postpone a decision on the mediation request until after an April 4 evidentiary hearing on the case. [Progressive Railroading, 3-29-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ANNOUNCES NEW $10-B STOCK REPURCHASE PLAN: Norfolk Southern's board of directors has authorized a new program for the repurchase of up to $10-billion of its common stock beginning April 1, 2022. Purchases will be made through open market or privately negotiated transactions, accelerated share repurchase programs, or by combinations of such methods. The company believes shifting to a dollar denominated program more closely aligns its repurchase strategy with its expectations for cash flows. [Norfolk Southern, 3-29-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS AT PORT OF TACOMA: A BNSF freight train derailed at the Port of Tacoma, Washington, the afternoon of March 29. No injuries were reported. [News Tribune, 3-29-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 27, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-28-22]

READING STEAM ENGINE 2102 TO POWER FOUR FAN TRIPS THIS YEAR: The Reading & Northern Railroad plans to power four Iron Horse Ramble excursions this year using Reading T-1 locomotive 2102. For the first time in over 30 years, it will pull main line passenger runs, which are scheduled in all-day round-trips from Reading to Jim Thorpe, Pa., May 28, July 2, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3. [Progressive Railroading, 3-28-22]

RAIL PARK TO BE DEVELOPED NEAR WINNIPEG: The CentrePort Canada Rail Park will be developed on a 665-acre site in Rosser, Manitoba, near Winnipeg. It will feature rail-served industrial space and logistic infrastructure, and be served by BNSF, CP and CN. [Progressive Railroading, 3-28-22]

NEW TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED TO DETECT R.R. OBSTACLES: Seoul Robitics and Herzog Technologies have introduced 'CAM,' for 'Critical Asset Monitoring,' to help reduce incidents at railroad crossings, bridges, tunnels and other vital areas. It is an automated detection and warning system with perception software to track obstacles such as vehicles, bicycles and people, and alert their presence to operating personnel. Trinity Railway Express in Texas is already using the system. [Railway Age, 3-28-22]

ADVOCACY GROUP PROMOTES 'GONDOLA' SYSTEM AS ALTERNATIVE TO LIGHT-RAIL IN SEATTLE: SkyLink, a citizen advocacy group, has reached out to Sound Transit about building a 'gondola' system in West Seattle as a less-expensive alternative to light-rail. Light-rail is not expected to be running until 2032, but the gondola system could be completed by 2026 and cost $2-billion less, the group says. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-28-22]

BALTIMORE'S 'GRAND SLAM' RAIL PLAN GETS SLAMMED BY THE STATE: Maryland transportation officials have declined a plan proposed by a startup rail company to dig a 10-mile tunnel through downtown Baltimore and reroute Amtrak trains through a downtown hub that would replace the city's Penn Station. AmeriStarRail had urged the state to use an influx of federal infrastructure money to dig the four-track tunnel to a new station. The company attracted attention in 2021 for its ambitious proposal to privatize the Northeast corridor by leasing a portion of it to run 160-MPH trains and add 30 stations to the route. [Baltimore Sun, 3-28-22]

FIRST OF FIVE NEW LIBERTY LRV'S FOR SOUND TRANSIT SET FOR DELIVERY: Brookville Equipment Corp. is preparing to deliver the first of five all-new Liberty NXT light-rail vehicles to Seattle's Sound Transit for its Tacoma Link system, supporting the 2.4-mile Hilltop Tacoma extension of the current 1.6-mile line slated to open in 2023. The 66-foot-long vehicles are part of a $26.5-million contract for the design-build of the five LRV's. [Progressive Railroading, 3-25-22]

ROMANIAN RAILWAY TO ACQUIRE 20 CORADIA STREAM TRAINS FROM ALSTOM: Alstom and the Romanian Railway Reform Authority have signed a contract for the delivery of 20 Coradia Stream inter-regional trains and associated 15-year maintenance services. [Progressive Railroading, 3-25-22]

RAIL PASSENGER RUNS BETWEEN FINLAND AND RUSSIA ENDING MARCH 28: The only direct passenger rail service between Finland and Russia will stop running March 28, to remain suspended indefinitely. The trains had continued operating after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Febr. 24 to allow Finns access to their home country, as well as enabling people who wanted to leave Russia access to do so. [International Railway Journal, 3-25-22]

STG LOGISTICS ACQUIRES INTERMODAL DIVISION OF XPO LOGISTICS: STG Logistics has acquired the intermodal division of XPO Logistics, one of the largest providers of container transportation services in North American. The combined business will be marketed as STG Logistics. [Progressive Railroading, 3-25-22]

TRC CAPITAL OFFERS MINI-TENDER FOR CSX STOCK: CSX has recommended that its shareholders reject an unsolicited 'mini-tender' offer by TRC Capital Investment Corp. to purchase up to four million shares of CSX common stock at $34.75 per share in cash. CSX said shareholders should reject the offer because the price is 4.43 percent below the closing price of CSX common stock on March 18, the last trading date before the mini-tender began. CSX is not affiliated with TRC and does not endorse its unsolicited offer, CSX officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-24-22]

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY TO HEAD N.Y. CITY TRANSIT: Richard Davey, former Massachusetts transportation secretary, will be the next president of MTA New York City Transit. He will oversee a 54,000-person work force as well as operations for subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway. [Progressive Railroading, 3-24-22]

WABTEC TO UPGRADE 330 OLDER LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec will 'modernize' 330 Norfolk Southern locomotives that are more than 20 years old as part of a new multiyear order. The company will convert the D9-44CW units into AC44C6M, which will add another 20 years of live into them. [Progressive Railroading, 3-23-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 499,362 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 19, 2022, down 2.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.1 percent, while intermodal was down 5.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-23-22]

GLOBAL TASK FORCE TO SUPPORT UKRAINIAN RAIL INDUSTRY: Former federal railroad administrator Jolene Molitoris and U.S. rail industry representatives have joined European rail officials in forming a global task force aimed at generating support for Ukraine and its rail sector in response to Russia's unprovoked attack on the country. The task force is asking that Russian and Belarusian railways be 'completely isolated' from international commerce, officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-23-22]

ASBESTOS CLEANUP BY BNSF IN MONTANA COMING TO AN END: BNSF crews have been clearing asbestos from rail yards in Libby and Troy, Montana, and 42 miles of track. The asbestos is the product of mining vermiculite that was processed and transported by rail, and the cleanup is coming to an end. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-23-22]

AMTRAK'S ETHAN ALLEN EXPRESS TO BE EXTENDED TO BURLINGTON, VERMONT: Burlington, Vermont, will be officially connected to Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express in July, allowing travel to New York City. The Ethan Allen Express currently runs between Rutland and New York. [Burlington Free Express, 3-23-22]

LABS OPEN IN U.K. TO STUDY TRAIN MOTION, PANTOGRAPH BEHAVIOR: The Institute of Railway Research at Huddersfield University in the U.K. has opened two laboratories with a focus on full-train motion simulation and the study of pantograph-catenary behavior. Among the key elements is 'Panther,' a high-speed pantograph testing rig worth $4.6-million. It can perform dynamic tests at speeds up to 248 MPH using an electro-mechanical assembly which is not connected to any live overhead power supply. [Railway Gazette, 3-23-22]

WORK STOPPAGE AT CP IS OVER: Canadian Pacific and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference have agreed to final and binding arbitration in their contract negotiations. Both parties agreed to accept the arbitrator's decision. Affected union members will return to work at noon today (March 22). [Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, 3-22-22]

DURANGO & SILVERTON TO PAY DAMAGES FOR 2018 FIRE: The Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad and parent company American Heritage Railways have agreed to pay $20-million in damages to compensate the U.S. for a 2018 fire near Durango, Colorado. The railroad also agreed to modify its operations to reduce wildfire risk. [Progressive Railroading, 3-22-22]

MBTA GREEN LINE EXTENSION OPENS: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green line extension has opened. Revenue service began on the Union Square branch, the first of two segments to be completed on the $2,3-billion project. [Progressive Railroading, 3-22-22]

FEDERAL JUDGE SIDES WITH BNSF IN CICERO, ILLINOIS, SEWER TAX DISPUTE: BNSF brought suite against the town of Cicero, Illinois, over the town's attempt to collect an 'exorbitant' increase in a monthly sewer tax of $350 per acre from the previous tax of just $27.42 per acre on the rail yard it operates. Because the tax was assessed by the acre, and not by actual sewage use, the railroad argued that the tax had been rewritten exclusively for the town to close a shortfall in its own water and sewer operations by taxing the railroad. The judge agreed, ruling that tax would not just simply impact the railroad, but to effectively hold it 'hostage.' He added that BNSF had established its case the the town's actions plausibly could be seen as an illegal discriminatory tax targeting a railroad, in violation of federal law. [Cook County Record, 3-22-22]

CP RAIL'S CEO'S PAY INCREASED 920 PCT WHILE WORKERS' PAY INCREASED 43 PCT IN 13 YEARS: During Canadian Pacific's labor battle with rail workers, management at the company attempted to sway public opinion against workers by suggesting that their rank-and-file workers are 'overpaid.' Experts, however, say CP Rail's CEO is one of the highest paid executives in Canada. The company claimed that average compensation of its employees increased 43 percent between 2007 and 2020, but according to shareholder reports, the company's CEO's compensation increased by 920 percent during that same time period. [Teamsters, 3-22-22]

IZAAK WALTON INN IS FOR SALE: The historic Izaak Walton Inn, a popular hotel along the remote southern border of Glacier National Park, serving as a flagstop at Essex, Montana, on Amtrak's Empire Builder, was listed for sale last month. Located about midway between the stations at East and West Glacier, the Izaak Walton Inn remains one of the few hotels open year-round near the park, making it a popular destination in the winter and summer. Named for Sir Izaak Walton, a 17th century sportsman who authored a number of books on fly fishing, the inn was opened in November 1939 by the Great Northern Railway. It was subsequently owned by a number of innkeepers, the current one since 2006. The asking price for the inn and its 100-acre property is $17.95-million. [Flathead Beacon, 3-22-22]

HITACHI RAIL TO OPEN $70-M RAIL CAR FACTORY IN MARYLAND: Hitachi Rail on March 21 announced the greater Hagerstown, Maryland, region will be the location of a new $70-million factory to build a new fleet of 8000-series rail cars for Washington DC Metro. In a major expansion of the company's presence in the U.S. the plant will have the capacity to serve the wider North American rail market, Hitachi officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-21-22]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 20, 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 28 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-21-22]

TWO TOP TEAMSTERS OFFICERS RETIRING: James P. Hoffa, general president, and Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer, of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are both retiring at the end of their terms on March 22. [Teamsters, 3-21-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN CALIFORNIA: A Union Pacific freight train carrying lumber derailed three locomotives and 13 cars March 21 near Colton, California. One of the cars caught fire in the derailment, but it was quickly extinguished. A contractor who was helping with the cleanup was injured. [El Paso Inc. 3-21-22]

MBTA INTRODUCES 1940'S ERA STREETCAR ON MATTAPAN LINE: Early March 21, during rush hour, a refurbished 1940's-era streetcar carried passengers along Massachusetts Bay's Mattapan line. The ride went smoothly, and the vehicle was then taken out of service so more operators could train on the new technology. MBTA is targeting this summer for putting a second car in service, and then another rebuilt car every five months until all eight are available for service. [NBC-10 Boston, 3-21-22]

CANADIAN PACIFIC TRAINS HALTED IN CONTRACT IMPASSE: Canadian Pacific trains were halted early March 20, stalling global shipments of key manufactured goods and commodities after an impasse in contract negotiations between the company and its conductors and engineers. [Wall Street Journal, 3-20-22]

WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE BUDGETS $150-M IN CASCADES HSR PLANNING: The Washington state legislature has passed a transportation budget with $150-million in planning funds for the Cascadia high-speed rail corridor. The project would establish a corridor connecting Oregon, Washington and British Columbia with fast and frequent rail service capable of competing with air and highways. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-18-22]

VALLEY METRO SELECTS JESSICA MEFFORD-MILLER AS NEXT CEO: Valley Metro's board has selected Jessica Meffort-Miller as the Phoenix transit agency's next CEO. She has 15 years of transit experience, most recently as executive director of Metro Transit St. Louis. She will succeed the retiring Scott Smith on April 4. [Progressive Railroading, 3-18-22]

REHAB PLANNED FOR MINNEAPOLIS METRO BLUE LINE: RailWorks and L.K. Comstock National Transit have been selected to rehabilitate the Metro Transit Blue line in Minneapolis. The companies will upgrade the track and signals, particularly near the Mall of America. The project includes three stations and two interlocking locations. [Progressive Railroading, 3-18-22]

RAILCOMM ACQUIRED BY TRACSIS: RailComm has been acquired by Tracsis, a provider of software, hardware, data analytics and services for the rail, traffic data and wider transport industries. RailComm provides automation and control solutions designed to reduce costs, increase safety and improve operational efficiency for passenger and freight rail operators and rail-served ports and industrials. [Progressive Railroading, 3-18-22]

C.P. PLANS LOCKOUT IF CONTRACT AGREEMENT IS NOT REACHED BY MARCH 20: Canadian Pacific has issued a notice to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference of its plan to lock out employees on March 20 if the union leadership and the railroad are unable to negotiate a contract settlement or agree to binding arbitration. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-22]

STB SEEKS CLARIFICATION OF CP-KCS TRAFFIC DATA: The Surface Transportation Board has issued a decision in its review of the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern merger application, directing the companies to address an issue regarding certain data submitted to the board. STB wants the railroads to address an 'inconsistency' in the calculation of traffic density numbers, as well as indicate which baseline data sets submitted should be used in analyzing the environmental and transportation impacts of the merger. The railroads have until March 21 to respond. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-22]

BNSF, J.B. HUNT AGREE TO EXPAND SHIPPING CAPACITY: BNSF and J.B. Hunt plan to improve rail equipment at key facilities and add thousands of shipping containers to address capacity issues in the intermodal marketplace. Demand for intermodal services has grown in recent years as companies try to secure capacity while cutting costs and their carbon footprint. BNSF plans to update rail car equipment and modify several locations around hubs in southern California, Chicago, and other key markets. J.B. Hunt plans to grow its intermodal fleet to as many as 150,000 containers in the next three to five years, more than a 40 percent increase from its count at the end of last year. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 3-17-22]

RAILROADS TAKE CALIFORNIA LABOR LAW CASE TO FEDERAL COURT: A Ninth Circuit panel heard arguments March 17 in an appeal over labor law and the sick pay of rail workers in California. A consortium of rail operators, including Amtrak and Union Pacific, sued California claiming its 2014 law requiring employers to offer sick leave to workers should not apply to railroads. They say federal preemption applies here. They argue that the Railroad Unemployment Insurance act regulates rail worker issues such as sick leave, unemployment insurance and disability claims. California claims the federal statute does not actually cover issues such as short-term paid sick leave since it was passed in 1938, before the concept of paid sick leave for personal or family illness was fully-integrated into U.S. employment law. [Courthouse News Service, 3-17-22]

METRA OPPOSES CP-KCS MERGER: Chicago's Metra has come out against the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger, telling the Surface Transportation Board in a 946-page filing that the merger would bring delays, prevent expansion of service, raise safety issues and increase Metra's infrastructure costs. [Trains Magazine, 3-17-22]

BRIGHTLINE TO REPLACE DRAWBRIDGE IN FLORIDA: Brightline will replace a 96-year-old railroad drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida, as part of the company's $2.7-billion Orlando expansion plan. The drawbridge - one of two movable bridge structures on the Orlando expansion - represents a critical connection between south and central Florida, the company said. The project will require the navigation channel to be closed for six weeks between April and May, and freight traffic will also be briefly suspended. [Progressive Railroading, 3-16-22]

AMTRAK SHOULD IMPROVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS, REPORT SAYS: Amtrak could have saved $17.9-million in cost overruns on information technology projects if it more clearly defined its requirements, the Amtrak Office of Inspector General reported. Improving the technology project process could have helped Amtrak to avoid schedule delays, in some cases totaling more than a year. [Progressive Railroading, 3-16-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 496,134 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 12, 2022, down 4.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.9 percent, and intermodal was down 9.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-16-22]

STB DIRECTS PRINCIPALS IN GULF COAST AMTRAK PROPOSAL TO ADDRESS SEVERAL ISSUES AT HEARING: The Surface Transportation Board had directed Amtrak, CSX and Norfolk Southern, and related parties, to be prepared to address several issues at the April 4 evidentiary hearing on Amtrak's proposal to introduce Gulf Coast intercity passenger rail service. At a preliminary hearing last month, the agency directed all the parties to contact the Coast Guard over the question of scheduling operations of movable bridges along the Gulf Coast corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 3-15-22]

TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY CENTER GETS NEW NAME: The Association of American Railroads reports that its wholly-owned subsidiary Transportation Technology Center has been renamed 'MxV Rail.' Its aim remains to support the development and safe deployment of innovative technologies to increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of the railroad industry. Its new name is based on the formula for momentum: mass x velocity, evoking the dedication to creating the momentum needed to move the industry forward. [Railway Age, 3-15-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN INTRODUCES NEXT-GENERATION 'CARBON CALCULATOR': Norfolk Southern has announced the launch of a next-generation carbon calculator for customers to measure carbon emissions in their supply-chain decisions. It enhances the accuracy of carbon estimates by capturing the entire cycle of fuel usage. It provides data on estimated and avoided emissions, carbon dollars saved, highway miles avoided, and trucks taken off the road. Direct fuel consumption from locomotives is applied to every car based on weight and distance traveled, and generates a rail fuel efficiency factor for 18 rail-car types and 30 commodities. [Progressive Railroading, 3-14-22]

MAJOR RAILROADS SUSPECTED OF 'PROFITEERING' FROM SUPPLY-CHAIN CONGESTION: Major North American railways cannot shake off accusations of profiteering from supply-chain congestion. Like ocean carriers, they have allegedly raised and imposed demurrage fees to boost profits. A new watchdog report has concluded that Class I railroads raised fees last year while actually reducing costs. The authors found the railroads collected $1.18-billion in fees for freight stuck in bottlenecks during the first nine months of last year, regardless of significantly increased income. According to the report, they suspended and limited service offerings, but collected demurrage fees. In addition, they managed to lower their expenses through the pursuit of precision railroading, which involves streamlined schedules while trimming locomotive and car fleets, and cutting employees. However, the Association of American Railroads dismissed the accusation that its members had raised fees to boost profits. Demurrage charges were levied for the purpose of 'incentivising improved velocity of box movements to alleviate congestion and facilitate flows,' the AAR said. Demurrage is a tool to balance inflow and outflow in yards, it said. [The Load Star, 3-14-22]

MEDIATORS CONTINUE MEETING TO SETTLE UNION, C.P. DIFFERENCES: Government mediators were expected to resume meetings March 14 with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and Canadian Pacific in hopes of averting a strike. The union announced March 4 that its members could go on strike as early as March 16. Mediators were scheduled to take part in meetings March 11 through 16. [The Western Producer, 3-14-22]

C.P. TRAIN DERAILS IN MINNESOTA: Several cars of a Canadian Pacific train derailed by Minneiska on the Winona-Wabasha county line in Minnesota early March 12. It happened along the tracks that parallel highway 61, and all of the derailed cars were empty. No injuries were reported. [WXOW, 3-13-22]

C.P. TRAIN DERAILS IN SASKATCHEWAN: An investigation is underway after Canadian Pacific officials say one of its trains derailed in southern Saskatchewan early March 12. It happened south of Drinkwater, about 31 miles southeast of Regina. The train was hauling corn, and no injuries were reported. [, 3-13-22]

TRAIN WRECK IN CONGO KILLS AT LEAST 60: A train crash March 10 in southeastern Congo killed at least 60 people, the state rail company and local sources said. It was a freight train of 15 cars en route from Luen to Tenke. The train reportedly was carrying several hundred 'stowaways,' according to an official, and the accident happened near ravines into which seven of the cars fell. [Barron's, 3-12-22]

'HIGH-PERFORMANCE RAIL' DEFINED: High Performance Rail includes passenger services that will achieve speeds of 110 MPH or greater. This comports with federal standard for Class 6 track. It would also include faster trains on higher-tier track: Class 7 for 125 MPH, and Class 8 for 160 MPH. Regulations also allow for Class 9 track, as found in Europe, China and Japan. Currently there is no such track in the U.S., but a segment of it is under construction in California. [Railway Age, 3-11-22]

AMTRAK GRADES C.P. WITH AN 'A' ON ITS HOST CARRIER REPORT CARD FOR SIXTH YEAR IN A ROW: Amtrak has recognized Canadian Pacific for earning an industry-leading 'A' grade for the sixth consecutive year on the annual host railroad report card, which ranks freight railroads on Amtrak performance. Canadian National also received an A. BNSF got a B+, CSX got a B, Union Pacific a C+, and Norfolk Southern got a D-. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-22]

GO TRANSIT EXPANSION ON STOUFFVILLE LINE MOVES FORWARD: GO Transit expansion on the Stouffville line will offer more frequent service during mid-day, evening and weekend. From Old Elm to Toronto Union Station work is happening along the line to prepare for the expansion. When complete, Metrolinx will be able to offer two-way, all-day service every 10 minutes up to Unionville, and trains every 30 minutes up to Mount Joy. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-11-22]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN JANUARY: U.S. class I railroads employed 111,754 people in mid-January 2022, down 2.4 percent from December 2021, and down 1.5 percent compared with mid-January a year ago, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-22]

FEDS GRANT $31.8-M TOWARD SECOND CHICAGO-TWIN CITIES AMTRAK TRAIN: The Wisconsin and Minnesota departments of transportation have announced a $31.8-million federal grant to fund station and rail segment improvements aimed at doubling passenger rail service and increasing freight efficiency along the corridor that connects Chicago and the Twin Cities. The added round-trip Amtrak train is expected to begin in 2024, or sooner. [Progressive Railroading, 3-10-22]

CANADA COMMITS TO PASSENGER RAIL REVIVAL WITH ELECTRIFIED HIGH-FREQUENCY RAIL: VIA Rail Canada has pulled back from pandemic-induced oblivion by a federal government now framing a dedicated, electrified right-of-way linking Quebec City and Toronto. Coined a High-Frequency Rail system, key benefits would provide faster trains, improved performance and more direct routes with improved connectivity. [Railway Age, 3-10-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS AFTER COLLIDING WITH SEMI IN IOWA: Cleanup is underway in Denison, Iowa, after a collision with a semi-tractor trailer caused a Union Pacific train to derail on March 10. The locomotive and multiple cars left the rails, blocking nearby tracks. Two Union Pacific crew members and the semi-driver were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries. [CBC OnLine, 3-10-22]

C.P. DEBUTS MEXICO-CHICAGO INTERMODAL SERVICE: Canadian Pacific has begun the first dedicated intermodal train between Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and the U.S. Midwest. CP worked with Kansas City Southern on an interline basis for the first train, destined Chicago, which was born out of the need to avoid excessive delays from supply chain challenges affecting North America's West Coast. Total transit time from vessel arrival at Lazaro to train arrival in Chicago was seven days. [Progressive Railroading, 3-9-22]

WATCO TO OPERATE SHORT LINE AT CORPUS CHRISTI PORT: Watco and the Port of Corpus Christi have signed a new 10-year contract for Watco to operate the port's short line. Watco's newly-created Texas Coastal Bend Railroad will begin operating the 63-mile line at the port in August, Watco's 47th short line. [Progressive Railroading, 3-9-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 505,177 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 5, 2022, down 1.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 2.8 percent, and intermodal was down 5.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-9-22]

INDIANA TOWN IRKED BY BLOCKED R.R. CROSSINGS: Parked Norfolk Southern trains are plaguing drivers for hours on end in Goshen, Indiana. The problem is three tracks wide. One local says when one train finally moves, two more are right behind it. The town's mayor says Norfolk Southern is not being responsive to their concerns. He says he has seen parked trains anywhere from a couple of hours to days on end. Norfolk Southern, in repose, said "We never want to inconvenience a community with a blocked crossing, and our goal is to keep our trains moving to deliver goods for our customers. But, sometimes trains do have to stop." [WSBT, 3-9-22]

FOUR PEOPLE KILLED WHEN THEIR VEHICLE COLLIDED WITH A CSX TRAIN IN ILLINOIS: Four people were killed when their SUV collided with a freight train in Harvey, Illinois early March 9. The vehicle drove through a protective gate and struck the last car of a moving CSX train, an official said. [Chicago Sun-Times, 3-9-22]

WELSH HYDROGEN TRAIN STUDY UNDERWAY: A four-month study has begun to assess the viability of using hydrogen-fueled trains to replace diesel traction in Wales. [Railway Gazette, 3-9-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO USE HIGHER BIODIESEL BLEND IN LOCOMOTIVES ACQUIRED FROM WABTEC: Union Pacific will begin using a higher biodiesel blend in locomotives acquired from Wabtec. They will start testing them in the second-quarter with B20 biodiesel and R55 renewable diesel on trains powered by FDL engines, operating in California. As testing progresses, it is anticipated that higher percentages of biofuels will be used. [Railway Age, 3-9-22]

MARYLAND'S PURPLE LIGHT RAIL LINE PROJECT QUALIFIES FOR $1.7-B FEDERAL LOAN: Maryland's Purple light-rail line project has qualified for a $1.7-billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation act federal loan. It is a replacement and restructuring of the original loan awarded to construct the line. The 16.2-mile route between Bethesda and New Carrollton will connect to all Maryland Area Regional Commuter lines and Amtrak's Northeast corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 3-8-22]

FEASIBILITY STUDY IN STORE FOR PROPOSED GREENFIELD RAIL LINE IN N.M.: San Juan County, N.M., has selected HDR to perform a feasibility study for the Four Corners freight rail project. The proposed Greenfield rail line would connect the Farmington area to the national freight network via the BNSF line near Gallup, approximately 120 miles south. The county in 2020 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Navajo Nation to cooperate on the future railway development. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-8-22]

PERSHING SQUARE FUND ACQUIRES NEW STAKE IN C.P.: Pershing Square Capital Management has a new stake in Canadian Pacific. The investment makes Pershing Square one of CP's top 20 shareholders, Reuters reported. Pershing Square reported owning 2.8 million CP shares as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to a regulatory filing. [Progressive Railroading, 3-8-22]

AMTRAK ENGINEER OF 2015 PHILADELPHIA DERAILMENT ACQUITTED ON ALL CHARGES: Former Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian was acquitted by a jury on March 4 of all charges related to the May 12, 2015, derailment of Northeast Regional train 188 in Philadelphia that killed eight and injured more than 200. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-7-22]

CALTRAIN AWARDED $38.8-M AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE GRANT: Caltrain has been awarded $38.8-million from the Federal Transit Administration under the American Rescue Plan Additional Assistance Program. The funding covers operations costs and sanitation efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and helps the system avoid layoffs and furloughs. [Railway Age, 3-7-22]

AUSTRIAN LOCOMOTIVES HEADING FOR TANZANIA: The first of four former Austrian Federal Railways class 1014 electric locomotives purchased by Turkish construction company Yapi Merkezi has been shipped to Tanzania for use in testing the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro standard-gauge line near nearing completion. [Railway Gazette, 3-7-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN COAL TRAIN DERAILS IN MD., AMTRAK NEC SERVICE IMPACTED: A Norfolk Southern coal train operating on Amtrak's Northeast corridor derailed 20 cars early March 5 near Aberdeen, Md., causing Amtrak service to be suspended through the area. There were no injuries. Limited Amtrak service is being provided March 6, with regular service expected to resume March 7. [WTOP, 3-6-22]

POWERRAIL TO MOVE TO NEW FACILITY IN EXETER, PA.: After nearly 16 years of operation in Duryea, Pa., PowerRail will be moving in the next several months to a new, larger facility in Exeter, Pa. The new location is more than double the size of the company's existing corporate offices and distribution center, and offers more warehouse space. [Railway Age, 3-4-22]

TEAMSTERS CANADA MEMBERS AT C.P. VOTE IN FAVOR OF STRIKE: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members at Canadian Pacific have voted in favor of a strike that could begin March 16. The possible work stoppage affects more than 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard employees at CP. [Progressive Railroading, 3-4-22]

BILLS INTRODUCED IN ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR PASSENGER RAIL NETWORK FUNDING: Two Illinois lawmakers have introduced bills in the General Assembly that call for the appropriation of $18-million toward the development of an integrated passenger rail network across the state. The call for funding comes on the heels of the state's creation of the Illinois High-Speed Railway Commission. The funding would help the state advance plans for a statewide network, which would help the state take advantage of federal funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. [Progressive Railroading, 3-4-22]

NORTH CAROLINA R.R. LAUNCHES 'BUILD READY' SITES IN SIX COUNTIES: The North Carolina Railroad has awarded $2.92-million to rail-served sites in six counties across the state through the company's new economic development initiative called Build Ready sites. The funds will enable Alexander, Burke, Johnston, Montgomery, Moore and Pitt counties to make improvements to available rail-ready sites to prepare for future industrial development. [Progressive Railroading, 3-3-22]

N.J.T. MARKS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR WITHOUT A FARE INCREASE: New Jersey has marked the fifth consecutive year without a fare increase for New Jersey Transit riders. Despite the fare freeze, the agency has been drastically transformed and improved, the state's governor said. On time performance is up, cancellations are down, and locomotive engineer ranks have been replenished with the hiring of 127 engineers. [Progressive Railroading, 3-3-22]

AMTRAK TO INCREASE FREQUENCY OF SOME LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS: Amtrak is preparing to restore daily service to long-distance trains Capitol Limited, Texas Eagle and Coast Starlight, beginning March 28. These trains were cut to five days a week in January due to staffing issues. In the meantime, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, City of New Orleans, Crescent and Lake Shore Limited will remain operating five days a week, rather than daily. Auto Train, Silver Star, Palmetto and Carolina, which were not affected by cuts in January, will remain operating daily. The Silver Meteor remains suspended. [Rail Passengers Assn., 3-3-22]

CN SEEKS CONTROL OF KCS'S 'KANSAS CITY SPEEDWAY' LINE AS CP-KCS MERGER CONDITION: Canadian National has asked the Surface Transportation Board to condition any approval of the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger on the divestiture of the KCS's 'Kansas City Speedway' line from Kansas City to Springfield and East St. Louis to CN. Granting CN control of the line would provide customers with a new competitive option to move goods across a key North American economic corridor, they proposed. CN made the request on the STB's statutory authority to order the divestiture of parallel tracks as a merger condition, company officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-2-22]

FEBRUARY 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,945,646 carloads and intermodal units in February 2022, up 5.7 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 11 percent, and intermodal was up 1.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-2-22]

JAGUAR TRANSPORT HOLDINGS BEGINS OPERATING MISSOURI EASTERN R.R.: Jaguar Transport Holdings on March 1 began operating the 60-mile Missouri Eastern Railroad, its seventh short line. Jaguar said that it acquired in Jan. 2022 approximately 42 miles of track in the western St. Louis metropolitan area, and in Febr. 2022 leasehold rights to approximately nine miles of adjacent track owned by Union Pacific. Missouri Eastern runs from just west of Union to Overland, Missouri, where it interchanges with the Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis. It also interchanges with BNSF, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, CN and KCS. Missouri Eastern is part of a former Rock Island line that ran across Missouri. [Railway Age, 3-2-22]

NEWBURGH & SOUTH SHORE R.R. BUYS ITS FIRST ALL-BATTERY ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE: Newburgh & South Shore Railroad, an OmniTRAX affiliate, has purchased its first all-battery electric locomotive to operate on its northern Ohio rail lines. The locomotive is designed to reduce fuel consumption by half, and cut nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter by 77 percent, they said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-2-22]

FEBRUARY 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-six percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in February 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-1-22]

BNSF REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-ENDING RESULTS: BNSF has reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results. Operating income for the quarter was $2.4-billion, up 12 percent from the same quarter last year. For the full-year, it was $8.8-billion, up 14 percent compared with the previous year. Operating ratios were 60 percent for the quarter, and 60.9 percent for the year, improvements of 0.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively. [Railway Age, 3-1-22]

BNSF TO INVEST $3.55-B THIS YEAR ON CAPITAL PROJECTS: BNSF will invest $3.55-billion this year on capital projects, up from $2.97-billion invested last year. The plan's maintenance component calls for $2.71-billion to be spent on replacing and upgrading rail and track infrastructure, and maintaining rolling stock. [Progressive Railroading, 3-1-22]

UNIONS ASK FOR RELEASE FROM NATIONAL RAIL LABOR MEDIATION: The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition unions now support a petition to the National Mediation Board for a 'proffer of arbitration,' requesting to be released from further mediation with the National Carriers Conference Committee in national contract negotiations. Once the board proffers arbitration, and either or both parties decline arbitration, a 30-day cooling-off period begins. In turn, the President could appoint an emergency board, before the cooling-off ends, to settle the contract dispute. [Railway Age, 3-1-22]

SEPTA BEGINS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM TO GUIDE PATRONS AT STATIONS: SEPTA has begun a new safety program that uses agency ambassadors to guide riders at stations. The guides are located along the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines, and remind patrons of riding rules, help lost riders, and contact police if necessary. Eventually, they will take over opening and closing of subway stations, which will enable police to patrol overnight more frequently. [Progressive Railroading, 3-1-22]

STB RESCHEDULES COMING HEARINGS ON AMTRAK GULF COAST SERVICE REQUEST: The evidentiary hearing on Amtrak's Gulf Coast service request, scheduled to begin March 9, is being rescheduled for April 4 and 5, and, if necessary, April 6 and 8, the Surface Transportation Board said. [Railway Age, 3-1-22]

CALIFORNIA HSR AUTHORITY COMPLETES FRESNO COUNTY GRADE-SEPARATION PROJECT: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has completed its South avenue grade separation in Fresno County, which is now open to traffic, allowing the traffic to travel over the existing BNSF and future high-speed rail lines. The authority anticipated it will complete several additional structures throughout this summer and fall. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-1-22]

WISCONSIN & SOUTHERN TO REPLACE BRIDGE IN MADISON, WISCONSIN: Wisconsin & Southern's Troy drive railroad bridge in Madison, Wisconsin, will be replaced using a grant from the state's Dept. of Transportation as part of the 2022 Freight Rail Preservation program. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-1-22]

BALTIMORE PENN STATION UPGRADE PROJECT BEGINS: Construction has begun on the project to upgrade Baltimore's Penn Station. To date, the construction includes installation of scaffolding, fencing and materials around the exterior. The installations are part of a state-of-good-repair project to enhance the station's appearance and increase functionality. Essential core and shell improvements are scheduled to begin this summer. The development team will preserve the historic character of the station while introducing modern changes. The station's now-vacant three upper floors will be renovated for office use, and that work is scheduled for completion in summer 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 2-28-22]

D.C. METRO TO IMPROVE FIVE STATION PLATFORMS ON ORANGE LINE: From May 28 through Sept. 5, Washington DC Metro will close New Carrollton, Landover, Cheverly, Deanwood and Minnesota avenue stations on the Orange line for platform improvements. Free shuttle bus service will be provided, along with free parking at the closed stations. With the tracks out of service, the agency will also take the opportunity to rehabilitate six bridges along the affected route. [Railway Age, 2-28-22]

UNION PACIFIC MARKS THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR OF LOWER FUEL CONSUMPTION: Union Pacific has announced that it has lowered its fuel consumption for the third year in a row, helping its customers eliminate 22.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by choosing rail over truck. [Progressive Railroading, 2-28-22]

CAROLINA CONNECTOR HELPING TO BOLSTER SUPPLY CHAIN: Just a few months after opening, the Carolina Connector intermodal transportation facility in Edgecombe County, N.C., is already making a dent in the supply chain issue. The Carolina Connector has eased freight tension at the Port of Savannah and connects the Port of Wilmington and eastern U.S. ports to their final destinations. The facility was created from a public-private partnership between North Carolina and CSX. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-28-22]

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT TO BE BUILT IN MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA: Plans have been announced for a transit-oriented development in Michigan City, Indiana, to feature a 12-story high-rise with a new train station for the South Shore Line, luxury apartments, commercial space, and a 558-space parking garage. [Progressive Railroading, 2-28-22]

L.A.'S WEST SANTA ANA BRANCH PROJECT ADVANCES: The Federal Transit Administration has approved Los Angeles County Metro's request to move the West Santa Ana Branch Transit corridor project to the development phase as part of the federal capital investment grants program. The proposed 14.8-mile route from Slauson/A Line to Pioneer was also approved as a locally preferred alternative for the project's initial segment between Artesia and downtown Los Angeles. [Progressive Railroading, 2-28-22]

GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATION COMPLETED FOR GATEWAY PROJECT: Geotechnical investigation work is now complete on the Gateway project, work required to enter the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment grant. A total of 75 geotechnical investigations were completed on the project, including 64 borings in New Jersey and New York. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-28-22]

DURANGO & SILVERTON R.R. TO OFFER CONTRACT WORK: The Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad in Colorado plans to build a new company division focusing on contract work for the rail industry. It will provide services in accessing equipment, rebuilding and converting steam locomotives, construction and repair of historic passenger cars, and consultation and review of operating policies and procedures. [Progressive Railroading, 2-25-22]

MBTA'S UNION SQUARE BRANCH GREEN LINE EXTENSION SOON TO BEGIN SERVICE TO SOMERVILLE: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has announced the Green line extension's Union Square branch will begin revenue service to Somerville on March 21. Riders will be able to board GLX trains in Somerville for the first time ever, starting at Union Square and continuing through to the new Lechmere station in Cambridge, a reopened Science Park station, and then onto the rest of the T network. [Progressive Railroading, 2-25-22]

PRELIMINARY STUDY OF PROPOSED EGYPT-SUDAN RAIL LINE COMPLETED: Preliminary study of the first railway line between Egypt and Sudan has been completed. The 226-mile-line would connect the two countries' rail networks, and completed in two stages. The first is a 176-mile line from Aswan to Toshka and Abu Simbel, Egypt, with the second extending the line a further 50 miles to Halfa, Sudan. [International Railway Journal, 2-25-22]

COURT RULES LABOR DISPUTE OVER BNSF ATTENDANCE POLICY IS 'MINOR' DISPUTE: A U.S. district court judge has ruled that a labor dispute over BNSF's high-visibility attendance policy is a 'minor' dispute under the federal railway labor act. The ruling means that further action on the part of two unions to pursue a strike over the policy would be illegal. The unions are considering an appeal of the ruling on the railroad's new attendance policy, which they characterize as 'anti-worker, anti-family, and unsafe.' [Progressive Railroading, 2-24-22]

MARTA STUDY FINDS COSTS OF PROPOSED LIGHT-RAIL PROJECTS HAVE SOARED: An engineering study conducted by Atlanta's MARTA has revealed proposed light-rail lines would be more expensive than original estimates. The three-mile project from Ponce City Market to Lindbergh is projected to cost as much as $448.2-million, up from $171.6-million three years ago. A four-mile line south of Ponce City Market could be about $160-million more than the original estimate. The agency said the spike in cost is from a more detailed analysis that includes specific bridges, buildings and other facilities, but not costs covering right-of-way, support facilities and transit vehicles. MARTA could conduct another study over the next two years, and a final decision might eliminate some segments in favor of lower-cost options, such as bus rapid transit. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-24-22]

SEPTA TO SELL BONDS TO HELP FUND PROJECTS: SEPTA is preparing to sell up to $800-million in revenue bonds later this year to help fund projects, such as an overhaul of a Bridgeport viaduct on the Norristown High-Speed line, rehab of subway and regional rail stations, and trolley modernization. The agency has at least $4.5-billion of deferred repair needs, as well as dozens of priority projects planned, including the replacement of aging train cars on the Market-Frankford line. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2-24-22]

GOATS KEEP RAIL RIGHT-OF-WAY IN CALIFORNIA CLEAR OF VEGETATION: The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission in California is overseeing a pilot project using about 200 goats on railroad tracks to eat invasive plant species, overgrown brush, and other debris. The herd moves up and down the tracks chewing all that is edible. The aim is that the project will reduce wildfires, keep invasive species under control, clear drainage ditches and clean the line to prevent damage to train wheels. The commission could put together a longer-term vegetation management program with goats, as determined by how the vegetation grows back in the spring. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-23-22]

EIGHT SUBURBAN CHICAGO COMMUNITIES OPPOSE CP-KCS MERGER: Officials representing the communities of Bartlett, Bensenville, Elgin, Itasca, Hanover Park, Roselle, Schaumburg and Wood Dale say they will file objections to the merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern with the Surface Transportation Board. They contend that the merger would create more gridlock from blocked crossings, and could cause environmental harm to their communities. The potentially impacted region has more than 50 at-grade crossings. The communities run along the Metra Milwaukee District West line. [Freight Waves, 2-23-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 497,822 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 19, 2022, up 31.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 38.2 percent, and intermodal was up 26.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-23-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO SERVE RENEWABLE CHEMICALS PLANT IN MISSOURI: Union Pacific will serve a new Circular SybTech waste-to-renewable chemicals facility to be built in New Midrid, Missouri. The 230-acre site was chosen for its rail access and location on the Mississippi River. [Progressive Railroading, 2-23-22]

CSX ASKS FOR DELAY IN GULF COAST AMTRAK SERVICE HEARING WITH STB: CSX (with Amtrak concurring) has asked the Surface Transportation Board for a delay of the evidentiary hearing on Gulf Coast service, scheduled to begin March 9, to be rescheduled beginning April 5. [Railway Age, 2-23-22]

NORTHWEST COMMUTER RAIL PLANNING ADVANCES IN COLORADO: The Denver Regional Transportation District has selected HDR Engineering to study the feasibility of running peak-service commuter rail to Longmont, Colorado. The study will examine extending the existing B-Line rail alignment, as well as leasing BNSF right-of-way and tracks to bring service during peak hours from Westminster 35 miles north to Boulder and Longmont. [Railway Age, 2-23-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SEEKS TO BOOST CAPACITY THROUGH HIRING: Norfolk Southern admits that its rail network is congested, particularly for international intermodal and automotive products services. But it hopes that aggressive efforts to hire new employees will address the capacity constraints. To boost capacity, the company has streamlined hiring, including collapsing the timeline for pre-employment screening. It has also increased trainee pay and hiring and retention bonuses. [Freight Waves, 2-23-22]

SUPPORT GROWS FOR PROPOSED MICHIGAN PASSENGER RAIL LINE: Supporters are pushing the Northern Michigan passenger rail project, which would connect Ann Arbor to Traverse City. Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities made a presentation before Michigan lawmakers on Febr. 22. The route was first included in the statewide rail plan in 2011, but most recently it was highlighted in a long-range plan called 'Michigan 2045 Mobility Plan.' The route would mostly use existing rail lines, but the track would need upgrades to handle speeds between 60 and 80 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-23-22]

TEXAS TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL CANCELS HYPERLOOP PLANS: The North Texas Regional Transportation Council has eliminated developing a hyperloop in its corridor plans. The council's principal planner said hyperloop technology is still developing, with no clear path to approval. Including it in its corridor plans could delay development. [Progressive Railroading, 2-22-22]

BRIGHTLINE WEST SECURES 'MISSING LINK' WITH 49-MILE CONNECTOR ROUTE: The missing link for Brightline West's Las Vegas-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail service now appears to be in plain site. The company has secured right-of-way for a 49-mile connector route that starts at Victor Valley, Nevada, moves through Cajon Pass, and links to a Metrolink station in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where patrons could take a Metrolink train to Los Angeles Union Station. The Federal Railroad Administration is conducting an environmental review of the route. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-22-22]

NEW SOYBEAN PROCESSING PLANT IN S.D. TO BE SERVED BY BNSF: South Dakota Soybean Processors has plans to build a multiseed processing plant near Mitchell, S.D., which will be served by BNSF. The facility will have the capacity to process 35 million bushels of soybeans annually. [Progressive Railroading, 2-22-22]

UTAH HOUSE APPROVES BILL IMPACTING RAIL YARD SWITCHERS: The Utah House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring railroad yards with four or more switchers to power them 'wholly by a hydrogen fuel cell or electric power,' by no later than Jan. 1, 2028. The bill specifically targets Union Pacific's Roper Rail Yard in Salt Lake City, which has over 40 switchers that use 'tier-0' technology. The bill now moves to the state senate. Union Pacific counters that the timeline would be unrealistic for the company. [Deseret News, 2-22-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN ARIZONA: About 20 cars of a Union Pacific train derailed Febr. 21 near Coolidge, Arizona, and a hazardous chemical was spilled. The railroad said cyclohexanone was released, but the tank car has been secured and cleanup efforts are underway. No injuries were reported. [KOLD News, 2-21-22]

BNSF SEEKS TRACKAGE RIGHTS ON CERTAIN LINES IN CP-KCS MERGER: BNSF is seeking overhead trackage rights on lines owned by Kansas City Southern between Robstown and Laredo, Texas; between Metro, Texas, and Bossier City, Louisiana; and on a line owned by Canadian Pacific affiliate Soo Line between Savanna, Illinois, and Clinton, Iowa, as a means to protect competition in the CP-KCS merger, according to a filing with the Surface Transportation Board. [Freight Waves, 2-21-22]

TRAIN CATCHES FIRE IN INDIA, NO INJURIES: Fire was detected in the pantry car of India's Gandhidham-Puri Express while the train was entering Nandurbar station early Febr. 22. There were no injuries. The pantry car was the 13th car in the 22-car train. [Hindustan Times, 2-19-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN OFFERING STARTING BONUSES FOR CONDUCTOR TRAINEES: Norfolk Southern is offering starting bonuses of up to $5,000 for conductor trainees staffed in 'priority' locations, and $2,500 for those stationed in other locations. Once training is completed, their conductors are guaranteed a minimum annual pay of $52,000. [Progressive Railroading, 2-18-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ORDERS AN ADDITIONAL HYBRID GANTRY CRANE FOR LANDERS TERMINAL: Konecranes has announced Norfolk Southern has ordered one additional hybrid rubber-tired gantry crane for its Landers Intermodal terminal in Chicago. The hybrid crane is operated with electrical power generated by both a battery and diesel generator. [Progressive Railroading, 2-18-22]

SECOND PITTSBURGH-HARRISBURG TRAIN PLAN MOVES FORWARD: The state of Pennsylvania and host carrier Norfolk Southern are finalizing an agreement over rail and station improvements to clear the way for a second daily Amtrak train between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Included are improvements at rail yards in Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Portage, Altoona and Harrisburg to create more track space for freight trains to clear for passenger trains. Currently, the single train leaves Pittsburgh at 7:30 a.m., arriving in Harrisburg at 12:53 p.m.; the return train leaves Harrisburg at 2:36 p.m. and arrives in Pittsburgh at 10:01 p.m. The proposed new schedule would have trips leaving Pittsburgh a 7 a.m. and noon, and return trips from Harrisburg leaving 9:46 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. [Mass Transit Magazine, 2-18-22]

WEST JAPAN RWY TO ORDER FOUR SERIES 273 EMU'S FOR YAKUMA LIMITED EXPRESS: West Japan Railway plans to order four 11-car series 273 electric multiple-units to replace the series 381 train sets used on Yakuma Limited express services on the Hakubi line. [Railway Gazette, 2-18-22]

AMTRAK SEATTLE-BELLINGHAM THRUWAY BUS TO BE ADDED: Beginning Febr. 28, a second round-trip Amtrak thruway bus will be added between Seattle and Bellingham, Washington. It will connect in Seattle southbound with train 505, and northbound with train 504. Intermediate stops will be made in Everett and Mount Vernon. [Amtrak]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS INTO ANOTHER TRAIN IN MINNESOTA; HOMES EVACUATED: Numerous train cars derailed early Febr. 17 near Frazee, Minnesota, causing temporary evacuations of nearby homes. An eastbound BNSF train derailed causing a stopped westbound train also to derail. Officials say some of the cars contained hazardous materials. No injuries were reported. [KDLM, 2-17-22]

STB CONTINUES WITH HEARING ON GULF COAST AMTRAK PROPOSAL: Wick Moorman, retired president & CEO of Norfolk Southern, and later head of Amtrak, shared his perspective on Amtrak's proposal to run Mobile-New Orleans passenger service before the Surface Transportation Board at its second day of hearing. Track-sharing between Class I railroads and Amtrak can benefit both sides if the parties are open to transparency and collaboration, he said. James Foote, president & CEO of CSX, said his company is not against Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast, but new infrastructure is needed. He added that Amtrak has a 'broader agenda' than the Gulf Coast service, by creating a 'new road map' for imposing new service without working with host carriers and without first adding needed capacity. [Progressive Railroading, 2-17-22]

PAUL DUNCAN JOINS NORFOLK SOUTHERN AS V.P. NETWORK PLANNING, OPERATIONS: Paul Duncan, currently with BNSF as vice-president of service design & performance, is joining Norfolk Southern as vice-president of network planning & operations. He will succeed John Friedmann, who is retiring March 1. [Progressive Railroading, 2-17-22]

BART RESUMES ACCEPTING DELIVERIES OF 'FLEET OF THE FUTURE' RAIL CARS: San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit is once again accepting deliveries of its new Fleet of the Future Rail Cars following a 13-month pause due to reliability issues. BART and the manufacturer have made necessary upgrades, modifications and software improvements to the cars, improving their overall performance. [Railway Age, 2-17-22]

BRIGHTLINE'S SPATE OF CASUALTIES CONTINUES WITH ONE DEATH, ONE INJURY: Brightline trains killed one person and seriously injured another in separate accidents less than 12 hours apart, the latest in a spate of collisions plaguing the trains since the company recently resumed operations. A Febr. 15 death was the ninth involving Brightline since it resumed operations in November, and the 57th since it began test runs in 2017, giving it the worst per-mile fatality rate in the nation, according to an Associated Press analysis. Investigators found none of the deaths were the railroad's fault. The Febr. 15 death was to a pedestrian who was struck attempting to cross tracks in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and the injury was to the driver of a car running around gates the following morning in Palm Beach County. [Westport News, 2-16-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 504,482 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 12, 2022, up 5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 11.9 percent, and intermodal was down 0.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-16-22]

WASHINGTON STATE SENATORS PROPOSE HSR FUNDING: Washington state senators took a step toward establishing a high-speed train system linking Oregon and British Columbia. A proposal to put $150-million toward creating a system passed off the Senate floor late Febr. 15, funding that would qualify the state for $700-million in federal grants. The transportation package now heads to the House. The potential route would take passengers at speeds topping 200 MPH. [KING-5, 2-16-22]

ARREST MADE IN ROBBERY OF CONDUCTOR OF METRA TRAIN: Chicago's Metra police have arrested a man in an armed robbery of a train conductor on Febr. 15. The robbery happened after a Metra Electric line train pulled into the Van Buren street station and a passenger pulled out a handgun, robbed the conductor of cash and fled into the station. The suspect was arrested overnight in Calumet City. Charges are pending. [WGN News, 2-16-22]

STB HEARS FROM ADVOCATES, OPPONENTS OF GULF COAST SERVICE: The Surface Transportation Board began a two-day hearing Febr. 15 to receive public comments on Amtrak's proposal to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast with two daily round trips between Mobile and New Orleans. Several political, public and business policy leaders and members of the public offered testimony, explaining their reasons for favoring or opposing Amtrak's request to operate the service. Amit Bose, Federal Railroad administrator, told board members that their decision will have far-reaching implications beyond the Gulf Coast, and will be pivotal to the future development of passenger rail in the U.S. [Progressive Railroading, 2-16-22]

AMTRAK TWEETS ITS CASE FOR GULF COAST RAIL SERVICE: Just hours before the Surface Transportation Board began the first day of an initial two-day public hearing on the matter, Amtrak laid out on social media its case for resumption of passenger service between Mobile and New Orleans along the Gulf Coast. Amtrak has not operated along that route since 2005 when hurricane Katrina damaged the line. The track was later rebuilt to operating standards, but CSX and Norfolk Southern oppose the return of passenger service on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the flow of their freight service. Amtrak insists that it has the right to use the route based upon the law that was enacted when Amtrak was established. Moreover, Amtrak says the route is underutilized. In 2017, only an average of about 11 daily trains used the line, according to Amtrak. The freight carriers involved insist that $440-million would be needed to upgrade the corridor to accommodate the Amtrak trains, which is far above the estimate from the congressionally established Gulf Coast Working Group. But CSX and Norfolk Southern refuse to share how that came up with that figure. [Progressive Railroading, 2-15-22]

BRIGHTLINE COMPLETES ITS FIRST MAJOR CONSTRUCTION ZONE FOR ORLANDO EXTENSION: Brightline has completed Zone 2, its first major construction zone on its 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport. One of four zones along the extension, it is 3.5-miles long, double-tracked, with a route under taxiways and over tug roads, six bridges, two underpasses and other airport improvements. Trains will travel through the area at a maximum speed of 35 MPH, beginning in 2023. From there the trains will travel to Cocoa, Florida, where they could reach a top speed of 125 MPH. [Progressive Railroading, 2-15-22]

UPGRADES TO PITTSBURGH'S FALLOWFIELD LIGHT-RAIL-STATION BEING EXPEDITED: Pittsburgh's Red line light-rail service has been suspended because of an emergency closure of the Saw Mill Run boulevard bridge. With this, the Port Authority of Allegheny County has expedited its Fallowfield light-rail station rehabilitation project in the Beechview neighborhood. Included will be new concrete platforms, metal railings, tactile pads and refurbished overhead canopies. [Progressive Railroading, 2-15-22]

AMTRAK BEGINS PLANNING FUTURE SERVICE TO READING: Amtrak says it is starting a planning process with local and state officials to study the possibilities of bringing passenger trains to Reading, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa. In the interim, Amtrak is working to establish a premium thruway bus service connecting Reading and Pottstown to Philadelphia. Train service will not be determined by bus ridership, Amtrak said. [Railway Age, 2-14-22]

UPDATE PENDING ON NEW AMTRAK MIAMI STATION: The Florida Dept. of Transportation is scheduled to provide an update later this month on the status of the Amtrak station planned at the Miami Intermodal Center. The center, built in 2013 in front of Miami International Airport, includes Metrorail, Tri-Rail, Greyhound, Megabus, Metrobus and rental cars. Platforms and offices were built for Amtrak, but it developed that the platform was 200 feet short of what was needed for Amtrak. The solution would require closing a nearby street whenever an Amtrak train pulled into the station, but it never happened. [The Next Miami, 2-14-22]

AMTRAK ACELA TRAIN STRANDED IN QUEENS FOR ALMOST SEVEN HOURS: An Amtrak Acela train heading from Boston to Washington with 106 on board lost power and got stranded in Queens for almost seven hours on Febr. 14. A passenger said those on board were not kept informed as the hours progressed. A rescue engine eventually arrived, but when the train started moving again, there was a smell of smoke that made the last stretch of the journey into New York 'scary.' Passengers en route south of New York were then transferred to a different train. [AP News, 2-14-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN DENVER, SOME CARS TOPPLE INTO RIVER: A BNSF train derailed early Febr. 12 in Denver. Officials say three of seven cars fell into the South Platte River. There were no reported injuries. [Denver CBS-4, 2-13-22]

LIRR PRESIDENT TO RETIRE: Phil Eng, Long Island Rail Road president will retire Febr. 25. Metro-North's president Catherine Rinaldi will take on the role of interim president of LIRR while continuing as president of Metro-North. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-22]

AMTRAK NAMED TO FORBES' LIST OF 'AMERICA'S BEST EMPLOYERS': Amtrak has been named to Forbes magazine's 'America's Best Employers 2022' list for companies with more than 5,000 employees. Recognized for workplace excellence, Amtrak ranked number 110 out of 500 large companies. [Railway Age, 2-11-22]

TEMPE, ARIZONA, UNION PACIFIC SETTLE SUIT INVOLVING 2020 DERAILMENT: The city of Tempe, Arizona, and Union Pacific have come to terms on a lawsuit settlement that involved a derailment in Tempe Town Lake. Union Pacific will pay about half a million dollars for the cost of the July 2020 accident which caused the bridge the train was crossing to partially collapse. Ten cars derailed, eight of which caught fire, and three tank cars dropped into the park below. According to an NTSB preliminary report, one of the tank cars that fell released over 2,200 gallons of cyclohexanone. No injuries were reported. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-11-22]

AMTRAK DEBUTS NEW ALC-42 LOCOMOTIVES: Amtrak this week debuted the first two of its ALC-42 locomotives. They began service by pulling the westbound Empire Builder. Part of Amtrak's sustainability initiatives, the new locomotives are more environmentally friendly than their 1990's-era predecessors in reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 89 percent. They also reduce particulate matter by 95 percent, while consuming less fuel. Seventy-five total units will be delivered through 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 2-10-22]

NJT PURCHASING 25 ADDITIONAL MULTILEVEL III COMMUTER CARS: New Jersey Transit will exercise an option with Alstom for 25 additional Multilevel III commuter rail cars. The agency awarded the original 113-car contract in Dec. 2018 to Bombardier, which Alstom acquired in early 2021, and the contract included an option for as many as 886 additional cars. The new cars will replace Arrow III single-level cars that are over 40 years old. [Railway Age, 2-10-22]

NTSB ISSUES PRELIMINARY REPORT ON CSX, SEPTA TROLLEY COLLISION: The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the Dec. 2021 collision between a CSX train and a SEPTA trolley car at a crossing in Darby, Pa. The trolley operator had made a stop at Main and 6th streets to let passengers on and off. The operator then proceeded into the Darby diamond when crossing protection was activated by the approaching train. The trolley stopped, and the crossing gates closed on its roof. The train struck the trolley, pushing it back, but not derailing it. The CSX engineer and six people on the trolley, including the operator, were taken to medical facilities with non-life-threatening injuries. NTSB's investigation is continuing. [Progressive Railroading, 2-10-22]

TEAMSTERS TO HOLD STRIKE VOTE AT CP: The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has served a notice of dispute regarding its differences with Canadian Pacific, mainly including wages, benefits and pensions. A strike vote is expected to be conducted among more than 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers. A legal work stoppage may not occur until 21 days after the conciliation process is completed, union officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 2-10-22]

UNUSED RAIL LINE IN MARTINSBURG, W.VA., DONATED FOR TRAIL USE: CSX and Argos USA, owners of the Frog Hollow rail line in Martinsburg, W.Va., have donated the retired rail corridor to the city of Martinsburg. More than a mile in length, the line had been operational from the main track at the city's train station through the core downtown area for about 140 years, serving industries. Its rails were removed in 2021. The city has contracted with consultants to design and engineer the line for recreational trail use. [Martinsburg Journal via Blair Williamson, 2-10-22]

EAST BROAD TOP SCHEDULES WINTER SPECTACULAR: This winter's East Broad Top spectacular will be Febr. 18 and 19 at Rockhill Furnace, Pa. It begins with a Friday evening photographers' event with locomotive 12, followed on the following day with gas-electric car and motorcar trips to Colgate Grove, roundhouse and station tours, and an evening fund-raising dinner and movie night. The adjacent Rockhill Trolley Museum will also be operating Febr. 19. MORE..

N.Y. PENN STATION ACCESS PROJECT MOVING FORWARD: Metro-North will expand service to New York's Penn Station under the Penn Station Access project. Working in partnership with Halmar, RailWorks Transit will construct new track, power substations and other systems to connect to Metro-North's New Haven line via Amtrak's Hell Gate line. Also included is the construction of four new ADA-accessible stations in the East Bronx. [Progressive Railroading, 2-9-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 458,152 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 5, 2022, down 7.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.6 percent, and intermodal was down 11 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-9-22]

ILLINOIS D.O.T., IOWA INTERSTATE R.R. CALLED UPON TO FINALIZE QUAD CITIES PASSENGER PROJECT: Two Illinois senators and one representative have reached out to the state's dept. of transportation and Iowa Interstate Railroad to finalize the scope and costs of upgrades needed for the Quad Cities passenger rail line. The tracks planned for the route can currently only handle Class 2 and Class 3 rail transportation, and it will need to be upgraded along the entire route before passenger service could begin. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-9-22]

BNSF EMPLOYEE KILLED IN GLOBEVILLE ROAD RAIL YARD IN DENVER: The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a death of a BNSF employee who was struck by a train Febr. 9 at the railroad's Globeville road rail yard in Denver. [4CBS Denver, 2-9-22]

RAIL-SERVED SHEET STEEL MILL TO BE BUILT IN MASON COUNTY, W.VA.: Nucor Corp. will begin construction this year on a sheet steel mill in Mason County, W.Va., to be served by CSX. The project is expected to take two years. Additional sites in northern West Virginia are also under consideration for a transload and processing facility to serve customers in the upper Midwest and Northeast regions. [Railway Age, 2-8-22]

CSX ASKING CUSTOMERS TO SIGN PETITION OPPOSING AMTRAK GULF COAST TRAINS: CSX is asking shippers to sign a petition expressing concerns to the Surface Transportation Board about Amtrak's proposed Gulf Coast service between Mobile and New Orleans. A letter to shippers says that Amtrak is trying to force new service 'without consideration of the negative impact on freight service,' or rail infrastructure. It sites a rail traffic control study completed last year saying the proposal 'showed significant impairment to freight service if no infrastructure improvements are made.' [Progressive Railroading, 2-8-22]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN GA.: A CSX train derailed a locomotive and several cars Febr. 7 after the train struck a stranded semi-truck at a crossing in Douglas, Ga. Minor injuries to two train crew members were reported. No hazardous materials were involved, according to officials. A number of streets were blocked by the derailment, but most have since reopened. [AllOnGeorgia, 2-8-22]

TRANSPORT CANADA EYES 'ENHANCED TRAIN CONTROL': Transport Canada has published a notice of intent seeking feedback on implementing 'Enhanced Train Control' technology for passenger and freight rail safety. The current method of controlling train movements in Canada is 'rule-based,' with train movements managed and supervised by rail traffic controllers. [Railway Age, 2-8-22]

GERMANY'S WESEL-BOCHOLT RAIL LINE ELECTRIFIED: Electric rail operation on Germany's 12.6-mile Bocholter Bahn in Nordrhein-Westfalen began Febr. 1, following a seven-month project to modernize and electrify the branch from Wesel to Bocholt. [Railway Gazette, 2-8-22]

DRIVER OF STALLED SCHOOL BUS SAVES FIVE CHILDREN BEFORE TRAIN STRIKES BUS: A bus driver is being credited with saving five children aboard a school bus that stalled on train tracks in Orland Park, Illinois, Febr. 4. The front of the bus was struck by a Metra train, but not before the driver evacuated the children. No injuries were reported. An investigation showed that the driver stopped before crossing, as required, but the bus stalled with the front end of the bus over the tracks. [N.Y. Post, 2-6-22]

BNSF CREW HELPS RESCUE WOMAN FLOATING ON AIR MATTRESS IN LAKE: A woman is safe after she was found floating on an air mattress Febr. 3 on Lake Texoma in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a BNSF train crew spotted the woman and called for help. She told authorities she had been stranded two days in the freezing cold. She said she and a man had tried to use the mattress as a raft to reach a boat. The man was able to swim to shore. The woman was treated for hypothermia. [Oklahoma News 9, 2-6-22]

WINTER OLYMPIC ATHLETES SHUTTLE ON HIGH-SPEED TRAINS: Winter Olympians travel aboard China's new high-speed, self-driving rail system that can produce speeds of up to 217 MPH. China's 'Bullet Train' line opened in January 2022, is buried 335 feet below ground and includes a 7.4-mile-long tunnel system. It also passes the Great Wall of China. Participants access all three event sites, which are held in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. It is about 108 miles from Beijing to the site in Zhangjiakow, a 56-minute run on the train. The site in Zanqing takes about 20 minutes, which is close to an hour by auto. The train is technically self-driving, but there is always an operator on board overseeing the mechanism. [Yahoo News, 2-5-22]

UNION PACIFIC ROLLS OUT NEW MULTI-PURPOSE MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY TRAIN: Work previously contracted out will now be performed by company employees with Union Pacific's new, versatile maintenance-of-way train. It is capable picking up ties, clearing vegetation, spraying weeds, collecting scrap metal and loading cars with ballast. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-4-22]

RAIL-SERVED GRAIN SHUTTLE LOADER TO BE BUILT IN KANSAS: CHS Inc. and MKC have announced plans to build and operate a high-speed grain shuttle loader near Sterling, Kansas. It will have access to Watco subsidiary Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad. [Progressive Railroading, 2-4-22]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN KANSAS CITY: A six-car derailment in Kansas City's West Bottoms on Febr. 2 damaged a rail bridge support beam, and crews were still busy making repairs two days later. The derailment occurred at the Santa Fe Junction, one of the busiest in the country. There were no injuries. Union Pacific is investigating the incident. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-4-22]

ROCHESTER & SOUTHERN R.R. GETTING $4.95-M STATE SAFETY, SERVICE RELIABILITY GRANT: The state of New York is granting the Rochester & Southern Railroad $4.95-million safety and service reliability grant toward repair of 21 mainline bridges, replacement of three miles of track, and rehabilitation of its Brooks avenue yard. [Progressive Railroading, 2-4-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO FORWARD SOME FREIGHT IN DRIVERLESS TRUCKS: This spring, Union Pacific will begin moving freight on an 80-mile, fully-automated trucking route between a rail yard in Tucson and a distribution center near Phoenix. TuSimple said it will handle the service using autonomous vehicle technology. Union Pacific is its first customer. Loup Logistics, a subsidiary of Union Pacific, will coordinate the shipments. TuSimple claims to be the 'first to successfully test a fully-autonomous Class 8 semi-truck on open public roads without a human in the vehicle, and without human intervention.' [Railway Age, 2-3-22]

AMTRAK ADVISED TO IMPROVE COST-SHARING CONCERNS WITH STATE PARTNERSHIPS: Amtrak's office of inspector general reports that while the railroad has addressed 'some' challenges in its relationship with state partners, it needs to address concerns about cost-sharing on state-supported routes. Challenges include conflicting perspectives over control of decision-making, unaddressed issues with cost-sharing methodology, and concerns that Amtrak lacks effective quality control of its cost-calculations and bill-development processes. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-22]

RELAM ESTABLISHES MAINTENANCE OF WAY RENTAL LOCATION NEAR SACRAMENTO: RELAM Inc., a lessor of maintenance-of-way railroad equipment, has announced a new equipment rental location near Sacramento. The new location allows the firm to better serve its customers in the western U.S., and in British Columbia. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-22]

LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN STRIKES CAR NEAR BALTIMORE, 17-YEAR OLD DRIVER KILLED: A 17-year old male driving a Honda Accord was killed in a crash involving a light-rail train on Febr. 2 in Anne Arundel County, Md., just south of Baltimore. There were no passengers aboard the train at time time, just the operator, who was not injured. [Fox-45 News, 2-3-22]

STB SETS STAGE FOR AMTRAK GULF COAST HEARING: The Surface Transportation Board will hold its hearing on Amtrak's application to reintroduce passenger rail service along part of the Gulf Coast in two phases. The first phase will cover public comments and a pre-evidentiary hearing on Febr. 15, and the second phase will feature an evidentiary hearing on March 9. [Progressive Railroading, 2-2-22]

RAIL-SERVED GRAIN FACILITY TO BE BUILT IN NEBRASKA: Ag Processing, a grain and grain products cooperative, plans to build a new soybean processing plant near David City, Nebraska. It will have the capacity to process over 50 million bushels of soybeans per year, and will be near rail lines operated by BNSF, Union Pacific and Nebraska Central. [Progressive Railroading, 2-2-22]

JANUARY 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S.railroads originated 1,903,708 carloads and intermodal units in January 2022, down 9.5 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3 percent, and intermodal was down 14.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-2-22]

GULF INTERMODAL SERVICES ACQUIRES TERMINAL IN HOUSTON: Gulf Intermodal Services has purchased a terminal in Houston, three miles from a Union Pacific line, and 13 miles from a BNSF line. It can store up to 1,400 full-sized, grounded containers, and 500 mounted units on chassis. It includes a full shop with maintenance and repair capabilities for chassis, containers and vans. [Progressive Railroading, 2-2-22]

REPAIRS TO CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE, RAIL BRIDGE BEGINS: Repair work has begun on the Clarksville railroad bridge in Tennessee. A barge struck the west riverbank pier Jan. 3, damaging the pier and a railroad truss that serves as part of the bridge span. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-2-22]

PAUL TITTERTON TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF GATX RAIL NORTH AMERICA: At GATX, Paul F. Titterton will become president of Rail North America on April 22. He will succeed Robert Lyons, who will assume the role of chief executive officer, replacing Brian Kenney who is retiring as president and CEO. [Railway Age, 2-2-22]

UNIONS TAKING RAIL ATTENDANCE CONCERNS TO TRANSPORTATION, LABOR SECRETARIES: Two major rail unions are taking their concerns about attendance programs at BNSF and other Class I railroads to Pete Buttigieg, transportation secretary, and Martin Walsh, labor secretary, saying that employees are pressured to take on work even though they are fatigued. Work schedules for train crews call for many of them to be on 'on-call,' and when a railroad changes its train lineup, employees may be called into work before they are fully-rested to take a train that is at an earlier time than the one originally scheduled for them. [Freight Waves, 2-2-22]

JANUARY 2022 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in January 2022. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 58 minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 44 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-1-22]

SOUTH FLORIDA TRANSIT'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO RESIGN: Steven Abrams has announced his retirement as executive director from the South Florida Regional Transit Authority, parent of Tri-Rail. He will remain until a successor is named. According to reports, Tri-Rail's efforts to initiate service into Brightline's Miami Central station caused him to step down. [Railway Age, 2-1-22]

FTA GRANTS METRA $513.5-M FOR COVID RESPONSE: The Federal Transit Adinistration has awarded Chicago's Metra a $513.6-million grant for COVID-19 response under the American Rescue Plan act of 2021. [Railway Age, 2-1-22]

VRE TO REHAB FREDERICKSBURG STATION: Virginia Railway Express's operations board has approved a construction management services task order for the Fredericksburg rail station rehabilitation project. Work includes lengthening the station's platform, new stairs, new signage, sidewalks and other improvements. [Railway Age, 2-1-22]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY THIRD-GENERATION ELECTRIC TRAXX LOCOMOTIVES TO BELGIUM: Alstom has signed an agreement to deliver up to 50 third-generation electric Traxx locomotives to Belgium's national railway for use on its passenger services. The units will be used for domestic and cross-border trips on electrified networks in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. The first firm order covers 24 units. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2026. [Progressive Railroading, 2-1-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN VA.: A Norfolk Southern intermodal train derailed 30 cars near Bluefield, Va., early Jan. 31. There were no reports of injuries. [Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 1-31-22]

MINNEAPOLIS ADVANCES GREEN LINE LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: The Minneapolis Metropolitan Council has authorized a settlement for the Green line extension project for construction milestones, contingency funds and dispute resolution related to major elements being added. This includes construction of a barrier between the line and BNSF, a retaining wall for the Kenilworth tunnel, and construction of the Eden Prairie station to meet community priorities. Service is slated to begin in 2027. [Progressive Railroading, 1-31-22]

CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN TOUT INTERMODAL INVESTMENTS IN SOUTH, MIDWEST: CSX and Norfolk Southern are involved in projects aimed at bolstering intermodal infrastructure and assets in the South and Midwest. The Alabama Port Authority has approved the purchase of 272 acres in Montgomery for construction of a CSX-served inland intermodal transfer facility that will support container traffic from the Port of Mobile. Norfolk Southern has installed a total of five new diesel-electric hybrid overhead 60-foot-high gantry cranes at the Landers terminal in Chicago, and the Inman terminal in Atlanta. The company plans to convert the remaining 58 traditional gantry cranes across its network to hybrid or fully electric power over the next decade. [Freight Waves, 1-31-22]

BNSF LOCOMOTIVE CATCHES FIRE IN N.D.: Firefighters responded to a BNSF locomotive on fire early Jan. 31 near New Rockford, N.D. It appears a mechanical failure was the cause, according to officials. No injuries were reported. [KFGO, 1-31-22]

MONTREAL TRANSPORT ORDERS 10 SIEMENS CHARGER LOCOMOTIVES: Montreal's Transportation Network has ordered 10 Charger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility. The new units will be capable of pulling 10 cars instead of eight, and will replace the oldest locomotives in the fleet. [Railway Age, 1-31-22]

UNION PACIFIC TO PURCHASE 20 BATTERY-POWERED LOCOMOTIVES FOR YARD SERVICE: Union Pacific plans to purchase 20 battery-electric locomotives from Progress Rail and Wabtec for testing in yard operations. The combined purchases and upgrades to yard infrastructure are expected to exceed $100-million, representing the largest investment in battery technology by a U.S. Class I railroad. [Green Car Congress, 1-29-22]

CP REPORTS 4-Q RESULTS: Canadian Pacific reported fourth-quarter 2021 revenue rose one percent to $2.04-billion (C) and net income fell 34 percent to $532-million compared with the same quarter in the prior year. Diluted earnings-per-share decreased to 74 cents from $1.19, while the adjusted EPS decreased to 95 cents from $1.01. Adjusted operating ratio, which excludes the KCS acquisition-related costs, was 57.5 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 1-28-22]

U.S. DOT FILES BRIEF RECOMMENDING RESTORATION OF GULF COAST AMTRAK RUNS: In a week when CSX and Norfolk Southern won a small procedural victory in the Surface Transportation Board to protect their submitted evidence as 'trade secrets,' the U.S. Dept. of Transportation filed an 'amicus' brief into the STB's Gulf Coast restoration docket recommending that the agency order the restoration of Amtrak's Gulf Coast service. DOT contends that Congress always intended that new or additional Amtrak service would enjoy a presumption of favor unless host carriers could prove that such service would be an 'unreasonable impairment.' According to DOT, the host carriers' evidence of unreasonable impairment is insufficient for prevention of adding two trains to the route. Rail carriers have obligations in hosting Amtrak service, and these obligations were part and parcel of Congress's decision five decades ago to create Amtrak and to relieve rail carriers of their own obligations to carry passengers, the DOT said. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-28-22]

L.A. ADVANCES ARTESIA LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The board of the Los Angeles County MTA has approved the initial 14.8-mile segment of its planned 19.3-mile light-rail line linking Artesia and Los Angeles, terminating at Union Station. The line will serve the intermediate communities of Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey, South Gate, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon, and Florence-Graham. [Railway Age, 1-28-22]

DECEMBER 2021 CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT REPORT: U.S. Class I railroads employed 114,499 people in mid-December 2021, a 0.48 percent increase compared with mid-November's level, but down 2.78 percent compared with mid-December 2020, according to Surface Transportation Board data. [Progressive Railroading, 1-27-22]

R.J. CORMAN LAUNCHES KNOXVILLE & CUMBERLAND GAP R.R.: With the purchase of two branch lines from Norfolk Southern, R.J. Corman Railroad is launching the Knoxville & Cumberland Gap Railroad (KXCG), its 16th short line. It comprises a 59-mile branch between Clinton and Clairfield, Tennessee, and a 72-mile branch between Beverly, Tennessee, and Middlesboro, Kentucky, which crosses the Cumberland Gap. Both branches had been part of the Southern Railway, which merged with N&W in 1982, forming Norfolk Southern. [Railway Age, 1-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ADDS HYBRID CRANES TO CHICAGO, ATLANTA TERMINALS: Norfolk Southern has completed installation of five diesel electric hybrid overhead gantry cranes at intermodal terminals - two at Landers yard in Chicago, and three at Inman yard in Atlanta. [Railway Age, 1-27-22]

SMART SAND BEGINS OPERATING NS-SERVED TRANSLOAD TERMINAL IN PA.: Smart Sand Inc. has started operating and delivering sand to the new Norfolk Southern-served transload in Waynesboro, Pa. With more than four miles of track, the unit-train-capable terminal serves the southwestern portion of the Marcellus Basin, and is expected to have a transload capacity of more than a million tons of frac sand per year. [Railway Age, 1-27-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2021 EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported 2021 revenues of $11.1-billion, up 14 percent compared with the previous year, and volume increased in all major commodity groups. Railway operating expenses were $6.7-billion, a one percent decrease from the previous year. Income from railway operations was a record $4.45-billion, up 48 percent, and railway operating ratio was 60.1 percent. [Norfolk Southern, 1-26-22]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO BOARD: Norfolk Southern has named Amy Miles as non-executive chair effecting May 1. Alan Shaw, who was appointed president in Dec. 2021, will join the board when he assumes to role of CEO upon the retirement of James Squires on May 1. Squires will remain a director following his retirement, and the board will then increase in size from 13 to 14 members. [Progressive Railroading, 1-26-22]

LOOP LOGISTICS ACQUIRES TRANSLOAD FACILITY IN PHOENIX: Loop Logistics Co., a subsidiary of Union Pacific, has acquired Precision Components' transload facility in Phoenix. Served by Union Pacific, the facility processes over 8,000 rail cars and 38,000 trucks annually. [Progressive Railroading, 1-26-22]

BRIGHTLINE BREAKS GROUND ON BACON RATON STATION: Brightline broke ground Jan. 25 on its new station in Boca Raton. It is expected to open to the public in the fall. [Progressive Railroading, 1-26-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 477,462 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 22, 2022, down 9.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.3 percent, and intermodal was down 14.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-26-22]

SAM SEXHUS NAMED PRESIDENT, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF PATRIOT RAIL: Patriot Rail has tapped Sam Sexhus, a 25-year-plus rail industry veteran, as president and chief operating officer. Previously, he was vice-president of strategy and technology at BNSF. Patriot runs 13 short lines, a scenic rail excursion train, and rail-related services companies across the U.S. [Railway Age, 1-26-22]

THALES TO INSTALL TRAIN-POSITIONING SYSTEM IN U.K.: Thales will soon install a robust train-positioning system on a 'rolling lab' that will provide data on the safety and efficiency of the United Kingdom's railways. It is composed of multiple sensor systems that combine to create a digital map of the track, providing continuous positioning output. [Progressive Railroading, 1-26-22]

AUSTRALIA'S MAIN EAST-WEST RAIL CORRIDOR CUT BY FLOOD DAMAGE: Transcontinental rail freight services from Australia's eastern states to Western Australia and the Northern Territory have been seriously disrupted by heavy rainfall in the South Australian outback. All east-west freight services to and from Perth have been suspended since Jan. 21, and on Jan. 26 officials said the line was not likely to reopen for another 12 days. [International Railway Journal, 1-26-22]

CONCRETE WORKERS' STRIKE IMPACTING SOUND TRANSIT PROJECTS: More than 300 concrete workers have been on strike for seven weeks against six King County, Washington, companies. Seattle's Sound Transit says forms have been in place waiting for concrete, and that there is a great deal of light-rail construction work on pause. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-25-22]

GROUND BROKEN ON CHICAGO TRANSIT'S NORTH MAIN RED, PURPLE LINE STRUCTURE: Ground was broken Jan. 24 on the project to rebuild and straighten a section of Chicago Transit's North Main Red and Purple Line track structure. When completed, the new track will accommodate more trains and allow for greater speeds. [Progressive Railroading, 1-25-22]

CN REPORTS 2021 RESULTS: Canadian National reported $14,477-million (C) in 2021 revenues, an increase of five percent compared with the previous year. Operating income of $5,616-million was an increase of 18 percent, and adjusted operating income of $5,622-million was an increase of seven percent. Diluted earnings-per-share of $6.89 were an increase of 38 percent, and operating ratio was 61.2 percent. [CN, 1-25-22]

CN NAMES NEW CEO, REACHES AGREEMENT WITH TCI FUND MANAGEMENT: Canadian National has named Tracy Robinson to take over as chief executive officer to replace the retiring J.J. Ruest. Meanwhile, London-based TCI Fund Management has agreed to drop its demand for a special shareholder meeting. The move comes after CN agreed to work with TCI, which owns five percent of CN's stock, to appoint two new independent directors with rail experience to the board. [The Hour, 1-25-22]

GRAND CANYON RWY TO RUN STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ON CERTAIN DATES: Grand Canyon Railway says it will once again run the steam locomotive 4960, but only on selected dates. The engine will be used on the first Saturday of each month from March through October, as well as Febr. 21, April 22 and Sept. 17. The trips are scheduled to pull the 9:30 a.m. departures with two-hour trips each direction, allowing three and one-half hours to visit Grand Canyon. [Travel+Leisure, 1-25-22]

TALGO COACHES FOR DENMARK DELAYED: Coaches being built by Talgo for Danish State Railways' international service between Copenhagen and Hamburg will now be delivered in 2024 instead of 2023. The eight 124-MPH eight-car trains are similar to the Talgo 230 intercity coaches purchased by German Rail in 2019. [International Railway Journal, 1-25-22]

NATIONAL RAIL CONTRACT TALKS HEAD FOR MEDIATION AFTER IMPASSE: Contract talks between the largest freight railroads and unions representing 105,000 employees are headed to mediation after the unions declared an impasse following more than two years of negotiations. [AP News, 1-24-22]

CSX PROMOTES SEAN PELKEY TO EVP, CFO: CSX has promoted Sean R, Pelkey to executive vice-president and chief financial officer. Previously he was vice-president and acting CFO since July 2021 after serving as vice-president of finance and treasury. [Railway Age, 1-24-22]

JANNO LIEBER CONFIRMED AS CHAIR, CEO OF N.Y. MTA: The New York State Senate has confirmed Janno Lieber as the chair and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-24-22]

SACRAMENTO TRANSIT TO START WORK TO IMPROVE GOLD LINE TO FOLSOM THIS SUMMER: The Sacramento Regional Transit District plans to begin work this summer to improve Gold line service to Folsom. The project will allow train operation every 15 minutes between Sunrise station and Folsom station, rather than the current 30 minutes. Included will be a passing track between Hazel and Folsom, and improved platforms at stations to accommodate low-floor light-rail vehicles. [Railway Age, 1-24-22]

CONNECTING SERVICE PROPOSED FOR MAINE PASSENGER RAIL: A new plan has surfaced for Brunswick-to-Rockland, Maine, passenger rail service. The state's passenger rail authority has been briefed on a proposal by Midcoast Rail Service to use a self-propelled rail car to carry passengers between the two stations, scheduled to connect with Downeaster trains in Brunswick. There would be two round-trips each day on summer weekends, and one round-trip per day at other times. [Maine Public Radio, 1-24-22]

SAO PAULO ORDERS 19 MONORAIL TRAINS: Metro of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has approved an order for 19 Innovia 300 driverless monorail trains for expansion of its Line 15 fleet to 46 train sets. [Railway Gazette, 1-24-22]

FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN ILLINOIS, DELAYS AMTRAK TRAIN: Six cars of a freight train derailed early Jan. 21 on the south side of Springfield, Illinois, delaying the arrival of an Amtrak train on the way to the city. The Amtrak train, with 61 passengers on board, heading north, hit a wheel from one of the derailed freight cars, damaging the front. No injuries were reported. [State Journal-Register, 1-21-22]

UNUSED U.S. TALGO TRAINS TO MOVE TO NIGERIA: Two 14-car trains built by Talgo for operation on the Hiawatha line between Milwaukee and Chicago more than a decade ago, but which never entered traffic, will move to Nigeria where they will be put into commuter services in Lagos. The state of Wisconsin purchased the trains in 2009, but later defaulted on the contract. A lawsuit followed, with Talgo keeping the trains. [Railway Age, 1-21-22]

FTA CLEARS WAY FOR HUDSON TUNNEL PROJECT TO QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL FUNDS: The Federal Transit Administration has raised its rating of the proposed Hudson Tunnel commuter rail project, which means the $12.7-billion project will qualify for up to $5.6-billion in federal funds. The agency raised the rating to 'medium-high.' [Progressive Railroading, 1-21-22]

CALIFORNIA HSR BOARD CLEARS ENVIRONMENTAL STEPS TO ADVANCE SERVICE TO L.A.: The California High-Speed Rail Authority's board has approved the final environmental impact statement for the 14-mile Burbank-to-Los Angeles project section. The action clears the way for full California Environmental Quality Act clearance of nearly 300 miles of the project's 500-mile Phase 1 alignment. [Progressive Railroading, 1-21-22]

NYC D-LINE SUBWAY RESUMING CONEY ISLAND SERVICE: New York City's MTA will resume D-line subway service between Bay 50 street and Coney Island Stillwell avenue on Jan. 24 following completion of storm-resilient upgrades to the Coney Island yard complex. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-21-22]

CSX REPORTS 4-Q EARNINGS: CSX announced fourth-quarter 2021 net earnings of $934-million or 42 cents per share, compared with $760-million or 33 cents per share in the same period last year. Operating ratio was 60.1 percent compared with 57.0 percent in the prior-year period. Prior year results include a pre-tax charge of $48-million within other expense. Revenue for the fourth-quarter increased 21 percent from the prior year to $3.43-billion. Operating income improved 12 percent to $1.37-billion. [CSX, 1-20-22]

BALLARD TO POWER CP'S EXPANDED HYDROGEN LOCOMOTIVE PROGRAM: Ballard Power Systems will deliver eight additional 200-kilowatt fuel cell modules to Canadian Pacific this year for its recently-expanded hydrogen locomotive program. [Railway Age, 1-20-22]

CUSTOM TRUCK ACQUIRES HIRAIL LEASING GROUP: Kansas City-based Custom Truck One Source has expanded its reach in the Canadian market and its rail-related equipment offerings with its $46-million acquisition of HiRail Leasing Group. The acquisition includes HiRail's Northshore Rail Contracting and Heavy Repairs companies. [Railway Age, 1-20-22]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2021 RESULTS: Union Pacific's 2021 net income was $6.5-billion or $9.95 per diluted share, compared with 2020 net income of $5.6-billion or $8.19 per diluted share, which excludes a $278-million pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge. [Union Pacific, 1-20-22]

TRANSMASHHOLDING TO SUPPLY 70 EMUS TO BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's ministry of transport has awarded Transmashholding an $864-million contract to supply and maintain 70 eight-car electric multiple-units for use in Buenos Aires. [Railway Gazette, 1-20-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 493,617 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending January 15, 2022, down 6.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.5 percent, and intermodal was down 12.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-19-22]

UNION PACIFIC LANDS SCHNEIDER BUSINESS: Schneider has signed a long-term agreement with Union Pacific to be its primary intermodal rail provider in the western U.S. beginning Jan. 2023. With the combination of Schneider's eastern partnership with CSX, the transition to Union Pacific, from BNSF, will offer more direct connections, Schneider said. [Railway Age, 1-18-22]

PARALLEL SYSTEMS TESTING AUTONOMOUS BATTERY-POWERED FREIGHT CARS: California-based Parallel Systems is testing autonomous battery-electric rail cars, which can operate by themselves or in tandem, for short-haul freight operations. The rail car leverages a 'camera-based perception system and redundant braking,' to stop safely within the line of sight, up to 10 times quicker than a train, and maintain safe speeds based on the track conditions. [Railway Age, 1-19-22]

STORAGE IN TRANSIT RAIL YARD BEING ADDED IN BAYTOWN, TEXAS: Port 10 Watco Rail Logistics is adding a new storage in transit yard to the Port 10 Logistics Center in Baytown, Texas. It will connect directly to Union Pacific and its Coady Yard. In addition to 400 rail car spots, three million square feet of warehouse and distribution space will be available for forward-positioning customer products. [Railway Age, 1-19-22]

NEW GONDOLA DESIGN AIMS TO REDUCE INDUSTRY'S EMISSIONS: A new type of rail car aims to improve the industry's footprint. The more sustainable open-top gondolas use a high-strength, lighter-weight steel developed by U.S. Steel, Norfolk Southern and The Greenbrier Companies that reduces the car's unloaded weight by up to 15,000 pounds. Norfolk Southern will initially acquire 800 of the cars. Once in service, Norfolk Southern plans to recycle the previous models, the company said. [Supply Chain Brain, 1-19-22]

UNIONS THREATEN STRIKE AGAINST BNSF: BNSF wants a federal judge to prevent two of its unions from going on strike next month over a new attendance policy that would penalize employees for missing work. The railroad has gone to court after the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union both threatened to strike over the policy that is set to go into effect Febr. 1. [AP News, 1-19-22]

UNION PACIFIC ACCUSED OF DEFECTIVE SAFETY MEASURES AT RAIL YARD: Union Pacific is facing a suit alleging poor safety measures at its Settegast rail yard in Houston. The suit is on behalf of an employee who was injured in Aug. 2020, claiming negligence for failing to provide a warning of a moving train, failure to clear obstructions, or inspect or repair gates near a crossing. [Southeast Texas Record, -19-22]

TRAIN DERAILS IN DOWNTOWN L.A.: A downtown Los Angeles track where 17 rail cars derailed January 15 has been repaired and is now reopened, Union Pacific said. There were no injuries, and the cause of the derailment remains under investigation. [L.A. Daily News, 1-18-22]

CEO OF MARTA DIES: Jeffrey Parker, 56, chief executive officer and general manager of Atlanta's MARTA, died late Jan. 14 when he was struck by an oncoming train at MARTA's East Lake station. According to the agency, his death was a suicide. Collie Greenwood has been named interim CEO and general manager. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-17-22]

BLET, NEW YORK & ATLANTIC RATIFY COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT: Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with New York & Atlantic Railway. The agreement runs through 2026, and covers rates of pay, work rules and health care. [Progressive Railroading, 1-17-22]

ST. LOUIS METROLINK STATION GETS UPGRADES: Metro Transit St. Louis has completed $7.5-million in improvements to MetroLink Central West End Transit Center, the agency's busiest light-rail station. Upgrades include a new elevator and staircase, lighting, security, and a new welcome center. [Progressive Railroading, 1-17-22]

AMTRAK CONDUCTOR DIES IN FALL FROM TRAIN IN R.I.: An Amtrak conductor was killed Jan. 15 after falling from her train at the station in Westerly, Rhode Island. She is believed to have fallen off the train as it was leaving the station. [AP News, 1-15-22]

MARYLAND'S PURPLE LINE ESTIMATED TO OPEN IN FALL 2026: A revised project schedule from Maryland transportation officials shows the 16-mile Purple light-rail line between Bethesda and New Carrollton is now expected to open in the fall of 2026. Light-rail vehicle assembly is progressing on the 28 needed cars with eight of the cars ready for shipment, eight undergoing testing, and eight being assembled. It is also reported that the entire line, with 21 stations, will open at the same time. [Mass Transit Magazine, 1-14-22]

AMTRAK TO SUSPEND EIGHT PERCENT OF TRAIN SERVICE OVER 10 WEEKS: Amtrak will be suspending eight percent of train departures over a 10-week period due to staffing challenges. This will include an eight percent reduction of Northeast regional weekly departures between Jan. 24 and March 27, a six percent reduction of state-supported service between Jan. 18 and March 27, suspension of two weekly departures on each of nine long-distance routes between Jan. 17 and March 27, and the complete suspension of the Silver Meteor between Jan. 17 and March 27. Five long-distance routes will not have any reductions. They are Auto Train, Cardinal, Palmetto, Silver Star and Sunset Limited. Amtrak added that it is in the process of hiring and training new employees to address staffing issues, and it will look for opportunities to restore service levels earlier than March 27, if possible. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-14-22]

CSX ACCEPTS MOST AMTRAK'S CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF PAN AM COMBINATION: Amtrak had opposed the pending CSX-Pan Am combination for lack of seven conditions before the Surface Transportation Board. CSX has since accepted six of those conditions. The seventh condition relates to the Berkshire Flyer train in Massachusetts, and CSX has agreed to operation of that service as a 'special train' from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. The conditions Amtrak requested were made to ensure that performance and expansion of Amtrak service is not harmed, the company said. [Progressive Railroading, 1-14-22]

D.C. METRO TO KEEP 7000-SERIES CARS SIDELINED FOR ANOTHER 90 DAYS: The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority's 7000-series rail cars will be out of service for another 90 days, the agency says. It said it is acquiring technology to measure the cars' wheelsets, which have been under inspection since a derailment in Oct. 2021. [Railway Age, 1-14-22]

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS VACCINE MANDATE FOR LARGE EMPLOYERS: The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, has blocked the Biden administration's mandate that large employers (those with more than 100 employees) must require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The court ruled that the President and the Occupational Health & Safety Administration had exceeded their authority in issuing a nationwide large employer mandate. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-14-22]

VIRGINIA'S AMTRAK ROUTE EXPANSION PLAN MOVES FORWARD: Virginia and Norfolk Southern have finalized an agreement that will increase Amtrak service to Roanoke, and expand service to the New River Valley. It calls for a second round-trip to Roanoke later this year, and acknowledges the potential for a future station in Bedford. It also calls for extending service from Roanoke to Christiansburg in southwest Virginia's New River Valley, upon completion of infrastructure improvements. Amtrak daily service between Washington and Lynchburg began with one round trip in Oct. 2009, and was expanded to Roanoke in Nov. 2017. [Railway Age, 1-14-22]

VIA RAIL TO REDUCE SERVICE ON QUEBEC CITY-WINDSOR CORRIDOR: VIA Rail Canada plans to temporarily reduce service on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor beginning Jan. 19 due to the spread of COVID-19, but continue to provide essential service on affected routes. On-board services may be modified, such as temporary suspension of business-class seating. [Progressive Railroading, 1-14-22]

CP RESPONDS TO CN'S PETITION TO ABSORB SPRINGFIELD LINE: Kansas City Southern's Springfield Line is 'not parallel' to Canadian Pacific's line between Kansas City and Chicago, CP says. The KCS line does not reach Chicago, and it is not part of a through route to that location in conjunction with CN. Moreover, there is no direct connection between KCS and CN today in Springfield, and interchange volumes reflect the absence of any actual service there. CP says the combined CP-KCS railroad will maintain existing levels of service on its lines and not reroute traffic away therefrom. [CP, 1-13-22]

CN TO PETITION TO ABSORB SPRINGFIELD LINE AS PART OF CP-KCS MERGER: Canadian National has submitted a notice of intent to file a 'responsive application' with the Surface Transportation Board requesting the STB to condition any approval of a CP-KCS merger on the divesture of KCS lines from Kansas City to Springfield and East St. Louis (known as the 'Springfield Line') to CN. Such action, CN says, would represent a major opportunity to improve transportation options and promote competition. [CN, 1-13-22]

AMIT BOSE CONFIRMED AS FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATOR: The U.S. Senate has confirmed Amit Bose as the 15th administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. He has been serving as deputy administrator, and he was nominated to the position in April 2021. [Progressive Railroading, 1-13-22]

VALLEY METRO ADDS FIRST OF NEW FLEET OF SIEMENS S700 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Valley Metro has entered into revenue service the first of its new fleet of Siemens Mobility S700 light-rail vehicles on its 28-mile system serving Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. [Progressive Railroading, 1-13-22]

AMTRAK UNVEILS SPECIALLY-PAINTED OPERATION LIFESAVER LOCOMOTIVE: A specially-painted black-and-yellow Amtrak P-42 diesel locomotive, emblazoned on its sides with a message reading 'See Tracks? Think Train!,' was released into service Jan. 12 at a ceremony at Washington Union Station. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of Operation Lifesaver. [Operation Lifesaver, 1-12-22]

COLUMBUS, OHIO, PONDERS BUILDING AMTRAK STATION: Columbus, Ohio, does not have Amtrak service, but an Amtrak station could come to the Greater Columbus Convention Center anyway, if the city's goal of bringing passenger rail to the city stays on track. The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority has released plans for a $23-million, two-level station integrated into the center's south building. It would connect to existing tracks under the center, which sits where the city's Union Station stood before it was demolished in 1979. [Akios Columbus, 1-12-22]

BLET REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH METRA: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has reached a tentative contract agreement with Chicago's Metra. It governs rates of pay and work rules for approximately 175 members. [Progressive Railroading, 1-12-22]

NJT AWARDS CONTRACTS FOR TWO MAJOR STATION RENOVATIONS: New Jersey Transit's board has approved contracts as part of major projects to renovate the 86-year-old Newark Penn Station and improve the Trenton Transit Center. [Progressive Railroading, 1-12-22]

U.S. STEEL TO BUILD $3-B BNSF-SERVED MILL IN ARKANSAS: United States Steel reported that it will build a $3-billion steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas, to be served by BNSF. Permitting for the project is underway, and the company expects to break ground in the first-quarter 2022, with full operation anticipated in 2024. [Railway Age, 1-12-22]

COURT SIDES WITH METRA IN COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE: A U.S. district court has ruled against two unions in a case involving the unions' preliminary motions to stop Metra's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. [Progressive Railroading, 1-12-22]

ANACOSTIA RAIL SUBSIDIARY ACQUIRES THE KEARNEY COMPANIES: Precision Terminal Logistics, a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings and Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners, has acquired the Kearney Cos. Inc. in New Orleans and Kearney Page Warehouse Services in Savannah. [Progressive Railroading, 1-12-22]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 440,761 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending January 8, 2022, down 16 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 10.6 percent, and intermodal was down 20.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-12-22]

COURT RULES AGAINST OKLAHOMA'S 10-MINUTE CROSSING BLOCK LIMIT LAW: Oklahoma's 10-minute limit on trains blocking city streets violates the federal government's authority to regulate rail carriers and tracks, a federal court has ruled. Citing the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, the Surface Transportation Board has 'exclusive' jurisdiction over rail carriers, even if the tracks are located in just one state. [The Oklahoman, 1-12-22]

BRIGHTLINE TO BEGIN W. PALM BEACH-COCOA CREW QUALIFYING RUNS: Starting the week of Jan. 17, Brightline will begin running qualifying trains, without passengers, between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, Florida. Engineers and conductors will become acquainted with the tracks and territory along a 130-mile stretch of the corridor. The trains will be restricted to a maximum speed of 60 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-11-22]

WABTEC TO PROVIDE BATTERY-POWERED LOCOMOTIVES TO AUSTRALIAN MINING COMPANY: Wabtec Corp. and Rio Tinto announced an order for four FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives to support mining operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The units will be used in yard-shunter service, and ultimately in mainline service. [Progressive Railroading, 1-11-22]

PRECISION TERMINAL LOGISTICS EXPANDING SERVICE: Pa.-based Precision Terminal Logistics has added rail-served warehouse and yard capacity in New Orleans and Savannah to its transload terminal network spanning 15 states. [Railway Age, 1-11-22]

HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT IN VERMONT TO BE MOVED TWO MILES: An old train depot in New Haven, Vermont, will hit the road Jan. 12 to make room for Amtrak service to start later this year connecting Burlington and Rutland. Built in the 1860's, it is currently too close to the tracks. The brick building will be moved two miles and end up next to the town offices. If everything goes right, it will take four days to move it to its new location. [WCAX, 1-11-22]

BNSF TO TAKE OVER MONTANA RAIL LINK SYSTEM: BNSF has announced plans to take over Montana Rail Link and its 900 miles of track in Montana and Idaho. MRL employs about 1200 people. BNSF has committed to retain all employees of MRL in their current jobs with similar pay, benefits, seniority and other terms of employment. The deal must first be approved by the Surface Transportation Board. [Billings Gazette, 1-10-22]

READING & NORTHERN TO ENTER STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 2102 INTO SERVICE: Reading & Northern has called its 2021 ridership amazing, hosting over 225,000 riders in 2021. The growth in ridership was achieved by adding more train trips, more equipment and more origins. It has already begun service in 2022 as Jim Thorpe, Pa., trains are now operated year-round, and later this year it will be starting excursion service from the Wilkes Barre-Scranton area out of Pittston. Also, the railroad has announced that steam locomotive 2102 will be entered into service. [Railway Age, 1-10-22]

CHICAGO SOUTH SHORE & SOUTH BEND TO ADD 17 MILES OF DOUBLE-TRACK: The Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad has announced an agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. to add 17 miles of double-track to enhance operations. The work involves doubling track between Gary and Michigan City, funded by federal, state and private funds. When completed in 2024, the full 25-mile stretch will be double-tracked. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-22]

POLICE RESCUE PILOT FROM PLANE LANDING ON TRACKS IN CALIFORNIA: A pilot who crashed a small plan onto railroad tracks was pulled alive from the wreck by police officers just moments before a commuter train roared through, smashing to plane into pieces. The plane crashed Jan. 9 shortly after taking off from an airport in Pacoima, California. [AP News, 1-10-22]

ALPENGLOW, CC&L ACQUIRE RAIL TERMINAL IN TEXAS: Denver-based Alpenglow Rail, in partnership with Connor Clark & Lunn Infrastructure, has purchased a newly-constructed rail terminal in Orange, Texas. Situated on 130 acres, the terminal offers a loop track capable of handling 120-car unit trains, provides about 600 rail car storage spots, and is served by Union Pacific and BNSF. [Railway Age, 1-10-22]

READING & NORTHERN SETS REVENUE RECORD: The Reading & Northern has again surpassed its own records for freight revenue, rising over both 2020 and pre-pandemic 2019 levels. [Railway Age, 1-10-22]

NJT SET TO SCRAP FLEET OF STORM-DAMAGED COMET III RAIL CARS: A fleet of 44 Comet III rail cars that NJ Transit sidelined for 13 years in a train yard, and were later damaged by superstorm Sandy, are about to make their last trip - to the scrap yard. They had been removed from service in 2008, but four years after that they were damaged by flooding. The remaining Comet III cars that were not damaged, but have surpassed the 25-year useful life, might be donated. [, 1-10-22]

ANOTHER HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE OPENS IN CHINA: Jan. 8 marked the official opening of the Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou high-speed rail line. The 166-mile line in Zhejiang province is the country's first 217-MPH line to be funded by the private sector. Services are operated by China Railway, with an initial 35 trains each way per day. [Railway Gazette, 1-10-22]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN TEXAS, CATCHES FIRE: A BNSF train derailed and caught fire outside of Vernon, Texas, near the Oklahoma state line, Jan. 8. Several train cars containing denatured alcohol were involved. The Wichita Falls fire department and crews from Sheppard Air Force base were among emergency agencies sent to the scene. The derailment occurred under an overpass, impacting U.S. 287. No injuries were reported. [WFTV, 1-8-22]

CALIFORNIA H.S.R. MEETS REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL FUNDING: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has fully met its state funding match for federal dollars, one year ahead of schedule. This action completes a major requirement of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding grant. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-7-22]

STB UPDATES DETAILS ON CSX'S ACQUISITION OF PAN AM SYSTEMS HEARING: The Surface Transportation Board has provided added details on the upcoming hearing on the revised application for CSX's proposed acquisition of Pan Am Systems and its subsidiaries. The public hearing will be virtual on Jan. 13, and continue the following day to accommodate all speakers. [Progressive Railroading, 1-7-22]

MIDDLETOWN, PA., STATION PROJECT COMPLETED: Pennsylvania's Middletown station project has been completed, and Amtrak service to the station begins Jan. 10. The new station provides additional multimodal connections, a high-level platform, pedestrian overpass, elevators and stair towers. The project is part of a broader initiative to improve travel in the Keystone corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 1-7-22]

TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT UNIFIES RAIL LABOR: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees have reaffiliated under the Transportation Trades Department. With the addition of these two unions, the department now represents every rail union in the U.S. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-7-22]

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, CEO: Rocky Mountaineer has named David McKenna as its new president and chief executive officer. Most recently he served as president at the Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit, where he led tourism expansion and acquisition projects in the Canadian Rockies. He also chairs the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-22]

MBTA OPENS TEST TRACK, VEHICLE COMMISSIONING FACILITY FOR RED LINE: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has opened a $22-million test track and vehicle commissioning facility for is new Red line fleet, due to begin service in 2024. [Railway Age, 1-6-22]

N.Y. GOVERNOR CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF INTERBOROUGH EXPRESS: New York's governor has announced plans to move forward with the Interborough Excess and begin the environmental review process toward the project to connect communities in Brooklyn and Queens to as many as 17 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road. The project would use the existing right-of-way of the Bay Ridge branch, a freight rail line that runs through Brooklyn and Queens. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-6-22]

AMTRAK ENDORSES CP-KCS MERGER: Amtrak has agreed to support the proposed combination of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. CP has consistently received an A rating from Amtrak on its annual host railroad report card, and CP has committed to support efforts to establish or expand Amtrak service over its lines between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Meridian and Dallas, Milwaukee and St. Paul, Hiawatha service, and through the Detroit River tunnel between Michigan and Ontario. [Amtrak-CP, 1-6-22]

NEW ALABAMA RAIL CORRIDOR TO LINK PORT, MEGA SITES: Alabama's governor has announced the creation of the 'A-USA Corridor,' a proposed $231.6-million program of rail projects to upgrade economic development infrastructure. The first phase involves an initiative to link the Port of Mobile with the McCalla Intermodal facility near Birmingham. The 280-mile corridor will also link three mega economic development sites in Etowah, Shelby and Washington/Mobile counties, each totaling more than 1000 acres. A fourth site, in Jefferson County, will be the location for up to one million square feet of warehouse space. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-22]

NORWAY PLANS NEW TRAIN SETS FOR LONG-DISTANCE SERVICE: State rolling-stock-owning body Norske Tog has prequalified four bidders for a contract to supply a fleet of train sets which would replace the country's life-expired locomotive-hauled trains and create a new kind of traveling experience on long-distance routes. Funding has been established for an initial 17 train sets to enter service in 2026, but the procurement envisages further options for a total of up to 100 trains. [Railway Gazette, 1-6-22]

D.C. METRO TAKES PROTECTIVE COVID ACTIONS: Washington DC Metro is planning changes to service and protective actions for employees due to the surge of COVID-19 infections. Metrorail service will increase in frequency at stations served by multiple lines, call center operators will begin working remotely, unvaccinated employees will be required to test weekly, and employees failing to comply with testing and vaccine measures will be placed on unpaid leave, or terminated if they remain noncompliant after 30 days. [Progressive Railroading, 1-5-22]

AAR NAMES PAUL HEDRICK SENIOR V.P. OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION: The Association of American Railroads has named Paul Hedrick to serve as its next senior vice-president of finance and administration, and chief financial officer, effective March 1, replacing Jeff Marsh, who is retiring. [Progressive Railroading, 1-5-22]

ANNUAL U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 26,152,716 carloads and intermodal units in 2021, an increase of 5.7 percent compared with the previous year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 6.6 percent, and intermodal was up 4.9 percent. For the month of December, carloads and intermodal units were down 3.1 percent from the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.1 percent, and intermodal was down 8.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-5-22]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRANDED IN VA. DUE TO BLOCKED RAILS: Passengers en route to New York City aboard Amtrak's Crescent were stranded on board the train for more than 24 hours Jan. 4 near Lynchburg, Va., after a winter storm downed trees across the tracks, the railroad said. When the train finally arrived in New York, it was 31 hours and 49 minutes behind schedule.

DUBUQUE, IOWA, OPPOSES CP-KCS MERGER: Some businesses are joining Dubuque, Iowa, in opposing the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. They are saying the railroad running through downtown already stalls traffic, sometimes taking up to two hours before a train moves, forcing people to find a different route. [KCRG, 1-5-22]

READING & NORTHERN BEGINS NEW SEASON OF JIM THORPE TRAIN RIDES: On Jan. 1 the Reading & Northern Railroad began operating tourist trains for the new season under the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad banner. Trains depart on 70-minute round-trip rides three times each day on Saturdays and Sundays from the rail station in Jim Thorpe, Pa., traveling the route into Lehigh Gorge State Park. [Progressive Railroading, 1-4-21]

KANSAS CITY STREETCARS SERVED ONE MILLION RIDERS IN 2021: The KC Streetcar Authority reported that the service crossed the one million ridership milestone before the end of 2021. Ridership the year before was 782,556. [Progressive Railroading, 1-4-22]

JAMES PORTS JR. NAMED MD. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: James Ports Jr., currently executive director of the Maryland Transportation Authority, has been named to succeed Greg Slater as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation effective Jan. 11. [Progressive Railroading, 1-4-22]

WABTEC ACQUIRES RAIL FRICTION BUSINESS: Wabtec is growing its brakes product portfolio with its acquisition of India-based MASU's railway friction business in a deal valued at about $34-million. [Railway Age, 1-4-22]

PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY BRIGHTLINE TRAIN: A Brightline train struck and killed a pedestrian who walked into its path early Jan. 4, the fifth death involving the railroad since it recently resumed operations after being shut down because of the pandemic. Brightline had 52 earlier deaths, the worst fatality rate among the country's approximately 800 railroads, since it began test runs in mid-2017. Investigations showed most victims were either suicidal, intoxicated, mentally ill, or had gone around barriers or ignored warnings in an attempt to beat the trains. [AP News, 1-4-22]

EUROPEAN NIGHT TRAIN RENAISSANCE GATHERS PACE: A slew of new overnight passenger rail services and significant investment in rolling stock is on the agenda for the next couple of years as both state-owned and independent operators revive sleeping car and couchette services across Europe. [Railway Gazette, 1-4-22]

FIRST SECTION OF DAKAR RAIL LINE OPENS: Senegal inaugurated the first section of the 35-mile standard-gauge Dakar TER line on Dec. 27. The initial section is 22 miles from Dakar to Diamniadio, and is expected to carry 115,000 passengers per day. Eventually the line will connect Dakar to the new Blaise-Diagne International Airport. [International Railway Journal, 1-4-22]

CSX CURTIS BAY COAL PIERS SUSPEND OPERATIONS DUE TO EXPLOSION: Operations at CSX Curtis Bay coal piers in Baltimore were temporarily suspended as a result of an explosion that occurred Dec. 30 at a coal transfer tower. No injuries were reported. The explosion was felt in neighborhoods for miles around. [Progressive Railroading, 1-3-22]

TOM GARRETT TAKES OVER AS CEO OF P&L TRANSPORTATION: Tom Garrett has taken over as CEO of P&L Transportation and its subsidiary railroads Paducah & Louisville, Evansville Western, Appalachian & Ohio and Midway Southern, following the retirement from that position by Tony Reck, who will continue as board chairman. [Railway Age, 1-3-22]

STB TO HOLD HEARING ON RECIPROCAL SWITCHING: The Surface Transportation Board will hold a hearing on the issue of reciprocal switching on March 16 and 17. The issue affects shippers who are served by only one railroad, many of whom claim that reciprocal switching will introduce competition, leading to lower rates. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-3-22]

ELECTRIC RAIL SERVICE BEGINS ON AUSTRIA'S MATTIGTAL BRANCH: Electric services have begun operating on the southern two and one-half miles of Austria's Mattigtal branch, northeast of Salzburg, following the completion of an electrification project. [Railway Gazette, 1-3-22]

AMTRAK'S CRESCENT TO BE IMPACTED BY TRACK WORK: Amtrak's Crescent trains 19 and 20 will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans Monday through Thursday Jan. 3 through Febr. 17 on account of track work. Schedules for Friday through Sunday are not affected. [Amtrak]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE IN 2021: Forty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the full year 2021. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-1-22]

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