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Bull Sheet Newswire

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 489,790 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Sept. 16, 2023, up 1.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.2 percent, and intermodal was up 3.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-20-23]

CALTRAIN'S ELECTRIC POWER PROJECT MOVES FORWARD: Caltrain has completed the installation of every pole for the overhead contact system, upgraded the signal system and successfully tested its new electric trains. Caltrain's electrification project is slated to begin in the fall of 2024. [Railway Age, 9-19-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ESTABLISHES COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR EAST PALESTINE PROPERTY VALUE REDUCTIONS: Norfolk Southern has announced an interim value assurance program to compensate for any reduction in value of eligible residential properties in East Palestine, Ohio, and some surrounding communities in response to the Febr. derailment and fire. [Railway Age, 9-19-23]

REPAIRS MADE TO MBTA'S RAIL LINE IN LEOMINSTER FOLLOWING FLOODING: Repairs have been made to one of the MBTA tracks in Leominster, Massachusetts, following severe flash flooding on Sept. 11 that washed away the ground under the rail tracks near the station. Rail service resumes late Sept. 19. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-19-23]

AMTRAK CLAIMS RIGHT TO EMINENT DOMAIN AT D.C. UNION STATION: A U.S. District Court judge has heard arguments in an eminent domain case regarding Amtrak and Washington DC Union Station. Amtrak claims that it should be granted ownership of the leasing rights from the station's management company. Amtrak says it needs to station in order to perform repairs and reinforce a train tunnel beneath it. The federal government owns the station, but it leases it out to other companies. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-18-23]

ELIOT HAMLISCH NAMED AMTRAK'S EXECUTIVE V.P., CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER: Amtrak has hired Eliot Hamlisch as executive vice-president and chief commercial officer. He most recently served as executive v.p. and chief marketing officer for AMC Entertainment Holdings. [Railway Age, 9-18-23]

BLET MEMBERS RATIFY FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH NEW ENGLAND CENTRAL: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen members have ratified a new five-year agreement with Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary New England Central Railroad. [Railway Age, 9-18-23]

SOUND TRANSIT OPENS HILLTOP TACOMA LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: Sound Transit on Sept. 16 opened the 2.4-mile Hilltop Tacoma light-rail extension. The new alignment more than doubles the length of the T Line and runs parallel to former streetcar lines that were shuttered in the 1930's. [Railway Age, 9-18-23]

CSX CARMAN DIES IN ACCIDENT IN WALBRIDGE, OHIO: A CSX car department employee was killed Sept. 17 while working in a rail yard in Walbridge, Ohio. Officials from two rail employee unions say the accident involved a remote-controlled locomotive. The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation. [Progressive Railroading, 9-18-23]

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 Sept. 17, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and five minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-18-23]

CN APPLIES HISTORIC LOGO TO EXECUTIVE TRAIN LOCOMOTIVE: In a surprise move, Canadian National has resurrected an iconic CN logo to one of its newest locomotives, a century after it initially appeared on its steam locomotive fleet. CN-3300, an AC44C6M, is assigned to the company's executive train. It now sports the red and white CN emblem which was introduced in 1923. [Railway Age, 9-17-23]

INTERMODAL CONTAINER EXPLODES AT UNION PACIFIC YARD IN NEBRASKA: A loaded intermodal container exploded on a rail car Sept. 14, resulting in a fire, at Union Pacific's Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, leading to an evacuation within a one-mile radius for several hours. No injuries were reported, and an investigation is under way. [Railway Age, 9-15-23]

RAIL SAFETY WEEK IS SEPT. 18-24: Rail Safety Week will be observed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico from Sept. 18 to 24. Operation Lifesaver in the U.S. will emphasize a different theme each day and feature in-person events led by state programs, virtual activities and social media efforts. [Railway Age, 9-14-23]

CSX CELEBRATES TWO YEARS INJURY-FREE AT TAMPA INTERMODAL TERMINAL: CSX announced on Sept. 12 that its team at the intermodal terminal in Tampa, Florida, is celebrating two years injury-free. [Railway Age, 9-14-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RECOGNIZED FOR SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS: Norfolk Southern has received two Sustainable Company awards from Environmental Finance, a news and analysis service reporting on sustainable investment. The awards recognize corporations that are adopting business practices to achieve a net-zero future. [Progressive Railroading, 9-14-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 447,345 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Sept. 9, 2023, down 1.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.6 percent, and intermodal was down 3.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-13-23]

CN UPGRADES FALCON PREMIUM INTERMODAL SERVICE: Canadian National has announced an upgrade to its Falcon Premium Intermodal service. Recent operational changes by business partner Union Pacific will remove a day of transit time for its Canada-U.S.-Mexico service. With a rail connection in Chicago, the service connects all CN origin points within Canada and Detroit to GMXT terminals in Mexico. [Progressive Railroading, 9-13-23]

BRIGHTLINE'S ORLANDO SERVICE TO BEGIN SEPT. 22: Brightline has announced that its service at Orlando International Airport will begin Sept. 22 between that point and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and Miami. [Progressive Railroading, 9-13-23]

TWIN CITIES METRO TRANSIT WORKERS AUTHORIZE STRIKE: About 2,400 Amalgamated Transit Union workers have authorized a strike at Metro Transit, which provides commuter rail, light-rail and bus services in the Twin Cities. [Railway Age, 9-13-23]

FORMER INTERLOCKING TOWER IN N.J. DEMOLISHED TO MAKE ROOM FOR BRIDGE: SA interlocking tower along the NJ Transit line in South Amboy, N.J., was demolished Aug. 29 as part of construction of the new Raritan River drawbridge. Built in 1927, it was closed in 1986. [Bill Haines, 9-12-23]

CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CITED FOR CLEVELAND BRIDGE VIOLATIONS: The city of Cleveland has issued 99 first-degree misdemeanor rail bridge violations against CSX and Norfolk Southern for failing and crumbling concrete, high weeds, graffiti and more. The city says it is prepared to move forward on violations. If found guilty, the railroads could be fined $5,000 per day per violation notice. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-12-23]

SECOND-GENERATION AUTONOMOUS BATTERY RAIL VEHICLES INTRODUCED FOR TESTING: Parallel Systems, founded to create autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles, has introduced its second-generation vehicle, which is expected to be used with customers in pilot testing on existing rail networks in the U.S. and abroad. The company is conducting critical testing on the system, and is developing tools and software to enable rail customers to operate the vehicles from their existing dispatching and train-control systems. [Progressive Railroading, 9-12-23]

FRA CONCERNED OVER SAFETY OF UNION PACIFIC'S ROLLING STOCK: In a letter to Union Pacific, the Federal Railroad Administration has expressed 'serious concern' about the railroad's rolling stock. The compliance of freight cars and locomotives on Union Pacific is poor, and the railroad has been unwilling or unable to take steps to improve their condition, the agency said. The letter is rooted in inspections in July and August of mechanical operations and rolling stock, during which a number of freight cars and locomotives on the network had federal defects. [Progressive Railroading, 9-11-23]

AMTRAK AWARDS CONTRACTS FOR NEW BALTIMORE TUNNEL PROJECT: Amtrak has announced the awarding of two contracts in a joint venture for the Frederick Douglass tunnel program in Baltimore, the first of three major contractors for this phase of construction to deliver the program. The funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, Amtrak, and the state of Maryland. [Railway Age, 9-11-23]

AMTRAK RUNNING FAMILIARIZATION TRIPS FOR NEW ORLEANS-MOBILE SERVICE: Amtrak is currently running 'familiarization trips' for the New Orleans-Mobile service to run over host carriers CSX and Norfolk Southern. The building of a train stop and lead track in downtown Mobile is the final infrastructure issue to be addressed before beginning service. [Railway Age, 9-11-23]

CN, NORFOLK SOUTHERN LAUNCH NEW DOMESTIC INTERMODAL SERVICE: Canadian National and Norfolk Southern have announced a new domestic intermodal service linking CN-serviced Canadian markets with NS-served Kansas City and Atlanta markets. The service begins Oct. 2. The two carriers will utilize new intermodal steel wheel interchanges in Detroit and Chicago to 'seamlessly operate like a single-line intermodal product.' [Railway Age, 9-11-23]

FRA RECOMMENDS USE OF WHEEL IMPACT LOAD DETECTORS TO REDUCE TRACK DAMAGE: The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a safety advisory recommending that railroads use wheel impact load detectors in place of high-impact rail car wheels to reduce damage to rails and supporting track structures. The advisory follows preliminary investigation of a Febr. 2023 Union Pacific coal train derailment in Nebraska, which the agency said indicates that high-impact wheels damaged the rail causing the derailment. [Railway Age, 9-11-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-two percent of Amtrak's named long distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending September 10, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-11-23]

CSX NAMES MIKE CORY EXECUTIVE V.P., CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: CSX has named veteran railroad operating executive Mike Cory as executive vice-president and chief operating officer. With more than 40 years of operations experience, he retired from Canadian National as executive vice-president and chief operating officer in 2019, followed by providing transportation consulting services. He replaces Jamie Boychuk, who departed CSX in August. [Railway Age, 9-8-23]

MARTA SHIPPING TWO RETIRED RAIL CARS FOR MARINE HABITAT USE OFF GEORGIA COAST: Atlanta's MARTA on Sept. 7 shipped the first of two retired rail cars bound for the Georgia coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The agency is partnering with the state's department of natural resources to contribute retired rail cars that are being replaced by the new CQ400 cars in coming years. The reef project deploys large objects to develop reef habitats for marine wildlife. [Railway Age, 9-8-23]

'CAROLINA CONNECTOR' TO SERVE CCX INTERMODAL TERMINAL IN N.C. FROM PORT OF SAVANNAH: CSX and Georgia Ports Authority have teamed to offer daily 'Carolina Connector' rail service from Port of Savannah's Mason Mega rail terminal to CSX's CCX intermodal terminal in Rocky Mount, N.C. Cargo departing the Port of Savannah is available to customers on the third day. [Railway Age, 9-8-23]

VIA RAIL REINTRODUCING TRIPS SERVING TORONTO: VIA Rail Canada on Sept. 7 announced the reintroduction of two trips between Toronto and Ottawa, and one round trip between London and Toronto, starting in October. [Railway Age, 9-8-23]

TCU/IAM PRESIDENT TO RETIRE: Transportation Communications Union/IAM's international president Robert Martinez Jr. plans to retire Jan. 1. He will be succeeded by resident general vice-president Brian Bryant. [Progressive Railroading, 9-7-23]

FORMER INTERLOCKING TOWER IN N.H. GIVEN ONE-MONTH REPRIEVE FROM DEMOLITION: A dilapidated former rail interlocking tower in Concord, N.H., has been given at least a 30-day reprieve from a planned destruction by owner CSX. A demolition review committee has agreed that the structure is historically significant and should be saved. The reprieve will allow time to draft a plan to repurpose or save the building. Meanwhile, a former freight building on the property may be demolished, as dangers have been cited of the condition of that structure. [Bill Haines, from Concord Monitor, 9-7-23]

LIRR'S PENN EAST END GATEWAY CONCOURSE PROJECT SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED: The Metropolitan Transit Authority Construction & Development Co. recently marked the substantial completion of Long Island Rail Road's Penn East End Gateway concourse project in Manhattan. Included in the project was opening of the 33rd street and 7th avenue entrance, the addition of three escalators and a staircase, widening the 33rd street corridor, raising the ceiling height, new mechanical systems, the replacement of four elevators and a new elevator entrance, new elevator communication systems and a wayfinding system. [Progressive Railroading, 9-7-23]

BRAZIL PLANS PASSENGER TRAIN REVIVAL: Plans to launch regional passenger rail services over seven short- or medium-distance routes in Brazil are expected to be included in a national railway plan to be published in October. [Railway Gazette, 9-7-23]

AUGUST 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,372,665 carloads and intermodal units in August 2023, down 4.3 percent compared with the same period last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.0 percent, and intermodal was down 6.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 9-6-23]

AMTRAK'S ADIRONDACK TO RESUME SERVICE INTO CANADA: Following a two-month suspension of service, Amtrak's Adirondack will reportedly resume New York-Montreal runs on Sept. 11. The route had been shut down in late June due to imposition of 10-MPH speed on Canadian National tracks in Canada due to heat issues. [Railway Age, 9-6-23]

E. CHICAGO RAIL TERMINAL COMPLETES TRACK EXPANSION PROJECT: East Chicago Rail Terminal has completed a track expansion aimed at improving a major manufacturer's rail car unloading and product blending throughput. The new business will amount to 600 to 800 additional rail cars a year and a 30 percent increase in throughput for the customer. [Railway Track & Structures, 9-6-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO HELP CREATE EXHIBIT AT PULLMAN HISTORIC SITE: Norfolk Southern has pledged to help create an interactive rail exhibit at the Pullman State Historic Site and Pullman National Historical Park in Chicago. Still in the planning phase, the exhibit is expected to restore about 1000 feet of track and an accompanying rail support yard on the State Historic Site. [Railway Age, 9-5-23]

SOFTWARE ERROR FAULTED IN TECH OUTAGE AT NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Norfolk Southern has completed its root cause analysis into its Aug. 28 technology outage that impacted rail operations. It was determined that in maintenance of the data storage system a defect in the vendor's software created an error causing primary and recovery data to become unresponsive, impacting the railroad's core operational systems. [Progressive Railroading, 9-5-23]

AUGUST 2023 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 August 2023. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was one hour and three minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 34 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 9-1-23]

STRIKE ENDS AT WABTEC'S ERIE COUNTY, PA., RAIL PLANT: Members of the United Electrical Workers who work for Wabtec's Erie County, Pa., rail plant voted to accept the company's latest offer, ending a 10-week strike. [Railway Age, 9-1-23]

VIA RAIL SEES REVENUE, RIDERSHIP GROWTH IN 2-Q: VIA Rail Canada continued to garner sustained travel demand growth in the second-quarter 2023. Revenue climbed 37.7 percent, and ridership climbed 31.3 percent compared with the same period last year. [Progressive Railroading, 9-1-23]

CSX IMPACTED BY HURRICANE IDALIA: CSX issued a service bulletin Aug. 30 detailing the impacts of hurricane Idalia as it hit Florida. The railroad started its recovery plans as the storm traveled up Florida and the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. Crews have begun repairs and started clearing tracks and checking signals and crossings. Operations were temporarily suspended along CSX's I-95 route, and operations from Waycross to Thomasville, Ga., were also on hold. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-31-23]

AMTRAK WORKS TO REDUCE BACKLOG OF SHOPPED PASSENGER CARS: Amtrak says it is chipping away at the backlog of passenger cars laid up in its shops. It said 63 more cars would be restored to the active fleet over the course of FY-24, which begins Oct. 1. Forty-eight cars would be brought back out of long-term storage and overhaul, plus another 15 cars from wreck status. The work actually began earlier this year as cars began to trickle back to the fleet. Meanwhile, the Capitol Limited, which has suffered through a single coach and a single sleeper during the summer, should get a second sleeper this fall, and additional coaches in the winter. Overall, 23 of the 63 cars to be restored are Superliners. Rounding out the restorations are eight Viewliner I sleepers and 18 Horizon coach cars. Amtrak is using more Horizon cars then originally planned as problems with the newer Venture cars on Midwest services created unexpected delays. [Rail Passengers Assn., 8-31-23[

HISTORIC M.P. CABOOSE SLATED FOR RESTORATION IN PLEASANT HILL, MO.: The city of Pleasant Hill, Mo., requested help from their community to restore a Missouri Pacific caboose on display in the town square. In response, SMART-TD Local 933 out of Jefferson City answered the call and partnered with local Boy and Cub Scouts. Restoration is scheduled this fall, Oct. 2 through 8. [Railway Age, 8-31-23]

W&LE RESUMES SERVICE OVER 10-4-MILE LINE IN OHIO FOLLOWING LEASE TERMINATION: The Surface Transportation Board has approved OmniTRAX's subsidiary to discontinue service over 10.4-miles of line in Ohio. Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway had been operating the line between Glenwillow and Cleveland under a lease agreement with Wheeling & Lake Erie. W&LE has since resumed operations over the route, which serves a single shipper. [Progressive Railroading, 8-31-23]

BLET MEMBERS AT N.J. TRANSIT VOTE STRIKE AUTHORIZATION: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen who work for NJ Transit have voted to grant its national president authority to call a strike. [BLET, 8-31-23]

ONE DEAD, 18 INJURED AS GREYHOUND BUS COLLIDES WITH SUV IN MD.: A person is dead and 18 others were injured after a head-on collision between an SUV and a Greyhound bus early Aug. 31 near Savage, Md. The SUV was operating west in the eastbound lane, and the driver of that vehicle was killed. There were 38 passengers on board the bus, 18 of whom, including its driver, were taken to a hospital with non-threatening injuries. [NBC Washington, 8-31-23]

FORT WAYNE RRHS ACQUIRES SEVEN PASSENGER CARS FOR TOURIST SERVICE: The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has acquired seven passengers cars of the 'Great Steel Fleet' of 1941 from the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum for eventual operation over former New York Central trackage in Indiana and Michigan. Restoration of the fleet is estimated to cost over $1.2-million. The Fort Wayne Railroad also recently purchased a former NYC depot in Pleasant Lake to support the Indiana rail experience. [Ink Free News, 8-30-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 472,525 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Aug. 26, 2023, down 5.9 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.9 percent, and intermodal was down 7.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-30-23]

BRIGHTLINE DELAYS START OF MIAMI-ORLANDO SERVICE: Brightline has again delayed the start of its Miami to Orlando service. The railroad said that additional crew certification and train testing remain, and the arrival of hurricane Idalia was also a factor. Brightline is offering refunds for tickets purchased for Sept. 7 to 21. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-30-23]

D.C. METRO TO REOPEN FOUR STATIONS SEPT. 2: Washington DC Metro has announced that the Greenbelt, College Park, Hyattsville and West Hyattsville stations, closed since July 22, will reopen for rail service Sept. 2. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-30-23]

BERKSHIRE & EASTERN R.R. TO TAKE OVER AS OPERATOR OF PAN AM SOUTHERN SEPT. 1: Nearly 18 months after CSX acquired Pan Am Systems and its short-line subsidiaries, Berkshire & Eastern Railroad, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming, will take over as operator of Pan Am Southern on Sept. 1. [Railway Age, 8-30-23]

GRENADA R.R. REOPENS FOLLOWING NINE YEARS OF UPGRADES: After nine years of repairs and upgrades, the 235-mile Grenada Railroad between Canton, Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee, has reopened. Owned by Gulf & Atlantic Railways, the line is positioned with access to six Class I railroads. [Progressive Railroading, 8-30-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN EXPERIENCES SYSTEM OUTAGE, DELAYS RESULTED: Norfolk Southern experienced a system outage Aug. 28 resulting in many delays. According to Railfan & Railroad magazine, the disruption was caused by a positive train-control outage, resulting in trains, including Amtrak, being unable to move because they could not connect to the PTC network. Norfolk Southern restored all systems later in the day, but cautions that residual delays will continue. [Railway Age, 8-29-23]

ACCESSIBILITY PROJECT AT AMTRAK DEPOT AT CONNERSVILLE, INDIANA, COMPLETED: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Aug. 29 at Connersville, Indiana, to mark the completion of a station-accessibility upgrade project. Connersville is served by Amtrak's Cardinal. [Railway Age, 8-29-23]

GULF & ATLANTIC TO ACQUIRE PINSLY R.R. ASSETS: Gulf & Atlantic Railways has entered an agreement to acquire Pinsly Railroad's Massachusetts short-line and warehousing business. The transaction includes the 18-mile Pioneer Valley Railroad and Pinsly's railroad distribution services. The purchase is subject to approval by the Surface Transportation Board. [Railway Age, 8-29-23]

SIXTEEN DEAD, 36 INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENT IN MEXICO: A bus carrying 52 passengers collided with a trailer truck Aug. 22 in central Mexico near the Oaxaca and Puebla state boundaries. Sixteen people died and another 36 passengers were injured. [Headline Reporter, 8-29-23]

EIGHT-MILE MONORAIL SYSTEM TO BE BUILT IN SANTIAGO: A consortium lead by Alstom has been selected to deliver an eight-mile monorail system for the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic. The 14-station monorail system will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean. [Progressive Railroading, 8-29-23]

CSX HONORS PREDECESSOR L&N WITH HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE: CSX ES44AH locomotive 1850 has been repainted in Louisville & Nashville colors. It is the sixth in a series of heritage locomotives to roll out of CSX's locomotive shop in Waycross, Ga. L&N was fully absorbed in 1982 by the Seaboard Coast Line, and is now a component of CSX. Other heritage locomotives of CSX include 1827 (B&O), 1869 (C&O), 1973 (Chessie), 1976 (Conrail), and 1982 (Seaboard). [Railway Age, 8-28-23]

CALIFORNIA HSR AUTHORITY TO ISSUE REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR SIX ELECTRIC TRAIN SETS: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved the release of a request for qualifications for six electric train sets capable of operating at 220 MPH. It is envisioned that the first two sets would be delivered for testing in 2028, and the other sets would be delivered by the end of 2030. [Railway Gazette, 8-25-23]

METRO-NORTH NEW CANAAN BRANCH IN CONNECTICUT TO RESUME SERVICE SEPT. 2: The Connecticut Dept. of Transportation reported that commuter rail service on the Metro-North New Canaan branch will resume Sept. 2 following a three-month track maintenance and bridge repair project. [Railway Age, 8-25-23]

NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC BELT R.R. COMPLETES EXPANSION OF FRANCE ROAD YARD: New Orleans Public Belt Railroad has enlarged the France road rail yard, boosting its capacity to switch, interchange and store rail cars. The expansion is part of the $18.2-million New Orleans Gateway Rail Fluidity & Capacity Improvement Project. [Railway Age, 8-25-23]

VIA RAIL ANNOUNCES UPGRADES TO FOUR HERITAGE STATIONS: VIA Rail Canada has announced $80-million (C) in investments to upgrade four of its 36 'heritage' stations by 2025. They are Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax and Quebec City. [Railway Age, 8-25-23]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON SIEMENS' FACILITY IN N.C.: A groundbreaking on Aug. 23 began construction of Siemens Mobility's passenger rolling stock manufacturing and services facility in Lexington, N.C. The $220-million plant is scheduled to open in 2024 and will produce passenger coaches and overhaul locomotives and hauled stock. [Railway Gazette, 8-24-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SELECTS DESIGN TEAMS FOR CHICAGO EW2 PROJECT: The Chicago Region Environmental & Transportation Efficiency Program has announced that Norfolk Southern has selected four design teams for the CREATE EW2 project which includes the Belt and 80th street junction replacements totaling almost 100 structures. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-24-23]

GROUND BROKEN ON RAIL WORKSHOP EXPANSION IN YORK, PA.: Voith Turbo North America has broken ground on a $5-million expansion of its workshop in York, Pa. As a result of the expansion, Voith Turbo's rail operations at the workshop will transition from a mostly service-based disassembly and reassembly business to new business manufacturing. [Progressive Railroading, 8-24-23]

CARIBOO CENTRAL R.R. CONTRACTING ACQUIRED BY AUXO INVESTMENT PARTNERS: Private investment firm Auxo Investment Partners has acquired Cariboo Central Railroad Contracting, a western Canada-based rail construction service provider for railroad and industrial customers. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-24-23]

UNION PACIFIC FURLOUGHS 94 MECHANICAL SHOP WORKERS: Union Pacific furloughed 94 mechanical employees at shops across the system this week. Nearly two-thirds of the furloughs came from Kansas City; Dolores, California; North Platte, Nebraska; and Pocatello, Idaho. The remainder of the furloughs were spread across nine other facilities. [Trains Magazine, 8-24-23]

AMTRAK AGREES TO ADD STOP AT DE SOTO, MISSOURI, ON TEXAS EAGLE: Amtrak has agreed to add a new passenger rail platform in De Soto, Mo., as part of the Texas Eagle route. The city council previously agreed to provide matching funds to build the platform, to be constructed across from the public library. The city manager says the next step is to work with host railroad Union Pacific on scheduling trains which run daily through De Soto. [Railway Age, 8-23-23]

NYSW FILES TO ACQUIRE, OPERATE 10-MILE JAMESVILLE CLUSTER IN ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y.: The New York, Susquehanna & Western has filed to acquire and operate about 10 miles of line known as the Jamesville Cluster from the Onondaga County, N.Y., Industrial Development agency. The line comprises the Jamesville Industrial and Lake Industrial tracks, the Saltland Spur, and track 7 of the Chicago line. [Railway Age, 8-23-23]

PORT OF BALTIMORE WELCOMES LARGEST CONTAINER SHIP TO VISIT MARYLAND: The Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal last week welcomed Evergreen Ever Max, the largest container ship ever to visit the state. The 1,200-foot vessel weighs 165,350 tons and has the capacity to handle 15,432 twenty-foot equivalent units. [Progressive Railroading, 8-23-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 478,853 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Aug. 19, 2023, down 2.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.6 percent, and intermodal was down 4.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-23-23]

LIGHT-RAIL COMING TO AUSTIN: The first phase of Austin's Project Connect is underway, and light-rail will be coming to the city. The project design includes almost 10 miles of new track with 15 stations from 38th street through downtown and part way to the airport. Four or five years of construction is expected. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-23-23]

UNION PACIFIC PROVIDES STORM DAMAGE UPDATE: Union Pacific on Aug. 21 said its Mojave and Yuma subdivisions were out of service due to mud and water over the tracks in southern California between Banning and Indio, and 10 miles north of Fontana. Widespread road and interstate closures were impacting the railroad's ability to transport crews, and electrical outages were impacting some terminal operations. The following day Union Pacific said it was making progress in restoring operations. [Railway Age, 8-22-23]

SEPTA TROLLEY'S BRAKES HAD BEEN DISABLE FOR REPAIR PRIOR TO JULY 27 RUNAWAY: A preliminary report by the NTSB on the July 27 derailment and collision of a runaway SEPTA trolley has revealed that the brakes on trolley 9107 had been disabled on the day of the accident to allow for air-compressor replacement. [Railway Age, 8-22-23]

PATRIOT RAIL ASSUMES OWNERSHIP, OPERATION OF TWO SCENIC N.H. RAILROADS: Patriot Rail Company on Aug. 22 announced that it has assumed ownership and operation of the Hobo Railroad and Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad located in Lincoln and Meredith, N.H., respectively. Both scenic lines operate cross 54 miles of track through the White Mountains and Lakes Region. [Railway Age, 8-22-23]

ISRAEL RAILWAYS TO CONVERT TO ALL DOUBLE-DECK PASSENGER TRAINS: Israel Railways has approved a rolling stock acquisition program which will enable it to phase out single-level trains to help meet ridership forecasts of 105-million passengers in 2025 and 300-million in 2040. The plan includes an order for a further 96 Alstom double-deck, push-pull coaches, adding to its current fleet of 580, along with four more TRAXX electric locomotives to join the existing fleet of 62. [Railway Gazette, 8-22-23]

SOUND TRANSIT'S HILLTOP TACOMA LINK EXTENSION TO OPEN SEPT. 16: Passenger service on Sound Transit's Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension will open to the public on Sept. 16. The 2.4-mile extension doubles the length of the T line and includes seven new stations. [Railway Age, 8-22-23]

AMTRAK ORDERS 10 ADDITIONAL AIRO TRAIN SETS: Amtrak announced Aug. 21 that it has executed a contract to order 10 additional Airo train sets to accommodate increased demand for service. The order increases the number of train sets to 83. The first set is scheduled to debut on the Cascade line in 2026 before eventually running on other routes throughout the country. [Railway Age, 8-21-23]

COURT PAUSES CONSTRUCTION OF UINTA CRUDE-BY-RAIL: A federal appeals court has sent back to the Surface Transportation Board its approval of the proposed 80-mile Uinta Basin Railway in Utah. The three-judge panel partially vacated the STB's decision, finding that the board failed to adequately access potential environmental harms and risks to wildlife that could result from large volumes of crude being shipped through Colorado en route to refineries on the Gulf Coast. [Progressive Railroading, 8-21-23]

UNION PACIFIC CLOSES TWO ROUTES INTO AND OUT OF L.A. DUE TO TROPICAL STORM: Union Pacific has closed two of its routes going into and out of the Los Angeles area because of flooding from tropical storm Hilary. Meanwhile, the storm mostly spared the rail system known as the LOSSAN corridor which runs along the coast from significant damage. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-21-23]

RINGNECK & WESTERN R.R. MOVING FORWARD WITH UPGRADES IN S.D.: Ringneck & Western Railroad is moving forward with upgrades on its line that runs from Mitchell to Presho, S.D. Included in the project is a 10,000-foot siding in Brule County. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-21-23]

CSX SANTA TRAIN TO RUN NOV. 18: The CSX Santa Train will return this season. On November 18, it will make its way through Appalachia with Santa to deliver gifts and Christmas cheer. [Progressive Railroading, 8-18-23]

STADLER TO SUPPLY CALTRAIN WITH BATTERY-EQUIPPED ELECTRIC MULTIPLE UNIT TRAIN: Caltrain will exercise a contract option with Stadler to purchase a battery-equipped electric multiple unit train comprising three passenger cars and one battery-head housing the battery and power equipment. If successful, such units could replace aging diesel locomotives on non-electrified tracks. [Railway Age, 8-18-23]

WASHINGTON STATE DELEGATION SUPPORTS CASCADIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Members of Washington State's congressional delegation has issued a letter in support of two federal grant applications to advance the Cascadia high-speed rail project from Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle and Portland. The service, capable of reaching 250 MPH, would offer one-hour trips Vancouver-Seattle and Seattle-Portland, and 15-minute trips Seattle-Tacoma. [Rail Passengers Assn., 8-18-23]

OMNITRAX TO OPERATE SOUTH BRANCH VALLEY R.R. IN W.VA.: OmniTRAX plans to assume operation of the 52.4-mile former B&O South Branch Valley rail line between Green Spring and Petersburg, W.Va., beginning on or after Sept. 13. The West Virginia State Rail Authority would maintain ownership of the line, which provides freight and tourist passenger service. It connects with CSX at Green Spring. [Progressive Railroading, 8-17-23]

COURT DENIES NJT'S MOTION TO STOP BLET'S STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE: A U.S. court has denied NJ Transit's motion to stop a strike authorization vote by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, citing no evidence of any illegal job actions planned or threatened. Results of the vote will be announced Aug. 31. [BLET, 8-17-23]

WABTEC PLANT IN ERIE COUNTY, PA., AT RISK OF CLOSING DUE TO STRIKE: Manufacturing operations at Wabtec's Erie County, Pa., rail plant could end if a new labor agreement is not reached with about 1,400 striking workers. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a 'major third-party contractor' had visited the facility and that the the contractor manufactures many, if not all, of the locomotive components currently assembled at the Erie plant. [Railway Age, 8-17-23]

AMTRAK REPLACES A DIESEL CASCADES THRUWAY BUS WITH AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE: Amtrak and the Washington State Dept. of Transportation are replacing a diesel-powered bus with an electric vehicle on the Cascades Thruway route. It is the first electric bus on Amtrak's network, and it can make the nearly 200-mile roundtrip on a single charge. [Progressive Railroading, 8-17-23]

ISRAEL BEGINS DEVELOPING 186-MILE HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Israel has launched a project to develop new sections of line to provide a fast rail corridor running 186 miles from near the border with Lebanon south to the Red Sea. Various sections of the route would be capable of 155 MPH operation. [Railway Gazette, 8-17-23]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 472,498 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Aug. 12, 2023, down 4.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.0 percent, and intermodal was down 5.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-16-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RESTORES VIRGINIAN HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE: Norfolk Southern announced Aug. 13 that the restoration of its Virginia Heritage locomotive is now complete. Unit 1069 took more than 72 gallons of primer, paint and clear coat. Norfolk Southern says all 20 of its Heritage locomotives will be getting a fresh coat of paint in the schemes of its predecessor carriers. [Railway Age, 8-14-23]

METRO-NORTH REBRANDS SECOND LOCOMOTIVE WITH HERITAGE SCHEME: Metro-North has rebranded a second locomotive with special colors and designs in a Heritage series to highlight the railroad's 40 years of service. Locomotive 201 pays tribute to Conrail. [Railway Age, 8-14-23]

NATIONAL STEEL CAR STRIKE IS OVER: All 1,475 workers at National Steel Car in Hamilton, Ontario, who belong to Local 7135 of the United Steelworkers Union have returned to work following a 41-day strike. [Railway Age, 8-14-23]

LONE STAR R.R. CONTRACTORS ACQUIRED BY GCF TRACK SERVICES: Lone Star Railroad Contractors, providing rail maintenance services throughout the Southwest U.S., has been acquired by GCF Track Services. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-14-23]

AMTRAK PARTNERS WITH TEXAS CENTRAL TOWARD HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: Amtrak and Texas Central are looking formally at ways to work together to get the high-speed rail link between Houston and Dallas back on track. They are seeking opportunities to advance planning and analysis work associated with the proposed 205-MPH project to further determine its viability. Amtrak and Texas Central have worked together since 2016 when the two companies worked out a through-ticketing agreement. [Rail Passengers Assn., 8-11-23]

CSX HONORS C&O RAILWAY WITH HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE: Newly-painted locomotive 1869 was released Aug. 10 displaying a Chesapeake & Ohio scheme along its body. It was renumbered from 3061, and joins locomotives honoring B&O, Chessie System, Seaboard System and Conrail in honor of component carriers of CSX. It is reported that unit 1850 (x-3056) will be repainted in honor of Louisville & Nashville. [Robert Michaels, 8-11-23]

CSX TO ADD TRAINING FOR CONDUCTOR TRAINEES: CSX is telling its conductor trainees to return to their home terminals for additional training following the recent deaths of two trainees. [Freight Waves, 8-9-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 471,938 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Aug. 5, 2023, down 3.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.0 percent, and intermodal was down 5.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-9-23]

NYC-SCRANTON PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT MOVES FORWARD: Amtrak and local officials visited the future Andover, N.J., station site, from which Amtrak will operate intercity rail service in partnership with N.J. Transit between New York City and Scranton, Pa. Amtrak's corridor vision plan has found that expanding service to Scranton will generate $84-million in annual economic activity, according to the New Jersey Herald. Building the link is projected to be a one-time $2.9-billion cost. [Railway Age, 8-9-23]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 60 SINGLE-LEVEL COMMUTER CARS TO CONNECTICUT: Alstom can the Connecticut Dept. of Transportation have confirmed a $315-million base order for 60 single-level commuter rail cars, with options to build 313 more as part of the state's rail car renewal program. Deliver is expected to begin in 2026. [Railway Age, 8-9-23]

PANAMA CANAL RESTRICTING TRANSITS DUE TO LACK OF RAINFALL: The Panama Canal has hit the news in recent weeks when it announced a reduction in daily transits to 32, and then the containership Ever Max was forced to unload 1400 containers to meet draught restrictions in the waterway. A lack of rainfall in the canal watershed, even in the rainy season, has left the waterway facing a water shortage to which there may be no quick fix. [SeaTrade Maritime News, 8-8-23]

AMTRAK INTRODUCES THRUWAY BUS SERVICE CONNECTING PROVIDENCE AND WORCESTER: Amtrak has begun a new bus service connecting Providence and Worcester, both serving as stops along separate train routes. The bus shuttles passengers from Worcester to Providence for Northeast corridor trains, while riders from Providence can use the service to Worcester to connect with the Lake Shore Limited. The bus also features a connection between Providence, New Bedford and Fall River. [Worcester Patch, 8-7-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Aug. 6, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 48 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-7-23]

BLET CALLS FOR STRIKE VOTE AT N.J. TRANSIT: The 500 members of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen working as locomotive engineers at New Jersey Transit will vote on whether to strike. Contract talks have not moved forward since 2019. [, 8-7-23]

LAUREL, MD., TRAIN STATION TO CLOSE FOR TEN WEEKS FOR UPGRADES: The historic (x-B&O) Laurel, Md., MARC train station will close beginning Aug. 21 for ten weeks to allow crews to replace platforms, stairs and ramps at a cost of about $2.6-million. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-7-23]

TRINITY METRO TO EXTEND RAIL LINE TO FORT WORTH MEDICAL DISTRICT: A final design consultant has been chosen for Trinity Metro's $167-million TexRail 2.1-mile extension from Fort Worth T&P station to a new station to be located in the Fort Worth Medical District that employs 50,000 people. Construction is planned to begin in 2024. [Railway Age, 8-7-23]

LIRR TRAIN DERAILS, 13 HURT: Thirteen passengers were injured after all eight cars of a Long Island Rail Road train derailed Aug. 3 near Jamaica station in Queens. Approximately 100 passengers were on board the train when it derailed. It was en route from Grand Central Terminal to Hampstead. Riders were evacuated to a rescue train and taken back to Jamaica where they were attended to. [Railway Age, 8-4-23]

JAMIE BOYCHUK, EXECUTIVE V.P. OPERATIONS, LEAVING CSX: Jamie Boychuk, CSX executive vice-president operations, is leaving the company. He joined CSX in 2017 and served as assistant vice-president transportation support; vice-president of scheduled railroading; and senior vice-president of network operations. Previously he served with Canadian National for 20 years. [Railway Age, 8-4-23]

KAWASAKI TRACK GEOMETRY MONITORING SYSTEM BEING TESTED ON BNSF: Kawasaki Track Technologies is testing its locomotive-mounted autonomous track-geometry monitoring system on BNSF. The technology provides near real-time data for track-maintenance planning. [Progressive Railroading, 8-4-23]

MBTA TO UPGRADE ASHLAND STATION: MBTA has announced its Ashland, Massachusetts, station on the Framingham-Worcester line will get a $2.5-million upgrade beginning Aug. 26, continuing through the fall. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-4-23]

NTSB FINDS GRADE CROSSING DESIGN TO BLAME FOR 2022 MISSOURI AMTRAK COLLISION: The National Transportation Safety Board has found the grade crossing design to blame for the collision that occurred last year in Mendon, Missouri. The steepness of the road grade and the angle of the intersection led to a dump truck hitting the Amtrak train. That steepness was 13 times the maximum recommended by transportation officials, and the angle of the intersection was 30 degrees sharper than the lower limit of the recommended range, the board said. Four people were killed and almost 150 others were injured in the accident. [Railway Track & Structures, 8-3-23]

AMTRAK APPLIES FOR $873-M FOR CHICAGO HUB IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM: Amtrak has submitted applications for $873-million in federal funding for the Chicago Hub improvement program. The program is designed to expand capacity, eliminate bottlenecks, improve air quality, accessibility and reliability. [Railway Age, 8-3-23]

MEXICAN RAIL SYSTEM GETTING BOOST: Fresh impetus has been injected into the rail business in Mexico through initiatives by the current administration. Regulatory changes plus a long-term vision promises a revival that could include reinstating long-distance passenger services, in addition to the Tren Maya project on the Yucatan peninsula already in hand. [Railway Gazette, 8-3-23]

JULY 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,843,213 carloads and intermodal units in July 2023, down 3.3 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.6 percent, and intermodal was down 5.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 8-2-23]

CLINTON TERMINAL R.R. ACQUIRED BY REGIONAL RAIL: The Clinton Terminal Railroad in North Carolina is now part of Pennsylvania-based Regional Rail. The 3.5-mile line will be owned by Regional Rail's subsidiary Carolina Coastal Railway and operated as the Clinton Branch. [Railway Age, 8-2-23]

JULY 2023 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 July 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 49 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 8-1-23]

SEPTA TROLLEY CRASHES INTO HISTORIC HOME IN PHILADELPHIA: A runaway SEPTA trolley crashed into an historic house in southwest Philadelphia late July 27. The trolley was out of service with no operator, but a mechanic was on board and was injured. Also injured were two people who were inside an SUV which was struck by the trolley prior to hitting the house. Known as Blue Bell Tavern, the house dates back to 1766 and was the location of a Revolutionary War battle. [6ABC, 7-28-23]

UNION PACIFIC NOT OBLIGATED TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE METRA COMMUTER TRAINS, COURT RULES: A U.S. appeals court has ruled Union Pacific does not have a 'common-carrier obligation' to continue operating commuter trains for Chicago's Metra. The ruling will likely hasten the transition of operations on three Union Pacific lines over to Metra. [Trains Magazine, 7-28-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported second-quarter 2023 income from railway operations tumbled 55 percent to $576-million and net income fell 57 percent to %356-million compared with the same quarter last year. Total railway operating revenue declined 8 percent to $3-billion. Results include a $416-million charge associated with the ongoing response to the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. [Progressive Railroading, 7-27-23]

NEW TOP UNION PACIFIC LEADERSHIP NAMED: Union Pacific on July 26 named Mike McCarthy to become chairman, Jim Vena to become CEO, Beth Whited to become president, effective Aug. 14. They will succeed current chairman, CEO and president Lance Fritz, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down. [Progressive Railroading, 7-26-23]

BNSF'S ARGENTINE YARD GETS MAJOR OVERHAUL: BNSF's 780-acre Argentine Yard in Kansas City got a major overhaul as more than 150 team members assembled to complete a long list of improvements in just 48 hours. Included was replacing the yard's master retarder, replacing the main hump yard's king switch, installing new cameras, installing a new signal system, and renewing 13,000 feet of new rail across 60 classification tracks. [Progressive Railroading, 7-26-23]

CN SUFFERS DAMAGE FROM RAINFALL IN N.S.: Canadian National suffered damage after torrential rainfall hit Nova Scotia along a section of track used by trains heading to the Port of Halifax. Transport Canada is adding support assessing the damage. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-26-23]

WABTEC TO MODERNIZE 60 ADDITIONAL LOCOMOTIVES FOR CN: CN on July 26 announced an order to enhance an additional 60 Dash-9 locomotives through Wabtec's modernization program. Total number units being modernized is 110. Locomotives will be transformed from DC to AC power and will feature other enhancements. [Railway Age, 7-26-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 473,736 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 22, 2023, down 3.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.3 percent, and intermodal was down 4.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-26-23]

AMTRAK VIRGINIA SERVICE SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD: Virginia passenger rail officials report 1,256,123 passengers rode Amtrak Virginia trains in the state's fiscal year July 2022 through June 2023, eclipsing the previous record of 894,065 set eight years earlier. Amtrak Virginia service offers three daily rondtrips between Norfolk and Washington, two daily roundtrips between Roanoke and Washington, two daily roundtrips between Newport News and Washington, and one daily roundtrip between Richmond and Washington. [Railway Age, 7-26-23]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: Union Pacific reported second-quarter 2023 net income of $1.6-billion or $2.57 per diluted share, compared with $1.8-billion or $2.93 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating income of $2.2-billion declined 12 percent, and operating ratio was 63 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 7-26-23]

CANADIAN NATIONAL REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: CN reported second-quarter 2023 revenue of $4-billion (C), down 7 percent compared with the same quarter last year, and operating income of $1.6-billion, down 10 percent. Diluted earnings per share were $1.76. [Progressive Railroading, 7-26-23]

BUCKLED BRIDGE GIRDER IMPACTS METRO-NORTH SERVICE: Metro-North trains were suspended over the weekend after a bridge girder buckled on the Bronx River parkway overpass. Service was resumed following repair. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-25-23]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 40 CORADIA STREAM ELECTRIC MULTIPLE UNITS TO GERMANY: Alstom has signed an agreement to supply a German rail operator with 40 Coradia Stream high-capacity electric multiple units. The order includes an option to order up to 55 additional trains. The four-car train sets consist of two double-deck end cars and two single-deck cars. [Progressive Railroading, 7-25-23]

STADLER TO DELIVER 120 BATTERY-POWERED FLIRT AKKU TRAINS TO AUSTRIA: Austrian Federal Railways has awarded Stadler an order to deliver up to 120 battery-powered FLIRT akku trains, which can operate on non-electrified track by charging batteries while running under an overhead contact line. The model is designed to replace the current diesel fleet and will enable sustainable operations on lines that are only partially electrified. [Progressive Railroading, 7-25-23]

FEDS CALL UPON CLASS I RAILROADS TO FURNISH MONTHLY REPORTS ON TRAIN LENGTH: In a follow-up to its recent safety advisory on train length, the Federal Railroad Administration is calling on Class I carriers to report each month the number, length and weight of trains operated on their lines. FRA said it is researching the operational complexities of longer trains, including air brake system performance and train dynamics. [Progressive Railroading, 7-24-23]

RAILROADS IN VERMONT SUFFER FLOOD DAMAGE: Green Mountain and New England Central railroads experienced moderate to severe damage after Vermont experienced historic flooding. Green Mountain tracks in East Wallingford saw a large slope failure that is apparently worsening each day. Amtrak's passenger trains resumed operation only this past weekend between Burlington and New York City. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-24-23]

ALASKA R.R. CELEBRATES 100 YEARS: The Alaska Railroad on July 15 commemorated its 100th anniversary of its 1923 golden spike moment. The Alaska Railroad has been a lifeline, connecting communities, fostering economic growth and facilitating the movement of resources and people across the state, the railroad said. [Progressive Railroading, 7-24-23]

MRL RESUMES SERVICE OVER TWIN RIVERS BRIDGE IN MONTANA: Montana Rail Link has resumed traffic over the Twin Rivers railroad bridge in Stillwater County, Montana, which on June 24 collapsed sending a train hauling hot asphalt and molten sulfur into the Yellowstone River. [Railway Age, 7-24-23]

METRA CUTS RIBBON ON REHABILITATED BLUE ISLAND-VERMONT STREET STATION: Metra on July 21 dedicated the newly-rehabilitated Blue Island-Vermont Street station depot on the Rock Island line following the year-long project to restore the masonry structure dating to 1868. [Railway Age, 7-24-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending July 23, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived two hours late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-24-23]

SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES TRANSPORTATION BUDGET PROPOSAL, REJECTING HOUSE COMMITTEE PROPOSAL: The Senate Appropriations Committee has advanced its FY-24 transportation bill, rejecting the cuts to rail and transit included in the House Appropriations Committee's proposal. The Senate bill provides $2.45-billion for Amtrak, a slight increase of the FY-23 funding levels, with a 10 percent increase to the national network, but a 9 percent decrease to the Northeast corridor. [Rail Passengers Assn., 7-21-23]

BNSF TO SERVE GRAIN, AGRONOMY FACILITY IN KANSAS: Central Valley Ag, a farmer-owned co-op, will start construction this fall on a grain shuttle facility and agronomy plant in north central Kansas to be served by BNSF. Included will be a high-speed shuttle loader on a loop track. Completion is expected in 2025. [Railway Age, 7-21-23]

CSX REPORTS 2-Q RESULTS: CSX reported second-quarter operating income of $1.48-billion compared to $1.70-billion in the prior year period. Net earnings of $996-million or 49 cents per diluted share compared to $1.18-billion or 54 cents per diluted share in the same period last year. [CSX, 7-20-23]

CSX ADDS HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE HONORING CONRAIL: CSX has introduced ES44AH locomotive 1976 with a Conrail heritage scheme, adding that unit to three others honoring B&O, Chessie System and Seaboard System. Unit 1976 was renumbered from 3069. Earlier it had been reported that this particular unit would be in honor of Family Lines, but that was in error. [Robert Michaels, 7-20-23]

AMTRAK FACES CHALLENGES MANAGING CAPITAL PROJECT COSTS, INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORTS: Amtrak's capital delivery department is developing a single project management system that it anticipates will replace or integrate at least 12 systems to address the challenge its project teams currently have in tracking costs. But the Office of Inspector General said it has identified additional challenges with the system and processes that the department uses for project cost management. [Railway Age, 7-20-23]

STADLER TO SUPPLY, MAINTAIN 25 NARROW-GAUGE HYDROGEN-POWERED TRAINS IN ITALY: Stadler has landed two contracts to deliver and maintain 25 hydrogen-powered trains for the Italian narrow-gauge network in Sardinia and Calabria. [Progressive Railroading, 7-20-23]

AMTRAK TO UPGRADE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR THIS SUMMER: Amtrak crews this summer will replace 40 switches throughout the New York and Mid-Atlantic regions, update 25 miles of track in the Mid-Atlantic region, and complete over one million feet of surfacing work across the Northeast corridor in support of high-speed rail. [Progressive Railroading, 7-19-23]

CPKC ANNOUNCES NEXT YEAR'S EMPRESS STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ITINERARY: Canadian Pacific Kansas City has announced the 2816 Empress steam locomotive will depart from Calgary, Alberta, on April 14, 2024, and travel though the U.S. and into Mexico to mark the one-year anniversary of CPKC's creation. The locomotive will stop in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Minot, North Dakota; St. Paul, Minnesota; Bensenville, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; Shreveport, Louisiana; Laredo, Texas, and Mexico City. [Progressive Railroading, 7-19-23]

BRIGHTLINE WEST PROJECT GETS FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: The plan by Brightline West to build a high-speed rail line to connect Las Vegas with Southern California took an important step with completion a federal environmental finding of 'no significant impact' for a key portion of the project. Estimated completion is plotted for around 2027. [KTLA, 7-19-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 478,153 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 15, 2023, down 2.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.9 percent, and intermodal was down 5.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-19-23]

NJT SIGNS 25-YEAR LEASE FOR NEW HEADQUARTERS: N.J. Transit has signed a 25-year lease for a new headquarters in Newark's Two Gateway Center, with a direct pedestrian connection to Newark Penn Station. According to the agency, its current headquarters is more than 30 years old and would require extensive repairs and renovations. The move is expected by the end of next year. [Railway Age, 7-19-23]

FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN PA., EVACUATION ORDERED: Fifteen cars of a CSX freight train operating on Norfolk Southern tracks derailed early July 17 in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., causing road closures and a precautionary evacuation. About a dozen homes and several businesses were evacuated due to the possibility of hazardous material leaks, but the order was lifted about four hours later. No injuries were reported. [Daily Mail, 7-17-23]

MD. PURPLE LINE PROJECT GETTING FURTHER DELAY: Officials with the Maryland Transit Administration and Purple Line Partners are seeking approval to push the long-delayed Purple Line's launch date from fall 2026 to spring 2027. The 16.2-mile project broke ground in 2017, and is slated to connect Bethesda and New Carrollton. [Railway Age, 7-17-23]

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 July 16, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 40 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-17-23]

CSX CARRIES OUT B20 FUEL TESTING IN TAMPA: CSX has reported that testing of 20 percent soybean oil-based fuel in a locomotive fleet serving phosphate customer Mosaic in Tampa continues to yield impressive results. The 10 locomotives in the test have burned more than 200,000 gallons of B20 fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20 percent. CSX expects to complete the test this year and submit data to the Environmental Protection Agency. [Railway Age, 7-17-23]

CONTRACT WORKER DIES IN ACCIDENT AT CSX'S BEDFORD PARK FACILITY: A 24-year-old contract worker will killed early July 15 in an accident at the CSX intermodal facility in Bedford Park, according to the Chicago Tribune. The county medical examiner said the employee was crushed between two intermodal chassis. [Trains Magazine, 7-16-23]

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE DRAFT BILL INCLUDES AMTRAK FUNDING CUTS: A U.S. House appropriations committee has submitted a draft bill including severe cuts to several transportation programs. Included are a 92 percent cut to Amtrak Northeast corridor operating grant, a 68 percent cut to Amtrak national network operating grant, the zeroing out of the new Federal-State partnership for intercity passenger rail, a 51 percent cut to the consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvements program, and an 85 percent cut to Federal Transit Administration's capital investment grants. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 7-14-23]

RAILWAY AGE, RAILWAY TRACK & STRUCTURES TO PARTNER WITH NRHS IN PRESERVATION AWARD: Railway Age and Railway Track & Structures magazines have entered into a new partnership with the National Railway Historical Society to present the 'Outstanding Railroad Historic Preservation Award.' It is designed to recognize a North American common-carrier railroad for a historically significant preservation project completed or enacted within the past five years. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-14-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SEEKS TO PURCHASE CINCINNATI SOUTHERN RWY: Norfolk Southern is looking to purchase the 338-mile Class-II Cincinnati Southern Railway which it and its predecessor railroads have been operating under a 141-year-old lease with its owner the city of Cincinnati. [Railway Age, 7-14-23]

METRO-NORTH REOPENS HUDSON LINE FOLLOWING STORM REPAIR: Metro-North has reopened its Hudson line following repairs from severe rainfall and flooding of July 9. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-13-23]

CHICAGO TRANSIT AWARDS CONTRACT FOR RENOVATION OF AUSTIN GREEN LINE STATION: The Chicago Transit Authority has awarded a $15.3-million contract for the renovation of the Austin Green line station. [Railway Age, 7-13-23]

STB INITIATES INVESTIGATION INTO ON-TIME PERFORMANCE OF SUNSET LIMITED: The Surface Transportation Board has ruled that the 'standard has been met' for initiating an investigation into the performance of Amtrak's Sunset Limited under the Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement act. The proceeding is in response to Amtrak's 2022 petition under the act with prime focus on host carrier Union Pacific. [Railway Age, 7-12-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 407,843 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending July 8, 2023, down 5.1 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.3 percent, and intermodal was down 7.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-12-23]

PACIFIC SURFLINER SERVICE THROUGH SAN CLEMENTE TO RESUME JULY 17: Daily Pacific Surfliner service through San Clemente, California, will resume July 17 following repairs. Trains running to and from San Diego will no longer require a bus connection between Irvine and Oceanside. [Pacific Surfliner, 7-11-23]

TREN MAYA PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT MOVES FORWARD: The first four passenger vehicles for Mexico's Tren Maya project have arrived in Cancun from Alstom. Alstom is leading a consortium supplying 42 diesel and electro-diesel train sets able to run at up to 99 MPH. [Railway Gazette, 7-11-23]

RAIL SERVICE ALONG HUDSON LINE SUSPENDED BY STORM DAMAGE: Severe storms, flooding, debris, downed trees and washouts caused Metro-North service to be suspended July 9 between Poughkeepsie and Croton-Harmon. Amtrak service between Albany and New York was also suspended. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-10-23]

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 July 9, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 40 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-10-23]

K.C. STREETCAR SERVICE SUSPENDED BY TRACK DEFECT: After a streetcar operator noticed a rail out of place on Kansas City's streetcar line, service on the entire two-mile line was suspended pending repairs. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-10-23]

SIEMENS TO SUPPLY 24 LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES FOR CLEVELAND: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has selected Siemens Mobility to supply 24 class S200 light-rail vehicles to replace the Red line fleet between East Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins. [Railway Age, 7-10-23]

METRA TO RESTORE CHICAGO-ROCKFORD PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE IN 2027: Chicago's Metra, in partnership with the state of Illinois and Union Pacific, will restore Chicago-Rockford passenger rail service in late 2027. The route was last covered by Amtrak's Black Hawk which ran between Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa, in 1981. [Railway Age, 7-7-23]

AMTRAK NEC SERVICE IMPACTED BY OVERHEAD POWER ISSUE: Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains were impacted early July 6 between Philadelphia and New York City with a four-hour delay in operations due to an overhead power issue. Some trains were canceled while others were delayed, with schedules expected to be disrupted through much of the day. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-6-23]

HUDSON TUNNEL PROJECT GETTING $6.88-B FEDERAL GRANT: The Gateway Development Commission has entered the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration's capital investment grants program and the FTA has updated the project for it to receive up to a $6.88-billion program grant. [Railway Track & Structures, 7-6-23]

FEDS CITE DEFICIENCIES IN NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CONDUCTOR TRAINEE PROGRAM: The Federal Railroad Administration is demanding immediate changes to Norfolk Southern's conductor training program, citing 'grave deficiencies' that have been marked by incidents resulting in serious injuries. The agency says the railroad has not developed an adequate conductor certification program, and demands a detailed action plan and timeline for implementation within 90 days. [Trains Magazine, 7-6-23]

PENNSYLVANIA & SOUTHERN RWY SEEKS TO ACQUIRE OWNERSHIP OF 25-MILE LINE: Pennsylvania & Southern Railway, part of Rail Enterprise Group, has filed with the Surface Transportation Board seeking authority to acquire ownership of about 25 miles of line serving the Cumberland Valley Business Park and the Letterkenny Army Depot near Chambersburg, Pa. PSCC has operated over the lines since 2004 through an agreement with Franklin County. [Railway Age, 7-6-23]

CSX PAINTS LOCOMOTIVE INTO SEABOARD SYSTEM COMMEMORATIVE SCHEME: CSX ES44AH number 1982 in Seaboard System colors is the third in a series of heritage locomotives created as a celebration of CSX's history. Locomotives commemorating B&O and Chessie System were introduced earlier. Each unit in the series has been repainted with a hybrid design featuring CSX colors on the front cab portion transitioning to the heritage colors and logo of the predecessor railroad along the carbody. The unit number 1982 corresponds to the year Seaboard System was formalized. [Railway Age, 7-5-23]

JUNE 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,892,163 carloads and intermodal units in June 2023, down 3.9 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.2 percent, and intermodal was down 7.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 7-5-23]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE FOR FIRST HALF OF 2023: Forty-two 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 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 7-1-23]

AMTRAK NOW OFFERING 'TRADITIONAL' DINING TO SILVER SERVICE TRAINS: Amtrak is now offering 'traditional dining' to its first-class sleeping car passengers on its Silver Meteor and Silver Star running between New York and Miami. The meals, served in Amfleet-II dining cars, are complimentary to first-class passengers. Coach passengers may still purchase their meals in the cafe car, but Amtrak expects to expand its availability to include coach passengers in the diner by the end of the year. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 6-30-23]

VRE OPENS LOCOMOTIVE, RAILCAR MAINTENANCE SHOP IN SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY: Virginia Railway Express can now perform expanded locomotive and railcar maintenance at its new 33,000-square-foot facility in Spotsylvania County, Va., which opened on June 29. [Railway Age, 6-30-23]

AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES TRUCK IN CALIFORNIA, DERAILS: Sixteen people were injured when Amtrak's northbound Coast Starlight struck a water truck June 28 in Moorpark, California, derailing seven rail cars, which remained upright, and severely damaging the locomotive. The truck driver was badly injured, but injuries from people on the train were said to be minor. [Railway Age, 6-29-23]

BARRIER WALL CONSTRUCTION BEGINS IN SAN CLEMENTE: Crews have begun work on a barrier wall along the rail line in San Clemente, California, where a landslide occurred earlier this year disrupting Coaster commuter service. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-29-23]

CHICAGO TRANSIT SET TO BEGIN FOREST PARK BRANCH REBUILD: Chicago Transit will start phase one of its Forest Park branch rebuild project on July 23. Work will include replacing 15,000 feet of track between LaSalle and Illinois Medical District, upgrading the traction power system, and beginning replacement of the Racine station. [Railway Age, 6-29-23]

THIRD RAIL ISSUE CAUSES FIRE ON MBTA'S ORANGE LINE: An issue with the third rail on MBTA's Orange line caused a fire midday June 28 at Tufts Medical Center station causing suspension of service for about two hours between North Station and Back Bay. There were no injuries. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-29-23]

CPKC, G&W, CSX PARTNER IN CORRIDOR TO LINK MEXICO, TEXAS, U.S. SOUTHEAST: Canadian Pacific Kansas City, Genesee & Wyoming and CSX have agreed to create a direct CPKC-CSX interchange connection in Alabama. CPKC and CSX would each operate portions of G&W affiliate Meridian & Bigbee Railroad to establish a new freight corridor for connection to Mexico, Texas and U.S. Southeast. CPKC would acquire and operate MNBR between Meridian, Mississippi, and Myrtlewood, Alabama, and CSX would operate the lines leased by MNBR east of Myrtlewood. [Progressive Railroading, 6-28-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 469,453 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 24, 2023, down 3.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.4 percent, and intermodal was down 5.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-28-23]

AMTRAK SUSPENDS SERVICE TO MONTREAL: Amtrak has temporarily suspended its Adirondack service trains 68-69 into and out of Canada until further notice. Amtrak said that host carrier Canadian National had implemented reduced speed regulations due to heat in Canada, and the train will not operate north of Albany. [Amtrak]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN COMPLETES REMEDIATION OF BOTH EAST PALESTINE TRACKS: Norfolk Southern on June 26 reported completing remediation of both tracks running through East Palestine, Ohio, a process that included excavating impacted soil, replacing it with approved backfill material, and replacing the tracks. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-27-23]

WORK TOWARD N.Y. PENN STATION'S MASTER PLAN MOVES FORWARD: New York City's MTA and its railroad partners have issued a 'notice to proceed' to kick off preliminary design to transform Penn Station into a 'world-class commuter and intercity transit hub.' The design will be based on a master plan which proposes a set of solutions to existing deficiencies that impede safe and efficient movement of passengers, and a number of other improvements. [Railway Age, 6-27-23]

FIRST HYDROGEN FUEL CELL PASSENGER TRAIN IN NORTH AMERICA RUNS: On June 17, one hundred passengers boarded Alstom's Coradia iLint for the first hydrogen fuel cell rail journey in North America. It operated in Quebec from Quebec City 56 miles Baie-Saint Paul along the St. Lawrence River. [Railway Age, 6-27-23]

WABTEC LANDS ORDER FOR 69 PRE-OWNED LOCOMOTIVES FOR G&W: Wabtec has obtained its largest certified pre-owned locomotive order from six Genesee & Wyoming subsidiaries. Sixty-nine units, including 35 Dash-9 and 34 Dash-8, are expected to be delivered by December. The locomotives will bring G&W's fleet of Wabtec locomotives to more than 100. [Progressive Railroading, 6-27-23]

CSX EMPLOYEE KILLED IN RAIL ACCIDENT IN BALTIMORE: A CSX employee was killed in a rail accident at Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal on June 26. According to the railroad, the 28-year-old employee was a conductor trainee. [Baltimore Banner, 6-27-23]

BRIDGE COLLAPSES UNDER MRL TRAIN IN MONTANA: On June 24 a bridge collapsed in Stillwater, Montana, sending several cars of a Montana Rail Link train hauling hot asphalt and molten surfur into the Yellowstone River. No injures were reported, and cleanup and investigation is under way. [Railway Age, 6-26-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending June 25, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 17 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-26-23]

FOOTHILL GOLD LINE LIGHT-RAIL CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority marked the completion of major work late last week for its new track system for the 9.1-mile, four-station light-rail project from Glendale to Pomona, California. The project is now 72 percent complete overall. [Progressive Railroading, 6-26-23]

CPKC, CSX PARTNER IN HYDROGEN LOCOMOTIVE PROJECT: CSX is working with Canadian Pacific Kansas City to build and deploy hydrogen locomotive conversion kits to use for diesel locomotives. CSX will use one of CPKC's kits to convert a diesel locomotive as a kickoff to the project and will convert it at its shop in Huntington, W.Va. [Freight Waves, 6-23-23]

UNION PACIFIC TO SERVE NEW ARIZONA RAIL PARK: Union Pacific will be the exclusive rail service provider to Maricopa County's new industrial rail park in Buckeye, Arizona. Service will be provided beginning next spring. [Progressive Railroading, 6-23-23]

DESIGN CONTRACT SIGNED FOR POLISH HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE: A consortium has been awarded a contract to design a 43.5-mile section of 155-MPH Polish rail line between Katowice and the Czech border. [Railway Gazette, 6-22-23]

BRIGHTLINE COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF ORLANDO ROUTE EXPANSION: Brightline has completed construction of its 170-mile expansion north to Orlando with service to begin later this summer. [Progressive Railroading, 6-21-23]

BNSF BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF NEW BISMARCK-MANDAN BRIDGE: BNSF has begun at least a two-year project to construct a new rail bridge between Bismarck and Mandan, N.D., spanning the Missouri River. Once completed, it will replace a 140-year-old bridge, which BNSF then plans to demolish. A local group would like to keep the old bridge for use by pedestrians, but a decision to do so may have to be made by a court. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-21-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 477,126 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 17, 2023, down 3.0 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.2 percent, and intermodal was down 6.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-21-22]

HONOLULU'S RAIL SYSTEM TO GET OFFICIAL NAME: The Honolulu Dept. of Transportation Services has revealed 'Skyline' as the official name as its rail system, set to begin operation June 30. Its opening 10.75-mile segment will be between Kualaka'i and Halawa Aloha Stadium. [Railway Age, 6-20-23]

MILWAUKEE AIRPORT AMTRAK STATION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT BEGINS: The Amtrak train station serving Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is getting a facelift. The station, a stop for Amtrak's Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha service with seven round trips per day, will be getting a west-side platform and a pedestrian overpass connecting the station with the new platform. Completion of the project is scheduled for June 2025. [Fox 6 Milwaukee, 6-20-23]

IZAAK WALTON INN GETTING REMODELED, GETTING NEW NAME, SELLS SURPLUS ITEMS: Montana' Izaak Walton Inn now has a new owner, and the iconic hotel next to BNSF tracks just outside of Glacier National Park will soon get a new name. On June 17 a number of surplus local and rail-theme items were put up for sale, and hundreds of people attended. Owners say they expect the inn to reopen following remodeling next spring, and it name will be 'LOGE Glacier.' [Railfan & Railroad Magazine, 6-19-23]

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 June 18, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 36 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-19-23]

BNSF SETS DATE FOR ASSUMING CONTROL OF MRL: January 1, 2024, is the date BNSF aims to take over Montana Rail Link operations. MRL currently operates independently and working to complete installation of positive train-control. [Trains Magazine, 6-16-23]

RAILROADS SUE TO BLOCK CALIFORNIA'S NEW LOCOMOTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RULES: The railroad industry has filed suit in federal court to block new California locomotive environmental rules saying they would force the premature retirement of about 25,000 diesel locomotives across the country before their zero-emission counterparts are ready to take their place. Moreover, they claim, transporting goods by rail contributed fewer emissions that if moved by truck. [AP News, 6-16-23]

TENTATIVE LABOR PACT REACHED FOR WEST COAST DOCK WORKERS: The union for thousands of West Coast dock workers has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. It follows more than a year of negotiations and several work stoppages that snarled shipping at some of the largest ports. [AP News, 6-15-23]

TICKETING FIRM BEGINS SERVICE FOR NORTH AMERICAN, EUROPEAN RAIL TRAVEL: Rail Online, an international rail ticketing platform, has launched in the U.S. and Canada allowing clients to book and receive e-tickets for Amtrak, VIA Rail, National Rail in the U.K., and SCNF in France, including Eurostar. Further networks will follow. [Railway Age, 6-15-23]

CSX-SERVED CEMENT PLANT OPENS IN INDIANA: Heidelberg Materials on June 13 held a ribbon-cutting for its new $600-million cement production facility in Mitchell, Indiana, served by CSX. [Railway Age, 6-15-23]

MULTIMODAL AMTRAK STATION TO BE BUILT IN CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS: The city of Carbondale, Illinois, will host a groundbreaking on June 16 for the Southern Illinois Multimodal station. It will replace the existing Amtrak station, which will be demolished. [Progressive Railroading, 6-15-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 471,141 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending June 10, 2023, down 5.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.6 percent, and intermodal was down 11.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-14-23]

STATE FUNDING APPROVED FOR RAIL EXTENSION TO VOLVO PLANT IN S.C.: After years of delay, the South Carolina legislature has approved funding for a Palmetto Railways line extension to a Volvo plant in Ridgeville. The extension will run about 23 miles through timberland between Camp Hall Business Park to Cross where it will interchange with CSX. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-14-23]

MBTA TRAIN DERAILS, NO INJURIES REPORTED: MBTA reported a Green line train heading westbound derailed near Packard's Corner with about two dozen passengers on board. No injuries were reported. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-14-23]

AMTRAK SETS NEW, FASTER SCHEDULES FOR LINCOLN SERVICE TRAINS: Effective June 26, new Amtrak Lincoln service schedules between Chicago and St. Louis will eliminate about 15 minutes from 90 MPH run times and 30 minutes from 79 MPH run times due to the increase of maximum speeds to 110 MPH. [Progressive Railroading, 6-13-23]

AMTRAK ISSUES FY-22 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT: Amtrak has published its sustainability report for FY-2022, detailing the company's reduced diesel usage and air emissions alongside increased purchases of carbon-free energy. Amtrak says it has cut greenhouse emissions by ore than 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide since 2010, the equivalent of powering more than 56,000 homes for one year. [Railway Age, 6-13-23]

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 June 11, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 17 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-12-23]

INDUSTRIAL RAIL PARK PLANNED FOR WILLMAR, MINNESOTA: The city of Willmar, Minnesota, has approved a purchase of 145 acres of land for use as an industrial rail park. The current plan includes a rail loop with four spurs into the park along with use of a decommissioned airport runway for the staging of rail cars for loading or unloading. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-12-23]

CSX PAINTS LOCOMOTIVE INTO CHESSIE SYSTEM COMMEMORATIVE SCHEME: CSX locomotive 3049 has been renumbered 1973 and repainted into a commemorative Chessie System scheme. For the purists, the vermilion orange at the top of the unit is 'too thick,' and the Chessie System name on the side is 'too small' to conform with the original Chessie System scheme, but it 'is what it is.' The unit joins 1927, repainted earlier into a commemorative B&O scheme, and other units will follow as a salute to CSX's predecessor companies. [Robert Michaels, 6-11-23]

SEPTA TO ADD SERVICE IN WAKE OF I-95 BRIDGE COLLAPSE: SEPTA is reaching out following the June 11 collapse of a bridge portion along interstate 95 in northeast Philadelphia, adding capacity in rail lines as well as making changes and modifications in service. The agency is working with unions to increase staffing. [Fox 29 Philadelphia, 6-11-23]

B&O MUSEUM GETS $5-M DONATION FROM CSX: CSX is supporting the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore with a $5-million donation to the museum's capital campaign in anticipation of the 2027 bicentennial anniversary of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The gift will be used to build a bicentennial garden, an amphitheater, and multi-use space for organizational and community gatherings. [Railway Age, 6-9-23]

AMTRAK TO HOST HIRING EVENTS JUNE 14: Amtrak will hold hiring events in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and on-line June 14. More than 4,000 positions are available in a number of operating and support crafts. [Railway Age, 6-9-23]

AMTRAK'S WOLVERINE SET TO BE SUSPENDED MONDAY-THURSDAY FOR TRACK WORK: Amtrak's Wolverine serving a number of locations in Michigan will be suspended Monday-Thursday between Pontiac and Chicago starting July 31 through the first week in October due to track maintenance. The train will still run Friday-Sunday. Other Michigan trains including the Blue Water will not be affected. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-9-23]

CALTRAIN TO SUSPEND SERVICE FOR ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT: Caltrain service will be suspended for the next two weekends to allow for construction and testing of overhead catenary electrification. Buses will be substituted. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-8-23]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN ARIZONA, CANCELING SOUTHWEST CHIEF: Twenty-three cars of a BNSF train derailed late June 7 east of Williams, Arizona, causing heavy damage to vehicles the train was carrying. No injuries were reported. Amtrak's Southwest Chief, which uses the same line, was canceled because of the blocked track. [AP News, 6-8-23]

CPKC TRAIN DERAILS IN ALBERTA: A Canadian Pacific Kansas City train derailed late June 8 east of Cluny, Alberta. The railroad said 14 cars carrying shipping containers were involved, and no injuries were reported. [CTV News, 6-8-23]

MAY 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,319,808 carloads and intermodal units in May 2023, down 5.7 percent from the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.8 percent, and intermodal was down 11.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 6-7-23]

PHILADELPHIA 30TH STREET STATION MODERNIZATION BEGINS: Work has begun on a complete renovation and modernization of Amtrak's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Named recently in honor of the late William H. Gray III, a Pennsylvania congressman, it is Amtrak's third busiest station. its passenger volume is project to double over the next 25 years. [Railway Age, 6-7-23]

CN MONITORING WILDFIRES FOR NEEDED SERVICE ADJUSTMENTS: Canadian National is keeping any eye on wildfires across several provinces and is adjusting operations as needed. The railroad is focused on ensuring the safety of its employees and remains in contact with shippers as situations develop. [Freight Waves, 6-7-23]

CP FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF COURT OVER WORKING HOUR VIOLATIONS: A Canadian judge has found Canadian Pacific to be in contempt of court after the company forced train crews to work excessively long hours in violation of a court order to abide by a collective bargaining agreement and Transport Canada regulations. The judge found that the railroad 'intentionally' overworked train crews in 22 out of 38 incidents presented, noting also that 'thousands' of situations continue to occur annually. Penalties will be determined in a separate hearing. [Teamsters Canada, 6-7-23]

DOUBLE-DECK SLEEPING CARS ACQUIRED FOR SERVICE IN SLOVAKIA: Yosaria Trains in Slovakia has taken delivery of 35 out-of-use double-deck sleeping cars that were formerly used in Deutsche Bahn CityNightLines service. [Railway Gazette, 6-7-23]

AMTRAK SUBMITS $8-B GRANT APPLICATION: Amtrak has submitted grant applications to the Federal Railroad Administration totaling more than $8-billion toward 16 long-distance and 14 Northeast corridor projects to expand service, update infrastructure and improve stations. [Railway Age, 6-6-23]

FRA TO CONDUCT SAFETY ASSESSMENTS OF MAJOR RAILROADS: The Federal Railroad Administration will conduct safety assessments of all major U.S. railroads over the next year in response to the Febr. 3 derailment and fire of a Norfolk Southern train in Ohio. The agency will plan to release a report assessing issues and trends across all carriers reviewed. [Reuters, 6-6-23]

LONGSHORE WORKERS DISRUPT WEST COAST PORTS: Dock workers at 29 ports have been working without a contract since last July. Operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were interrupted starting June 2 due to dock workers staging individual slowdowns or not reporting for work at all. The disruptions forced two container ports to shut down at Long Beach and caused other problems at ports in Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle. [Progressive Railroading, 6-6-23]

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 June 4, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 10 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-5-23]

CPKC EMPLOYEES TO SELECT COMPANY'S LOCOMOTIVE NEW PAINT SCHEME: Canadian Pacific Kansas City employees will select the railway's new locomotive paint scheme from five different designs through an on-line survey, the company says. [Trains Magazine, 6-5-23]

SIGNAL ERROR BLAMED IN RAIL CRASH IN INDIA: The fatal derailment in eastern India June 2 was caused by an error in the electronic signaling system that led to a passenger train wrongly changing tracks, crashing into a freight train, derailing, and then being struck by another passenger train, officials said. An investigation is underway to determine whether the error was human or technical. [Carroll County Times, 6-5-23]

NORTHERN LIGHTS EXPRESS PROJECT CLEARS MAJOR HURDLE: Rail passenger service between the Twin Cities and Duluth cleared a major hurdle late last month when the Minnesota legislature dedicated $195-million toward the 152-mile proposed Northern Lights route. [Railway Age, 6-5-23]

VRE AWARDED $20-M IN GRANT FUNDS: Virginia Railway Express is being provided $20-million in grant funding for construction of a new station in Crystal City and support of an Amtrak step-up program to allow multiple-ride passengers to ride select Amtrak trains. [Progressive Railroading, 6-5-23]

MACHINISTS RATIFY NEW AMTRAK CONTRACT: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have ratified a new contract with Amtrak, the union announced June 4. [Trains Magazine, 6-4-23]

BOSTON SECTION OF LAKE SHORE LIMITED TO HAVE SCHEDULE IMPACTS: Between June 4 and June 29 Amtrak trains 448 and 449 will have schedule impacts between Albany and Boston. Eastbound trains will only operate Fridays and Saturdays, and westbound trains will only operate Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Buses will protect missed stops, but not Black Bay or Framingham. [Amtrak]

CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN ON FOUR CHICAGO TRANSIT STATIONS: Chicago Transit will begin construction of four new, fully-accessible stations on the Red line this summer at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr. [Railway Track & Structures, 6-2-23]

DEADLY TRAIN ACCIDENT IN INDIA: More than 200 people died and about 900 others were injured after trains collided late June 2 in the Indian city of Balasore. It has been reported that one passenger train collided with a freight train, derailed with some of its cars fouling an adjacent track, and then another train on the adjacent track crashed into the derailed cars of the first train. [CNN, 6-2-23]

VIA RAIL LOGS RIDERSHIP, REVENUE GAINS IN 1-Q: VIA Rail Canada reported first-quarter ridership soared 106.5 percent and total revenue increased 147.1 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, during the quarter, new trains continued to be introduced to the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 6-2-23]

MAY 2023 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in May 2023. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 50 minutes late. The average arrival of those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-1-23]

CPKC TRAIN DERAILS IN MINNESOTA: Twenty-four cars of a Canadian Pacific Kansas City train derailed May 31 near Lancaster, Minnesota. Some of the cars were carrying Hazardous material, but the railroad said there appeared to be no leaks and there were no waterways in the area. No injuries were reported. [CBS Minnesota, 5-31-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 480,998 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 27, 2023, down 4.8 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.5 percent, and intermodal was down 11.6 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-31-23]

CONSTRUCTION OF CAMP HILL RAIL LINE IN S.C. BEGINS: After an increased demand for rail service in South Carolina, Palmetto Railways is beginning construction on its 25-mile, $185-million Camp Hill rail line to connect a CSX line with Camp Hill Park and Valvo plant. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-31-23]

FEDS ORDER MBTA TO REVISE SAFETY WORK PLAN: The Federal Transit Administration has ordered the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to resubmit a safety work plan it shared with the federal agency earlier this month. FTA said that MBTA's right-of-way rules compliance and safety work plan was 'insufficient.' MBTA has until June 5 to resubmit the plan with revisions that address right-of-way processes and procedures in light of several near-miss situations threatening the safety of track workers. [WCVB, 5-30-23]

NTSB TO HOLD INVESTIGATIVE HEARING IN EAST PALESTINE: The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day investigative hearing in East Palestine, Ohio, June 22 and 23 as part of its ongoing investigation into the Febr. 3 derailment, fire and hazardous material release. A pre-hearing community meeting will be held June 21. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-25-23]

MARYLAND MIDLAND TRAIN DERAILS IN FINKSBURG, MD.: A Maryland Midland Railway train derailed early May 25 in Finksburg, Carroll County, Md. Two of the rail cars on the 31-car train carrying stone came off the track. No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved. [CBS Baltimore, 5-25-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 470,694 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 20, 2023, down 5.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.4 percent, and intermodal was down 9.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-24-23]

ALIGNMENT RECOMMENDED FOR AUSTIN'S LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The Austin Transit Partnership has recommended a 9-8=mile, 15-station light-rail alignment as the first phase of 'Project Connect.' The recommendation of the 38th street to Oltorf to Yellow Jacket route was one of five scaled-back options considered during community engagement. [Railway Age, 5-24-23]

TACOMA RAIL SELLS MOUNTAIN DIVISION TO RAINIER RAIL: Tacoma Rail has completed a years-long divestiture of its Mountain Division, a former Milwaukee Road property, selling the bulk of it to Rainier Rail. Western Washington Railroad, a subsidiary of Rainier Rail, will operate the line. [Railway Age, 5-24-23]

CLASS I RAILS' HIRING EFFORTS MISLEADING, UNIONS SAY: Class I railroads are still far under the employment levels needed to provide exceptional service, let alone grow network capacity, seven rail unions contend in a filing to the Surface Transportation Board. Although railroads themselves say employment levels have grown since last year, confirmed by STB data, head count levels are well below pre-pandemic levels. But union figures show that the growth rate persists to be uneven among the crafts. Moreover, STB's data exclude the rate of attrition, which can also contribute to the perception that labor shortages are ongoing, the unions say. [Freight Waves, 5-23-23]

TWO ADDITIONAL AMTRAK SPRINGFIELD-N.Y. TRAINS TO BE ADDED: Two additional Northeast Regional Amtrak trains will offer single-seat option service between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New York City starting June 5. Southbound trains will leave Springfield 4:45 a.m. and 7:50 a.m., and northbound trains will arrive 10:40 p.m. and 12:26 a.m. [Railway Age, 5-23-23]

JUNE 16 OPENING SET FOR L.A. METRO REGIONAL CONNECTOR: Los Angeles County Metro has announced that its $1.8-billion Regional Connector transit project, which will take riders from Azusa to Long Beach and from East L.A. to Santa Monica on one train, will open to the public on June 16. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-23-23]

CSX EARNS TO SPOT AS BEST-PERFORMING RAILROAD FOR INTERMODAL CUSTOMERS: A cluster of intermodal customers has ranked CSX as the top-performing railroad in North America. The honor was attained according to an intermodal service scorecard compiled by the Journal of Commerce. [Progressive Railroading, 5-22-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 21, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 32 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-22-23]

WABTEC LANDS HONG KONG LOCOMOTIVE UPGRADE CONTRACT: Hong Kong public transit operator MTR has awarded an approximately $14.9-million contract to Wabtec for the modernization of 25 MK3 battery-electric locomotives. [Railway Age, 5-22-23]

AG SECRETARY SAYS U.S. RAIL SERVICE 'NEEDS IMPROVEMENT': Rail service has improved for agriculture and grain shippers this year compared with last year, but shippers are saying that ongoing issues warrant attention and regulatory action. The U.S. secretary of agriculture agrees, and has urged the Surface Transportation Board to follow through with a number of actions to bolster rail service. [Freight Waves, 5-19-23]

FIFTH ROUND-TRIP TO BE ADDED TO AMTRAK PIEDMONT SERVICE: A daily round-trip will be added on July 10 to Amtrak's Piedmont service in North Carolina between Raleigh and Charlotte with seven stops in between. Riders will now have five trips in each direction to choose from. [Railway Age, 5-19-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STRIKES DEAL WITH BLET FOR PAID SICK LEAVE: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have reached an agreement with Norfolk Southern for up to seven paid sick days for engineers. That includes five new paid sick days and the ability to use two additional days of paid time off as sick leave. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5-19-23]

SEPTA BREAKS GROUND ON WISSACHICKON STATION EXPANSION: Ground was broken May 18 on the $45-million Wissachickon Transportation Center expansion project on the Manayunk-Norristown line in Philadelphia. [Progressive Railroading, 5-19-23]

NEW ROCHELLE STATION PRIMED FOR REDESIGN: The historic New Rochelle, N.Y., train station served by both Amtrak and Metro-North is about to undergo a transformation, along with its surrounding area. It is the busiest stop on the Metro-North New Haven line, with more than 6.000 outbound riders per weekday. Upon completion of the Penn Access project in 2027, New Rochelle will be the only city in the state to offer direct access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-19-23]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON WALK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT IN CONNECTICUT: The Connecticut Dept. of Transportation is starting construction on the Norwalk River Railroad (Walk) bridge replacement. Originally built in 1896, it is a four-track swing span, one of the oldest movable bridges in the region, and subject to occasional failures. The new $925-million bridge will be a redundant structure with two independent, movable lift spans, and its completion will allow train speeds to increase. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-19-23]

MARIO PELOQUIN NAMED TO LEAD VIA RAIL: Mario Peloquin will take over as president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada on June 12. A nearly 40-year transportation veteran, he most recently served as executive vice-president of major projects for the Keolis Group. [Railway Age, 5-17-23]

PSC GROUP ACQUIRES STEEL LINE RAIL SERVICES: PSC Group has acquired Steel Line Rail Services, a mobile rail-car repair, inspection and maintenance company based in Marshall, Texas. [Progressive Railroading, 5-17-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 466,381 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending May 13, 2023, down 5.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 0.9 percent, and intermodal was down 11.5 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-17-23]

METRO-NORTH REDESIGNS LOCOMOTIVE TO MARK 40TH ANNIVERSARY: Metro-North on May 15 rebranded one of its locomotives with special colors and designs to highlight the railroad's 40th year of service. Workers applied a vinyl wrap to unit 208 with silver, blue and red to pay homage to the original design displayed by FL9 locomotives until 2007. [Progressive Railroading, 5-16-23]

GULF & ATLANTIC ADDS THREE SHORT LINE TO PORTFOLIO: Camp Chase, Chesapeake & Indiana, and Vermilion railroads were added on May 12 to Gulf & Atlantic Railways' short line portfolio. The Florida-based company signed an agreement in March to acquire the midwestern railroads from Midwestern & Bluegrass Rail. [Railway Age, 5-16-23]

BNSF EXPANDING PORT OF HOUSTON INTERMODAL SERVICE: BNSF is expanding its network of intermodal lane offerings with new service options from Barbours Cut Container Terminal at the Port of Houston. Beginning June 2, Houston service will be offered to and from both Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver. [Railway Age, 5-16-23]

WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDS AMTRAK IMPROVE FOOD, BEVERAGE OFFERINGS: After a year of study, a working group has submitted to Congress nearly two dozen recommendations for how Amtrak can improve its food and beverage offerings. Congress created the group, requiring it to file its report this month, and Amtrak has 180 days to respond to and develop plans to enact the recommendations. [Progressive Railroading, 5-15-23]

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 May 14, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 47 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-15-23]

HSR VIADUCT PROJECT IN FRESNO COMPLETED: California's High-Speed Rail Authority has announced the completion of the 3700-foot viaduct over Highway 99, Cedar and North avenues at the south end of Fresno. [The Tribune, 5-13-23]

HART SET FOR OPENING JUNE 30: Honolulu's mayor has announced that the 10.8-mile, nine-station first phase of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's long-awaited rail transit system will officially open on June 30. Initially, trains will operate every 10 minutes. [Railway Age, 5-12-23]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN TENNESSEE: A CSX train derailed early May 11 in Mason, Tennessee, with three loaded grain cars plunging partially into a creek. No injuries were involved and there is no danger to the public. [WREG, 5-11-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS NEAR NEW CASTLE, PA.: Nine cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed late May 10 outside of New Castle, Pa. No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved. [WPXI, 5-11-23]

CHICAGO SUBURBAN COMMUNITIES APPEAL APPROVAL OF CP-KCS MERGER: A coalition of suburban Chicago communities has filed a safety appeal in federal court claiming critical evidence was ignored in the approval of the merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. [WLS, 5-11-23]

CSX STARTING A NEW HERITAGE LOCOMOTIVE FLEET: CSX is starting a Heritage Locomotive fleet. The first of possibly a couple dozen repainted locomotives was released May 10 from the shops in Waycross, Ga. Its number 1827 is in honor of the year B&O was founded, renumbered from 3059. Its scheme is similar along its sides to CSX executive train locomotives, copied from the B&O blue and gray scheme, but other heritage units will reportedly be different. [Robert Michaels, 5-10-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO CREATE LOSS-OF-HOME-VALUE FUND FOR EAST PALESTINE AREA: Norfolk Southern has unveiled plans to create a fund for residents living within about a five-mile radius of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment to compensate them for loss of home value if they sell their homes for less than their appraised value at or before Febr. 3 when the derailment happened. AP News, 5-10-23]

UNION PACIFIC PARTNERS WITH TIGER COOL EXPRESS IN INTERMODAL RAIL SERVICE: Union Pacific's partnership with Tiger Cool Express has led to the development of a temperature-controlled intermodal rail service at a former Cold Connect facility in Wallula, Washington. Now known as Tiger Tri-Cities Logistic Center, it is expected to be fully-operational in August. [Progressive Railroading, 5-9-23]

AMTRAK ADVANCES PLAN FOR TRAIN MAINTENANCE FACILITIES: Amtrak has announced multiple upcoming procurement packages for new support facilities in Seattle, New York, Boston and Washington DC to improve trainset maintenance, repair, inspection and cleaning. The sites join one already in planned procurement in Philadelphia. [Amtrak, 5-9-23]

BRS RATIFIES CONTRACT WITH AMTRAK: Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen members have ratified a seven-year labor contract with Amtrak following nearly 18 months of negotiation. [Progressive Railroading, 5-9-23]

OMAHA STREETCAR PROJECT MOVES FORWARD: HDR Inc. has been selected by the Omaha Streetcar Authority to deliver the final design for the city's 3.2-mile streetcar project to connect downtown with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Project opening is in 2027. [Progressive Railroading, 5-9-23]

D.C. METRO RESUMES YELLOW LINE SERVICE ACROSS POTOMAC RIVER: Washington DC Metro on May 7 resumed Yellow line service across the Potomac River following an eight-month repair of its 1970's tunnel and bridge. [Railway Age, 5-8-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN BLOCKS ALABAMA COMMUNITY FOR FIVE DAYS: The community of Cardiff, Alabama, of about 50 to 55 people, was effectively cut off by a Norfolk Southern train that stopped and blocked its primary entrance, reportedly because it was awaiting repair. There was a lengthy roundabout route available to access the community, but it added an additional 30 minutes. Residents felt as though they were prisoners, they were concerned for their safety in an emergency, and their children needed access for the school bus. Children were seen crawling beneath the train to reach the other side. Contacts with Norfolk Southern resulted in ambiguous responses. Finally, after blocking the crossing by five days, the railroad confirmed to WBRC that the train had been moved. [WBRC, 5-8-23]

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 May 7, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 28 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-8-23]

UNION PACIFIC TAKES STB TO COURT OVER CP-KCS MERGER: Union Pacific is asking a federal court of appeals to review the decision by the Surface Transportation Board to approve the merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. Union Pacific had expressed concerns during the STB hearings on the merger that the board needed to impose conditions that would ensure competition at interchanges. The merger was finalized last month. [Freight Waves, 5-5-23]

AMTRAK ANNOUNCES ACELA SCHEDULE CHANGES: Effective May 8, Acela trains 2104, 2121 and 2128 are canceled. Train 2175 is also canceled, but train 2193 will run Boston-New York on the same schedule of 2175. Also, train 2126 will run 40 minutes later. [Amtrak, 5-5-23]

R.J. CORMAN OPENS EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT IN MAINE: R.J. Corman Railroad Services has opened an emergency response division in Waterville, Maine, to support customers in the northeast U.S. The emergency response divisions can respond at any time for re-railing, derailment cleanups, load transfers, debris and hazmat removal, washout repair, snow removal and tractive motor changes. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-23]

BATTERY-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE TO BE TESTED AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PORTS: Pacific Harbor Line has rolled out a new zero-idle EMD Joule battery-electric locomotive to begin a year of testing as part of service to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-23]

SKATEBOARDERS CAUSE TWO-HOUR RAIL SHUTDOWN AT N.Y. PENN STATION: The sight of two people with a skateboard near the tracks at New York's Penn Station the afternoon of May 3 caused a two-hour rail shutdown during rush-hour, Amtrak said. An engineer reported seeing the pair and applied the brakes shortly after 4 p.m. Amtrak and N.J. Transit service was suspended as a precaution, leaving passengers to either wait or seek other transportation. [Bloomberg, 5-4-12]

FASTER SCHEDULES COMING FOR AMTRAK CHICAGO-ST. LOUIS CORRIDOR: Federal approval has been received for maximum speeds up to 110 MPH for most of Amtrak's Chicago-St. Louis corridor, particularly between Joliet and Alton. Until now, 90 MPH was the top speed. Four Lincoln service trains and the Texas Eagle run the route in each direction daily. Schedules will remain in place for a brief period to monitor actual running times between stations at the new speed, but schedules will be speeded up after the trial period. [Amtrak, 5-3-23]

OKLAHOMA, KANSAS APPLY FOR GRANT TO PLAN, DEVELOP HEARTLAND FLYER EXTENSION: The Oklahoma and Kansas transportation departments have applied for a federal Corridor ID grant to plan and develop an extension of Amtrak's Heartland Flyer northward from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas. [Railway Age, 5-3-23]

APRIL 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,881,950 carloads and intermodal units in April 2023, down 6.0 percent compared with the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.8 percent, and intermodal was down 12.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-3-23]

FEDS REVISE RULE COVERING PTC SYSTEM OUTAGES: Railroads must now seek Federal Railroad Administration approval before temporarily disabling their positive train-control systems during infrastructure upgrades or capital projects. Other situations not included in this directive will be covered by separate provisions. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-2-23]

CALIFORNIA PASSES NEW IN-USE LOCOMOTIVE RULE: The California Air Resources Board has passed a new rule aimed at reducing emissions from locomotives. The board says operational emissions from just one train can be worse than those of 400 heavy-duty trucks. Operators will now be required to pay into a 'spending account' from which they may fund upgrades to cleaner locomotive technologies. In addition, locomotives will now have a 30-minute idling limit. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-2-23]

APRIL 2023 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in April 2023. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 49 minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 20 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-1-23]

FEDS CAUTION FREIGHT RAILROADS OVER RUNNING SUPER-LONG TRAINS: The Federal Railroad Administration is cautioning railroads that mile-plus-long trains they favor can cause numerous problems and contribute to derailments. The agency stopped short of recommending that railroads limit the size of their trains, but it suggested a number of precautions such as training of locomotive engineers on how to handle them, and that locomotives maintain communication with end-of-train devices that can help trigger the brakes in an emergency. [AP News, 4-28-23]

N.D. ISSUES PERMIT TO BNSF TO REPLACE BISMARCK-MANDAN RAIL BRIDGE: The North Dakota Dept. of Water Resources has issued state permits to BNSF, the final regulatory approval required to replace the Bismarck-Mandan rail bridge spanning the Missouri River. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-28-23]

ENSCO TO ACQUIRE KLD LABS: ENSCO, a railway inspection technology company, has entered into an equity purchase agreement to acquire KLD Labs, a provider of automated wayside inspection technology and laser profiling solutions. [Progressive Railroading, 4-28-23]

FALLING DEBRIS AFFECTS PACIFIC SURFLINER: Debris falling from a slope north of San Clemente Pier in California has resulted in a temporary track closure between San Juan Capistrano and San Diego, resulting in suspended Pacific Surfliner trains. Substitute bus service will be offered if available. [Amtrak, 4-28-23]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS CARS INTO MISSISSIPPI RIVER, FOUR CREW MEMBERS HURT: Four BNSF crew members were transported to a hospital for medical examinations after a southbound freight train derailed in southwestern Wisconsin, sending some rail cars into the Mississippi River. Two locomotives and an unknown number of cars derailed on the eastern side of the river. An emergency management director said there was no immediate threat to public safety, but derailed cars contained paint, oxygen and lithium batteries. [La Crosse Tribune, 4-27-23]

AMTRAK PLANS IMPROVEMENTS TO MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI, STATION: Amtrak is planning to make improvements to its union station facilities in Meridian, Mississippi, which would involve city-owned property. The project would include renovations of two train platforms and new canopies, signage and electrical connections. Amtrak hopes to begin the project by the end of this year. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-27-23]

CPKC REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: Canadian Pacific Kansas City reported first-quarter revenue of $2.27-billion (C), up 23 percent compared to the same quarter last year; operating income of $829-million, up 55 percent; and diluted earnings per share of 86 cents, up 37 percent. Adjusted operating ratio of 62.9 percent was down from 69.8 percent a year ago. [Progressive Railroading, 4-27-23]

DANISH OPERATOR DSB INCREASES ORDER FOR TALGO 230 INTERCITY TRAIN SETS: Denmark's national operator DSB has increased its order for Talgo 230 intercity train sets from eight to 16. It has also ordered 16 driving trailer coaches which will enable push-pull operation with Siemens Mobility Vectron locomotives. [Railway Gazette, 4-27-23]

ANKARA-SILVAS HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE OPENS: The long-delayed Ankara-Silvas 252-mile double-track high-speed rail line formally opened on April 26 when Turkish national operator RCDD ran its first public passenger services over the new route. [Railway Gazette, 4-27-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 480,457 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 22, 2023, down 3.5 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 5.1 percent, and intermodal was down 10.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-26-23]

CONNECTICUT TO IMPROVE, BOOST SPEED ON STRETCH OF METRO-NORTH NEW HAVEN LINE TRACK: The Connecticut Dept. of Transportation plans to replace a three-mile stretch of track along Metro-North's New Haven line. Work is to begin in the spring of 2025, and will boost the maximum speed between Bridgeport and Strafford from 70 MPH to 90 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-26-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported first-quarter income from operations were $711-million and diluted earnings-per-share were $2.04, down by 34 and 30 percent, respectively, compared with the same quarter last year. Railway operating revenues of $3.1-billion were up 7 percent. [Norfolk Southern, 4-26-23]

STB TO HOLD HEARING OVER BNSF SERVICE FROM COAL MONTANA MINE: The Surface Transportation Board will hold a hearing May 10 to consider Navajo Transitional Energy's request for an emergency service order to require BNSF to handle more volume from the Spring Creek coal mine in Montana. [Trains, 4-26-23]

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE COHEN RECEIVES GOLDEN SPIKE AWARD FOR SUPPORT OF AMTRAK: U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee has received Rail Passengers Association's Golden Spike award for his many years of support for a better Amtrak network and passengers' right to quality service. [Rail Passengers Assn., 4-25-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending April 23, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 12 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-24-23]

CN, UP, GRUPO MEXICO PARTNER TO OFFER FAST MEXICO-U.S.-CANADA SHIPMENTS: In a move to compete with Canadian Pacific Kansas City, three railroads will partner to move intermodal cars from Mexico north across the U.S. to the key hub of Chicago and further north into Canada. Canadian National, Union Pacific and Grupo Mexico say their service is potentially better than CPKC because Grupo Mexico has a bigger network in Mexico, and Union Pacific has a more direct route to Chicago. [AP News, 4-24-23]

TEXAS EAGLE TO BE IMPACTED BY TRACK WORK ON CERTAIN DATES: The westbound Texas Eagle will not operate between Fort Worth and San Antonio April 23, June 27, Sept. 10 and Oct. 3; and the eastbound Texas Eagle will not operate between San Antonio and Fort Worth April 24, June 28, Sept. 11 and Oct. 4 due to planned track work. Bus transportation will be substituted making all impacted stops. [Amtrak]

CPKC, SCHNEIDER SIGN MULTI-YEAR INTERMODAL PACT: Canadian Pacific Kansas City has announced a new multi-year agreement with Schneider National to provide single-line intermodal transportation service on CPKC's north-south corridor connecting the U.S. and Mexico. [Progressive Railroading, 4-21-23]

NEW VENTURE CARS INTRODUCED TO AMTRAK'S MICHIGAN ROUTES: Amtrak has introduced new Venture coaches to the three routes between Chicago and end points Port Huron, Detroit and Grand Rapids in Michigan. The cars are a minimally-modified Siemens design of cars widely used in Europe, and will replace older Horizon and Amfleet equipment. Coach-class cars and a few business-class cars have so far been delivered, and cafe cars will follow. [Spartan Newsroom, 4-21-23]

CSX REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: CSX has announced first-quarter 2023 operating income of $1.46-billion compared with $1.28-billion in the prior-year period. Net earnings of $98.7-million or 48 cents per share compared to $859-million or 39 cents per share the previous year's first-quarter. Revenue reached $3.71-billion. [CSX, 4-20-23]

TWO NOTED RAIL VETERANS URGE RETIREMENT OF AMFLEET-I CARS: Two veteran railroaders, with 110 years' experience between them, have called for Amtrak to phase out use of Amfleet-I equipment on the Northeast corridor. Paul Reistrup, Amtrak's president in the mid 1970's, who ordered the cars in the very beginning, and Scott Spencer, veteran of N.J. Transit and SEPTA, now chief operating office of AmeriStarRail, both say that speeds of up to 125 MPH at which conventional trains currently run, pose a risk to the safety of their continued use. The cars will soon be 50 years old. [Railway Age, 4-20-23]

D.C. METRO TO OPEN POTOMAC YARD STATION ON MAY 19: May 19 will be opening day for Washington DC Metro's Potomac Yard station in Alexandria, Va. It will serve both the Blue and Yellow lines. [Railway Age, 4-20-23]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific had net income of $1.6-billion or $2.67 per diluted share in the first-quarter 2023. The results include $107-million in other income from a one-time real estate transaction. This compares to $2.57 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating revenue of $6.1-billion was up 3 percent, but operating income of $2.3-billion declined 3 percent. [Union Pacific, 4-20-23]

METRA TO REHAB WASHINGTON HEIGHTS STATION: Metra crews will begin work April 21 on a major rehabilitation project at the Rock Island line's 103rd street/Washington Heights station. Service at the location will continue, but the depot building will be inaccessible to commuters while construction is underway. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-19-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 468,197 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 15, 2023, down 4.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 5.8 percent, and intermodal was down 12.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-19-23]

FRACTURED RAIL MIGHT HAVE CAUSED BNSF DERAILMENT IN MINNESOTA LAST MONTH: BNSF is analyzing a section of fractured rail following last month's fiery derailment that forced evacuations in southwest Minnesota. Officials, however, have not officially concluded that the broken rail caused the crash. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-19-23]

LIRR REPORTS OVER 1-M PASSENGERS USED GRAND CENTRAL MADISON IN FIRST 40 DAYS OF FULL SERVICE: The Long Island Rail Road reported that the agency surpassed one million paying customers traveling in or out of Grand Central Madison from its full-service opening Febr. 27 until April 7. [Railway Age, 4-19-23]

FIRM WANTS TO RUN OVERNIGHT SAN FRANCISCO-LOS ANGELES SLEEPER TRAIN: A California startup company, Dreamstar Lines, wants to launch an overnight sleeping car passenger train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The firm says it is working on lining up the rail cars, financing, staffing and agreements needed to begin the route. The schedule will comprehend a run of 10 hours and 30 minutes. [Progressive Railroading, 4-19-23]

SIEMENS TO SUPPLY 24 MODEL S200 RAIL CARS TO GREATER CLEVELAND: The Greater Cleveland Transit Authority's board has approved the purchase of 24 Siemens model S200 rail cars to replace their aging Red line fleet. The order includes an option to purchase up to 60 of the cars in the future. The cars are modeled after a fleet currently used by Calgary Transit. [Railway Age, 4-19-23]

AMERICAN TRACK SERVICES ACQUIRES UNIVERSAL RAIL SYSTEMS: American Track Services on April 18 announced the acquisition of Universal Rail Systems in Canada, and the creation of new parent company North American Rail Solutions. [Progressive Railroading, 4-19-23]

WORK BEGINS ON HALEY TOWER RESTORATION: The Haley Tower Historical & Technical Society, which operates the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum in Indiana, has begun restoration work on its historic interlocking tower. Haley Tower guarded the crossing of the north-south Chicago & Eastern Illinois and the east-west New York Central main lines 50 feet from its present location at the museum. [Tribune-Star, 4-18-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN COMPLETES SOIL EXCAVATION BENEATH SOUTH TRACK AT EAST PALESTINE: Nearly two and one-half months after the East Palestine derailment, Norfolk Southern has completed excavation of the impacted soil beneath the removed south track, and will finish in the coming days track restoration to make way for work to begin beneath the north track. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-18-23]

NORTH CAROLINA LOGS RECORD QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP OF STATE'S PASSENGER RAIL: North Carolina's Dept. of Transportation has announced the state's intercity passenger rail service saw record ridership of more than 135,000 riders in the first-quarter 2023. Ridership was up 50 percent compared with ridership levels during the same quarter last year. [Progressive Railroading, 4-18-23]

OREGON PORT REHABS 15 BRIDGES ALONG COOS BAY RAIL LINE: The first phase of a project to rehabilitate 15 steel bridges along the Coos Bay rail line has been completed, the Oregon Port of Coos Bay has announced. The project is necessary to prepare the rail line for an expected increase in volume, they said. [Progressive Railroading, 4-18-23]

CN BEGINS TOOL FOR CUSTOMERS TO CALCULATE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS: Now available to its customers, Canadian National has introduced a self-service sustainability tool to provide a detailed report of estimated emissions based on all loaded shipments moving through CN's network. The report shows emissions saved by moving their goods over rail rather than by road. [Progressive Railroading, 4-18-23]

JAPAN'S TOBU RAILWAY UNVEILS FIRST OF 24 N100 SPACIA X TRAINS: Japan's Tobu Railway has unveiled the first of 24 aluminum-bodied series N100 electric multiple units, to be known as 'Spacia X.' Each six-car unit will provide 212 seats, including private compartments, lounge areas and a bar. The first set is expected to enter service on July 15. [Railway Gazette, 4-18-23]

BOOK RELEASED ON C&O'S 'CHESSIE' TRAIN OF 1940'S THAT NEVER RAN: A state-of-the-art luxury daylight passenger train was developed by the C&O in the late 1940's featuring a dome and family car, children's theater and playroom, twin-unit dining car, and newly-designed observation car. It would be powered by a steam-powered turbine locomotive, the largest passenger engine in the world. But the train never ran. Known as 'The Chessie,' the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society has carefully documented detailed information on the train, and has recently released a book about it. [Roanoke Star, 4-17-23]

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 April 16, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-17-23]

AMTRAK BEGINS PROCUREMENT PHASE FOR EAST RIVER TUNNEL REHAB PROJECT: Amtrak has begun the procurement phase of the East River Tunnel Rehabilitation project by issuing a request for qualifications for construction services to replace two of the four tunnel tubes. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-17-23]

AMTRAK STATION IN TEXARKANA CONSIDERED FOR REDEVELOPMENT: For the first time in more than 20 years, the union station in downtown Texarkana may have a chance at a new life. The board of the Arkansas-side has agreed to contribute $200,000 to help the city of Texarkana, Texas, buy the train station for a joint redevelopment project for the building, which was built in 1930. [Texarkana Gazette, 4-17-23]

CP-KCS OFFICIALLY COMBINE INTO ONE: Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern on April 14 formally combined to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). The merger creates the first single-line railway connecting Canada, U.S. and Mexico. [Progressive Railroading, 4-14-23]

CPKC TO RUN EMPRESS EXPRESS STEAM LOCOMOTIVE THIS SUMMER: Canadian Pacific Kansas City has announced that its famed 'Empress' steam locomotive 2816 will return to the rails this summer for a grand expedition across the newly-formed rail network. [Railway Age, 4-14-23]

MARC EYES TWO-STATE SERVICE EXPANSION: The Maryland Transit Administration has signed framework agreements with agencies in Delaware and Virginia for the potential future expansion of MARC train service northward to Newark, Delaware, and southward to Alexandria, Virginia. [Railway Age, 4-14-23]

CALTRAIN TO REDUCE SERVICE TO ACCOMMODATE ELECTRIFICATION CONSTRUCTION, TESTING: Caltrain will reduce service from 104 trains to 82 trains per day for the weeks of April 17-21 and 24-28 to accommodate electrification construction and testing. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-14-23]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO REHAB WESTERN BROWN LINE STATION: The Chicago Transit Board has approved the awarding for the first stage of a design-build contract of up to $19-million in repairs and improvements for the Western Brown line station. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-13-23]

CIMARRON VALLEY R.R. IMPROVEMENT PROJECT BEGINS: There was a ceremony April 12 marking the start of a Cimarron Valley Railroad improvement project in southwest Kansas. The railroad will fund the 85-mile project with nearly $15-million from private and public sources. The investment will help upgrade rail infrastructure and boost the state's agricultural industry. [Progressive Railroading, 4-13-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 451,336 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 8, 2023, down 11.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 4.6 percent, and intermodal was down 17.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-12-23]

FRA CONCLUDES SERIES OF AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE SERVICE STUDY MEETINGS: The Federal Railroad Administration on April 6 concluded a series of six working-group meetings to inform and collaborate with stakeholders on its Amtrak Long-Distance service study. The study will open possibilities for establishing new or renewed long-distance routes and bolster intercity connections, especially in rural areas. [Railway Age, 4-12-23]

AAR SUBMITS CALCULATIONS TO DETERMINE R.R. COST OF CAPITAL FOR 2022: The Association of American Railroads has submitted to the Surface Transportation Board it calculations to determine the railroads' cost of capital for 2022. The data concluded that the overall railroad industry cost of capital is 10.58 percent for 2022. [Railway Age, 4-12-23]

DINOSAUR TRAIN BRINGS PAST TO THE RAILS: Japan's Echizen Railway has given a train set a dinosaur theme for use on services to the Fukui Prefecture Dinosaur Museum. The two-car series 1000 EMU is one of 12 built in 1973-1985, and was acquired by the Echizen third sector railway in 2021. The exterior of one car has been covered in vinyl depicting animals that lived in the Americas, while the other car has creatures from Asia. [Railway Gazette, 4-12-23]

RAIL CAR OF AUTOS CATCHES FIRE IN BIRMINGHAM: A parked rail car carrying finished automobiles caught fire late April 11 in Birmingham, according to Norfolk Southern. Birmingham Fire & Rescue quickly responded. There were no injuries. [WBRC, 4-11-23]

CANADIAN PORTION OF AMTRAK'S MAPLE LEAF SUSPENDED DUE TO TRACK WORK: Amtrak's Maple Leaf between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Toronto has been suspended April 11 to 13 due to track work on Canadian National. [Amtrak, 4-11-23]

PATRIOT RAIL TO SERVE ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAIL PARK IN COLORADO: Patriot Rail will serve a 620-acre industrial park in the Denver area under a new agreement with Rocky Mountain Industrials. Patriot will provide operational and rail-related services within Rocky Mountain Rail Park next to the Colorado Air & Space Port, which features a direct interchange with Union Pacific. [Progressive Railroading, 4-11-23]

REGULAR AMTRAK, METROLINK TRAINS RESUME SERVICE ALONG COAST IN SAN CLEMENTE: Regular service for Amtrak and Metrolink trains resume service April 17 following completion of track stabilization work along the Pacific coast in San Clemente. The work was necessary after storm serge and erosion caused the track to shift, suspending all service in Sept. 2022. Weekend-only service returned in Febr. 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 4-11-23]

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 April 9, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 16 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-10-23]

MARC'S OPERATION, MAINTENANCE CONTRACT WITH ALSTOM EXTENDED: The Maryland Transit Administration has awarded Alstom a five-year extension to its operation and maintenance contract for MARC service. Alstom will continue to be responsible for train operations, customer service, locomotive and rail car maintenance, and crew, station and facilities management. [Railway Age, 4-10-23]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO UPGRADE 29 STATIONS THIS YEAR: The Chicago Transit Authority plans to repair and upgrade 29 of its rail stations this year as part of its 'Refresh and Renew' program. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-10-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN ALABAMA: Eleven cars and a locomotive of a Norfolk Southern train derailed April 8 in Jasper, Alabama. The locomotive rolled onto its side and spilled diesel fuel and engine oil. It also trapped several crew members inside the locomotive, requiring assistance from first-responders. The crew members were treated at a hospital and released. This incident marks the third time so far since January that a Norfolk Southern train has gone off the rails in Alabama. [1819 News, 4-10-23]

KCS TRAIN DERAILS IN RAIL YARD IN TEXAS: Three empty tank cars derailed in a Kendleton, Texas, rail yard April 10. A locomotive leaked fuel, but it was contained, Kansas City Southern said. No injuries were reported. [AP News, 4-10-23]

FEDS ISSUE SAFETY ADVISORY OVER TRAIN MAKEUP: The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a safety advisory to emphasize concerns related to train makeup and to ensure that railroads exercise due diligence and recognize the importance of taking proactive measures to address potential safety risks. The advisory emphasized varying configurations, such as load and empty placement and distributed power unit arrangements. [Railway Age, 4-10-23]

NEW RAIL TRAIL OPENS IN MOUNT AIRY, MD.: The town of Mount Airy, Md., celebrated the official opening on April 4 of a one-half-mile stretch of trail and boardwalk along a former section of the B&O Old Main Line from Main street to Watkins Park. [Carroll County Times, 4-7-23]

BRIGHTLINE PARTNERS WITH VALENCIA COLLEGE TO TRAIN STUDENTS FOR RAIL JOBS: Brightline in partnering with Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., to prepare students for rail industry jobs. Brightline plans to fill 175 jobs in central Florida, including technical positions in operations and positions specific to the rail fleet. Officials are developing talent through a 22-week industrial automation technician course. [Progressive Railroading, 4-6-23]

MARCH 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,323,708 carloads and intermodal units in March 2023, down 7.6 percent from March 2022. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.2 percent, and intermodal was down 13.3 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-5-23]

UNION PACIFIC WORKS TO SHORE UP GREAT SALT LAKE CAUSEWAY: Union Pacific's rail line crosses the Great Salt Lake with a 20-mile-long raised rock-filled causeway. The lake has been diminishing in recent years, causing an environmental crisis that threatens birds, shrimp and the surrounding community. The railroad recently finished work to help shore up the lake, at least temporarily, by raising the berm of the causeway to catch runoff from this season's snow. The project had to be completed in a timely manner to avoid the snow melting before the berm work was finished. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-5-23]

AMTRAK COMPLETES UPGRADE OF GASTONIA, N.C., STATION: With the completion of a $3.2-million project at the Gastonia, N.C., station, Amtrak travelers now have a more accessible journey and improved experience. Amtrak's Crescent stops at the station daily in each direction. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-5-23]

PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO RE-ESTABLISH NORTH COAST HIAWATHA TRAIN: The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority has submitted a proposal to re-establish Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha route making stops in Dickinson, Bismarck and Glendive. The authority's chairman said his organization is hopeful the proposal is chosen thanks to letters of support from Amtrak, BNSF, and senators from both North Dakota and Montana. [Railway Age, 4-5-23]

METROLINX GO TRAINS NOW USING DAVENPORT DIAMOND GUIDEWAY: The new elevated Davenport Diamond Guideway, which is located above several busy streets and the Canadian Pacific rail tracks, is now used by Metrolinx GO trains. The project alleviates congestion. The guideway will eventually allow for more regular, all-day service on the Barre line. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-5-23]

VIA RAIL EXPANDS WASTE-REDUCTION STRATEGY: VIA Rail Canada has announced operational changes on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor in order to reduce waste. The railroad has changed the type of plastic cups used on the trains, resulting in a 25 percent decrease in plastic usage; reduced sandwich packaging, saving the equivalent of more than six tons of waste; and trained more than 70 percent of employees on trains to improve recycling. The reductions apply to both economy and business classes on the corridor fleet. [Progressive Railroading, 4-5-23]

DUTCH PASSENGER TRAIN COLLIDES WITH CRANE, ONE KILLED, AT LEAST 30 INJURED: One person died and at least 30 others were injured after a passenger train collided with a crane in Voorschoen, Netherlands, early April 4. Independent, 4-4-23]

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 April 2, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 31 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-3-23]

LIRR COMPLETES NEW OVERPASS WITH GREATER VEHICULAR CLEARANCE: A new Long Island Rail Road Hempstead branch overpass spanning Cherry Valley avenue in Garden City has been completed, allowing a 14-foot, five-inch vehicular clearance. It replaces an 1871-era structure having a clearance of only ten feet, four inches. The old span had been struck by over-height trucks more frequently than any other LIRR bridge. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-3-23]

FEDS WANT TRAIN CREWS SUPPLIED WITH MORE HAZMAT PROTECTIVE GEAR: The Federal Railroad Administration is going ahead with a proposed rule that would ensure that the train crews involved in transporting hazardous material have access to protective equipment in the event they need to respond to an accident on the train. Included would be appropriate atmosphere-supplying emergency escape breathing apparatus to every train crew member and certain other employees while they are occupying a locomotive cab of a freight train transporting material that would pose an inhalation hazard in the event of its release during an accident. [Freight Waves, 4-3-23]

CALTRAIN TO REPAIR EMBANKMENT SUPPORTING PALO ALTO-MENLO PARK RAIL BRIDGE: Caltrain on March 27 declared an emergency to repair damage to the embankment that supports the rail bridge between Palo Alto and Menlo Park, which was weakened by previous storms. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-3-23]

KATHY WATERS DIES, LONG-TIME TRANSIT, COMMUTER RAIL OFFICIAL: Kathryn Waters, 74, long-time transportation professional, died March 29. Her career included posts as senior deputy administrator at Maryland Transit Administration, vice-president for commuter rail and railroad management at Dallas Area Rapid Transit, director of the Trinity Railway Express, and chief operating officer for MARC train service in Maryland [Railway Age, 4-3-23]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON INDIANA R.R. INDIANAPOLIS CONTAINER YARD: Indiana Rail Road has begun construction of a container yard at its Senate avenue intermodal terminal in Indianapolis. The facility spans nearly six acres and directly connects to the railroad's terminal expansion completed in Dec. 2022. The new facility will be used to support more than 1000 empty containers and equivalent chassis. [Progressive Railroading, 4-3-23]

FIRST OF THREE NEW LIBERTY NXT STREETCARS DELIVERED TO PORTLAND, OREGON: Brookville Equipment has delivered the first of three new Liberty NXT streetcars to Portland Streetcar. The 66-foot-long low-floor vehicle features an eight-foot-wide carbody with seating for up to 26 passengers, and full capacity of 100. [Railway Age, 4-3-23]

MRL TRAIN DERAILS IN MONTANA: About 25 cars of a Montana Rail Link train derailed early April 2 in Paradise, Montana, on the banks of the Clark Fork River, with some of the cars falling into the river. No injuries were reported. [CNN, 4-2-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in March 2023. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was one hour and one minute late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-1-23]

UNION PACIFIC BEGINS SHIFTING CHICAGO-AREA COMMUTER RAIL OPERATIONS TO METRA: Union Pacific announced March 30 that it is working with Metra to transfer Union Pacific's Chicago commuter rail operations to Metra. Officials anticipate completing the transfer by the end of first-quarter 2024. Metra will assume services that include train crews, mechanical, car cleaning, rolling stock maintenance, ticket sales and some engineering services. Union Pacific will continue to maintain the track and manage dispatching on the Metra UP-West, UP-Northwest and UP-North lines. [Progressive Railroading, 3-31-23]

U.S. JUSTICE DEPT. SUES NORFOLK SOUTHERN OVER EAST PALESTINE DERAILMENT: The U.S. Dept. of Justice on March 30 filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over its Febr. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, seeks damages for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. [Progressive Railroading, 3-31-23]

CSX DESIGNATES COMMERCE PARK IN KENTUCKY AS SELECT SITE: CSX has designated Commerce Park II in Hopkinsville, Ky., a 'platinum' Select Site. The 150-acre rail park is next to a CSX main line and is part of a planned 1000-plus-acre industrial complex. [Progressive Railroading, 3-31-23]

BNSF TRAIN CARRYING ETHANOL, CORN SYRUP DERAILS IN MINNESOTA: A BNSF train carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed early March 30 in Raymond, Minnesota, about 106 miles west of Minneapolis, leading to an evacuation of a half mile area from the site. The derailment caused a fire, but no injuries or fatalities have been reported. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-23]

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS ISSUED FOR LONG BRIDGE PROJECT: The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority has issued a request for qualifications for design-build teams to work on the north end of the Long Bridge rail project in D.C. The 117-year-old bridge regularly operates at near capacity and is a choke point for rail traffic along the Virginia east coast. The nearly $2-billion project calls for the construction of a two-track rail bridge crossing the Potomac River adjacent to the existing bridge. The design will separate freight and passenger rail traffic. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-23]

UNION PACIFIC DEVELOPS NEW RAIL CARS TO TRAIN FIRST-RESPONDERS, HAZMAT CONTRACTORS: Union Pacific employees at its De Soto, Missouri, car shop have produced new training rail cars to help first-responders and hazmat response contractors learn how to properly enter tank car housings, test for leaks, make repairs and install emergency caps. [Railway Age, 3-30-23]

SAVANNAH PORT TO INSTALL 55 HYBRID GANTRY CRANES: The Georgia Ports Authority will install 55 hybrid-engine rubber-tired gantry cranes at the Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal. They will operate on electric battery power with diesel generators to recharge the batteries. CSX and Norfolk Southern serve the port, and Golden Isles Terminal Rail Road provides switching services. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 469,958 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 25, 2023, down 7.5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.2 percent, and intermodal was down 13.9 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-29-23]

CSX INTRODUCES GPS SHIPMENT TRACKING: CSX is installing GPS tags on its rail cars and containers to provide up-to-the-minute location information anywhere on its 20,000-mile network, the company announced March 28. From their desktop or mobile device, CSX says its customers will be able to see shipment locations in near real-time. [Railway Age, 3-29-23]

ALSTOM LANDS ORDER FOR 800 HIGH-POWERED LOCOMOTIVES FOR INDIAN RWYS: Under a contract worth $3.8-billion, Alstom will deliver 800 double-section, 12,000-horsepower locomotives to Indian Railways. Classed as WAG-12B, the units will be built in India. [Progressive Railroading, 3-29-23]

WESTBOUND EMPIRE BUILDER TERMINATED MID-ROUTE: Amtrak's westbound Empire Builder broke down near Devils Lake, N.D., on March 29, delaying travel for 90 passengers. Amtrak said the train experienced mechanical issues with its locomotives. The issues were later resolved, but by that point it seemed more prudent, due to the cold weather, to delay travel to the train of the following day. Passengers were accommodated in a hotel, or offered substitute travel. [Yahoo News, 3-29-23]

GULF & ATLANTIC RWYS ADDING THREE SHORT LINES: Gulf & Atlantic Railways will soon be adding three short lines. The 15-mile Camp Chase Railroad, the 28-mile Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad and the 10-mile Vermilion Valley Railroad will be added; joining the previously-included 430-mile Florida, Gulf & Atlantic and the 228-mile Grenada Railroad to Gulf & Atlantic's portfolio. [Railway Age, 3-28-23]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA REPORTS 'STRONG YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION': While FreightCar America finished 'strong' in 2022, ramping up operations in Mexico and delivering 3184 rail cars, the carbuilder in the fourth quarter continued to experience margin pressure, primarily due to supply chain issues, the company's president and CEO said. These dynamics will be with the company through the first quarter of this year, after which they expect to see further improvement in their financial performance. [Railway Age, 3-28-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN, WITHOUT A CREW ON BOARD, DERAILS IN MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE: Two locomotives and 55 rail cars loaded with iron ore derailed early March 27 near Kelso Depot in the Mojave National Preserve, roughly 80 miles east of Barstow. There were no injuries. According to the railroad, a crew was not in the cab of the locomotive at the time of derailment, and there was uncontrolled train movement. The incident is under investigation. [Victorville Daily Press, 3-28-23]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN N.D.: A Canadian Pacific train derailed in rural North Dakota outside of Wyndmere, a town of several hundred people, late March 26 spilling hazardous materials. There were no injuries and no fire associated with the derailment. Thirty-one of the train's 70 cars derailed, according to the railroad. [USA Today, 3-28-23]

PHILLIP ENG TO BECOME GENERAL MANAGER OF MBTA: Former Long Island Rail Road president Phillip Eng on April 10 will become general manager of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Since June 2022 he served as executive vice-president of the LiRo Group, advising clients on engineering, transportation and infrastructure projects. [Railway Age, 3-27-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Thirty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 26, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 57 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-27-23]

UNION PACIFIC, SMART-TD REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT TO MAINTAIN TWO-PERSON CREWS: Union Pacific on March 25 reported reaching a tentative crew-consist agreement with SMART-TD Transportation Division by which two-person crews would be maintained. [Railway Age, 3-27-23]

CSX HIGHLIGHTS 'STRONG PERFORMANCE' IN ITS 2022 REPORT: CSX has released its 2022 annual report, which shows the company's annual revenue climbed 19 percent from the previous year. The company achieved 'significant financial, safety, service and work force objectives,' officials said. By the end of 2022, service performance was approaching record levels, which set the sage for volume growth driver by market share gains versus trucks, as well as new rail-served manufacturing plants, CSX said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-27-23]

MULTIMODAL TRANSLOAD FACILITY TO BE DEVELOPED IN CN'S CALGARY LOGISTICS PARK: Canadian National, Montship Inc. and Kaplan US announced on March 27 that hey have reached an agreement to develop a multimodal transload facility located in CN;s Calgary, Alberta, logistics park. The new facility is expected to be operational in the third-quarter of 2024. [Railway Age, 3-27-23]

S.D. TO RESTORE MILBANK-SISSETON RAIL LINE: South Dakota's governor has signed into law authorizing $6.25-million in state funds to restore a rail line from Milbank to Sisseton. A subsidiary of Twin Cities & Western, the Sisseton Milbank Railroad operates 37-miles of track. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-27-23]

SERVER ISSUES CAUSE SOME AMTRAK CANCELATIONS, DELAYS: Intermittent server issues caused Amtrak train delays in certain areas March 24-25, with a number of trains being canceled outright or required to run at reduced speeds. The issues reportedly involve Amtrak's positive train-control system.

BWMED, BRS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH AMTRAK: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees and Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen members have reached a tentative agreement after negotiating as a coalition for 15 months, with Amtrak on a seven-year contract and a retroactive general wage increase to 2022. [Railway Age, 3-24-23]

STB REJECTS CN'S SPRINGFIELD LINE BID: Canadian National's request to condition approval of the CP-KCS merger on the sale of KCS's Springfield line to CN has been denied by the Surface Transportation Board, which on March 23 provided notice that its office of environmental analysis has terminated the review of the proposed divestiture. [Railway Age, 3-24-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN, SMART-TD END GROUND-BASED CONDUCTOR TALKS: Norfolk Southern is discontinuing negotiations with the nation's largest rail union over a 'conductor redeployment' plan that could have reduced train crews to just one person. Norfolk Southern and union officials said they were ending those negotiations to focus on other quality-of-life improvements for employees. [Progressive Railroading, 3-24-23]

AMTRAK HIRES FORMER NYCT EXEC TO ADVANCE HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICE: Former New York City transit president Andy Byford will join Amtrak in April as vice-president of high-speed rail development programs. Most recently he served as commissioner of transport for London. With Amtrak he will serve in a newly-created role where its executive team has begun working on delivering more high-speed service across the network. [Progressive Railroading, 3-24-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN WIPED KEY VIDEO PORTION OF EAST PALESTINE DERAILMENT: Norfolk Southern wiped a video showing the moments leading up to the Febr. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The camera inside the train had 12 hours of recording space, all of which was used for investigation, except for a 15-minute time span before and five minutes after the derailment, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy explained. The footage was 'overwritten' after the accident because the railroad put the locomotive immediately back into service, she said. The video cannot be used to determine what the three-person crew was doing at the time. [Western Journal, 3-24-23]

DERAILER DEVICE CAUSED BNSF TRAIN TO DERAIL MARCH 16 IN WASHINGTON STATE: A safety device intended to prevent trains from crossing a bridge spanning Swinomish Channel in Washington State last week forced a BNSF train off the tracks, causing 3100 gallons of diesel fuel to spill, according to federal officials. The bridge was prepared for the train to cross, but at least one derailer was still in place. It was determined that there was a communication breakdown between the train crew and the bridge tender. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-24-23]

MBTA BOARD APPROVES CONTRACT TO UPGRADE TRACKS, SIGNALS AT BOSTON SOUTH STATION: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority board of directors has approved a $98-million construction contract to upgrade the tracks, switches and signals at Boston's South Station. Final completion of the project is anticipated in the spring of 2028. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-24-23]

NJ TRANSIT TO REVITALIZE HISTORIC MAHWAH STATION: New Jersey Transit is moving forward with plans to revamp its Mahwah train station. Upgrades will retain the building's historic appearance while enhancing a key component of Mahwah's downtown area. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-24-23]

FINDINGS RELEASED ON PROPOSED SCRANTON-NEW YORK AMTRAK SERVICE: Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad authority on March 22 released the findings of a two-year analysis examining the potential for passenger rail between Scranton, Pa., and New York City. Three round trips per day with about a two hour and 50 minute travel time, running at a maximum speed (on the Lackawanna cutoff segment) of 110 MPH, the service would transport an estimated 470,000 riders per year. Intermediate stations would be Pocono, East Stroudsburg, Blairstown, Dover, Morristown, Montclair and Newark. [Railway Age, 3-23-23]

TRAIN HAULING TRASH DERAILS IN MASSACHUSETTS: A freight train reportedly hauling trash derailed March 23 in Ayer, Massachusetts. Five rail cars tipped over and others were leaning. No injuries were reported, and no hazardous materials were involved. [NBC Boston, 3-23-23]

AMTRAK'S ADIRONDACK BEING RESTORED: The first northbound Adirondack train will depart New York and arrive in Montreal April 3, and the first southbound Adirondack will run the next day, following suspension in 2020 due to the pandemic. [Railway Age, 3-22-23]

UNION PACIFIC REACHES AGREEMENTS WITH EIGHT UNIONS FOR PAID SICK DAYS: Union Pacific has reached agreements with eight unions to provide workers up to seven paid sick days. The agreement goes into effect April 1. Employees in those unions will receive four sick days, prorated for this year, and will be able to convert three of their currently allotted personal days to sick days. [Freight Waves, 3-22-23]

CLASS I RAILROAD EMPLOYMENT RISES IN FEBR.: Class I railroads in the U.S. had 120,210 employees in February, a 0.81 percent over January's levels, and a 5.19 percent increase year-over-year, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 3-22-23]

GREENBRIER LANDS $580-M IN NEW RAIL CAR ORDERS: The Greenbrier Companies on March 22 reported receiving orders for 4500 new rail cars during the fiscal second quarter ending Febr. 28, for which it provided preliminary results, including deliveries of 7200 units. At an aggregate value of $580-million, the orders for tank cars, autoracks, box cars and covered hoppers were consistent with Greenbrier's expectations for the period. [Railway Age, 3-22-23]

D.C. METRO OPENS NEW OFFICE AT NEW CARROLLTON, MD.: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on March 21 opened its new office at New Carrollton, Md., a transit-accessible hub for offices, housing and retail. The building combines its customer service call centers and paratransit services, It also serves as headquarters for the agency's police force. [Progressive Railroading, 3-22-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 453,500 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 18, 2023, down 9.4 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 2.7 percent, and intermodal was down 15.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-22-23]

MARYLAND DELEGATES APPROVE FINANCIAL COMMITMENT TO SOUTHERN MD. RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT: The Maryland budget for FY-24 which includes a sizeable financial commitment for the Southern Maryland rapid transit project has been approved by the state's house of delegates. The budget calls for the addition of $100-million in general funds to support the state's match for future federal grants and to fund environmental studies for the Southern Maryland and Red line projects. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-22-23]

PATH TO RUN WITH NINE-CAR TRAINS FOR THE FIRST TIME: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will begin the first phase of its expansion of PATH service along the Newark-World Trade Center line on March 23. PATH will operate nine-car trains for the first time in its 100-year existence. PATH will gradually increase the number of nine-car trains over the next year, and nearly all peak-period trains will have nine cars by the beginning of 2024. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-22-23]

CN, UNIFOR REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS: Canadian National on March 20 reported reaching new tentative agreements with Unifor, its largest union, covering about 3000 Canadian employees working in departments such as mechanical, intermodal, facility management and clerical positions. [Railway Age, 3-21-23]

NTSB TESTS PRESSURE RELIEF DEVICES FROM FEBR. 3 NORFOLK SOUTHERN DERAILMENT: Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board examined and tested pressure relief devices removed from the five vinyl chloride tank cars involved in the Norfolk Southern derailment and fire in East Palestine, Ohio. Testing found anomalies with the function of some of the devices that may have compromised their capability, but further testing will continue. One of the installed device's internal spring was coated with aluminum, which is not compatible with vinyl chloride. Aluminum debris from melted housing covers entered the device discharge areas, but there was no evidence that melted aluminum entered the tank. The NTSB continues to assess if the debris impacted the device's operation. [NTSB, 3-21-23]

SAFETY CONCERNS RAISED OVER LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLE MAINTENANCE IN CHARLOTTE: A report on a May 2022 CATS light-rail derailment has raised concerns about vehicle maintenance, according to WBTV in Charlotte, N.C. According to the report, the agency's safety & security general manager acknowledged that 'deferred maintenance possibly contributed to the failure of the bearing and is properly listed as a contributing factor.' [Railway Track & Structures, 3-21-23]

NEW CSX CONNECTOR LINE IN GA. DELIVERS FLUID OPERATIONS: CSX is delivering more fluid operations in Georgia thanks to a line the railroad recently installed. Construction of the new Nahunta Connector needed to be completed in just a few weeks because of a permit delay. Opening the connector on time was important for improving fluidity between Waycross and Jesup and enabling train crews to finish their runs faster. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-21-23]

POLISH LONG-DISTANCE RAIL OPERATOR ORDERS 20 ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES: Poland's national long-distance operator PKP Intercity has signed a contract for 20 Griffin electric locomotives. The 3kV DC locomotives will have a maximum speed of 99 MPH. [Railway Gazette, 3-21-23]

CP, TEAMSTERS MOFW DIVISION REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT: Canadian Pacific on March 17 announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees division, which covers about 2600 engineering services employees in Canada. [Railway Age, 3-20-23]

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 March 19, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 45 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-20-23]

SEPTA'S KING OF PRUSSIA EXTENSION PROJECT PUT ON HOLD: SEPTA is sidelining the King of Prussia rail project citing a review of its rising costs. The project was to extend the existing Norristown high-speed line four miles into King of Prussia. All project activities have stopped, and the final design contract was not executed. [Railway Age, 3-20-23]

FEDS ISSUE SAFETY BULLETIN ON SWITCHING MOVES: The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a safety bulletin announcing its investigation of a switching accident resulting in a train crew member fatality. The accident involved a Norfolk Southern conductor who died when the tank car he was riding to provide point protection for a switching move was struck by a dump truck at a steel plant grade crossing. The FRA noted the importance of ensuring pushing or shoving movements over grade crossings are conducted safely, to include proper training, periodic oversight and application of appropriate operating rules when determining whether the track is clear, along with job briefings and communications between assigned crew members. [Progressive Railroading, 3-20-23]

RAILWAY AGE ANNOUNCES SHORT LINE, REGIONAL RAILROADS OF THE YEAR: Railway Age Magazine's short line of 2023 is the Napoleon, Defiance & Western; and the ArcelorMittal Railway in northern Quebec as regional railroad of 2023. [Railway Age, 3-19-23]

STOCKHOLDER RIGHTS FIRM SUES NORFOLK SOUTHERN OVER PSR: A law firm specializing in stockholder right is filing a class-action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern for pursuing precision scheduled railroading and making operational adjustments such as longer trains and headcount reductions. The fallout from the Febr. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has also led to falling stock prices for the railroad, according to the firm. The firm also said Norfolk Southern's efforts to reduce operating expenses resulted in less spending on safety training, technology and equipment. [Freight Waves, 3-18-23]

AMTRAK RESTORING TRADITIONAL DINING TO PREMIER TRAINS: Amtrak has reintroduced traditional dining-car service to coach passengers on California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief and Sunset Limited. Within the first 10 days more than 1,300 coach passengers have been served. Silver Star will be added shortly, and potentially more eastern routes. [Rail Passengers Assn., 3-17-23]

CP, KCS EXPECT TO COMPLETE MERGER APRIL 14: Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern today announced they expect the two companies to officially combine on April 14. Keith Creel, CP's president and CEO, will become the top executive. Patrick Ottensmeyer, KCS's president and CEO, has agreed to serve as an advisor to Creel through 2023 to ensure continuity of key initiatives, predominantly involving the combined company and Mexico. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-23]

MINNESOTA'S S.W. LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT FUNDING PROCESS QUESTIONED: A March 15 report by the Minnesota office of legislative auditor identified a number of governance issues of the Southwest light-rail project, recommending that the state legislature rethink how large transit projects are planned, funded and implemented. The report, one of a series looking at facets of the project to create a 14.5-mile line from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie, said that the metropolitan council obligated funds it did not have, did not develop a contingency plan if the funds did not materialize, and was not fully transparent about costs and delays. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-17-23]

RAIL PASSENGERS ASSN. OPTIMISTIC CP-KCS MERGER WILL LEAD TO IMPROVED SERVICE: Rail Passengers Association is optimistic that the STB decision approving the CP-KCS consolidation will result in a better U.S. rail network for passengers. CP has committed to several new Amtrak services. They include New Orleans-Baton Rouge, additional Chicago-Milwaukee trains, second daily round-trip Chicago-St. Paul, Detroit-Toronto, and studying a new service Dallas/Fort Worth-Meridian. [Rail Passengers Assn., 3-17-23]

METROLINK COMPLETES DEPLOYMENT OF ITS ADVANCED EARTHQUAKE WARNING SYSTEM: Metrolink has completed the full deployment of its advanced earthquake early warning system. It is based on an interface between the U.S. Geological Survey ShakeAlert system and Metrolink's positive train-control system. ShakeAlert provides data within seconds of an earthquake, including location and magnitude. Together, the two systems enable trains to detect and respond to a quake as quickly as possible. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-23]

NEW YORK PUSHES AHEAD WITH EAST HARLEM SUBWAY EXTENSION: New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority expects to begin construction on Phase 2 of its Second avenue subway line into Manhattan's East Harlem segment in 2024, provided federal funding is allocated. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-17-23]

AMTRAK PRAISES CP-KCS MERGER APPROVAL: Amtrak's CEO released a statement that Amtrak believes the just-approved merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern will have a significant and positive effect on Amtrak intercity passenger rail service. He said the STB's decision fulfills the objectives of President Biden's 2021 executive order on promoting competition in the economy which called upon the board to consider impacts on Amtrak service when reviewing proposed rail mergers. [Progressive Railroading, 3-16-23]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS AFTER STRIKING STUCK SEMI ON CROSSING IN KENTUCKY: Twenty-one cars of a CSX train derailed late March 16 in downtown Glendale, Kentucky, when the train collided with a semi-truck that had gotten stuck on the tracks. One of the derailed cars then collided with an occupied vehicle near the crossing, and its occupants had non-threatening injuries. There were no injuries reported among the train crew, and no hazardous materials were involved. [WDRB. 3-16-23]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN ARIZONA: A BNSF train carrying corn syrup derailed near Topock, Arizona, late March 15. No injuries were reported. [NY Times, 3-16-23]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS NEAR ANACORTES, WASHINGTON, SPILLING DIESEL FUEL: A BNSF train derailed on the Swinomish Reservation near Anacortes, Washington, early March 16, spilling up to 3,100 gallons of diesel fuel between the shore of Padilla Bay and an RV park next to the Swinomish Casino and Lodge. No injuries have been reported. [KUOW, 3-16-23]

CSX CONSOLIDATES NETWORK OPERATIONS, SERVICE DESIGN GROUPS: CSX has combined its network operations and service design groups, and Casey Albright has been promoted from vice-president of service design to senior vice-president of the new network operations & service design group. [Railway Age, 3-16-23]

STB APPROVES CP, KCS MERGER: The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on May 15 announced it has approved the acquisition of Kansas City Southern by Canadian Pacific, with conditions and a seven-year oversight period. The combined entity will be known as Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). The merger creates the first railroad providing single-line service spanning Canada, U.S. and Mexico. [Surface Transportation Board, 3-15-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 458,629 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 11, 2023, down 7.6 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.5 percent, and intermodal was down 13.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-15-23]

NEWPORT NEWS TRANSPORTATION HUB OPENING DELAYED, COST INCREASING: The multimodal Newport News, Va., transportation hub, originally set to open this fall, will likely open by April 2024, and cost an additional $3-million. Developers say continued supply-chain issues have limited their ability to source the electrical components needed to finish construction on time. [Daily Press, 3-15-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO BEGIN DAILY RAIL SERVICE FROM PORT OF VIRGINIA TO MEMPHIS: The Port of Virginia announced March 14 that Norfolk Southern will launch a daily rail service from the port to its regional intermodal terminal near Memphis, located on the railroad's Crescent corridor in Rossville. [Progressive Railroading, 3-15-23]

TWO CSX LOCOMOTIVES EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED IN MARCH 8 W.VA. DERAILMENT: CSX locomotives 536 and 7005 were considerably damaged in the March 8 rockslide-caused derailment in West Virginia, and they will most likely be retired due to the extent of the damage. [Robert Michaels, 3-15-23]

INDIA'S CENTRAL RWY COMPLETES FULL ELECTRIFICATION: Mumbai-based Central Railway has completed the electrification of its entire network as part of the national program to electrify the whole Indian Railways network. [Railway Gazette, 3-15-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN CHEYENNE RAIL YARD: Thirteen train cars loaded with automobiles derailed March 13 in Union Pacific's rail yard in Cheyenne, Wyoming. No hazardous materials were involved, but a power line was impacted in the rail yard. [Wyoming News Now, 3-14-23]

BRIAN BARR NAMED UNION PACIFIC'S SENIOR V.P. OF TRANSPORTATION: Union Pacific has selected Brian Barr as its senior vice-president of transportation, effective April 15. He most recently served CSX as its senior vice-president of network planning and services. [Railway Age, 3-14-23]

STUDY FUNDING TO BE REQUESTED FOR CRESCENT EXTENSION FROM MISSISSIPPI TO TEXAS: Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission will jointly apply for federal funds to study a proposed extension of a passenger rail route across Mississippi and Louisiana to Texas. Extending Crescent train service has been under consideration for more than 20 years. [Progressive Railroading, 3-13-23]

CP'S HYDROGEN LOCOMOTIVE PROGRAM MOVING FORWARD: Bilton Welding & Manufacturing has been selected to provide fabrication expertise and services to Canadian Pacific's hydrogen locomotive program, which converted a diesel locomotive to a hydrogen-electric drivetrain with zero carbon emissions. CP plans to convert more locomotives as part of its goal to decarbonize the freight transportation sector. [Progressive Railroading, 3-13-23]

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 March 12, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 45 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-13-23]

LA GUARDIA AIRTRAIN PROJECT SCRAPPED: There will be no AirTrain to La Guardia Airport. Plans to build a light-rail link to La Guardia were abandoned after a review found that the project's cost had ballooned to $2.4-billion, more than five times initial estimates. [NY Times, 3-13-23]

FRONT RUNNER DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT IN LINE FOR $316-M FROM FEDS: Utah's FrontRunner commuter rail service could be in line for an upgrade after the Biden administration included $316-million in next fiscal-year's federal budget. By double-tracking various points between Ogden and Provo, the Wasatch Front trains could run twice as frequently. [KUER, 3-13-23]

ALTAMONT CORRIDOR EXPRESS EXPANSION EXPECTED TO BE DELAYED BY TWO YEARS: The Altamont Corridor Express expansion into Stanislaus and Sacramento counties, California, is expected to be delayed by two years. According to the most recent management timeline, the first trains will not run until late 2026. Officials attribute the delay, in part, to a lengthy review procedure by Union Pacific, which runs trains on the same tracks as the passenger trains. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-13-23]

BRIGHTLINE SEEKS APPROVAL OF PTC SAFETY PLAN: Brightline is seeking Federal Railroad Administration approval of its positive train-control safety plan and certification of the agency's interoperable electronic train management system as a 'mixed PTC system.' The FRA will consider comments received by May 8 before taking final action. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-13-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN KANSAS: A Union Pacific train derailed early March 12 in McPherson, Kansas, starting a small grass fire and leaking denatured alcohol. No injuries were reported. Crews worked through the night to lessen the risk to the environment caused by two of the cars leaking alcohol. [KWCH, 3-12-23]

LOOSE WHEELS MAY HAVE CAUSED NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S SPRINGFIELD, OHIO, DERAILMENT: During Norfolk Southern's cleanup of the derailment earlier this month in Springfield, Ohio, the company determined that a specific model and series of recently-acquired coil steel rail cars from a specific builder had loose wheels, which could cause a derailment. The Association of American Railroads immediately issued a service advisory instructing railroads to pull so-equipped cars from service, inspect them, and replace all wheelsets of a particular type. [Railway Age, 3-10-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CEO GRILLED BY SENATE COMMITTEE: Alan Shaw, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern, faced extensive questioning March 9 from U.S. senators as he explained his company's response to the derailment, fire and chemical spill Febr. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. He said Norfolk Southern is committed to doing the right thing to clean up the disaster, reimburse families for hardship and reinvest in the town in its recovery. [Progressive Railroading, 3-10-23]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES RSI LOGISTICS: Trinity Industries has acquired RSI Logistics, a data-centric provider of proprietary software logistics services and terminal management solutions to the North American rail industry. Trinity will retain all RSI employees. [Railway Age, 3-10-23]

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS $3.07-B FOR AMTRAK IN FY-24 BUDGET: The Biden administration included a request for $3.07-billion in FY-24 for Amtrak, a $615-million increase over what Congress appropriated in FY-23. Also requested were increases in funding for competitive rail grant programs. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-10-23]

ADIRONDACK SERVICE TO BE RESTORED APRIL 3 FOLLOWING THREE-YEAR SUSPENSION: Beginning April 3, Amtrak service resumes along the Adirondack line serving Ticonderoga, Westport, Rouses Point, Plattsburg, and other connections to New York City. The service was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic. [NCPR, 3-10-23]

CSX TRAIN STRIKES ROCK SLIDE, DERAILS IN W.VA.: Four locomotives and 22 empty coal cars of a CSX train struck a rock slide along tracks in Summers County, W.Va., near the New River, early March 8. The lead locomotive with three crew members caught fire, and they were evacuated and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. An unoccupied locomotive was partially in the waterway where an unknown amount of diesel fuel and oil spilled. Several state agencies were monitoring the situation. Amtrak's Cardinal was canceled in both directions through the area because of the incident. [WAMU, 3-9-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN ALABAMA: About 30 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed early March 9 in Calhoun, Alabama. There were no injuries reported, and no reports of hazardous leaks. [NBC News, 3-9-23]

AMTRAK OFFERING $29 COACH SEATS ON AUTO TRAIN: Amtrak is offering a coach seat for as low as $29 on its southbound Auto Train (not including the cost for the vehicle), booked by March 17, for travel between March 10 and June 8. Private room fares start at $229. [Travel Leisure, 3-9-23]

RAILROAD'S DECISION TO BURN FIVE DERAILED HAZMAT CARS FOLLOWING FEBR. 3 DERAILMENT 'JAW-DROPPING,' HAZMAT OFFICIAL SAYS: Norfolk Southern's decision to call for the burning of five derailed train cars in East Palestine, Ohio, was 'jaw-dropping' and a consequence of poor communication, a chief of hazardous materials for a neighboring county told a Senate panel on March 9. The railroad was initially concerned over the status of just one of the rail cars, which had started to heat up and might explode, and it should be destroyed in a controlled detonation. The decision to go from one tank car detonation to five changed the entire plan, as it would impact a much larger area, he said. He added that Norfolk Southern officials did not attend certain planning meetings, resulting in a lack of communication on the issue. [Guardian, 3-9-23]

AMTRAK KICKING OFF B&P TUNNEL REPLACEMENT PROGRAM MARCH 10: Amtrak will begin early construction work for the B&P tunnel replacement on March 10 with the replacement of aging wooden ties with new concrete ties, installing new rail, and completing track drainage improvements in the Halethorpe and West Baltimore areas. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-9-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO CREATE REGIONAL TRAINING CENTER IN OHIO, EXPAND OPERATION AWARENESS & RESPONSE PROGRAM: Norfolk Southern has announced it will create a new regional training center in Ohio for first-responders in the region, with a site to be selected in partnership with community leaders. The center's mission is to provide free training for first-responders in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the greater region. Additionally, the railroad is expanding its operation awareness & response program, a safety train specially equipped with box car classrooms and several tank cars, to make 12 stops in 2023. [Railway Age, 3-9-23]

THREE RAIL UNIONS SUE BNSF OVER OUTSOURCING OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR: Three rail unions are suing BNSF over the outsourcing of locomotive inspection, maintenance and repair work. The railroad claims it lacks shop capacity and necessary staffing to address its high out-of-service locomotive count, and that it would outsource routine work that the union members had been performing for decades. [Progressive Railroading, 3-9-23]

AMTRAK'S CARDINAL DISRUPTED MARCH 8: Amtrak's Cardinal was annulled between Huntingdon and Washington in both directions March 8 due to a CSX freight train derailment blocking the tracks. [Amtrak, 3-8-23]

NICKEL PLATE 190 TO BE MOVED TO SCRANTON FOR RESTORATION, POTENTIAL EXCURSIONS: GVT, the parent company of Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad in Scranton, Pa., has purchased 74-year-old diesel locomotive Nickel Plate 190, last used more than four decades ago, and plans to move it from a museum in Oregon to Scranton for restoration and potential passenger excursions. [Railway Age, 3-8-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 474,191 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 4, 2023, down 6.3 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.0 percent, and intermodal was down 11.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-8-23]

STB APPROVES MRL RAILS' RETURN TO BNSF: The Surface Transportation Board on March 8 approved Montana Rail Link's petition to cease operating over the main line between Huntley, Montana, and Sandpoint, Idaho, under a long-term lease with BNSF. [Railway Age, 3-8-23]

TWO KILLED WHEN BRIGHTLINE TRAIN STRIKES VEHICLE IN DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA: Two people were killed late March 8 when their SUV was struck by a Brightline train in Delray Beach, Florida. A freight train had just passed through on the opposite track. [WPTV, 3-8-23]

FEDS TO CONDUCT 60-DAY SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN: The Federal Railroad Administration March 7 announced its plan to conduct a 60-day supplemental safety assessment of Norfolk Southern following multiple safety incidents. This in-depth assessment is in addition to a number of actions taken by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation over the past several weeks to improve the company's freight rail safety and accountability to protect workers and communities. [FRA, 3-7-23]

AMTRAK FULLY RESTORES CASCADES ROUTE BETWEEN PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER: Amtrak has fully restored daily service to the Cascades route between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C., for the first time since the service was suspended in 2020. More trains will be added to the Portland-Seattle route later this year. [Progressive Railroading, 3-7-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CONDUCTOR KILLED IN ACCIDENT IN CLEVELAND: A 46-year-old Norfolk Southern conductor died following an incident in Cleveland early March 7 when the train he was riding was collided into by a dump truck loaded with limestone. The conductor was positioned outside of the front left side of the forward train car and was struck by the truck. [WKYC, 3-7-23]

ALSTOM TO DESIGN, BUILD, MAINTAIN LIGHT-RAIL LINE IN QUEBEC CITY: Quebec City has selected Alstom as preferred bidder to design, build and maintain the fleet of low-floor vehicles for the city's light-rail project. The line is due to open in 2028. [Railway Age, 3-7-23]

LIRR INCREASING SERVICE, ADDING EQUIPMENT TO INCREASE CAPACITY: Effective March 6, the Long Island Rail Road is increasing rush-hour service to Brooklyn, lengthening trains serving Penn Station, adding cars to all trains that exceeded capacity last week, and ramping up customer service presence at Jamaica to improve communication and prevent rushed transfers. [Railway Age, 3-6-23]

SEPTA CONCERNED OVER PRODUCTION SHORTCOMINGS OF CHINESE RAIL CAR ORDER: New double-decker SEPTA passenger cars are three years behind schedule and officials are concerned about the quality of work performed by the Chinese manufacturer. The agency wrote to the company frustrated by delays and production shortcomings in the first two cars being built, and said hey would not accept any rail cars with unresolved problems, including repeated failures of watertightness tests, faulty interior panels, wiring issues, repeated break-test failures and unsafe emergency exit windows. [Railway Age, 3-6-23]

AMTRAK'S CITY OF NEW ORLEANS TO ALTER SOUTHBOUND SCHEDULE DUE TO TRACK WORK: From March 7 until April 7, southbound City of New Orleans will operate 90 minutes earlier than its regular schedule Chicago to New Orleans due to host carrier's track work. [Amtrak]

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 early in the week ending March 5, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 33 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-6-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ADOPTS SIX-POINT OPERATIONAL SAFETY PLAN: Norfolk Southern today announced a six-point immediate plan to enhance the safety of its operations. The plan is: enhance the hot bearing detector network; pilot next-generation hot bearing detectors; work with industry on practices for hot bearing detectors; deploy more acoustic bearing detectors; accelerate the digital train inspection program; and support a strong safety culture. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-6-23]

CN OFFERS PAID SICK LEAVE TO U.S. CRAFT RAILROADERS: Canadian National is the fourth Class I railroad to offer paid sick leave, available to its U.S. craft workers, per an agreement it reached with IAMAW, NCFO, SMART-MD, and IBB unions. [Railway Age, 3-6-23]

AT 130 MPH, BRIGHTLINE IS OFFICIALLY FASTEST TRAIN IN SOUTHEASTERN U.S.: After hitting speeds of 130 MPH, Brightline is officially the fastest train in Florida and the southeastern U.S. The carrier achieved this while train testing along its new 35-mile rail corridor between Orlando and Cocoa. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-6-23]

TEXAS JURY AWARDS WOMAN $557-M FROM UNION PACIFIC FOLLOWING COLLISION WITH TRAIN: A Texas jury found that Union Pacific owes $557-million in damages to a woman who suffered brain damage and amputations following a collision with one of its trains. The jury held that Union Pacific was 80 percent responsible for the accident, and the woman 20 percent. She was struck by the train in 2016, and the jury concluded that the train's engineer could have stopped to avoid the collision if he had followed a regulation that makes locomotives bright enough to illuminate the tracks 800 feet ahead, as required by federal law. [Bloomberg Law, 3-6-23]

NORTH COAST HIAWATHA REVIVAL GAINS TRACTION: The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority now claims a contiguous block of participating counties stretching from the boundary with North Dakota across Montana to the boundary with Idaho. The authority also includes three Native American tribal nations. The authority is pushing to ensure the old North Coast Hiawatha (which crossed the state's southern tier until 1977) is included in the FRA's final Amtrak daily long-distance service study. The train is estimated to carry 420,000 passengers each year. [Missoula Current, 3-6-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN SPRINGFIELD, OHIO: About 20 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed March 4 near the Clark County fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio. There were no injuries, and the railroad said no hazardous materials were involved. [WHIO-TV, 3-5-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN KANSAS: A Union Pacific train with 18 cars loaded with grain derailed just outside of Wellington, Kansas, late March 4. There were no injuries, and no hazardous materials were involved, the railroad said. [WSGW, 3-5-23]

GREEK AUTHORITIES RELEASE RECORDING OF ACCUSED STATION MANAGER PRIOR TO DEADLY ACCIDENT: Greek Authorities have released a recording that may shed light on what caused the deadly Febr. 28 collision between passenger and freight trains. In the audio, a station manager appears to instruct a train operator to 'pass the red signal' before that train collided head-on with another train. At least 57 people have died as a result of the incident, and 48 remain in a hospital. The station manager has been arrested. [NPR, 3-3-23]

MAJOR RAILROADS TO JOIN VOLUNTARY CLOSE-CALL REPORTING PROGRAM: Seven major North American rail companies on March 2 agreed to join a voluntary employee safety reporting program after the U.S. Dept. of Transportation urged the action following the Febr. 3 Norfolk Southern derailment and fire in East Palestine, Ohio. The system encourages employees to report safety hazards without reprisal when they come forward. [Reuters, 3-2-23]

NTSB SCRUTINIZING PERFORMANCE OF TANK CAR HATCH COVERS IN EAST PALESTINE DERAILMENT: The National Transportation Safety Board is concerned that aluminum protective housing covers on some of the tank cars involved in the Febr. 3 derailment may have melted or were consumed when pressure relief devices vented burning gas while functioning to release tank pressure. The agency says melted aluminum may have dripped into some of the pressure relief devices, possibly degrading their performance. [Freight Waves, 3-2-23]

BILL BEFORE OREGON LEGISLATURE WOULD REQUIRE PROPOSED BULLET TRAIN TO INCLUDE EUGENE: The proposed bullet train from Portland northward to Seattle and Vancouver would need to include service south to Eugene according to a bill that has been submitted in the Oregon legislature. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-2-23]

CANADIAN NATIONAL SETS GRAIN MOVEMENT RECORD IN FEBRUARY: CN set a new record for western Canadian grain movements on its network in February. The railroad moved more than 2.4 million metric tons of grain during the month, more than 200,000 metric tons above the previous record set in Febr. 2021. [Progressive Railroading, 3-2-23]

N.Y. PENN STATION ACCESS PROJECT ON HELL GATE LINE MOVES FORWARD: Amtrak is coordinating with New York's MTA to support the Penn Station Access project. Four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx will be built, and Metro-North trains will travel to Penn Station for the first time when the project is completed in 2027. Amtrak is investing $500-million into this project. [Amtrak, 3-2-23]

RAIL WORKERS AT OHIO DERAILMENT SITE FALLING ILL, UNION LEADERS SAY: Leaders from 12 U.S. rail unions on March 1 told officials of the Biden administration that workers have been falling ill at the Norfolk Southern derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio. Those who have worked or continue to do so at the cleanup site have reported migraines and nausea. The unions say 35 to 40 workers were supplied with paper and N95 masks, but not with proper breathing apparatus, rubber gloves, boots or coverups. The railroad said the company was on the scene immediately after the derailment and coordinated its response with hazmat professionals who were on site continuously to ensure the work area was safe to enter and required protection equipment was utilized. Air monitoring was established within an hour, the company said. [CNBC, 3-1-23]

GREEK PASSENGER TRAIN, FREIGHT TRAIN COLLIDE, SCORES KILLED, MANY INJURED: A passenger train carrying hundreds of people, including many university students coming back from their holidays, collided at high speed with an oncoming freight train in a fiery wreck in northern Greece late Febr. 28. Over 40 people were killed, many more were injured, and the casualty count is likely to increase. Multiple cars derailed and at least three burst into flames. Greek police said the manager of the train station in the city of Larissa was arrested in connection with the collision, and another two people were detained for questioning. [CBS News, 3-1-23]

FRA ISSUES ADVISORY URGING RAILROADS TO EXAMINE USE, MAINTENANCE OF WAYSIDE DETECTORS: The Federal Railroad Administration on Febr. 28 issued a notice of safety advisory urging railroads to examine how they use and maintain hot bearing wayside detectors. The advisory recommends that railroads evaluate the thresholds for inspections based on hot bearing detector data; consider the use of real-time trend analyses of data as a criterion for inspection; ensure the proper training and qualification of personnel responsible for calibration, inspection and maintenance of detectors; ensure proper inspection of rolling stock with hot bearing alerts; and improve the safety culture of their organization, particularly as it pertains to operational decisions based on detector data. [Progressive Railroading, 3-1-23]

D.C. METRO CONSIDERING ENCLOSED VESTIBULES BETWEEN 8000-SERIES RAIL CARS TO BE BUILT: Washington DC Metro is considering changes to the design of its next generation of 8000-series rail cars that would allow passengers to freely move between cars via enclosed vestibules, much as is currently the format on Amtrak trains. The design would also increase capacity. The agency has ordered 256 of the rail cars at an average cost of $2.15-million each, with the option of the purchase of as many as 800. The trains are scheduled to be delivered in 2025. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-1-23]

TRAIN CARRYING PROPANE DERAILS IN FLORIDA: Officials in Florida are keeping an eye on a Seminole Gulf Railway train carrying 30,000 gallons of propane that tipped over in a derailment along the Gulf Coast on Febr. 28. Of the six cars that tipped over, five contained sheetrock, officials said. There were no injuries. [ABC News, 3-1-23]

FEBRUARY 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,849,723 carloads and intermodal units in February 2023, down 5.2 percent from the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.6 percent, and intermodal was down 8.4 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-1-23]

CSX OPENS ITS 3RD TRAIN INSPECTION PORTAL: CSX on Febr. 28 reported opening its third train inspection portal, which is inspecting up to 20 trains per day. The portal is on the main line at Walthourville, Ga., northeast of Waycross terminal, and performs detailed inspection of trains using 20 cameras focused on multiple items of the train as it passes at 40 to 50 MPH in real time. [Railway Age, 3-1-23]

RAILUSA CHANGES ITS NAME TO GULF & ATLANTIC RAILWAYS: Railroad holding company RailUSA has changed its name to Gulf & Atlantic Railways LLC. The company relocated to a new corporate office in Jacksonville, where it will continue overseeing its two key properties: Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad, and Grenada Railroad. The move will not change operations at either holding, they said. [Progressive Railroading, 3-1-23]

METRA TO BEGIN HOMEWOOD STATION REHAB ON MARCH 13: Chicago's Metra will begin rehabilitation work on its Homewood station on March 13, closing access to the tunnel on the east side. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-1-23]

FEBRUARY 2023 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final scheduled destination on time or earlier in February 2023. The average arrival of all long-distance trains was 53 minutes late. The average arrival of the trains that were behind schedule when they arrived was one hour and 34 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-1-23]

IOWA INTERSTATE, AMTRAK AT IMPASSE OVER PROSPECTS FOR CHICAGO-MOLINE RAIL SERVICE: Amtrak hopes to work with the Illinois Dept. of Transportation to resolve an impasse over bringing passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline. Iowa Interstate Railroad wants to pursue a scope of improvements at a cost considered 'prohibitive' to taxpayers. Amtrak says it is up to the state agency whether to work with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to resolve the dispute. [, 3-1-23]

EAST JAPAN RAILWAY UNVEILS FIRST OF ITS NEW E8 HSR TRAIN SETS: East Japan Railway has unveiled the first of its 186-MPH series E8 high-speed train sets, which have been ordered for use between Tokyo, Fukushima, Yamagata and Shinjo via the Yamagata mini-Shinkansen. They are intended to replace the 171-MPH series E3 sets that entered service between 1995 and 2009. [Railway Gazette, 2-28-23]

REVIVAL OF 'GEORGE WASHINGTON' ROUTE BEING CONSIDERED: The Federal Railroad Administration has released documents suggesting nearly a dozen routes the federal government and Amtrak are considering reviving following the passage of the infrastructure bill. Among those routes being considered is the former George Washington route, which operated from 1932 to 1971 between St. Louis and Washington via Cincinnati. [Missourian, 2-28-23]

FULL-SCALE LIRR SERVICE OPENS AT GRAND CENTRAL MADISON: Federal and local officials on Febr. 26 celebrated the official opening of Grand Central Madison ahead of full-scale Long Island Rail Road service starting Febr. 27. The new schedules add 271 trains per day, of which 296 will be to or from the new facility. They also offer direct access to Midtown east; provide more frequent, reliable service, including Queens and Brooklyn; and offer reverse-peak service on the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches. [Railway Age, 2-27-23]

UNION PACIFIC'S CEO TO STEP DOWN: Union Pacific's board has announced it will replace Lance Fritz as chief executive officer sometime this year. The announcement follows pressure from shareholder Soroban Capital Partners to replace Fritz with a 'seasoned executive who has a proven track record of railroad operating excellence. Union Pacific officials said a board task force has been working with an outside consultant on the company's succession plan since Nov. 2022. [Progressive Railroading, 2-27-23]

DAVID STARLING DIES, FORMER PRESIDENT, CEO OF KCS: David L. Starling, president and chief executive officer of Kansas City Southern from 2010 to 2016 died Febr. 26. He was 73. [Railway Age, 2-27-23]

BNSF POSTS 2022 NET EARNINGS: BNSF posted 2022 net earnings of $5.95-billion, virtually flat with the previous year's $5.99-billion. This follows 2021's net earnings increase of 16.1 percent over 2020. [Railway Age, 2-27-23]

BRIGHTLINE TO REHAB STUART DRAWBRIDGE OVER ST. LUCIE RIVER: The U.S. Coast Guard has given Brightline approval to temporarily close the navigation channel at the Stuart drawbridge over the St. Lucie River in order to carry out rehabilitation work in support of the Orlando expansion project. Included will be a three-week channel closure beginning May 1. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-27-23]

WESTERN INTERMODEX ACQUIRES QUICKLOAD LOGISTICS: Western InermodeX has announced the acquisition of Quickload Logistics to further solidify its commitment to the Prince Rupert, B.C., community. The transaction unlocks import transload capacity in Prince Rupert for the North American marketplace. [Progressive Railroading, 2-27-23]

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 Febr. 26, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 46 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-27-23]

AMTRAK'S TEXAS EAGLE HAS 88 PCT INCREASE IN RIDERSHIP IN 2022: The pandemic caused ridership to drop consistently over two years, but in 2022 the Texas Eagle's ridership jumped 88 percent. The train operates daily between Chicago and San Antonio. [KLTV, 2-27-23]

AMTRAK CASCADES BISTRO CAR TO BE EXHIBITED AT NORTHWEST RAILWAY MUSEUM: The Northwest Railway Museum is preserving he only surviving Amtrak Cascades Talgo Series 6 bistro car, no. 7304. The car has returned home to the Pacific Northwest from Indiana for conservation and exhibition, and eventual inclusion in the museum's exhibit hall expansion. [Railway Age, 2-26-23]

EAST PALESTINE DERAILMENT WAS 'PREVENTABLE,' NTSB CHAIR SAYS: The Febr. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, was 100 percent preventable, National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy said Febr. 23 after releasing the board's preliminary report on its investigation. "Every single event that we investigate is preventable," she said. Norfolk Southern officials said that its wayside detectors trigger an alarm at a temperature among the lowest in the rail industry. The railroad has inspected all wayside detectors in the area of the incident and found they were operating as designed, the company said. [Progressive Railroading, 2-24-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN DONATES $300,000 TO EAST PALESTINE CITY SCHOOLS: Norfolk Southern has announced an initial $300,000 donation, without condition, to the East Palestine School District to support the district's academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and its long-term contingency planning regarding the impacts of the Febr. 3 derailment. The donation comes after Norfolk Southern president and CEO Alan Shaw visited East Palestine, where he heard concerns from residents first hand. East Palestine's elementary, middle and high schools will each receive $100,000. [Progressive Railroading, 2-24-23]

BNSF REACHES AGREEMENT WITH TWO UNIONS OVER PAID SICK LEAVE: BNSF on Febr. 23 reported reaching agreements with the Transportation Communications Union and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers for paid sick leave. BNSF is the fourth Class I railroad to offer the benefit to craft railroaders. [Railway Age, 2-24-23]

SEPTA TO ACQUIRE 130 NEW TROLLEY VEHICLES: SEPTA on Febr. 23 awarded a contract to Alstom Transportation for 130 new trolley vehicles, with an option to order up to 30 more. [Railway Age, 2-24-23]

WORKING GROUP TO RECOMMEND TO CONGRESS IMPROVEMENTS TO AMTRAK FOOD, BEVERAGE SERVICE: This week, appointed members of the Food and Beverage working group met at Chicago Union Station to review their recommendations to Congress focused on improving on-board services for regional and national Amtrak trains. The group is composed of a mix of state rail authority representatives, on-board staff, and qualified professional passenger advocates. Data from surveys, social-media polls and groups, and testimony from union members will be paired with historical case studies and goals for future interactions of on-board dining. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-24-23]

SEPTA AWARDS CONSULTANT CONTRACT FOR FINAL DESIGN OF KING OF PRUSSIA PROJECT: The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority on Febr. 23 awarded a consultant contract for the final design phase of the King of Prussia rail project. The project will extend the existing Norristown high-speed rail line four miles into King of Prussia. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-24-23]

METROLINX IS FINISHING WORK AT TORONTO UNION STATION: As part of the Metrolinx GO expansion, the agency has announced it is finishing work at Toronto's Union Station to bring two-way, all-day rail service at least every 15 minutes along core sections of the GO network. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-24-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO EXCAVATE SOIL, REPLACE TRACKS IN EAST PALESTINE: Norfolk Southern has announced that it will excavate the soil and replace both main line tracks in the derailment area in East Palestine, Ohio. Work on the first track will begin immediately; the second track will be replaced promptly after that. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-23-23]

NTSB ISSUES PRELIMINARY REPORT ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN FEBR. 3 DERAILMENT: The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on its investigation into the Norfolk Southern derailment of Febr. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. MORE.. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-23-23]

BOHR ELECTRONICS LANDS CSX ELECTRICAL CABINET CONTRACT FOR GP40-3 LOCOMOTIVE REBUILDS: Bohr Electronics obtained a contract from CSX for fully-furnished electrical cabinets for its GP40-3 locomotive rebuild program. Bohr will provide AC and HVC cabinet shells with new and remanufactured components during 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 2-23-23]

SECOND TWIN CITIES SERVICE COULD START LATER THIS YEAR: Expanded Amtrak service from Chicago and Milwaukee to the Twin Cities could start sometime later this year, even as prospects for new routes to Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire remain uncertain, Wisconsin's top rail official says. A new passenger rail line, to be named 'Great River route,' will offer a second daily round-trip, currently offered daily by the Empire Builder. In addition to the stops currently made by the Empire Builder, the new train will also make stops at Sturtevant and Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. The Great River is projected to carry 124,400 riders in its first full year of service. [WisPolitics, 2-23-23]

UKRAINIAN RAILWAY REOPENS TWO LINES TO POLISH BORDER: Ukraine's national railway on Febr. 17 reopened two lines to the Polish border after modernization work. A total of 42 route miles of line have been rebuilt. [Railway Gazette, 2-23-23]

FEDS ORDER NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO PAY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP IN EAST PALESTINE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Norfolk Southern to conduct all cleanup actions associated with the Febr. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The agency will approve a plan that outlines the steps required to address environmental impacts. If the railroad fails to complete any actions, the agency will conduct the work involved and seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost. [Progressive Railroading, 2-22-23]

BRIGHTLINE WEST INKS PACT WITH HIGH-SPEED RAIL LABOR COALITION: Brightline West has signed a memorandum of understanding with the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition regarding the employment of highly-skilled workers in critical jobs required to operate and maintain the planned 218-mile passenger rail line between southern California and Las Vegas. The coalition includes 13 rail labor unions representing more than 100,000 workers in the U.S. [Progressive Railroading, 2-22-23]

SIEMENS LANDS INFRASTRUCTURE CONTRACT WITH METROLINX: Ontario's Metrolinx has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract for track, signal and right-of-way maintenance services for the agency's GO Transit infrastructure system in Toronto's West region. The team will work closely with Metrolinx to mobilize resources, including vehicles and large equipment for startup of services in the spring of 2023. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-22-23]

NTSB OPENS PUBLIC DOCKET ON INVESTIGATION OF SEPT. 2021 EMPIRE BUILDER DERAILMENT IN MONTANA: The National Transportation Safety Board has opened the public docket on its investigation into the Sept. 2021 derailment of Amtrak's Empire Builder near Joplin, Montana. The agency explained that the docket contains only factual information collected by investigators, not a final report on probable cause. Five cars derailed, three passengers died, and 49 people were injured. [Railway Age, 2-22-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 466,932 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 18, 2023, down 6.5 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 3.9 percent, and intermodal was down 8.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-22-23]

PENSACOLA SEEKS RETURN OF AMTRAK SERVICE: The city of Pensacola is looking to bring back Amtrak service to northwest Florida. The city's mayor says now is the time to look at bringing in the service because of the number of grants available and the federal government's desire to expand rail service. The first step is to apply for a $500,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The mayor says he is encouraged by his discussions so far. [WKRG, 2-22-23]

COMMUTER RAIL INTO BUTTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, ENVISIONED: A commuter train from Sacramento could be coming into Butte County, California. The county's association of governments is working on a project to extend a line from Sacramento to Yuba City, Marysville, Gridley, Plumas Lake and Chico. The project would be a step forward in extending transportation options through California, officials say. [KRCR, 2-22-23]

HART ANTICIPATES FIRST SEGMENT OF RAIL PROJECT TO OPEN WITHIN SIX MONTHS: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation now anticipates service will begin within six months, but a grand opening date has yet to be determined. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-22-23]

PRESIDENT BIDEN TAKES 20-HOUR TRAIN TRIP BETWEEN POLAND & UKRAINE: The CEO of Ukrainian Railways briefly described how his company managed to transport President Biden on a high-risk 20-hour round-trip between Poland and Kyiv, Ukraine. He said the President flew to a city on the Poland-Ukraine border early Sunday, where he boarded the train for its 10-hour trip to Kyiv, spending four hours there, and then boarded the train for a return 10-hour trip. Currently, the railroad is the only way for people to travel from Poland to Kyiv. The CEO takes pride in his railroad's on-time performance, but they had to delay some of their trains to accommodate 'Rail Force One,' as he called it. So only 90 percent of their trains arrived on time that day, for which he apologized. [Progressive Railroading, 2-21-23]

FEDS ISSUE SAFETY CALLS TO FREIGHT RAILROADS: Eighteen days after the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation has issued 'immediate calls for action,' described as 'common sense steps - a push to hold the freight rail industry accountable and improve safety.' The department's push involves accelerating phase-in of safer tank cars, providing workers paid sick leave, and raising existing caps on the fines for rail safety regulations, the latter through Congressional intervention. [Railway Age, 2-21-23]

UNION PACIFIC OFFERING PAID SICK LEAVE TO UNION WORKERS: Union Pacific is the second Class I railroad to offer paid sick leave to its employees represented by the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division. The railroad said it will continue to work with he other unions to address paid sick time solutions. [Railway Age, 2-21-23]

OTTAWA CONFEDERATION LINE NEEDS SAFETY RE-ENGINEERING, SAFETY BOARD SAYS: An inquiry by the Transportation Safety Board into Ottawa's problematic light-rail system warns that the city's new Confederation line is a safety risk and should be substantially re-engineered. The board said the line's Alstom Citadis Spirit model has had numerous reliability issues and experienced two serious derailments since operations began. The train sets are not sufficiently robust to resist the greater accelerations and loads required to satisfy specifications, and will continue to pose safety risks until the issues are resolved. [Railway Age, 2-21-23]

BRIGHTLINE WELCOMES 'BRIGHT ORANGE 2' TRAIN SET: Brightline on Febr. 19 welcomed the Bright Orange 2 train set to Orlando following its 10-day journey from Siemens' facility in Sacramento. The railroad is now one step closer to extending its 67-mile Mile Miami-to-West Palm Beach line north to Orlando. The train set is the last of five that will help serve the 170-mile extension, and was delivered with an extra locomotive to serve as a spare to replace units undergoing service. [Railway Age, 2-21-23]

BLUME GLOBAL ACQUIRED BY WISE TECH GLOBAL: Logistics software firm Wise Tech Global has purchased Blume Global, multimodal supply-chain firm used by such customers as BNSF Logistics, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Florida East Coast, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific. [Railway Age, 2-21-23]

TRANS-NAMIB MAIN LINE RENOVATION COMPLETED: A three-year project to renovate a 67-mile section of the Trans-Namib main line between Walvis Bay and Arandis, Namibia, has been completed, doubling the maximum speed on the 1,067-mm-gauge route to 50 MPH. [Railway Gazette, 2-21-23]

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 Febr. 19, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-20-23]

HEALTH ASSESSMENT CLINIC TO OPEN FOR EAST PALESTINE AREA RESIDENTS: The Ohio Dept. of Health will open a health assessment clinic Febr. 21 for any East Palestine area residents who have medical questions or concerns related to the Febr. 3 train derailment. [WTRF, 2-19-23]

CEO OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN VISITS OHIO TOWN, SITE OF FEBR. 3 DERAILMENT: Alan Shaw, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern, visited East Palestine, Ohio, Febr. 18, site of the massive derailment and fire of Febr. 3. He met with community members, local leaders, first-responders, Norfolk Southern railroaders who live there, and crews working at the incident site. He pledged to do the right things to help the community recover and thrive again. [Norfolk Southern, 2-18-23]

IZAAK WALTON INN CLOSING FOR RENOVATION BEGINNING APRIL 1: The Izaak Walton Inn along the BNSF/Amtrak route in Essex, Montana, will be closing for renovation beginning April 1 until December 2023. [Rail Passengers Assn., 2-17-23]

CALIFORNIA, BRIGHTLINE WEST TO BUILD WILDLIFE CROSSINGS: The California departments of Transportation and Fish & Wildlife, and Brightline West, have agreed to design and build three wildlife crossings over I-15 and the future Brightline West high-speed rail line within the median to offer safe passage for bighorn sheep and other wildlife. [Progressive Railroading, 2-17-23]

VALLEY METRO TRANSPORTS MORE THAN 250,000 RIDERS TO SUPER BOWL EVENTS: Valley Metro on Febr. 16 announced the transit system transported more than one-quarter of a million riders traveling to Super Bowl events in Phoenix earlier this month. Light-rail ridership exceeded the average by 60 percent for the six days of events taking place Febr. 4-5 and 9-12. [Progressive Railroading, 2-17-23]

STADLER TO SUPPLY 17 FLIRTNEX TRAIN SETS TO NORWAY: Norway state-owned Norske Tog has selected Stadler to supply 17 long-distance train sets to be branded 'Flirtnex,' with options for 100 more. The 124-MPH trains will have eight cars and a capacity of up to 542 passengers. Some trains will have only seats, and others will have a mix of seats and overnight accommodation. [Railway Gazette, 2-17-23]

RAILWAY AGE DETAILS FEBR. 3 SITUATION APPROACHING POINT OF DERAILMENT IN OHIO: Railway Age learned that the derailment probably occurred due to a combination of factors and unfortunate timing. The train passed a wayside hotbox detector that reported no defects. Shortly after that, a wheel bearing began to overheat, which in turn caused an axle to overheat as the bearing got hotter. The axle failure then occurred shortly after the train passed a second detector, which flagged the problem, alerting the crew. The engineer immediately applied the brakes, but the axle had already failed, and the train derailed. [Railway Age, 2-16-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CREATES FUND TO SUPPORT OHIO TOWN IMPACTED BY DERAILMENT: Norfolk Southern is creating a $1-million charitable fund to be available immediately as a component of its support for the community of East Palestine, Ohio, impacted by the Febr. 3 derailment and fire. The railroad will work with state and local leaders to identify where the donations can do the most good. [Railway Age, 2-16-23]

WABTEC REPORTS 4-Q EARNINGS: Wabtec reported fourth-quarter 2022 earnings per diluted share of 86 cents, down 15.7 percent versus the same quarter 2021. Adjusted EPS were $1.30, up 10.2 percent. Fourth-quarter sales rose 11.2 percent to $2.31-billion. [Progressive Railroading, 2-16-23]

STADLER DEVELOPING FLIRT AKKU MODEL FOR U.S. MARKET: Stadler has signed a contract with Utah State University and the ASPIRE Engineering Research Center to develop and test a multiple-unit train with battery drive for the U.S. market based on the FLIRT Akku model. Stadler's model is to be tailored to the American infrastructure and national regulations. [Railway Age, 2-16-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS NEAR DETROIT: A Norfolk Southern train transporting hazardous materials partially derailed early Febr. 16 in Van Bureau Twp., near Detroit. Aerial footage showed at least six cars off the rails. No injuries were reported, and there was no evidence that hazardous chemicals spilled. [N.Y. Post, 2-16-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 473,972 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 11, 2023, down 6.2 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 1.6 percent, and intermodal was down 10.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-15-23]

FEDS ADD $2.2-B IN INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL GRANT PROGRAM: The Federal Railroad Administration has announced an additional $2.2-billion in funding is being made available for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant program. More than $4.5-billion in funding will now be available for capital projects to reduce the state-of-good-repair backlog, improve performance and/or expand or establish new intercity passenger rail service. The projects identified must be outside of the Northeast corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 2-15-23]

APM TERMINALS MOBILE TO DOUBLE CAPACITY: APM Terminals Mobile will invest $60-million in doubling its rail expansion capacity for customers. Additional tracks, rail yard storage space and improved access from the berth to the rail yard are planned. [Railway Age, 2-15-23]

OVERHEATED BEARING POSSIBLE CAUSE OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN FEBR. 3 DERAILMENT: An overheated wheel bearing may have been a cause in the Febr. 3 Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Surveillance video from a local residence showed what appears to be a bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment occurred. [Progressive Railroading, 2-15-23]

RESIDENTS ATTEND TOWN HALL IN OHIO COMMUNITY IMPACTED BY DERAILMENT: Residents in East Palestine, Ohio, upended by the Febr. 3 derailment and fire, packed a school gym to seek answers about whether they were safe from toxic chemicals that spilled or burned off. They had many questions for Norfolk Southern, but Norfolk Southern sent no one to the meeting. The railroad cited safety concerns for their staff. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources estimates the spill affected more than seven miles of streams and killed some 3500 fish, mostly small ones such as minnows and darters. [Marketwatch, 2-15-23]

HEALTH CONCERNS MOUNT IN OHIO TOWN OVER TOXIC ISSUES FOLLOWING DERAILMENT: Health and environmental concerns are mounting in East Palestine, Ohio, after several derailed train cars released toxic fumes last week. An evacuation order was lifted Febr. 8, and since then there have been a growing number of reports of people experiencing a burning sensation in their eyes, animals falling ill, and a strong odor lingering in the town. [NPR, 2-14-23]

ZIM SHIPPING LINES TO INCREASE BALTIMORE PORT SERVICE, INCREASE SIZE OF SHIPS: ZIM Shipping Lines will increase Baltimore Express service and the size of its ships calling on the Port of Baltimore. ZIM operates the Baltimore Express between China, Southeast Asia and the U.S. East Coast, and the company plans to increase frequency from biweekly to weekly. ZIM also plans to increase the size of its ships into the port by nearly 50 percent. [Progressive Railroading, 2-14-23]

LAST OF FIVE NEW TRAIN SETS EN ROUTE TO BRIGHTLINE IN FLORIDA: Brightline is another step closer to extending its 67-mile Miami-West Palm Beach line north to Orlando. 'Brightline Orange 2,' the last of five new train sets from Siemens, is now on its way from Sacramento. Service to Orlando is expected to start this year. [Railway Age, 2-14-23]

VOLUME THROUGH PORT OF LONG BEACH DROPS IN JAN.: Port of Long Beach dock workers and terminal operators moved 573,772 twenty-foot-equivalent units in January, down 28.4 percent from the same month last year. Officials attribute the volume drop to softened consumer spending, increased prices and a shift in trade routes. [Railway Age, 2-14-23]

MORE UNIONS REACH AGREEMENT WITH CSX OVER PAID SICK LEAVE: Following the Febr. 7 agreement reached between CSX and BMWED and BRC Railway Carmen unions, IAM Machinists and NCFO oilers agreed on Febr 10, and the IAM Roadway Mechanics and BRC Carmen for Fruit Growers Express agreed Febr. 14. Eight remaining unions have not accepted the agreement. [Railway Age, 2-14-23]

CINCINNATI SEEKS EXPANDED AMTRAK SERVICE: City and Cincinnati Chamber leaders met with Amtrak leadership Febr. 13 to discuss the potential for expanded passenger rail service. Amtrak has proposed an increase in train frequencies and new routes with Cincinnati as a hub, as part of federal infrastructure legislation that could make the idea a reality. Currently, only Amtrak's Cardinal serves Cincinnati, three times a week in each direction, in the middle of the night. [WCPO, 2-14-23]

IOWA HOUSE BILL WOULD LET STATE JOIN RAIL COMPACT: An Iowa House Transportation Committee hearing was held Febr. 14 for a bill allowing the state to join the 23-year-old rail compact that already includes eight other states. Iowa lawmakers agreed to move forward with the proposal. [Iowa Starting Line, 2-14-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN CRASHES INTO SEMI IN TEXAS, DERAILS, DRIVER KILLED: An 18-wheeler driver died and 21 train cars derailed early Febr. 13 northeast of Houston when a Union Pacific train collided with the semi. There were no injuries among the train crew. Hazardous materials personnel were monitoring air quality as a precaution. [Houston Public Media, 2-13-23]

CHICAGO TRANSIT TO SIGNIFICANTLY RESTORE RACINE BLUE LINE STATION: The Chicago Transit Authority's Racine Blue line station will soon undergo a significant restoration that will include the installation of an elevator, other accessibility-related improvements, and an upgraded traction power system. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-13-23]

NEWARK PENN STATION TO GET IMPROVED AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM: New Jersey Transit has approved a contract to improve the almost 30-year-old air-conditioning system at Newark's Penn Station. [Progressive Railroading, 2-13-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-one percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Febr. 12, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 32 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-13-23]

STRASBURG R.R. OPENS SIX-TRACK YARD TO HANDLE FREIGHT BUSINESS: The four and one-half-mile long Strasburg Rail Road in southeast Pennsylvania has opened a $3.3-million, six-track yard to handle its growing freight business. The seven-acre site is situated at Leaman Place Junction along Amtrak's Keystone corridor, east of Lancaster. [Trains Magazine, 2-13-23]

TESTING UNDERWAY ON HITACHI 805 ELECTRO-DIESEL TRAIN SETS IN U.K.: The first two of 13 Hitachi class 805 electro-diesel train sets for Avanti West Coast services in U.K. are undergoing testing ahead of entry into service later this year. [Railway Gazette, 2-13-23]

SPANISH REGION SPENDS MILLIONS ON TRAINS TOO BIG FOR TUNNELS: Spanish transport industry is going back to the drawing boards after spending about $276-million on 31 new commuter trains that are too large to fit in the rail network's tunnels. Two senior officials have been fired over the mistake. The trains were still in the design phase when the error was noticed, but the redesign process will delay the trains' availability by about two years. [Yahoo News, 2-11-23]

COAST STARLIGHT SERVICE IMPACTED: Amtrak's southbound Coast Starlight will terminate at Emeryville Febr. 10-11, and northbound it will originate at Emeryville Febr. 11-12. [Amtrak, 2-10-23]

CAPITOL LIMITED RESUMES RUNS FOLLOWING OHIO FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILMENT CLEANUP: The Capitol Limited is running once again following cleanup of the massive Norfolk Southern freight train derailment and fire of Febr. 3 in eastern Ohio. [Amtrak, 2-10-23]

S.D. SENATE COMMITTEE ENDORSES REHAB GRANT TO SISSETON MILLBANK R.R.: South Dakota's Senate Transportation Committee on Febr. 8 endorsed legislation to provide $6.25-million to the Sisseton Millbank Railroad toward an upgrade allowing trains to run speeds up to 25 MPH rather than the current 10 MPH. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-10-23]

AMTRAK COMPLETES DESIGN OF CONNECTICUT RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: Amtrak on Febr. 10 shared updates on its Connecticut River bridge replacement project. The current bridge is continuous need of repairs, and the new bridge will provide maritime users with a better navigation channel. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-10-23]

RAILWAY AGE NAMES SHORT LINE, REGIONAL RAILROADS OF THE YEAR: Railway Age Magazine has announced the Napoleon, Defiance and Western Railroad as short line railroad of 2023, and ArcelorMittal Infrastructure Canada Railway as regional railroad of 2023. [Railway Age, 2-10-23]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 13 TRAXX MS3 ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES TO REGIOJET: Czech open access operator RegioJet has awarded Alstom a contract to supply 13 Traxx MS3 electric locomotives for use in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany. [Railway Gazette, 2-10-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN FACES BACKLOG IN TRAFFIC DUE TO OHIO DERAILMENT: Norfolk Southern's lines linking the Northeast with markets in the Midwest may continue to face disruptions as the railroad seeks to fully restore fluidity following the huge train derailment Febr. 3 in eastern Ohio. In a Febr. 8 update, the railroad said it has restored service at the site now that the tracks have been cleared. [Freight Waves, 2-9-23]

FULL SERVICE AT GRAND CENTRAL MADISON SET TO BEGIN FEBR. 27: Full Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Madison is set for Febr. 27. Limited service has been available to and from Jamaica since the opening of the facility on Jan. 25. [Railway Age, 2-9-23]

NJT, LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS' UNION BARGAINING STALLS: Bargaining on a new contract between N.J. Transit and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has stalled, and union leaders say the dispute could require White House intervention as soon as next month, and the matter might even lead to a strike. [Railway Age, 2-9-23]

TUNNELING BEGINS ON TORONTO SUBWAY EXTENSION: Tunneling has begun for the 4.8-mile eastern extension of Toronto's Bloor-Danforth subway line. The route is entirely underground, and extends from the existing Kennedy road terminal of the east-west subway. [Railway Age, 2-9-23]

RESIDENTS CLEARED TO RETURN HOME IN OHIO TOWN FOLLOWING DERAILMENT CLEANUP: Evacuated residents may now safely return to their homes in East Palestine, Ohio, after a train derailed five days ago, town officials said. [National Public Radio, 2-8-23]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT RISES IN DECEMBER: Class I railroads employed 119,349 people as of mid-December 2022, an increase of 0.34 percent from the previous month, and an increase of 3.88 percent from December 2021, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 2-8-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 449,586 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 4, 2023, down 1.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 0.9 percent, and intermodal was down 2.9 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-8-23]

WHITE HOUSE PRESSURES LARGEST RAILROADS TO IMPLEMENT PAID SICK LEAVE FOR WORKERS: Top White House officials have spoken to executives from the largest U.S. railroads in recent days, renewing pressure to reach an agreement to secure paid sick leave for workers. [Reuters, 2-8-23]

TRINITY EXPRESS TO ALTER SCHEDULE FOR TRINITY LAKES STATION CONSTRUCTION: Trinity Railway Express announced Febr. 7 that its commuter rail service will temporarily alter its schedule starting Febr. 13 to allow for construction on Fort Worth's new Trinity Lakes station. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-8-23]

NEW NEC STATION PLANNED FOR NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J.: The Middlesex County, N.J., Improvement Authority has unveiled the initial concept design for a train station for North Brunswick along the Northeast corridor. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-8-23]

CSX AGREES TO SICK-LEAVE PROVISION WITH TWO OF ITS UNIONS: CSX on Febr. 7 reached agreements with the Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employees and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, collectively representing about 5,000 workers, for paid sick leave. Retroactive to the first of this year, member employees will be provided with four paid sick leave days with the provision also to take up to three personal days per year for paid sick time off. [Railway Age, 2-8-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN EXECUTES CONTROLLED RELEASE OF CHEMICAL FUMES FROM OHIO DERAILMENT: Norfolk Southern's controlled release of chemical fumes from its train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, was successful, the railroad said. The process involved burning the rail cars' chemicals, which if released into the air could be deadly if inhaled. The governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania on Febr. 6 ordered further evacuations around the area where toxic chemicals continued to burn. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-23]

IOWA NORTHERN TRANSITIONS TO DIGITAL-FORMAT RULE BOOKS, FORMS: Iowa Northern Railway has partnered with Comply365 to transition the railroad's paper rule books and forms to digital formats. Crews will be able to access the documents on the mobile app. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-23]

MICHIGAN SEEKS $25-M FROM FEDS TOWARD RAIL BRIDGE REPAIRS: Michigan is seeking up to $25-million from a federal fund to help cover costs for repair work on four rail bridges between Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo that serve Amtrak passenger trains. Amtrak offers tree routes in Michigan. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-7-23]

CSX CELEBRATES THREE YEARS' INJURY-FREE OF CINCINNATI'S ENGINEERING TEAM: CSX is celebrating its engineering team in Cincinnati for reaching a milestone of three years injury-free. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-7-23]

DART FLIRT DMU TRAIN SETS BEGIN TESTING: Stadler has begun operational testing of its low-floor FLIRT diesel multiple-unit train sets for Dallas Area Rapid Transit at FRA's transportation technology center in Colorado. Each train set is composed of four passenger-carrying units, two on each side of a power unit. [Railway Age, 2-7-23]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 25 ADDITIONAL CORADIA NORDIC EMU'S TO NORWAY: Norway's rolling stock company Norske Tog has exercised an option for Alstom to supply a further 25 Coradia Nordic class 77 regional electric six-car multiple-units for services from Oslo to Ski and Stabekk. [Railway Gazette, 2-7-23]

PROBLEM WITH AXLE MAY HAVE CAUSED DERAILMENT IN EASTERN OHIO: Two videos obtained by the National Transportation Safety Board showed preliminary indications of a possible mechanical issue with an axle of one of the rail cars before the Norfolk Southern train derailed Febr. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. The incident resulted in explosions and massive fires. Evacuations were ordered, and town officials have asked people to stay away from the area. Meanwhile, air and water quality are being monitored. [Salem News, 2-6-23]

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 Febr. 6, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 49 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-6-23]

CAPITOL LIMITED REMAINS ANNULLED: Amtrak's Capitol Limited trains 29 and 30 continue to be annulled due to the massive, burning freight train derailment in eastern Ohio. [Amtrak, 2-6-23]

AMSTERDAM-BARCELONA NIGHT TRAIN PLANNED: Night train startup European Sleeper has proposed Amsterdam-Barcelona service. It is planning to launch its inaugural service on the Brussels-Amsterdam-Berlin route this coming May, and it envisions that Amsterdam-Barcelona would become its second route in spring 2025. [Railway Gazette, 2-6-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS, BURNS IN OHIO: A Norfolk Southern train derailment and resulting fire prompted an evacuation order in East Palestine, Ohio, late Febr. 3. About 50 cars derailed, some with hazardous materials. The fire sent billows of smoke over the region, enough for meteorologists to see it on weather radar. No injuries were reported. It will take considerable time before the area can be cleared of debris and rail service returned. Amtrak's Capitol Limited is being annulled due to the situation. [WKYC, 2-4-23]

SANTA CRUZ BRANCH RAIL LINE DAMAGED BY WINTER STORM: The Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission Branch rail line has undergone considerable damage from recent winter storm events, and officials say details about the areas hit the hardest are still being revealed. As of Febr. 2, the rail line had been impacted by about 20 mudslides and 40 fallen trees, and a small peripheral section of the New Brighton bridge was broken off. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-3-23]

MAINE PROPOSES PILOT PASSENGER RAIL BETWEEN ROCKLAND AND BRUNSWICK: Maine's Dept. of Transportation has proposed contributing $3-million over the next two years for a pilot project for passenger rail service between Rockland and Brunswick, with four, or eventually five, stops en route, on the Finger Lakes Railway. [Railway Age, 2-3-23]

UNION HINTING AT POSSIBLE STRIKE ON METRO-NORTH: Members of System Council 7 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have received letters requesting that they vote to approve a strike against Metro-North. Contract negotiations with New York's MTA have been ongoing since 2019. [The City, 2-3-23]

CALTRAIN REDUCES WEEKEND SERVICE DUE TO ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT: Caltrain will suspend rail service between San Francisco and Milbrae the weekends of Febr. 11-12 and 25-26, and March 4-5 and 11-12 to accommodate electrification construction and testing. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-3-23]

TWO CAPITOL CORRIDOR STATION PROJECTS ENTER SECOND STAGE: Northern California's Capitol corridor Fremont station's accessibility improvement project entered phase two of construction Jan. 23, and Martinez station's project entered its phase two Jan. 27. No disruptions to train schedules are anticipated. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-3-23]

ALSTOM HYDROGEN-POWERED TRAIN TO RUN THIS SUMMER IN QUEBEC: An Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel-cell multiple-unit train will operate demonstration services with passengers aboard on the Reseau Charlevoix network in Quebec June 17 to Sept. 30. The aim is to assess steps needed to deploy hydrogen traction in the North American market. [Railway Gazette, 2-3-23]

AMTRAK CREWS SET TO BEGIN QUALIFYING TRIPS FOR MOBILE-NEW ORLEANS SERVICE: Amtrak crews will begin familiarization trips toward qualification this coming week along the route of the planned Mobile-New Orleans train runs, a process that should take several months. No date for startup of service has been established. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-3-23]

UKRAINIAN RAILWAYS HONORED AS 'RAIL CHAMPION' FOR WARTIME SERVICE: Ukrainian Railways was honored at a European Railway award ceremony in Brussels with the 'Rail Champion' prize for the company's role in transport services in times of war and 'unimaginable hardship.' [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-23]

UPGRADES AT METROLINK'S ANAHEIM CANYON STATION COMPLETED: The Orange County Transportation Authority in southern California has completed improvements at Metrolink's Anaheim Canyon station. More than 36 trains travel through the area each day. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-23]

NEXRAIL ORDERS 50 ADDITIONAL VOSSLOH ROLLING STOCK LOCOMOTIVES: European leasing company Nexrail has confirmed an optioned order with Vossloh Rolling Stock for 50 additional 50 class DE 18 Stage V diesel locomotives. [International Railway Journal, 2-3-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN EMPLOYEE INJURED IN YARD INCIDENT IN VA.: A Nofolk Southern employee suffered a serious injury early Febr. 2 while working in a rail yard in Yuma, Va., according to the railroad. No further details were reported, except that the incident is being investigated. [WJHL, 2-3-23]

GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL CELEBRATES 110TH ANIVERSARY: New York's Grand Central Terminal on Febr. 2 celebrated its 110th anniversary. Opened by the New York Central in 1913, the beaux-arts beauty is now home to the largest transit network in the world. [Railway Track & Structures]

AMTRAK HARTFORD LINE SCHEDULES IMPACTED BY RAIL REPLACEMENT: Temporary weekday train schedules have been adjusted on the Hartford line through April 9 to accommodate the final phase of Amtrak's rail replacement project. There will be bus substitutions for specific trains, time changes of up to 25 minutes, and changes to some connections. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-2-23]

SEVEN ADDITIONAL REFRIGERATED CONTAINER RACKS TO BE BUILT AT PORT OF SAVANNAH: The Georgia Ports Authority's board has approved construction of seven additional refrigerated container racks at the Port of Savannah to expand capacity. [Railway Age, 2-2-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO DOUBLE THE SIZE OF ITS ENGLEWOOD, ILLINOIS, STORAGE YARD: The Chicago city council on Febr. 1 approved Norfolk Southern's 15-year effort to double the size of its storage yard in Englewood, according to a WTTW news report. [Railway Age, 2-2-23]

CALIFORNIA GRANTS $600-M TOWARD EAST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: The California State Transportation Agency has awarded a $600-million grant to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the East San Fernando Valley light-rail transit corridor. This grant is part of more than $2.5-billion being awarded to a number of agencies under the state's transit and intercity rail capital program. [Progressive Railroading, 2-2-23]

JANUARY 2023 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 January 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-1-23]

JANUARY 2023 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,843,624 carloads and intermodal units in January 2023, down 3.2 percent from January 2022. Calculated separately, carloads were up 2.2 percent, and intermodal was down 8.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-1-23]

WINONA, MINNESOTA, AMTRAK STATION TEMPORARILY CLOSED: Amtrak's station at Winona, Minnesota, is temporarily closed with no access to its waiting room or restrooms. [Amtrak, 2-1-23]

CP REPORTS 2022 EARNINGS: Canadian Pacific reported 2022 revenues of $8.81-billion, up 10 percent from a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share were $3.77, down from $4.18. [Canadian Pacific, 1-31-23]

VIA RAIL PLANNING TO RENEW ITS LONG-DISTANCE FLEET: VIA Rail Canada has announced that it intends to renew its existing long-distance fleet and has issued a formal request for information seeking a supplier. Included are locomotives, coaches, sleepers, diners, baggage, multi-purpose cars and ancillary equipment. [Railway Age, 1-31-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN BLOCKS SUBDIVISION MANY HOURS: Around 1:53 a.m. Jan. 31 the Lee County, Illinois, sheriff's office learned that a Union Pacific train had been blocking an entire subdivision west of Dixon for hours. The crew of the train had timed out and was awaiting a relief crew. Though the sheriff's office contacted the railroad multiple times, the subdivision was still blocked to traffic as of 8:15 a.m. Then, as of 9:51 a.m., the train had been separated and two crossings were opened once again for traffic. [WQAD, 1-31-23]

FUNDING SOUGHT FOR TWIN CITIES-DULUTH SERVICE: After years of discussion, the Northern Lights Express from Twin Cities to Duluth could finally get state funding. If approved, Amtrak plans to convert the existing track from Target Field station in Minneapolis to the St. Louis County depot in Duluth. The train's top speed would be 90 MPH with en route stops in Cambridge, Hinckley and Superior. [Fox-9, 1-31-23]

SACRAMENTO BEGINS WORK ON LIGHT-RAIL STATION UPGRADES: The Sacramento Regional Transit District is starting work on station upgrades to meet the needs of its new low-floor light-rail trains. The first of the new Siemens trains is scheduled to be delivered in February. Twenty-eight trains are being built for the agency in a contract that includes the option to buy up to 76 altogether. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-30-23]

LOCOMOTIVE CATCHES FIRE NEAR PITTSBURGH: A locomotive caught fire early Jan. 29 in Westmoreland County, Pa. A crew member was able to keep the flames from spreading until fire crews arrived. [KDKA, 1-30-23]

PRESIDENT BIDEN KICKS OFF TUNNEL REPLACEMENT PROJECT IN BALTIMORE: President Biden was in Baltimore Jan. 30 to kick off the Baltimore & Potomac tunnel replacement project. The 150-year-old double-track tunnel will be replaced by two tubes with up to four total tracks, allowing trains to travel at speeds of more than 100 MPH, as compared to the 30 MPH allowed in the current tunnel. Completion will be in about a decade. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-30-23]

GROUND BROKEN ON FIRST AVENUE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT IN BARSTOW: Ground was broken Jan. 26 for an $80-million project to replace the two-lane steel and wooden North First avenue bridge spanning BNSF property in Barstow, California. The project is part of a BNSF master-planned rail hub known as the Barstow International Gateway. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-30-23]

GROUP WORKING ON PLAN TO REVITALIZE RIO GRANDE STATION IN SALT LAKE CITY: A group of Utahns is working to revitalize the Rio Grande train station in Salt Lake City, potentially bringing back rail service and solving some transportation challenges. Its vision is to create a 'train box' which includes new tracks that FrontRunner commuter trains would use, and close off four railroad crossings. [Railway Age, 1-30-23]

MBTA RAIL-CAR ORDER FROM CHINA TO BE DELAYED: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has been informed that China Railway Rolling Stock will not be able to deliver the remaining Orange and Red line rail cars by Dec. 2023 and Sept. 2026, respectively, and could face daily fines of $500 for each late car, according to a Boston Herald report. [Railway Age, 1-30-23]

CSX LOSES INJUNCTION BID IN RAIL ANTITRUST CASE: CSX has lost a key ruling in its antitrust lawsuit seeking greater access to a large Virginia port. The judge said federal courts are barred from issuing injunctions in private lawsuits against rail common carriers. Defendants were Norfolk Southern and Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line, and they are subject to regulation by the federal Surface Transportation Board, the judge ruled. CSX says it plans to appeal. [Reuters, 1-30-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived into their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Jan. 29, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 37 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-30-23]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN LOUISIANA: A Union Pacific train derailed 16 cars late Jan. 27 in Keatchie, Louisiana, and two of the cars began leaking propinoic acid. Residents within a one and one-half mile radius of the scene were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries, but three crew members of the train were taken to a hospital as a precaution and then released. [ABC News, 1-28-23]

AMTRAK RIDERSHIP INCREASING: In the post-pandemic world with many travelers obsessed with airlines, ground stops, cancelations and delays, Amtrak's ridership is bouncing back. It has more than doubled in the Northeast corridor, and is up 88 percent across the country. At the same time, Amtrak has been strengthening its long-distance services. Many passengers do not known about it, but Amtrak sells a USA rail pass. For just $499, one may travel Amtrak for 30 days and up to 10 rides. For children under 12 it is $250. [CBS News, 1-27-23]

UNION WITHDRAWS FROM PARTICIPATION IN UNION PACIFIC'S SAFETY PROGRAM: SMART Transportation Division's GO 577 has withdrawn from participation in Union Pacific's safety program, effective Febr. 1. The union's general chair said they would no longer be part of the 'hypocritical exercise of hiding behind he existence of the railroad's safety program,' and that the carrier's decision to run single-person remote crews on the Houston hub is what forced his hand. [SMART-TD, 1-26-23]

LIRR OPENS GRAND CENTRAL MADISON STATION: Long Island Rail Road opened its Grand Central Madison deep-level station beneath New York's Grand Central terminal Jan. 25. LIRR is initially operating a stand-alone shuttle between there and Jamaica, and through services to the rest of Long Island are expected to start in the coming weeks. Grand Central Madison reaches 15 stories below the main concourse. This is the largest passenger facility to be built in the USA since the mid-1950's. [Railway Gazette, 1-26-23]

BALTIMORE PENN STATION EXPANSION PROJECT MOVING FORWARD: Renderings of the planned expansion of Baltimore's Penn Station have been released. According to the Baltimore Banner, the 47,000-square-foot expansion will be built over the tracks to the north of the station and then be fully-integrated with the existing structure. The project includes extending the concourse, adding two new train platforms, redoing exterior finishes, and adding office and retail spaces to the building's vacant levels. All station operations will relocate to the new expansion. [Railway Age, 1-26-23]

PORT OF VIRGINIA TO PURCHASE FIVE NEW HIGH-REACH CRANES: The Port of Virginia has finalized a $61.6-million contract for five new cranes with the ability to accommodate ultra-large container vessels. Each will be able to reach across a vessel that is 26 containers wide, three to four containers beyond the reach of most cranes. [Railway Age, 1-26-23]

CSX REPORTS 2022 RESULTS: CSX reported 2022 revenues of $14.9-billion, up 19 percent compared with the previous year. Operating income of $6-billion increased 8 percent, including the effect of lower gains from the Virginia property sale. Operating ration was 59.5 percent, and diluted earnings per share of $1.95 increased 16 percent. [CSX, 1-25-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 2022 RESULTS: Norfolk Southern reported 2022 railway operating revenues were a record $12.7-billion, up 14 percent compared with the prior year. Income from railway operations was $4.8-billion, up 8 percent, and diluted earnings per share were $13.88, up 15 percent. [Norfolk Southern, 1-25-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 467,485 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 21, 2023, down 2.1 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 3.3 percent, and intermodal was down 6.7 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-25-23]

CONRAIL TO ELIMINATE HARD-COPY RULE BOOKS: Conrail has contracted with a cloud-hosted software provider to roll out a content management system and mobile app for train crews, eliminating the need for paper rule books, bulletins, special instructions and other documents that crews and other operational personnel have been using. [Railway Age, 1-25-23]

NEW PAWTUCKET-CENTRAL FALLS TRANSIT CENTER OPENS: The new Pawtucket-Central Falls transit center opened for service Jan. 23. The facility is the result of more than a decade of collaboration between state and local officials, transit, bus and railroad stakeholders, according to the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation. It will supplement stations in Providence, T.F. Green and Wickford Jct., with numerous stops in Massachusetts toward South Station in Boston. MBTA will make 40 weekday stops and 18 weekend stops at the new station. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-25-23]

MAINE STUDIES POSSIBLE EXPANSION OF DOWNEASTER: The Maine Dept. of Transportation is studying a potential expansion of Amtrak's Downeaster line from Brunswick to Augusta, Waterville and Bangor. Ridership estimates range from 5,150 to 7,250 monthly riders, in addition to the existing Downeaster ridership average of 47,500. The study reports an estimated opening in 2040 if the expansion moves forward. [Progressive Railroading, 1-25-23]

BRIGHTLINE TO RUN 110-MPH TEST TRAIN THROUGH TREASURE COAST: Brightline plans its test train to run at maximum 110-MPH speed through the Treasure Coast Jan. 25-28 along an 11-mile section in Martin and St. Lucie counties. Testing is occurring in phases along the 129-mile corridor between West Palm Beach and Cocoa in preparation for service to Orlando. [Railway Age, 1-25-23]

PAUL WIEDEFELD NAMED MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Paul Wiedefeld is Maryland's next transportation secretary. He is a 40-plus-year transportation veteran having been CEO of Baltimore-Washington International Airport and administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration. [Railway Age, 1-25-23]

D.C. UNION STATION METROPOLITAN LOUNGE CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS: Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge at Washington Union Station closed for renovations this week, and users have been rerouted to a temporary enclosure. The lounge is a sanctuary for first-class and select club patrons while they await boarding or dwell for connections. It will get a new kitchenette, new furnishings for its conference room, improved luggage storage and updated entry and reception areas. The lounge is expected to be reopened in February. [Washington Informer, 1-25-23]

CN REPORTS 2022 EARNINGS: Canadian National reported 2022 revenues of $171-billion (C), an increase of 18 percent from 2021. Operating income of $6.84-billion and adjusted operating income of $6.86-billion were both increases of 22 percent. Adjusted diluted earnings-per-share was $7.46. [Canadian National, 1-24-23]

ALTAMONT CORRIDOR EXPRESS RESUMES NORMAL SERVICE: Altamont Corridor Express trains resumed normal operating service Jan. 22 after mudslides the previous week left more than 200 passengers stalled on the tracks and disrupted rides two days in a row. The service was suspended Jan. 18 on the Stockton-San Jose line because of damage from heavy rains. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-24-23]

LIMITED LIRR SERVICE TO GRAND CENTRAL MADISON BEGINS JAN. 25: Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Madison begins Jan. 25 for at least three weeks with a limited shuttle between there and Jamaica. The plan is to acquaint customers with the new terminal as existing schedules continue. [Railway Age, 1-24-23]

'TRACKS TO THE FUTURE' YOUTH PROGRAM TO BE HELD THIS SUMMER: Registration has opened for the FRA-sponsored 2023 'Tracks to the Future' rail transportation and engineering summer youth program to be held in June and July. Week-long sessions will help high school students learn about the technical and energy aspects of the rail industry. The program features virtual and on-campus classroom sessions, hands-on activities and field visits to railroads, Michigan Technological University officials said. [Progressive Railroading, 1-24-23]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 2022 EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported 2022 operating revenue of $24.9-billion, up 14 percent compared with the previous year. Operating income of $9.9-billion was up 6 percent. Its 2022 capital program totaled $3.4-billion. The company repurchased 27.1 million shares at an aggregate cost of $6.3-billion. [Union Pacific, 1-24-23]

FRONT RANGE PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT GAINS SUPPORT: The Front Range passenger rail project proposes to establish daily service on an existing rail line along the I-25 corridor, initially from Pueblo to Fort Collins, Colorado, and later to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and into New Mexico. Cheyenne's planning organization has secured funds to determine the feasibility and possible location of a passenger train station in the downtown area. [KPVI, 1-24-23]

CANADIAN PACIFIC PREPS STEAM LOCOMOTIVE FOR CELEBRATORY NORTH AMERICAN RUN: Canadian Pacific is getting its 1930's Empress steam locomotive 2816 in condition for a planned cross-continental run from Calgary to Mexico City to celebrate completion of its proposed CP-KCS merger. Last week at Ogden the locomotive was lifted off its drivers for work on its running gear, the first time a steam locomotive has been lifted at that facility in 65 years. Steam locomotives were overhauled at Ogden until 1957. [Railway Age, 1-23-23]

OHIO CENTRAL TRAIN DERAILS: Ninety-eight cars of an Ohio Central train derailed near Trinway, Ohio, Jan. 19, on a former W&LE-NKP-N&W Zanesville branch. Most of the cars were empty tank cars with double-shelf type couplers, designed to prevent cars from uncoupling and riding up amongst themselves and puncturing. But with this arrangement, cars that tip over will typically tip adjacent cars over as well. The derailment spanned 1.2 miles. The railroad expects it will take a week to clean up the mess. [Bill Haines, 1-23-23]

INTERLOCKING TOWER IN DIANN, MICHIGAN, DEMOLISHED: The interlocking tower that once controlled the Ann Arbor and DT&I crossing at Diann, Michigan, was demolished Jan. 18. The tower, which opened in 1927, also controlled a connection between the two railroads in the northeast corner of the crossing which was used by trains running between Toledo and DT&I's Flat Rock yard. On this connection there had been a unique 'luminous' train order stand that glowed in the dark to help crews to receive their train orders. [Bill Haines, 1-23-23]

CSX HIKES SPEED ON PORTION OF TOLEDO SUB TO 60 MPH: CSX has raised the speed limit on the Toledo subdivision between Lima and Wapakoneta, Ohio. A 35 MPH speed restriction through Columbus Grove was also removed. [Bill Haines, 1-23-23]

FORMER B&O DEPOT IN HAMILTON, OHIO, MOVED TO NEW LOCATION: On Jan. 17 the second of two structures that comprise the former B&O depot in Hamilton, Ohio, was rejoined to its other half, which had been moved Dec. 20, to a location about 1000 feet north. [Bill Haines, 1-23-23]

BNSF TO SERVE NEW GRAIN FACILITY IN S.D.: CHS Inc. will begin construction in the spring on a 1.1-million-bushel grain shuttle facility in southeast South Dakota. To be built near I-29 and state highway 44, it will tie into an existing rail loop currently used for CHS agronomy operations. BNSF operates the loop and will serve the future grain facility. [Progressive Railroading, 1-23-23]

BART COMPLETES UPGRADE OF OAKLAND'S 19TH STREET STATION: Bay Area Rapid Transit commemorated the completion of a multi-year upgrade at Oakland's 19th street station with a ribbon-cutting on Jan. 21. The upgrade resulted in an open concourse with numerous aesthetic changes, according to the agency. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-23-23]

VIRGINIA APPROVES GRANT TOWARD NEW RAIL SPUR TO HERSHEY CHOCOLATE FACILITY: Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved a $450,000 grant for construction of a new 4750-foot rail spur to Hershey Chocolate's Augusta County facility to be served by Norfolk Southern. [Railway Age, 1-23-23]

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 Jan. 22, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 43 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-23-23]

RAIL WORKERS RESCUE RACCOON FROZEN TO RAIL: Railroad workers near Cochan, Ga., in 10-degree weather, were able to rescue a male raccoon after some of its hair had become frozen to the tracks. The traumatized-looking animal was rescued after a five-minute operation with hot water, and it ran into the woods, never looking back. [Good News Network, 1-22-23]

MORNING MARC TRAINS CANCELED JAN. 20 BY PTC OUTAGE: Maryland's MARC commuter train service suspended all service and canceled several routes early Jan. 20 due to a system-wide outage impacting positive train-control. The issue was repaired several hours later, but evening service on the Brunswick and Camden lines was being reduced. [NBC Washington 1-20-23]

AMTRAK EXPLORING IDEAS FOR NEW LONG-DISTANCE RAIL CARS: Amtrak says 10 manufacturers have submitted their ideas on new rail cars for 14 overnight routes, marking the first formal step to update its long-distance network. [Railway Age, 1-20-23]

PATRIOT RAIL TO EXPAND INDUSTRIAL PARK IN KINGMAN, ARIZONA: Patriot Rail is expanding its industrial park in Kingman, Arizona, with a $2.25-million investment, which includes the price of land. The rail-to-truck facility will sit on 9.5 acres, consisting of two tracks totaling 1400 feet, and handle 1000 annual carloads. [Railway Age, 1-20-23]

FEDS WARN RAILROADS TO ADDRESS DEFICIENCIES IN TRAINING: The Federal Railroad Administration is warning Class-I railroads that it will take action if they fail to adequately address deficiencies in their training, qualification and certifications programs for train crews. The agency's administrator noted that there have been shortcomings in addressing issues that had been identified in audits. [Progressive Railroading, 1-20-23]

CONTRACTOR NAMED TO BUILD NEW TUNNEL PASSAGEWAY AT GRAND CENTRAL: Skanska has been contracted to build a new tunnel passageway at the Grand Central 42nd street station. Along with the tunnel, the $74.2-million project calls for the addition of stairways, widening of existing stairways and other upgrades. Construction is slated to be completed in late 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 1-20-23]

MD. PURPLE LINE COMPLETION MAY BE DELAYED UNTIL MID-2027: A new project study has found that the Maryland Purple line, which is already four and one-half years behind schedule, faces a further seven-month delay that could set back the opening until mid-2027. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-20-23]

BNSF TO SPEND $3.95-B ON CAPITAL PROJECTS THIS YEAR: BNSF has announced it will spend $3.95-billion this year on capital projects. The largest component ($2.85-billion) will be spent on maintenance of its core network and related assets, the company said. [Progressive Railroading, 1-20-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN LIFT BRIDGE IN ALABAMA STRUCK BY VESSEL: After being damaged by a vessel, Norfolk Southern's lift bridge spanning the Tennessee River in Decatur, Alabama, disrupting service between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Sheffield, Alabama, is expected to remain out of service for up to five days, the railroad said Jan. 17. The single-track bridge is also used by CSX. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-19-23]

KC STREETCAR TO EXTEND WEEKNIGHT SERVICE HOURS: Kansas City's KC Streetcar on Jan. 21 will extend weeknight service hours to midnight. KC Streetcar operates a 2.2-mile route along Main street downtown using six streetcars covering 16 stops. [Railway Age, 1-19-23]

AMTRAK CANCELS EASTBOUND EMPIRE BUILDER JAN. 19: Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder, scheduled to depart from originating locations Jan. 19, has been annulled. [Amtrak, 1-19-23]

UPGRADES TO HEART OF GEORGIA R.R. COMPLETED: The Georgia DOT has wrapped up its first project upgrading along 138 miles of the 219-mile Heart of Georgia Railroad. The work allows to line to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars and eliminate speed restrictions on portions of the track. The railroad operates between Midvale and Preston with interchanges with Georgia Central, Georgia Southwestern, Georgia Southern, CSX and Norfolk Southern. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-19-23]

CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR DELAYED BY ROCK SLIDE IN COLORADO: Amtrak's westbound California Zephyr was considerably delayed late Jan. 17 east of Grand Junction, Colorado, by a rock slide ahead and the need to recrew the train. Back on the move, the train was nearly 13 hours late leaving Grand Junction, and then further on, two stations beyond, it was more than 16 hours late leaving Helper, Utah. [Amtrak, 1-18-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 486,000 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 14, 2023, down 1.7 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 4.2 percent, and intermodal was down 7.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-18-23]

STUDY EXAMINES POTENTIAL FOR NEW N.C. COMMUTER RAIL LINE: Regional transit authority GoTriangle has completed a study for a potential commuter rail line on 40 miles of existing track between West Durham and Clayton, N.C. The study is the agency's latest attempt to examine the potential for new passenger rail service through the state's growing Triangle region, which continues to add more than 32,000 residents a year. [Progressive Railroading, 1-18-23]

VIRGINIA ADVANCES PASSENGER RAIL EXPANSION PLANS: Virginia's New River Valley passenger rail extension and Newport News Transportation Center projects will receive a combined $3.2-million in federal funding to move forward, the Va. Passenger Rail Authority reported. [Railway Age, 1-18-23]

AMTRAK CASCADES SERVICE TO INCREASE: Amtrak will be adding a second round-trip train between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., on March 7, restoring the Cascades line to pre-pandemic levels, according to a Komo News report. In addition, Amtrak plans to increase the daily number of trips between Seattle and Portland from four to six, beginning in fall 2023. [Railway Age, 1-18-23]

S.C. PORTS AUTHORITY TO BUILD NEW FACILITY IN NORTH CHARLESTON: The South Carolina Ports Authority has signed off on contracts valued at more than $100-million for design and construction of a new facility in North Charleston. In partnership with Palmetto Railways, CSX and Norfolk Southern will utilize the facility, which is located about a mile from Leatherman Terminal. The first trains are expected in July 2025. [Railway Age, 1-18-23]

D.C. METRO, REGULATOR CLASH OVER PLAN TO USE SUSPENDED RAIL CARS: New conflicts between the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and its regulator have called into question the effectiveness of an arrangement by Congress six years ago to make service safer, lawmakers say. The commission and the metro agency have reached an impasse over the agency's intention to boost service by employing more of its suspended 7000-series rail cars, the Washington Post reported. The commission halted implementation of the plan while it investigates potential flaws in worker training processes. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-18-23]

AMTRAK PETITIONS TO REMOVE WAYSIDE SIGNALS ON TRACK PORTION IN MD.: Amtrak is seeking federal approval to retire fixed signals as automatic block points along a 14-mile portion of the Northeast corridor between mileposts 99.2 and 112.4, Bridge interlocking to Grove interlocking, in Maryland. All locations on the affected tracks will remain in service but without fixed wayside signals. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-17-23]

ALASKA R.R. TRAIN RUNS INTO AVALANCHE: An Alaska Railroad freight train ran into avalanche debris on the track early Jan. 17 near Girdwood. The impact derailed two locomotives and partially derailed a third. Two crew members were safely evacuated and were not injured. [Alaska Public Media, 1-17-23]

UNION PACIFIC'S FEATHER RIVER ROUTE CLOSED BY DERAILMENT: A Union Pacific train derailed in the Feather River Canyon over the holiday weekend, but the remote area and the closure of Highway 70 is making it difficult to access. A locomotive and seven cars of grain derailed. The crew was rescued, but the railroad is still working on the derailed cars. [Plumas News, 1-16-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Jan. 15, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 29 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-16-23]

UNION PACIFIC COMPLETES EXTENSIVE TRACK PROJECT IN TEXAS: Union Pacific recently completed an extensive two-year infrastructure project east of Dallas. Twelve teams built seven and one-half miles of new main line tacks connecting Marshall and Keokuk sidings, and upgraded the sidings to allow greater track speeds. [Railway Age, 1-13-23]

OPENING OF GRAND CENTRAL MADISON FURTHER DELAYED: The opening of Grand Central Madison station is still being delayed. The issue is with an exhaust fan. Long Island Rail Road says that progress is being made, but no opening date has been set. [Railway Age, 1-13-23]

SIEMENS WORKING TO RESOLVE ALC42 LOCOMOTIVE ISSUES: Siemens Mobility is working to resolve issues with the ALC42 locomotives recently added to Amtrak's fleet. Blowing snow and below-zero temperatures evidently contributed to a major mid-route engine failure in rural Minnesota recently, and Siemens is working toward a solution before Amtrak launches all 125 of the locomotives to long-distance routes. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-13-23]

MAN SENTENCED FOR MAKING THREAT TO UNION PACIFIC HEADQUARTERS: A Tucson man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for calling in a threat to Union Pacific's headquarters in Omaha in April 2021, and other locations. He first called the railroad and said a truck loaded with explosives was parked near the building. The building was evacuated after receiving the call. [Omaha World-Herald, 1-13-23]

BLET REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH TWO SHORT LINES: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has reached tentative agreements with the South Buffalo Railway and the Illinois Railway. The agreements are subject to ratification by members, and ballots will be counted Febr. 10. [BLET, 1-13-23]

HITACHI LANDS ORDER FOR 30 METRO TRAINS FOR ROME: The Rome city council has signed a $286-million framework agreement with Hitachi Rail for the supply of 30 trains for metro lines A and B. The contract includes a firm order for 14 trains, and deliveries are to begin in Dec. 2024. [International Railway Journal, 1-13-23]

UNION PACIFIC IMPACTED BY FLOODING IN CALIFORNIA: Heavy rain and snowfall continue through much of California. Flooding in northern California has produced isolated embargoes in the Oakland and Sacramento areas, Union Pacific said. A bridge foundation washout between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo is impacting rail operations, and the railroad expects the bridge to be out of service for up to two weeks. [Railway Age, 1-12-23]

LORAM ACQUIRES RAIL BUSINESS UNIT OF SENTIENT SCIENCE: Loram Maintenance of Way has acquired the rail business unit of Sentient Science. The acquisition includes Sentient's digital twins and economic models products, which are used by railroads to extend rail life and realize savings from track maintenance practices. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-12-23]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN MARYLAND: Twenty-six cars of a 96-car Norfolk Southern train derailed near Sharpsburg, Md., late January 11. No injuries were reported and there was no hazmat spillage. Considerable track damage resulted, and the railroad estimated it would take 24 hours for the impacted line to be reopened. [Herald-Mail, 1-12-23]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 416,489 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 7, 2023, down 5.5 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were up 1.4 percent, and intermodal was down 11.8 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-11-23]

METRA INTRODUCES TRAIN TRACKER: Chicago's Metra on Jan. 10 began the rollout of its Train Tracker, a new real-time tracking website for customers to see where their trains are and when they will reach their stations. [Railway Age, 1-11-23]

NYC MTA OPTS FOR LIGHT-RAIL FROM BAY RIDGE-JACKSON HEIGHTS: New York City's MTA will move forward toward using light-rail to provide service on its proposed Interborough Express from Bay Ridge to Jackson Heights. [Railway Age, 1-11-23]

IAIS ACQUIRES INDUSTRIAL CAMPUS PARCEL: Iowa Interstate Railroad has purchased about 30 acres at Iowa City Industrial campus to develop a new rail to truck transloading facility. The site is located next to I-8, US-6 and US-218, connecting the railroad's network with direct access to seven Class-I railroads and numerous short lines. [Railway Age, 1-11-23]

CSX MARKS SAFETY MILESTONE AT TERMINAL IN MEMPHIS: Workers at CSX's intermodal terminal in Memphis have marked a safety milestone by going 14 years without a recordable injury. It represents more than 122,640 working hours at the facility. [Progressive Railroading, 1-11-23]

AUTO TRAIN STRANDED BY CSX DERAILMENT IN S.C.: Amtrak's southbound Auto train was stranded Jan. 10 by a CSX freight train derailment in South Carolina. The Auto Train was not involved in the derailment, but it did not arrive at its destination until nearly 20 hours behind schedule after having to detour. The CSX train had struck an unoccupied vehicle on the tracks, derailing two locomotives and 25 cars. No injuries were reported. [Fox News, 1-11-23]

AMTRAK RESTORING MORNING QUINCY-CHICAGO TRAIN: Amtrak on Jan. 16 will restore its morning trains between Quincy and Chicago. Trains 380-381 return after having been canceled since mid-November due to a staffing shortage. [KHOA, 1-11-23]

BLUE MOUNTAIN & READING REPORTS 2022 TRAFFIC INCREASE: Reading Blue Mountain & Northern has announced its freight traffic rose 15.4 percent compared to 2021, and its passenger ridership increased more than 10 percent with more than 250,000 riders. The increases allowed the railroad to 'break its own records for freight traffic and excursion ridership.' [Railway Age, 1-10-23]

PATRIOT RAIL COMPLETES DELTA SOUTHERN ACQUISITION: Patriot Rail has completed its acquisition of Delta Southern Railroad, a short line operating two rail segments in Louisiana. The transaction closed following regulatory authorization. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-23]

S.F. OPENS NEW T THIRD SUBWAY LINE: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Jan. 7 launched its new T Third subway line between the 4th & King station in Sunnydale and Chinatown-Rose Pak station. The line provides a direct connection to the new Central Subway system, which includes four new stations. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-23]

HURON CENTRAL RECEIVING GOVERNMENT FUNDING TOWARD TRACK REHAB: Huron Central Railway will receive $21-million (C) from Canada and Ontario toward improvement of track to sustain freight rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. [Railway Age, 1-10-23]

MBTA MAY RETURN OLDER ORANGE LINE CARS TO SERVICE: It is reported that some older Orange line rail cars may return to service after MBTA shopped newer cars due to a power-cable failure. [Railway Age, 1-10-23]

D.C. METRO OPENS NEW ESCALATORS AT L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION: On Jan. 9, three new escalators were up and running at Washington DC Metro's L'Enfant Plaza station, replacing 39-year-old escalators. [Railway Age, 1-10-23]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN SEATTLE, COLLIDES WITH POWER STATION: A BNSF train carrying shipping containers derailed in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood late Jan. 9, colliding with a power station and downing several power lines. Six cars left the track. No injuries were reported. [Seattle Times, 1-10-23]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Jan. 8, 2023. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 46 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-9-23]

ONE KILLED, 57 INJURED IN MEXICO CITY SUBWAY CRASH: Two Metro subway trains collided Jan. 7 in Mexico City, leaving one dead and 57 injured, according to Associated Press and CNN News. [Railway Age, 1-9-23]

NEW STATION BEING BUILT IN COATESVILLE, PA.: Work is underway for a new $65-million train station project in Coatesville, Pa., just east of the existing structure, to be served by Amtrak and SEPTA. Completion is anticipated in fall of 2025. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-9-23]

WISCONSIN CITIES PUSH FOR GREEN BAY-MILWAUKEE AMTRAK SERVICE: City leaders from Appleton, Green Bay, Kaukauna, Menasha, Neenah, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh have submitted a letter of interest to the Federal Railroad Administration to take part in a study at creating an Amtrak rail line connecting Green Bay and Milwaukee. [Railway Age, 1-9-23]

CSX ADDS 'SELECT SITE' IN LUGOFF, S.C.: CSX on Jan. 5 announced that Central South Carolina MegaSite in Lugoff has been designated a CSX Select Site. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-23]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES HOLDEN AMERICA: Trinity Industries has acquired Holden America, a multilevel vehicle securement and protection system and gravity-outlet gate manufacturer for freight-rail use. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-23]

RELAM EXPANDING HI-RAIL TRUCK BUSINESS: RELAM (Railway Equipment Leasing & Maintenance) has acquired Wiskerchen Truck & Equipment and Wiskerchen Rental & Leasing, specialists in the sale, service, rental and leasing of hi-rail trucks and equipment. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-5-23]

PALM BEACH PROPOSES 13.5-MILE LIGHT-RAIL LINE: The Palm Beach TPA has proposed a 13.5-mile, 17-stop light-rail transit line to connect Wellington to West Palm Beach. [Railway Age, 1-5-23]

BART WORKING WITH MODEL COMPANY TO PRODUCE HO SCALE MODELS OF LEGACY CARS: Bay Area Rapid Transit is working with Rapido Trains to produce HO scale models of the Rohr-built, Sundberg-Ferrar-designed BART legacy cars, marking the agency's 50th anniversary. Available in A, B and C varieties, they are Rapido's first mass transit vehicles. [Railway Age, 1-4-23]

DECEMBER 2022 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,742,384 carloads and intermodal units in December 2022, down 4.8 percent compared with the same month in 2021. Calculated separately, carloads were down 4.4 percent, and intermodal was down 5.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-4-23]

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE RECOMMENDS CHANGE TO MBTA STRUCTURE: A new Massachusetts Legislature report recommends changing Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's structure with the agency keeping charge of subway and bus operations, but not commuter rail, ferry and construction service. [Railway Age, 1-4-23]

BAKKEN ENERGY ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE WITH BNSF: Bakken Energy, a developer of clean hydrogen, has signed a memorandum of understanding with BNSF to work together on the design of the Heartland Hydrogen Hub, specifically the role of railways as consumers and transporters of clean hydrogen. Bakken is working on the design of the hub in collaboration with North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana to obtain funding through the U.S. Dept. of Energy. [Bakken Energy, 1-4-23]

GREENBRIER COMPANIES ACQUIRING GBX LEASING: The Greenbrier Companies has reported acquiring 100 percent interest in GBX Leasing, its rail car leasing joint venture with the Longwood Group. [Railway Age, 1-4-23]

TEAMSTERS RATIFIES NEW CONTRACT WITH CANADIAN NATIONAL DISPATCHERS: The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing 160 rail traffic controllers in Canada, has ratified a new contract with Canadian National. [Progressive Railroading, 1-4-23]

NINE NORTH AMERICAN CITIES WITH BEST PUBLIC TRANSIT: The Urban Mobility Readiness Index has identified the nine North American cities with the best public transit. The are (1) New York; (2) San Francisco; (3) Chicago; (4) Vancouver; (5) Washington; (6) Montreal; (7) Boston; (8) Toronto; and (9) Los Angeles. [Yahoo News, 1-4-23]

AMTRAK CRESCENT WILL NOT OPERATE BETWEEN ATLANTA & NEW ORLEANS CERTAIN DATES: Due to track work, Amtrak's Crescent will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans Monday-Thursday from Jan. 3 until Febr. 16 (except Jan. 24). Alternate bus substitution will be provided. The train will operate its normal New York-New Orleans schedule Friday-Sunday (and Jan. 24). [Amtrak]

CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR DELAYED BY FALLEN BOULDERS IN UTAH: Amtrak's eastbound California Zephyr was stopped at Green River, Utah, Jan. 3 due to multiple boulders blocking the tracks ahead. Back on the move, the train was over seven hours behind schedule. [Amtrak, 1-3-23]

MBTA CUTS TWO TRAIN SETS FROM ORANGE LINE DUE TO ELECTRICAL ISSUE: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has identified a failure in an electrical grounding component on an Orange line vehicle and is currently operating two train sets fewer than the scheduled number of vehicles required to meet the agency's schedule. [Railway Age, 1-3-23]

SOUND TRANSIT ADVANCES HILLTOP TACOMA LINK EXTENSION TESTING: Sound Transit has reported that another milestone has been reached on the Hilltop Tacoma Link extension project with the completion of a light-rail vehicle dead-pull test followed by live-wire testing, both of which went smoothly. [Railway Age, 1-3-23]

MASSACHUSETTS STUDIES NORTH ADAMS TO GREENFIELD & BOSTON PASSENGER SERVICE OPTION: The Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation is conducting the Northern Tier Passenger Rail Study to examine the costs, benefits and investments necessary to implement passenger rail service from North Adams to Greenfield and Boston. [Railway Age, 1-3-23]

BRIGHTLINE TO RESUME 110-MPH TESTING ON 11-MILE SECTION OF TRACK: Brightline has announced that 110-MPH train testing will resume along an 11-mile section of track in Martin and St. Lucie counties on Jan. 6, with flaggers and law enforcement present at five of the railroad crossings. The tests will continue through Jan. 23. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-3-23]

RAIL STRIKE IN U.K.: Some 40,000 rail workers began five days of strike action Jan. 3, shutting down rail services across the United Kingdom. RMT, Britain's largest transport union, said workers will strike Jan. 3, 4, 6 and 7. ASLEF, the train drivers' union, will walk out on Jan. 5. [CNN News, 1-3-23]

AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE FOR 2022: Thirty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the year 2022. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-1-23]

Earlier News Reports: