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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]

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]

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