Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:56

MassDOT Board names DePaola interim MBTA GM

The Massachusetts Department of Transporations(MassDOT) Board of Directors voted unanimously to make Frank DePaola, currently serving as highway administrator and MassDOT's chief operating officer, interim general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), effective March 4, 2015.

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), says recent high-profile grade crossing collisions in Oxnard, Calif., and Valhalla, N.Y., highlight the need for all drivers to use caution at every highway-rail grade crossing. OLI warns that rail safety is something everyone should take seriously.

In southern California, full Metrolink service on the agency's Ventura County Line resumed Feb. 25 after a vehicle on the tracks was struck the morning of Feb. 24. 24 by Metrolink Ventura County train 102.

Starting in March, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin the next construction phase of the Wilson Station Reconstruction Project, which will require three-track operations in which southbound Red and Purple Line Express trains share a single track for part of their trips.

BNSF detailed more of its plans for its record-setting $6-billion capital program with $124 million estimated to be spend in Montana and $141 million in Colorado.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:55

GWI to acquire Freightliner Group

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. has agreed to acquire approximately 95 percent of the shares of Freightliner Group Limited (Freightliner) from Arcapita and other shareholders for cash consideration of approximately $755 million and to assume approximately $13 million in net debt and capitalized leases.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:53

OmniTRAX affiliate acquires Illinois line

Peru Industrial Railroad, LLC, a managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, Inc., is purchasing the Peru Rail Line from the city of Peru, Ill. Peru Industrial Railroad will run freight service on three miles of track starting immediately. Terms were not disclosed.

In its investigation report, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that numerous rail fractures led to the October 2013 derailment and fire involving a Canadian National (CN) train in Gainford, Alberta.

On October 19, 2013, a CN freight train, travelling from Edmonton, Alberta, to Vancouver, British Columbia, derailed 13 cars, including four DOT 111 tank cars containing petroleum crude oil and nine DOT 112 tank cars containing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the siding at Gainford, Alberta. Two LPG tank cars were breached during the derailment and caught fire and a third LPG car released product from its safety valve which ignited. About 600 feet of track was destroyed and a house located directly north of the derailment site was damaged by the fire.

The investigation determined that the train derailed when one or more rail breaks occurred in the high rail as the train travelled through the curve in the Gainford siding. TSB said numerous defects were found along the length of the high rail in the curve. A rail-flaw detection test through the area two months earlier had not identified these defects. In March 2013, the low rail had been replaced with a new rail that reduced the curve's superelevation. TSB noted that in this situation, more stress was placed on the high rail, increasing the risk of rail defect development and failure.

One of the DOT 112 tank cars carrying LPG was punctured in the underside by the coupler from another car. This caused it to release its load and explode. None of the DOT 111 tank cars, which were built to the CPC-1232 standard, released petroleum crude oil, as the cars derailed in a line on their sides and did not suffer secondary impacts.

Following the occurrence, CN conducted walking inspections and rail-flaw detection re-testing on all 25 mph sidings. Speed was reduced to 15 mph in these sidings until they were retested. Rail grinding within these sidings was also programmed to remove rail surface defects.

 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 13:45

CN, Unifor reach tentative labor agreement

Canadian National and Unifor have negotiated a tentative labor agreement with the Unifor union. As a result, CN has withdrawn its lockout notice to Unifor, which would have come effective at 11p.m. local time tonight in the absence of a settlement.

The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will hold a public meeting to review results of the recent study of reactivating the Murphy Branch rail line between Andrews and Murphy (A2M- Rail Reactivation Study).

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