FRA Safety Bulletin Aims to Increase Awareness of Hand-Operated Main Track Switches

Following a train collision that occurred on April 16 involving a misaligned switch, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a Safety Bulletin to remind railroads about ways to “ensure safe operation of hand-operated main track switches.”

Unit crude from North Dakota to the Pacific Northwest crosses Lake Pend Oreille outside Sandpoint, Idaho, on April 29, 2023, using BNSF’s new bridge that entered service in November 2022. Workers on the older, adjacent bridge are placing concrete caps on new piers as part of a major renovation of the 119-year-old structure. (Photograph and Caption, Bruce E. Kelly)

BNSF Rebuilds One Bridge, Begins Another in the Northwest

Progress is well under way on structural upgrades to BNSF’s 119-year-old Bridge 3.9A over Lake Pend Oreille outside Sandpoint, Idaho. The completion in November 2022 of the adjacent 4,873-foot long Bridge 3.9B allowed BNSF to

Loram Technologies, Inc., hosted U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.; pictured) at a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Global Rail Campus in Georgetown, Tex.

Loram Technologies to Launch Global Rail Campus

Loram Technologies, Inc. on May 3 held a groundbreaking ceremony in Georgetown, Tex., for its new Global Rail Campus, which will comprise a corporate office and facility for the production and manufacture of maintenance-of-way equipment and inspection technologies.

Team members of R. J. Corman Railroad Services Emergency. From left to right, Rob Ralcewicz, Austin Singer, Greg Feasel, Rodney Clayton, Austin Clayton, Mike Hahn, David Fields, Mike Buchanan, Colin Hill, and Tim Koon.

R.J. Corman Opens New Emergency Division in Maine

R.J. Corman Railroad Services, LLC, a subsidiary of R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC, has announced the establishment of a new Emergency Response Division in Waterville, Maine, which as of May 1, will provide support to customers in the Northeast region of the U.S., including Maine and surrounding states, the company reported on May 4.

BMWED, LS&I Ratify Agreement

A new collectively bargained agreement has been ratified by members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division-International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED) working at Michigan-based Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I), the union

CARB Passes New In-Use Locomotive Regulation

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) on April 27 passed a new rule aimed at reducing emissions from locomotives when they operate within the state. According to CARB, under the In-Use Locomotive Regulation—the

FRA to Railroads: Approval Required for PTC System Outages Under Certain Conditions

Railroads now must seek Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval before temporarily disabling their Positive Train Control (PTC) systems during infrastructure upgrades or capital projects, according to a notification in the Federal Register. A previous provision allowing them to just notify FRA of the disablement has expired.

rail bridges

BNSF Receives Permits to Replace Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge 

The North Dakota Department of Water Resources has issued two state permits to BNSF Railway, which are the final regulatory approvals required to replace the Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge over the Missouri River between the two cities.

BNSF Rail Talk: Emphasizing Sustainability in Facility Expansion From the Start

BNSF is taking our environmental responsibility further, beyond our daily operations. Our Engineering Services team has heightened its emphasis on minimizing our carbon footprint on capital expansion projects – from design through construction.

NTSB Identifies Probable Cause in 2021 Worker Fatality in Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued Railroad Investigation Report 23/04 for the investigation of an accident on Sept. 22, 2021, involving an equipment operator who was struck and killed by a load of steel he was transporting by a roadway maintenance machine near Castroville, Texas.

FRA Accepts WYDOT Grant Request to Replace I-80 Bridges

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has announced that the Federal Railroad Administration has accepted a multi-million dollar grant request to replace two bridges on Interstate 80 that cross over the Union Pacific Railroad.

Swing span bridge over Siuslaw River.

Coos Bay Rail Line to Undergo Bridge Rehabilitation

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has received an award of $20 million from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program to support rehabilitation of 15 bridge structures along the 134-mile Port-owned and operated Coos Bay Rail Line.

FRA Awards Automated Track Inspection Program Contract to ENSCO 

ENSCO Inc., a provider of railway track inspection and measurement technology, has announced that the Federal Railroad Administration has awarded it a new five-year contract to carry out its Automated Track Inspection Program.

CPKC Drives Ceremonial Final Spike, Joining Three Nations

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) on April 14 became the first single-line, transnational railway connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, marked by a ceremonial Final Spike driving in Kansas City, Mo. The

NTSB: Fractured Rail Identified in Fiery BNSF Minnesota Derailment

BNSF railroad is analyzing a section of fractured rail following last month’s fiery derailment that forced evacuations in southwest Minnesota, federal investigators said; however they have not officially concluded that the broken rail caused the crash.

NS Reaches East Palestine Clean-Up Milestone

Norfolk Southern (NS) on April 15, nearly two-and-a-half months after the Feb. 3 East Palestine, Ohio derailment, announced that it has completed excavation of the impacted soil beneath the removed south track, and will

Genesee & Wyoming Workforce Votes to Join BMWED Union

Approximately 70 maintenance of way employees from Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Engineering Services voted April 13 to join the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes. The new members are the first of the G&W’s mobile gangs to join the Brotherhood.

Federal Officials Tour Coastal Erosion in San Clemente, Del Mar

Another top federal official visited Southern California on April 13 to see two places where the vital coastal railroad is threatened by erosion.

“Tampers and stoneblowers are track maintenance machines that make sure the track is correctly aligned and has a smooth level along the rail,” according to Network Rail. “They help to prevent the risk of trains derailing, and ensure smooth, comfortable journeys for passengers and freight trains. These machines generally work at night when no passenger trains are running.” (Network Rail Image)

Harsco Rail Lands Network Rail O&M Contract

Harsco Corporation on April 5 reported that its Rail division has been awarded a five-year, more than $130 million stoneblower operation and maintenance (O&M) contract from Network Rail, which owns, operates and

The Norfolk Southern Data Science and Engineering teams were presented with a 2023 Innovation-Driven Company award at the Technology Association of Georgia Technology Awards ceremony on March 29. (NS Photograph)

NS Takes Home Technology Innovation Awards

Norfolk Southern (NS) late last month was presented with 2023 “Innovation-Driven Company” awards from the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) for its rail wear predictive analytics and digital train inspection programs.