Norfolk Southern Appoints Industry Veteran John Orr as Chief Operating Officer

ATLANTA –– Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) announced Wednesday the appointment of John Orr as executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.

Governor Hochul Announces Five-Point Plan to Protect New Yorkers on the Subway

NEW YORK –– While this story is a bit out of our wheelhouse, we decided that this significant step by Governor Hochul is worth reporting.

Railway Track and Structures Award Programs

ATLANTA –– Long time readers of RT&S are likely familiar with the four award programs we have each year to recognize excellence in engineering.

Contractor that worked on Amtrak’s 30th Street Station Accused of Bribery

PHILADELPHIA –– KWY radio reports that one of the contractor’s working on the restoration of Amtrak’s venerable 30th Street Station is facing federal bribery charges.

STB Chairman Martin Oberman Slams Activist Investor for Norfolk Southern Takeover Attempt

ATLANTA –– In remarks to the Southeast Association of Rail Shippers, STB Chairman Martin Oberman blasted activist investors for their threat to the stability of the rail industry.

March 2024 RT&S Now Online

ATLANTA –– The March 2024 edition of Railway Track and Structures is now online.

BNSF Reduces Workforce in Nebraska and Kansas

Fort Worth, Texas –– BNSF announced this week that it was cutting some jobs at mechanical shops located in Nebraska and Kansas. However, no details about the cuts were provided, such as where they took place or the number of people involved. News reports regarding the number of layoffs differed, but it appears that at least 100 positions were cut.

Orange County Coastal Rail Resiliency Study

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. –– The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the LOSSAN Rail Corridor (Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo) are working together on an Orange County Coastal Rail Resiliency Study. The study began in November 2023 and completion is expected in Fall 2025. OCTA is studying rail challenges in south Orange County to assess existing and future environmental risks and issues with operations and maintenance along the LOSSAN Rail Corridor. The study will evaluate strategies to address these challenges.

Frederick Douglass Tunnel with Electrified Trains (Amtrak image)

Amtrak Awards Contract to Build New Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Baltimore

BALTIMORE – Amtrak has achieved a major milestone for the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program with the selection of a Kiewit/J.F. Shea Joint Venture to build the brand new, state-of-the-art passenger rail tunnel that will serve electrified Amtrak and MARC commuter trains.

Norfolk Southern Improves Infrastructure in Ohio

CAMPBELLSTOWN, Ohio – Norfolk Southern removed double track and extended siding east to 15,000 feet in Ohio.

Amtrak Kicks Off Construction at Gray 30th Street Station 

PHILADELPHIA – A new era of passenger rail has officially launched in Philadelphia. Amtrak officials gathered today with federal, state and local representatives along with other community leaders to celebrate the construction kickoff for major renovations at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. 

WATCH: Six-week MAX disruption begins Sunday as TriMet takes leap toward completing major Better Red milestone

Portland, Ore.––Construction on TriMet’s A Better Red MAX Extension and Reliability Improvements Project will close the Gateway Transit Center to MAX trains for six weeks starting Sunday, Jan. 14. With the MAX Blue, Green and Red lines impacted, shuttle buses will serve closed stations through the end of the disruption on Feb. 25. TriMet will also use this opportunity to perform reliability improvements to the MAX system along Interstate 84 and just east of the transit center.

MTA Announces Scarsdale Station Becomes Second Metro-North Station to Be Made Fully Accessible This Year

NEW YORK ––The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that the Scarsdale Metro-North Station has been made fully accessible with the opening of a second elevator, in an enclosed tower, that serves the Grand Central-bound platform. As part of the improvement project, the overpass was raised seven inches to provide greater vertical clearance for Metro-North work trains and was enhanced with new customer amenities. 

December Digital Edition of RT&S Now On Line

ATLANTA – The December digital edition of Railway Track and Structures is now on line.

Renowned Railroad Historian, H. Roger Grant, Has Died

Clemson, S.C. –– Clemson history professor and prolific railroad historian, H. Roger Grant, has died.

John E. Bromley, railroader, writer, historian, and painter, dies at 81

Editor’s Note: John E. Bromley was a long-time press representative for Union Pacific. I imagine many readers either knew him or knew of him, either as a professional, an enthusiast, or both.

Florida Gulf and Atlantic Receives Major Federal Grant 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that Florida Gulf and Atlantic Railroad, LLC (FGA) will be a recipient of up to $23.2 million from the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant awards for FGA’s $31.1M Florida Panhandle Rail Resiliency and Connectivity Project. 

Amtrak Focuses on Station Improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Amtrak is using stimulus money not only to refurbish its equipment, but its stations, too.

RT&S Engineer of the Year Award Presented to Brent Laing at General Session of AREMA Conference

INDIANAPOLIS –– Brent Laing, Vice President of Engineering at Canadian National, was presented with the Railway Track & Structures’ Engineer of the Year Award at the general session of the annual AREMA conference on Monday, October 2.

HDR Engineering

Buzz Berger to Lead HDR’s Railway Design Technical Services

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – HDR has selected Buzz Berger, P.E., as its next railway design leader, a role that functions as the senior technical advisor for the company’s freight rail services.

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