Bombardier wins first modern signaling contract in Pakistan






Bombardier
Transportation, in consortium with China Railway Signal & Communication
Corp (CRSC), has won an order to deliver the BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 200 mainline
signaling solution on the Bin Qasim to Mirpur Mathelo Double Line Section of
the Karachi-Lahore line in Pakistan. The contract, valued at approximately $57
million, with Bombardier’s share amounting to approximately $38 million, was
awarded by Pakistan Railways (PR).

NY MTA fails to honestly rate contractors’ work, report says






Outside contractors working
on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s biggest projects are
routinely given positive evaluations despite mediocre work, in part to preserve
business relationships, an investigation by the authority’s inspector general
has found, the New York Times repots.

Rail project proceeds despite environmental concerns, loss of funds






Despite the loss of $3
million in state funding promised in July 2008 by then-state Sen. Joseph Bruno,
a $40-million rail-yard project in Mechanicsville, N.Y., is still in the works,
local newspapers report. The new facility is to be built by Pan Am Southern
LLC, a joint venture of Pan Am Railways, formerly Guilford Transportation and
before that the Boston and Maine Railroad, and Norfolk Southern Railway. Boston
and Maine once operated extensive rail yards here, connecting with the Delaware
& Hudson Railway, but those yards were gone by the 1980s.

Winter Haven, Fla., pursues Logistics Center for CSX Terminal






The city of Winter Haven,
Fla., is moving forward on the Integrated Logistics Center to be developed in
conjunction with the CSX Intermodal Terminal planned for the southern portion
of the city, The News Chief reports. The planning commission discussed during a
workshop Feb. 2 a change in future land use from Institutional-2 as designated
by Polk County to industrial-business park center for the approximately 932
acres. The city annexed the property in 2005 but didn’t assign a land use
designation or zoning.

California county eyes regional rail system






High-speed rail may be
coming down the tracks one day, but the Stanislaus County, Calif., Board of
Supervisors entered into an agreement to plan and develop a regional commuter
rail system that could soon share those tracks, the Turlock Journal reports. The
Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding to
enter a working group to collaborate with the California High-Speed Rail
Authority that will see the county partner with more than 20 regional entities
from Sacramento County to Merced County.

Chicago area railroad quiet zones on the right track






It’s gotten a little
quieter for residents living along the Canadian National Railway in three western
suburbs, the Chicago Tribune reports. A long-anticipated quiet zone in Berwyn,
Riverside and North Riverside, Ill., went into effect Jan. 28, preventing
trains from sounding their horns at nine crossings except in emergencies.

LA light rail project uses Amberg Technologies Track Measurement Trolley






Balfour Beatty Rail has
taken delivery of an Amberg Technologies
GRP Track
Measurement System
. The
system was purchased from Amberg’s North American distribution partner, the
Kara Company of
Countryside, Ill. Widely used throughout the rail industries of Europe, Asia
and many other parts of the world, the GRP track measurement system is the most
advanced technology available in its class, Amberg notes, and just recently
made available in North America.

Invensys Rail on team installing ATC on PATH system






A consortium of
Invensys Rail Corp. (formerly Safetran Systems Corp.), Siemens Mobility and D/A
Builders, LLC, will install ATC utilizing advanced Communications Based Train
Control technology plus a back-up conventional signaling system on the entire
PATH main line network including all central office, wayside and car borne
equipment locations.

 

ARINC to provide Caltrain with new rail control, predictive arrival system






ARINC
Incorporated has been awarded a major contract to provide new rail control and
passenger information systems for the 77-mile Caltrain commuter rail line,
serving the San Francisco peninsula and California’s Santa Clara Valley. The
contract was awarded in December by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board,
the regional authority operating Caltrain.

MARTA starts comprehensive system-wide review of escalators






MARTA has closed a majority of its escalators and is
conducting a comprehensive and independent system-wide review of all 149
escalators in its system. This action is being taken after MARTA recently
discovered that a private contractor had intentionally bypassed safety controls
on an escalator at the Dunwoody rail station.

STB releases independent study on railroad competition






An independent team of
consultants charged with looking at competitiveness in the U.S. rail industry
has found that railroad rates have been steadily increasing since 2004, with a
particularly steep increase in 2008. But Christensen Associates, Inc., of
Madison, Wis., found that the rate increases were driven by fluctuating fuel
prices and other costs and did not appear to reflect a greater exercise of
railroad market power over captive shippers.

Environmental group brings second suit against BNSF Kansas hub






A
national environmental group with deep pockets and specialized legal expertise
is joining the effort to block a permit for one of the area’s biggest development
projects, The Kansas City Star reports. The Natural Resources Defense Council
filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 to halt the environmental permit issued for a rail yard
proposed for southwest Johnson County.

The
lawsuit is separate from one brought by Hillsdale Environmental Loss Prevention
Inc. and several other plaintiffs. Unlike the earlier lawsuit, BNSF Railway is
not named as a defendant.

 

The
defense council’s entrance into the case is significant because of the hefty
resources at its disposal. During 2007-08, the organization raised $108
million, according to its tax returns from that year. As of mid-2008, the group
had assets of $186 million.

 

Its
decision to join the legal dispute "guarantees there will be some funding at
least for the plaintiffs," said John Ragsdale, who has taught environmental law
at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

 

Groups
like the council have national constituencies with dues paid by thousands of
people, enabling the groups to assemble lots of money with small donations,
Ragsdale said.

 

"Many
of these groups have staffs of attorneys … that are very, very competent and
skilled," Ragsdale said. "They can bring a strong force to bear."

 

BNSF
wants to build what’s known as an intermodal hub for transferring freight
arriving on West Coast trains to trucks for shipment elsewhere. The railroad
plans to develop the hub on 492 acres while a private developer builds a nearby
distribution and warehouse complex to store some of the incoming freight. Overall,
the project promises the creation of 13,000 jobs when fully built in about 20
years.

 

BNSF
is seeking $50 million in federal stimulus money to get the project started.

Bayer MaterialScience acquires marketing rights for DURFLEX®






Bayer MaterialScience AG
has acquired the worldwide marketing and usage rights for the DURFLEX® track
superstructure system from Hyperion Verwaltung GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
The two companies have signed an agreement to this effect. Financial details
have not been disclosed. The superstructure system stabilizes the ballast
stones under rail tracks, thus enabling more cost-effective railroad operation
in the long term. It is based on the flexible Bayflex® polyurethane foam system
from Bayer MaterialScience.

Metro sets February weekend, night track maintenance












In February, in addition to
the Presidents Day holiday weekend closure of the Rosslyn and Arlington
Cemetery Metrorail stations on the Orange and Blue Line, Washington, D.C., Metro
will replace fasteners and weld rail that will help ensure reliable Metrorail
service. Customers should expect travel delays during the weekends of Feb. 5-7,
Feb. 12-15, Feb. 19-21 and Feb. 26-28.





New Lenox, Ill., seeks agreement with CN






New Lenox, Ill., Mayor
Tim Baldermann is "confident" that he soon will be talking to
Canadian National Railway officials before the village’s battle against the
company reaches the courts, the Southtown Star reports.

Landmark trestle in need of face lift






The steel railroad bridge
crossing high above Alhambra Avenue in Martinez, Calif., is known to local
train buffs as both the Muir Trestle and Alhambra Trestle. Owned and operated
by BNSF, the trestle has long been a recognizable Martinez landmark, and lately
a conversation has resurfaced among local denizens about the trestle’s
appearance, the Martinez News-Gazette reports. Splotched with large
patches of rust in between its fading gray paint, the structure is in need of a
face-lift.

Alaska RR schedules Seward open house to discuss capital plans






February 14, 2001

The
Alaska Railroad invites the public to an open house February 19 in Seward to provide
an opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects for 2010.
Open House displays are open to the public and will be set up in the inn’s
Mount Marathon meeting room. Displays will showcase continuing and proposed
capital improvement projects that are in various stages – from conceptual
planning to engineering and construction.

CREATE receives $133 million for 63rd and State Flyover






February 14, 2001

The CREATE Partners said
that the CREATE Program will receive $133 million as part of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a critical rail/rail flyover near 63rd
and State Streets in the Englewood community on the south side of Chicago.
The flyover will carry the north-south Metra Rock Island commuter rail line
over the east-west Norfolk Southern/Amtrak line, eliminating conflict between
78 Metra Rock Island trains and approximately 60 freight and Amtrak trains that
presently cross at grade each day.