L.B. Foster Makes Organizational Changes to Rail Divisions…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA – April 18, 2013 – L.B. Foster Company has announced that as a part of ongoing efforts to create a more customer-centered organization it has recently consolidated rail businesses and made a number of organizational changes have been made to its team led by Greg Lippard, vice president, rail products and sales.

Bill Zimmer was promoted to director, Class 1 rail sales. In this new position, Zimmer will direct all of the company’s initiatives with the North American Class 1 railroads, including BNSF and Kansas City Southern, He has been in the rail industry since 1985 and joined L.B. Foster in 1994 as a sales representative.

Reporting to Zimmer will be David Sprinkle. Sprinkle returns to L.B. Foster as regional Class 1 sales manager, handling CSX and Norfolk Southern, after working for the company from 1996-2008.

Rick Steininger was promoted to director, technical rail sales. In his new position, he will focus on the sale of the company’s many products for transit applications. Steininger joined L.B. Foster in 1987 as an inside sales representative.

Reporting to Steininger will be Mark Hammons, general manager, rail sales West. In this new position Mark will focus on existing and new western U.S. and Canadian transit systems and engineering design firms. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in freight, light and commuter rail industry.

Joe Mahoney was promoted to director of rail sales. In this new position, Mahoney will be responsible for all of the company’s sales districts across North America and Canada. He joined L.B. Foster in 1995 as a sales representative.

Reporting to Mahoney will be Chuck Parks, who has been promoted to regional sales manager, Southeast Sales District. Parks joined L.B. Foster in 2007 as a territory sales representative for CXT Concrete Ties, located in Spokane, Wash. In his new position, he will be responsible managing the company’s sales activities in the southeastern U.S.

Also reporting to Mahoney will be Jay Roach who was promoted to regional sales manager, Midwest Sales District. Roach began his career in the rail industry in 1996. He joined L.B. Foster in 2000 as a sales representative and was later promoted to a district sales manager. In his new position, he will be responsible for sales of all rail products in a 13-state territory.

Reporting to Roach will be James Irr-Barr as sales representative in the Midwest Sales District. Roach joined L.B. Foster in 2008 as an inside sales representative.

Hector Herrera was promoted to regional sales manager, Latin America. Herrera joined L.B. Foster in 2001 as the sales manager, Mexico. In his new position, he will be in charge of all sales activities for company’s products and services in the Latin American markets.

Victor Gonzalez was promoted to sales manager, Mexico, with the responsibility to maintain and grow the company’s business in Mexico. He joined L.B. Foster in January, 2012 after spending 16 years in a number of capacities with several Mexican firms.

Michelle Chapin was promoted to director of inside rail sales. In this position, she will lead a team of inside sales representatives servicing the company’s North American customer base. She began working at L.B. Foster more than 30 years ago in the Houston, Texas, sales office.

Reporting to Chapin is Roger Babusci. Chapin joins L.B. Foster as an inside sales representative, replacing Irr-Barr. Also reporting to Chapin will be Hannah Posner, inside sales representative. Nancy Spirko has also joined the company’s customer service team reporting to Chapin as rail inside sales coordinator.

MassCentral Railroad to Get Pair of GMTX GP38-2s…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

PALMER, MA – April 18, 2013 – The Massachusetts Central Railroad in Palmer, Massachusetts will be receiving a pair of GATX Locomotive Leasing GP38-2 locomotives on long-term lease, with a temporary lease of GMTX GP15-2 499 until the pair of GP38-2s arrive on the property.

A one-year lease has been signed on the GMTX GP38-2s 2220 and 2228 with GATX Locomotive and are expected to arrive on the Massachusetts Central by early May.  The units will be used as primary power for the Massachusetts Central operations, while the company’s rare NW-5 locomotive and GP9 locomotives currently on the propery.

GMTX 2220 is the ex-Grand Trunk Western 6211, nee-Detroit, Toledo & Ironton 211, while the GMTX 2228 is the ex-Belt Railway of Chicago 490.  GMTX GP15-2 499 has been placed in service on the MCER until the arrival of the higher horsepower units arrive and are placed in service.  The GMTX 499 should be off lease on or about May 10, 2013.

The MassCentral has evolved into one of New England’s premier short line carriers.  Only 26 miles long from Palmer to South Barre, Massachusetts, its strategic location near the center of New England commerce, makes it a major player in rail and Intermodal operations for the Northeast.

Amtrak Boardman Says NEC Investment Crisis At Hand…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 18, 2013 –  The success of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) has used up much of the legacy capacity of the existing railroad and depleted its infrastructure assets leading to a “major coming investment crisis that, without a solution, will mean strangled growth and deteriorating service” for 260 million intercity and commuter rail passengers who rely on it each year, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee Wednesday.

“We have pushed the current NEC infrastructure about as far as it can go, but the end of demand and growth is nowhere in sight. A new model for investment is needed. If we do not obtain one, the outlook for the system’s capacity and condition is grim,” he said. Boardman explained that when Amtrak took over the NEC in 1976, it was in a deplorable state of disrepair and required major investment. To the address the situation, the Federal Railroad Administration, Congress and Amtrak invested about $4 billion from 1976 to 1998, transforming the NEC from a rundown mid-century railroad into a modern, electrified, highspeed line capable of handling more than 2,200 trains per day and speeds up to 150 mph.

Even with that investment, the NEC today depends on major components built from 1900 to 1930 – particularly the electrical system and the bridges – that need to be replaced and many segments are operating at or near maximum capacity.

Amtrak has outlined plans for a high-capacity, high-performance railroad featuring a major upgrade of the existing NEC to accommodate increased and improved commuter, intercity and freight service and augmented by dedicated high-speed trackage, on new and existing right of way, that will allow a dramatic increase in train frequencies, raise speeds and reduce trip time to world-class levels.

Boardman said: “The investment to realize these plans will have to come from a variety of sources, principally federal, but states and cities in the region will also have to play a part.

Private financing will need to play a role, too, but these contributions will only be truly possible once the public sector has committed to this project.”

As America looks to recapitalize its aging infrastructure and deploy new capacity strategically across constrained networks nationwide, intercity passenger rail stands apart as the fastest growing transport mode. To support this growth, Amtrak is ready to embrace innovations, build new partnerships and pursue private sector opportunities, but none of it will replace the need for the federal government to commit to the NEC.

“However costly these investments may appear, the cost of failing to act will ultimately be far higher, as the mobility and economic success we and the entire Northeast have enjoyed in recent years will be relentlessly eroded under the conditions of a deteriorated and capacity constrained railroad,” Boardman stressed.

A copy of the full written testimony is found here.

CSXT Marietta Sub Trestle Getting 9,000 ft of New Rail…

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

PARKERSBURG, WV – April 17, 2013 – CSX Transportation plans to replace more than a mile of rails on a trestle that runs through Parkersburg and Belpre, Ohio on its Marietta Subdivision.

CSXT began the work Monday morning in Belpre and has progressed to rail replacement on the trestle in Parkersburg, beginning this morning.  The project is expected to be completed by the end of the week with approximately 9,000 feet of rails being replaced.

Parkersburg police tell media outlets that one lane of the Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. Monday. Several streets also will be closed at intervals during the work.  In Belpre, Main Street will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.


BNSF TN Employee Receives Safety Achievement Award…

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

FORT WORTH, TX – April 17, 2013 - BNSF Railway honored the accomplishments of employees from across its network at an awards ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, last night. The event recognized BNSF’s Safety Employees of the Year, Achievement Award winners and “Best of the Best” leaders of teams that showed outstanding safety performance in 2012.

“The success of BNSF is dependent upon every person who works here,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman and chief executive officer. “The 2012 Employee of the Year awards honor the employees who best demonstrate BNSF’s Vision and Values through their commitment, leadership and focus on working safely and efficiently to meet our customers’ expectations.”

Seven BNSF employees were honored as Safety Employees of the Year for outstanding contributions in support of an injury- and accident-free workplace: Carey Dotson, intermodal equipment operator, from Memphis, Tenn.; George Gross, Telecommunications associate foreman, from Fort Worth, Texas; Lee Johnson, yardmaster, from Spokane, Wash.; Doug Peterson, track inspector, from Glendive, Mont.; Bruce Remz, switchman, from Barstow, Calif.; Devon Smoot, locomotive engineer, from Thayer, Mo.; and Darryl Woods, carman, from Kansas City, Kan.

BNSF presented more than 500 Achievement Awards in 2012. Of those, 17 outstanding individual and team achievements were honored with Employee of the Year awards for accomplishments ranging from life-saving CPR to initiatives for improving customer service.

BNSF also recognized 41 leaders who were named Best of the Best for their outstanding safety leadership in 2012, with work teams that achieved exceptional safety performance in 2012. Each work group was injury-free.

Amtrak Auto Train Introduces Priority Vehicle Offloading…

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2013 – Amtrak Auto Train now offers a new upgrade option for passengers who want to speed up their journey. Passengers can purchase an upgrade to Priority Vehicle Offloading and their vehicle will be one of the first 20 offloaded from the train. Vehicle counts can total 200-300 per train.

This new service will help passengers get to their destination sooner.

Priority Vehicle Offloading can be purchased now and is available for travel beginning on April 29, 2013.

For a $50 fee, Priority Vehicle Offloading is available by calling 877-SKIP-I-95 or for purchase at any staffed station. This upgrade can be added to existing and online reservations by calling or visiting an Amtrak Ticket Office. Priority Vehicle Offloading is limited to automobiles, vans, SUV’s and trailers. Motorcycles are not eligible for this new upgrade.

“With this upgrade option, we hope to improve the service experience for select Auto Train passengers by reducing the amount of time spent waiting for their vehicle,” said Brian Rosenwald, Amtrak’s Chief of Product Development.

As one of Amtrak’s most popular routes, Auto Train allows passengers to travel with their personal vehicles including cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, small boats or jet-skis. It is the only such service in the U.S and eliminates nearly 900 miles of driving for travelers between the Northeast and all points in Florida. Auto Train is the longest passenger train in the world with two locomotives and 40-plus passenger rail cars and vehicle carriers.

Each day one Auto Train departs from both Lorton, Va. (near Washington, D.C.), and Sanford, Fla. (near Orlando), with up to 600 passengers. While passengers travel in wide, comfortable seats, their vehicles make the journey in enclosed vehicle carriers.

Sleeping accommodations – roomettes and bedrooms – are also available for the overnight journey.

BBD Wins Operations and Maintenance Contract for Sunrail…

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

ORLANDO, FL – April 16, 2013 – Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation announced Monday afternoon that it has signed a contract with the State of Florida Department of Transportation to provide operations and maintenance services for the Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit project (also known as SunRail).

The contract is valued at approximately $195 million US ($199 million CAD, 149 million euro), and includes mobilization activities followed by 10 years of service.

Bombardier’s scope of work for the SunRail commuter rail service will include operations, dispatching, fleet maintenance, track maintenance, customer service, station platform and facility maintenance, and material supply. The Bombardier team will mobilize for service over the coming months and assume its operations and maintenance responsibilities in the spring of 2014.

The fleet for the SunRail service will include 20 BOMBARDIER BiLevel commuter rail cars that Bombardier will begin delivering this spring. Over 1,000 Bombardier BiLevel cars are already in operation across the United States and Canada.

“We are proud to be part of this very important expansion of public transit in Central Florida, which will increase people’s mobility, provide a regional transportation alternative to Central Florida’s congested roads, and benefit the regional economy,” said Raymond Bachant, President, Bombardier Transportation North America. “This new agreement confirms Bombardier’s leadership position as a provider of passenger rail equipment and services in North America and worldwide. Our strong services portfolio complements our innovative products and technologies, allowing us to form a true partnership with our customers throughout the entire product life cycle and to ensure the highest levels of safety, customer service, on-time performance, fleet availability and reliability.”

Bombardier has a long-standing track record of providing operations and maintenance services to transit systems across North America including Agence Métropolitaine de Transport in Montréal, GO Transit in Toronto, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, North County Transit District in California, OC Transpo in Ottawa, the South Florida Regional Transit Authority, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, and, beginning in June, the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train Service. Bombardier also supports transit systems with overhaul and refurbishment programs and material and technology solutions. 

ACF-Milton, PA to Begin Production in Late Spring…

Friday, April 12th, 2013

MILTON, PA – April 12, 2013 – The ACF Industries plant in Milton, Pennsylvania is on track to begin the production of tank cars this spring with a planned production of as many as four cars daily.

Three hundred workers will be employed at the plant when fully operational, but at the moment two dozen employees are busy working to get the plant back in service for the production of tank cars.    The plant is planning on having production in full swing by the end of June, where a tank car will take from 30 to 40 days from start to completion.

American Railcar industries Inc. (ARI) has entered into a purchasing and engineering services agreement and license with ACF Industries.  A report posted online said ACF will have the right to manufacture and sell railcars “for any new orders scheduled for delivery to customers on or before Jan. 31, 2014.”

ACF is reportedly utilizing local businesses such as hardware stores and lumber companies to get the plant up and running again.


PBF Energy Signs on for More Crude in Delaware City…

Friday, April 12th, 2013

PARSIPPANY, NJ – April 12, 2013 - PBF Energy Inc. announced yesterday the signing of an agreement with Continental Resources Inc. to supply PBF with Bakken crude oil, which will be delivered by rail to PBF’s double-loop track at its refinery in Delaware City, Delaware.

Commenting on the transaction, Don Lucey, PBF’s Chief Commercial Officer, said, “We are pleased to be working directly with Continental Resources, a leader in domestic crude oil production and a major producer and supplier in the Bakken play. We look forward to growing our relationship with them.”

Continental Resources is the largest producer and leaseholder in the Bakken, with significant supply arrangements with refiners on the West Coast, the Gulf Coast, and now the East Coast. Continental Resources President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick Bott, added, “This unique transaction illustrates the emerging shift in the light sweet crude market. In addition to diversifying Continental’s customer base and streamlining our value chain, it allows us to deliver unblended premium Bakken crude to the East Coast – a market that has historically been driven by imports of foreign oil.”

PBF’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Nimbley, said, “PBF has made significant investments in acquiring rail cars and developing our East Coast rail delivery infrastructure to increase our access to North American crude oil, which positions PBF to benefit from these cost-advantaged crudes. Delaware City’s heavy and light crude rail discharge facilities allow us to work directly with producers in Canada and the Mid-continent, like Continental Resources, and provide us with a competitive advantage versus northeast refiners that rely on third parties to deliver North American crude oil.”

Tampa Gateway Rail Terminal Wins Environmental Award…

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

TAMPA, FL – April 11, 2013 – The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) is pleased to announce that the Port of Tampa’s collaborative $11 million Tampa Gateway Rail terminal has been awarded the top honor in the 21st Annual Future of the Region Awards—the Charles McIntosh Jr. Award of Distinction, as well as a first-place award in the Natural Resources and the Environment category.

The annual awards luncheon, hosted by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council late in March at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, honored the top project entries that demonstrate strong regional qualities in the following categories: community service; cultural/sports/recreation; environmental; infrastructure; public education and development. An independent awards jury reviewed each entry on the criteria of regional quality of life benefit; benefit to environment; innovation; cost-effectiveness; capacity for continuing impact and regional benefit.

The Charles A. McIntosh Jr. Award of Distinction is presented to the entry that touches each main competitive category, provides excellence in the region and exhibits distinction in regional visioning. In addition to meeting these criteria, the Tampa Gateway Rail project embodies a true spirit of partnership.

Through strategic investments by the Tampa Port Authority and its project partners CSX Rail, Transflo and Kinder Morgan, the Tampa Gateway Rail project, which was officially dedicated in September 2012, has created unprecedented intermodal connectivity at the Port of Tampa and will be a major catalyst in promoting trade opportunities for Florida’s largest port and Central Florida. The rail project is a boon to the efficiency of the ethanol fuel sector and also creates an important enhancement between general cargoes, container activity and the port’s hinterland.

“We are very excited that our commitment to develop the Port of Tampa into a world-class intermodal hub and this significant strategic partnership has been recognized at such a high and prestigious level. We can’t thank our partners CSX, Transflo and Kinder Morgan enough for their involvement and enthusiasm for the Tampa Gateway Rail project. I also want to acknowledge the State of Florida for its strategic investment in the project and of course also thank the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council for honoring this and so many other outstanding projects that make the Port of Tampa Bay an impressive and crucial economic engine,” Paul Anderson, CEO and port director, said.