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CN SETS RECORD GRAIN MOVEMENT FOR MAY: CN announced it moved more than 2.5 million metric tons of western Canadian grain last month, a new record for May. [Progressive Railroading, 6-2-20]

JOHN SCHEIB STEPS DOWN AS NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER: John Scheib has stepped down as Norfolk Southern's executive vice-president and chief strategy officer. The company will integrate the strategy operations and functions he previously led into the business. [Progressive Railroading, 6-2-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN SHUFFLES THREE DEPARTMENTS: Norfolk Southern will move its strategic planning department into the finance division, its network planning and optimization department into the operations division, and its customer operations department into the marketing division. [Norfolk Southern, 6-1-20]

CN EMPLOYEE DIES IN B.C. SWITCHING ACCIDENT: A CN employee died early June 1 during switching operations at the rail yard in Surrey, B.C. The company provided no further details. [Global News, 6-1-20]

MAY 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Sixty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final destination on time or earlier in May 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 11 minutes behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 6-1-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN VA.: Five locomotives and 14 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed early May 29 east of Front Royal, Va. No injuries were reported. [Northern Virginia Daily, 5-29-20]

RAIL HISTORY UNCOVERED IN GREAT SALT LAKE: A recent storm has uncovered some railroad history in Utah's Great Salt Lake. Winds reaching 55 MPH nudged a steel boat free so it could be visible. The boat, believed to have been used by Southern Pacific over 120 years ago to transport material to maintain the railroad's treatle and causeway, was shipwrecked in the late 19th century or early 20th century. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-29-20]

TWO KILLED IN SUV STRUCK BY TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: Two men in an SUV were killed early May 29 when their vehicle was struck by a Union Pacific train in Lancaster, California. There were no injuries to those on the train. [KTLA, 5-29-20]

N.Y. CULVER F LINE SIGNAL PROJECT BEGINS: New York MTA has begun the next phase of the agency's signal modernization project on Brooklyn's Culver F Line to replace 70-year-old signals between Church avenue and Coney Island. [Progressive Railroading, 5-29-20]

MINNEAPOLIS METRO SUSPENDS LIGHT-RAIL, COMMUTER SERVICES: Minneapolis Metro Transit has suspended light-rail and commuter rail services, except for its Blue line airport shuttle, through the weekend out of concern for safety due to civil unrest. [Progressive Railroading, 5-29-20]

BRIGHTLINE SEEKS TO BUILD COMMUTER RAIL SYSTEM IN MIAMI AREA: Brightline is seeking to build a five-stop commuter rail system between Aventura and Miami, which would entail a dedicated rail line separate and apart from its high-speed operation that has served Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami since 2018. [South Florida Sun Sentinel, 5-28-20]

CN HAS FURLOUGHED 3500 DUE TO PANDEMIC: Canadian National says it has furloughed 3500 workers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Including this number, 5800 employees, or 21 percent, have been cut since this time last year. [Canadian Press, 5-28-20]

AMTRAK TO RESTORE SOME HIAWATHA SERVICE: Amtrak, on June 1, will restore some Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee, offering morning and afternoon departures from each city, augmented by service already offered by the Empire Builder to all stops en route. Additional Hiawatha service is planned to begin on June 29. [Progressive Railroading, 5-28-20]

BOMBARDIER LANDS ORDER FOR 28 DOUBLE-DECK COACHES FOR TWO WEST COAST OPERATORS: Bombardie has landed a contract to suppy 28 double-deck coaches for two U.S. west coast transit operators. The procurement is led by Sound Transit which will receive 11 vehicles, with 17 vehicles to an unnamed second operator. Deliveries are scheduled to begin next year. [International Railway Journal, 5-28-20]

TURKEY RESUMING LIMITED INTERCITY TRAIN SERVICE: Intercity train service resumed May 28 in Turkey, on a limited basis, as the government eases restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. [Greensboro News & Record, 5-28-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending May 23, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 428,715 carloads and intermodal units, down 19.2 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 27.5 percent, and intermodal was down 11.2 percent. Still, the combined total of 428,715 was 12,600 units up from the previous week, and 16166 units up from the week prior to that. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-27-20]

LARGE PILE OF CROSSTIES BURN IN HUNTINGTON, W.VA.: A large pile of railroad ties on CSX property caught fire late May 27 in Huntington, W.Va. The pile included about 3000 to 5000 pieces. [Huntington Herald-Dispatch, 5-27-20]

AMTRAK EXPECTS TO SLASH WORK FORCE BY UP TO 20 PCT: Amtrak is preparing to slash its work force by as much as 20 percent in its upcoming fiscal year as it braces for a slow recovery to ridership from the coronavirus pandemic. [Bloomberg, 5-26-20]

FEDS AWARD $91.5-M TOWARD NORTH PORTAL BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $91-5-million to Amtrak and N.J. Transit toward replacement of the century-old North Portal bridge spanning the Hackensack River in Kearney, N.J. The bridge carries more than 450 Amtrak and N.J. Transit trains a day. [NorthJersey.com, 5-26-20]

NJT REOPENS WEST SIDE AVENUE STATION: New Jersey Transit has resumed Hudson-Bergen light-rail service at the West Side avenue station following completion of utility work. [Progressive Railroading, 5-26-20]

AMTRAK'S ACELA PROTOTYPE COMPLETES TESTING MILESTONE: Amtrak's first Acela prototype completed a high-speed testing milestone by traveling up to 165 MPH at the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado. [Progressive Railroading, 5-22-20]

STADLER CEO LEAVES COMPANY: Stadler Group CEO Thomas Ahlburg has left the rolling-stock manufacturer following what the company describes as 'different views' with the board of directors regarding the Swiss supplier's strategic and organizational development. [International Railway Journal, 5-22-20]

UNION PACIFIC CUTS MECHANICAL FORCES AT BAILEY YARD IN NEBRASKA: Union Pacific has laid off an unspecified number of workers in its mechanical department at Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska. The layoffs were related to the virus pandemic. Bailey Yard had lost about 250 jobs last year as the company implemented its unified plan operating model. [Progressive Railroading, 5-22-20]

RAILINC RELEASES RAILCAR, LOCOMOTIVE RESEARCH REPORTS: Railinc has released research reports highlighting statistics and overall trends of North American railcar and locomotive fleets in 2019. The report revealed that the number of railcars in revenue-earning fleets increased slightly; more than 80 percent of all new fleet additions have a gross rail load of 286,000 pounds; and newer units in a locomotive fleet trend toward six-axle AC units. [Progressive Railroading, 5-22-20]

AMTRAK RESTORING 15 STATION AGENTS: Amtrak is restoring station agents at 15 of its stations across the network. They are Marshall (Texas), Texarkana, Maricopa, Fort Madison, Ottumwa, Garden City, Topeka, Hammond, Meridian, Havre, Shelby, Lamy (N.M.), Cincinnati, and Charleston (W.Va.). [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-22-20]

MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSMEN RELEASES $205-B PLAN FOR U.S. HIGH-SPEED RAIL: U.S. representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) has released a new plan for high-speed rail in the U.S., investing $205-billion over five years to close the technology gap that has developed between the U.S. and other developed economies, while creating 2.6 million new American jobs in the process. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-22-20]

CONTEMPORARY DINING TO CONTINUE ON WESTERN LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER MONTH: Because of continued low ridership and virus restrictions, Amtrak is extending its use of its prepackaged contemprary dining menu on western long-distance trains for at least another month. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-22-20]

AMTRAK BUYS OFFICE BUILDING IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: Amtrak has purchased an eight-story office building in Wilmington, Delaware, that the company plans to fill with 200 employees. Purchase price was not disclosed. [Delaware News Journal, 5-21-20]

FORMER VIA RAIL CEO TO HEAD SIEMENS MOBILITY IN CANADA: Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, former president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, has been appointed Canadian chief exective officer for Siemens Mobility. [Progressive Railroading, 5-21-20]

AMTRAK'S PENNSYLVANIAN TO BE RESTORED JUNE 1: Amtrak, in coordination with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, will restore its Pennsylvanian beginning June 1. Amtrak will also restore some Keystone service trains between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-21-20]

LARGEST-EVER GRAIN TRAIN RUN ON CP: Paterson Grain has shipped the largest-ever grain train on Canadian Pacific with 167 new high-capacity hoppers and a total of 16,313 metric tons from Bowden, Alberta, to Vancouver, B.C. [Real Agriculture, 5-21-20]

ITALY STARTS TO RESTORE HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICES: Both Trenitalia and Italo-NTC have begun to reinstate high-speed train services which were greatly reduced due to the covid-19 travel restrictions in Italy. [International Railway Journal, 5-21-20]

MULTIMODAL TRANSIT CENTER OPENS IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: Delaware Transit Corp. has opened a multimodal transit center next to the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Delaware. The $10-million center serves as a hub for multimodal travel into Wilmington and New Castle County, providing access to passenger rail, bus, rental vehicles and bike shares. [Progressive Railroading, 5-21-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending May 16, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 416,115 carloads and intermodal units, down 22 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 30.2 percent, and intermodal was down 14.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-20-20]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN APRIL: Class I railroads employed 124,430 employees as of mid-April 2020, down 2.69 percent from the previous month, and down 13.72 percent from April 2019, according to the Surface Transportion Board. [Progressive Railroading, 5-20-20]

BART TO SERVE MILPITAS, BERRYESSA STATIONS IN JUNE: Bay Area Rapid Transit will open the Milpitas and Berryessa rail stations on June 13. The openings are part of the $2.3-billion, 10-mile Berryessa extension in San Jose. [Progressive Railroading, 5-20-20]

VIRGIN TRAINS MONTHS AWAY FROM RESTART OF SERVICE IN FLORIDA: Virgin Trains USA says that it wll not restart its Florida rail service for months, even as the state begins reopening from the coronavirus shutdown. [Yahoo Finance, 5-20-20]

FIRST ALSTOM PRIMA ELECTIC LOCOMOTIVE ENTERS SERVICE IN INDIA: Indian Railways has put into service the first of 800 Prima T8 two-section electric locomotives supplied by Alstom. [International Railway Journal, 5-20-20]

BIKE THROUGH HISTORY PROGRAM STARTUP ON HOLD: The NCR-Hereford Volunteer Association, sponsor of the Bike Through History program on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail in Baltimore County, Md., has postponed the startup of its annual bicycle rides due to the coronavirus pandemic. MORE.. [NCR-Hereford Volunteers, 5-20-20]

TRAIN DERAILS IN EAST AURORA, N.Y., HOMES EVACUATED: Three locomotives and 15 cars of a train on the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad derailed late May 18 in East Aurora, N.Y. Residents in 41 homes had to be evacuated. About 1000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from one of the locomotives. There were no injuries. It is expected to take up to four days to clear the scene. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-19-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN NAMES THREE TO FINANCE POSTS: Norfolk Souhern has named Jason Zampi vice-president of financial planning and analysis, Jake Allison vice-president and controller, and Chris Neikirk vice-president of treasury and investor relations, all to become effective June 1. [Railway Age, 5-19-20]

FEDS REPORT 1-Q PTC STATUS: As of March 31, positive train-control systems were already in operation or 'revenue service demonstration' on 98 percent of mandated Class I mainline route miles in the U.S., according to the quarterly status report by the Federal Railroad Administration. Meanwhile, commuter rail lines are in PTC-compliance on 63.2 percent of their requred route miles. Agencies 'at-risk' of not fully implementing mandated systems by the year-ending deadline are New Jersey Transit, TexRail, Metra and New Mexico Rail Runner Express. [Progressive Railroading, 5-18-20]

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER POSTPONES OPENING TO JULY 31: Rocky Mountaineer service from Vancouver, B.C., into the Canadian Rockies has been further postponed to open July 31, due to the virus pandemic. [Progressive Railroading, 5-18-20]

TWO BEING NOMINATED TO AMTRAK BOARD: Sarah Feinberg, interim president of MTA New York Transit, and Chris Koos, mayor of Normal, Illinois, are being nominated by President Trump to the Amtrak board. [Railway Age, 5-18-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Sixty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending May 17, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 50 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-18-20]

ADIRONDACK STATE PARK APPROVES PLAN FOR TRAIL, TOURIST TRAIN: The New York State Adirondack Park agency has approved a revised plan for the rail line that connects the Utica area with Lake Placid. It reduces and refurbishes the track to about 45 miles to allow trains to run from Utica to Tupper Lake, while removing the rest of the rail line and replace it with a 34-mile trail from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid. The rail portion should be ready for use by 2021, and the trail portion by 2023. [Adirondack Daily Express, 5-16-20]

CHARGE REINSTATED AGAINST AMTRAK ENGINEER IN 2015 FATAL WRECK: A judge has reinstated all charges brought against the Amtrak engineer of the train that derailed in Philadelphia in May 2015, that killed eight people. [NBC-10 Philadelphia, 5-15-20]

NJT AWARDS CONTRACT FOR 1ST PHASE OF RARITAN RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: New Jersey Transit has awarded a contract for the first of three construction phases of the Raritan River bridge replacement project on the electrified North Jersey Coast line. [Railway Age, 5-14-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending May 9, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 412,549 carloads and intermodal units, down 22.1 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 28.4 percent, and intermodal was down 16.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-13-20]

MBTA APPROVES CONTRACT FOR PHASE 1 OF SOUTH COAST RAIL PROJECT: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has approved a $159-million contract to help build a commuter rail line from Taunton to Boston with stops in Freetown, Fall River and New Bedford; a layover facility; and work on 12 miles of track for Phase 1 of the South Coast Rail project. [WBUR, 5-13-20]

TRAIN STRIKES VAN IN CHESWICK, PA.: A van was left mangled after it was struck by a freight train early May 13 in Cheswick, Pa. Passengers in the van had minor injuries, but on one on the train was hurt. [WPXI, 5-13-20]

OMNITRAX EXTENDS RAIL-READY SITES PROGRAM: OmniTRAX is extending its new Rail-Ready sites program to the W.Va. branch of Winchester & Western Railroad. Working with Berkeley County's development authority, the initial six sites, which total 795 acres, are considered ideal for rail-served facilities. [Railway Age, 5-13-20]

UNION TANK CAR TO CONVERT TEXAS MANUFACTURING PLANT TO REPAIR FACILITY: Union Tank Car plans to convert its tank car manufacturing plant in Sheldon, Texas, into a rail car repair facility. The plant currently employs about 350 workers, a number that is proejcted to be reduced to about 100 when the facility is converted. [Progressive Railroading, 5-12-20]

FREIGHT CAR AMERICA REPORTS 1-Q LOSS: Freight Car America reported a first-quarter loss of $16.9-million, compared with a net loss of $14.0-million in the same quarter last year. The company only delivered 11 cars in the quarter, down from 641 cars in the first-quarter 2019. [Progressive Railroading, 5-12-20]

BNSF CUTS 95 MECHANICAL EMPLOYEES IN NEBRASKA: BNSF has reduced its mechanical work force in Nebraska by 95 employees - 83 in Alliance, and 12 in Lincoln. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-12-20]

INDIA RESUMES LIMITED TRAIN SERVICE: India reopened parts of its huge passenger rail network May 12, running a limited number of trains as it looks at easing a nearly seven-week lockdown, despite a continuing rise in virus infections. Thousands of passengers waited in long lines outside New Delhi's station as police tried to maintain social distancing. [U.S. News & World Report, 5-12-20]

TURKEY REOPENS 268-MILE RAIL LINE FOLLOWING FIVE-YEAR REBUILD: Turkish State Railway has reopened its 268-mile line connecting Sivas with Samsun on the Black Sea coast following a nearly five-year rebuild. [International Railway Journal, 5-12-20]

INFINITY BEGINS SALT LAKE CITY-CHICAGO TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED INTERMODAL SERVICE: Infinity Intermodal has begun a new expedited temperature-controlled intermodal service from Salt Lake City to Chicago. [Progressive Railroading, 5-11-20]

VERMONT RAIL TO ACQUIRE NEW HAMPSHIRE RAILROAD OPERATING RIGHTS: Vermont Rail System has agreed with New England Southern Railroad to purchase certain assets and operating rights from the New Hampshire Railroad. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close on June 30. [Progressive Railroading, 5-11-20]

FEDS MOVE TO BLOCK WASHINGTON STATE RESTRICTIONS ON CRUDE-BY-RAIL SHIPMENTS: The federal government has moved to block a Washington state law imposing safety restrictions on oil shipments by rail. The Dept. of Transportation claims federal law preempts the state's mandate that crude from Northern Plains oil fields must remove more of its volatile gases prior to being loaded into rail cars. [NBC Montana, 5-11-20]

UNION PACIFIC SHUTS DOWN COLD CONNECT: Union Pacific has shut down its Cold Connect service for perishables from the West to East coasts, which it had acquired from Railtex in 2017. [Railway Age, 5-10-20]

AMTRAK TO RESUME SOME ACELA EXPRESS SERVICE ON JUNE 1: Amtrak will resume limited Acela Express service with three weekday round trips on the Northeast corridor on June 1. There will also be some increase to Northast Regional service. [NBC 10 Boston, 5-8-20]

MARC 'CORNERSTONE' PLAN VETOED BY MD. GOVERNOR: Maryland's governor has vetoed a bill to implement the MARC cornerstone plan, a measure that would have helped to pilot an extension of servive beyond Washington to Alexandria, Va.; an extension of service beyond Perryville to Newark, Del.; and a connection between the Penn and Camden lines. The governor cited financial uncertainties due to economic factors from the coronavirus pandemic. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-8-20]

SILVER STAR TO RUN THREE DAYS A WEEK DUE TO TRACK WORK: Amtrak's Silver Star is being annulled Monday through Thursday through May 28 due to track work (but the train will run on Memorial Day). [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 5-8-20]

FTA WANTS BUS OPTION CONSIDERED ALONG WITH BUFFALO'S LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: The Federal Transit Administration has asked the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to look at the option of bus rapid transit along with its plan to extend Buffalo Metro Light-Rail. This could delay advancement of the project by three to six months. [Railway Age, 5-8-20]

KCS NAMES MANNY LOUREIRO CHIEF ENGINEER: Manny Loureiro has been named vice-president and chief engineer of Kansas City Southern, to replace Vernon Jones, who is retiring this summer. [Railway Age, 5-8-20]

AMTRAK PASSENGERS TO BE REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS: Amtrak, effective May 11, will be requiring passengers in stations, trains and thruway buses to wear facemasks. The masks may be removed while in private rooms, while seated by themselves in coaches or with their travel partner, or while eating in designated areas. Children are exempt if they cannot wear a mask. [USA Today, 5-7-20]

BNSF TO CLOSE TWO MAINTENANCE FACILITIES IN WYOMING: BNSF will close its Donkey Creek maintenance facility near Rozet, Wyoming, June 5, and its maintenance facility in Guernsey, Wyoming, July 7. The action is in response to changing conditions and lower demand for rail cars, the company said. About 130 workers will be affected. [Casper Star Tribune, 5-7-20]

BNSF TO FURLOUGH 28 WORKERS FROM TOPEKA MECHANICAL DEPT.: BNSF has announced the furlough of 28 workers in the Topeka, Kansas, mechanical department. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-7-20]

COURT RULES TEXAS CENTRAL IS A 'RAILROAD': A Texas appeals court has ruled that Texas Central, planners of a Houston-Dallas bullet train, is a 'railroad' under they eyes of the law. The ruling allows the company to move forward with the permitting process. [Houston Chronicle, 5-7-20]

CSX TO END MCKEES ROCKS INTERMODAL OPERATIONS: CSX will discontinue intermodal operations at its McKees Rocks, Pa., facility near Pittsburgh, and has contracted with Shell to lease the 70-acre property. Shell will use the site for a storage-in-transit rail facility. CSX had opened the intermodal terminal in 2017. [Progressive Railroading, 5-6-20]

FEDS GRANT MORE THAN $22-M TO THREE PASSENGER RAIL PROJECTS: The Federal Railroad Administration has announced more than $22-million in grant funding to three passenger rail projects: They will help fund an expansion of Amtrak service with a second train between Saint Paul and Chicago; increase of service with two additional weekday CTrail trains in Connecticut; and restoration of service (previously announced) along the Gulf Coast. [Progressive Railroading, 5-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN NAMES BARBARA PAUL VICE-PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES: Barbara Paul has been promoted to vice-president of human resources with Norfolk Southern. She was previously assistant vice-president of human resources and diversity. She had also served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. [Progressive Railroading, 5-6-20]

WABTEC REPORTS 1-Q SALES: Wabtec reported first-quarter sales of $19-billion, up from $1.6-billion in the same quarter last year. [Progressive Railroading, 5-6-20]

APRIL 2020 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in April 2020 was 2,075,958 carloads and intermodal units, down 21.2 percent from the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 25.2 percent, and intermodal was down 17.2 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 5-6-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN MISSOURI: Twenty-five cars of a Union Pacific train derailed late May 4 in Dunklin County, Missouri, blocking highway 62. No injuries were reported. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-5-20]

LIRR COMPLETES MURRY HILL STATION UPGRADES: Long Island Rail Road, on May 4, completed accessibility upgrades to Murray Hill station in Queens. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-20]

CP SETS MONTHLY GRAIN MOVEMENT RECORD: Canadian Pacific posted a record-setting movement of Canadian grain and grain products in April, with 2.8 million metric tons to market. [Progressive Railroading, 5-5-20]

BELGIUM RESTORES MOST PASSENGER TRAINS: Beginning May 4, most passenger rail service in Belgium was restored following a decision to ease virus-related travel restrictions. [International Railway Journal, 5-5-20]

CHINA SUFFERS FROM DROP IN PASSENGER RAIL TRAFFIC: China National Railway had a $86.6-billion loss in the first-quarter of 2020 due to a substantial drop in passenger traffic from the coronavirus pandemic. [International Railway Journal, 5-5-20]

MD. PURPLE LINE CONTRACTOR TO EXIT PROJECT DUE TO PROJECT DELAYS: Purple Line Transit Constructors, design-build contractor, has announced its intent to exit its contract under an exit clause from work to build Maryland's light-rail line, after project delays. [Progressive Railroading, 5-4-20]

BNSF REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: BNSF has reported first-quarter operating income of $1.82-billion, up 2 percent from first-quarter last year, and net income of $1.19-billion, down 5 percent. Operating ratio was 65.2 percent. [Railway Track & Structures, 5-4-20]

N.Y. PENN STATION CONCOURSES TO CLOSE OVERNIGHT: Two train concourses at New York Penn Station will close to the public overnight in an effort to better clean and disinfect trains. Ticketed passengers for trains between 1 A.M. and 5 A.M. will still be allowed inside the station. [Patch.com, 5-3-20]

APRIL 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Sixty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their final scheduled destination on time or earlier in April 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour behind schedule. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 5-1-20]

UNION PACIFIC CUTS MOST OF STAFF AT N. LITTLE ROCK SHOP: Most of the employees at Union Pacific's Jenks locomotive shop in North Little Rock, Arkansas, are being furloughed due to a decline in business stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. [Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 5-1-20]

NJT RUNNING OUT OF FUNDS TO COVER OPERATIONS: New Jersey Transit, with the pandemic impacting ridership, says the agency only has enough cash on hand to fund operations through mid-June. NJ Biz, 5-1-20]

DOWNEASTER SUSPENDED THROUGH MAY 31: Amtrak's Downeaster service will now remain suspended through at least May 31. [Progressive Railroading, 5-1-20]

CONTRACT APPROVED TO REPLACE FOUR MILES OF RAIL FOR S.W. PENNSYLVANIA R.R.: A $2.4-million contract has been approved to replace more than four miles of rail for the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad as part of regular infrastructure upgrades. [Progressive Railroading, 5-1-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN IDLES LINWOOD HUMP YARD IN N.C.: Norfolk Southern is idling its Linwood, N.C., hump yard, resulting in the abolishment of about 85 positions over the month of May. The terminal will continue to provide swithching to local customers. [Railway Age, 5-1-20]

UNION PACIFIC LAYS OFF HUNDREDS AT DE SOTO CAR SHOPS IN MISSOURI: Hundreds of workers at Union Pacific's car shops in De Soto, Missouri, have been laid off. They are subject to possible recall in June, officials said. [My Leader Paper, 5-1-20]

WABTEC TO CUT 300 JOBS IN ERIE, PA.: Wabtec, which purchased GE Transportation in Febr. 2019, is expected to lay off about 300 union workers. This would bring the plant's union work force to about 1,200. [GoErie, 4-30-20]

CHILE APPROVES 2020-22 RAIL INVESTMENT PLAN: Chile has approved its 2020-22 state railway's $1.9-billion plan. It includes introduction of Santiago-Melipilla commuter service, construction of the Santiago-Batuco line, building the Biobio rail bridge in Concepcion, and modernization of the Santiago-Chilla intercity service. [International Railway Journal, 4-30-20]

UNION PACIFIC'S ANNUAL MEETING TO BE THROUGH 'LIVE AUDIO': Union Pacific will conduct its annual meeting May 14 through live audio, not an in-person event. Shareholders planning to vote or submit questions may do so on a special website. [Union Pacific, 4-29-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ANTICIPATES SOME COST CUTS AS PERMANENT: Norfolk Southern expects some of the cost cuts it made in response to the pandemic-induced rail volume decline to be permanent. The company has removed excess locomotives and reduced crew starts, with expectations to cut crew starts even further. NS is also examining which rail yards to close, including outlying smaller yards that it can 'live without,' said its chief operating officer. Another change has been to 'blend' trains so that a train that formerly carried a single commodity would carry verious commodities instead. [Freight Waves, 4-29-20]

AMTRAK'S KEYSTONE, PENNSYLVANIAN SUSPENSION EXTENDED: Suspensions of Amtrak's Keystone service and Pennsylvanian have been extended until at least May 18. [Pittsburgh Tribune, 4-28-20]

NEW WASTE-BY-RAIL FIRM BEGINS BUSINESS: Technical Rail Services is a new waste-by-rail company for the transportation of construction and demolition debris, municipal solid waste, contaminated soil and wastewater residuals. [Progressive Railroading, 4-28-20]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT STATS: Class I rail employment as of mid-March was 127,867, up 0,18 percent from mid-February, but was down 11.78 percent from March 2019, according to Surface Transportation Board data. [Progressive Railroading, 4-28-20]

REPAIRS TO NEW YORK TRANSIT'S CANARSIE TUNNELS COMPLETED: Both New York Transit's Canarsie tunnels between Brooklyn and 14th street Manhattan are now operating freely following a year of repair. [Railway Age, 4-28-20]

RAIL SAFETY WEEK IS SEPT. 21-27: Mexico will join the U.S. and Canada in observing Rail Safety Week this year from September 21 to 27. [Railway Age, 4-28-20]

K.C. MOVES FORWARD WITH MAIN STREET STREETCAR EXTENSION: A contract has been awaded for preconstruction activities for a 3.6-mile extension of the Kansas City Main street streetcar lin to continue south from Union Station, expected to open by 2025. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-27-20]

IRAN TO BUILD 317-MILE ELECTRIFIED RAIL LINE: Iran has signed a memorandum of understanding for construction of a 317-mile electrified passenger-freight rail line through mountainous terrain between Ahwaz and Isfahan. [International Railway Journal, 4-28-20]

CN REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: CN reported first-quarter revenues of $3.5-billion (C). Operating income was $1.2-billion, up 13 percent from the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share was $1.42, up 31 pct., and operating ration was 65.7 percent. [CN, 4-27-20]

D.C. METRO TO ADVANCE ORANGE, SILVER LINE PLATFORM PROJECTS: Beginning May 23, all D.C. Metro stations west of Ballston on the Orange and Silver lines will be closed through the fall for platform reconstruction. [Progressive Railroading, 4-27-20]

EFFORTS CONTINUE TO ESTABLISH MARC SERVICE INTO DELAWARE: There continue to be efforts in both Delaware and Maryland to extend MARC service north beyond Perryville to Newark, Delaware. This is the on segment left between New York and Washington lacking commuter service. With a new Newark rail station slated to open next year, some lawmakers want to connect MARC and SEPTA at that location. [Delaware Business News, 4-26-20]

AMTRAK EXPECTS $700-M LOSS DUE TO VIRUS: Amtrak expects to lose $700-million in adjusted operating earnings as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic, and the loss could climb higher as ridership drops by 95 percent across the network. [Progressive Railroading, 4-24-20]

UNION PACIFIC DEPLOYS RAIL-YARD VIDEO SURVEILLANCE NETWORKS: Union Pacific has deployed Radwin's portfolio of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless connectivity solutions to help monitor and manage remote rail yards through video surveillance networks. [Progressive Railroading, 4-24-20]

AMERICAN TRACK SERVICE EXPANDS WITH ACQUISITION: American Track Service has acquired the track inspection, maintenance and repair services of Savage Industrial Rail Services. [Progressive Railroading, 4-24-20]

FIRM GETS GRANT FOR TRAIN DISPATCHING SYSTEM: The Transportation Research Board has granted $100,000 to Ross & Baruzzini Inc. to design, build and test a proof-of-concept augmented reality user interface for train dispatching. It outlines track layout, train information and movement, along with viewing schedule adherence, services and stations. [Progressive Railroading, 4-24-20]

BALTIMORE PENN STATION PROJECT MOVING FORWARD: Baltimore's Penn Station plan is going forward despite the pandemic's effects on Amtrak, officials told reporters. The station is expected to be the hub of a mixed-use development that could include a hotel. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-24-20]

HIAWATHA TRAINS REPLACED BY BUSES: Buses are now operating in place of reduced Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee, but they do not serve Glenview. The Empire Builder, however, is making all Hiawatha stops at Milwaukee Airport, Sturdevant and Glenview. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-24-20]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 1-Q EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported first-quarter net income of $1.5-billion or $2.15 per diluted share, compared to $1.4-billion or $1.93 per diluted share in the same quarter of 2019. Operating revenue of $5.2-billion was down 3 percent. Operating ratio of 59 percent was a first-quarter record for the company, and the fourth consecutive record below 60 percent. [Union Pacific, 4-23-20]

SEPTA TO GENERATE 20 PCT OF ITS POWER BY SOLAR: SEPTA has signed with Lightsource BP for the company to finance, build and operate two solar farms in Franklin County, Pa., to generate nearly 20 percent of the agency's electricity demand. [Progressive Railroading, 4-23-20]

SACRAMENTO TO PURCHASE 20 NEW LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: The Sacramento Regional Transit District has signed with Siemens Mobility to purchase 20 S700 light-rail vehicles to replace the agency;s aging fleet. They will be built locally. [Progressive Railroading, 4-23-20]

MILLER TOWER UPDATE: CSX's former B&O Miller Tower, which was retired from service in 2000, was moved to the roundhouse in Martinsburg, W.Va., over 19 years ago. The building was later put back together, placed upon a foundation, and it got a new roof. According to roundhouse management, their current priority in 2020 is to add restrooms to the roundhouse, but they have their intention of getting back to work on the tower itself to make it into a living-history display sometime this year. "It has been on the back burner for too long," the roundhouse manager wrote on April 22. [Martinsburg Roundhouse, 4-22-20]

CSX REPORTS 1-Q RESULTS: CSX reported first-quarter earnings were $770-million or $1.00 per share, versus $834-million or $1.02 per share in the same quarter one year ago. Revenue for the quarter decreased 5 percent as growth in merchandise revenue was more than offset by declines in coal and other traffic. Operating ratio was 58.7 percent, setting a Class I railroad first-quarter record. [CSX, 4-22-20]

UNION PACIFIC SENIOR EXECUTIVES TAKING 25 PCT PAY CUT: Senior Union Pacific executives will take a 25 percent salary cut from May through August, and non-union workers will be required to take a week of unpaid leave each month during that same period. This is in response to volume drop caused by the conoravirus outbreak. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-20]

CALIFORNIA AWARDS $38.7-M GRANT TOWARD PACIFIC SURFLINER: The Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo passenger rail corridor has been awarded a $38.7-million state grant to improve Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service. The grant includes funding to help overhaul and modernize cars, and to build two train layover facilities. [Progressive Railroading, 4-22-20]

PERSON KILLED BY TRAIN AT GLENVIEW METRA STATION: A person died early April 22 after being struck by a Wisconsin & Southern freight train at the Glenview, Illinois, Metra station. [Chicago Sun-Times, 4-22-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending April 18, 2020, U.S. rail freight carload and intermodal traffic was 403,282, down 23.3 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 27.5 percent, and intermodal was down 19.1 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-22-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ELIMINATING MORE POSITIONS IN WILLIAMSON, W.VA.: Norfolk Southern is eliminating about 35 more positions from the Williamson, W.Va., yard. A total of about 85 employees have been eliminated from that location in the past nine months. [Williamson Daily News, 4-21-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN HITS TRUCK IN VA., DERAILS: A conductor is being treated at a hospital after a Norfolk Southern train struck a week-spray truck and derailed April 20 in a rural location of Montgomery County, Va. [WDBJ7, 4-21-20]

BOBBY FRANKLIN NAMED GENERAL MANAGER OF TEXAS NORTH WESTERN: Bobby Franklin has been named general manager of Texas North Western Railway in Sunray, Texas. [Railway Age, 4-21-20]

UP TO ABOUT 200 LOCOMOTIVES ARE STORED IN SALT LAKE CITY: At least 150 or as many as 200 locomotives are currently stored in a Union Pacific yard north of downtown Salt Lake City just east of Interstate 15. [KSL-TV, 4-21-20]

RAIL CARS DERAIL INTO MISSISSIPPI RIVER: A BNSF freight train struck a Boulder and derailed about 12 cars, several falling into the Mississippi River early April 20 in Iowa. The crew members were not injured. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-21-20]

CP REPORTS RECORD CANADIAN GRAIN TRAFFIC IN 1ST-QUARTER: Canadian Pacific reported movement of more thn 6.35 million metric tons of Canadian grain and grain products in the first-quarter 2020, the company's best first-quarter on record. [CP, 4-20-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN CALIFORNIA: A derailment of six cars of a Union Pacific freight train in Emeryville, California, on April 19 is being investigated. No injuries were reported. Three grade crossings were blocked for about five hours. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-20-20]

RAYMOND KENNY DIES, NJT OFFICIAL: Veteran railroader Raymond P. Kenny, 69, senior vice-president and general manager of rail operations for NJ Transit, died from conoravirus complications, officials said April 18. [NJ.com, 4-18-20]

AMTRAK DINING-CAR CHANGES DURING VIRUS OUTBREAK: In response to the virus outbreak, sleeping car passengers on California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle may choose either room service or flexible pre-packaged options in the diner, serviced by a single attendant. Cafe service remains in the lounge car for coach passengers. Traditional dining is retained for sleeping car passengers in Auto Train. [Rail Passenges Assn. hotline, 4-17-20]

ABOUT 4,000 PASSENGERS PER DAY RIDING AMTRAK: About 4,000 people per day are riding Amtrak trains, system-wide, compared to about 90,000 prior to the virus outbreak. [Rail Passenges Assn. hotline, 4-17-20]

COURT RULES BNSF VIOLATED AGREEMENT WITH SWINOMISH TRIBE: A 1989 agreement between BNSF and the Swinomish Tribal Community in Washington state limited the railroad to one train per day in each direction through the tribal reservation. The railroad was also required to furnish an annual report to the tribe identifying the cargo that was transported. A federal court has now ruled that BNSF violated these commitments. [Bonner County Daily Bee, 4-16-20]

GREENRIER SUSPENDS RAILCAR PRODUCTION IN PORTLAND, OREGON: Greenbrier Cos. has suspended new railcar prodution at its plant in Portland, Oregon, due to the economic impact of coronavirus. About 200 workers are affected. [Progressive Railroading, 4-16-20]

PROGRESS RAIL TO PROVIDE 36 GT38AC FREIGHT LOCOMOTIVES TO INDONESIA: Progress Rail has a contract to provide 36 new GT38AC freight locomotives to Indonesia for late 2021 delivery. [Railway Age, 4-16-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending April 11, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 412,503 carloads and intermodal units, down 21.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads wer down 23.8 percent, and intermodal was down 20.0 percent. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-15-20]

SEPTA REGIONAL RAIL CONDUCTOR DIES OF COVID-19: A SEPTA regional rail conductor has died of coronavirus, and two other workers are in critical condition. [NBC Philadelphia, 4-15-20]

MARYLAND AWARDS TRACK MAINTENANCE CONTRACT: Maryland's transit administration has awarded a three-year contract to RailWorks to provide track and maintenance services for the 77 miles of metro and light-rail within the state's system. [Progressive Railroading, 4-15-20]

THREE AMTRAK ACELA MAINTENANCE FACILITIES TO BE UPGRADED: Amtrak has selected Skanska to rehabilitate three maintenance facilities for the next-generation Acela high-speed rail service on the Northeast corridor. [Progressive Railroading, 4-14-20]

CALIFORNIA APPROVES $600-M BOND FOR VIRGIN TRAINS HIGH-SPEED LINE: California has approved a $600-million private activity bond allocation toward construction of the $5-billion Virgin Trains rail line to link southern California with Las Vegas. [Forbes, 4-14-20]

FOUR NEW RAIL CARS DELIVERED FOR HONOLULU RAPID TRANSIT: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit contractor Hitachi Rail has received four new rail cars for the agency's future rail system along Oahu's south shore. With the new order, 11 four-car trains out of the 17-train order have been received. [Progressive Railroading, 4-14-20]

KCS WORKER SERIOUSLY INJURED: A Kansas City Southern worker was life-flighted to a St. Louis area hospital the afternoon of April 14 following injuries sustained on railroad property. [River Bender, 4-14-20]

DRIVER KILLED AS AMTRAK TRAIN STRIKES CAR IN FLORIDA: Amtrak's Silver Meteor traveling northbound struck a car April 10 at a crossing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, killing the driver. The impact was so severe that the car was thrown into a pair of signal box housings, and the crossing will be closed to traffic for several weeks. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-14-20]

AMTRAK'S DOWNEASTER SUSPENDED: Amtrak's Downeaster rail service has been suspended through at least the end of April. [Bangor Daily News, 4-13-20]

PILES OF CROSSTIES BURN IN COLORADO, TRAINS DELAYED: Two large stacks of railroad ties burned at a site near Pueblo, Colorado, on April 11, disrupting train service. About 10,000 ties were involved. Police believe the acts were intentional. [Railway Track & Structures, 4-12-20]

AMTRAK REMOVES NEC TICKET RESTRICTIONS: Multi-ride train and city-pair restrictions are removed on the Northeast corridor through May 31. [Amtrak, 4-10-20]

AMTRAK REDUCES SALES TO HALF OF CAPACITY: To help maintain CDC recommendations for social distancing, Amtrak is temporarily reducing coach and business class sales to just 50 percent of seating capacity. [Amtrak, 4-10-20]

AMTRAK'S CITY OF NEW ORLEANS SUSPENDED SOUTH OF MCCOMB: Amtrak's City of New Orleans is suspended between McComb and New Orleans due to emergency flood control. Bus transfer is implemented between these stations, with a stop in Hammond. There will be no service at Brookhaven or Maplehurst. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-10-20]

CSX-SERVED PORT OF WILMINGTON READY FOR HUGE SHIPS: The Port of Wilmington, served by CSX, is now ready to accept the world's largest container ships calling on east coast ports, made possible by expansion of the port's turning basin in Cape Fear River to over 1,500 feet. [Progressive Railroading, 4-9-20]

MILIN RAIL TUNNEL HOLED THROUGH: The 7.2-mile Milin tunnel has been holed through on the 270-mile Sichuan-Tibet railway which will connect Lhasa with Nyingchi in southeast Tibet. [International Railway Journal, 4-9-20]

WABTEC TO OVERHAUL 40 DMU TRAINS FOR BRITAIN'S ANGEL TRAINS: British rolling-stock leasing company Angel Trains has awarded Wabtec Rail a contract to overhaul 40 class 158 diesel multiple-units. [International Railway Journal, 4-9-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending April 4, 2020, was 429,095 carloads and intermodal units, down 15.9 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-8-20]

SEPTA FURTHER SLASHES SERVICES DUE TO VIRUS: SEPTA will further slash train, trolley and bus services as it moves to a 'lifeline' schedule amid the coronavirus outbreak. It is aimed at providing access for essential workers traveling to hospitals, life-sustaining services and grocery stores. [NBC Philadelphia, 4-8-20]

NEW JERSEY BEGINS BRIDGE PROJECT IN NORTH BERGEN: New Jersey has begun a $24.8-million project to replace the route 3 bridge over New York Susquehanna & Western and Conrail railroad tracks and a ramp in North Bergen. [Progressive Railroading, 4-8-20]

NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON 2018 CSX DERAILMENT, BRIDGE COLLAPSE IN ALEXANDRIA, VA.: A May 2018 CSX derailment and subsequent bridge collapse in Alexandria, Va., was caused by a subgrade fill failure of the track structure that displaced ballast, resulting in a cross-level deviation of the track to allow a wheel climb derailment, the National Transportation Safety Board has determined. The bridge structure and eight of the 31 derailed cars fell onto Norfolk Southern tracks below. [Progressive Railroading, 4-8-20]

HOOSAC TUNNEL OPENS FOLLOWING REPAIRS: Pan Am Railway's Hoosac tunnel in western Massachusetts reopened April 4 after being closed for repairs of a wall collapse in early February. The 4.9-mile tunnel dates from 1875. [Progressive Railroading, 4-7-20]

FEDS APPROVE B&LE ACQUISITION OF CSX'S MASSENA RAIL LINES: The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has authorized CN subsidiary Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad's acquisition and operation of the 236-mile Massena rail lines from CSX. The lines operate between Valleyfield, Quebec, and Eoodard, New York. [Progressive Railroading, 4-7-20]

AMTRAK'S CAROLINIAN TO BE SUSPENDED DUE TO VIRUS: Amtrak's Carolinian, which operates daily between New York and Charlotte, will be suspended starting April 6 because of the coronavirus outbreak. [News & Observer, 4-6-20]

CN MARKS RECORD MONTH OF MARCH FOR GRAIN: CN moved 2.62 million tons of grain in March, a record for the month, and a 6 percent increase from the previous record set in 2017. The reailroad has been working to clear a backlog following political blockades in Febr. [Progressive Railroading, 4-6-20]

HITACHI UNVEILS UPGRADED VERSION OF MAGLEV: Hitachi has unveiled a more streamlined version of the series LO maglev test train which it is building for JR Central. [International Railway Journal, 4-6-20]

AMTRAK CUTS FREQUENCY OF DOWNEASTER: Amtrak's Downeaster, which serves riders from Boston into Maine, will be suspended in service to just one daily round-trip in response to the coronavirus. [Lewiston Sun, 4-5-20]

FRA'S PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD BEGINS ON AMTRAK METRICS PROPOSAL: A 60-dy public comment period is now open on the Federal Railroad Administration's proposal for new passenger rail service metrics and standards, which include a single customer-facing on-time standard, reports on customer-service and financial performance. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-3-20]

COVID-19 DELAYS TEXAS CENTRAL PLANS: As with many projects around the world, Texas Central's bullet train is being put on hold due to the global pandemic. The company has also announced it was laying off 28 employees, but it will maintain a core team to be ready to move forward. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 4-3-20]

ILLINOIS APPROVES $315-M FOR GRADE CROSSING PROJECTS: The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a five-year, $315-million plan for grade crossing safety capital projects across the state. More than 1,400 crossings are involved. [Progressive Railroading, 4-3-20]

MAN CHARGED WITH INTENTIONALLY WRECKING LOCOMOTIVE IN L.A.: A 44-year-old man was arrested April 1 for allegedly derailing a locomotive, intentionlly, at full speed near the USNS Mercy hospital ship at the Port of Los Angeles. According to the complaint, the man ran the engine off the track before crashing through a series of barriers, ultimately coming to rest more than 250 yards from the ship. [CBS Los Angeles, 4-2-20]

OIL COMPANIES MAY USE RAIL TANK CARS TO STORE EXCESS CRUDE: North American oil producers, refiners and traders are now looking to store excess oil in rail cars in Texas, Saskatchewan and Manitoba amid the glut in crude oil and collapsing demand. [Yahoo Finance, 4-2-20]

ALASKA R.R. REPORTS YEAR-END RESULTS: Alaska Railroad reported 2019 net income of $21.6-million, a 7.5 percent increase from 2018. Operating ratio for the year was 0.97. [Progressive Railroading, 4-2-20]

OMNITRAX SELECTS 10 RAIL-READY SITES IN N.J.: OmniTRAX has kicked off its new Rail-Ready Sites program with 10 sites along the New Jersey division of the Winchester & Western Railroad. All are in Cumberland County and have access to both CSX and Norfolk Southern. [Progressive Railroading, 4-2-20]

METRA TO BEGIN PLATFORM RHAB AT ITASCA STATION: Metra, on April 4, will begin a project to rehabilitate platforms at the Itasca station on the Milwaukee District West line, designed to increase accessibility. [Progressive Railroading, 4-2-20]

CHENGDU TO OPEN TWO NEW METRO LINES: The Chinese city of Chengdu is gearing up to opens lines 17 and 18 later this year. They will operate as express lines with a maximum speed of 87 MPH. [International Railway Journal, 4-2-20]

MARCH 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-four percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in March 2020. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the monthly survey was 37 minutes late. The average arrival of just those trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 21 minutes late. The train with the best on-time performance was City of New Orleans (87 percent), and the train with the worst on-time performance was Sunset Limited (0 percent). MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 4-1-20]

UNION PACIFIC, CSX WARN OF FINANCIAL IMPACTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Union Pacific and CSX say the coronavirus pandemic is creating 'huge uncertainties' that could translate into material financial impacts, according to filings with the Security and Exchange Commission. [Freight Waves, 4-1-20]

NEW ENGLAND CENTRAL LEASES LAND TO CONNECTICUT PORT AUTHORITY: New England Central Railroad has leased five acres to the Connecticut Port Authority to use for moving wind turbine components through the port of New London. [Progressive Railroading, 4-1-20]

XPRESS WEST SEEKS DEBT FUNDING FOR CALIFORNIA-LAS VEGAS HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Xpress West has taken steps to secure private debt funding for its $4.8-billion plan to build a 170-mile high-speed electric rail line from Southern California to Las Vegas. If funding is secured, construction could begin later this year, with service launching in 2023. The line would be marketed as Virgin Trains. [Progressive Railroading, 4-1-20]

MONTHLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight volume in March 2020 was 1,835,053 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.3 percent from the same month last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 4-1-20]

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER POSTPONES OPENING OF SERVICE UNTIL JULY: The 2020 opening day of the Rocky Mountaineer between Vancouver, B.C., and the Canadian Rockies, originally scheduled for April 13, has been postponed until July 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic. [Progressive Railroading, 3-31-20]

METRA BEGINS 2020 CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM: Chicago's Metra has begun several major projects as part of its 2020 construction pogram that will continue through the fall. Rail service reductions due to the coronavirus have enabled the agency to get an early start on its program. Included will be tie replacements, signal and communications improvements, construction of two new stations, a bridge replacement, a fiber optic project and construction of new track segments. [Progressive Railroading, 3-31-20]

FREIGHTCAR AMERICA TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS PRODUCTION IN SHOALS, ALABAMA: FreightCar America has temporarily suspended production at its facility in Shoals, Alabama, after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. [Freight Waves, 3-31-20]

CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR SUSPENDED WEST OF DENVER OVER VIRUS THREAT: Following an apparent positive COVID-19 test amongst Amtrak staff, westbound passenger trains from Denver to Salt Lake City and San Francisco were canceled without warning March 29 and will remain closed until further notice. [Patch 30]

CANADA SCREENING INTERCITY RAIL PASSENGERS FOR VIRUS: Canada has implemented new requirements for intercity rail passenger companies to require them to screen passengers for the coronavirus before they board a train, and to refuse riders who present those symptons from boarding. This does not apply to commuter trains. [Progressive Railroading, 3-30-20]

TORNADO BLOWS TRAIN OFF TRACK IN ARKANSAS: A Union Pacific train was literally pulled from the tracks March 28, leaving wheels and axles almost in place, by an EF-3 tornado near Jonesboro, Arkansas. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-30-20]

DEADLY SHOOTING ON PHILADELPHIA EL TRAIN: Philadelphia police are investigating a deadly shooting on board an El tain. The body of a 41-year-old man was found at Kensington and Allegheny avenues early March 29. [CBS Philadelphia, 3-30-20]

WUHAN RESUMES PARTIAL OPERATION OF METRO: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, resumed partial operation of its six-line metro network on March 28, while mainline and high-speed trains are also stopping at Wuchang station for the first time since the city was locked down on January 23. [International Railway Journal, 3-30-20]

TRAC INTERMODAL ACQUIRED: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has completed the transaction to acquire TRAC Intermodal and its subsidiaries. [Railway Age, 3-30-20]

GERMANY'S DEUTSCHE BAHN CARRIES RECORD NUMBER OF INTERCITY PASSENGERS IN 2019: A record number of Deutsche Bahn's ICE and IC passengers were carried in 2019. Ridership was 150.7, an increase of 1.9 percent over the previous year. [Railway Gazette, 3-30-20]

AUTO TRAIN DERAILS IN FLORIDA: After leaving the station in Sanford, Florida, March 26, the northbound Auto Train derailed outside of DeLand around 4:15 p.m. None of the passenger cars were affcted, but nine of the vehicle cars ended off the tracks and on their sides. There were no injuries reported among the 294 passengrs, but one crew member was transported to a hospital with a foot injury. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-27-20]

AMTRAK TEMPORARILY BLOCKS CASH PAYMENTS: Amtrak is temporarily blocking cash payments on trains and in stations as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This measure may be an obstacle to Amish customers who typically do not use credit cards. Other changes include a number of stations being closed, due to declining patronage, and the suspension of cafe cars on certain trains. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-27-20]

CARES ACT PROVIDES $1-B FOR AMTRAK, $25-B FOR TRANSIT: The U.S. House voted to send the Cares Act to the President enacting a $2-trillion coronavirus relief package into law. Included are $1.018-billion in Amtrak and $25-billion in mass transit grants. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-27-20]

N.Y. SUBWAY OPERATOR DIES, 17 INJURED IN ONBOARD FIRE: The operator of a New York City subway train in Manhattan was killed early March 27, and 17 people were injured in a fire that broke out in one of the train cars at 110th street Central Park north station. There were two other fires in the subway at other locations that same morning. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-27-20]

VERMONT SUSPENDS TWO AMTRAK TRAINS IN STATE: Vermont has suspended Amtrak trains Ethan Allen Express and Vermonter within its state to slow the spread of coronavirus. [Progressive Railroading, 3-26-20]

CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS MOVED BY HIGH-SPEED MEDICALIZED TRAIN IN FRANCE: In a first for Europe, 20 critically ill coronavirus patients were evacuated aboard a fully-medicalized high-speed TGV train from the eastern region of France to the western Loire Valley. Four passengers were carried in each car, positioned across the tops of seats, with ventilators and oxygen and attended by medical staff. [National Public Radio, 3-26-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending March 21, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 459,966 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-25-20]

BRIGHTLINE SUSPENDS SOUTH FLORIDA SERVICE: Virgin Trains USA, parent company of Brightline, has confirmed that it laid off 250 out of more than 300 South Florida workers after suspending its South Florida service amid coronavirus concerns. [Miami Herald, 3-25-20]

ONE KILLED, ONE INJURED AS TWO JUMP FROM FREIGHT TRAIN IN ARIZONA: Union Pacific says a woman trespasser died and a second woman was injured March 24 after falling from a freight train in Nogales, Arizona. [KGUN, 3-25-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN PROMOTES VANESSA SUTHERLAND: Norfolk Southern has promoted Vanessa Allen Sutherland to executive vice-president and chief legal officer, effective April 1. [Railway Age, 3-25-20]

ALLPRESS & MOORE RAILROAD SIGNAL ACQUIRES CDL ELECTRIC: The sale of Allpress & Moore Railroad Signal Contractors has bought CDL Electric Co., which installs and maintains railroad signals. [Progressive Railroading, 3-25-20]

STUCKI ROLLER BEARING OPENS SECOND FACILTY IN LINCOLN, NEBRASKA: Stucki Roller Bearing has opened a second facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, a 50,000-square-foot facility to house manufacturing, distribution and office space to support its bearings business for freight car, locomotive and transit applications. [Progressive Railroading, 3-25-20]

SEATTLE'S SOUND TRANSIT COMPLETES EAST LINK LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: Sound Transit has completed its Connect 2020, an 11-week project to connect the existing Link light-rail system to the 14-mile East Link extension in Seattle. Its existing rail tunnel is now configured for East Link in preparation for extended service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond via 10 new stations in 2023. [Progressive Railroading, 3-24-20]

BOMBARDIER HALTS PRODUCTION DUE TO VIRUS: Bombardier is temporarily halting production and non-essential work, including aircraft and rail production in Quebec and Ontario, due to the coronavirus pandemic. [Canadian Press, 3-24-20]

LATVIA HALTS RAIL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT: Latvian Railways has decided to halt a project to electrify its 1520mm-gauge rail network due to a sharp drop in feight traffic. [International Railway Journal, 3-24-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 22, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 25 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-23-20]

U.S. CLASS-I RAIL EMPLOYMENT DROPS IN FEBR.: Class-I railroads employed 127,634 workers as of mid-February, down 0.53 percent compared with the mid-January level, and down 12.46 percent compared with the year ago level, said the U.S. Suface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 3-23-20]

INDIA SUSPENDS TRAIN SERVICE UNTIL MARCH 31: Late March 23, passenger train services in India were suspended until March 31, even while crowds were still waiting to board. The country's national rail system carries more than eight billion passengers a year. [ABC News, 3-23-20]

AMTRAK TO SUSPEND ACELA TRAINS: Amtrak, on March 23, will cancel its flagsthip Acela trains in the Northeast as the threat of coronavirus continues to reduce demand for travel. The railroad will continue to operate its Northeast regional trains, but at only 40 percent of their regular weekday schedules. [USA Today, 3-22-20]

AMTRAK MANAGEMENT FACING SALARY REDUCTIONS: Amtrak's management employees now face tempoary salary reductions. This includes a full 100 percent reduction for its chief executive officer, according to a company memo. [Philadelphia Enquirer, 3-21-20]

FRA ISSUES PROPOSED RULEMAKING FOR AMTRAK PERFORMANCE: The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for measuring the performance and service quality of Amtrak intercity passenger trains that operate on host freight railroads. It would define on-time performance and set forth a minimum average standard of 80 percent. [Railway Age, 3-20-20]

AMTRAK MAKES SERVICE MODIFICATIONS: Amtrak has adjusted some services due to reduced demand in key markets. The Northeast corridor is operating approximately 40 percent of its typical weekday schedules. Adirondack is terminated north of Albany. Cascades trains are terminated north of Seattle. Maple Leaf is terminated west of Niagara Falls, N.Y. Keystone service, Pennsylvanian, Pere Marquette and Winter Park Express are canceled. Certain other services are reduced in frequency. [Amtrak, 3-18-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending March 14, 2020, was 463,017 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.6 percent compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-18-20]

ALASKA R.R. SUSPENDING AURORA WINTER PASSENGER SERVICE: Alaska Railroad is suspending its Aurora Winter train passenger service between Anchorage and Fairbanks March 19 through April 30. The suspension will affect nine round-trips. Freight service is not affected. [Progressive Railroading, 3-18-20]

APTA REQUESTING $12.9-B FOR TRANSIT, PASSENGER RAIL TO OFFSET VIRUS COSTS: As Congress works on coronavirus legislation, the American Public Transportation Association is requesting $12.0-billion for public transit agencies and passenger railroads to offset their direct costs and revenue losses related to the outbreak. [Progressive Railroading, 3-18-20]

WEEKLY RAIL COAL VOLUME REACHES 10-YEAR LOW: U.S. coal carloads fell to a 10-year low of 55,542 in the week ending March 14, down 5.3 pct from a week earlier and 23 pct lower than the corresponding week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. [S&P Global Platts, 3-18-20]

AMTRAK OFFERING ONBOARD BICYCLE STORAGE ON THREE MICHIGAN ROUTES: Amtrak is offering limited onboard bicycle storage on three routes between Michigan and Chicago. Routes can store bikes in an open area at the end of one of the coaches. Reservations are needed. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-20]

EXPANSION CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN ON METROLINK LAYOVER FACILITY: The Riverside County, California, transportation commission will begin construction to expand the Metrolink train layover facility at the Riverside downtown station in early April. The expansion will allow seven trains to be housed overnight, two more than the facility's current capacity. [Progressive Railroading, 3-17-20]

CONTAINER SHORTAGE IMPACTS EXPORT TRAFFIC: As sailings from North American ports have been canceled, a lot of containers are sitting at ports waiting to be shipped. Until China's production for the U.S. is fully up and running once again, there will be a shortage of inbound containers to turn back for export. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-17-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-five percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 15, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 27 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet, Statistical Dept., 3-16-20]

AMTRAK CUTS NEC FREQUENCY BY 60 PCT: Amtrak is cutting its frequency on the Northeast corridor between Boston, New York and Washington by 60 percent of its typical weekday schedules in response to plummeting demand due to the coronavirus. [USA Today, 3-15-20]

JEROME MURPHY DIES, MA & PA HISTORIAN: Jerome E. Murphy, 95, who spent a lifetime collecting documents, photographs and hardware related to the old Maryland & Pennsylvania (Ma & Pa) Railroad, which operated a circuitous 77-mile route between Baltimore and York, died March 6. A former resident of Baldwin, Md., his interests in the Ma & Pa were stimulated by his uncle Henry Crilley, who was the line's station agent and postmaster at Long Green, Md., from 1883 until 1935. [Baltimore Sun, 3-15-20]

AMTRAK LOSING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN LOST REVENUE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Amtrak anticipates losing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue due to covid-19, forcing the company to reduce train frequencies and cut costs. Future bookings have plunged to about half what they were this time last year, and Amtrak has target scaling back frequencies on the Northeast corridor. Meanwhile, Amtrak is doing extra deep-cleaning on its trains and stations. Change fees will not be charged for passengers who reschdule their travel out of concern over the virus. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 3-13-20]

N.Y. MTA PURCHASES GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL: New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has closed on its purchase of Grand Central Teminal from Midtown Trackage Ventures. The acquisition includes Metro-North's Harlem and Hudson lines. The purchase ends MTA's 280-year lease of Grand Central, and gives Metro-North control of its operating environment. [Progressive Railroading, 3-13-20]

CENOVUS ENERGY HALTS CRUDE-BY-RAIL PROGRAM: Falling crude oil prices have prompted Canadian oil and natural gas producer Cenovus Energy to temporarily stop is crude-by-rail program. [Freight Waves, 3-13-20]

FEDS PROPOSE DRAFT SAFETY STANDARDS FOR TEXAS CENTRAL BULLET TRAIN: The Federal Railroad Administration has proposed a 'rule of particular applicability' to establish safety standards for the Texas Central Railroad's Dallas-Houston high-speed system. The proposed rule takes a system approach, including signal and trainset control, track, rolling stock, operating practices, system qualifications and maintenance. Trains would operate at no more than 205 MPH. [Progressive Railroading, 3-12-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN MOVES 30 JOBS FROM WILLIAMSON, W.VA.: Norfolk Southern has 'repositioned' 30 jobs from its 100-plus-year-old rail yard in Williamson, W.Va., to the company's yards in Bluefield, W.Va., and Roanoke, Va. [Williamson Daily News, 3-12-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending March 7, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 462,303 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.1 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carload volume was down 3.5 pct, and intermodal was down 14.1 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-11-20]

NORTH CAROLINA TO EXPLORE ROUTE USING N.C. RAILROAD FOR LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT: North Carolina's GoTriangle is circling back on a new light-rail line that would serve Durham and Johnston counties. The agency attempted to move forward with a line last year, but it was denied by Duke University for a needed right-of-way. Now there will be a study on a 34-mile route that would use existing rail owned by N.C. Railroad, plus several miles of new track. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-11-20]

DANELLA RENTAL SYSTEMS ACQUIRES ASPEN EQUIPMENT'S RENTAL DIVISION: Danella Rental Systems has acquired Aspen Equipment Company's rental division. Danella provides hi-rail vehicle and construction equipment, and Aspen Equipment builds hi-rail vehicles. Aspen will remain in the industry, focusing on production and service of new railroad equipment. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-20]

GENESEE & WYOMING TO UPGRADE WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY: Genesee & Wyoming will implement PS Technology's CewPro Short Line railroad crew management and hours of service system, and the QualPro qualification and training management solution across its rail network. The systems automate much of crew calling processes and tracks qualification information and scheduling requirements. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-20]

FEDS AWARD RAIL PROJECT GRANTS TO PORTS OF LOS ANGELES, LONG BEACH: The Federal Maritime Administration has awarded $18.2-million to the Port of Los Angeles, and $14.5-million to the Port of Long Beach for rail-related projects. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-20]

AMTRAK WARNS OF SERVICE REDUCTIONS OVER CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS: Amtrak bookings have plunged about 50 percent amid concerns over the coronavirus, and the railroad told its employees to expect 'significant reductions' in train service and voluntary unpaid leave. [USA Today, 3-11-20]

SWEDEN AWARDS HIGH-SPEED RAIL CONSULTANCY CONTRACTS: The Swedish Transport Administration has awarded a contract for consultancy services for construction of three high-speed rail lines between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. The lines could potentially form part of a 410-mile network connecting the southern parts of the country. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-20]

ALSTOM LANDS $58.7-M GERMAN LIGHT-RAIL CONTACT: Alstom will supply 17 additional Citadis trams to the Strasboug Transport Company and the Eurometropole of Strasbourg in Germany. The $58.7-million order will complete the 63-vehicle fleet delivered between 2003 and 2019. [Progressive Railroading, 3-11-20]

SUBWAY TRAINS COLLIDE IN MEXICO CITY, ONE KILLED, SCORES INJURED: At least man was killed and 41 other people were hurt after two subway trains collided in Mexico City on March 11. [Fox News, 3-11-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending March 8, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and nine minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-9-20]

FEDS GRANT $14.5-M TO ELLIS & EASTERN FOR TRACK REHAB: Ellis & Eastern Co. will receive a nearly $14.5-million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to help fund the rehabilitation of 7.5 miles of track between Brandon, Minnesota, and Valley Springs, South Dakota. The project calls for rebuilding six miles of track between Rushmore and Adrian, Minnesota, with 115-pound rail (to replace 80-pound rail), constructing a siding, and upgrading bridges and grade crossings. [Progressive Railroading, 3-9-20]

LIRR ACTIVATES PTC ON 108 MILES OF SYSTEM: Long Island Rail Road has activated positive train-control on the eastern 108 miles of its system, nearly doubling the route miles of its PTC-activated system. [Progressive Railroading, 3-9-20]

AMTRAK TO SUSPEND NON-STOP ACELA TRAINS BETWEEN N.Y. AND D.C.: Amtrak is suspending its Acela non-stop service between New York and Washington DC from March 10 until May 26 because of falling demand due to the coronaviris outbreak. [N.Y. Post, 3-7-20]

CSX TRAIN DERAILS IN ALABAMA: About five cars of a CSX train derailed early March 7 coming out of the rail yard in Flomaton, Alabama. No injuries were reported. [WEAR-TV, 3-7-20]

FEDS PUBLISH ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF REPLACING AMTRAK'S SAWTOOTH BRIDGE IN N.J.: The Federal Railroad Administration has published an environmental assessment of Amtrak's proposed replacement of the Sawtooth bridge on the Northeast corridor in New Jersey. The project calls for replacing two aging two-track bridges near the entrance to the North River tunnel, included as part of the Gateway program to increase rail capacity. [Progressive Railroading, 3-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN BEGINS AUTONOMOUS TRACK INSPECTION SYSTEM: Norfolk Southern is deploying an autonomous track geometry measurement system on its mainline between Norfolk, Virginia, and Portsmouth, Ohio. It is the first use of this particular system in North America, mounted on a locomotive between its pilot and first set of wheels, and supplies timely data used for track maintenance and capital budgeting. [Progessive Railroading, 3-6-20]

WARREN BUFFET PULLS OUT OF LNG PROJECT IN QUEBEC: Investor Warren Buffet has pulled out of a proposed $9-billion liquefied natural gas project in Quebec over concerns about railway blockades and infrastructue challenges. [Financial Post, 3-6-20]

FRENCH HIGH-SPEED TRAIN DERAILS: A French high-speed TGV train, traveling 170 MPH with about 300 passengers on board en route from Colmar to Paris, derailed early March 5 injuring 21 people, including the engineer. The derailment opened gash on the pointed nose of the train, which remained upright. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-5-20]

RECONSTRUCTION COMPLETED ON SEPTA'S EXTON STATION: SEPTA has completed reconstruction of the Exton station on the Paoli-Thorndale regional rail line. [Progressive Railroading, 3-5-20]

VIA RAIL RESTORING TRAINS TO NORMAL SCHEDULES: VIA Rail Canada will restore most of its trains to normal schedules by March 7, following protest blockades that prompted system-wide service cancelations. [Progressive Railroading, 3-5-20]

BNSF MAKING PROGRESS ON BUILDING SECOND BRIDGE NEAR SANDPOINT, IDAHO: Progress is being made in BNSF's plan to build a scond bridge, nearly a mile in length, parallel to its existing bridge acoss Lake Pnd Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho. Within the city of Sandpoint itself, grade work includes construction of a pedestrian tunnel to allow public access to a beach and lakside trail. [Railway Age, 3-5-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN NAMES THREE TO V.P. POSITIONS: Norfolk Southern has appointed Greg Comstock to vice-president of network operations, Lorri Kleine to vice-president of law, and Patrick Whitehead to vice-president of transportation. [Progressive Railroading, 3-5-20]

HOOSAC TUNNEL TO REMAIN OUT OF SERVICE UNTIL AT LEAST THE END OF MARCH: Pan Am Railway continues to work on repairs to the Hoosac Tunnel, but the line between Mechanicville and Ayer is now expected to remain out of service until at least the end of March. Norfolk Southern trains continue to use alternate routes. The tunnel had a partial wall collapse early last month. [Norfolk Southern, 3-5-20]

APPEALS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF TRIBAL COMMUNITY IN SUIT AGAINST BNSF: A federal appeals court has sided with the Swinomish Tribal Community in a lawsuit against BNSF over cargo and volume of traffic through tribal land. The ruling upholds a lower court ruling of the tribe's right to sue over enforcement. [Big Country News, 3-5-20]

N.Y. UNVEILS PLAN TO DECK OVER SUNNYSIDE YARD TO MAKE SPACE FOR APARTMENTS: New York City has unveiled a massive plan to deck over Sunnyside Yard to make space for 12,000 affordable apartments in Queens. The first of three phases in the process would include a new Sunnyside rail station for Long Island and Metro-North passengers. [Gothamist, 3-4-20]

FEBRUARY 2020 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight volume for the month of Febr. 2020 was 1,924,767 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.1 pct from the same month last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 7.3 pct, and intermodal volume was down 8.9 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 3-4-20]

BOB SCARDELLETTI, PRESIDENT OF TCU, RETIRING: Robert Scardelletti, national president of Transportation- Communications Union/ IAM, has announced his retirement effective July 1. Arthur Maratea has been elected to be his successor. [TCU/IAM, 3-4-20]

MULTI-COMMODITY RELOAD YARD OPENS IN OREGON: The Lost Creek Rock Products Coastal Reload yard opened March 1 at the Port of Coos Bay in Oregon. Served by the Coos Bay Rail line, the multi-commodity rail-to-truck, truck-to-rail terminal will serve the southern Oregon coast with a link to domestic and global markets. [Progressive Railroading, 3-4-20]

AMTRAK STEPS UP PROCEDURES IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS THREAT: Amtrak is intensifying its cleaning protocol for trains and stations, and waiving reservation change fees through the end of April, in response to the coronavirus threat. [USA Today, 3-4-20]

CONNECTICUT GETS GRANT FOR NEW RAIL STATION AT WINDSOR LOCKS: Connecticut has received a $17.4-million federal grant toward construction of a new rail station at Windsor Locks on the Hartford line. The $64.9-million station will be part of a transit-oriented development project. [Progressive Railroading, 3-3-20]

SOME OF BOSTON'S NEW ORANGE LINE RAIL CARS TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has again taken several new Orange Line rail cars out of service aftr identifying a fault with the bolsters. The trains are expected to return to service later in the week. [U.S. News & World Report, 3-3-20]

ONERAIL COALITION RESTRUCTURES: The OneRail Coalition has announced it has restructured into a standalone 501(c)(6) non-profit organization which will operate with its own board. Previously the coalition operated under the auspices of the Surface Transportation Policy project. Its mission is to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of freight and passenger rail. [Progressive Railroading, 3-3-20]

WORKERS SUFFER FROSTBITE FROM ESCAPING TANK CAR REFRIGERANT: A worker suffered frostbite late March 3 when a refrigerant escaped from a rail tank car on Indiana & Ohio tracks in Springfield Township, Ohio. Workers were on top of the car preparing to transfer the refigerant from the car to a road trailer. [Dayton Daily News, 3-3-20]

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: New Jersey has announced the start of construction of the first Hudson-Bergen light-rail extension since the line was extended in 2008 to the end of Bayonne. Known as the '440 Connection,' it will serve a new 8,000-unit Bayfront residential development on the Hackensack River. [NJ.com, 3-3-20]

WILLIAM FLYNN APPOINTED AS NEXT PRESIDENT & CEO OF AMTRAK: Amtrak has appointed William J. Flynn as its next president and chief executive officer, to become effective April 15. Flynn, 66, has worked in various tansport modes, holding senior roles with CSX, Sea-Land and GeoLogistics Corp. He will succeed Richard Anderson, who will remain as a senior advisor until the end of the year. [Railway Gazette, 3-2-20]

PA. TOWNSHIP SEEKS TO BUILD TRAIL NEXT TO NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Manor Township, Pa., believes it can work with Norfolk Southern in order to connect two recreational trails, but the most preferred option runs along Norfolk Southern tracks. The railroad, however, says safety and liability reasons make the proposal risky. The five-mile trail would connect with the existing Northwest Lancaster County River Trail and the Enola Low Grade Trail. A study will take a closer look. [Railway Track & Structures, 3-2-20]

SOUND TRANSIT ADVANCES CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE FOR LIGHT-RAIL STATION IN SEATTLE: Sound Transit's board has advanced the construction schedule for the infill light-rail station at N.E. 130th street in Seattle to minimize disruptions when the Lynnwood Link extension opens in 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 3-2-20]

TECH ADVISOR SELECTED FOR SUBWAY LINE IN TORONTO: Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have selected a technical advisory team for the $10.9-billion Ontario free-standing subway line in Toronto. It is proposed to have 15 stations and will run from Ontario Place/Exhibition Place through downtown to the Ontario Science Center. [Railway Age, 3-2-20]

FEBRUARY 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in February 2020. The average arrival of all long-distance trains in the survey period was 44 minutes late. The average arrival of the trains that were behind schedule was one hour and 26 minutes late. The train with the best on-time performance was City of New Orleans (88 percent), and the train with the worst on-time performance was Sunset Limited (4 percent). MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 3-1-20]

CSX TO LEASE MARIETTA SUB IN W.VA. TO OHIO COMPANY: An Ohio company, Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad, is preparing to take over CSX's Marietta Subdivision between Parkersburg and Marietta. [Marietta Times, 2-29-20]

REPAIR HUDSON RIVER TUNNELS RATHER THAN REPLACE THEM, U.S. SAYS: U.S. Transportation secretary Elaine Chao has told the House Appropriations Committee that a plan to fix the again Hudson River rail tunnels would be a 'faster and more cost-effective method' than building new ones. The tunnels are vital to Amtrak and N.J. Transit service between New Jersey and Penn Station in New York. [Progressive Railroading, 2-28-20]

CN BEGINS TO RECALL FURLOUGHED WORKERS IN EASTERN CANADA: Canadian National has begun calling back many of the 450 workers it laid off earlier this month in eastern Canada when blockades crippled operations on strategic rail lines. [Reuters, 2-28-20]

JUDGE REMOVES HIMSELF FROM CASE INVOLVING MD. PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE: A U.S. district judge has removed himself from a court case involving Maryland's light-rail Purple line over a permit on dredging and other activity in streams and wetlands along the route, which is opposed by a group, the judge citing that he lives near the site of a fuure station. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-28-20]

CSX TRAIN HAULING CRUDE DERAILS IN EAST CHICAGO: A CSX train pulling crude oil derailed 18 cars late Febr. 26 in East Chicago, eliciting response from firefighters and hazardous materials crews and the cautionary evacuation of nearby businesses. There were no reported injuries, and no product leakages or fires. [Fox 32 Chicago, 2-27-20]

PROGRESS RAIL LANDS LOCOMOTIVE CONTRACT IN UAE: ETIHAD Rail has awarded Progress Rail a contract to design, manufacture, test and deliver 38 EMD locomotives, marking a major expansion from the seven locomotives currently in operation across the United Arab Emirates. [International Railway Journal, 2-27-20]

HOOSAC TUNNEL STILL OUT OF SERVICE FOLLOWING PARTIAL COLLAPSE: Pan Am Southern's Hoosac Tunnel remains out of service following its partial collapse, and is expeced to remain out of service until at least mid-March. Norfolk Southern trains continue to use alternate routes. [Norfolk Southern, 2-27-20]

WYOMING HOUSE VOTES TO REQUIRE TWO CREW MEMBERS ON CLASS I FREIGHT TRAINS: The Wyoming House of Representatives has voted to advance legislation to the state senate to mandate crews of two persons or more on all Class I freight trains in Wyoming. [Casper Star Tribune, 2-27-20]

PTC IN OPERATION ON 96.3 PCT OF REQUIRED ROUTE MILES, FEDS SAY: As of the end of last year, positive train-control systems were in operation on 55,601 out of nearly 58,000 mandated route miles in the U.S., or 96.3 pct, which includes 99.8 pct of main lines used by Amtrak. Significant works remains on commuter railroads, however, as PTC is in operation on only 54.7 pct of their mileage, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. [FRA, 2-27-20]

RCMP BEGINS ENFORCING INJUNCTION AGAINST RAIL LINE PROTEST BLOCKAGES: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have begun enforcing an injunction that prevents interference with construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia which have blocked railroads in Canada disrupting service. [Canadian Press, 2-27-20]

HYDROGEN TRAIN BEING TESTED IN THE NETHERLANDS: The first hydrogen train arrived in the Netherlands on Febr. 26, and over a two-week period it will undergo test runs between Groningen and Leeuwarden. [Railway News, 2-27-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 482,690 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Febr. 22, 2020, down 7.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 9.3 pct, and intermodal was down 6.0 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-26-20]

OMNITRAX DONATES HISTORIC SW1200 LOCOMOTIVE TO READING R.R. HERITAGE MUSEUM: OmniTRAX and its subsidiary Stockton Terminal & Eastern Railroad has donated SW1200 locomotive STE-678 to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pa. The locomotive was one of just five similar units originally manufactured by EMD for the Reading Railroad. [Business Wire, 2-26-20]

CSX FAULTED FOR FAILURE TO NOTIFY TAMPA OF CROSSING CLOSURES: CSX has been doing rail maintenance this week in Tampa requiring some crossing closures. The company did provide warning to residents about the closures, but it neglected to notify the city in order for it to take steps to lessen traffic impacts. This resulted in some 10-minute trips taking 60 to 90 minutes. Moreover, some of the crossings that were closed had no maintenance work even being performed at all. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-26-20]

ENSCO RAIL DIVISION OPENS OFFICE IN COLORADO SPRINGS: ENSCO's rail division has opened a new office in downtown Colorado Springs to support the firm's railway research, condition assessment, asset management and cybersecurity business areas. [Progressive Railroading, 2-26-20]

TEXAS CENTRAL CONTRACTS WITH RENFE TO DEVELOP, OPERATE HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICE: Dallas-based high-speed rail developer Texas Central has awarded a $5.9-billion contract to Spanish firm Renfe to develop and operate the proposed rail service between Dallas and Houston, according to a report in Urban Transport News. [Dallas Innovates, 2-25-20]

N.C. PLANS $41.4-M IMPROVEMENT TO 13 MILES OF CSX TRACKS: North Carolina is seeking public comments on proposed improvements to CSX tracks and crossings along 13 miles of CSX tracks in Brunswick and New Hanover counties between Navassa and Wilmington. The $41.4-million project will be funded by the state's department of transportation improvement program. [Progressive Railroading, 2-25-20]

CALGARY TO ACQUIRE 15 ADDITIONAL LIGHT-RAIL VEHICLES: Siemens Mobility will continue to update Calgary's current light-rail vehicle fleet with 15 additional S200 vehicles. They will replace U2 vhicles, most of which have been running almost 40 years. [Railway Age, 2-25-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-seven percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending February 23, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 26 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-24-20]

DURANGO & SILVERTON NOW RUNNING WITH OIL-BURNER: The Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad has debuted its first oil-burning locomotive for a more environmentally-friendly fuel source that holds less fire risk than one that burns coal. Crews have worked for the past two years to convert No. 493, an early 1900's coal-burning locomotive, to run off oil. It is the first of what is expected to be several of such conversions. [Denver Post, 2-24-20]

NAVAJO NATION PLANS TO BUILD A RAIL LINE TO SERVE FOUR-CORNERS AREA: Navajo Nation and local officials have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue construction of a new freight railroad system that would serve the Four Corners area of New Mexico. The agreement commits no funding, but it sets the stage for the Navajo Nation and San Juan County to plan for a railroad to serve several communities. [Progressive Railroading, 2-24-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN ELECTS TWO TO BOARD: Norfolk Southern has elected John Huffard Jr., cofounder of a network security company, and Christopher Jones, former president of technology services for Northrop Grumman, to the board of directors. [Progressive Railroading, 2-24-20]

READING & NORTHERN TO RESTORE TOURIST TRAINS TO TAMAQUA, PA.: Reading & Northern will be bringing back tourist trains to the 146-year-old Tamaqua, Pa., train station this season, with a new, upgraded platform at the station. Construction of the platform will be this spring with completion in time for the borough's Summerfest June 21. Following Summerfest, trains will run from Reading to Tamaqua for dining at a local restaurant. [Railway Age, 2-24-20]

BNSF BRIDGE BURNS IN KANSAS: The investigation into a fire that engulfed a BNSF timber rail bridge near Kiowa, Kansas, Febr. 22, was still ongoing two days later. BNSF says it is going to determine if the bridge is worth salvaging, or if a new bridge should be built. The railroad already has a steel bridge parallel to the bridge that burned, and operations have not been disrupted. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-24-20]

N.Y. CITY TRANSIT TO ADD NEW OPEN-GANGWAY SUBWAY CARS: New York City Transit plans to develop and purchase up to 949 new subway cars with an open-gangway configuation, allowing passengers to move freely between cars and improving dwell time at stations. [Railway Age, 2-24-20]

U.S. RAILS MONITORING CANADIAN CRUDE: The derailment of two separate oil trains about two months apart near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, each spilling crude onto the ground and one igniting in flames, have raised questions not only the cause but also the durability of the tank cars involved. It is raising questions about the transport of Canadian crude on U.S. rails. [Railway Age, 2-24-20]

AMTRAK MOVES TO ADOPT AIRLINE-STYLE PRICING: Amtrak passengers who pay for the lowest train fares will be unable to claim a refund if they cancel, and others will pay a fee for changes made within 14 days of travel. The new fare structure will take effect on March 1, binging Amtrak closer to airline-style pricing. [USA Today, 2-24-20]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYMENT TUMBLES IN JAN. 2020: Employment at the Class I railroads fell to its lowest in years, with the total in January 2020 tumbling 12.4 pct year-over-year, according to data from the Surface Transportation Board. [Freight Waves, 2-24-20].

CHINA TO BUILD MAGLEV LINE IN YUNNAN PROVINCE: China is planning to build a 267-mile high-speed magnetic-levitation line in the country's southwest Yunnan province, at an estimated cost of over $14-billion. [U.S. News & World Report, 2-23-20]

SOUTH SHORE TRAIN DERAILS IN THE LOOP: A South Shore line train derailed while pulling into Chicago's Millennium station in the Loop early Febr. 22. Four passengers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. [Chicago Sun-Times, 2-22-20]

AMTRAK PLANS TO SPEND $2.6-B ON NEW EQUIPMENT IN FY-2021: Amtrak has revealed that it plans on spending $2.6-billion on equipment in FY-2021, including over $1-billion for the national network. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-21-20]

PROTESTS CONTINUE TO IMPACT RAIL SERVICE IN CANADA: Freight Waves is reporting that the blockades of much of Canadian National lines by those protesting pipeline construction through British Columbia's Wet'suwet'en territory is also creating problems for other carriers as well. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-21-20]

CP CONDUCTOR FIRED FOR ONLINE POSTS GETS COMPENSATION, BUT NOT JOB BACK: An arbitrator says a former Canadian Pacific conductor who was fired over disparaging online posts is entitled to monetary compensation, but not her job back. The employee had also modeled photos that were taken on railroad property. [Canadian Press, 2-21-20]

BIARRI RAIL TO BE ACQUIRED: Navis has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Biarri Rail. After the acquisition is complete, the rail team will operate out of offices in Chicago and Australia. [Progressive Railroading, 2-21-20]

INFINITY TRANSPORTATION LOGISTICS CHANGES ITS NAME: Infinity Transportation Logistics has changed its name to Infinity Intermodal. The rebranding follows an increase in the company's refrigerated container fleet. [Progressive Railroading, 2-21-20]

COLORADO TO ACQUIRE UNION PACIFIC'S BURNHAM RAIL YARD IN DENVER: Colorado and Union Pacific have reached a preliminary agreement for the sale to the state of 59 acres of the Burnham Rail yard, south of downtown Denver, which the railroad closed four years ago. The site will be used for a number of projects, including the light-rail network. [Progressive Railroading, 2-21-20]

VIRGIN TRAINS PLANS TWO-FLOOR TERMINAL IN LAS VEGAS: Virgin Trains USA plans a two-story, 273,000 square-foot station and parking garage on a portion of a 110-acre plot of land across from South Premium Outlets in Las Vegas. Construction is to begin later this year, with operations planned to begin in 2023. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-21-20]

VIA RAIL LAYS OFF 1,000 EMPLOYEES DUE TO PROTEST BLOCKADES: VIA Rail Canada is temporarily laying off about 1,000 employees because of ongoing protest blockades on CN rail lines. [Progressive Railroading, 2-20-20]

ATLANTA-AREA VOTERS APPROVE PENNY SALES TAX TO FUND RAIL, BUS SERVICES: Voters in all four jurisdictions in the MARTA service area of Atlanta have approved a 1-cent sales tax to fund rail and bus service in Atlanta and Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties through 2057. [Progressive Railroading, 2-20-20]

BLET REACHES AGREEMENT WITH D&H: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has reached a tentative agreement with the Delaware & Hudson Railway. Active members will now be voting on ratification of the agreement. [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, 2-20-20]

PASSENGER RAIL RETURNS TO SHORT GERMAN RAIL LINE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1965: A two-mile rail line between Tornesch and Uetersen, Germany, north of Hamburg, has been reopened to passenger service on an experimental basis. The line lost its passenger service in 1965, but remained open for freight service to and from a paper mill. [International Railway Journal, 2-20-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Febr. 15, 2020, was 479,137 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-19-20]

CN FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN ONTARIO, LEAKS CRUDE OIL: A Canadian National freight train derailed late Febr. 18 with about 30 cars off the track near Emo, Ontario, and crude oil was leaking. [Globe & Mail, 2-19-20]

OPTIFUEL SYSTEMS GETS TIER-4 CERTIFICATION FOR INTERNAL CUMBUSTION ENGINE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted OptiFuel Systems a Tier-4 certification for its internal combustion engine that produces zero nitrogen oxide or particulate matter emissions. [Progressive Railroading, 2-19-20]

CN LAYS OFF 450 IN EASTERN CANADA: Canadian National is temporarily laying off about 450 employees in its Eastern Canada operations after canceling more than 400 trains over the past week in response to protest blockages along its rail lines. [Progressive Railroading, 2-19-20]

CLEANUP CONTINUES FOLLOWING CSX DERAILMENT IN KENTUCKY: Cleanup remained underway Febr. 18 at the site of a massive CSX train derailment, with crews working to remove the remaining locomotives from the crash site. The derailment occurred Febr. 13 sending two crew members to the hospital. [WSAZ, 2-18-20]

ALSTOM AGREES TO BUY BOMBARDIER'S RAIL BUSINESS: French train manufacturer Alstom has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire Canada-based Bombardier's rail business for $6.2-billion to $6.7-billion. Selling its rail business will allow Bombardier to focus exclusively on its aviation business. [Progressive Railroading, 2-18-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO CLOSE ITS ROANOKE DISTRIBUTION CENTER: Norfolk Southern has announced the closure of its Roanoke, Va, distribution center, and the planned transfer of the work of its Roanoke shop to Altoona, Pa. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-18-20]

RENFE LAUNCHES GRANADA-SEVILLE HIGH-SPEED TRAIN SERVICE: Spain's national rail operator Renfe has launched a new 155-MPH train service between Granada and Seville. [International Railway Journal, 2-18-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending February 16, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 30 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-17-20]

DAYTON SEEKS TO BUY 6.5 MILES OF ABANDONED RAIL LINE FOR TRAIL: Dayton, Ohio, wants to create a multi-use trail that would connect downtown with eastern neighborhoods over an abandoned rail line. But the city has been unable to agree with Norfolk Southern to a price. The city appraiser values the track at $785,000, but the railroad puts the asking price at $3.5-million. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-17-20]

EAST BROAD TOP RAILROAD TO RUN AGAIN: The East Broad Top narrow-gauge railroad in Pennsylvania now has a new owner. It is a non-profit foundation organized by a group of prominent rail-industry figures and longtime EBT fans. EBT Foundation Inc. will own 27 miles of the line along with its shops, rolling stock and equipment. EBT has been closed since late 2011, and before operations can be renewed, the foundation will need to overhaul track and equipment. The foundation will offer several events this year, but it is not anticipated that it will be in a position to run trains over the line until sometime in 2021. MORE.. [The Sentinel, 2-15-20]

NEW 224-MPH TRAIN BEING TESTED IN JAPAN: A prototype of the Alfa-X Shinkansen train made its first test run in Hokkaido, Japan, on Febr. 12. The new train is being developed by East Japan Railway with the aim to introduce it at the same time as the Hokkaido Shinkansen that is being extended to Sapporo. The railway seeks to operate the Shinkansen at a maximum speed of 224 MPH. The train has 10 cars, and has a defining characteristic of a lengthy nose on the front to mitigate shock when entering a tunnel at speed. [Japan News, 2-15-20]

BOMBARDIER REPORTS DROP IN REVENUE: Bombardier released its consolidated full-year 2019 results on Febr. 13, confirming a 7 pct drop in revenue for the Transportation division to $8.2-billion, just the day after the board of Alstom reportedly met to discuss a potential takeover deal. [International Railway Journal, 2-14-20]

FEDS GRANT $7.3-M TOWARD RAIL TRANSIT SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: The Federal Transit Administration has made available $7.3-million for projects that demonstrate and evaluate new technologies, safer designs and practices to improve rail transit safety. [Progressive Railroading, 2-14-20]

MBTA ADVANCING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority has announced a number of subway and commuter rail shutdowns over the coming year as part of plans to speed up construction projects system-wide. This will allow the work to be done nearly eight years ahead of the originally-planned schedule. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-14-20]

PLANS CONTINUE FOR AMTRAK SERVICE TO QUAD CITIES, ROCKFORD IN ILLINOIS: Plans are continuing smoothly for Amtrak's proposed service to the Quad Cities and Rockford. For the state of Illinois, the next step is getting a cosultant to manage the project. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 2-14-20]

STADLER RAIL LANDS NEXUS CONTRACT TO MAINTAIN 42 TRAINS IN U.K.: Stadler Rail has entered into a $914-million contract with Nexus to supply and maintain 42 new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro in northeast England. The new trains will replace the existing fleet by 2024. [Progressive Railroading, 2-14-20]

CSX ETHANOL TRAIN DERAILS IN KENTUCKY: A CSX train with 96 loaded ethanol cars derailed two locomotives and an unknown number of cars into the Big Sandy River in Draffin, Kentucky, early Febr. 13, after striking a rock slide. Two crew members made it safely to shore and were then transported to a hospital. One of the locomotives and some of the cars were burning. [WYMT, 2-13-20]

VIA RAIL HALTS PASSENGER SERVICE ACROSS CANADA DUE TO PROTESTS: VIA Rail is halting passenger services across Canada in the face of protests, and CN is shutting down its eastern Canada operations. [Calgary Herald, 2-13-20]

FREIGHT RAILROADS, UNION FREE TO NEGOTIATE TRAIN-CREW STAFFING, COURT SAYS: A federal court has issued an order allowing freight railroads to begin ngotiations over train crew staffing with the union that represents conductors. [Progressive Railroading, 2-13-20]

N.Y. CITY TRANSIT RETIRES REMAINING R-42 SUBWAY CARS: New York City Transit has retired the last remaining R-42 subway cars from service, ending a 51-year run. Two of the cars will be saved for housing at the New York Transit Museum. The retired fleet is being replaced by R-179 cars, and eventually R-211 cars. [Progressive Railroading, 2-13-20]

TESTING TO BEGIN ON NEW AMTRAK ACELA TRAIN SET: The first of Amtrak's new Acela train sets, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast corridor in 2021, will be arriving shortly at the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado, for nine months of dynamic testing. [Amtrak, 2-13-20]

INDIANA DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT GETS CLEARANCE TO PROCEED: The Federal Transit Administration has given clearance for the addition of a second commuter-rail track between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana, along with the elimination of 21 grade crossings in Michigan City. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-13-20]

PAN AM RAILWAYS REPORTS PARTIAL WALL COLLAPSE IN HOOSAC TUNNEL: Pan Am Railways has reported a partial wall collapse in the Hoosac tunnel which affects all trains operating between Mechanicsville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts. The company's engineering department is evaluating the situation. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-12-20]

READING & NORTHERN, TOWN OF JIM THORPE RESOLVE AMUSEMENT TAX DISPUTE: Reading & Northern Railroad and the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., have resolved their amusement tx dispute, and the railroad will resume tourist rail service to and from Jim Thorpe this spring, with the first trips coming at Winterfest on Febr. 15. [Railway Age, 2-12-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Febr. 8, 2020, was 485,329 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-12-20]

VEHICLE STRUCK BY METROLINK TRAIN: A vehicle was hit by a Metrolink train in Simi Valley late Febr. 12. There were no reported injuries to passengers on the train, but one occupant of the vehicle was transported to a hospital as a precaution. [VC Star, 2-12-20]

CSX HIKES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND: The CSX board of directors has increased the quarterly dividend 8 pct from 24 cents to 26 cents per share. [CSX, 2-12-20]

NEW RAIL CAR STORAGE YARD TO BE BUILT IN ALBERTA: The Canadian govrnment will invest $15-million (C) toward construction of a 1,930-railcar storage yard in Sturgeon County, Alberta, aimed at reducing bottlenecks on the western Canadian rail network. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

PRESIDENT'S FY-2021 BUDGET CUTS FUNDING FOR AMTRAK: President Trump's administration has proposed its FY-2021 budget calling for cutting Amtrak funding by more than 50 pct, compared with previous year's budget, and a plan to phase out support for long-distance trains. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

GRANT AWARDED TOWARD CONSTRUCTION OF RAIL SPUR TO INDUSTRAIL PARK IN INDIANA: The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will award up to $1-million to LaPorte County to halp pay for a $6-million prject to build a rail spur to connect Kingsbury Industrial Park to the CSX main line. CSX has designated the industrial park as a 'Select Site' for prospective developers. [Progressive Railroading, 2-11-20]

PIPELINE PROTESTS DISRUPT CN SERVICE: CN says it will be forced to shut down significant parts of its Canadian rail network unless blockades on its rail lines are removed. Individuals blocking the lines say their opposition to pipelines is not related to CN activities, but blockads have already caused cancelation of hundreds of trains over the past five days. [CN, 2-11-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-nine percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their schduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending Febr. 9, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 39 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-10-20]

CANADA IMPOSES SPEED RESTRICTIONS ON HAZMAT TRAINS: Transport Canada has ordered all freight trains hauling 20 or more cars of dangerous goods to limit their speed to 20 MPH in metropolitan areas, and 25 MPH outside of metropolitan areas, to last for 30 days. [Freight Waves, 2-10-20]

METROLINX TO INSTALL TRESPASS-RETARDANT PANELS AT 18 GRADE CROSSINGS: Toronto's Metrolinx will install rubber panels at 18 grade crossings on GO Transit's Lakeshore corridors to deter peple from trespassing on tracks. Three such panels were installed last year, testing their capability, and the agency noticed a drop in trespassing at the affected locations. The panels are made of material that is difficult to walk upon. [Progressive Railroading, 2-10-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN MAIN LINE BRIDGE WASHED OUT IN S.C.: A Norfolk Southern main line bridge near Columbia, S.C., washed out, and the line will remain out of service for about one week. Rail traffic is being rerouted. The bridge is about four miles west of a Febr. 7 derailment, but the two incidents are not related. [Norfolk Southern, 2-9-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN S.C.: Three locomotives and eight cars derailed Febr. 7 in Columbia, S.C., after a train struck a tree in Columbia, S.C., Norfolk Southern said. No injuries were reported. [WLTX, 2-8-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN ILLINOIS: A BNSF train derailed early Febr. 8 south of Sesser, Illinois. Approximately 20-25 cars derailed, some onto their sides. There was no risk to public safety, officials said. [WSIL-TV, 2-8-20]

DERAILED CP TRAIN STILL BURNING IN SASKATCHEWAN: It was the second fiery train derailment in two months near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, when the accident involving 31 cars of a 104-car train occurred Febr. 6. No injuries were reported, but twelve cars were still burning as of the evening. The previous derailment was Dec. 9, 2019, when 34 cars left the tracks. [CBC, 2-7-20]

CN TO CLOSE MONTREAL DISPATCHING CENTER: Canadian National has announced that it will close its rail traffic control center in Montreal on Sept. 14, and move 108 positions to Alberta. [CBC, 2-7-20]

MONTANA RAIL LINK PROMOTES THREE: Montana Rail Link has promoted Joe Racicot to vice-president of administration and general counsel, Jim Lewis to vice-president of sales and marketing, and Ross Lane to vice-president of corporate relations. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

WABTEC BRAKES GROUND ON PLANT IN BOCHUM, GERMANY: Wabtec has broken ground on a 200,000-square-foot plant for developing and manufacturing brakes, and maintaining brakes and couplers for transit vehicles in Bochum, Germany. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

SCI RAIL HOLDINGS ACQUIRES SALCO PRODUCTS: SCI Rail Holdings, through a subsidiary, has acquired Salco Products, a supplier of circular hatch covers, tank car valves and other rail-car components. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

ALSTOM TO SUPPLY 11 CORADIA CONTINENTAL BATTERY-ELECTRIC TRAINS FOR GERMANY: Alsom has entred into a $109.6-million contract to build, deliver and maintain 11 Coradia Continental battery-electric trains for the Leipzig-Chemnitz route in Germany. [Progressive Railroading, 2-7-20]

HIGH-SPEED TRAIN WRECK IN ITALY KILLS TWO, INJURES ABOUT 30: A high-speed passenger train derailed in northern Italy before dawn Febr. 6. Its detached engine slammed into the car of a work train on an adjacent track and ripped away part of a building wall. Two train employees were killed and about 30 people were injured. [ABC News, 2-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILS IN N.J.: A Norfolk Southern train derailed early Febr. 6 on the main line in Bound Brook, N.J., causing the route to and from north New Jersey including Croxton and Ports of New York to be out of service. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN STOPS HANDLING CONTAINERS AT HARRIS YARD, MEMPHIS: Norfolk Southern has stopped handling intermodal freight containers at Harris yard in mid-city Memphis, and has moved those operations to suburban Rossville. [Daily Memphian, 2-6-20]

READING & NORTHERN OPENS NEW BRIDGE SPANNING LEHIGH RIVER IN PA.: Reading & Northern, on Febr. 5, opened a new $14-million rail bridge over the Lehigh River in Nesquhoning, Pa., connecting the line's Reading and Lehigh divisions. The bridge now allows expedited movement between Reading and Scranton. [Progressive Railroading, 2-6-20]

CP TRAIN DERAILS, CATCHES FIRE IN SASKATCHEWAN: A Canadian Pacific train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire early Febr. 6 in Guernsey, Saskatchewan. There were no injuries to the crew, and the railroad said there was no impact to waterways. Response teams were working to contain the fire. [Railway Track & Structures, 2-6-20]

CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN CONSTRUCTION SPANS 119 MILES: California's high-speed rail construction contracts now total nearly $4-billion with 30 active sites spanning 119 miles across five counties. Rail operations are anticipated to start in 2027 on 171 miles of rail. [Streetsblog California, 2-6-20]

JANUARY 2020 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 2,410,813 carloads and intermodal containers in January 2020, a drop of 5.6 pct compared with the same month last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 2-5-20]

BNSF ORDERED TO PAY FORMER EMPLOYEE IN WHISTLEBLOWER INCIDENT: A U.S. district court has ordered BNSF to pay over $696,000 in lost, back and future wages to a former employee who reported track defects, bringing the total paid to the individual to more than $1.74-million. [U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2-5-20]

MOBILE COUNCIL COMMITS $3-M TOWARD GULF COAST AMTRAK RUNS: The Mobile, Alabama, city council has voted to commit around $3-million, starting in the year 2023, for restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast. But advocates stressed that more work is needed, and a train station will have to be built. [AL.com, 2-4-20]

ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS STRAND NEC TRAINS SOUTH FROM N.Y. PENN: A day after horror stories from stranded commuters in and out of New York's Penn Station via the Hudson River tunnels, the delays of 90 minutes or longer were from lost electrical power after contact with overhead wires failed. It happened whee the overhead catenary wires intersect with the tunnel's flood gates. [NJ.com, 2-4-20]

ACUPUNCTURIST SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMTRAK: A licensed California acupuncturist has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for fraudulently billing Amtrak's healthcare plan for millions of dollars' worth of procedures that were not medically necessary, or were not provided at all. [Orange County Register, 2-4-20]

BNSF TO SPEND $3.4-B IN CAPEX THIS YEAR: BNSF will spend $3.4-billion on capital expenditures this year. The largest, $2.55-billion component, will be for replacing and upgrading its track and maintaining rolling stock. [Progressive Railroading, 2-4-20]

PERSON STRUCK, KILLED BY TRAIN ON NORTHEAST CORRIDOR IN MD.: Amtrak and MARC trains saw delays of 20 to 40 minutes the morning of Febr. 3 after a person was struck and killed by a train near the Seabrook, Md., MARC station. [WTOP, 2-3-20]

CAROLINA COASTAL RAILWAY TO BE ACQUIRED: Short line operator Regional Rail LLC has agreed to acquire Carolina Coastal Railway, which operates 180 miles of track in the Carolinas. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

LIRR REOPENS RENOVATED NOSTRAND AVENUE STATION IN BROOKLYN: Long Island Rail Road has reopened its Nostrand avenue station in Brooklyn following a more than two-year, $28-million renovation. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

MAGNOLIA PARK TRANSIT CENTER IN HOUSTON REOPENED: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, has reopened the improved Magnolia Park Transit Center in Houston following an upgrade. [Progressive Railroading, 2-3-20]

PERSON STRUCK, KILLED BY MARC TRAIN IN ROCKVILLE, MD.: A pedestrian was struck and killed by a MARC train the afternoon of Febr. 3 near Randolph road, Rockville, Md., causing a suspension of Brunswick line train service due to the investigation. [WDVM, 2-3-20]

N.J. TRANSIT'S OLDEST LOCOMOTIVE IS 50 YEARS OLD: New Jersey Transit locomotive 4100, the agency's oldest unit, began its career as one of 13 FP40P engines, built by General Motors and purchased by NJT to keep commutr trains running on the bankrupt Central Railroad of New Jersey. [NJ.com, 2-2-20]

AMTRAK SERVICE IN VA. EXPECTED TO DOUBLE WITHIN DECADE: Amtrak trains in Virginia carried nearly a million passengers last year. Virginia's pledge to invest $3.7-billion in rail over the next decade promises even more growth for Amtrak, and the number of trains in the state is expected to double by 2030. Virginia is one of 18 states to sponsor Amtrak service. [Roanoke Tims, 2-1-20]

JANUARY 2020 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in January 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 10 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 2-1-20]

CN MAIN LINE DAMAGED BY STORM IN B.C.: Heavy rainfall has caused significant flooding in the mountains of British Columbia, closing sections of highway 5 and washing away thr gound beneath a section of Canadian National main line near Hope. [Coast Mountain News, 2-1-20]

TRACK REPAIRS DELAY LONDON-PARIS TRAINS: Passengers on the first trains between London and Paris following Britain's departure from the European Union faced lengthy delays, some by more than two hours.. But overrunning engineering work and track problems - not Brexit - were to blame. Trains between London and Brussels were also delayed.. [U.S. News & World Report, 2-1-20]

AMTRAK'S DOWNEASTER BREAKS RIDERSHIP RECORD IN 2019: Amtrak's Downeaster between Maine and Boston broke its ridership record in 2019, when it attracted 574,404 passengers. This was an 8 pct increase over the previous year. [WHDH, 2-1-20]

TEEN KILLED BY MBTA COMMUTER TRAIN: An 18-year-old male is dead after he was struck late Jan. 30 by a Massachusetts Bay commuter train while on the right-of-way in Concord, Massachusetts. [Boston Herald, 1-31-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN BREAKS DOWN, BLOCKS TEXAS CROSSING 16 HOURS: A Union Pacific freight train that had broken down early Jan. 30 remained stationary over 16 hours blocking crossings in the town of West, Texas, until crews could arrive and make repairs. School zone traffic was described as being a 'nightmare' during the ordeal. [KWTX, 1-30-20]

STATE AUDITOR CRITICIZES N.J. TRANSIT RAIL OPERATIONS: A scathing report by the state auditor has critized N.J. Transit's operations, saying the cost to install positive train-control technology ballooned to $500-million, and expressed doubts that the agency will meet the year-ending mandate to have it running. The report also contends 47 bridges with poor or bad components were left off the priority repair list. [NJ.com, 1-30-20]

MAN DRIVES AROUND GATE, KILLED BY AMTRAK TRAIN IN CALIFORNIA: A man was killed late Jan. 29 in East Oakland, California, after he drove his vehicle around activated railroad crossing gates and was struck by an Amtrak train. [S.F. Chronicle, 1-30-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN REPORTS 4-Q, FULL YEAR EARNINGS: Norfolk Southern reported fourth-quarter net income of $666-million and diluted earnings per share of $2.55; and full year 2019 net income of $2.72-billion and diluted EPS of $10.25. During its first year of its three-year strategic plan, the company produced a record operating ratio of 64.7 pct while managing the headwinds of a 5 pct decline in carload volumes. Railway operating revenues for the year were $11.3-billion, a drop of 1 pct compared with the prior year. [Norfolk Southern, 1-29-20]

N.Y. TRANSIT RETURNS R179 RAIL CARS TO SERVICE: New York City Transit has returned 298 Bombardier R179 rail cars to service after having removed them from the subway fleet in response to reports of door problems. [Progressive Railroading, 1-29-20]

FLORIDA OFFICIALS CONSIDER LEGISLATION TO CURB FATALITIES ON BRIGHTLINE TRACKS: In its first two years, more than 40 people have been killed by Brightline trains on tracks and crossings, a rate of more than one a month. Brightline trains run at up to 79 MPH, somewhat faster than the freight trains that operate on the same tracks, often through densely-populated areas. Fencing the right-of-way could be one solution, and Florida officilas are considering legislation would might require such an effort, but Brightline says that fencing would cost more than $200,000 per mile, something the company says could threaten its transportation project. [WUFT, 1-29-20]

CP REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR ENDING RESULTS: Canadian Pacific announced record revenues of $2.07-billion, an operating ratio of 57 pct, and record diluted earnings per share of $4.82 in the fourth-quarter 2019. For the full year, revenues increased 7 pct to a record $7.79-billion and adjusted diluted EPS of $16.44, and increase of 13 pct from the prior year. [CP, 1-29-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. rail freight traffic in the week ending Jan. 25, 2020, was 485,282 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.1 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-29-20]

MAN KILLED BY FREIGHT TRAIN IN WEST PALM BEACH: A man died Jan. 28 after being struck by a freight train in West Palm Beach while walking near the Florida East Coast right-of-way. Crossings were blocked for several hours because of the incident, police said. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-29-20]

UNION PACIFIC REOPENING 58 INTERLINE SERVICE LANES WITH CSX, NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Union Pacific will reopen 58 interline service lanes with CSX and Norfolk Southern beginning Febr. 1. The lanes had been originally cut in 2018 in connection with the company's version of precision railroading. [Supply Chain Dive, 1-29-20]

RUSSIAN RAILWAYS RECEIVES 12 THREE-SECTION DIESELS FOR NON-ELECTRIFIED SERVICE: Bryansk has delivered 12 three-section diesel locomotives with AC-DC transmission designed for harsh weather conditions in non-electrified sections in the far east of Russia. [Railway Gazette, 1-29-20]

MOBILE POSTPONES GULF COAST TRAIN FUNDING VOTE: The future of Amtrak passenger rail service remains hanging in the balance after city leaders in Mobile postponed their vote Jan. 28. A favorable vote would pave the way for the return of Gulf Coast Amtrak rail service. [WLOX, 1-28-20]

CN REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END RESULTS: Canadian National's fourth-quarter and year-ending results were impacted by its eight-day labor strike and weakened traffic demand. Quarterly revenues of $3.58-billion (C) were a drop of 6 pct compared with the same quarter last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.25 were a decrease of 16 pct, and adjusted operating ratio of 65.2 pct increased 4.0 points. Full year 2019 revenues of $14.9-billion (C) represented an increase of 4 pct, and adjusted operating ratio of 61.7 was an increase of 0.2 points. [CN, 1-28-20]

SEPTA SHUTS DOWN ROUTE 15 STREETCAR: Philadelphia's SEPTA Route 15 streetcar, which operated 8.4 miles along Girard avenue, made its final run Jan. 24. SEPTA offered only a four-day notice, posting the discontinuance as a service advisory on its website, and did not issue a press release. Bus service has been substituted. SEPTA claimed that one of the reasons for shutting down the line was a shortage of operable vehicles. [Railway Age, 1-27-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Sixty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week nding January 26, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 56 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-27-20]

CLASS I RAIL EMPLOYEMENT DOWN IN MID-DECEMBER: As of mid-December 2019, Class I rail employment was 131,486, down 1.31 pct since mid-November, and down 11 pct from one year earlier, according to the Surface Transportation Board. [Progressive Railroading, 1-27-20]

PROPOSED RAIL-TRAIL ADDITION IN NORTHERN VERMONT GETS BOOST FROM GOVERNOR: Vermont's governor has asked lawmakers to approve $2.8-million as the state's share toward completion of the remaining 60 miles of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, located on a rail line that operated until the 1980's.. A 30-mile section is already open, and the completed trail would connect with a number of other trails in Vermont and adjacent states. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-25-20]

MISSOURI OWES AMTRAK MILLIONS: For the last decade, Missouri has not paid its full contract for the River Runner service. The state has several million dollars in overdue bills. Two trains are involved, each making a round-trip every day between St. Louis and Kansas City, with eight stops in between. Amtrak, meanwhile, has been very patient with the state. It has not treatened to stop service. But a state official believes it could eventually come to that point if the bill remains unpaid. [News Tribune, 1-25-20]

EXTENSION OF HEARTLAND FLYER TO KANSAS BEING CALCULATED: Officials from Oklahoma and Kansas, along with advocates, met with Amtrak this week to discuss a possible extension of the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City and Newton, Kansas, where there would be a connection with the Southwest Chief. Host carrier BNSF will release a cost analysis in February. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

AMTRAK MAKES NEW BUS CONNECTION IN N.C.: Swansboro, N.C., is now a stop for the Amtrak Thruway Bus, which will provide service to and from Wilson, N.C. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

BOMBARDIER IN TALKS WITH ALSTOM TO POTENTIALLY COMBINE RAIL BUSINESSES: Bloomberg reports that Bombardier has initiated discussions with Alstom to potentially combine their rail businesses. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-24-20]

SOUND TRANSIT GETS FEDERAL GRANT FOR LIGHT-RAIL EXTENSION: The Federal Transit Administration has announced $1.4-billion toward Sound Transit's 10.9-mile Federal Way light-rail link extension from Angle Lake for completion in 2024. [International Railway Journal, 1-24-20]

AMTRAK TRAIN COLLIDES WITH MAINTENANCE TRUCK ON THE TRACK IN CONNECTICUT: An Amtrak train collided with a maintenance truck Jan. 24 on the tracks in Connecticut. Two workers in the truck were able to escape unharmed prior to impact, but six people on the train had minor injuries. [Associated Press, 1-24-20]

UNION PACIFIC REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END EARNINGS: Union Pacific reported fourth-quarter 2019 net income of $1.4-billion or $2.02 per diluted share, which compares with $1.6-billion or $2.12 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Operating ratio was 59.7 pct, a fourth-quarter record. Full year net income was $5.9-billion or $8.38 per diluted share, and operating income was $8.6-billion, flat compared with 2018. [Union Pacific, 1-23-20]

MAN STABBED TO DEATH ON MINNEAPOLIS LIGHT-RAIL TRAIN: A man riding on a light-rail train in a Minneapolis suburb was fatally stabbed by a fellow passenger early Jan. 23 following an argument. The suspect was arrested. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-23-20]

MAN STRUCK, KILLED BY FREIGHT TRAIN IN GERMANTOWN, MD.: A 60-year-old man died after being struck by a CSX freight train the evening of Jan. 22 at the MARC train station at Germantown, Md. Initial investigation found that the man was crossing the tracks at the platform when he was hit. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-23-20]

NEW YORK CITY MTA TO STUDY PASSENGER SERVICE ON FREIGHT-ONLY LINE: New York City's Metropolitan Transporttion Authority has awarded a contract to study the feasibility of initiating passenger service on a freight-only line running from Sunset Park in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens. [Progressive Railroading, 1-23-20]

UNION PACIFIC TO REDUCE WORKFORCE BY NEARLY 3,000 THIS YEAR: Union Pacific plans to run its railroad with nearly 3,000 fewer workers this year, its CEO told the Wall Street Journal. The company plans to reduce its average number of workers by about eight percent, after reducing staffing by 11 percent last year. [Seeking Alpha, 1-23-20]

GRAIN CAR ROLLS AWAY AT HIGH SPEED IN B.C.: A grain car rolled away at high-speed on Canadian Pacific tracks for about four miles Jan. 14 at Field, B.C., near the site where a derailment killed three crew members almost a year ago. There were no injuries in the runaway incident. [CBC, 1-23-20]

AMTRAK ENDS POLICY OF INFLATED SURCHARGE FOR WHEELCHAIR PASSENGERS: Amtrak says it will end a policy that led it to quote a price of $25,000 for a group of activists who use wheelchairs to travel when seats needed to be removed to accommodate the wheelchairs. The policy was never meant to be applied to this situation, Amtrak said, for passage between Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois, the regular fare for which is just $16. [The Hill, 1-23-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S TRIPLE CROWN TO MOVE ITS HEADQUARTERS: Longtime Fort Wayne business Triple Crown Services, a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern, is moving its headquarters out of Fort Wayne on July 31, an employee has confirmed. [WANE, 1-22-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending January 18, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 499,732 carloads and intermodal units, down 8 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. Calculated separately, carloads were down 8.4 pct, and intermodal was down 7.7 pct. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-22-20]

TRAIL BUILT NEXT TO COMMUTER RAIL LINE IN TEXAS: The Denton County, Texas, Transportation Authority has completed a 19-mile mixed-use trail along its A-Line commuter rail line to connect pedestrians and bicyclists between the downtown Denton transit center and Hebron station in Lewisville, Texas. [Progressive Railroading, 1-22-20]

LIRR DELAYS HIT THREE-YEAR LOW: Long Island Rail Road's on-time performance was 92.4 pct in 2019, the highest since 2016, when it was 92.7 pct. Much of the success was due to the railroad's 'Forward' program, designed to eliminate problems before they result in delays. Elements of the program include replacement of old switches, new safety devices at grade crossings, vegetation management, and elimination of wet leaves on the rails. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-21-20]

SEVEN COMPLETE NJT ENGINEER TRAINING CLASS: New Jersey officials have recognized NJ Transit's latest locomotive engineer training class for completing classroom training. The class of seven trainees will graduate in the upcoming weeks after they complete their necessary certifications. [Insider NJ, 1-21-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-eight percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their schduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 19, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived 52 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-20-20]

DRIVER KILLED WHEN TRUCK STRUCK BY TRAIN IN FLORIDA: An 87-year-old Florida man died after he drove his truck onto the railroad tracks and was hit head-one by a freight train early Jan. 20 in Volusia County, Florida. There were no injuries to crew members aboard the train. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-20-20]

UNION PACIFIC TESTING NEW TIE-REMOVAL TECHNOLOGY: Union Pacific has begun using new tie-removal technology to accelerate used-tie cleanup. The railroad is testing the use of two excvators that ride along the top of a series of connected rail cars. Operators load tie bundles left in stacks and transport them to one of three facilities where ties are recycled or shredded for fuel. The system doubles the ties that can be disposed of per day compared with the traditional system. [Progressive Railroading, 1-20-20]

AUSTRIA BEGINS NEW 'NIGHTJET' RAIL SERVICE: Austrian Federal Railways, on Jan. 19, launched a new Nightjet rail connection with two services operating twice a week between Vienna and Innsburck. The new service is an extension of the existing Vienna/Innsbruck-Dusseldorf Nightjet, which has been diverted to Brussels via Aachen. [International Railway Journal, 1-20-20]

ESSEX COUNTY, N.Y., SEEKS TO RETAIN RAIL BRANCH FOR FREIGHT: Essex County, N.Y., supervisors are asking their counterparts in Warren County to hold off asking for a declaration of the Sanford Lake branch of the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad as 'abandoned.' The branch has trackage in both counties. Negotiations broke down for a new rail operator on the branch last fall, and Warren County has since passed a resolution to begin the process to declare the branch abandoned. Many push for conversion of it to recreational trail use. Essex County, meanwhile, says more effort should be made into finding a company to use the line to move freight. [Adirondack Daily Enterprise, 1-18-20]

KCS REPORTS 2019 EARNINGS: Kansas City Southern reported 2019 revenues of $2.9-billion, an increase of 6 pct on a 1 pct decline in carloads. Operating income was $886.3-million and the reported operating ratio was 69.1 pct. Full year net income was $540.8-million or $5.40 per diluted share. [Kansas City Southern, 1-17-20]

METROLINK'S VAN NUYS STATION UPGRADE NEARS COMPLETION: Metrolink has held a ceremony to mark the $32-million rebuilding of Van Nuys station in Los Angeles under a two-year project which is nearing completion. It is on the Ventura line, a Union Pacific route, which is also served by Amtrak. An island platform has been constructed, replacing side platforms. [Railway Gazette, 1-17-20]

AMTRAK EYES NEW ATLANTA-NASHVILLE TRAIN WITH CHATTANOOGA STOP: Amtrak has been discussing with Tennessee officials a proposal to establish an Atlanta to Nashville run. A stop could include Chattanooga. The state's house transportation committee chairman said the state is certainly interested, but he cautioned it's too early for anyone to conclude that it will happen within the next four of five years, if at all. [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1-16-20]

RIDERSHIP ON HARTFORD LINE PASSES ONE MILLION MARK: Ridership on the Hartford line, which connects rail commuters between New Haven and Springfield, has passed the one million mark. The service was launched June 18, 2018, and passenger rail use has been growing at a rate of 25 pct year-over-year, said the Connecticut Department of Transportation. [Mass Live, 1-16-20]

CSX REPORTS 4-Q, YEAR-END RESULTS: CSX has announced fourth-quarter net earnings of $771-million or 99 cents per share, versus $843-million or $1.01 per share in the same period last year. Operating ratio set a fourth-quarter record of 60 pct. For the full year 2019, CSX generated net earnings of $3.33-billion or $4.17 per share, versus $3.31-billion or $3.84 per share in 2018. Full year operating ratio was 58.4 pct, which represents a new U.S. Class I railroad record. [CSX, 1-16-20]

MALMO-KOLN SUGGESTED AS FIRST ROUTE FOR NETWORK OF NIGHT TRAINS: Swedish transport agency Trafikverket has suggested that Malmo-Koln could be the first route to begin as part of a proposed network of overnight trains connecting Sweden with other European countries. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

FIRST OF GREATER ANGLIA'S CLASS 720 COMMUTER EMU DELIVERED FOR TESTING: The first of the class 720 Aventra electric multiple-units which Bombardier is supplying for Greater Anglia's London commuter services has been delivered for testing. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

BARCELONA-VALENCIA TRAINS ACCELERATED AS VANDELLOS CUTOFF OPENS: Commercial services began using a cutoff between Camp de Tarragona and Vandellos on Jan. 13 upon completion of a further section of upgrading of Spain's Barcelona-Valencia Mediterranean corridor. [Railway Gazette, 1-16-20]

READING & NORTHERN ADDING TWO F-UNITS FOR EXCURSION TRAINS: Reading & Northern recently purchased two F-unit diesels from Norfolk Southern to use in tourist passenger service. The locomotives date to the early 1950's, but they were rebuilt 15 years ago by Norfolk Southern. They have been repainted into the Reading & Northern scheme, and will be used on a mainline trip April 18 from Reading to Pittston, Pa. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: For the week ending January 11, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 501,624 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.6 pct compared with the corresponding week last year. [Assn. of American Railroads, 1-15-20]

TRINITY INDUSTRIES NAMES JEAN SAVAGE CEO, PRESIDENT: Trinity Industries has named Jean Savage chief executive officer and president, effective Febr. 17. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

DUOS TECHNLOGIES IMPLEMENTS RAIL INSPECTION PORTAL FOR CSX: Duos Technologies has completed full-scale implementation of its Rail Inspection Portal for CSX. This installation allows automation of the railroad's railcar mechanical inspections, which historically wee conducted manually. The next phase of the project includes artificial intelligence algorithms, to be installed over the coming months. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

SECO MACHINE BEGINS PRODUCTION AT NEW PLANT IN OHIO: Seco Machine, a provider of machining services and products for rail customers, has begun production at its ew plant in Green, Ohio. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

TIDEWORKS TECHNOLOGY TO PROVIDE INTERMODAL SOLUTIONS FOR U.K. RAIL NETWORK: Genessee & Wyoming subsidiaries Freightliner and Pentalver have selected Tideworks Technology as the intermodal solutions provider for their rail and container terminal network in the United Kingdom. [Progressive Railroading, 1-15-20]

AMTRAK PRESENTS PROPOSAL FOR ADDITIONAL CHICAGO-MEMPHIS TRAIN: Rail passengers in Memphis could see an additional daylight route to Chicago if Amtrak;s visions for additional service in Tennessee reach fruition. Amtrak representatives were in Nashville on Jan. 14 seeking support for the idea with state lawmakers. Amtrak hopes to add routes throughout the country, and especially in the booming Southeast region. [Commercial Appeal, 1-15-20]

STRIKERS STOP TRAIN FROM LEAVING MINE IN KENTUCKY: For the second time in less than a year, striking coal miners in eastern Kentucky have occupied a set of railroad tracks, blocking a coal train from leaving. About a dozen employees of Quest Energy have pledged to hold their position until the company pays them back wages. [Lexington Herald-Leader, 12-14-20]

L.A. METRO ADVANCES PURPLE LINE EXTENSION WORK: Los Angeles Metro has announced its 2020 targeted construction goals for its Purple line extension project. Crews this year will tunnel west to Wilshire/La Cienega station and add 3,280 more feet of tunnels, finish piling for the Wilshire/Rodeo station, complete early utility relocation in Westwood, and begin piling for the Westwood/UCLA station. Once completed in 2023, the project will extend the route nine miles west of the line's current terminus and add seven stations to connect downtown L.A., Beverly Hills and Westwood. [Progressive Railroading, 12-14-20]

OMNITRAX NAMES TWO TOP EXECUTIVES: OmniTRAX has promoted Sergio Sabatini to president, and Gord Anutooshkin to chief operating officer, both effective immediately. [Railway Age, 1-14-20]

GERMANY, DEUTSCHE BAHN TO INJECT $100-B INTO RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE: The German government has signed a deal with state-owned train operator Deutsche Bahn to inject almost $100-billion into the country's rail infrastructure over the next decade. [My Northwest, 1-14-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 12, 2020. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 23 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-13-20]

AMTRAK MIGHT POSSIBLY TURN A PROFIT THIS YEAR: For the first time in its 50-year history, Amtrak is poised to post a profit. Fox Business reports that while the company posted a $29.8-million operating loss in 2019, it had record revenues of $3.3-billion, and set a nw ridership record of 32.5 million riders. [Business Traveller, 1-13-20]

N.Y. TRANSIT WITHDRAWS 298 BOMBARDIER R179 RAIL CARS FROM SERVICE: New York City Transit has withdrawn 298 Bombardier R179 rail cars from service as a result of reported door problems that could indicate a systemic problem. Older, spare cars have been substituted, and there has been no impact to service. [Progressive Railroading, 1-13-20]

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SABOTAGING CSX RAILROAD SIGNALS IN PA.: A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to sabotaging railroad signals at locations along CSX rail lines in Braddock and McKeesport, Pa., in November 2017, resulting in signal failures. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12-13-20]

WINTER STORM CAUSES DAMAGE TO PORT OF MILWAUKEE: A winter storm Jan. 11 caused damage to the port of Milwaukee. Parts of the port and Jones Island were under up to four feet of water, leaving behind ice up to a foot thick in some areas when the water receded. Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific officials will inspect the rails before cargo operations can be restarted. [WISN, 1-13-20]

NJT TO REPLACE TIER-I ENGINES WITH TIER-IV ENGINES ON RIVER LIGHT-RAIL LINE: New Jersey Transit is upgrading its River light-rail line vehicle engines with more than 20 Tier-IV diesel engines from Cummins to replace the current 15-year-old Tier-I engines. The upgrade should be completed by Spring 2022. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-13-20]

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS IN WISCONSIN: A Union Pacific train derailed late Jan. 12 near the village of Knapp, Wisconsin, resulting in a massive pileup of rail cars and closing adjacent U.S. highway 12. There were no reported injuries, and no hazardous materials were involved. [WEAU, 1-12-20]

MOBILE FINANCIAL SUPPORT KEY TO RESUMPTION OF GULF COAST AMTRAK RUNS: The Mobile, Alabama, city council will decide on Jan. 28 if it will support committing $3-million over three years toward the restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast. The funds would be combined with a federal grant, similar to funds from Mississippi and Louisiana, to help pay operational costs to connect by rail New Orleans and Mobile, and four stops in between. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

CONSUMER GROUP SUES AMTRAK OVER ARBITRATION CLAUSE: Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen will be suing Amtrak over the introduction of a forced arbitration clause included in the purchase of tickets, arguing the clause is unconstitutional and exceeds the railroad's Congressional-granted authority. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

NEW DINING CAR SERVICE TO RETURN TO THE SILVER STAR: After a nearly five-year absence, first-class dining on Amtrak's Silver Star is returning on May 1. Featured will be the same flexible dining menu that is currently available on the Capitol and Lake Shore limiteds, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent and Silver Meteor. The dining car and its menu will only be available to first-class passengers, not those in coach. Lounge car cafe service will still be available to all passengers. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

AMTRAK'S CRESCENT TO BE SUSPENDED BETWEEN ATLANTA AND NEW ORLEANS ON CERTAIN DATES: Between Jan. 19 and Febr. 20, Amtrak's Crescent will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans Monday through Thursday. Motor coach service will be substituted. The train will operate normally per schedule Friday through Sunday. [Rail Passengers Assn. hotline, 1-10-20]

GREENRIER COMPANIES REPORT 1-Q EARNINGS: The Greenbrier Cos. has reported $7.7-million or 23 cents per diluted share on revenue of $769.4-million in the first fiscal quarter ending Nov. 30, 2019. Results include $2.2-million of integration expenses from the American Railcar Industries acquisition. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-20]

RAILWAY & INDUSTRIAL SERVICES TO SELL ITS CREST HILL, ILLINOIS, REPAIR FACILITY: Railway & Industrial Services is selling its 39-acre railcar repair facility in Crest Hill, Illinois. The site offers direct access to CN's mainline via an active spur. [Progressive Railroading, 1-10-20]

N.Y. PENN STATION GETTING UPDATED WAITING AREA: Work has begun to update a ticketed waiting area at Penn Station in New York City. As part of a $7.2-million investment, the seating area at the Amtrak upper-level concourse on the 8th avenue side will feature new furniture, fixtures, family area, and other features. The project will be in two successive phases, expected to be finished in June. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

LIGHT-RAIL SERVICE THROUGH PITTSBURGH'S MOUNT WASHINGTON TUNNEL DISRUPTED: Portions of Pittsburgh's Mount Washington tunnel were closed June 8 due to continued landslides caused by stormwater runoff. The outbound track has been taken out of service; inbound trains will be detoured through the Allentown neighborhood, and outbound trains will use the inbound track. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

BRIGHTLINE HAS HIGHEST PER-MILE DEATH RATE OF U.S. RAILROADS: Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains USA, has 178 grade crossings and 66.5 miles of track between Miami and West Palm Beach. The line has the highest per-mile death rate of the nation's 821 railroads, according to the Associated Press. Most of the deaths were of trespassers, including suicides. [Florida Bulldog, 1-9-20]

METRO-NORTH TO MAKE THREE BRONX STATIONS ADA ACCESSIBLE: Metro-North will make the Williams Bridge, Woodlawn and Wakefield stations in the Bronx accessible to Americans With Disabilities act standards as part of its four-year capital plan. [Progressive Railroading, 1-9-20]

GREATER ANGLIA'S FIRST STADLER INTERCITY TRAIN SET ENTERS SERVICE: The first of 10 class 745/0 intercity train sets Stadler is supplying for Greater Anglia's Norwich-London Liverpool main line entered service Jan. 6. Remaining sets are expected to be in traffic by mid-April. [Railway Gazette, 1-9-20]

WEEKLY U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: In the week ending Jan. 4, 2020, U.S. rail freight traffic was 414,014 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.1 pct compared with the correspnding week in 2019. [Association of American Railroads, 1-8-20]

WABTEC ACQUIRES RELCO LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec has acquired RELCO locomotives for $29-million on a cash and debt-free basis. RELCO's projected wales for 2019 are about $50-million. [Railway Age, 1-8-20]

ALSTOM TO OVERHAUL 56 PENDOLINO TRAINS IN U.K.: Alstom has signed a $839.9-million deal with Avanti West Coast to overhaul all 56 electric Pendolino trains deployed on the West Coast mainline in the United Kingdom. [Progressive Railroading, 1-8-20]

FERROMEX TRAIN, BUS COLLIDE, AT LEAST SEVEN KILLED, DOZENS INJURED: Ferromex said on Jan. 7 that at least seven people were killed and more than 30 injured after a bus collided with one of its trains in the northern border state of Sonora. [KFGO, 1-8-20]

INTERMODAL FACILITY ALONG NORFOLK SOUTHERN IN W.VA. FIZZLES: The excitement associated with a Norfolk Southern intermodal facility near Charleston, W.Va., has faded to frustration and doom in the four years the facility has been open. The railroad projected that there would be at least 15,000 lifts of containers, but in the most recent budget year there were only 579 lifts. It costs the state more than $500,000 per year to operate it, but the revenue generated between Dec. 2015 and Sept. 2019 was only $30,797. Then, in Oct. 2019, the railroad cut off access to the facility. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-8-20]

CSX ADDS AUTOMATED TRAIN INSPECTION PORTAL IN GEORGIA: CSX's first train inspection portal has been installed in Waycross, Ga., with ultra-high definition cameras and high-powered illumination to scan passing trains at track speed. The portal identifies defects and will automatically flag cars for repair. [Railway Age, 1-7-20]

LANDSLIDE BLOCKS RAIL LINE BETWEEN SEATTLE AND PORTLAND: Amtrak service between Seattle and Portland has been suspended because of a landslide blocking the tracks. Motor coaches will be used to ferry passengers between these points. [Oregonian, 1-7-20]

WEEKLY AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Fifty-two percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in the week ending January 5, 2020, The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and 37 minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-6-20]

U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC IN 2019: The Association of American Railroads reports that U.S. rail freight traffic fell 5 pct to 26.704.974 carloads and intermodal units in 2019, compared with the previous year's levels. Total carloads declined 4.9 pct, and intermodal units were down 5.1 pct. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

HUGE DELAYS ON N.Y. SUBWAYS: Signal problems near the Grand Central-42nd street station caused numerous delays to a number of New York City's subway lines the morning of Jan. 6. [4 NBC N.Y., 1-6-20]

SOUND TRANSIT BEGINS EAST LIGHT-RAIL CONSTRUCTION: Sound Transit, on Jan. 4, began construction to integrate a new light-rail segment to the east side of its existing Link System in downtown Seattle. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

N.Y. GOVERNOR PROPOSES EXPANDING N.Y. PENN STATION WITH EIGHT NEW TRACKS: New York's governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing acquisition of the block south of Penn Station to add at least eight new underground tracks, which, he says, will boost train capacity by 40 pct. The station now has 21 tracks, and operates at full capacity during peak periods, leading to delays when trains or infrastructure break down. [Daily Star, 1-6-20]

FATAL BUS CRASH IN PA.: A massive crash early Jan. 5 involving a New York to Cincinnati bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Pittsburgh left at least five people dead - three of whom were on the bus, including its driver and a nine-year old passenger - and about 60 injured. The Z&D Tour bus reportedly struck an embankment on a downhill curve, then was struck by two tractor-trailers, then another truck and a car. There were 56 passengers on the bus at the time, according to the bus company. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 1-6-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN IDAHO: A rapid response to a Jan. 1 derailment on BNSF's Kootenai River subdivision in northern Idaho got the track cleared by Jan. 4. A 113-car manifest train traveling from Minneapolis to Pasco struck a rock slide east of Bonners Ferry, derailing three locomotives and six cars. The lead locomotive slid nose-first into the river, and the crew was rescued by boat. During the two and one-half-day closure, Amtrak employed motor coaches to ferry passengers between Whitefish and Spokane. [Railway Age, 1-6-20]

UNION PACIFIC CUTS OPERATIONS AT ARMOURDALE YARD IN KANSAS: Union Pacific has severely cut operations at its Armourdale yard in Kansas City, Kansas, resulting in 20 to 50 layoffs. The railroad said operations will be moved to the 18th street yard. [Railway Track & Structures, 1-6-20]

BOMBARDIER RENEWS FIVE-YEAR TRANSIT-SYSTEM CONTRACT AT KENNEDY AIRPORT: Bombardier Transportation has renewed a $309-million, five-year contract with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide operations and maintenance services for the automated transit system at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

NORFOLK SOUTHERN FURLOUGHS NEARLY 70 IN ROANOKE: Norfolk Southern announced furloughs of nearly 70 employees in Roanoke, Va., early Jan. 6. The affected employees may still apply for other positions within the company. [ABC 13 News, 1-6-20]

CP SETS RECORD QUARTER FOR CANADIAN GRAIN MOVEMENTS: Canadian Pacific moved more Canadian grain and grain products in the fourth-quarter 2019 than in any prior quarter in the railroad's history. [Canadian Pacific, 1-6-20]

MOROCCO RECEIVES FIRST PRIMA M4 LOCOMOTIVE FROM ALSTOM: Alstom has delivered the first of 30 Prima M4 locomotivs that Morocco national railway operator ONCF ordered in 2018. [Progressive Railroading, 1-6-20]

GROUP RESTORING MAINE CENTRAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE: A group of volunteers in Hancock, Maine, is restoring locomotive 470, the last steam locomotive operated by Maine Central Railroad. The locomotive has not run in 65 years, and until 2016 was on display in Waterville, out of doors. The plan is for Down East Scenic Railroad to eventually use the locomotive on train excursions. It may be another 10 to 15 years before restoration is complete. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-4-20]

CP TRAIN DERAILS IN IOWA: Local traffic resumed early Jan. 4 in LeClaire, Iowa, after a derailment the day before sent more than a dozen cars off Canadian Pacific tracks just yards from the Mississippi River. There were no injuries in the accident, but some vehicles in a nearby parking lot were damaged. The railroad said it found no significant air or water contamination. [U.S. News & World Report, 1-4-20]

AMTRAK BEGINS LATEST RENEWAL WORK AT N.Y. PENN STATION: Amtrak's latest round of renewal work at Penn Station in New York City has begun. Work is focused on tracks 11 and 14, and is expected to be completed by April 17. Unlike in previous years, the winter work will not involve service disruptions for Amtrak or N.J. Transit trains, but there will be minimal schedule modifications for Long Island Rail Road trains. [Progressive Railroading, 1-3-20]

FRED ROONEY DIES, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, RAIL ADVOCATE: Fred Bernard Rooney, former U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, died Dec. 23. He ws instrumental in passage of the 1976 Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act, which created Conrail, introduced the concept of railroad revenue adequacy, and provided steps toward greater railroad economic deregulation. He was 94. [Railway Age, 1-3-20]

TWO KILLED IN CAR STRUCK BY NJT TRAIN: Two women were killed when a New Jersey Transit train struck their vehicle at a crossing in Middlesex Borough on the Raritan Valley line early Jan. 3. [NJ.com, 1-3-20]

DECEMBER 2019 U.S. RAIL FREIGHT TRAFFIC REPORT: U.S. railroads originated 1,919,036 carloads and intermodal units in December 2019, down 9.4 pct from the same month in 2018. [Association of American Railroads, 1-3-20]

BNSF TRAIN DERAILS IN IDAHO, CREW RESCUED BY BOAT: A BNSF train derailed late Jan. 1 leaving the crew members to be rescued by boat and authorities working to contain diesel fuel leaking into Kootenai River. [ABC News, 1-3-20]

NORWAY OPTING FOR BATTERY TRAINS, PARTIAL ELECTRIFICATION TO REPLACE DIESEL: A study by Norway's railway directorate has concluded that the best replacement for diesel traction is battery trains combined with partial electrification. Other options that were considered included hydrogen, biogas, biodiesel, and battery trains without partial electrification. [International Railway Journal, 1-3-20]

MD. ANNOUNCES FIRST PART OF PURPLE LIGHT-RAIL LINE WILL OPEN IN LATE 2022: The Maryland Dept. of Transportation has announced that the first part of its D.C.-area Purple line will open in late 2022 between New Carrollton and College Park. The second segment from College Park to Bethesda will open the following year. When completed, the 16-mile line with 21 stations will connect with MARC trains, Washington Metrorail and Amtrak at both ends. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

CP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CENTRAL MAINE & QUEBEC RWY: Canadian Pacific, on Dec. 30, completed its acquisition of Central Maine & Quebec Railway, subject to U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

PROGRESS RAIL SELLS MAINTENANCE OF WAY LEASING UNIT: Paceline Equity Partners has acquired Progress Rail Equipment Leasing Corp. from Progress Rail for an undisclosed price. Progress Rail is a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. [Progressive Railroading, 1-2-20]

UKRAINE TO ACQUIRE 40 GE LOCOMOTIVES: Wabtec will supply 40 GE class TE33AC diesel locomoites to Ukrainian Railways, and will provided maintenance services for these and 30 other locomotives previously supplied. [International Railway Journal, 1-2-20]

DECEMER 2019 AMTRAK LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN PERFORMANCE: Forty-three percent of Amtrak's named long-distance trains arrived at their scheduled final destination on time or earlier in December 2019. The remaining trains, on average, arrived one hour and nine minutes late. MORE.. [Bull Sheet Statistical Dept., 1-1-20]

CHINA ADDS NINE DAILY SLEEPING-CAR TRAINS: China National Railway has added nine daily electric multiple-unit trains, seven of which connect with cities directly from Beijing. [International Railway Journal, 1-1-20]

 

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