D ecember 2017
w w w. r a i lwaya g e .c o m
AILWAY GE S e r v i n g t h e r a i lway i n d u s t r y s i n c e 1 8 5 6
2018 FREIGHT RAIL OUTLOOK
What happens if NAFTA goes away?
MECHANICAL FOCUS: BRAKING What now for ECP?
With Gas Florida East Coast turns LNG on
August 2017 // Railway Age 1
You have a unit train to cycle through your quarries and deliver aggregate
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Touchpad controls transverse hopper doors individually
5/16â€? thick top chord strengthens and protects car during loading
Rugged wide crossover platform and optional ladder to maximize operator safety
60 degree slope sheets create fast load cycles by eliminating product hang up 2
Durable standard steel side sheets
4 Pneumatic controlled transverse doors capable of unloading larger, coarse aggregate
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Cooking With Gas
2018 Freight Outlook
FECR Turns LNG On
A New Rail-World Order
Whatever Happened to ECP?
Rail Welding, Grinding, Milling
On the Cover:
Florida East Coast Railway GE ES44C4 806 is one of 24 units retrofitted to burn LNG. Photo: William C. Vantuono
DEPARTMENTS 4 6 8 35 35 35 36 37 39 39
Industry Indicators Industry Outlook Market People 100 Years Ago Meetings Products Advertising Index
NEWS/COLUMNS 2 10 16 18 19 40
From the Editor Update RSI On Track Watching Washington Financial Edge Short Line/Regional Perspective
Professional Directory Classified
Railway Age, USPS 449-130, is published monthly by the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 55 Broad St., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004. Tel. (212) 620-7200; FAX (212) 633-1863. Vol. 218, No. 12. Subscriptions: Railway Age is sent without obligation to professionals working in the railroad industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. However, the publisher reserves the right to limit the number of copies. Subscriptions should be requested on company letterhead. Subscription pricing to others for Print and/or Digital versions: $100.00 per year/$151.00 for two years in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; $139.00 per year/$197.00 for two years, foreign. Single Copies: $36.00 per copy in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico/$128.00 foreign All subscriptions payable in advance. COPYRIGHT© 2016 Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact PARS International Corp., 102 W. 38th Street, 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10018, Tel.: 212-221-9595; Fax: 212-2219195. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Cust.#7204564; Agreement #41094515. Bleuchip Int’l, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Address all subscriptions, change of address forms and correspondence concerning subscriptions to Subscription Dept., Railway Age, P.O. Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172, Or call toll free (800) 895-4389, or (402) 346-4740. Printed at Cummings Printing, Hooksett, N.H. ISSN 0033-8826 (print); 2161-511X (digital).
December 2017 // Railway Age 1
FROM THE EDITOR
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FRA’s $56,260.23 answer
reedom of information doesn’t necessarily mean “free,” as career railway operating officer and frequent Railway Age blogger David Schanoes recently discovered. A simple request to the Federal Railroad Administration for Positive Train Control performance data on U.S. railroads through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) turned into a frustrating bureaucratic boondoggle. An FRA attorney responded to Dave’s request, in part, with this gem: “[T]he estimated cost of processing your request is considerably more than the $100.00 you have agreed to pay. Our current estimate of the cost of processing the approximately 32,576 pages of records responsive to your request is $56,260.23, which includes our estimated costs for search, review and duplication. FRA calculated this amount based on our estimate of the number of hours (approximately 1,086) it will take to process the responsive records and the Department of Transportation’s fee schedule for processing FOIA requests.” $56,260.23—right down to the penny. Not even rounded to the nearest dollar. Are you kidding me? Dave rightly feels that FRA has an obligation to provide the information he requested to the public, and that FRA should have been providing it “since the first railroad applied for and initiated PTC
revenue service demonstration so that the public can assess the reliability, or lack thereof, of a system that requires robust reliability to meet the goal established by law—an improvement in safe train operations,” he says. “I simply cannot comprehend that FRA has not been aggregating, reviewing and processing the data, and the data categories, in my original request all this time,” Dave adds. “If you’re in charge of FRA, or a division of FRA, what is it you want to know about PTC systems, if not their parameters of effective, reliable train control? This leads me to believe that FRA hasn’t been keeping track of any of this for its own purposes. That’s truly frightening.” The FRA attorney may as well have answered Dave by quoting Sir Humphrey Appleby from the BBC Television political satire Dear Prime Minister: “If you ask me for a straight answer, then I shall say that, as far as we can see, looking at it by and large, taking one thing with another in terms of the average of departments, then in the final analysis it is probably true to say, that at the end of the day, in general terms, you would probably find that, not to put too fine a point on it, there probably wasn’t very much in it one way or the other, as far as one can see, at this stage.” Makes sense to me!
WILLIAM C. VANTUONO Editor-in-Chief
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Industry Indicators Commodities Show Their ‘Metal’ with Impressive Carload Gains Looks can be deceiving when it comes to rail freight traffic. October’s overall carload data as compiled by the Association of American Railroads was narrowly weaker than a year ago, as decliners were led by grain with an 8% drop. But that category suffered from 2016 comparisons when growers harvested a bumper crop. This was partly offset by robust double-digit gains in metallic ores, scrap metal and sand. Chemicals volume, usually a bellwether indicator of industrial activity, gained year-on-year. Shipments of automobiles and parts were off, as automakers continue to suffer through a down year. Intermodal continued to post solid gains as retailers stocked up for holiday sales.
Railroad employment, Class I linehaul carriers, OCT. 2017 (% change from OCT. 2016)
Total employees: 146,342 % change from OCT. 2016: -3.66%
Transportation (train and engine)
Executives, Officials, and Staff Assistants
TRAFFIC ORIGINATED CARLOADS
MAJOR U.S. RAILROADS by Commodity
Grain Farm Products ex. Grain Grain Mill Products Food products Chemicals Petroleum & Petroleum Products Coal Primary Forest Products Lumber and Wood Products Pulp and Paper Products Metallic Ores Coke Primary Metal Products Iron and Steel Scrap Motor Vehicles and Parts Crushed Stone, Sand, and Gravel Nonmetallic Minerals Stone, Clay & Glass Products Waste & Nonferrous Scrap All Other Carloads
93,278 5,454 36,739 25,098 122,997 38,738 343,721 4,873 13,132 21,737 23,860 16,998 34,163 14,160 69,322 112,079 17,757 32,459 15,936 23,276
105,806 5,520 37,387 25,998 115,607 40,727 361,485 4,303 12,460 20,707 19,784 15,344 30,629 11,717 74,512 96,206 16,972 31,579 14,995 25,259
-8.1% -1.2% -1.7% -3.5% 6.4% -4.9% -4.9% 13.2% 5.4% 5.0% 20.6% 10.8% 11.5% 20.9% -7.0% 16.5% 4.6% 2.8% 6.3% -7.9%
Total U.S. CarLoadS
Professional and Administrative
FOUR WEEKS ENDING OCT. 28, 2017
COMBINED U.S./CANADA RR
Maintenance-of-Way and Structures
Maintenance of Equipment and Stores
Transportation (other than train & engine)
Source: Surface Transportation Board
TRAIN CREW EMPLOYMENT IMPROVES AMID The incredible shrinking corner suitE Class I railroads in October decreased management-level positions by nearly 10% from samemonth 2016 levels, according to data from the Surface Transportation Board, a fairly stunning number considering the carriers had already been in headcount reduction mode for much of this year. But the Class I’s may have attained closer to “right-size” levels for train crews, as that segment actually increased narrowly on operational changes as well as improved traffic levels in both the commodity and intermodal categories.
4 Railway Age // December 2017
FOUR WEEKS ENDING ocT. 28, 2017
MAJOR U.S. RAILROADS by Commodity Trailers Containers TOTAL UNITS
105,777 1,038,380 1,144,157
92,804 983,025 1,075,829
14.0% 5.6% 6.4%
4,205 280,211 284,416
3,882 238,408 242,290
8.3% 17.5% 17.4%
CANADIAN RAILROADS Trailers Containers TOTAL UNITS
COMBINED U.S./CANADA RR Trailers Containers
TOTAL COMBINED UNITS
Source: Monthly Railroad Traffic, Association of American Railroads
TOTAL US AND CANADIAN CARLOADS, OCT. 2017 VS. 2016
1,394,088 OCT. 2017
1,389,282 OCT. 2016
INCOMPARABLE UNLOADING ABILITY 13° curve: including “S” curves 5” super-elevation 50’ discarge from track center Climate controlled cab for safety Automated plow for striking
Short Line And Regional Traffic Index CARLOADS
ORIGINATED OCT. ’17
ORIGINATED OCT. ’16
47,124 26,726 32,334 11,660 27,633 6,766 9,827 2,878 16,179 9,173 1,527 2,247 18,531 42,813 10,121 85,877
43,963 21,339 25,752 10,761 30,258 6,343 8,801 2,829 16,204 9,173 1,267 2,005 15,698 51,309 9,578 86,380
7.2% 25.2% 25.6% 8.4% -8.7% 6.7% 11.7% 1.7% -0.2% 3.6% 20.5% 12.1% 18.0% -16.6% 5.7% -0.6%
Chemicals Coal Crushed Stone / Sand / Gravel Food & Kindred Products Grain Grain Mill Products Lumber & Wood Products Metallic Ores Metals & Products Motor Vehicles & Equipment Nonmetallic Minerals Petroleum Products Pulp, Paper & Allied Products Trailers / Containers Waste & Nonferrous Scrap All Other Carloads
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.
average weekly U.S. Rail Carloads: all commodities (not seasonally adjusted) 360,000 340,000 320,000
MULTIPLE MATERIALSIZES, INCLUDING: Mainline ballast Walking ballast Great for washouts, new construction, stock piling, and more. ADDITIONAL FEATURES Control which car is unloaded first with multiple materials One-man operation No personnel needed on ground 24-hour unloading capabilities
2006 (peak year) 2015
280,000 260,000 240,000 220,000
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Data are average weekly originations for each month, are not seasonally adjusted, do not include intermodal, and do not include the U.S. operations of CN and CP. Source: AAR
www.hrsi.com | 816.233.9002 December 2017 // Railway Age 5
Industry Outlook Savannah to Double OnDock Rail
PANYNJ: $6.6B 2018 Budget The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has proposed a $3.2 billion operating budget and a $3.4 billion capital budget for 2018. PANYNJ says the proposed operating budget represents an increase of $61 million or 1.9% vs. the 2017 budget, which is in line with the rate of inflation, while the capital budget aligns with the authority’s 10-year plan adopted in February 2017. PANYNJ calls the proposed capital budget “significant” and is projecting a surplus of revenues that, combined with bond proceeds, will support the capital budget. The authority says the capital budget proposal includes “significant state-of-goodrepair work at tunnels, bridges, airports and PATH system, while investing in major projects to replace aging facilities with modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure and provide for future growth.” Some of the rail projects that will see investment from the capital budget proposal: • $1.1 billion to redevelop the region’s airports. This includes planning and design for the LaGuardia AirTrain and the PATH extension to the Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Link Station. • $71 million for PATH’s Signal System Replacement Program (migration to 6 Railway Age // December 2017
communications-based train control), and the continuation of PATH station and equipment modernization programs. PANYNJ says that CBTC will be fully operational by the end of 2018. (Though PATH is a captive rapid transit system, it falls under FRA jurisdiction due to parallel main lines with the Northeast Corridor and Conrail.) • $55 million for the ExpressRail intermodal container transfer facilities at Port Jersey. • $17 million for planning for the Gateway Program, which PANYNJ says is consistent with its commitment to pay debt service on $2.7 billion under its 10-year Capital Plan as part of the bi-state region’s commitment. “This budget funds our operations and our key capital project priorities while maintaining fiscal discipline,” said PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This proposed budget sets out a fiscally responsible plan that enables the Port Authority to maintain and operate a safe and secure transportation network while we make the critically imperative investments to upgrade and replace facilities that are far below global standards. The budget also significantly increases spending on security at all of our facilities, as well as on improving cyber security—both obviously necessary for the world we operate in today.”
The Georgia Ports Authority approved rail and gate expansion projects that will significantly increase capacity at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal. The announcement came after the agency reported 32% growth in containerized trade for October, an all-time record. The authority’s board of directors on Nov. 13 approved $42.27 million as part of Georgia Ports Authority’s $128 million Mega Rail Terminal. The project will double Savannah’s on-dock rail capacity, and position it to rapidly increase service to an arc of inland markets from Memphis to Chicago. A total of $90.7 million has so far been allocated to the project. Construction is slated to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2020. Total tonnage for all terminals climbed by 25%, from 2.6 million to 3.2 million tons in October. Breakbulk tonnage, primarily lumber, steel and autos, increased by 14.7%, on growing construction and manufacturing in the Southeast. The board also approved a $13.2 million project to expand Gate 8 at Garden City Terminal by 12.5 % for a total of 54 truck lanes. The addition will help the GPA absorb future growth and offer a better link to the Jimmy Deloach Parkway, which provides a direct truck route to Interstate 95. The new pre-check lanes will reduce truck congestion, and the Mega Rail Terminal will significantly reduce or eliminate rail crossings, Georgia Ports Authority said. In Brunswick, Colonel’s Island Terminal handled 56,492 auto and machinery units in October, up 21%, or 9,811 units. “A strong Southeast U.S. economy, on-terminal expansion and investment by private logistics firms throughout the region have resulted in phenomenal growth for Georgia,” said Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. railwayage.com
What principles set Atlas Copco apart? We pride ourselves on our quality. We never put anything into the market that has not been fully tested. Before any compressor goes onto the market, we make sure the design has been vigorously tested for years to ensure the highest standards of quality and reliability. We also stand behind every piece of equipment we sell. We have an extensive network of factory-trained technicians who are direct Atlas Copco employees, equipped to service our LFxR Railway Piston Compressor customers at a momentâ€™s notice. with SDR Membrane Dryer
GAR 30 Railway Rotary Screw Compressor with SDR Membrane Dryer
Atlas Copco Keeps the Rail Industry on Track Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions and serves customers with innovative air compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. Atlas Copcoâ€™s focus in the railway industry is providing custom solutions that fit specific needs while working to be first in mind and first in choice for its customers. Jim Donohue is the Business Development Manager for Railway and Marine Air Systems at Atlas Copco. His mission is to oversee the service that Atlas Copco provides to the railway industry and ensure that the customers who rely on the brand to provide efficient solutions always receive the best equipment and service possible. Donohue provided his thoughts on how the company serves its markets, where its headed and some of the challenges faced within the rail industry. What are the goals for Atlas Copco and the mission that drives them? Like most companies, we strive to be the biggest and best player in any market in which we operate. We strive for reasonable yet sustainable growth in every business area and division. We want to be first in mind and first in choice for all our customers. This means when they think about compressed air solutions, we want them to think about Atlas Copco. What key aspects govern how Atlas Copco serves its customers? Atlas Copco is a company driven by innovation. We invest heavily in talented engineers who know their products and its application inside and out. Because of this, we have a much more thorough understanding of the needs our customers have and we design our equipment to closely match those needs. We strive to be application experts not just technology experts in multiple industries. We want to be partners with our customers. To do that, we have to establish ourselves as more than just sales engineers that take orders for a compressor. The approach we take is to be a partner with our customer and assist them when they are having issues that may or may not be related to the compressor.
What is unique about how Atlas Copco serves the railway industry? In the rail industry, we provide mostly rotary screw, scroll and piston compressors and a line of air treatment products, which includes membrane air dryers. For this industry, no two designs are alike. We do a lot of customization or custom configuration for each customer. We start with a basic product that we can add options to based on the customerâ€™s needs. Sometimes we have to custom design a compressor to fit in a specific space. Sometimes we design custom controls, custom sheet metal or custom cabinetry. The customer gets exactly what they need for their application, every time. What can railway customers expect when talking to Atlas Copco? We believe strongly in continuous improvement. This is more than just cutting costs or finding more efficient ways to build a product. We want to create a culture where you work to advance and improve every single day. We are always looking to learn something new from every experience in every industry. We work hard to apply this experience to new challenges and help our customers overcome them through better equipment and better service.
SFR Oil-Free Railway Scroll Compressor
To learn more about how Atlas Copco services the railway industry and others, go to atlascopco.com/en-us/compressors/. For more information: contact Jim Donohue, at James.Donohue@us.atlascopco.com
Market Siemens LRVs Rolling in San Francisco Siemens and SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) last month marked the first Siemens-built LRV entering service. Built at Siemens’ Sacramento manufacturing hub, the LRVs include features selected with public input: seating configuration, interior color schemes, and exterior design. Siemens will deliver 219 LRVs to the Muni transit system, the company’s largest U.S. LRV order. The LRV is based on Siemens’ Model S200 and is energyefficient thanks to a light-weight drive system with regenerative braking and LED lighting that uses up to 40% less electricity than standard lighting.
Paris-based Groupe Eurotunnel is now Getlink, with the new brand intended to “reflect the dynamism of connection and exchange.” Groupe Eurotunnel was established in 1986 to finance, build, and operate the 31-mile Channel Tunnel, which opened in 1994. Getlink encompasses four brands: Eurotunnel for freight and passenger shuttle services through the Channel Tunnel; Europorte for rail freight operations in France; ElecLink for a future electrical interconnector between France and Britain; and the Ciffco European railway training center.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) awarded a performance-based contract of up to $30 million to DB Engineering & Consulting USA for “Early Train Operator” services to assist with planning, designing and implementing the agency’s HSR program. The company will act as Lead Operator, with its partner company, Deutsche Bahn AG, a guarantor. It has engaged Alternate Concepts, Inc. and HDR, Inc. as subconsultants. CHSRA said it anticipates issuing a notice to proceed by year’s end. New Jersey Transit issued an RFP for 113 bi-level EMU passenger cars with a bid closing date of Feb. 15, 2018. NJ Transit also plans to invite bids early in 2018 for 17 dual-power (diesel-electric/AC catenary) locomotives. The so-called “MultiLevel III” passenger cars will consist of 58 powered cars and 55 trailer coaches, and will replace 40-year-old Arrow III EMUs. NJ Transit currently operates 429 Bombardier MultiLevel cars (62 cab cars, 367 trailers) as well as several iterations of single-level cars. The agency also rosters 35 dual-power
8 Railway Age // December 2017
Bombardier ALP-45DP locomotives that were acquired in a joint procurement with Montreal’s AMT (Réseau de transport métropolitain) in 2011. The Delachaux Group launched a rebranding effort to bring all its rail businesses under the Pandrol brand, which will encompass Railtec, Vortok, Pandrol CDM Track, Rosenqvist, Matweld, RSS and Pandrol, focused on five product lines: Rail Infrastructure, Fastening Systems, Aluminothermic Welding, Equipment and Control and Electrification. Delachaux says the combined businesses “will collectively develop and deliver integrated rail infrastructure solutions for customers.” Sound Transit awarded a $26.5 million contract for five Liberty Modern Streetcars, with an option for five more, to Brookville Equipment Co. for the Tacoma Link Extension project. Deliveries will take place between third-quarter 2020 and first-quarter 2021. Sound Transit currently operates three Škoda 10T streetcars on the 1.6-mile, six-station Tacoma Link, which connects the Tacoma Dome with city’s Theater District. railwayage.com
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culture “deficient”: NTSB
he National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed ignored procedures and a seriously compromised safety culture for the April 3, 2016 derailment of Amtrak Train 89 near Chester, Pa. NTSB said the accident, which killed a backhoe operator and a track supervisor and left 39 people injured, was caused by “deficient safety management across many levels of Amtrak and the resultant lack of a clear, consistent and accepted vision for safety.”
NTSB said allowing a passenger train to travel at maximum authorized speed on unprotected track where workers were present, the absence of shunting devices and the foreman’s failure to conduct a job briefing at the start of the shift—all coupled with the numerous inconsistent views of safety and safety management throughout Amtrak— led to the derailment. The derailment occurred when Train 89 was traveling southbound on the Northeast Corridor from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., on 3 Track and struck a backhoe at about 7:50 a.m. The train’s engineer initiated emergency braking that slowed the train from 106 mph to approximately 99 mph at the time of impact. NTSB also said the Federal Railroad 10 Railway Age // December 2017
Administration’s (FRA) failure to require redundant signal protection, such as shunting, for maintenance-of-way work crews contributed to the incident. While NTSB determined that drug use was not a factor, previous reports on the post-accident toxicology tests revealed that the backhoe operator tested positive for cocaine, the track supervisor tested positive for codeine and morphine and the locomotive engineer tested positive for marijuana. NTSB said the presence of employees on duty who were unable to pass a drug test highlights another failure to prioritize safety. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final rule Nov. 13 that expanded the drug testing panel required of USDOTregulated employers to include certain semi-synthetic opioids. “Amtrak’s safety culture is failing, and is primed to fail again, until and unless Amtrak changes the way it practices safety management,” said NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt. “Investigators found a labormanagement relationship so adversarial that safety programs became contentious at the bargaining table, with the unions ultimately refusing to participate.” As a result of this investigation, NTSB issued 14 safety recommendations: nine to
Amtrak, two to FRA and three to the BMWED, ARASA, BLET and BRS. In response, Amtrak outlined steps it has taken to improve safety. The carrier also hired Justin Meko as Vice President of Safety, Compliance and Training. Meko is “using a disciplined systems approach and best practices to help drive results,” Amtrak said. Amtrak issued a revised and expanded drug and alcohol policy to include m/w employees in alignment with FRA Final Rule 49 CFR 219, and introduced a new Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program, PIER (Prevention, Intervention, Education, Resources), which replaces Operation RedBlock.
AMTRAK’S SAFETY CULTURE IS FAILING, AND IS PRIMED TO FAIL AGAIN.” railwayage.com
HIGH CAPACITY I PRECISION I RELIABILITY
The best connection The new technology of the APT1500RL offered by Plasser American is the first flash-butt welding machine that can weld rails fully automatically without manual interaction. Thanks to the integrated capability of the APT1500RL to perform automatic closure welds, a separate rail pulling device is not needed. Main features of the new rail welding robot are: fully automatic alignment of the running edge and top of the rail, pulsation welding to achieve a high-quality weld in shorter time and with less burn-off as well as automatic evaluation and documentation of the weld.
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Tradepoint Atlantic in Full Rail Expansion for our tenants and the broader rail market,” says Aaron Tomarchio, Senior Vice President, Administration and Corporate Affairs for Tradepoint Atlantic. “Rail plays a major part in the logistics package we can offer prospective tenants. That’s the value here.” Amid the clouds of iron oxide-colored dust kicked up by earth-moving equipment reshaping the site for logistics development, TPA is building a onemillion-square-foot steel-and-concrete structure on spec, to bolster its inventory for prospective tenants. The center’s newly formed short line, Tradepoint Atlantic Rail, already switches several industrial companies on the site, and
Photo Credit/ Stuart Chirls
Tradepoint Atlantic, the multimodal logistics complex south of Baltimore, continues to attract big-name tenants and expand its rail-related business. FedEx and Under Armor were among the first to set up shop on the 3,100-acre site of the former Sparrow’s Point Bethlehem Steel mill, which closed in 2012. Now, Amazon has signed to build a 275,000-square-foot fulfillment facility—the fourth for the Seattle-based company in the area—and regional gas and convenience chain Royal Farms has come on as the first retailer to locate at Tradepoint Atlantic. “We are taking over a one-purpose site and repurposing the existing rail infrastructure
manages hundreds of railcars in storage. TPA has already handled rail-borne export coal shipments, as well as slag and mineral disposal—a carry-over from the days of steel production. “We see further opportunities in other rail segments, such as turbine equipment for offshore wind farms steel, and others,” Tomarchio says. The mill’s vast rail network, which included narrow-gauge track, has been pared to about 100 total miles. But TPA is in full rail expansion mode, with 26 full-time rail employees, five EMD switcher locomotives, and direct connections with CSX and Norfolk Southern. Under the direction of rail terminal manager Paul Thomas, formerly of CSX, crews have been building panel track to expand capacity, with yard tracks up to 7,000 feet long. Current overall capacity is 2,400 cars, including 1,450 at the Northern Interchange yard, of which 800 are leased for storage customers. “We have purchased new switches, salvaged old track and reconditioned frogs. We’re ready to expand when necessary,” says Thomas. Tradepoint also wants to create a one-stop shop for railcar services besides storage, and offers cleaning, repairs and painting under the auspices of The Andersons, the nationwide railcar repair network. Tradepoint Atlantic’s large locomotive shop is another holdover from the steel mill, when 20 switch crews a day worked the yards, shops and other facilities feeding the blast furnaces. It can accommodate up to 10 locomotives, with three bay doors, an overhead crane and full drop pit. The company plans to put the generous capacity to use by offering locomotive maintenance services on a contract basis.
12 Railway Age // December 2017
Update Changing of the Guard At RSI Come Feb. 1, 2018, the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) will have new leadership, as President Tom Simpson, who has spent nearly 30 years at the organization, retires. Mike O’Malley, a transportation policy expert and former Vice President, Procurement and Supply Chain Management with CSX, will succeed Simpson. Simpson, who has served as RSI President since 2010, joined the organization, then known as the Railway Progress Institute, in 1988 as Vice President. He was named Executive Director in 2003. Simpson previously was with the Federal Railroad Administration from 1983-1988, where his most recent title was Acting Chief of Staff to then-Administrator John H. Riley. O’Malley’s career includes experience in the railroad industry, aviation, federal and state government, and international trade organizations. He joined CSX at its Jacksonville, Fla., headquarters in 2007 as Vice President, State Government and
Community Affairs before being named Vice President, Procurement and Supply Chain Management in 2013. From 20022007, O’Malley served with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in Washington, D.C. as Counselor to the Undersecretary for Policy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, and most recently as Chief of Staff with the Federal Aviation Administration. Before his tenure with DOT, O’Malley was a government relations advisor with Shaw Pittman LLC. Prior to that, he worked for International Trade Services Corp., the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago, and on the staff of Illinois Governor Jim Edgar. O’Malley’s education includes a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a Master of Science in European Studies from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Mike’s rail industry background and deep expertise in public policy, government affairs, international trade and global supply chains will advance RSI’s mission to support, connect and advocate for railway suppliers,” said RSI Board Chair Jim Frantz.
Thomas D. Simpson
Keeping Technology in Motion
December 2017 // Railway Age 13
Update Byford: From London to Sydney to Toronto to New York Andy Byford, who has forged a rail transit career on three continents, will join the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority as President of New York City Transit, the agency responsible for subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway, effective in January 2018. “A seasoned and highly regarded transportation professional whose work has taken him across three continents over nearly three decades, Byford joins NYC Transit after a widely hailed five-year stint as the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the third-largest transit system in North America,” NYMTA said in announcing his appointment. Byford began his transit career at London Underground where, during 14 years, he rose to the position of General Manager of the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria Lines, three of its busiest subway lines. He oversaw increases in customer satisfaction and operational performance. Byford then became Chief Operating Officer of
Australia’s largest transit system, in Sydney. At TTC, Byford spearheaded several initiatives, including the development of a corporate plan aimed at completely modernizing the TTC and improving all aspects of operational performance. “Under his leadership, subway delays have been reduced, customer satisfaction has hit record levels, and a number of major projects progressed, including the phased introduction of a [communications-based train control] system and the imminent completion of a major subway line extension,” NYMTA said. “These improvements led to the TTC being named by the American Public Transportation Association as its Outstanding Transit System of the Year for 2017.” Byford’s appointment comes after an extensive international search. He was very familiar to the MTA: In June, he was a member of a panel presenting about international best practices at the MTA Genius
Transit Challenge, where he described his successful efforts to modernize and improve Toronto’s subway system. At NYC Transit, Byford will be responsible for leading the immediate and long-term modernization of
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one of the oldest and largest transit systems in the world, including ensuring the success of the Subway Action Plan, which aims to “stabilize and modernize” a subway system that in recent times has been plagued with delays—so much so that the system was the recent subject of an exhaustive New York Times investigative report that portrayed an agency whose infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, troubled by political interference and ineptitude (starting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo), bogged down in multiple management layers, and a virtual gold mine for contractors and consultants. New York City Transit has nearly 50,000 employees throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The agency’s most recent permanent President was Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, currently MTA Managing Director. “I look forward to working closely with Andy in his new role as President of New York City Transit,” she said. “Having held the position myself, I can say with certainty that it’s an immensely challenging job but also deeply rewarding. Andy is incredibly wellregarded in the transportation world and did outstanding things in Toronto. I’m confident he will do the same here in New York.” “We are thrilled that Andy is going to lead NYC Transit during this time of great change,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. ”Our transit system is the backbone of the world’s greatest city, and having someone of Andy’s caliber to lead it will help immensely, particularly when it comes to implementing the Subway Action Plan that we launched this summer. In order to truly stabilize, modernize and improve our transit system, we needed a leader who has done this work at world-class systems, and Andy’s successes in Toronto are evidence that he is up to this critically important task.” “To function as a first-rate transit system, you need a first-rate transit leader and Andy Byford is precisely that,” said MTA President Patrick Foye. “His command of urban transit issues is second to none, and he is invested in getting the details right. New York City Transit faces serious issues, but Andy is up to the challenge and we are excited to have him on board.” A United Kingdom native, Byford holds an honors degree from the University of Leicester. “It’s an honor to be trusted with the huge responsibility to modernize New York’s system,” he said. railwayage.com
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December 2017 // Railway Age 15
Four Legs of the Safety Stool
often entertain myself by reading railway history. While perusing a 1946 edition of the New York Central Railroad’s employee magazine Headlight, I was struck by how much has changed in our industry since that post-war year—but also, by how much hasn’t. For while there were no longer barbers and secretaries on the Twentieth Century Limited, there was plenty of focus on safety in 1946. That year, NYC kicked off a grade-crossing safety campaign; the Syracuse Division celebrated a safety record of only one employee injury the previous year; and an Indianapolis worker received kudos from fellow employees for his lifelong commitment to promoting on-thejob safety. Happily, and to the benefit of our industry and the public at large, that same safety culture is still going strong among the railroads and their supply base some 70 years later. In fact, everywhere I turn in railroading, safety is the no. 1 priority. You can see it in worker safety programs that educate employees, vendors and rail yard visitors about safety “best practices” and then persistently track the results (e.g. work days without an accident). It’s at the root of the safety briefing that precedes every railroad industry meeting, whether the gathering is taking place in an office, hotel meeting room or in the field. And it’s why even RSI staff recently completed a Red Cross safety class, so we can speak up at industry events when there’s a call for someone in the room who knows CPR and who knows where the Automated External
since 1980, the train accident rate is down
79% 16 Railway Age // December 2017
Defibrillator (AED) is located in the building, in the case of an emergency. Beyond the programmatic aspect, you will find the safety culture behind the astounding amount of industry investment suppliers, including RSI members, are making in new technologies specifically aimed at lowering the risk of rail incidents and accidents, whether it’s innovations like track and bridge inspection using drones; newly developed locomotive safety and control systems; designing and manufacturing safer tank cars; or the countless safety advancements made possible by wayside detectors, on-board sensors, and big-data-driven communications and signaling systems. Kudos are likewise due to the Class I railroads for capital expenditures totaling almost $600 billion since the Staggers Act was enacted. This investment in plant and equipment has directly contributed to the train accident rate falling 43% since 2000 and 79% since 1980—while the rail employee injury rate has dropped 46% since 2000 and 83% since 1980. And what about New York Central’s concern for highway-rail grade crossing safety, captured in that old issue of Headlight magazine more than 70 years ago? Thanks in large part to the Section 130 program, which provides funds for eliminating hazards at crossings, fatalities at these crossings have decreased by more than 60% since the program’s inception in 1987. Indeed, RSI and its member companies have successfully argued for continued funding for the Section 130 program in every transportation bill since the program’s inception, including the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allots hundreds of millions of federal dollars annually for highway and railway safety— including $230 million in 2017. And additional credit belongs to the inspiring Operation Lifesaver program (with its Look, Listen and Live education message), wherein thousands of volunteers spread the OL safety message through PSAs, literature and direct-to-the-public appeals. Congress, too, recognizes the value of Operation Lifesaver, having provided federal funding for the program in every
THE SAFETY CULTURE IS STILL STRONG BETWEEN RAILROADS AND SUPPLIERS. transportation bill since the 1990s. It’s clear to me that investment, technological advances, continued research and communication are four legs of the safety stool. Let’s continue to have safety briefings and invest aggressively in new, safety-focused technologies and continued research, so that 70 years from today, someone reading Railway Age will look back and realize that, like barbers on the Twentieth Century Limited, the “need” to focus on rail safety is a historical footnote, our 2018 goal of zero accidents fatalities and injuries having been long-met. I’ll conclude on a personal note. As of Feb. 1, 2018, the Railway Supply Institute will have new leadership. After nearly 30 years at the organization, I’m retiring. Mike O’Malley, a talented and experienced transportation policy expert and former Vice President, Procurement and Supply Chain Management with CSX, will succeed me. The past three decades have been a fulfilling and challenging experience. I can’t even begin to describe the satisfaction I’ve felt being a part of the railway industry. I count among the people I’ve come to know over the years many good friends. Keep the faith, and keep the trains rolling, safely.
Thomas D. Simpson President Railway Supply Institute railwayage.com
Can Amtrak Avoid Creative Destruction?
gnore Professor Plum in the library with a candlestick as being responsible for Amtrak inefficiency. Refocus on reform—and clues leading to Amtrak’s new President Richard Anderson, who ideally possesses the determination, means, motive and opportunity to correct decades of fuzzy accounting, impose financial transparency and purge waste. With all federal programs under political attack, Amtrak, more than ever, must be roused to deliver its services better, faster and cheaper. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General has long fussed of Amtrak’s “unreliable financial performance reporting.” The U.S. General Accountability Office says Amtrak’s “inconsistent and incomplete” financial reporting “hinders its ability to demonstrate the performance of its lines of business.” Throughout its near five-decade dependence on the public dole, Amtrak has failed repeatedly to report accurately where its subsidy goes. That Congress enables the charade by writing still more checks on the public purse suggests pitch black rather than light at the tunnel’s end. If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. And when it stops, woe be those unprepared. Among Anderson’s qualifications to succeed at Amtrak is being a former CEO of global travel providers Delta and Northwest airlines, where price sensitivity, cost containment and consumer satisfaction are immense challenges. Notably on Anderson’s speed dial is career railroader Wick Moorman, former CEO of efficiency-model Norfolk
90% the fast act initially
limits new operators to
of the current subsidy
18 Railway Age // December 2017
Southern, who became Amtrak’s transitional president in September 2016, has shared the presidency with Anderson since July, and who becomes an Amtrak adviser Jan. 1. The two already have commenced to reduce a management headcount bloat, consolidate reporting and enhance customer amenities. Locked in Amtrak’s accounting fog that they are resolved to penetrate is a careless assignment of costs attending lines of business, including long-distance, statesupported and Northeast Corridor routes, as well as infrastructure assets and ancillary services. The “Host Railroad” reports Amtrak publishes still use “metrics and standards” found unconstitutional in 2016. Only with accurate and transparent reporting can Amtrak business-lines managers be held properly accountable. States that collectively pony-up $250 million annually in subsidies for 29 routes of fewer than 750 miles each—all operated by Amtrak and accounting for 49% of its total ridership—justifiably seek more accurate line-by-line accounting of how that money is assigned. Greater transparency here will permit private-sector operators to compete for those contracts. The first priority of Amtrak’s board and management is protection of the public purse, not the status quo. The 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) created a framework for selecting alterative statesupported corridor-route operators, and provided for portability of labor agreements and a Surface Transportation Board arbitration process to settle disputes over asset transfers. Accident liability issues and willingness of freight railroads to allow non-Amtrak operators over their track remain obstacles. That such hurdles have been eliminated on commuter routes operated by nonAmtrak entities suggest that public-private partnerships on Amtrak long-distance and state-supported routes are feasible. Moreover, the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized a four-year pilot program to open three of Amtrak’s long-distance routes to competition. Only with reliable cost
If real financial reform is not now accomplished, then when?” data will qualified entrepreneurs such as Herzog, Keolis and Veolia, which successfully compete with Amtrak for commuter operating contracts, have incentive to bid, as the FAST Act initially limits new operators to 90% of the current subsidy. Another hurdle is separating Northeast Corridor infrastructure and overhead allocations from long-distance and state-supported routes. One proposal is an infrastructure management organization. AIRNet-21 would manage the NEC under lease, self-finance NEC expansion and renewal, and earn a profit through user charges and commercial development. Separation of infrastructure management from NEC train operation is another competitive opportunity. If Amtrak doesn’t reform itself, then creative destruction—the economic concept of replacing something less efficient with something more effectual—will accomplish the task. If financial reform is not now accomplished, then when? If not accomplished by Anderson and Moorman, then by whom? And how else will Amtrak succeed against other public works projects battling for progressively fewer public dollars?
FRANK N. WILNER Contributing Editor railwayage.com
Tesla Ups the Ante Once Again
ere at the Financial Edge, we always try to stay one step ahead of the news. Last month’s column on locomotive leasing means that an article discussing GE’s sale of its locomotive group will come at another time. Never fear! Interesting issues in rail will always abound. On Nov. 17, Tesla made a big announcement introducing an electric tractor-trailer truck. The proposed vehicle has a range of 500 miles on a single charge and is equipped with Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving technology. It also has an added technology that would help to facilitate truck platooning— meaning we could see convoys of these vehicles rolling down the interstates. It is an interesting time in intermodal service on the rails. As often described in this space and elsewhere, intermodal continues to be a huge source of hope and opportunity for railroad growth. However, intermodal expert Larry Gross (President of Gross Transportation Consulting) pointed out in the Journal of Commerce (“A Domestic Container Capacity Crunch Rears its Head,” Nov. 7, 2017) that as a result of decreasing velocity and a difficult hurricane season, among other factors, “domestic container fleet capacity will be exerting a downward effect on domestic intermodal numbers, and some potential volume could be left on the highway.” Potentially increasing highway loads is not what a railroad market hoping to grow and expand wants to hear (though decreasing velocity is music to the ears of equipment owners).
the electric truck has a
on a single charge
Which brings us to Elon Musk. There is a lot of salesmanship in Musk’s presentation of the Tesla Semi Truck (which you can see at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=s_8ToNr6p6o). Tesla hits lowhanging items in the world of diesel trucking by offering better tractive effort (towing strength), faster acceleration (on level road and on grades), individual wheel motors to prevent jackknifing, “lifetime” brake pads and semi-autonomous lane assist driving technology. All the high-tech do-dads are great (and certainly more safety is better any and every day), but what grabs attention is the fuel consumption savings that Tesla is advertising. Musk goes to great length to discuss the savings of the Tesla Semi vs. $2.50 per gallon price of diesel. The anticipated benefit, “From day one having a Tesla Semi will beat a diesel truck on economics,” does not sound like a bluff. When he moves into his discussion of the platooning capabilities of the Tesla Semi Truck, Musk goes on the offensive against the railroads. He says, “One truck … considered by itself, beats a diesel truck, but what if you have a convoy?” Industry watchers have been tracking truck platooning and its potential impact on rail for some time. It represents the first step along the pathway to autonomous trucking. On the strength of the convoy capabilities of the Tesla Semi, Musk states that the technology behind creating a convoy of Tesla Semis makes a truck driver “more like a train driver.” Disregarding Musk’s ignorance of locomotive operation, Musk goes on about the economic benefit of convoy trucking, attacking both the railroads and the trucking industry: “It’s not just economic suicide to use one diesel truck, it’s economic suicide for rail. This beats rail. That’s really quite profound.” Profound indeed! It does not matter if you agree with Musk’s technological boasts. There are two really important takeaways here: One: Rail is being targeted by companies promoting technology in order to take business off the rails. Two: Musk views the rail industry as being vulnerable. Tesla is not the only producer of an electric semi truck. Other companies are targeting rail business and using platooning
elon musk is targeting rail with his tesla semi truck.” (and soon autonomous technology) to take business away from the railroads. However, Tesla may be the only one of those companies getting daily front-page coverage in The Wall Street Journal. (How many knew Cummins unveiled a 100-mile-range electronic powertrain truck this year?) Before shifting to his new roadster, Musk (the man with the ax) closed, “Defeats rail in a convoy scenario. Production begins in 2019. Order now and get the truck in two years.” Other companies listening to Tesla were Wal-Mart and J.B. Hunt, who announced they placed orders for the Tesla Semi (in very limited quantities). Ryder Systems has also announced its plan to kick the tires. This may be Tesla showmanship, but the target was clear. Railroads need intermodal volume and profit growth. Instead, more challenges seem headed their way. Naysayers can dismiss the technology or economic claims, but if Tesla is ready to go “all in” versus rail, perhaps other companies might quickly find their way to the playing table. Now, those are some high stakes. Got questions? Set them free at email@example.com.
DAVID NAHASS President Railroad Financial Corp. December 2017 // Railway Age 19
Cooking With Gas 20 Railway Age // December 2017
BY WILLIAM C. VANTUONO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF railwayage.com
FECR LNG Florida East Coast Railway is the first North American railroad to adopt LNG for its entire line-haul locomotive fleet.
Chart Industries constructed 12 purpose-built, crash-hardened cryogenic fuel tenders that carry LNG and gasify it for delivery to each locomotive’s fuel injector system. railwayage.com
William C. Vantuono (all photos)
he Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) on Nov. 9, in partnership with the Natural Gas for High Horsepower Summit, officially rolled out its 24-unit fleet of LNG (liquefied natural gas) fueled locomotives, consisting of 12 pairs of GE ES44C4s with a purpose-built Chart Industries fuel tender in between, at Bowden Yard, Jacksonville. FECR is also the first railroad to haul LNG as a commodity, under a FRA waiver. “We are proud to be the first North American railroad to operate its entire main line fleet on LNG,” says Fran Chinnici, Chief Operating Officer. “We hope that our efforts will help other railroads and industries with this paradigm shift.” FECR says LNG is “a key part of [our] overall sustainability objective. Compared to diesel fuel, it reduces locomotive emissions and helps improve the environmental quality of our railway’s operations.” FECR has been operating with LNG since late 2015. Raven Transport, a trucking subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, also utilizes LNG, having converted 44% of its fleet. As of October, FECR and Raven completed more 2,300 trips covering more than 850,000 miles while consuming more than 2.7 million gallons of LNG. LNG, which has been tested as a locomotive fuel for the better part of 25 years and is still under evaluation by several Class I’s, among them BNSF, works for FECR both as a fuel source and a commodity, for two reasons. One, the FECR line-haul locomotive fleet is captive, operating solely on the railroad’s Jacksonville-Miami main line. Two, FECR has several sources of LNG: In addition to purchasing truckloads of the fuel on the open market, Florida East Coast Industries affiliate New Fortress Energy owns and operates a 100,000-gallon-per-day-capacity LNG plant in Hialeah, near Miami. Reducing natural gas to its liquid
form permits cost-effective transport over long distances; experts say LNG is one of the fastest-growing segments in the energy industry, with a 10% to 15% percent projected annual growth rate over the next decade. The EPA Tier 3-compliant locomotives look no different than GE ES44C4s, but their GEVO prime-movers have been retrofitted by GE with its NextFuel™ low-pressure technology. NextFuel™ Natural Gas Retrofit Kits “enable existing Evolution Series locomotives to operate with dual fuel capabilities,” GE says. “This gives railroads flexibility to run on both diesel fuel and LNG with up to 80% gas substitution as well as run 100% diesel.” The gas substitution method retains diesel for compression ignition purposes. A 100% LNG engine would require a spark ignition, like a gasoline engine. The purpose-built, 149,600-pound (fully loaded) fuel tender is what sets these units apart from conventional locomotives. Specially designed and built by Chart Industries, they consist of a cryogenic tank permanently mounted in a railcar that looks a lot like an intermodal well car.
December 2017 // Railway Age 21
FECR LNG But a well car it isn’t. It’s much stronger, capable of deflecting a side impact from a tractor-trailer without damage. The car also sports a center sill much larger and heavier than a well car. Underneath, the carbody has no openings where, in a derailment, an errant rail that becomes a projectile comes up through the floor and punctures the tank. The design was computer-modeled to
simulate worst-case side impact and derailment scenarios. The cryogenic tank, secured to the railcar and protected by a massive steel frame with collision posts, is two tanks in one: An inner stainless-steel tank within an outer carbonsteel tank, separated by a layer of thermal insulation. Complex gasification equipment that takes the LNG and transforms
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22 Railway Age // December 2017
it into a gas for the locomotives’ fuel injection system forms a web of valves and pipes. It’s a complicated setup—a real “plumber’s nightmare”—but it works well, and safely. Safety features also include valves that snap shut automatically if the LNG plumbing is damaged, preventing leakage. LNG content is determined by weight, not volume, hence the scales built into each fueling station. It takes 90 minutes to fill an empty tender. The tender car fuels its twin locomotives for up to 900 miles of heavyhaul service operating at a maximum speed of 60 mph. That’s good for one 700-mile round trip between Jacksonville and Miami, including idling time and potential delays, with fuel and time to spare. FECR, under FRA waiver, is also hauling LNG in ISO containers in conventional intermodal flat cars. The railroad is currently moving LNG containers between the liquefaction plant in Hialeah and Port Miami and Port Everglades. As well, FECR is beginning to explore additional opportunities around the transportation of LNG as a commodity. HOW SAFE IS LNG? The safety of transporting LNG by rail has, as expected, been questioned. Is LNG flammable? According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), “It depends. When cold LNG comes in contact with warmer air, it becomes a visible vapor cloud. As it continues to get warmer, the vapor cloud becomes lighter than air and rises. When LNG vapor mixes with air it is only flammable if within 5%-15% natural gas in air. Less than this is not enough to burn. More than this, there is too much gas in the air and not enough oxygen for it to burn.” Likewise, is LNG explosive? Again, according to the CEC: “As a liquid, LNG is not explosive. LNG vapor will only explode if in an enclosed space. LNG vapor is only explosive if within the flammable range of 5%-15% when mixed with air.” In the unlikely event (since the fuel tender is designed to withstand a large impact) of LNG escaping from a cryogenic tank during a derailment or collision, Florida’s firstresponders along the state’s eastern coast are being trained in response techiques. Lt. Tom Guldner, New York City Fire Department (ret.)., has been training firefighters and first-responders all along FECR railwayage.com
FECR LNG territory “to deal with any emergency with LNG on the rails and on the highways.” Guldner, President of Marine Firefighting Inc., says his “LNG for the First Responder” program is comprised of a two or threeday program involving “Awareness Level,” “Operations Level,” and “Command Level” training. “This training has been conducted along the FECR for the Jacksonville and Martin County Fire Departments, and for first responders from Broward and Dade Counties. With LNG in use throughout the U.S. on our highways and, in the future, on other major rail lines, this training will be of use in other areas as well.” Guldner is certified by BNSF in “LNG Awareness and Emergency Response” and “Railroad Emergency Response HazMat Awareness.” He is not new to the LNG industry. For the past 18 years, his company has been training mariners and first responders to deal with LNG on ships and work boats in the U.S., Mexico and Australia.
a complicated set of coincidences—a LNG-fueled ships come daily. “Right now, the dual-fuel engine is in weather inversion combined with a containment puncture, etc.—so one cannot say a vogue. And, the thermal trade continues to problem could never occur. The big move build, as new projects come on stream. The could be just ahead, as the shipping indus- oversupply glut promises to accelerate the try adjusts to new environmental rules spread of LNG’s use, pushing the applicathat work against the economics of fuel oil. tions down to retail. I find the FECR move a 2020 is close. Goodbye Bunker C. Goodbye pleasant surprise. FECR is an innovator and diesel, expensive and17polluting. Orders for risk-taker.” 36017-December Railway Age.qxp_Layout 1 11/16/17 9:29 AM Page 1
A LONG HISTORY LNG as a fuel has been in play for at least 50 years. In 1970, there was a Wall Street research report prepared on Cabot Corp., a Boston outfit that had formed a venture called Distrigas to import LNG into Boston Harbor. “That operation is still running to this day with Trinidad gas; the report has been long forgotten,” railroad and maritime shipping consultant and former analyst Jim Hanscom, who wrote it, tells Railway Age. “But Cabot backed out of further extensions into the terminal business and moved on.” Hanscom recalls an international LNG conference in Paris, “where the faithful gathered en masse. The people from Shell were the only ones with any real-world experience. Shell had built a small marine vessel based on a containment system that involved screwing individual pieces of balsa wood into the hull, but this was acknowledged as unworkable in a scale-up. “It has taken LNG a long time to hatch. First, the developers and producers went off the rails in pricing, failing to consider that LNG had other properties than did oil. The early birds went bust. Aside from making it too expensive, lead times on projects have been gruesome. And then there is the negative PR. Actually, LNG is far more benign than half the stuff being hauled on the highways and rails. Its threat involves railwayage.com
December 2017 // Railway Age 23
icture this scenario, a few years from now: Platoons of autonomous electric tractortrailers rolling down interstate highways. Negligible labor costs. And a huge indirect subsidy from the federal government, because truckers that employ these vehicles aren’t paying a motor-fuels tax—and therefore are paying far less of the cost of building and maintaining the pavement they pound than their fossil-fueled predecessors, which have never paid their full costs. Shades of the 1950s, when the federal government passed the Interstate Highway and Defense Act, which financed the building of our vaunted “freeways” and almost put heavily regulated railroads out of business? A pre-Staggers-tinged nightmare? A railroad industry without NAFTA and the benefits that have accrued over the past 25-odd years? Think these things won’t happen? Don’t be so sure. (See David Nahass’ Financial Edge, p. 19, for additional insight on electric, self-driving trucks). But before this industry rolls over, drowning in (Elon) Musk cologne, it needs to consider its strengths, while remaining vigilant and thinking creatively about what the railroad world may look like in the not-too-distant future. This is no time for old-school thinking, or believing in the hedge-fund-fueled, short-term-gaincentric corporate philosophy that railroads can slash and burn their way to prosperity and “shareholder value.” Long-term, that approach isn’t going to cut it. If service quality warrants it, pricing (translation: rates charged shippers) can always be adjusted upwards to what the market will bear. However, raising prices does not equate to growing volume. In the long-term, though increased pricing will increase revenue, it will not shift traffic from the roads to the rails. It is not real growth, by any stretch of the imagination. The hedge funds and shareholders wearing short-term blinders really don’t care about real, long-term growth and sustainable shareholder value. Nor do they care about the railroaders whose jobs and lives are affected by corporate crash diets. For the immediate future, however, things are looking somewhat better. Just don’t get too comfortable. 24 Railway Age // December 2017
Jason Seidl: Pricing Outlook Improving Investors were concerned, heading into the back half of the year, about the railroad industry’s difficult year-over-year volume comparisons. Despite predictions of doom and gloom from some investors, rail volumes have held up, although the growth rate has moderated (3.0%, down from the mid-year pace of 5%). Strong intermodal volumes and good growth in chemicals and forest products has offset declines in coal and agricultural products. Looking out into next year, we would expect intermodal volumes to continue to show strong growth, while overall traffic should also get a boost from solid industrial activity. This should help offset projected weakness in coal (we view the long-term trend in this commodity as negative) and automotive. Agricultural volumes should be down year over year, but if grain prices improve, railroads could see a benefit from volumes moving out of storage. In total, we believe the rail industry will post lowsingle-digit volume growth in 2018. More important, however, is the fact that the pricing outlook appears to be improving. Indeed, Cowen and Co.’s proprietary Third-Quarter 2017 Railroad Shipper Survey predicted that rail pricing would be up 3.2% over the next six to 12 months. This is up from the 3.0% predicted in 2Q17 and marks the first time the shippers expected pricing to be above the 3.0% mark since 4Q15. This pricing sentiment was followed up by many of the railroads, which noted during their 3Q17 conference calls that their ability to extract price was good and the outlook was steadily improving. To get a feeling to where pricing was headed, all one had to do was to listen to the Norfolk Southern quarterly earnings call, where management remarked, “Our focus is on utilizing the existing capacity that we have and to lean on price to drive shareholder returns.” The improved pricing outlook should help rail stock prices going forward. It has always been our contention that pricing is what has driven the railroad sector’s longterm outperformance in the stock markets. We wrote about this very topic before hosting our 10th annual Global Transportation Conference in our note titled Rail Pricing Drives Outperformance Over
Rail Freight Outlook
Rail Freight Outlook
Out of the desert and into a new rail-world order
It’s safe to say that the industry is still trying to figure out what’s going on, and not just on Capitol Hill. Nothing is etched in steel. BY WILLIAM C. VANTUONO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF; and JASON SEIDL, WALL STREET CONTRIBUTING EDITOR railwayage.com
August 2017 // Railway Age 25
Rail Freight Outlook Time. In the report, we point out that, over a decade, about two-thirds of rail revenue growth has been due to yields and onethird is due to volumes. The Class Iâ€™s even improved their ORs by 1,500 basis points despite a less-favorable mix associated with the loss of higher-rated coal traffic. The near-term pricing dynamics appear to be a function of tightening truckload market trends and an underlying solid macro-economic backdrop. Truckload spot market pricing has been slowly recovering since May (March for flatbed). The pace of the recovery took a significant leg up after two large storms placed more pressure on an already teetering U.S. supply chain. This sent spot market truck pricing even higher. Although the market has backed off somewhat since the storms have passed, we are still at elevated levels. As we look into 2018, truckload capacity will likely be constrained by the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. Although driver pay hikes appear inevitable for trucking companies, they will look to more than
offset these via strong contract pricing renewals. Based on our discussion with public and private truckload carriers, we are forecasting these contractual rate increases to average approximately 5%. This will provide proverbial cover for the rail carriers to increase pricing on their domestic intermodal products as well as their truck competitive merchandise traffic. While the business backdrop for the rail industry appears positive, the continued shake-up at eastern rail giant CSX has kept investors, shippers and regulators busy in 2017. CEO Hunter Harrisonâ€™s transition to Precision Railroading hit a snag as we moved throughout the summer. Service levels dropped so much that shippers shouted loud enough and long enough to get the attention of the Surface Transportation Board, which promptly summoned CSX to Washington D.C. to explain what went wrong and what is being done about it. Service levels are still not where CSX and its shippers would like. However, they have improved notably from their August
doldrums. Stakeholders will obviously be watching CSX service metrics for signs of further improvement as we exit 2017 and enter the new year. CSX has also been busy redesigning its network. It recently exited lower-density intermodal lanes (on very short notice to customers) and withdrew its support for the expansion of the Howard Street Tunnel that was targeted to bring more freight to the Port of Baltimore. We expect CSX to continue to rationalize its network in 2018, likely shuttering or yielding control of some of its classification yards in an attempt to lower its cost structure. While any freight diversions caused by any of these actions would go to eastern competitor Norfolk Southern and the trucking industry, others that may see potential gains from purchases/partnerships could be the larger short line rail operators such as Genesee & Wyoming and WATCO. We continue to believe that the investment backdrop remains favorable for the rail sector over the next year. Railroad
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26 Railway Age // December 2017
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Rail Freight Outlook earnings should grow at a nice doubledigit pace, and the carriers are expected to provide support to shareholders via their normal split between share repurchases and dividends. Union Pacific, which has paid dividends on its common stock for 118 consecutive years, announced a 10% dividend increase on Nov. 16. Further upside could occur if Congress can pass a corporate tax rate reduction and/ or an infrastructure bill, while a downside could result from an economic slowdown. A wildcard that always exists would be industry consolidation. We believe it is feasible for an attempt to be made but remain skeptical about any large-scale mergers ultimately being approved in the near term. Railcar market stabilizing In spite of a slowing in the movements of major commodities, demand for railcars was relatively stable in this year’s third quarter, according to the most recent report issued by rail industry analyst Economic
Planning Associates (EPA). “Despite of an easing in orders from the second quarter, which was inflated by the 6,000 cars placed with Greenbrier by Mitsubishi with deliveries scheduled over a five-year period, assemblies and backlogs held up well in the third quarter,” said EPA principal Peter Toja. “At current production rates, end-of-September backlogs of 64,253 cars represent 5.8 quarters (roughly 17 months) of future assemblies.” Toja said that strength in mid-sized and small-cube covered hoppers, intermodal equipment and Class F cars has been offset by modest weaknesses in boxcars, hi-cube covered hoppers and tank cars. “As a result, we are lowering our 2017 total railcar deliveries from 43,250 to 42,500,” he said. “At the same time, we have raised our 2018 deliveries estimate from 45,500 to 46,250 cars.” Longer term, Toja said that railcar deliveries will expand from 49,500 in 2019 to 60,000 in 2022. After a strong start, railroad traffic moderated in the third quarter. As a result,
commodity carloadings through the third quarter were running 3.8% ahead of the 2016 pace. At the same time, intermodal movements have strengthened and were running 3.5% ahead of last year’s pace. “A closer inspection of the data indicates that a significant slowing in grain exports, a weak light vehicle production environment, and a continued downward drift in petroleum loadings are primarily responsible for the easing in commodity movement growth,” said Toja. “Nonetheless, we have upbeat revenue and income statements from the railroads.” “We anticipate that continued strength in coal, aggregates, metallic and nonmetallic minerals and primary metal products will offset the weakening environment of grain, motor vehicles and petroleum during the remainder of this year,” Toja noted. “We now look for 2.6% growth in commodity haulings this year and a stronger expansion of 2.9% in 2018. From 2019 through 2022, commodity haulings will advance 2.0-2.5% per year.”
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December 2017 // Railway Age 27
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Featured Speaker Railway Age’s 2018 Railroader of the Year JOHN C. HELLMANN Chairman, President & CEO
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BRAKING SYSTEMS Class 1 Focus: CN
PUMPED UP ABOUT
Recent advances in air brake systems and components still point to one critical feature: Safely stopping trains. But ECP remains elusive.
eorge Westinghouse invented the automatic air brake for railroads in 1868 and, after the invention of the AB control valve in 1933, it’s safe to say the principal nature of the technology remains the same: Reduce air pressure through the brake system, and the brakes are applied (a fail-safe concept, too, in case of a catastrophic breakdown). Pump the air back up, and the brakes release. In 1949, British railways first began using electro-pneumatic (EP) brakes, which allowed the train’s operator to apply all of the train’s brakes simultaneously, instead of the sequential, car-to-car application of the Westinghouse design. Today, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP) use
By Stuart CHIRLS, SENIOR EDITOR electronic controls to activate the brakes, while sending commands and receiving performance feedback from the train. The perceived advantages of ECP brakes are shorter stopping distances, improved control of trains, and fewer incidents of broken couplers and derailments. The ECP braking system continues to be used extensively in Europe, as well as by transit operators in the U.S., where passenger safety is paramount. But the recent prospect of making ECP brakes a mandate for freight in this country was less warmly received by railroads, which were already dealing with the logistics and expense of a federal mandate to install Positive Train Control (PTC). There was also a perception of ECP in the rail industry as a solution
looking for a problem, as proponents sought to make political hay by playing up the safety aspect and positioning ECP as an available technological remedy to recent high-profile accidents, most involving tank cars hauling hazardous materials. There seemed to be an essence of foregone conclusion when, in response to a congressional request in the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation entered into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) Transportation Research Board (TRB) to conduct a twophase study on ECP brakes on freight trains. The recently-released NAS/TRB report, “A Review of the Department of Transportation Testing and Analysis Results December 2017 // Railway Age 29
braking systems for Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes,” stated: “The committee is unable to make a conclusive statement about the emergency performance of ECP brakes relative to other braking systems on the basis of the results of testing and analysis provided by DOT.” While the discussion of ECP brakes for freight has been temporarily tabled, manufacturers continue to develop improvements in conventional air brake systems. At New York Air Brake, based in Watertown, N.Y., the focus is on Brake Cylinder Maintaining (BCM), an exclusive technology the company claims is the most significant change to pneumatic brake control in 50 years. “The challenge to us as an industry is, how do we get reliable braking power on a car, especially with as many cars as are interchanged—1.4 million a year between the U.S. and Canada,” says Jason Connell, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service for New York Air Brake. Connell. “[Air] connection points [between
30 Railway Age // December 2017
cars] are always going to be a problem.” At present, pneumatically controlled air brake systems cannot recharge the brake cylinder while the brakes are applied. If
The discussion of a federal mandate for ECP brakes for freight has been tabled, at least for now. the cylinder leaks, then braking force is lost during the brake application. The air system will recharge only after the brakes are released. New York Air Brake’s DB-60 II control valve includes Brake Cylinder
Maintaining technology that automatically restores pressure to the brake system during a brake application. This provides additional control to train operators under all conditions, especially during long, downward grades and cold weather. The company says BCM also keeps wheels warm and freight cars running longer, avoiding lost revenue and unnecessary maintenance costs due to false positive “cold wheel” setouts from wayside detectors. Once air leakage is detected, the DB-60 II with BCM restores up to 85% of the original brake cylinder target pressure. BCM can maintain 1 psi per minute of brake cylinder leakage within 8 psi of the target pressure, and within 10 psi of the target at 2 psi per minute brake cylinder leakage—or twice the minimum prescribed by the Federal Railroad Administration. “Braking requires air, and it costs money to compress air,” says Connell. “BCM takes the air out of the brake pipe and puts it into the cylinder. It gives the benefit of detecting leaks, and providing quick service to the full
range of brake pipe pressure.” NYAB has placed 15,000 BCM valves in service since 2015, particularly with carbuilders and leasing companies that want to maximize revenue for their products. At the same time, says Connell, “Where railroads and asset management are concerned, the railroads have invested heavily in wayside detection—photos, scans, etc. It’s deep data analysis of the behavior of the railcar. But, brakes are still something of a black art. What we are trying to do is provide assurance that the train is functioning within the limits prescribed by the FRA.” Wabtec (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies) Corp., descendant of the original Westinghouse Air Brake Company headquartered in Wilmerding, Pa., continues to develop improvements to its ABDX® control valve, first offered to the freight car market in 1989. The control valve is offered in three versions: ABDX for standard cars having 45-75 feet of brake pipe; ABDX-L for cars with 75 feet of brake pipe, and ABDX-SS for non-interchange applications with less than 45 feet of brake pipe. The ABDX is available in either the traditional “AB-type” pipe bracket mounting arrangement or mounted on a single-sided pipe bracket that places the service and emergency portions in front for easy access. The valve design assures precise operating performance and proper brake cylinder pressure under all conditions, including demanding grade situations, Wabtec notes. The ABDX, Wabtec says, “features high reliability and long service life, and is thoroughly tested to demanding standards and serialized for traceability. It is operationally stable for quick response sensitivity while avoiding undesired emergency and/or unintended service brake applications.” Wabtec says that aluminum construction makes the ABDX half the weight of cast iron valves and easier to handle. Cleaner aluminum castings are alodined with an application of a protective chromate conversion coating, for corrosion resistance. The valve is also available with built-in accommodation for precise, automatic on-car testing. The ABDX and braking systems and components are marketed in the U.S. and through Wabtec locations in eight countries. NYAB and Wabtec both offer ECP braking systems. South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail is the single-largest user, having deployed equipment from both suppliers on 3,000 coal cars and 58 locomotives for unit train service in 2005.
Mobile Flash-Butt Welding
Holland is the industry leader in the ﬁeld of ﬂash-butt welding. Our Intelliweld® Control System provides an unmatched degree of accuracy and quality in the production of rail welds. With the largest mobile ﬂash-butt rail welding ﬂeet in the world, we pride ourselves as pioneers in developing ﬂash-butt welding technology that continues to provide high-quality and cost-effective solutions. Our unique 360° approach to servicing the railroad industry enables us to be a complete solutions provider to our customers. Above all, our commitment to safety is always priority number one.
NYAB DB-60 II with BCM technology. railwayage.com
A Rail Solutions Partnership Unlike Any Other. Visit hollandco.com Call 708-672-2300 December 2017 // Railway Age 31
ail is a major consumable. When it wears down, it affects other consumables like wheels and brake shoes. Grinding or milling the railhead, where wheel meets steel, to a specific profile is an alternative to outright replacement. But when rail does need replacement, welds need to be the strongest link. Here’s a look at nine leading suppliers that practice the railway version of metalworking. HARSCO RAIL, which describes profile grinding as “the basis for controlling wheel/rail contact and reducing track wear and fatigue of the track,” recently returned to the North American contract grinding sector through a partnership with RailWorks Maintenance of Way, Inc., to provide grinding services to Class I railroads. RailWorks operating personnel conduct the services, with Harsco technical support. RailWorks currently has four Harsco grinders in service. Harsco grinders now feature the Jupiter II Control System, a laser profile measurement system, onboard dust collection and fire suppression, and an ergonomically designed, noise-reducing operator’s cabin. HOLLAND LP says thermite rail welding is a significant share of the market and “a viable option to flash-butt welding when considering clearance and track occupancy restrictions.” The company recently acquired the assets of Atlanta-based Bankhead Companies, and now offers a full array of rail welding options: electric, flash-butt and thermite. With Holland’s MobileWelder®, all joints during rail installation can be flash-butt welded, “thus achieving greater productivity, and eliminating the need for additional and 32 Railway Age // December 2017
costly track occupancy to weld joints, post-installation. Our Intelliweld® Control System and Puller-Lite technologies can assist in setting neutral rail temperature,” Holland says. Flash-butt welds made by a Holland MobileWelder® during defect removal “frequently eliminate the need for installation of additional rail,” the company says. And, “turnouts are the most expensive track structure component to maintain. Our Extended Reach MobileWelder® boom-crane-equipped portable welding system is capable of deploying the welder head up to 40 feet (32 feet with welder head and puller) to the side of the truck. Hi-rail equipped, it can weld on-track together with Holland’s Puller-Lite, and like conventional MobileWelders® has the capability of welding from a right-of-way road onto the track, or from one track to an adjacent track, depending on the distance between track centers.” Flash-butt welding rail in-track on transit properties presents challenges, such as occupancy of main lines that run only a few, if any, non-revenue hours per day, and clearance restrictions between third rail and running rail and at station platforms. Holland offers high-production, hi-rail platform-based equipment able to flashbutt weld in-track, including closure welds, within the clearance of most third-rail systems. For LINCOLN ELECTRIC, when Siemens designed solar energy into its Sacramento, Calif., rolling stock manufacturing facility, sustainability was a requirement for all areas of the plant, including carbody and bogie welding. Siemens purchased energy-efficient Flextec™ inverter welders from Lincoln Electric for use with its solar-powered, 40-booth welding operations. railwayage.com
Loram Maintenance of Way
Welding, grinding and the relatively new process of milling are central to maintaining good track. By William C. Vantuono
Rail Welding / Grinding / MILLING Lincoln Electric used an energy calculator tied in with the local utility to determine the energy and cost savings of Flextec™ units. Siemens already used a high percentage of Lincoln Electric products, including the traditional transformer/rectifier technology CV-305 and earlier inverter-based Invertec® V-350 PRO and Power Wave® 455 welding power sources. Ultimately, Siemens purchased three Flextec™ 450 multi-process welding power sources that deliver up to 500 amps of welding power using state-of-the-art inverter and transformer technology for faster arc response and considerable energy savings with lower power consumption on carbon steel, lowalloy steel, high-tensile steel and stainless steel applications. LORAM MAINTENANCE OF WAY notes that problems encountered on heavy-haul lines also occur on transit: shelling, spalling, side wear, plastic flow, dipped welds, corrugation and fatigue, and noise and ride quality issues. Loram’s L-Series Specialty Rail Grinders (photo, opposite page) “are flexible enough to work on a variety of transit, short line, and Class I railroads while powerful enough to perform the necessary maintenance within tight work schedules,” the company says. “These 8-16 stone grinders can be rapidly transported at highway speeds to reach any work site. They combine the technology from our heavy-haul main line grinders with a unique design to navigate transit systems, can perform within most flangeway or field side clearance obstructions, and are gauge-convertible.” The L-Series also has integrated dust collection and noisesuppression systems for grinding in public areas. The combination of Loram’s Type II and patented offset grinding “allows flexibility to grind a variety of rail conditions, including corrugation removal, mill scale removal on new rail, switches, crossings, imbedded rail, tunnels, open rail spots, or profiling.” ORGO-THERMIT’s SMARTWELD RECORD technology “ensures intelligent management and adjustment of gas pressures during preheating,” the company says. “It also allows for replication of correct procedures as well as tracking and tracing of installed THERMIT® welds. SMARTWELD RECORD supports welding personnel throughout the entire welding process by giving easy to follow step-by-step instructions in a user-friendly way, ensuring optimum use of welding materials and welding performed in accordance to procedures. Welding parameters are recorded and documented via the Goldschmidt smart phone app. (Goldschmidt is an international conference on geochemistry and related subjects organized by the European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society.) Weld report data can be exported for further digital documentation and evaluation.” Orgo-Thermit’s grinding equipment is designed for precision grinding of rail profile corrugation. To reduce track time, both rails can be ground simultaneously. Re-profiling of grooved (girder) and Vignole (flat-bottomed) rail is another capability. “With its compact outside dimensions, our machine can be used within small-structure gauges,” the company notes. “We offer a hydrostatically driven municipal vehicle with all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering as the base vehicle. This bi-directional vehicle is equipped with 12 hydrostatically driven and angle-adjusted grinding stones, and self-contained dust vacuuming and water suppression systems. PLASSER AMERICAN’s APT1500RL is an on-track version of its fully automatic flash-butt welding robot in a truck design. “The welding robot produces rail welds of consistent high quality railwayage.com
in continuous sequence,” Plasser notes. “Automatic rail end alignment saves time in operation, and the fact that an additional pulling device is no longer needed for closure welds also has a positive effect on the working speed and weld quality.” Plasser’s APT1500RA on-track vehicle is also suitable for performing closure welds. Plasser’s APT600S is a rail-bound, self-propelled machine with a single frame design mounted on two heavy-duty two-axle bogies. All welding functions are performed in the center area of the machine between the cabs, protecting the main working components. This machine can perform final welds below neutral rail temperature using a high-capacity rail pulling and tensioning device. Plasser’s GWM-series rail surface and corrugation grinding machines feature “the only system available that offers a spark-free operation utilizing a water supply for grinding stone lubrication,” the company says. “This system is not subject to fire hazards caused by rotary action grinding machines. Also, utilizing water during the grinding operation eliminates dust, an important factor in highly populated areas. Additionally, there is no need for operators to wear respirators or masks.” PROGRESS RAIL’s Welding Division (formerly Chemetron) worked with international affiliate EO Paton to develop a narrow head welder for mobile units that can be used with its extended boom trucks when welding turnouts and in tight curves. The company’s new fleet of 250-ton AC mobile welders have external pullers for closure welds, expanding its mobile offering of 180-ton,
December 2017 // Railway Age 33
Rail WeLding / Grinding / MILLING fully integrated heads, extended-boom units and excavator mounted welders. This system combines a fully integrated, multiprocessor controller with a proprietary operator interface software suite with new weld data trending and analytic tools to identify variances in material, equipment and the environment. Enhanced sampling and curve fit routines “accurately predict reactive track forces during forging to ensure that proper forging force is applied to every weld,” the company notes. Progress Rail is also developing a high-tonnage, fully integrated AC welding head that will provide closure weld capabilities without the use of a separate puller. RAILTECH BOUTET offers a range of thermite welding kits to suit all rail profiles, including Worn Rail Welding and Wide Gap Welding. This equipment, through the reaction of iron oxide with aluminum, produces molten steel cast at a temperature exceeding 3,500 degrees F into refractory molds designed to fit the rails to be welded. “This process features our CJ One-Shot Crucible, which is available for all of our current thermite welding processes,” the company says. “The One Shot Crucible is tapped at the bottom, the molten steel flows into the mold, fusing with the rail ends and forming the weld. The breakdown time starts after the last drop pours, allowing the entire setup to progressively cool. After the recommended time, the mold is removed and the weld is cleaned and finished by grinding to produce a smooth joint.” Railtech Boutet works directly with Railtech Matweld, Inc. (a division of Railtech International) to develop and improve
thermite welding hydraulic equipment. Railtech is also Smith Equipment’s official railroad distributor for preheating and welding equipment. VOSSLOH NORTH AMERICA describes rail milling as “completely different than production grinding in that it is a cutting process that actually can remove up to 2mm of steel from the railhead. Milling, a spark-free process, is intended for track sections that either can’t be maintained with traditional grinding practices (like tunnels or bridges, due to fire risk) or for rail sections that are so badly degraded that the only other option would be rail replacement.” Vossloh stresses that milling “won’t replace production grinding as a maintenance technique. We see it more as a supplement to a railroad’s maintenance program that will help it avoid premature rail replacement. With milling, you can actually re-profile the railhead to precise parameters so it can be used to remove corrugations and other rail damage caused by RCF (rolling contact fatigue).” Vossloh’s High-Performance Milling (HPM) is “a newly developed rail milling technique characterized by increased speed and accuracy, while being simultaneously flexible and economical,” the company says. Milling is an established practice in Europe, where Vossloh milling customers include its core market of Germany as well as many other European railway markets (Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and others). However, milling is still a new concept in North America.
Progress Rail is a market leader in trackwork Maintenance-of-Way, signaling, fasteners, and rail welding. Our fixed plant and mobile welding systems are designed to provide consistent, high quality welds, maximum productivity and a safe working environment.
See where Progress can take you. 34 Railway Age // December 2017
People / 100 years / Meetings Paul P. Skoutelas
American Public Transportation Association High profile: The American Public Transportation Association has appointed transit industry veteran Paul P. Skoutelas as President and CEO, effective Jan. 8, 2018. Skoutelas, currently Senior Vice President and National Director, Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center (TEC) and National Transit and Rail Market Leader at WSP USA (formerly Parsons-Brinckerhoff), has spent his entire career in public transportation, leading transit systems in Pittsburgh (Port of Authority of Allegheny County) and Orlando (Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority/LYNX). A licensed Professional Engineer, Skoutelas has been involved with many major capital programs, among them the South Hills Stage ll Light Rail Program and North Shore Rail Connector. He has served on numerous boards and committees for transportation organizations in leadership positions, including APTA, TRB, National Transit Institute, Pennsylvania Transportation Institute , and TCRP.
en Reger recently joined the American Track Services team in Fort Worth, Tex., as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining American Track, Ken was Controller for the Rail Division of Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. for 15 years. He began his career with Condon Brothers, Inc., Spokane, Wash. In 1998, Condon became one of the roll-up companies to form the initial public offering for what is now RailWorks Corp. Reger served as the controller for the Industrial Rail Division of RailWorks before joining Balfour Beatty in 2002. Helmut Schroeder, 78, founder of Railquip Inc., a supplier of rail and maintenance of way equipment, died Oct. 30. Schroeder was born in Dortmund, Germany, and came to the U.S. in 1966 as vice president of sales for Hoesch Manufacturing, where he was in charge of market development in North America. In 1983, he became
the sole distributor in North America of the Hoesch re-railing system and formed his own company, Railquip. Over the next 35 years, Railquip came to represent many manufacturers of rail- and transit-related support equipment, and shop and maintenance-of-way equipment. Norfolk Southern locomotive engineer Juanita Campbell, 74, died Oct. 31. Campbell hired on with NS in 1998. At the time of her death, she was based in Shenandoah, Va. Earlier this year, she had the honor of operating the last Blue Unit move of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train. Joseph Parsons has taken on the newly-created title of General Manager at the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS), concurrent with the retirement of President Jerome Lipka. Al Satunas was named Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Parsons.
100 years ago in railway age gazette DECEMBER 1917
Recommends Creation Of Service Department To the Editor: For some time I have considered suggesting the creation of a new department on railways, to be known as the “department of service.” Service is of paramount importance in an organization, and my past experience leads me to believe if the railways made it the business of some one department to see that service of the highest order was rendered, much criticism directed against the carriers would disappear. — L.C. Fritch, General Manager, Seaboard Air Line railwayage.com
JAN. 15-18, 2018
2018 MARS WINTER CONFERENCE The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Lombard, ILL. http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid=4089306&trk= myg_ugrp_ovr.
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14th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference Magnolia Hotel Dallas, Texas http://texasrailadvocates. org/2018-southwestern-railconference/.
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AAR’s 30th Quality Assurance Auditor and Industry Conference Historic Hilton Fort Worth, Texas http://regonline. com/2018qaconference.
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Railway Age Fourth Annual Rail Insights Conference Union League Club of Chicago Information: http://www.railwayage. com; email@example.com.
December 2017 // Railway Age 35
Products Catch that Cell Phone User!
Lighter, Brighter Switchman’s Stick® Railhead’s new Switchman’s Stick® has become an asset to many railroads due to the many functions it has to offer their day-to-day work environments. Designed to replace the traditional trainman’s lantern that has been in existence for generations and known to be bulky, heavy and difficult to carry (and can potentially be snared by moving equipment), the Switchman’s Stick is lighter, brighter and easily fits in a pocket. The Switchman’s Stick also serves as a multifunction tool, with a built-in flashlight (100 Lumens, 15 hours, 328-foot beam distance), a work light (200 Lumens, 5.5 hours, 52-foor beam distance), a blue signal light (9 Lumens) and a white signal light (63 Lumens). These different functions incorporated into one stick reduce the number of items that the trainman needs to carry to perform his/her duties and makes 36 Railway Age // December 2017
their work a lot more convenient, besides adding a degree of safety. Compact in size, the Switchman’s Stick is 9.84 x 1.18 inches and operates on four AAA alkaline or rechargeable batteries (it does not have built-in recharging capability). Strong integrated magnets allow it to be placed in various locations within a work area, such as on a locomotive or railcar. It includes an attached wrist lanyard; a carabiner can be used to attach it to clothing. It has been drop-tested to 12 feet and is waterproof. The Switchman’s Stick’s switchman’s function light is available in three colors: Red (model RH-SSR 200), Blue (model RH-SSB 200) or Clear (model RH-SSC 200). A Pacific Harbor Line trainmaster says, “I’m able to affix this device to shine in my work area. It’s amazing how well it lights up the space.” Information: www.railheadcorp. com/products.
he TransitHound-PoE™ railway distraction detector from Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. identifies unauthorized cell phone use in multiple settings (locomotive cabs, passenger cars, m/w machines, hi-rail vehicles, etc.). Railroads have imposed strict rules governing unauthorized cell phone use, particularly for locomotive engineers, for whom talking or texting or accessing cellular data while operating can lead to deadly consequences. TransitHound-PoE’s sensitive receiver system detects cell phone use, and thus potential distraction, by locomotive engineers and operators of heavy machinery. When connected to an Ethernet network, it sends and receives data and power over Ethernet, and can be a vital component in PTC (Positive Train Control) safety systems. TransitHound-PoE detects all voice, text or cellular data activity within its range of operation. It enables managers to keep a watchful eye on employees in charge of moving equipment, helping ensure that operations are safe and legal. The system will enforce a NO CELL PHONE USE policy with time-stamped alerts and triggers for video or still recording of the distraction incident. Discreet and rugged, it is designed for mounting anywhere. Designed and manufactured entirely in the U.S. Information: www.bvsystems.com/product/ transithound-poe-railway-distraction-detector/.
Ad Index Company
danella rental systems
D A s enterprise (switch-rite)
greenbrier companies the
Herzog railroad services inc
Progress rail a caterpillar co
r j corman railroad group
American Railcar Industry Atlas Copco Compressors, LLC cit
mac products new york air brake
railway education bureau Strato subway
town & country crossings
URL/Email Address Page #
The Advertisers Index is an editorial feature maintained for the convenience of readers. It is not part of the advertiser contract and Railway Age assumes no responsibility for the correctness.
Advertising Sales MAIN OFFICE Jonathan Chalon Publisher 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7224 Fax: (212) 633-1863 firstname.lastname@example.org AL, KY, Jon Chalon 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7224 Fax: (212) 633-1863 email@example.com CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, WV, Canada – Quebec and East, Ontario Jerome Marullo 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7260 Fax: (212) 633-1863 firstname.lastname@example.org
AR, AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, In, KS, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, NV, OK, OR, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY, Canada – AB, BC, MB, SK Heather Disabato 20 South Clark Street, Suite 1910 Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 683-5026 Fax: (312) 683-0131 email@example.com The Netherlands, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, North Germany, Middle East, South America, Africa (not South), Far East (Excluding Korea /China/India), All Others, Tenders Louise Cooper International Area Sales Manager The Priory, Syresham Gardens Haywards Heath, RH16 3LB United Kingdom +44-1444-416368 Fax: +44-(0)-1444-458185 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scandinavia, Spain, Southern Germany, Austria, Korea, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe Baltic States, Recruitment Advertising Michael Boyle International Area Sales Manager Nils Michael Boyle Dorfstrasse 70, 6393 St. Ulrich, Austria. +011436767089872 email@example.com Italy, Italian-speaking Switzerland Dr. Fabio Potesta Media Point & Communications SRL Corte Lambruschini Corso Buenos Aires 8 V Piano, Genoa, Italy 16129 +39-10-570-4948 Fax: +39-10-553-0088 firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan Katsuhiro Ishii Ace Media Service, Inc. 12-6 4-Chome, Nishiiko, Adachi-Ku Tokyo 121-0824 Japan +81-3-5691-3335 Fax: +81-3-5691-3336 email@example.com CLASSIFIED, PROFESSIONAL & EMPLOYMENT Jeanine Acquart 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7211 Fax: (212) 633-1325 firstname.lastname@example.org
AILWAY GE December 2017 // Railway Age 37
Weâ€™re current, are you? FRA Regulations FRA News:
Mechanical Department Regulations A combined reprint of the Federal Regulations that apply specifically to the Mechanical Department. Spiral bound. Part Title 210 Railroad Noise Emission Compliance Regulations 215 Freight Car Safety Standards Updated 4-3-17. 216 Emergency Order Procedures: Railroad Track, Locomotive and Equipment Updated 4-3-17. 217 Railroad Operating Rules Updated 4-3-17. 218 Railroad Operating Practices - Blue Flag Rule Updated 4-3-17. 221 Rear End Marking Device-passenger, commuter/freight trains
Safety Glazing Standards Updated 4-3-17. Railroad Accidents/Incidents Updated 4-3-17. Locomotive Safety Standards Updated 4-3-17. Safety Appliance Standards Updated 4-3-17. Brake System Safety Standards Updated 4-3-17.
223 225 229 231 232
Mech. Dept. Regs.
Order 25 or more and pay only $26.00 each
49 CFR Part 40, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Department of Transportation's Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments. The Department of Transportation is amending its drug-testing program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. The revision of the drug-testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. This final rule clarifies certain existing drug-testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments, and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens. DATES: This rule is effective on January 1, 2018.
Part 242: Conductor Certification
Current FRA Regulations Item Code
FRA Part #
209 211 BKTSSAF 213 BKTSSG 213 BKWRK 214 BKFSS 215 BKROR 217 218 BKRRC 220 BKEND 221 BKSEP
4-3-17 7-20-09 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17
BKHORN 222 4-3-17 BKRFRS 224 4-3-17 BKHS BKLSS BKSLI BKSAS BKBRIDGE BKLER
228 229 230 231 237 240
4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17
BKCONDC 242 4-3-17
232 4-3-17 FRA Part #
233 234 235 236 238 239
50 or more
RR Safety Enforcement Procedures & Rules of Practice Track Safety Standards (Subpart A-F) Track Safety Standards (Subpart G) RR Workplace Safety RR Freight Car Safety Standards RR Operating Rules and Practices
28.50 10.50 9.50 9.95 7.65 9.95
9.45 8.55 8.95 6.90 8.95
RR Communications Rear End Marking Device, Passenger, Commuter & Freight Trains Use of Locomotive Horns Reflectorization of Rail Freight Rolling Stock Hours of Service Locomotive Safety Standards Steam Locomotive Inspection RR Safety Appliance Standards Bridge Safety Standards Qualification and Certification of Locomotive Conductor Certification
6.95 11.00 11.50 23.95 9.95 6.95 13.25
8.95 6.25 11.90
25 or more
25 or more
Brake System Safety Standards
Combined FRA Regulations
8-8-16 Drug and Alcohol Regulations in 6-12-17 the Workplace
4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17 4-3-17
Signal and Train Control Systems
Conductor Certification Order 50 or more and pay only $10.35 each
Part 240â€“Qualification and Certification of Locomotive Engineers This final rule will clarify the decertification process; clarify when certified locomotive engineers are required to operate service vehicles; and address the concern that some designated supervisors of locomotive engineers are insufficiently qualified to properly supervise, train, or test locomotive engineers. 162 pages. Spiral bound. Updated 4-3-17
Qual. and Certif. of Loco. Engineers Order 50 or more and pay only $11.90 each
Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings 49 CFR 222. his regulation provides for safety at public highway-rail grade crossings by requiring locomotive horn use at public highway-rail grade crossings except in quiet zones established and maintained in accordance with this part. 172 pages. Softcover, spiral bound. Updated 4-3-17
Use of Loco. Horns at Public Hwy-Rail Grade Crossings
Order 50 or more and pay only $12.40 each
Passenger Safety Standards
Compliance Manuals BKTRACKCOMP
The Conductor Certification rule (49 CFR 242) outlines details for implementing a Conductor Certification Program. The FRA implemented this rule in an effort to ensure that only those persons who meet minimum Federal safety standards serve as conductors, to reduce the rate and number of accidents and incidents, and to improve railroad safety. Softcover. Spiral bound. 124 pages.Updated 4-3-17.
Track and Rail and Infrastructure Integrity Compliance Manual - Volume II, Track Safety Standards - Part 213 Technical Manual for Signal and Train Control Rules. - Includes Part 233, 234, 235, 236
Updates from the Federal Register may be supplied in supplement form.
The Railway Educational Bureau 1809 Capitol Ave., Omaha NE, 68102 I (800) 228-9670 I (402) 346-4300 www.RailwayEducationalBureau.com
Add Shipping & Handling if your merchandise subtotal is: U.S.A. CAN U.S.A. CAN UP TO $10.00 $4.50 $8.75 25.01 - 50.00 10.78 16.80 10.01 - 25.00 7.92 12.65 50.01 - 75.00 11.99 21.20
Orders over $75, call for shipping
*Prices subject to change. Revision dates subject to change in accordance with laws published by the FRA. 12/17
EDNA A. RICE, EXECUTIVE RECRUITER, INC READING, BLUE MOUNTAIN & NORTHERN RAILROAD
EDNA A. RICE, President
The Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad is looking to purchase used signal items. These items include, but aren’t limited to, cases, bungalows, signal cantilevers, signal ladders and masts, signal heads, Electrokode 4 and 5 electronics, Genrakode and VPI equipment. Also, circuit controllers, electric locks, and motion sensors would all be considered. Also looking for cable remnants. If any of this used equipment would be for sale, please contact Jonathan Barket at email@example.com or 484.332.3737.
(713) 667-0406 FAX (713) 667-1651 Web address: www.ednarice. com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6750 West Loop South Suite 735 Bellaire, Texas 77401-4111
WE START IT ALL
Part 243 Training & Certification Part 242 Conductor Training Part 240 Engineer Training and re-certification -------------------------------------------------------Modoc Railroad Academy 916-965-5515 email@example.com
3324RR STARTS ENGINES UP TO 3500HP
3370RR STARTS ENGINES UP TO 6000HP
strAteGic PLANNiNG: • Commuter rail tranSitionS • fra ComplianCe programS • operationS auditing
214RR HEAVY USAGE STARTING FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT
OR CALL TOLL FREE 844.901.9987
RAILWAY AGE A4.indd 1
Kansas City Office (913) 661-2424 oPerAtioNs trAiNiNG & coNsULtiNG: www.tcsrailservices.com • engineer training & CertifiCation other services: • exCellent HiStory witH fra, ntSB • Staffing • interim management • meCHaniCal & part 238(Qmp)
Available for Lease 3000 cu ft Covered Hopper Cars 4650 cu ft Covered Hopper Cars 3600 cu ft Open Top Hopper Cars 4480 cu ft Aluminum Rotary Open Top Gons 65 ft, 100-ton log spine cars equipped with six (6) log bunks 60 ft, 100 ton Plate F box cars, cushioned underframe and 10 ft plug doors 50 ft, 100 ton Plate C box cars, cushioned underframe and 10 ft plug doors Contact: Tom Monroe: 415-616-3472 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org December 2017 // Railway Age 39
Perspective: Short Line & Regional
Safety Regulations Should Benefit, Not Burden
or many years now, the railroad industry has been swept along in a river of regulations that are hugely expensive, divert resources and attention from real safety investments and have little or no impact on real safety improvement. With the new Administration, we are optimistic the river is going to slow down ahead. But today, we remain barely above water with a series of previously enacted or proposed regulations that need to be addressed. Most damaging for short lines are the kind of one-size-fits-all-regulations that provide no basis for the presumed benefits and don’t take into consideration our unique operating characteristics. There are three that stand out. Training Rules: The proposed rule is pursuant to the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. It imposes a whole new layer of safety training requirements on top of what are already substantial training and qualification requirements. The rule’s most important characteristic is not the substance of the training required but the enormous and meaningless paperwork burden it places on the railroad. That burden is far beyond the capability of the average short line railroad and will have no impact on safety. In response to the proposed rule, the Short Line & Regional Railroad Association hired a safety professional to produce a template manual that met all the requirements of the rule for just one craft. The manual is more than six inches thick and would have to be duplicated 26 times to
as of november 6, the SHORT LINE INDUSTRY WENT ONE YEAR
A FATALITY 40 Railway Age // December 2017
cover all the crafts in our industry. In an effort to see if we could at least standardize this document so each short line would not have to produce 26 different books of their own, we gave the sample to the Federal Railroad Administration and asked them to comment on it as a template that could be used by all short lines. It took FRA three years to reply, a good indication of the complexity and timeconsuming nature of this directive. ECP Brakes: By Jan. 1, 2021, railroads must install ECP brakes on certain trains carrying flammable liquids. The costs of the ECP rule substantially outweigh its benefit. That cost would be a significant burden for the Class I railroads and a crushing burden for the short line industry. In passing the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, the last Congress specifically provided that the U.S. Department of Transportation shall fully incorporate the results of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review regarding DOT’s previous cost/benefit determination. The NAS found that analysis to be so faulty and unreliable that it does not permit any conclusive determination concerning the safety benefits of ECP brakes. The rule should be repealed. Mandatory Two-Person Crews: This proposed regulation solves a non-existent problem. There is no evidence from the FRA or any other institution of a safety benefit generated by a second crew member in the locomotive cab. Indeed, we understand that the FRA is funding a study at Duke University examining whether there is even a correlation between crew size and safety. It is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. Short lines are small businesses serving shippers that are often small businesses themselves. For these small businesses, this mandate has serious economic consequences. Most important, the two-personcrew requirement diverts limited resources from infrastructure improvements that are the most recognized and reliable way to improve railroad safety. It appears the wave of the future is to move to driverless vehicles on our nation’s highways. What possible reason can the
GOVERNMENT does have AN OBLIGATION TO STEP IN, but must do so RESPONSIBLY. government have for making the railroad industry do just the opposite? Class II and III railroads understand the preeminent need to make railroading as safe as possible. We also understand that government has an obligation to step in when necessary. But government also has an obligation to step in responsibly. The examples above are but three of many instances where regulators force companies to spend huge sums of money on solutions that don’t solve much, or require operating practices that do nothing to improve operations. As of Nov. 6, the short line and regional railroad industry went one full year without a single fatality. It is often said, and correctly so, that one fatality is one too many, and we do not mean to rest on this one accomplishment. Small railroads will continue to devote considerable time and money to improving safety training and embedding a superior safety culture into each of our organizations. We do so not because the government forces us, but because it is the right thing to do. We sincerely hope that as the new Administration takes hold of the federal government, regulators will become a more-constructive partner in this most important effort.
LINDA DARR President ASLRRA
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respective fields or within their company.
Do the math!
HOW WILL LEADER® IMPROVE YOUR OPERATING RATIO? Sure, the LEADER Train Handling System is unequaled at reducing locomotive fuel consumption. But LEADER’s superior control of in-train forces yields other benefits, too: Depending on how you answer the questions below – we’re confident LEADER can improve your operating ratio by as much as 1, 2 or even 5%! • Fuel expenses account for a whopping 14.7% of Class 1 operating costs.1 Because LEADER adapts to en-route changes in real time – without ‘drop outs’ that hand locomotive control back to the engineer – what would LEADER's fuel savings of 6% or more mean to you? • The average train length for Class 1 railroads in North America is 71.8 cars.2 LEADER’s unique ability to reduce in-train forces allows for an increase in train length. How much more revenue could an additional 3, 5 or even 10 cars earn your railroad, especially in difficult terrain?
Train Handling System
• Overtime expenses add up to 1.8% of Class 1s operating expense.1 Since LEADER reduces wear and tear – and has never ‘broken a train’ over 1,200,000 trips and 190,000,000 miles – how many hours could LEADER save your operation in unnecessary repairs and delays? • In 2015, railroads replaced 717,320 end-of-car components.3 Given that LEADER reduces in-train forces, extends equipment life, and protects against lading damage – how much would LEADER save you in repaired or replaced knuckles, draft gear, yokes, and other components? • Finally, equipping your fleet with LEADER helps improve customer satisfaction through increased throughput and on-time arrivals. And you'll earn EPA credits from your locomotive manufacturer worth more than the cost of deploying LEADER! Let’s do the math and develop the business case together for your operation: Contact Vilette Hill today at +1 972-893-2853 or email@example.com to schedule a LEADER consultation.
1 2015 AAR Analysis of Class 1 Railroads 2 2015 AAR Railroad Facts 3 2015 AAR interchange billing
www.nyab.com | 972.893.2400 | 5201 Regent Boulevard, Suite 130, Irving, Texas 75063