Pacer Marks 20 Years of Double-Stack Rail Technology

Concord, Calif. – It has been 20 years since the introduction of double-stack rail technology changed the intermodal container-transportation industry forever. In 1984, container trains began breaking through cost, capacity and service barriers by using specially engineered rail cars that could carry two tiers of containers instead of one – significantly reducing the locomotive power, track capacity and train crews required by conventional intermodal trains to move a comparable payload.   The double-stack rail car’s unique design also significantly reduced damage in transit, and provided greater cargo security by cradling the lower containers so their doors cannot be opened. And a

Northeast Business Leaders Unite to Preserve Amtrak

WASHINGTON – Citing the vital importance of Amtrak to the nation’s economy and quality of life, a large delegation of East Coast business leaders today introduced a new coalition to advocate for increased federal investment in the aging passenger rail system. The Amtrak Business Coalition (ABC) consists of more than 50 East Coast business organizations from Virginia to Maine and includes The New England Council. In all, the Coalition represents 12 states and the District of Columbia. The ABC will work toward an increased federal commitment to preserve safe and reliable service along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Main Line, as well

TSA Launches New Passenger Safety Pilot Program

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. — A test program to measure the feasibility of explosives screening began May 4. The TSA launched the test program for people and bags traveling on U.S. trains. Amtrak and Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) passengers boarding at the New Carrollton train station were screened for explosives as part of a pilot project to make rail travel safer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said. The Transit and Rail Inspection Pilot (TRIP) will evaluate the use of emerging technologies to screen passengers and their carry-on items for explosives in the transit and rail environment in certain situations.  The

CSX Chairman Calls Conrail Transaction a Success: Calls on STB to End Oversight

WASHINGTON – The Conrail acquisition is a continuing success and the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) five-year oversight has achieved its goals, Michael Ward, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Corporation, said May 3. “We believe the 5-year oversight period that followed the transaction has achieved its objectives. We are now at a time when additional oversight is unnecessary – and the ordinary authority of the STB is more than sufficient to ensure that the public good continues to be served,” Ward said. “When you look at what has been achieved over the past five years – on behalf

‘Save Transit’ Coalition to Inform Region of SEPTA’s Financial Plight

PHILADELPHIA – A region-wide coalition of major business, civic, labor and community organizations has been convened to inform the public and state government of the financial plight of SEPTA, which is facing a $70-million budget crisis. Approximately 50 leaders of region-wide businesses and organizations gathered for the first time today at the offices of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. "Public transportation services provided by SEPTA affect everyone in the five-county region, whether they are regular commuters or not," said Pasquale T. Deon, Sr., SEPTA Board Chairman. "Without long-term, predictable funding, SEPTA service will be in jeopardy. This, in turn,

Norfolk Southern’s Goode Urges an End to Conrail Oversight

NORFOLK, Va. – Noting “the Conrail transaction has been a success,” Norfolk Southern Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David R. Goode today urged the Surface Transportation Board not to extend its formal regulatory oversight period. “The history of the past five years shows how the transaction has lived up to the board’s expectations,” Goode testified during a hearing in Washington. “Perhaps most importantly, the transaction resulted in two competitively balanced rail systems serving the eastern United States. In addition, of course, the transaction has created vigorous new rail-to-rail competition throughout the former Conrail territory,” benefiting shippers and communities. “No

Blue Ridge Opens 7th Season

May 1, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. — Nostalgia and excitement sweep through the growing crowd. Some experience the anticipation of their first train ride. The conductor calls out “All Aboard” and visitors climb the steps of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway as the 7th season of operation began with daily train trips from Blue Ridge, Ga., to Copperhill, Tenn., during Spring Break, April 2-10. New this year are “Half Price Mondays” for groups of 15 or more or for individuals with a coupon from The Atlanta JournalConstitution or The Marietta Daily Journal. “This is a relaxing, oldfashioned train ride along the Toccoa River,

Rutter Steps Down From FRA Post

April 30, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Allan Rutter, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, says he is leaving his current post in mid-June for a position with a Texas transportation organization. “It was a difficult decision, but ultimately it is what is best for my family,” Rutter said in a statement. “The opportunity to serve President Bush as FRA Administrator has been truly an honor and a privilege and one of the great experiences of my life.” In his new post, Rutter will serve as Deputy Executive Director of the North Texas Tollway Authority. A native of Texas, Rutter looks forward to moving his

‘You’re Hired’: Railroads Expect to Hire 80,000 Workers Over Next Six Years

April 30, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – As the nation is coming out of its job slump, freight railroads are expected to hire more than 80,000 new workers over the next six years, the American Association of Railroads predicts. "The railroad provides good career opportunities," said 37-year-old Donavan "Chris" White, an assistant general foreman for mechanical operations at CSX Transportation. "I’ve been with the railroad over five years. I came up through the ranks and then went to management, where I moved up quite fast. There’s the potential to rise through the ranks as far as you want to go." Thousands of employees have already

Alameda Corridor Project Loan Paid Off Early

April 30, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta on April 29 accepted $573 million as payment with interest for a $400 million federal loan that helped launch the Alameda Corridor transportation project but wasn’t due until 2032. The loan is being repaid 28 years ahead of schedule with low-interest bonds, saving the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority about $65 million. Studies estimate that more than 2 million jobs nationwide are associated with international trade moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Building the corridor created 10,000 construction jobs in the Los Angeles area. "In 1997, we invested

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