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Archive for the ‘Rail’ Category

Why Congress Needs to Extend the Positive Train Control (PTC) Deadline

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Figure 1: Railcar Loadings by Commodity Class, 2014


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NYC: A Tour of Harold Interlocking, the Nation’s Busiest Railroad Junction

Monday, September 14th, 2015
NYC: A Tour of Harold Interlocking, the Nation’s Busiest Railroad Junction

In this update, you’ll learn about recent and upcoming work at Harold Interlocking, the nation’s busiest railroad junction.

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Scenario Planning for Freight Transportation Infrastructure Investment

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Figure 7. Stress Map of the United States from participants’ sample form (back)

The future rarely moves in predictable, incremental ways. Often seemingly small changes in technology, demographics, regulations, economics, or a myriad of other factors have dramatic and unintended impacts on how any organization (public or private) plans and operates. These nonlinear impacts are very difficult to predict using traditional forecasting methods and techniques since they, by definition, do not follow any historical patterns.

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Status of Positive Train Control Implementation

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

In 2008, after multiple accidents and urging from safety advocates and experts, as well as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Congress mandated that railroads implement Positive Train Control (PTC) systems by December 31, 2015. A majority of railroads will not meet this statutory deadline.

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Hyperloop: The Train of the Future

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Hyperloop: The Train of the Future

The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system put forward by entrepreneur Elon Musk, incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.

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Jacksonville, FL: JAXPORT’s First Rail Lines

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Jacksonville, FL: JAXPORT’s First Rail Lines

JAXPORT marked a project milestone today as construction workers placed the first rail lines for the new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at Dames Point…JAXPORT’s ICTF, which will be completed later this year, will allow the direct transfer of cargo containers between ships and trains, speeding up the shipment process and reducing the number of trucks on the road.

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Insufficient Freight: Ground Transportation & The Grain Industry

Monday, August 17th, 2015
FIGURE 1: Transportation Costs Eat Into Farm Revenue

Unfortunately, the agriculture industry is uniquely dependent on efficient rail freight systems in the hotspots most affected by congestion. Some North Dakota grain elevators, for instance, entirely rely on rail shipment to keep business flowing. Rail congestion in 2014 stopped service to them for weeks and months at a time – a total collapse in the system that supports their livelihood. Ultimately, family farmers bore the costs of scarce rail service. The USDA estimates grain and oilseed producers throughout the Upper Midwest may have received $570 million less for the crops they marketed in 2014 than they could have earned in a normal freight environment.

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Washington State: Thanks for the Great Transportation Package!

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Washington State: Thanks for the Great Transportation Package!

Thank you to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for passing this monumental transportation package

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Santa Monica, CA: Testing the Expo Line Trains

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Santa Monica, CA: Testing the Expo Line Trains

The first passenger train in more than 60 years rolled into downtown Santa Monica on July 29, 2015 as part of the initial train testing for the future extension of the Metro Expo Line….Once complete, the Expo Line, which currently runs from downtown L.A. to Culver City, will be extended 6.6 miles ending at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in downtown Santa Monica just steps away from the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean.

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Short Line Rail in Washington State

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Table 1. Washington State Short Line Railroads and Line Length (miles).

Short line railroads are those lines that fall below regional railroad classification, are at least 350 miles and/or have revenue above $37 million but less than Class I standards, as well as all switching and terminal railroads. Washington State has nearly 1,400 miles of short lines, in both private and public sector ownership.

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