Railroad News

Railroad News
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Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic

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Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic


The Union Pacific Railroad Tuesday laid off an unspecified number of workers in Bailey Yard’s mechanical department.

Raquel Espinoza, U.P.’s senior director for corporate communications and media relations, confirmed the first job reductions related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the North Platte classification yard, the world’s largest.

“Union Pacific is experiencing volume declines as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the country,” Espinoza said in a email. “We are operating fewer locomotives and rail cars, requiring us to reduce our workforce in the mechanical department today.”

American Heritage says it will work to find a new owner for Mount Rainier Scenic

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American Heritage says it will work to find a new owner for Mount Rainier Scenic


“It is with great regret and sorrow we make this announcement today, as everyone associated with this historic railroad has worked extremely hard to make it prosper and delight guests from all over the world,” said John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways, Inc. “With still many financial and operational unknowns to work through, AHR will announce further details in the near future regarding its plans for the facility, including finding a new owner and overseeing the divestiture of its famed locomotives and other important infrastructure assets. In the meantime, we wish to thank all of our loyal employees and volunteers who helped us celebrate the rich industrial history of the Pacific Northwest’s late 19th...

AHR emphasizes that Mt Rainier Railroad Closure is temporary, not permanent

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Because of operating difficulties caused by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, American Heritage Railways has temporarily ceased operations of another one of its historical railroads, the Mt. Rainier Railroad, for the foreseeable future.

John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways, said it is unclear when the Mt...

New York MTA Launches Pilot With COVID-19-Killing UVC

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New York MTA Launches Pilot With COVID-19-Killing UVC

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced an ultraviolet (UV) light pilot program proven to kill COVID-19, with the first phase set to launch on subways, buses and other New York City Transit facilities throughout the system early next week.

The MTA pilot will deploy approximately 150 dual-headed mobile devices from Denver-based startup PURO Lighting to test and evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of UVC technology in a number of settings across New York City Transit including trains, buses, stations and occupational facilities, using strict protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of the employees and customers. After evaluation, the pilot’s second phase will expand to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

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SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

San Francisco, CA - 5/19/20

A multimillion-dollar deal is in place to have SMART take over North Bay freight rail by buying out the region’s lone hauler, a move that would hand SMART unified control of the local track system and make it one of a small group of agencies nationwide that controls both passenger and commercial shipping service.
Under the proposed deal, Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co. would sell its track rights and equipment for $4 million, and the state would kick in almost $4 million more to repay debt owed to the company by a financially troubled state agency that oversees North Coast commercial rail operations.

Cleanup underway of freight train derailment in East Aurora, NY

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An investigation has begun into why a Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad freight train derailed Monday night in East Aurora.

The traveling from Salamanca to Buffalo derailed at 10:52 p.m. in the vicinity of Main and Elm streets in the village, police said Tuesday morning.

Fifteen of the train's 98 cars, including the engine, went off the rails.
Mt Rainier Railroad Terminates All Operations Indefinitely
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File photo: Bob Harbison

UPDATE 5/20/20 - The authenticity of this letter, which was obtained via a post on Facebook, has now been questioned by American Heritage Railways. While most of the letter is accurate, the words "permanently cease operations" were apparently included either in error or maliciously. AHR is now emphasizing that the shutdown is temporary in nature. Additional details are said to be forthcoming soon.

Harper said a false news release had been issued claiming to be from American Heritage Railways that incorrectly claimed the Mt. Rainier Railroad would be permanently closed. That is not accurate, Harper said. The Mt. Rainier Railroad will resume when operationally feasible, he said.

(Original post, un-edited, may not be entirely accurate)
From American Heritage Management Re: Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum
May 18, 2020

To: The partners and contractors of Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

Subject: Termination of All...

Brake Defects Plague Canada’s Aging Grain Cars

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Hard-to-detect braking system defects have rendered Canada’s aging fleet of grain hoppers a safety hazard, says a former director of derailment investigations for the country’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. NTSB. Ian Naish, who retired from the TSB in 2009, in a CBC interview posted May 15, declared, “The grain car fleet overall is quite defective.”

Naish’s warning followed his former employer’s Rail Safety Advisory Letter dated April 20, 2020, which said that the standard visual inspection of brake pipe connections and piston applications—the so-called “Number 1 Test” performed by car inspectors prior to trains departing originating yards—is unreliable and does not reveal a high percentage of malfunctioning railcar brakes.

Full Story:

Judge Reinstates Charges Against Engineer in Philadelphia Train Wreck That Killed 8

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Judge Reinstates Charges Against Engineer in Philadelphia Train Wreck That Killed 8

The ruling revived the state’s case against Brandon Bostian, a former Amtrak engineer, who has been charged with more than 200 crimes, including eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A judge on Thursday reinstated charges against a former Amtrak engineer who was driving a speeding train that derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight people.

Full story:

Durango train delays opening into June

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Durango train delays opening into June

Railroad can’t cover costs running below 75% of capacity

UP Shuts Down Cold Connect

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UP Shuts Down Cold Connect


Union Pacific on May 8, 2020 shut down its Cold Connect service for perishables traffic from the West Coast to the East Coast. Cold Connect began in January 2017 with the acquisition from Railex of three cold storage and distribution facilities in Delano, Calif.; Wallula, Wash.; and Rotterdam, N.Y.

AAR: “Railroads Have Experience Weathering Difficult Times, and They’ll Weather This One”

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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended May 9, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 412,549 carloads and intermodal units, down 22.1% compared with the same week last year; total carloads were 185,144 carloads, down 28.4% compared with the same week in 2019; and U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 227,405 containers and trailers, down 16% compared to 2019.

BNSF To Permanently Close Glendive, MT Diesel Facility

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Glendive Broadcasting along with many of this community have received news of the Glendive Diesel Shop closure. In an official letter sent by Gary Grissum VP of Mechanical of the BNSF Railway Company to effected employees the reason for closure was outlined. In the letter Gary indicated the closure was due to the current business environment with the decline in crude oil shipments and to the structural decline in coal demand. Along with the Glendive Diesel shop several locations across the BNSF system including locations in Kansas, Minot, and Mandan among others have been affected.

CP donates $1 million to four North American charities providing critical supplies and relief in the COVID-19 battle

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CP donates $1 million to four North American charities providing critical supplies and relief in the COVID-19 battle

CP Press Release
May 4, 2020 Calgary

Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) is donating $1 million to four North American charities working on the front lines to help people impacted by COVID-19. In Canada, CP will donate C$350,000 to The Frontline Fund and C$250,000 to Food Banks Canada. In the U.S., CP will donate US$250,000 to Feeding America and up to US$150,000 in matching funds to the American Red Cross.

"Our CP family is honored to help frontline workers and volunteers as they courageously work day and night to keep up with unprecedented need," said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer. "By providing food to North Americans who are in need and critical supplies and support to frontline service providers, these charities are making a difference. We hope our donations will assist these organizations in reaching...

Las Vegas Monorail pauses construction

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The Las Vegas Monorail Co. has suspended construction of two monorail stops on the Las Vegas Strip due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a local news report.

All monorail activities related to the company’s Mandalay Bay extension and Sands Avenue Station project, which include construction of a monorail stop at the future MSG Sphere entertainment venue, have been put on hold, a monorail spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Railroaders may be eligible for pandemic unemployment benefits

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Railroaders may be eligible for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was established under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).





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