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NRC Bulletin - January 28, 2014 
Welcome New NRC Members
Engineered Rail Solutions
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NRC Toolbox Talks

 

The NRC Safety Committee has revised and updated the NRC's Toolbox Talks. They are available for download at: www.nrcma.org/learn/SafetyToolbox.

 

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TopTable of Contents 


Save the Date: NRC Auction on April 17, 2015 in Little Rock, AR

Save the Date: Railroad Day on Capitol Hill is June 4, 2015

New Member Profile: C3M Power Systems

  

Four South Dakota Rail Projects Receive $56M in Funds from Public-Private Partnerships

 

New York Awards $17.8M in Funding to 12 Rail Projects 

 

Sound Transit Light Rail Extension Approved for $1.3B TIFIA Loan 

 

USDOT Approves All Aboard Florida Issuing $1.75B in Private Activity Bonds 

 

USDOT Announces $996M Grant Agreement to Expand MBTA Green Line 

 

MTA's $967M RRIF Loan Application for PTC Advances 

 

BNSF Details $6B CapEx Plan 

 

CSX Sets 2015 CapEx at $2.5B 

 

NS Sets 2015 CapEx at $2.4B 

 

KCS Outlines 2015 CapEx Program 

 

Metro-North to Continue Aggressive Track Maintenance Plans Through 2015 

 

RT&S Hand Tools Review Features NRC Members Amsted, Cembre, Hougen, PortaCo, Racine Railroad Products, Railtech Matweld, and Stanley Hydraulic Tools 

 

RT&S Rail Inspection Review Features NRC Members LB Foster, Herzog Services, Nordco, and Sperry 

 

FAMES Issues Analysis and Recommendations of Roadway Worker Machine Strike Protection 

 

TNW Appoints Al Stokes as Director of Health and Safety

 

 

 AuctionSave the Date: NRC Auction on April 17, 2015 in Little Rock, AR

        

The 2015 NRC Rail Construction and Maintenance Equipment Auction will take place this April in Little Rock, Arkansas. It begins at 8:00am on Friday, April 17, 2015 and is expected finish by 3pm.

 

Location: Blackmon Auctions facility, 425 Blackmon Road, Lonoke, Arkansas 72086.  

 

Equipment inspection available: 9am-5pm, April 16, 2015.

 

Before the auction there will be a Happy Hour on April 16, 2015, 5:00pm to close at the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock.

 

Hotel: Discounted room block available at Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock, 2 Riverfront Place, North Little Rock, AR 72114. Call 1-866-657-4458 and refer to the "NRC - National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Assn." when making your reservation.

 

For more information including how to donate or consign equipment please visit: http://www.nrcma.org/ps.nrcevents.cfm?ID=180  

 

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RRdaySave the Date: Railroad Day on Capitol Hill is June 4, 2015 

 

The next Railroad Day on the Hill is June 4, 2015. Railroad Day on the Hill is an industry event that encompasses meetings with Congressional members throughout the day and a reception and dinner in the evening.

 

NRC members are strongly encouraged to participate. Railroad Day on the Hill is an annual tradition, held in conjunction with the ASLRRA, AAR, REMSA, RSI, RSSI and the RTA. The event provides railroaders, railroad contractors, and suppliers an opportunity to tell our story about why railroads and rail infrastructure are important for your Members of Congress to focus on. It's also a great opportunity for contractors and suppliers to spend a day with your railroad customers, helping them on issues that are crucially important to their business. We will be advocating for railroad infrastructure investment tax credits, arguing against increases in the size and weight of trucks allowed on highways which would hurt railroads, fighting against harmful industry regulation, and discussing many others issues of importance to the industry. Railroad Day will be very timely this year - there are dozens of new Representatives and Senators to meet, and both the House and the Senate are planning to start work shortly on multiple pieces of rail and surface transportation legislation. This event can't be successful without your active participation.

 

The host hotel is the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown, 999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.  http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasrb-renaissance-washington-dc-downtown-hotel  

 

All of the necessary info for booking a room, registration, and scheduling is below, or online at http://www.aslrra.org/meetings___seminars/railroad_day_on_capitol_hill 

 

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NewMembersNRC New Member Profile

        

C3M Power Systems - C3M Power Systems performs construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of electrical systems for the transportation market. The company's capabilities include electrical, traction power, overhead catenary, communications and signaling systems for heavy rail, light rail, streetcar, Class 1 railroad, and bus transit systems. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Maryland, the company pursues work on a national scale with general contractors, as well as directly with transit agency clients such as WMATA and the Maryland Transit Administration. C3M Power Systems is a subsidiary of Clark Construction Group.

 

For more information contact: C3M Power Systems, 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone: 301-272-8460  

 

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SDRailProjFour South Dakota Rail Projects Receive $56M in Funds from Public-Private Partnerships  

  

Four rail projects in South Dakota have received $56m in public and private funds.

 

The first project is the reconstruction of the Mitchell to Rapid City (MRC) Rail Line. The $29.9m project between Chamberlain and Presho will upgrade 42.6 miles of rail line to handle modern rail traffic. This project is being funded by $12.7m in federal TIGER funds; $7.2m appropriated by the Legislature during the 2014 session; $7m in grants and loans from the Railroad Trust Fund; $1m from the farmers and private investors of Rails to the Future; $1m from Dakota Southern Railroad and $1m from a Future fund grant.

 

The second project is an agreement with the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) to construct two new railroad sidings along the old DM&E line. The $7.5m project includes a 10,000-ft siding in the Huron area and a 7,500-ft siding near Aurora. RCP&E has committed to giving $3.75m for the project, which the state will match with Future Funds.

 

For the third project, the state will partner with Dakota & Iowa Railroad to invest $7.3m to upgrade the Sioux Valley Line in southeast South Dakota. The project will include upgrading nine bridges on the line, which will allow the line to handle 286,000-pound rail cars. In addition, a section of track that is currently in an area subject to landslides will be moved.

 

The fourth project, an upgrade of the Britton Line in northeast South Dakota, will include $5.25m in funds from the Dakota Missouri Valley & Western, as well as $5.25m in loans from the state Rail Board and $1m in Future Funds. The $11.5m project includes constructing the south leg of a wye at Jarrett Junction and replacing 29 miles of light rail with heavy rail to enable the railroad to handle heavy modern traffic.

 

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said that because of these investments, a new $40m grain handling facility in Britton and a $40m grain shuttle loading facility in Kennebec will be opened.

 

Source: RT&S

 

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 NY12RailProjectsNew York Awards $17.8M in Funding to 12 Rail Projects

 

New York State awarded $17.8m in funding from the State's Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program to 12 rail projects that will repair and replace 65 miles of track and ties, rehabilitate grade crossings and bridges and construct new connections to improve safety and operations.

 

The funding being allocated is included in the state's 2014-15 budget. The projects that received the funding were selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria, including project eligibility, consistency with state plans, regional economic benefits and the ability to leverage additional investments. These projects and funding allocations are divided by region:

 

In the North Country/Mohawk Valley region:

  • Adirondack Railway Preservation Society of Utica received $791k to construct a maintenance and repair facility in Utica for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and Mohawk.
  • Adirondack and Northern Railroad Corp. of Batavia received $567k to repair culverts and bridges on the Lyons Falls and Rome Branch lines. Two rail crossings also will be rehabilitated.

In the Mid-Hudson Region:

  • Middletown & New Jersey Railroad LLC of Kennett Square, Pa., received $1.9m to rehabilitate railroad track in Orange County.

In Central New York

  • Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad Corp. of Cooperstown received $262k for rehabilitating the Renwick Avenue Bridge.
  • New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Co. of Cooperstown received $2.3m for improving rails, ties and surfacing.

In the Finger Lakes and Western New York area:

  • Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad Co. of Batavia received $145k to extend the Batavia engine house to accommodate a second locomotive and add paving and security to the transload warehouse.
  • Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Corporation of Lakeville in Livingston County received $707k to replace the Spring Street railroad bridge in Avon, Livingston County
  • Falls Road Railroad Co. of Batavia received $466k to repair culverts and bridges in Monroe, Orleans and Niagara counties
  • Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben South Tier Extension Railroad Authority of Salamanca received $1.9m to rehabilitate railroad track in Cattaraugus County.
  • Norfolk Southern Railway received $3.3m to construct new connections and double track to improve operations at the Bison Yard in Buffalo.

In the Southern Tier region:

  • Central New York Railroad of Cooperstown received $3.1m to rehabilitate railroad track in Delaware and Broome counties.

In New York City:

  • Long Island Rail Road received $2.3m to rehabilitate the Cypress Avenue railroad bridge.

Source: RT&S

   

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SoundTransitSound Transit Light-Rail Extension Approved for $1.3B TIFIA Loan

  

Sound Transit has been approved for a $1.33b Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for construction of the East Link Light Rail Extension Project.

 

The loan will expand the Link system serving the Puget Sound region and help Sound Transit implement a voter-approved regional capital improvement plan.

 

The 14.5-mile light rail extension will connect some of the region's most populated and fastest-growing areas to Sound Transit's existing rail system at the International District/Chinatown Station, which runs from downtown Seattle to SeaTac Airport. According to Sound Transit, extending light rail in this corridor is expected to create 40,000 jobs in construction and future economic development, as well as increase access to growing software and biotech industries in the greater metropolitan area.

 

In addition to the $1.33b TIFIA loan, the U.S. DOT is contributing $74.7m in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds and $14m in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) V funds toward the $4b East Link Project. Construction is expected to begin later in 2015, with a targeted opening date of 2023. The new line is expected to serve approximately 50,000 daily riders by 2030.

 

Source: RT&S, Sound Transit

 

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AAFBondsUSDOT Approves All Aboard Florida Issuing $1.75B in Private Activity Bonds

 

The U.S. DOT has provisionally approved $1.75b in private activity bonds for All Aboard Florida, an unprecedented amount and a move that reduces a major financial obstacle for the express passenger rail line.

 

The private Miami to Orlando project had applied for the tax-exempt bonds in August 2014 to supplement or replace an FRA RRIF loan it was also seeking of $1.6b.

 

All Aboard Florida plans to spend more than $387m to upgrade its rail right of way through Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the railroad.

 

Sources: Palm Beach Post, ENR Southeast

 

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MBTAUSDOT Announces $996M Grant Agreement to Expand MBTA Green Line  

  

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a $996m federal grant agreement to extend Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line light rail service from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford.

 

The 4.7-mile light rail extension will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford.

 

Approximately $996m in FTA Capital Investment Grant Program New Starts funding will be allocated by USDOT over the course of the $2.3b project. State funding sources will cover the remainder.

 

The project will include construction of six new stations, purchase of 24 new light rail vehicles, construction of a new vehicle maintenance facility, construction of a community bicycle and pedestrian path in Somerville, and relocation of some existing commuter rail track. MBTA estimates the new extended light rail line will provide approximately 37,900 daily trips when the extension opens in 2021.

 

Source: USDOT

 

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MTARRIFMTA's $967M RRIF Loan Application for PTC Advances  

 

The USDOT has granted preliminary approval to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) application for a $967m loan to install positive train control for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.

 

MTA submitted the loan application to the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program. Under RRIF, loan funding can be used to acquire, improve or rehabilitate intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, including track and track components, bridges, yards, buildings and shops; refinance outstanding debt incurred for such purposes; and develop or establish new intermodal or railroad facilities.

 

Source: Progressive Railroading

 

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BNSFBNSF Details $6B CapEx Plan   

 

BNSF originally announced plans for a $6b 2015 capital expenditure program back in November and has now revealed more details about where and on what the funds will be spent.

 

The 2015 capital plan is the company's largest planned capital expenditure in its history. The investments include $2.9b to replace and maintain core network and related assets, nearly $1.5b on expansion and efficiency projects, $200m for continued implementation of PTC, and about $1.4b for locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.

 

In BNSF's North Region, the company will invest approximately $1.5b across eight states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which approximately $700m is planned for projects to expand the rail lines and PTC in that region.

 

In BNSF's South Region, the railroad plans to spend approximately $800m in nine states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which $175m is planned for line expansion initiatives and continued implementation of PTC.

 

In the Central Region, BNSF will invest approximately $650m across six states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which almost $260m is planned for line expansion projects and continued implementation of PTC.

 

More highlights of BNSF's planned capital investments in the company's three operating regions can be found at http://www.bnsf.com/media/news-releases/2015/january/2015-01-15a.html .

 

Sources: BNSF, RT&S

 

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CSXCapexCSX Sets 2015 CapEx at $2.5B 

 

CSX has announced that it will target a $2.5b capital expenditure program in 2015. In 2014, the railroad targeted a $2.3b capital spend program.

 

The railroad's infrastructure spending of $1.22b accounts for 49% of the 2015 program and will target rail safety and performance. Strategic investments to support growth and productivity will make up 16% or $400m of the 2015 program. Core investment is expected to be about 17% of revenue in 2015 and excludes investments related to public-private reimbursable projects.

 

Positive Train Control investment will be $300m in 2015, and CSX noted that more than $400m is still needed for the technology beyond this year.

 

Spending on equipment of locomotives and cars is projected to be $575m.

 

Sources: RT&S, CSX

 

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NScapexNorfolk Southern Sets 2015 CapEx at $2.4B  

 

Norfolk Southern announced its projected capital spending for 2015 will total about $2.4b, compared with $2.1b in 2014 and $1.97b in 2013. The 2015 budget includes $927m for roadway maintenance and projects, $404m for freight cars, $238m for locomotives, $238m for facilities and terminals, $220m for positive train control implementation, $199m for various other projects, $104m for infrastructure and $65m for technologies.

 

Source: Progressive Railroading

 

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KCSKCS Outlines 2015 CapEx Program   

 

In 2015, Kansas City Southern plans to spend a significant amount of capital on engineering projects to address business growth.

KCS plans to install 550,000 ties and 50 track-miles of rail across its network in 2015, including major tie programs on the Kansas City, MO to East St. Louis, IL, line and in the Laredo Subdivision.

 

Capacity expansion will be focused on Kansas City Southern de Mexico S.A. de C.V.'s (KCSM) Sanchez Subdivision and the KCSR-UP Brownsville Subdivision. At Sanchez yard, permits and conceptual designs are complete and will allow for construction of a multi-year expansion to begin in first-quarter 2015. Regarding Brownsville Subdivision trackage rights, the first phase of capacity work is nearing completion.

 

Additional KCS capacity programs to be completed next year include the Vandervoort siding extension in Arkansas; a new 10,000-ft main track at Knoche Yard in Kansas City; a new 8,500-ft R&D track and customs inspection facility in Laredo, Texas; and a new 8,500-ft storage track and crossovers at the Kansas City intermodal facility.

For KCSM, the Class I in 2015 plans to install 295,000 ties and 127 track-kilometers of rail across the railroad's system in Mexico.

 

For a letter from KCS outlining these projects, please visit:  http://www.kcsouthern.com/en-us/Employees/Pages/KCSNews.aspx?release=4742 

 

Sources: KCS, Progressive Railroading

 

 

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MetroNorthMetro-North to Continue Aggressive Track Maintenance Plans Through 2015  

 

Metro-North is starting 2015 with rebuilding efforts and attention to major safety initiatives. The track improvements that defined 2014 are moving along and the railroad also expects continued progress.

 

In 2015, Metro-North will continue to clean or replace fouled ballast throughout the territory and will create a new gang that focuses solely on drainage improvements. Another specialty track gang will be created to replace ties in areas that are difficult in which to work, such as interlockings and adjacent to station platforms. There is to be installation of eight miles of continuous welded rail, replacement of eight grade crossings in Connecticut and installation of fiberglass brackets and channels to support new aluminum third rail that will be installed in targeted locations.

 

For the full press release please visit: http://www.mta.info/press-release/metro-north/rebuilding-efforts-top-metro-north%E2%80%99s-agenda-2015 

 

Sources: MTA, RT&S

 

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RTSFeatureRT&S Hand Tools Review Features NRC Members Amsted, Cembre, Hougen, PortaCo, Racine Railroad Products, Railtech Matweld, and Stanley Hydraulic Tools  

 

NRC members Amsted, Cembre, Hougen, PortaCo, Racine Railroad Products, Railtech Matweld, and Stanley Hydraulic Tools are featured in an RT&S review that highlights the new aspects of hand-held tools that make them more comfortable and safe to use on the railroad.

 

For the full article, please visit http://issuu.com/railwaytrackstructures/docs/rts1214_reduced/24 

 

Source: RT&S

 

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RTSInspectionRT&S Rail Inspection Review Features NRC Members LB Foster, Herzog Services, Nordco, and Sperry

 

NRC members LB Foster, Herzog Services, Nordco, and Sperry are featured in an RT&S review that highlights the new aspects of rail inspection that goes beyond rail flaw detection and assesses the whole health of the railroad.

 

For the full article, please visit http://issuu.com/railwaytrackstructures/docs/rts0115_reduced/17  

 

Source: RT&S


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FAMESFAMES Issues Analysis and Recommendations of Roadway Worker Machine Strike Protection  

 

The Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-way Employees and Signalmen (FAMES) Committee, of which NRC is an active member, has analyzed 41 Roadway Worker fatalities, 7 of which involved strikes by Roadway Maintenance Machines (RMMs), which includes hi-rail vehicles. Based upon their findings, they recommend several steps to prevent future incidents, including job safety briefings, communication, mitigating environmental risk, maintaining a safe distance from RMM, and determining safe stopping distances.

 

For the full report, see the linked PDF: FAMES RMM Report - Jan 2015 

 

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TNWCorpTNW Corporation Appoints Al Stokes as Director of Health and Safety   

 

TNW Corporation (TNW) has appointed Al Stokes, an industry veteran with more than 24 years of experience in occupational safety, as the firm's Director of Health and Safety. The position directly reports to CEO Paul Treangen.

 

Stokes will be responsible for all aspects of TNW's occupational safety and health programs. His responsibilities include planning, administration, and development of the firm's corporate safety and occupational health programs and for safety and health policies and procedures at TNW's three railroad subsidiaries. Stokes also is responsible for training and implementation of safety programs and compliance at the subsidiary railroads.

 

Source: TNW Corporation

 

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