La Crosse Area Planning Committee looks to improve rail services.
The La Crosse Area Planning Committee is working to improve rail services along the Mississippi Corridor, particularly here in La Crosse. The group joined the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission as a voting member and financial contributor. The commission supports rail transportation services across the state of Minnesota. The La Crosse Area Planning Committee said now is a critical time to join the commission, especially as work begins on adding a second passenger train to travel that corridor from Minneapolis to Chicago. http://www.wxow.com/story/32764059/2016/08/15/la-crosse-area-planning-committee-looks-to-improve-rail-services
Ticket revenue increases for train from Chicago to Indianapolis. Ticket sale revenues have increased by 14 percent in the year since the Hoosier State passenger train from Indianapolis to Chicago changed ownership and management a year ago. The Indianapolis Star reports that Wednesday is the first anniversary of the line’s three-year partnership among Amtrak, Iowa Pacific Holdings, the Indiana Department of Transportation and cities along the route. http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/ticket-sales-increase-for-train-from-indianapolis-to-chicago/
Amtrak: Delays Cut By Nearly 25 Percent Due To New Locomotives. As Amtrak prepares to roll out the last of 70 new locomotives, the passenger rail corporation says the engines have helped reduce delays by more than 20 percent. The new engines were introduced three years ago and are used on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line between Washington, D.C., and Boston, and its Keystone service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/08/04/amtrak-delays-cut/
Amtrak wants to pick developer by summer 2017 to renovate Baltimore’s Penn Station. Amtrak officials said Wednesday they plan to pick a developer by this time next year to renovate Baltimore’s century-old Penn Station, a project that’s been stalled for years. The quasi-public railway took a step toward tackling the station’s countless overdue infrastructure improvements by soliciting qualifications from developers, consultants, engineers and other potential bidders. Rina Cutler, Amtrak’s senior director of major stations planning and development, said officials want a vision for the station to come from those who would take on the project. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/commuting/bs-md-amtrak-penn-station-redevelopment-20160810-story.html
Freight Railroads Fight New Rule for Amtrak Trains. Freight railroads are challenging in federal court a new stricter way of measuring on-time performance for Amtrak trains, the latest wrinkle in a battle over how far freight trains must go to enable passenger trains to arrive on time….Amtrak and freight railroads have faced off in recent months as the Surface Transportation Board and other regulators try to fine-tune a system that will improve Amtrak’s on-time performance. Under the law, if any passenger train route averages less than 80% on-time for any two consecutive quarters, the law gave the board the right to determine the cause. If it’s due to a freight railroad’s failure to give Amtrak preference, the regulator can award damages or other appropriate relief. Amtrak won a recent skirmish over the definition of “preference”—who gets to go first—when the Surface Transportation Board decided to keep the status quo. Much is at stake. Freight railroads are currently struggling with profitability after boom years driven by a surge in crude-by-rail and commodities went bust, sending volumes plunging. Amtrak has been trying to boost service and reliability of its intercity and long-haul routes around the country. http://www.wsj.com/articles/freight-railroads-fight-new-rule-for-amtrak-trains-1471426202
School is starting in the next several weeks and the Department of Transportation (DOT) is sharing information about new 8-Light Warning Systems on School Buses. According to the DOT, A vehicle approaching a school bus with an 8-light warning system must do the following:
AMBER WARNING LIGHTS – This is a cautionary message that the bus is coming to a stop and will soon be activating its RED warning lights. Traffic is allowed to bypass the school bus with care.
RED WARNING LIGHTS – Stop at least 20 feet from the bus and remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the driver extinguishes the flashing red warning lights. Failure to do so will result in a minimum fine of $326.50 and four points.
This law does not apply to vehicles driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway but does apply if no barrier is present on multi-lane street or highway.
A vehicle that approaches a stopped school bus that is displaying flashing red warning lights must stop, regardless if the stop arm is out or not (Ss.346.48(1)).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amtrak announced that it has named Charles W. “Wick” Moorman as its next president and chief executive officer. Moorman, retired chairman, CEO, and president of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), will lead the company, effective September 1, 2016, in the next fiscal year.
Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Board of Directors of Amtrak said, “We are very pleased that someone with Wick’s experience and vision will lead Amtrak during this critical period as the company charts a course for future growth and improvement. Under CEO Joe Boardman, and with the support of the Administration and Congress, Amtrak has achieved record levels of performance and investment. The Board believes Wick can build upon this success in the coming year by launching initiatives to further enhance safety and customer service, modernize our operations, and guide our implementation of the FAST Act.”
“It is an honor and privilege to take on the role of CEO at Amtrak and I look forward to working with its dedicated employees to find ways to provide even better service to our passengers and the nation,” said Moorman. “At Norfolk Southern, our team fostered change by placing a solid emphasis on performance across all aspects of our business which helped develop a stronger safety and service culture throughout the company. I look forward to advancing those same goals at Amtrak and helping to build a plan for future growth.”
Moorman, a native of Hattiesburg, Miss., comes to Amtrak after more than 40 years at NS where he rose from management trainee to CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors. Having worked with NS from the ground up, Moorman gained an appreciation for the many facets of railroad operations and used this knowledge to modernize the way NS conducted business, served customers and worked with communities. A graduate of Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School, Moorman serves on the boards of Duke Energy Corporation, Chevron Corporation, the Virginia chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the Georgia Tech Foundation.
“Wick’s deep operational background and track record of building teams and driving innovation is exactly what we need to provide unparalleled service to the more than 500 communities we serve,” said Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Jeffrey Moreland. “We are confident that, working together with the Board, Wick can formulate a strong plan to take Amtrak to the next level and assemble the management team and expertise to carry it forward.”
Moorman succeeds current CEO Joe Boardman, who announced his intention to retire last fall. “I have been humbled to lead this extraordinary organization over the past eight years,” said Boardman. “I look forward to spending time with my family and wish Wick all the best as he brings his excellent experience to Amtrak.”
“The Board and I thank Joe for his dedicated service to Amtrak and its customers and for his long career in public service. Under his leadership, Amtrak delivered record ridership, introduced a series of safety initiatives and modernized its fleet. For this, he should be proud,” Coscia said.
Moorman currently holds securities of a rail carrier. Amtrak will ensure that any conflict will be avoided as is required by federal law.
Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.
(Source: U.S. Railroad Retirement Board press release)
Mar 23, 2016 MoveAmerica Blog
The Hill — FRA rule gives us chance to bar most one-person crew trains
As published by John Previsich and Ed Wytkind in The Hill
The freight railroads would have the public believe that operating massive freight trains with a single crew member is perfectly safe. We know those claims are not true and fortunately so does our government which just issued proposed regulations establishing a two-person crew minimum on most trains. We applaud those rules and will push to make them as tough and rigid as possible.
If former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was alive today, he would probably tell the railroads, “you’re entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.” Despite erroneous claims by the industry lobby that there is a lack of “conclusive statistical data” to support a two-person crew standard, we know from data gleaned from reports on accidents, crashes and fatalities as well as the real-life experiences of frontline employees, that the arguments in favor of a two-person crew standard are compelling.
The railroads rely on skewed statistical analysis to argue that a lack of accidents from the use of one-person crews means that this two-person train crew rule isn’t needed. The reality is that almost all trains in America operate with two crew members and thankfully, one-person crew operations are still the rare exception. Of course there is not a great deal of data available. More to the point, the safety statistics in today’s industry are a product of the skill and professionalism of the two-person and three-person crews that operate trains across America today.
Read more in The Hill.
chuck schulz (firstname.lastname@example.org) shared a post from NTSB Safety Compass
Call all of the following State Senators on SB734 Relating to: pedestrians crossing railroad right of way. This committee needs to allow the concerned citizens and railroads work out their issues using the process put in place by The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads, pedestrian crossings. For additional information please visit the WISLB.org website.
2015 Senate Committee on judiciary and Public Safety
Senator Wanggaard (Chair) (608)266-1832 or 866-615-7510
Senator Vukmir (Vice-Chair) (608)266-2512
Senator Lasee (608)266-3512
Senator Risser (608)266-1627
Senator L. Taylor (608)266-5810