WTS Boston winter newsletter
Tracy Robinson, Vice President, Canadian Pacific Addresses the Club at Executive Night
Stephen Wichmann, CMO, NECR
Breen Reardon, DSM, Pandrol USA
Louis Covino, Louis Covino Associates
Edwin Kindig, VP Sales, Greenbrier Companies
Daniel Kruger, Deputy Gen’l Counsel, MBCR
Hugh J. Kiley, Jr., General Manager, MBCR
Rudy Husband, Resident VP, NS Corp
Meghan Timcke, MassCoastal
David Luvara, President, Railroad Constructors
Edward Reardon, Tech Sales, RailComm
Please welcome our new members.
We would now like to present the President’s Award so if I can ask Gordon to come back up to the podium. We had several excellent nominations this year for the award, but we thought this one especially deserved.
President Mott. Thank you, Dennis. Now I have the honor of presenting the President’s Award to the group of individuals who were instrumental in the extension of passenger rail service to T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island. If we could have them come up in front of the head table I’ll introduce them and present them with their awards. First is Mr. Michael Lewis, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Mr. Jonathan Davis, General Manager of the MBTA. Kevin Dillon, President of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. And Thomas Moritz, Senior Director On-Corridor and Commuter Partnerships. Unable to join us tonight is Richard Davey, Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation. Join me in congratulating our recipients.
Dinner was then served.
President Mott. If I could now ask Anna Barry to come to the podium to introduce our guest speaker.
Ms. Barry. Welcome. On behalf of WTS Boston and the New England Railroad Club I am happy to introduce our guest speaker tonight – Tracy Robinson. Tracy Robinson was appointed Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, Coal and Sulpher in October 2010. Tracy’s priority and focus is to advance CP’s relationships and integration of services across these supply chains. One example of this focus is the implementation of the largest agreement in CP’s history. Tracy also leads CP’s internal strategies and initiatives to deliver new efficiencies in the rail mode, identify the appropriate investments to support growth in coal and develop best practices for use across CP. Prior to her current role, Tracy held a variety of positions within CP in Marketing and Sales, Finance, Asset Management, Product Design and Customer Service. Most recently these included Vice President Carload Sales, Vice President Marketing, Vice President & Treasurer, and Assistant Vice President Customer Service. She began her career at Canadian Pacific in 1986 as a Sales Representative in Regina. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Business) degree from the University of Saskatchewan and Masters of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Please join me in welcoming Tracy Robinson.
Ms. Robinson. Thank you and good evening. It is a joy to be here in Boston for the first time since the Stanley Cup was stolen from us. (Laughter). It is coming home though – you will be bringing that back to us.
These are truly interesting times. Globally we seem to be on an economic rollercoaster. Companies, individuals, everyone seems to be caught up in it. CP sees tremendous opportunities in the global markets. That is what I would like to talk to you about tonight.
Before I start though I would like to congratulate the winners of the President’s Award. I am also truly honored to be speaking at an event co-sponsored by WTS. Women in the workforce – and especially railroads – is my favorite topic. The early days of the railroads were daunting for women. Those days have changed and I’d like to illustrate that with examples from my railroad (CP). First though some stats: Despite being half of the labor force I am surprised we haven’t made more progress. Women in the workforce have been proven to improve and innovate a business. A company’s return on investment is better to the tune of 30% with women in the workforce. Diversity is also good for business.
Let me give you a Canadian example of how women can improve performance: at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver all of Canada was holding their breath for gold in hockey – both women’s and means. After the women brought home the gold for Canada the advice to the men was to “Play like girls”. (Laughter).
At CP we’re making progress and I’m happy to be part of a company who fosters diversity, mentoring, and creative work structures. ¼ of the board, and 22% of senior managers are women. CP is recognized as one of Canada’s best and most diverse companies. Out west, where our numbers are especially high we’re known as “Chick Pacific”.
While we have come far I know there is still obstacles to overcome. I commend WTS on their efforts.
Now I’d like to move on to my second favorite topic – Shortlines. I’m proud to be a room with so many of our shortline partners. It is through them Canadian Pacific is in New England. Many of you recognize this logo (ed. – referring to slide of the Delaware and Hudson shield). The Delaware and Hudson Railroad is the oldest continuous operating transportation company in America. It started out as a canal company and then converted to run the first steam locomotive, although, contrary to rumors stating otherwise, the locomotive has been removed from service. The Delaware and Hudson became known as “The Bridge Line to New England” due to its connections to many of the regions’ railroads.
The Delaware and Hudson became part of the Canadian Pacific system in 1991. In the acquisition we gained 1400 miles of track plus haulage rights and commercial holdings. It allowed us to connect with three Class 1 railroads and 16 shortline and regional railroads. This includes the Green Mountain Gateway, through which we can provide competitive access to New England through our partners Vermont Rail System, New England Central, and Providence and Worcester. CP’s presence in the area is based on many of these longstanding partnerships. However, we are looking to expand and improve our presence.
An example of this is the improvements we are making in track and signaling in the Albany area for passenger services. This project is in partnership with the NYDOT, Amtrak, and the FRA and will add CTC and double track in an effort to improve the reliability of passenger operations.
Next I would like to talk about growth. It has been a tough few years, especially in traditional markets. The broadly different market conditions have seen coal, grain, and potash growing, while commodities tied to the North American markets have been languishing. One of the bright spots has been new energy markets – which are growing rapidly.
Shipments of coal, traditionally metallurgical coal from British Columbia to Vancouver – and some to Chicago – has been strong based on demand for steel making coal overseas. Our largest coal customers have been investing, and we expect this market to remain strong. Thermal coal has been a new phenomenon. Powder River Basin coal is moving north to ports in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest US and this traffic appears to be sustainable. In fact this traffic is moving over parts of our network which have never carried coal before.
Potash from Saskatchewan has increased as a commodity as we’ve improved our way of getting it out. This market is getting better and better. The traffic moves south to the Central U.S. and west to Pacific ports. Originally a 3 million ton market it has grown to almost 9 million tons. We expect the market to grow to 15 to 20 million tons in the coming years. It is directly tied to the growing Asian markets and their draw on commodities. This has been one of our biggest growth stories.
The prospect of new and emerging new energy markets will also propel us along our growth path. Ethanol is one of these commodities. On the CP much of the ethanol originates on the DME lines, which have a large network of producers. Ethanol movements have been a success story as they transload directly from origin to New England. To date we have moved 45 units of ethanol over the Green Mountain Gateway.
Crude oil is one of the new emerging markets that we have been moving all over the place. Technology has made oil reserves in Bakken (North Dakota) and Northern Alberta economical to recover and producers are now facing a pipeline capacity problem. The unit train rail model gives them a reliable and cost-effective transportation option. In fact, the rapid growth of this industry has a Wild West feel. In North Dakota crude oil production has increased to one million barrels per day. They anticipate adding 1800 new wells each year. For CP, each well added represents 140 carloads of frack sand and 20 to 30 carloads of pipe. Outbound unit train volumes are growing faster than we anticipated and are averaging two to three per week. Just a few weeks ago our first train of crude oil moved to Albany, New York. Traffic has already grown from 8,000 carloads to 13,000 carloads. There is a potential of 50,000 to 70,000 per year of this commodity, principally Bakken crude going to Vancouver and U.S. destinations.
The final new energy market I’d like to talk about is traffic supporting the Marcellus Shale deposits in New York and Pennsylvania – the largest gas reserves on the continent. Our partnerships enable movement of materials to these sites. We believe that more inbound and outbound opportunities can be developed in the future.
I think we can all agree that in the immediate future the global economy is going to take us for a ride. I believe that CP has a great combination of strength in existing markets and growth in emerging markets to weather any economic conditions. The transportation sector plays an important role in the economic recovery. A deficient transportation system can cost more and hinder recovery efforts.
Weather conditions have also impacted greatly the way we do business. Winter – and I expected to see it here after watching the news (ed.- referring to the late October snowstorm that covered much of the N.E.) – has been a feature of late in our lives and a strain on our network. Floods and winter conditions in the Northeast, spring flooding in the Midwest, and tropical storm damage have are just some of the major events that have impacted us lately. It is in times like this that I am proud of railroad operations. Canadian Pacific is impressed with how our shortline connections and partners responded to crisis. The restoration of the Green Mountain Gateway over the Vermont Rail System is an example of this.
Canadian Pacific is well prepared for the coming winter. We have put into service 61 new locomotives with 30 more on order for next year. We have hired 3300 new employees to help improve our operations. And we are committing to spend more than one billion in recourses to improve capacity systemwide.
I would like to close by highlighting how Canadian Pacific is part of the community. During the upcoming holiday season CP runs our specially decorated Holiday Train over much of our system – including the Delaware and Hudson. The goal of the train is to collect food and money for local food banks at each stop along the route. This money stays in the community from which it is collected. Over the twelve years we’ve operated the train we’ve collected 12 million dollars and tons of food. I hope you can make it out to one of the stops to view the train on its journey.
I want to thank you for inviting me to speak to you tonight. In closing I want you all to remember to “play like a girl”.
President Mott: Tracy – thank you for coming and speaking to us about the exciting happenings on your railroad and we appreciate the reminder of CP’s upcoming Holiday Train. Anna – thank you again for the joint program with WTS.
[A brief question and answer period then followed]
President Mott: I would like to thank you all for coming tonight and I hope to see you at our January meeting. We will announce the speaker for the January meeting shortly. And don’t forget the Expo in March in Worcester.
The meeting was adjourned for the night.
The New England Railroad Club is pleased to announce the 2011 Presidents’ Award is awarded to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, jointly with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, Amtrak, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.The Presidents’ Award is given to recognize accomplishments that enhance railroad services in the region and that further contribute to the regional economy and the quality of life for our region’s citizens.The Club is delighted to make this award to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and their partners that made possible the construction of the InterLink intermodal station in Warwick, Rhode Island that provides linkage to the Northeast Corridor and commuter rail service to Theodore F. Green Airport.In October 2010 Amtrak and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), in conjunction with Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), completed construction of the intermodal station, InterLink, in Warwick Rhode Island. InterLink provides a rail connection between South Station Boston and T .F. Green Airport. This Intermodal Station is part of the $267 million InterLink project developed by RIDOT and RIAC. The InterLink features a consolidated rental car facility, a bus hub for Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses, and a parking garage with spaces to accommodate 1,800 rental cars and 650 commuter vehicles. The InterLink is connected to the Airport Terminal via a 1,200 foot elevated skywalk with moving walkways.Phase I commuter service began December 2010 with eleven trips. Additional infrastructure scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2011 will enable an increase in the number of trips. Phase II service will be implemented when construction is complete on a new commuter station at Wickford Junction in North Kingston in the Spring of 2012.This project is Amtrak’s most recent commuter rail partnership. This partnership includes both Massachusetts and Rhode Island has proven beneficial to both states since service to Providence was implemented in 1988. Rhode Island gets access to regional transportation to and from Boston while Massachusetts received much-needed capital improvements, including the Pawtucket layover facility.
Rhode Island and MBTA have competitively priced travel between T. F. Green and Boston $8.25 each way. Seniors and persons with disabilities get 50 percent off. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult. For T. F. Green InterLink, travel to and from Providence is $2.25 each way.
Canadian Pacific’s Tracy Robinson to Keynote a Special NERRC/WTS Executive Night Joint MeetingThe New England Railroad Club and WTS Boston are pleased to announce that the guest speaker for a special joint November Executive Night meeting will be Tracy Robinson, Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Canadian Pacific Railroad. The event will be held on November 3 at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. To purchase tickets and for more information click on the meeting schedule section on the homepage.
Time for Dues!All members are encouraged to pay their dues. The club has what are likely the lowest dues of any professional society in the industry. Dues include a $5.00 donation to the scholarship fund. Now you can even pay online using Paypal!
“Year of the Short Lines”President Mott announced today that the 2011 – 2012 Meeting Schedule will have a special focus on our region’s short lines who play a critical role in moving the economy. The theme will be highlighted at this year’s Expo in Worcester, where all area short lines will have the opportunity to showcase their railroads and where ASLRRA President Richard Timmons will give the keynote address. Look forward to additional announcements about speakers and events as the year progresses!The meeting schedule will be:
- November 3rd – Executive Night – Copley Plaza, Boston
- January 26th – Mechanical & Stores Night – Copley Plaza, Boston
- March 27th – EXPO and Engineering & Transit Night – DCU Center, Worcester
- May TBA – Golf and Annual Meeting – Ferncroft Country Club, Danvers
New Officers ElectedThe Club would like to announce the election of the officers for 2011 – 2012:
- President – Gordon Mott, Association of American Railroads
- Vice President – Scott Howland, Amtrak
- Secretary – Dennis Coffey, HNTB
- Treasurer – Peter Hughes, Atlantic Track and Turnout
- Assistant Treasurer – David Rutkowski, Providence & Worcester Railroad
Annual Meeting and Golf OutingThe membership once again gathered in Danvers for a day of golf and the annual meeting clambake. After a very wet week, the rain managed to hold off for much of the day, allowing participants to get in their rounds. The Club would especially like to thank Jon Read and Kathy McCarthy for organizing another successful golf outing. At the clambake the new President, Vice President, and board members were announced, and the results of the day’s competition was read. With the end of the 2010 – 2011 Meeting Schedule the Club would like to thank outgoing President Christopher Podgurski for his service, and also all the others who contributed throughout the year.
First Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award Presented
DCU Center Ballroom, Worcester, MAAt the Engineering and Transit Night Dinner the Executive Committee and membership of the New England Railroad Club was honored to present to Vincent Terrill the Club’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was not only presented to Mr. Terrill, but also named after him in recognition of his distinguished career as a chief engineer and dedicated railroad advocate. Many notable rail officials from throughout the Northeast joined us on this night to help honor Mr. Terrill. His wife and children were also present.After an introduction by President Podgurski, Mr. Terrill’s long-time friend and co-worker Mr. Alan Dustin, former President of the Boston and Maine Railroad, was asked to take the podium to remark about Mr. Terrill’s career and his accomplishments. Mr. Dustin recalled several stories where they had worked together closely during reconstruction efforts on the B&M in the 1970’s, in particular one where he and Mr. Terrill had recognized the achievements of a track gang performing tie replacement on the west end of the railroad. Mr. Dustin also touched upon Mr. Terrill’s dedication to his family, his wife and children, and his community – Manchester-by-the-Sea.Following his remarks Mr. Dustin asked that all of the former past Presidents of the Club join him on the stage for the presentation of the award. Mr. Dustin then asked Mr. Terrill, accompanied by his wife Alrie, to come to the podium, where he was presented with a crystal bowl inscribed with the logo of the Club, the award, and the date. After a standing ovation, Mr. Terrill proceeded to thank the Club and reflect briefly upon his career.A special program was printed for the ceremony. The text contained within appears below.
The Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award has been established by the New England Railroad Club to give recognition to those individuals who have provided exemplary service to the New England Railroad community. Over the years members of the New England Railroad Club have been leaders in innovation and technology to make the railways safe, efficient and effective in the movement of both goods and people. The Executive Committee noted that Vin Terrill truly exemplifies the values the Club wishes to honor and recognize, and have named this award in his honor.
Mr. Terrill began his railroad career on the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1946. While working on the railroad he completed his studies at the University of New Hampshire. Starting as a transit man in the track department, his enthusiasm and hard work propelled him through the ranks – rising to Track Supervisor, Division Engineer, Chief Engineer, and then Vice President of Engineering. One of Mr. Terrill’s chief concerns was the training and development of his staff – and he mentored many great railroad engineers in his career, both at B&M, and later as an independent consultant.
In 1985 Mr. Terrill was appointed President of Speno Rail Services Company, a position that took this New Englander all around the USA and the globe. Always one to lead by example, Mr. Terrill traveled with the Speno fleet of grinding and ballast cleaning trains, worked with the crews, and developed methods to enhance these operations to the benefit of both the customers and the employees.
While with Speno Mr. Terrill traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe to study best practices for rail grinding and rail flaw detection – and bringing back the best ideas for implementation in the USA. In 1990 Mr. Terrill established Terrill Track Consultants from which he continued his lifelong sharing of knowledge, continued to research and develop new and innovative methods of track maintenance, and worked with the Association of American Railroads, the US DOT Volpe Center and most of the major railroads in the US to foster safety for both the railroads and the communities through which they passed. His reports and manuals have enabled railroads to implement these ideas in every day practice.
And, in true technology exchange, Mr. Terrill worked with the staff at the Volpe Center in Cambridge to develop the first successful gage restraint measurement system for the railroad industry. This system is now manufactured by three different firms, and is widely used throughout North America.
Mr. Terrill has received widespread recognition for his many accomplishments, for example being included in AAR’s Faces of Freight program. He is an honorary member of the American Railway Engineering & Maintenance Association, and of the New England Railroad Club, of which he is a past president and emeritus member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Terrill served as a Governor of the Railway Progress Institute (1986-1989) and as President of the Railroad Engineering Manufacturers Suppliers Association (1988-1989)
Mr. Terrill resides in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with his wife Alrie, where they raised a wonderful family and continue to serve their church and community as they have for many years.
The New England Railroad community salutes Mr. Terrill in recognition of his lifelong pursuit of a safe and reliable railroad system for America!
Engineering & Transit Night Reception
DCU Center, Worcester, MA
2011 Rail Forums Highlight Tie Replacement and HSR Work
DCU Center, Worcester, MAWhile the Club did not host the full Expo this year, a late afternoon seminar session titled the “The Regional Rail Projects Round-up” highlighted two important passenger engineering projects: the MBTA/MBCR Old Colony concrete tie replacement and Amtrak’s use of stimulus funds on the New England Division of the Northeast Corridor and Springfield Line.The forum attracted a standing room only crowd to the DCU Center. The seminar panel was hosted by Jim Jordie, Stella-Jones, Art Misiaszek, Sr. Program Director – Amtrak, Both of the presentations have been provided to us and are available here in pdf form for download.The first presentation, titled “New Ties for the Old Colony”, detailed the multi-phase project to replace defective concrete ties with new wood ties on 57 miles of the MBTA’s Main, Middleboro, and Plymouth Old Colony lines. A total of 150,000 concrete ties are being removed and replaced with 187,000 timber ties at a rate of 30,000 ties per month by supplier Stella-Jones.After an overview of Stella-Jones’ North American operations, the presentation walked viewers through the replacement process. New ties are initially shipped by rail from manufacturing plants to a marshalling location on the Massachusetts Central Railroad in Ware, Massachusetts. There, ties are laid out, pre-plated, “clipped” (Pandrol clips installed), and checked for gauge before being loaded onto trucks for delivery to the project worksites.
The project schedule was then highlighted. The Middleboro Line (25 miles) to be rebuilt between March and August, 2011, the Main Line (11 miles) between May and September, 2011, and the Plymouth Line (25 miles) between June and December, 2011. Of note were the complexities of the performing the work while still providing some level of service on these important commuter rail lines.
The presentation ended with a detailed and illustrated accounting of the actual replacement process and the make-up of the production gang performing the job.
Mr. Art Misiaszek, Sr. Program Director – Stimulus for Amtrak then took the podium and provided the audience with an overview of Amtrak’s engineering program in New England. This included projects currently in progress and funded through ARRA monies as well as future projects designed to improve operations and capacity in the region. There are over 115 projects in total, with a cost of $959,000,000 dollars.
Mr. Misiaszek first touched upon some of the significant accomplishments of 2010. They included both completed projects that were small in scope as well as progress reports on larger, long-term projects such as the Niantic Bridge replacement in Connecticut. Photos illustrated aspects of each of the projects. A short list of what was highlighted includes: the improvements to the Southhampton Street Yards in Boston; MOW base improvements in Hamden, Groton, and Providence; improvements to 14 stations both on and off the corridor including platform replacement at Providence Station; bridge replacement and repair along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut; concrete tie replacement; and right-of-way improvements.
Future projects were then highlighted. These included improvements for RIDOT’s South County Commuter Service, Springfield Line double tracking, improvements to CDOT SLE stations, and a proposed Kingston siding.
The New England Railroad Club would like to thank all who participated in this detailed and informative seminar.
Mr. Robert Adduci, Senior System Safety Engineer, FRA Office of Safety Addresses the Club at the Engineering and Transit Night Dinner
Main Ballroom, DCU Center, Worcester MassachusettsPresident Christopher Podgurski. As we begin tonight’s program I would like to take the opportunity to recognize and thank the individuals in our industry who spend countless hours in the fields of engineering and transit. It is through their hard work that our industry continues to grow and evolve. I would also like to take a moment to offer a special thank you to the 2011 Supplier Support Group, who’s sponsorship allowed us to enjoy the reception held earlier outside this room. Please join me in a round of applause (applause from the membership). I now call on Secretary Coffey to introduce the new members.Secretary Coffee proceeded to list the new members voted in by the Executive Committee earlier in the day.President Podgurski. Tonight I would like to introduce to you our speaker: Mr. Robert Adduci, Senior System Safety Engineer for the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety. Mr. Adduci has had a long career in the industry; at the Volpe Center in Cambridge where he oversaw a wide range of safety programs, offering support and technical knowledge to the Federal Transit Authority, and before that at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority where he served as Acting Director of Safety.Bob has a A/S in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern. Tonight he will offer us some insight into the policy changes occurring in the ever-changing world that is our industry. (Applause).Mr. Adduci. Thank you for having me speak to you tonight. I have to admit to you though, I was quite surprised to learn that I would be here. As I was leaving the Volpe Center to go to my new job I learned that I would be giving a presentation on my very first week! I am going to do my best to outline some of the major rules and regulations that you are likely to see in upcoming years. We have spent the last five or six years looking at start up railroads and the safety requirements needed to effect start-up. We have also looked at the many high-speed rail projects throughout the county, some of course, like Florida, which have now been cancelled, and the regulatory requirements needed for the implementation of that type of specialized service. We then began to develop FRA regulatory tools for these operations. What we have found is that there is basically two types of oversight needed: oversight for general rail systems, and oversight for maglev and high-speed rail.
The current safety regulations for high-speed rail can be found in CFR 200-249. Some of what is covered is what we call Tier 1 equipment – up to 125 miles per hour. This includes most Amtrak intercity and commuter rail operations in the country. Tier 2 is high-speed rail up to 150 miles per hour, which for now applies to Amtrak’s Acela service. Also covered are track safety geometry and cant deficiency for operations up to 200 miles per hour. In addition, there are also lots of speed-neutral requirements which can be applied to high-speed rail.
The regulation process for this service is going to take a long time. What we are concentrating on first is developing rules of applicability so these operations can begin operations and run safely. These rules of applicability will then morph into general rules for high-speed rail after additional reviews.
Why is there a need for regulations? Well, first and foremost, as most of you realize, it is a safety issue. Through regulations we are able to have one set of standards applicable to all operations throughout the country. To help in the development regulations we enlist RSAC groups, which offer guidance to the FRA. The ideas that come out of these groups are then developed into a more concise, formal language by lawyers familiar with the industry. This is then published in the federal register. A 90 to 100 day comment period follows. The Preamble Rule is then written which is in a language that most people will better understand. An example of this was the System Safety Regulations for Commuter Rail. The Preamble language allowed readers to understand what was being said and how it applied to operations. After all of this the rule then becomes law.
I want to talk briefly about the RSAC groups I mentioned earlier. RSAC groups help to jumpstart new regulations. For example, one group was tasked with looking at door operations on commuter rail trains. The group came up with the language for the rule after looking at various properties and the challenges that they faced with technology, equipment, and operations. After the rule has been written by the RSAC group it then goes back to the railroad to see if they can live with language in its present state.
Many things come out of RSAC groups. They are a continuing forum which provides advice to the FRA on the issues the industry is facing. They also help to address the cost-effectiveness of recommendations. Their forum also allows for all stakeholders to become more involved in the process.
Moving back to high-speed rail I would like to point out that FRA regulations do not address 150 and over mile per hour operations. There are questions about things as basic as ballast requirements – would existing regulations be adequate or would slab track be needed vs. ballast. Also many of the safety features may not be applicable because of the radical designs of the equipment. An example of this would be the design of windows. Regarding equipment the FRA would like to see trainsets that would be able to be compatible, and move, from system to system throughout the county, not specialty designs for a particular corridor.
The FRA developed a high-speed rail strategy in November of 2009. We are continually working on this strategy, looking at all Tiers as well as looking at crossings, maintenance of way, and other aspects of operations. One result of the review process is that we now restrict grade crossings on operations intending to run as speeds above 125 miles per hour.
An engineering task force has also been investigating the crashworthiness of vehicles, looking at windows (zipstrips and possible shattering), the passenger occupied endcars, luggage holders, and length/width/height restrictions. Many industry professionals have attended the meetings and sessions to listen to the proceedings and offer insight.
Moving forward one of the big changes we are looking at will be a new Tier 3 level that will replace the existing Tier 3 as well as Tiers 4 and 5. The forums that result from this change will be a basis for discussion of the different operating environments that we will face as high-speed rail moves forward. The new Tier will address such topics as exclusive rights-of-way, no mixing of freight and high-speed trains, and what will be the most effective train control system.
Maintenance practices will also be given scrutiny. With our current maintenance practices can we bring stock European equipment here, knowing that European railroads adhere to much more intensive maintenance schedules. Carbuilders have been asked to adapt Tier 1 requirements into their equipment, but we have found that many manufacturers do not want to rework proven designs.
I wish to thank you all for inviting me to speak to you tonight. Are there any questions?
Mr Vincent Terrill. If I may, I have recently had the opportunity to travel to China and to view first-hand faster passenger operations on predominantly freight lines. Not too long ago Chinese railroads were all steam and operated at speeds of no more than 35 miles per hour. Today they have completed, in a fairly short time span, a rebuilt system with passenger trains running at 200 miles per hour or above and freight trains running at 70 miles per hour. Years ago I was called to work with the FRA to write a book of standards that included rules up to Class 9, which fully covered the type of service and infrastructure we have been talking about tonight. Why now, if I can put it into a railroad term, are we doubling the hill?
Mr. Adduci. I have seen the great advances in China, and while I can’t speak specifically to all of your points, I would like to say that I am new to the process. There is definitely going to be a lot of discussion concerning the new Tier 3 moving forward. While we are looking at lumping Tiers 3, 4 and 5 into one bundle it is not etched in stone.
Mr. Terrill. I just believe that that we are putting lots of money and time into writing new rules when we should be building and operating new lines.
No more questions were forthcoming.
Mr. Adduci. Thank you all again.
President Podgurski. If there is no more business we will adjourn the meeting. I look forward to seeing you all in May for the Annual Meeting and Golf Outing.
Three NERRC Members Lead Marketing Awards
The New England Railroad Club would like to congratulate the Finger Lakes Railway, Providence and Worcester Railroad, and R. J. Corman Railroad for winning this year’s three ASLRRA Marketing Awards. The ASLRRA noted that this year saw the largest and most competitive pool of entries yet, and selecting the winners was especially difficult. Representatives from each of the railroads accepted their award at the ASLRRA’s Annual Convention held in San Antonio, Texas the last week in April. Congratulations again to our members!
Engineering & Transit Night Meeting Details AnnouncedThe Engineering & Transit Night Dinner Meeting will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester, on Tuesday, March 22nd, and will feature an afternoon workshop at 4:00 p.m. The Regional Rail Projects Round-up will feature presentations and discussions about the MBTA’s Old Colony tie replacement project while Amtrak’s Art Misiaszek (Sr. Program Director ‐ Stimulus) will discuss their experiences with federal stimulus programs along the NEC. The workshop will provide for dialogue and discussion, so be sure to attend this “extra” feature of the meeting.Following the workshop the Supplier Group will once again host the Reception at 5:30 p.m. prior to the formal Dinner Meeting.This meeting will be noteworthy as the Club will present the first Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award. Named to honor our region’s distinguished railroad chief engineer and dedicated railroad advocate Vin Terrill will appropriately be the first recipient of this award.We are delighted that Bob Adduci, Senior System Safety Engineer, FRA Office of Safety will address the Club at its Engineering & Transit Night Dinner meeting. Bob is no stranger to many Club members having worked on the MBTA in the past – and more recently with the Volpe Center in Cambridge. He will address High Speed Rail Development in the US, and will certainly touch on numerous other topics of interests to the members.
The Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award AnnouncedThe March meeting will be noteworthy as the Club will present the first Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named to honor our region’s distinguished railroad chief engineer and dedicated railroad advocate and will be presented to railroad industry employees of note every year. Vin Terrill will appropriately be the first recipient of this award. We will provide more information as how you can nominate an employee of your railroad to receive the award in a future news update.
Mr Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern, Addresses the ClubNew England Railroad Club
Mechanical & Purchasing Night
Copley Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MAChristopher Podgurski, PresidentHead Table:Mr. Steve Wickman, New England Central RailroadMr. David Rutkowski, CMO, Providence & Worcester RailroadMr. Richard Davey, General Manager, MBTA
Mr. David Fink, Pan Am Railway
Mr. Wick Moorman, CEO, Norfolk Southern Corporation
200 members in attendance
The meeting was called to order by the President, and he thanked the area railroads’ engineering staffs, purchasing agents, and suppliers for the invaluable services that they perform in the industry.
The President then called to the podium Mr. Scott Conti, President of the Providence & Worcester Railroad, and Mr. David Rutkowski, CMO, P&W RR, for the presentation of the President’s Award. The Providence & Worcester was chosen for their ongoing commitment to customers, employees, and their dedication to safety. While the past several years were trying for all of New England’s railroads, the P&W met those challenges by developing new significant new business along their lines. The presentation of the award was met with applause from the membership.
Following the introduction of the head table the President called Dennis Coffey, Secretary, to the podium for the introduction of new members.
Following dinner, the President asked Mr. Kenneth Briggs of HDR Engineering to provide a biography and personal impressions of the night’s honored guest, Mr. Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Mr. Briggs. (transcript to come soon)
Mr. Moorman. I am honored to be with you tonight. At NS we expect to continue to see slow economic growth and recovery through 2011. NS ended 2010 in pretty good shape, while we weathered 2009. In the 2nd quarter of 2009 business was 26% lower than 2008. If someone asked me before that what a reasonable number to expect would have been I would have thought only 12 to 13%.
Throughout this period NS continued to invest. 2009 was our highest year of capital expenditures, putting us in an excellent position when traffic rebounded. In 2010 volumes were up 14%, led by growth in the domestic intermodal (up 26%), coal, automotive, and agricultural products. NS struggled to keep up with the growth. 1900 conductor trainees were hired in 2010 to help. In 2011 we expect to see a more modest economic growth – around 3%. Coal, especially export (due in part to the flooding in Australia), automotive, and intermodal are forecasted to have a better year.
Railroading is a capital intensive industry. 1.5 billion was invested in 2010, and 2.2 billion will be invested in 2011. The year is also expected to be the highest for capital expenditures. Because of favorable financing, the purchasing of new equipment will be a priority.
At NS we have been focused on a corridor strategy. We have identified 6 corridors that will augment our network and help us to expand capacity. I will talk to you about two of these corridors tonight. The first is the Crescent Corridor, running from the Southwest to New/New Jersey and then on to New England. We believe that this corridor is the last major freight flow that has not been addressed. The corridor seeing the construction of new terminals to provide added line capacity. Trackwork will result in higher speeds along the length of the corridor. NS does not have enough money by itself to do it all. While it could be possible for NS to complete the project independently, the returns do not justify the large expenditure. The means used to help fund the project had been a public-private partnership. The partnership has received enthusiastic support from politicians, businesses, and stakeholders all along the route. A Tiger Grant was also awarded to NS to help fund the construction of the new terminals along the corridor.
The other corridor I want to talk about tonight, and the one that more directly affects those in this room, is the Pan Am Southern Corridor. This extension represents a big investment for NS – approximately $140 million dollars. We believe the investment is important for NS however, and important for New England. There is definitely a need for a high-capacity corridor such as the one we are building. The project will help with job creation by generating new business. As of now we have laid new miles of new rail, thousands of crossties, and ballasted and surfaced much of the line. We are in the process of constructing a new intermodal terminal in Mechanicsville, which will be fillet/toupe operation for doublestack container trains. We are also making a significant investment in automotive movements through the new San Val facility. This facility is already at capacity, and we expect to double its size in the coming year. Finally, the new corridor gives NS access to many new shortline partners for additional business growth. We are really excited about this initiative.
Tonight I want to also touch upon passenger rail and the items triggered by the ARRA act. In terms of this Administration (Obama) I find them to be very positive about rail. They have an emphasis on passenger services, but recognize the importance of freight. There was more mention of rail in the first few months of this administration than there was in past three combined. Part of this is a growing realization that we need to embrace rail transportation. There is not enough money or will to expand the current highway system. The future points to rail. Eight billion dollars has been appropriated for high-speed rail in this country. This is a misnomer as all of the projects are convention services at slightly higher speeds and not true high-speed rail. Here in New England we are looking at the Conn River “Knowledge Corridor” and Wachusett Station projects. Both will begin this year. At NS our attitude is that if we have more passenger trains, they have to go on existing infrastructure. We have three provisions to the sharing of our tracks with passenger services: Any joint lines have to enough capacity so there is no interference between freight and passenger trains. There are also liability issues. NS doesn’t want it. There has to be a way to manage risks. Freight railroads are publically owned companies. We answer to our shareholders, not all of whom share our views on passenger services. There has to be some return on the use of our assets.
One thing that I want to say is that the future of railroaders and the industry can be traced to just one place – the District of Columbia. What could go wrong will lead back to D.C. And that brings me to Positive Train Control. A well intentioned, but bad piece of legislation. It is unproven technology at an industrial scale. The big question is will it work? Especially considering the cost of implementation. The cost ratio is something in the range of between 22 to 33 to 1 against. By any account it is a bad deal. However, one thing must be emphasized – this is not regulatory, it is law. What happens in 2013 when you are not in compliance and breaking the law. I have asked my lawyers that and I can say that I do not look good in stripes. One other thing I want to point out is that PTC costs more money than it needs to, and is huge diversion of capital that could otherwise be going into improvements or maintenance.
Regregulation, or unbalanced regulation, is also one of the main issues we face today. Basically this issue can be traced back to 1973 and the Citizens United for Rail Equity. It is a concerted effort by a small group to change the rules and rates by which we all operate by. The chemical and ag industries are two of the parties backing this. Recently though, with the change in Congress because of the last election, and the fact that several key supporters had to relinquish their committee posts, the threat posed has been diminished. I am hopeful that the push for reregulation that was making its way through the last Congress was its “Pickett’s Charge”, to put in Civil War terms. The STB has been under enormous pressure to change the rules however, and I encourage you to make your voices heard. In all the years that I have been in the industry, we finally have our business making an adequate rate of return, while still injecting record amounts of capital back. I fear a return to the bad ol’ days if this capital cannot be reinvested. Again I say make your voices heard.
I want to thank you for inviting a Southern boy here tonight. I will say that as I fly home tonight I will miss all this snow! (laughter and applause) Does anyone have any questions?
Mr. Moorman then entertained five questions from the membership, two of which appear here.
Member. I would like to point out that, in defense of what Mr. Moorman said about PTC, Europe has been trying to achieve something similar to PTC in a common signaling system for some time now and at great cost. They still do not have a working system, and are no closer than when they began.
Mr. Moorman. Yes, I have heard and read about this system which they are trying to achieve and I believe there are many similarities and lessons that can be applied to what we are doing.
Member. Mr. Moorman, I represent and company which move such things as ballast and MOW equipment throughout the country and lately we have been seeing our shipping prices grow to the point where it is unaffordable to ship using the Class 1s and other railroads. At one point in the past shipments such as these were almost free, or a considerably lower rate. Is this something that NS would consider addressing, by providing more reasonable rates, to aid in these movements?
Mr. Moorman. Without knowing the particulars I would have to say that you would have to contact my (NS) people directly to see what could be done. Concerning the rates we have found that there was many commodities shipped over our railroad that were essentially be carried for free, or even at a loss. We have addressed this and now most everything moves at market prices. Like I said you would have approach this on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you are moving materials that will help our competitor (CSX) rebuild track, what are we to do?
Mr. Coffey. If there are no further questions I want to thank Mr. Moorman for attending our meeting tonight and I am sure that all in attendance found his presentation to informative and enlightening. Some of the items he touched upon were discussed earlier tonight in our Executive Session, and we hope to explore them further at our meeting in March.
The meeting was then adjourned by the President.
(New England Railroad Club. *Please note: Beginning with this speech we will attempt to provide a more detailed account of our meeting’s events. While written in the first person, the recording should still be considered a paraphrase of what was said.)
New Members AnnouncedThe New England Railroad Club board welcomes the following new members who were voted in at the Executive Night meeting:Larry Gelo, Project Manager, Freight Rail, Macton Corp., Oxford, CTWill Rothenberger, Northeast Regional Manager, Stanley Hydraulic Tools, Lititz, PAJohn Pearson, Vice President, Cape Rail, Mass Coastal Railroad, East Wareham, MAPatrick Riegel, W.J. Reigel Rail Solutions, LLC, Glenmont, NYRodney Olsen, Regional Sales Manager, STRATO, Inc., Malvern, PA
Marty Fava, Norfolk Southern, Pointe Claire, Québec
Ken Belovaric, Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Group, Stoughton, MA
(Dennis Coffey, Secretary, New England Railroad Club)
Scholarship Program for 2011The Executive Committee has authorized the scholarship program for 2011. Up to six awards may be made this year. The scholarship application form will be mailed to members in March, with a return date of April 23rd. The Scholarship form is also available online on the Scholarship page. Children, grandchildren and spouses of members in good standing are eligible. The scholarships are targeted to students entering college, in pursuit of a Bachelors level degree. An independent selection committee will review the applications and select the candidates for awards.(Dennis Coffey, Secretary, New England Railroad Club)
Long time Executive Committee member Eric Moffett resignsEric cited the travel demands of his business, Integrated Rail Group as impacting his ability to fulfill his obligations to the Club. The Executive Committee noted the resignation with regret – both as President of the Club and a long time and active member of the Executive Committee, Eric has made many contributions to the success of the New England Railroad Club – most significantly, Eric led the efforts to establish the New England Railroad Forum and EXPO. He will remain a member of the Club.(New England Railroad Club)
Building TSW Coalitions:
The ASLRRA TSW Committee is focused on building better coalitions to successfully repel TSW increase efforts at the state and federal levels. The Committee is in discussions with the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks to explore better ways to work the TSW issue both in DC and at the state level. A pilot project is underway through the Ohio Railroad Association to better build the case against bigger trucks in that state. There also has been an outreach to Class I railroads, through the AAR State Relations and Policy Committee. As part of a larger focus in 2011 on TSW, the AAR commissioned Carl Martland to undertake a rail diversion study specific to Class I railroads based on larger trucks. Results of this study, due to be released very soon, are reported by Mr. Martland to be very similar to the diversion study he did on Class II / III railroads: reflecting a massive loss of Class I merchandise traffic. There appears to be a growing concern and support from Class I carriers concerning TSW.
Your Help Will be Needed:
All ASLRRA members will need to engage in this effort. Unlike our work on the Short Line Tax Credit, the TSW issue will be fought both at the federal and state levels, and with this issue our industry faces a strong and organized opposition that has enjoyed numerous recent successes. Unless ASLRRA members successfully mobilize to stop additional federal and state TSW increases, it will be close to impossible to prevent higher national truck weight limits when SAFETEA-LU reauthorization is eventually enacted. The TSW Committee cannot address this issue on its own, but will need the help of all ASLRRA railroad and associate members, along with the help of other allied groups. The Committee realizes that there are many requests made to ASLRRA members, and will do everything possible to make TSW action requests to ASLRRA member specific, clear and as infrequent as possible.
Immediate Action Requested:
Congress must pass a continuing resolution (CR) to maintain federal funding for transportation programs and projects. The current CR providing federal transportation funding expires on December 3. It is expected that Senator Collins of Maine and Senator Leahy of Vermont will attempt to include a permanent extension of increased truck weight limits in those two states. It is highly unusual for controversial measures to be included in a CR, so our job is to make all 98 other senators understand the serious problems that would be created by allowing this extension into the pending CR.
PLEASE TAKE 15 MINUTES AND EMAIL YOUR SENATORS WITH A BRIEF MESSAGE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING BULLET POINTS:
- Ask the senator(s) to oppose inclusion of ANY increases of truck weight limits in the pending Continuing Resolution to fund Transportation programs.
- Such truck weight limit increases have diverted traffic from short line freight railroads, threatening the health of small railroads and seriously aggravating highway congestion and safety problems.
- The expiring one year Maine and Vermont truck weight waivers called for a study of the impact of the increased weights. This study has not been completed, making it highly premature to take further legislative action on this.
- This issue is extremely controversial, and should be fully vetted through the SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization process.
(Contributed by Charles Hunter, New England Central Railway)
November 18, 2010
CSX Vice President Cindy Sanborn Speaks at Executive NightThe New England Railroad Club’s 2010-2011 Schedule began with a special Executive Night meeting held jointly with the Boston Chapter of WTS at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston. Members of both groups were well represented at the reception and dinner featuring guest speaker Cindy Sanborn, Vice President of CSX. Attendees were welcomed by New England Railroad Club President Christopher Podgurski. The head table was introduced and included the following: Scott Conti, President of the Providence & Worcester Railroad; Dennis Coffey of HNTB and Secretary of the New England Railroad Club; Jon Delli Priscoli, Chief Executive Officer of the Grafton & Upton Railroad; Patricia Quinn, Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority; Loretta Girard Doughty of HDR Engineering and President of the WTS Boston Chapter, and Cindy Sanborn, Vice President of CSX.Following dinner, Ms. Loretta Girard Doughty was introduced and provided the membership with a brief introduction to the mission of WTS and the membership of the Boston Chapter. She then introduced the evening’s speaker, Ms. Cindy Sanborn.Ms. Sanborn thanked the club for the invitation and offered a multi-media presentation highlighting CSX and its operations in the New England Region. She started the presentation by pointing out that the United States freight rail system is the envy of the world, and is able to haul goods at half the cost as rail carriers in Europe. The system not only supports America’s economy, but creates and supports thousands of jobs as well. A key part of the modern success of the freight railroads was deregulation, which made a balanced enviroment, reduced rates, and doubled traffic. Shortlines play a big role in keeping the Class 1’s fluid, originating and terminating one of every four railcars. Massachusetts alone has 11 shortlines which CSX works with on a daily basis.Ms. Sanborn then touched on the improving economy and how it will mean more volume on already full routes. Projected traffic growth is expected to be largest on the East Coast, where an 88% increase in the demand for rail is possible. It is there she believes both freight and passenger should be expanded to allow for better efficiency. High-speed passenger operations should have dedicated lines however, so as not to be hampered by slower freight traffic. Ms. Sanborn pointed out that to handle the increases as much as 140 billion dollars will be needed in investment. Without this investment the freight corridors will experience severe congestion.The presentation then focused specifically on CSX – its vision for the future and investment in New England. In 2010 CSX invested 1.8 billion back into its network. One of the major projects undertaken was the new intermodal hub in Northern Ohio. This massive, modern facility will employ over 200, and allow intermodal trains to bypass choke points. The terminal will handle 25 trains a day, and 635,000 containers each year. This will help move more truck traffic to rail, and handle expected increases in the domestic container market.CSX’s New England Initiative involves the partnership between the railroad and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This initiative will see the closure of Beacon Park yard and the movement of operations to expanded terminals in Westborough (flexi-flo), Worcester (intermodal), and Springfield (intermodal). The raising of bridges will place less restrictions on clearances, allowing smoother operations. Currently CSX moves 280,000 carloads of freight in Massachusetts, employees 300 people, and invests up to 11 million annually. To finish her presentation Ms. Sanborn highlighted the relationship CSX has with one of Massachusetts’ shortlines – the MassCoastal operating former CSX lines in New Bedford and Fall River.
Following the presentation the meeting was adjourned by President Podgurski.
(N.E. RR Club)
New Members AnnouncedThe New England Railroad Club board welcomes the following new members who were voted in at the Executive Night meeting:
- Brad Osborn, CSX/TRANSFLO
- Bernard McCall, RailAmerica, Inc
- Lorna Moritz, Transit Realty Assoc., LLC
- Robert LaVita, Transit Realty Assoc., LLC
- Richard Towle, Federal Railroad Administration
- William Fryer, Michael Baker Engineering
- David Geraci, Vermont Rail System
- Walter Hughes, Railroad Construction Co., Inc.
- Joan Kovacevich, GATX Rail
- Jason Barnes, Hotstart
- Tres Meyer, Connecticut Southern RR
- Donald Russell, N.E. Bridge Contractors
- Michael Clifford, DGT Survey Group
- Douglas Low, New England Central RR
- Bill Schroeder, RailAmerica, Inc
- James Hurley, MBTA
- Peter Perkins, CHA, Inc.
- Mike Yared, Portec Rail
(N.E. RR Club)
The New England Railroad Club would like to invite members to participate in the WTS-Boston November Luncheon
Thursday, November 18thThe WTS-Boston Diversity Committee is hosting this first DBE/WBE/MBE EXPO event. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to promote your DBE/WBE/MBE business to the transportation industry, learn more about the DBE firms in the area and network with potential teaming partners! Mr. John Lozada, Director of Civil Rights at MassDOT will offer welcoming remarks as well.Exhibitor Booths Open – 11:00AM – 1:30PM
Buffet Lunch – 12:15PM – 12:45PMCourtyard Boston Downtown / Tremont Hotel
275 Tremont Street
Boston, MassachusettsMore details and registration are available on the WTS website:http://www.wtsinternational.org/chapters.aspx?id=6784
- Bryan Davidson, son of John Davidson of Jointa Galusha, will pursue a degree in computer engineering at Clarkson University. Bryan was an honors student at Glens Falls High School, Glen Falls, NY.
- Kelley Jewell, daughter of Tony Jewel of IndusRail, will continue her studies in Business Management and Chinese Culture at UMass Amherst. Kelley is a 2008 graduate of Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Shelburne Fall, MA
- Tabitha Nemeroff, daughter of Rian Nemeroff of the Housatonic Railroad, will attend The George Washington University to study political science. Tabitha is a 2010 graduate of Trinity High School in Camp Hill, PA
- Peter Louvaris, grandson of John O’Keefe, B&M RR retired, will study engineering at UMass Lowell. Peter is a 2010 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, MA
And a word about the other applicants – all are excellent students and the Club wishes we had more resources to give even more scholarships – we are confident these students will continue to achieve great things in their educational pursuits, and they are encouraged to re-apply next year.
Congratulations to all!
Thursday, November 18, 2010 – Fairmont Copley Hotel
Guest Speaker: Cindy Sanborn, Vice President and Chief Transportation Officer, CSX Transportation
Reception 5:30 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m.
This meeting is co-hosted with WTS-Boston
March TBA, 2011- DCU Center, Worcester
Program details to be announced, and will include a late afternoon workshop and seminar on a timely topic.The Annual Meeting & Golf Classic
Thursday, May 19, 2011 – Ferncroft Country Club, and Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore (yes, same place, former Sheraton Tara), Danvers
Golf details to be announced (only one flight)
Reception 5:00 p.m. Dinner 6:00 p.m.