RailWorks, a track and transit systems construction and maintenance provider, has named Nuno Pereira as president of its Canadian subsidiary, PNR RailWorks, and promoted Mark Patterson as president of its transit systems subsidiary, L.K. Comstock National Transit.
Pereira is responsible for leading PNR RailWorks, which specializes in providing track, signals and communications and transit systems services for Canada’s rail industry. During his 20-year career in design and construction, Pereira has focused on transportation and heavy civil works projects, serving in positions with Walter Construction, GTM Consulting and, most recently, SNC-Lavalin, where he served as vice president of roads and bridges and vice president of the design and build group.
Patterson is responsible for leading L.K. Comstock National Transit, which specializes in performing design support, engineering and installation, testing, startup and maintenance services for mass transit systems throughout the U.S. He has 30 years of operations management experience focusing on the rail and power industries in the U.S. and Great Britain. Since joining L.K. Comstock in 2006, he has served as vice president of operations.
Norfolk Southern has opened its new $5.9 million Thoroughbred Bulk Transfer terminal in Knoxville, Tenn.
Thoroughbred Bulk Transfer terminals are specialized facilities that allow customers to transfer a large array of commodities between railcars and trucks.
The new terminal, adjacent to NS’s railyard, is located near Interstate 275 and fewer than two miles from I-40 and I-75. The facility can handle dry and liquid bulk commodities such as flour, corn starch and corn syrup, as well as aggregates such as sand and cement. It features 48 car spots, all in containment, and a truck scale.
“The Knoxville TBT is well-positioned to reach local markets, as well as extend the reach of our TBT facility network even more effectively to serve markets such as Kingsport, Loudon and Morristown in East Tennessee, as well as Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia,” said Scott McGregor, NS Group vice president, to a group of city officials, customers and guests gathered for the opening of the terminal.
OmniTRAX has named John Kovac its new vice president – transload logistics, effective May 15.
Kovac looks at transloading as a major growth area, the company said, one that will give its customers access to additional markets by combining the benefits of rail transportation with the advantages of local warehousing and logistics.
Kovac has extensive experience in business development, rail operations and strategic planning, with BNSF and CN. He also has led teams that set up and operated military logistics terminals in the Far East and Middle East. Kovac has a B.S. from Lowell Technological Institute and an M.B.A. from George Washington University. He has also participated in senior-level training seminars at the U.S. Navy War College
Mott MacDonald has appointed Andy Thomas as its head of rail operations in order to expand the consultancy’s service offering in this area.
Thomas is a strategic transport operator and has worked in the rail industry for more than 33 years. Most recently, he was a senior program manager at Network Rail. Before that, he was operations and safety director for Central Trains and London Midland. He has also held various senior positions at ScotRail, including customer services manager, train crew manager and divisional operations manager.
Thomas will ensure that Mott MacDonald is strategically placed to respond to customer needs as technology and operation requirements change in response to the expansion of U.K. rail, said Robert Gray, Mott MacDonald’s rail director, in a written statement.
Genesis Energy will expand its existing rail terminal in Natchez, Miss., designed to handle straight and minimally diluted bitumen delivered by Canadian National Railway, and construct a new unit train loading facility, the Pronghorn Rail Facility, in the Powder River Basin of the Niobrara shale play.
At the Natchez terminal, the Houston-based energy company is finalizing the first phase of the facility, which includes 40 railcar spots, to be completed in June 2013. Genesis is also moving forward with the second phase’s expansion to provide an additional 60 railcar spots and additional heated tanks, to be operational in late 2013.
After receiving all of the necessary permits in April, Genesis has begun construction of the Pronghorn Rail Facility, a new unit train loading facility in Converse County, north of Douglas, Wyo. Its location along the Orin Subdivision will make it the only unit train export facility in the Powder River Basin to be jointly served by both BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. The facility will be tied into Genesis’s existing gathering system in the region and is expected to be fully operational in late 2013.
Genesis is finalizing the commercial agreements with a number of third-party customers for these two locations. The total cost to Genesis of the Natchez Phase II and Pronghorn Rail Facility projects is expected to be approximately $75 million. Genesis intends to finance the projects with funds available under its committed revolving credit facility.
Las Vegas Railway Express has announced that John McPherson has been elected as chairman of its board, and George Rebensdorf has been elected as director of the board.
Gil Lamphere, the former chairman, remains on the board as director.
McPherson joined the board of directors of CSX in July 2008. He served as president and chief operating officer of Florida East Coast Railway from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. From 1993 to 1998, McPherson served as senior vice president of operations, and from 1998 to 1999, he served as president and CEO of the Illinois Central Railroad. Prior to joining the Illinois Central Railroad, McPherson served in various capacities at Santa Fe Railroad for 25 years. From 1997 to 2007, he served as a member of the board of directors of TTX Company.
Rebensdorf is a finance and mergers and acquisitions professional with more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international industry. He has worked with financial and investment banking firms of various sizes and has participated in more than 50 merger and acquisition transactions. He has served as an advisor in public and private financings, with concentrated transaction experience in the small cap and micro cap industries. Rebensdorf has served on the board of directors of numerous public and private companies, many of which he or his investors have invested in. He also has experience with corporate and SEC compliance standards. He is currently president of The Rebensdorf Group.
Operation Lifesaver has named DeQuendre Bertrand its new director of internal and external communications, according to Joyce Rose, president and CEO of the nonprofit rail safety organization.
“Her expertise will help Operation Lifesaver, Inc., make greater use of digital technology, social media and e-learning to differentiate the OLI brand, increase public awareness and deliver lifesaving education campaigns,” Rose said in a written statement.
Bertrand’s career experience includes serving as writer-editor for ESI and as communications manager for NABA; she has also been an independent consultant with multiple nonprofit clients. She has managed e-mail marketing, audience development and publications design and production for numerous organizations, including Volunteers of America, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers. Bertrand began her career as a journalist, writing for New York Newsday and The Bergen Record. Most recently, Bertrand was a public relations specialist with Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia.
Knorr-Bremse has opened a new rail vehicle systems production plant in Westminster, Md.
The opening ceremony was attended by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, as well as Heinz Hermann Thiele, owner and chairman of the supervisory board of Knorr-Bremse.
The former plant in Westminster had reached the limits of its capacity, as a result of the ongoing growth of the U.S. mass transit market and three current orders for HVAC systems, according to the rail and commercial vehicles braking systems manufacturer. The new plant tripled capacity.
The new facility, which represents an investment of $28 million, provides more than 20,000 square meters (about 215,278 square feet) of production and office space.
“Our new plant in Westminster is one of the most advanced facilities in Knorr-Bremse’s global production network,” said Dieter Wilhelm, member of Knorr-Bremse’s executive board responsible for the rail vehicle systems division, in his introductory address at the opening ceremony.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has adopted final mediation and arbitration rules that establish a new arbitration program under which shippers and railroads may agree in advance to voluntarily arbitrate certain types of disputes with defined liability limits in matters coming before the agency.
The changes to the existing mediation rules establish procedures that allow the board to order parties to participate in mediation in certain types of disputes before the board, on a case-specific basis.
These actions reflect the board’s facilitation of alternative dispute resolution, in lieu of formal agency proceedings, wherever possible, in an attempt to consolidate and simplify formerly separate arbitration procedures and to encourage greater use of arbitration. The board has identified specific types of disputes eligible for the new arbitration program and established limits on monetary amounts in controversy.
The decision follows the board’s August 2010 decision seeking public input on ways to increase the use of mediation and arbitration at the board, a March 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, receipt and analysis of public comments in response to both, and review of testimony provided in an August 2012 public hearing.
The first of Amtrak’s 70 new electric locomotives, being built by Siemens for U.S. Northeast intercity rail passengers, began rolling off of the assembly line yesterday.
The Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotives are being assembled in Siemens’ Sacramento, Calif., rail manufacturing plant, with parts built from its plants in Norwood, Ohio; Alpharetta, Ga.; and Richland, Miss., and nearly 70 suppliers. They will operate on Northeast Regional trains at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor along the Washington-New York-Boston route and on Keystone Service trains at speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa. In addition, all long-distance trains operating on the NEC will be powered by the new locomotives.
The new locomotives are designed for easier maintenance and are intended to improve energy efficiency by using a regenerative braking system that will feed energy back into the power grid. They also meet the latest federal rail safety regulations.
The first three locomotives of the $466 million order will undergo a comprehensive testing program this summer for entry into revenue service in the fall, including two at a U.S. Department of Transportation facility in Pueblo, Colo., and one on the NEC. Once they are commissioned, production of the remaining units will ramp up for monthly delivery through 2016.
The new locomotives are part of a comprehensive Amtrak fleet strategy plan to modernize and expand its equipment. The new units will replace electric locomotives that have between 25 and 35 years of service and average mileage of more than 3.5 million miles traveled, with some approaching 4.5 million miles.