On June 21st, Railroad Workers United (RWU) participated in the Founding of the Nevada Rail Coalition. Two dozen participants representing a dozen organizations were present to discuss how to move rail – both passenger and freight – forward in the Silver State.
Senators seek study of potential Northwest passenger-rail service
Progressive Railroading, December 22, 2021
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators representing the greater Northwest region this week called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a Greater Northwest Working Group for the purpose of working toward the restoration and enhancement of passenger-rail service across the region.
The lawmakers, led by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), sent a letter to FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose calling for a study of restoring passenger-rail service to the West and Northwest regions.
Read the Article at ProgressiveRailroading.com
Governors weigh in on high-speed rail progress between Vegas and Victorville
FOX-5 KVVU TV, December 19, 2021
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he is confident California Gov. Gavin Newsom is committed to making the rail a reality, and that they both were anxious to get the project rolling. “We’re both working with Brightline as it relates to the high-speed train. I was down in Florida to actually ride the train … It’s impressive what they’re doing, and we’re working on certain rideaway issues with the Brightline folks,” Sisolak said. “I know the [Gov. Gavin Newsom] is committed to it. I’m certainly committed to it. Anything we can do to relieve the congestion and help the citizens of both states, is something we’re anxiously working toward.”
Federal Railroad Administration announces availability of $198 million for intercity passenger rail projects
RT&S, December 07, 2021
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program (Partnership Program) including $198 million in grant funding to repair and rehabilitate qualified intercity passenger railroad infrastructure and assets. It will also provide an opportunity to jumpstart investments in eligible projects under the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“The Partnership Program will make targeted investments to improve and modernize rail assets used in intercity passenger rail service,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose.
Read the article at rtands.com
Study sees rail move to battery-electric propulsion as feasible, cost effective
Trains, December 1, 2021
A new study says railroads could save $94 billion over 20 years by reducing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions — and help avoid health impacts including an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year — by retrofitting diesel-electric locomotives with battery power.
The study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in collaboration with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, says the conversion could be accomplished in a cost-competitive manner, in part through the use of battery tenders, cars carrying battery units, while leaving the diesel engine in place as a backup power source.
Read the article at trains.com
Amtrak Joe vs. the Modern Robber Barons
Washington Monthly, Aug 9, 2021
The Biden administration will need to do more than just invest more public money in train travel. It will also need to reverse decades of deregulation, lax antitrust enforcement, and other policy blunders that have left modern-day robber barons in control of nearly all the nation’s highly monopolized railroad infrastructure, just as they were in the worst days of the Gilded Age. Only this time, the financiers aren’t presiding over an expanding rail system; they’re selling it off and permanently liquidating its assets for short-term economic gain.
Read the article at washingtonmonthly.com
First North American hydrogen locomotive begins testing
International Railway Journal, November 30, 2021
Canadian Pacific is designing and building the locomotive using fuel cells and batteries to power the electric traction motors. CP chief engineer Mr Kyle Mulligan said: “We are going to deploy that prototype into one of our terminals in Calgary.”
The diesel fuel tanks on the modified unit have been replaced by the extraction battery system and the cooling system and radiator fans have been replaced by the hydrogen storage. The fuel cells are located where the diesel engine and alternator were. “We are building this in a way that is modular so that we can retrofit existing platforms,” Mulligan said.
Read the article at railjournal.com
Track expansion completed at Western Nevada Rail Park in Fernley
Northern Nevada Business Weekly, November 16, 2021
Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group, LLC, recently announced it completed installation of an additional mile of rail track and improvements to the existing infrastructure at the 224-acre Western Nevada Rail Park site in Fernley.With the new extension of 5,000 feet, the site now includes over 7,000 linear feet of track… “IRG’s investment expands the existing rail operations on site providing additional staging, storage and transloading areas. We’re preparing for immense growth,” Justin Lichter, Vice President with IRG, said in a statement. “Our team has been in discussions with multiple tenants eager to join the site as we continue to expand our Western Nevada Transload business venture.”
How to Protect Workers While Protecting the Climate
Labor Network for Sustainability
To protect against catastrophic global warming, the United States is preparing to rapidly reduce the burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas. As we transition to a climate safe economy, many people ask, “What about the workers who will lose their jobs in fossil fuels and other polluting industries?” Here’s how those workers can be protected.
Read or Listen to the audio version at labor4sustainability.org
Brightline West on track to Cucamunga
“This Memorandum of Understanding marks a critical milestone in our goal to connect the Los Angeles metropolitan area with the iconic entertainment destination of Las Vegas,” said Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings. “This system will provide an optimal travel solution between Southern California and Las Vegas, and opens up the reality of emission-free, hospitality-focused high-speed rail service to millions of people traveling between these destinations every year.”
Read The Press Release on gobrightline.com