Destination: Freedom will be taking a break so its staff can spend the holidays with their families. Our last issue for 2001 will be on December 17, and our first issue for 2002 will be published on January 7. We wish all our readers the merriest of Christmases, a joyous Hanukkah, a terrific new year - and we look forward to seeing you next year!
NCI: Leo KingWhether they are at large metro stations or small ones like Kingston, R.I., Amtrak still moves people ‚ especially over the holidays.
|ARC, Amtrak fallout continues|
As was anticipated by Congress when it passed the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, the November 9 finding by the Amtrak Reform Council (ARC) that Amtrak will not achieve operational self-sufficiency by late next year, has sparked a raging debate over the future of rail passenger service in this country.
A group of 21 senators, led by Senate Commerce Chairman Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-S.C.), has fired off a letter to President Bush, assuring him that Congress will not allow Amtrak to be "liquidated."
The 21 senators thanked Secretary Mineta's representative on ARC for voting in the minority against the finding. They called the ARC resolution "this hasty course of action." Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the other hand, said his only question of ARC is "What took them so long?"
So the stage is set.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) reports that October ridership trends remained strong for both Amtrak and the airlines, with the strongest Amtrak demand for the Acela Express high speed trains, the Metroliners (being phased out to be replaced as more Acela trainsets come on line), Pacific Surfliners, and sleeping cars. In the case of the latter, there is a capacity problem, with insufficient equipment to meet the demand. Most coach travel, however, is generally down.
All of this, it should be said, pre-dated the Thanksgiving holiday period. That ridership, which should be known by about the time you read this, is expected to be extremely high on what is traditionally the most heavily traveled long weekend of the year.
Paul Weyrich, ARC's vice-chairman and a former six-year member of the Amtrak board, authored an article in The American Enterprise On-Line, in which he recalled that he was in on the ground floor of Amtrak's founding. As a Senate staffer over thirty years ago, Weyrich was among those actively working on the RailPax bill that created Amtrak.
"We had done the thing, we believed."
However, during his time on the Amtrak board, Weyrich says it became obvious to "many of us" that Amtrak had "deep cultural problems." By that, he explained to D:F, he referred to an attitude inherited from the railroads from whence they came. Surly on-board personnel, nasty ticket sellers, and management that "never wanted to try anything new."
At the end, many of the Class Is were actively discouraging passenger customers because they knew they would continue to lose money on them.
Weyrich said of Amtrak's cultural problems, "The current Amtrak President, George Warrington, has done more than anyone else to address the situation, but to little avail."
Weyrich then noted that service on Amtrak is "uneven."
That, however, is apparently not something that is uppermost in McCain's mind. To buttress his case that Amtrak can't do anything right no matter what it does, he noted a GAO report that any increase in ridership and revenues "has resulted in an even greater increase in expenses."
So, let's see if we understand what it is that McCain would like Amtrak to do:
If we can assume the idea of running passenger trains is to attract people to ride them, is it necessary to spend some money to improve the service? If you do increase the ridership and revenues, is it assumed you can never, at the same time, allow an even greater increase in expenses?
Some of the Class I railroads, which gave up running the passenger trains over thirty years ago, would probably say, "We told you so," or that we also knew from Day One that running profitable passenger trains, while also paying for the infrastructure was a non-starter, did we not?
There may be a foolproof formula for attracting riders without spending more money, but if McCain has the secret to that goal, he has not seen fit to share it with us.
The senator zeroes in on "legislation that would have given another $9 billion to Amtrak," adding he "will do everything in my power to prevent such efforts from succeeding... "
It can be credibly argued that the legislation was folded into a "stimulus" package that became part of a very partisan battle between the Senate and the House. Thus, the measure got caught in an unrelated line of fire. That's another issue.
But that is not McCain's problem. He zeroes in on the rail part of the bill itself. It is not clear whether he is aware that part of that legislation would provide $2 billion in tax-credit bonds for a new tunnel beneath the Hudson river to and from New York City's Penn Station. One assumes that if a terrible accident were to occur in the current deteriorating tunnels, the senator would not want to take responsibility for the dangerous conditions there that D:F has reported on for well over a year.
NARP discussed ARC's written complaints about Amtrak operations in a way that revisited a four-year old issue of simple math. It is also one that we have discussed in these pages.
ARC acknowledges that Amtrak got only $2.8 billion of the $5.2 billion authorized from 1997 to 2002. ARC then includes $2.2 billion in TRA (Taxpayers Relief Act) funds provided under the law. Adding $2.8 plus TRA's $2.2, ARC concludes that Amtrak came out only $150 million short of what was promised.
Not so, says NARP. TRA money was supposed to be in addition to the authorizations, not part of them.
We have reported in the past, both here and in the former RailNews print magazine that at the time the 1997 act was first implemented, Congressional leaders received a solemn promise from then-President Bill Clinton that he would back the full package in his own budget. He failed to do so, and never went to bat for the money.
Most Amtrak Reform Council members agree that infrastructure or capital funding would likely have to increase if Amtrak is to be put on a sound basis, which gets back to an issue we've hammered for a long time. There is a separation of infrastructure and operations for highways and air traffic. Railroads, on the other hand, must bear the burden of both. Does this result in an unacceptable imbalance in our nation's transportation system? Will this core-underlying problem become a prominent part of the coming debate on rail passenger service in the U.S.?
|Biden takes a passenger rail poll|
Sen. Joseph R. Biden (R-Del.) is taking a poll regarding passenger rail service. The question at his web site asks, "Do you think the U.S. should invest in a national passenger rail system?"
On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 97.22 percent of 1,008 respondents replied yes, 2.18 percent said no, and the rest, 1.39 percent, said they needed more information.
By Thanksgiving Day morning, 98 percent of 488 respondents had replied yes, 1.8 percent said no, and the rest stated they needed more information.
A disclaimer stated, "This poll reports only the opinions of the actual respondents and is not representative of any group or the public as a whole."
Biden's site is at http://biden.senate.gov
|Maine stations are a-building|
Stations and platforms are being built at a "full-speed ahead" pace in anticipation of the startup of scheduled passenger train service between Portland and Boston for the first time in more than 35 years.
The Sewall Street station on Thompson's Point is expected to be ready for passenger service but largely incomplete when Amtrak begins operating December 15 in revenue service.
Work is nearly complete on a layover facility at the Portland station, where out-of-service trains will be stored and serviced.
Meanwhile, Saco, Maine officials hoped to keep up with the timetable for rail service last week by awarding a platform construction contract. Platform construction is nearing completion in Exeter and Dover, N.H.
A concrete platform and canopy are expected to be finished when service begins, but station construction and an enclosed walkway will continue into the early next year.
"We will be ready," said Michael Murray, executive director of the New England Passenger Rail Authority, "but construction will be ongoing in the trainway and the waiting area."
Construction is also continuing at the Wells station.
Portland will be one of four Maine stops for Amtrak's Downeaster. The other is Old Orchard Beach, but the train won't stop in Saco until its station is completed in mid-January. Old Orchard will be a seasonal summer stop so is low priority, and the Wells station is expected to be ready for the train's VIP and press inaugural run Dec. 14, Murray said.
Train riders will share the existing Portland Concord Trailways bus station on Sewall Street, where the 3,200-square-foot waiting area is being expanded to double its size. The bathrooms and ticketing areas also are being expanded.
"The station will remain on Sewall Street for at least three years," said City Manager Joseph Gray, but plans are under way to develop a rail station closer to downtown, perhaps near the Franklin Arterial, although the Sewall Street station may be permanent.
Train service between Boston and Portland, originally scheduled to begin in 1993, is the longest-delayed passenger rail project in Amtrak's history. The 114-mile trip will take 2 _ hours and will include three stops in New Hampshire. (See last week's D:F).
Crews have completed paving at the station near Lincoln Street in Exeter, N.H., and work is complete on the train-level handicapped accessible platform, according to Steve Piper, project manager for the state DOT.
The low platform at the Chestnut Street station in Dover is complete, and crews are about 20 percent finished with a higher platform. Piper said last week the building is about 90 percent complete and should be open in time for the Dec. 14 inaugural run.
In Durham, where the train will stop at the Dairy Bar on the Univ. of New Hampshire campus, crews have finished a platform and canopy. Passengers will use the Dairy Bar as a station, much like they did in the 1960s when the last passenger train rolled through.
Durham's station will have regular Friday and weekend stops.
Saco took steps to speed up the building process by seeking quotes on the project from three contractors who have successfully completed work for the city or have otherwise met city requirements. Usually, the city chooses contractors for municipal projects by an open competitive bidding process.
Once under construction, the 200-foot platform should take less than a month to build and is estimated to cost $140,000, according to Development Director Peter Morelli, who said the platform will be handicapped accessible, and will also be heated to melt snow.
Meanwhile, all the trip planning and station planning won't mean a whole lot if local rescue, fire and police along the Downeaster are not prepared to handle emergencies. With that in mind, representatives from New Hampshire fire and police agencies took the information they learned earlier this year in a sort of "Locomotive 101" class to the field in Newfields, N.H. on November 16 and 17 to see how they would respond to emergencies.
After climbing aboard an Amtrak train parked at Rockingham Jct., the emergency crews began their tour in the conductor's rear car and walked through a "cabbage car," three other cars and the locomotive as Amtrak safety engineers pointed out devices ranging from the emergency brakes to the shut-off valve of the 1,600-gallon diesel fuel tank.
The walk-through followed classes sponsored by Amtrak, attended by 435 emergency responders to learn how they would respond to train emergencies. Also on hand were members of the Federal Railroad Administration, rail owner Guilford Rail System, Amtrak officials and representatives of the New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management.
The tour was in preparation for the Downeaster's inaugural run.
"The biggest difference is before we had freight trains with hazardous materials," said Amtrak safety engineer Peter B. Finch. He added, "Today we have a passenger train with people and all their various emotional states."
Emergency crews have been trained to respond to a variety of scenarios, including unruly passengers that need to be escorted off the train if they are causing a disruption; passengers who become sick and need emergency transport; and a possible worst-case notion, a derailment, in which crews would need to rescue dozens of people in potentially remote areas.
Plaistow Fire Chief John H. McArdle, who walked through the train, said the session was important because he got to see how the systems work and also learned how to communicate with trainmen should something go wrong on the tracks.
"Most importantly I saw the various systems on the train and how we can secure them if the train is disabled," he said.
The first thing emergency crews will do is shut off the diesel fuel tank and 480-volt electrical system to avoid a more severe disaster before they begin rescuing passengers.
McArdle said communication with railroad dispatchers also will be key because if there is a brush fire or some other emergency on the tracks, firefighters will need to alert Amtrak or Guilford so they can stop the trains while crews respond to the emergency. The train will be traveling as fast as 79 mph, making it dangerous for emergency crews to work near the tracks in an emergency.
Train crewmembers as well as dispatchers also know how to contact various police and fire departments along the route so they know which department will respond should they have to stop the train.
The train's sheer size isn't the only issue that makes responding to a train emergency different for emergency crews from freeing people from trapped automobiles following crashes.
Unlike car crashes, where extrication devices can be used to cut through a car, the steel on an Amtrak train is so thick that no device can slice through its body, so instead, firefighters were trained to free people by removing windows in the passenger cars and through doors to each car. The windows are so sturdy that they have to be removed with a screwdriver.
"You can't take a hammer to them," said Aleeca Foxx, an Amtrak safety engineer. Also, though it may be more ideal to respond to a train near a depot or grade crossing, emergencies may require trains to stop far away from any crossing, making it difficult for crews to get to the train.
Finch said conductors are trained to stop a train near a depot or highway crossing in the event of an emergency so that it is easier for passengers to get off the train, but that might not always be the case. The worst-case scenario, he said, is if the train is forced to stop in between crossings, making it tough to get passengers off safely because the terrain on either side of the tracks can be steep and dangerous. If that happens, the train crew will attempt to get the passengers into a railroad car that is safe until the emergency crews arrive.
Thanks to the Portland Press Herald, Saco Journal Tribune, Eagle-Tribune and Foster's Daily Democrat.
So long, Ogilvy
Amtrak may need new ad partner
Amtrak has parted ways with Ogilvy & Mather just months after awarding the estimated $35 million account to the New York shop, Ogilvy says.
"After a thorough review of its relationship, Amtrak and Ogilvy & Mather have agreed to discontinue their present association," said client representative Bill Schultz in a statement.
"Ogilvy & Mather had served as Amtrak's agency of record for advertising services only since March 2001. Amtrak will continue to work with a select number of agencies with which it has current relationships and does not plan to conduct a search for a successor agency at this time."
Ogilvy and Amtrak decided to part ways last month, and the transition will be completed by the end of the year, Schultz said.
Sources said Amtrak is working with E. James White in Herndon, Va., one of the shops on its roster before the account moved to Ogilvy. The Chisholm-Mingo Group, an African-American agency and Source Communications, a sports marketing firm, are working with Amtrak, sources said. Both shops are in New York.
The change comes as Washington-based Amtrak was asked this month by the federal Amtrak Reform Council to draw up a plan for its own liquidation. Amtrak is still running while the council writes a proposal to restructure the company.
Schultz said Amtrak expects to work with the Bush administration and Congress on a long-term funding proposal for the rail service in early 2002.
Amtrak's advertising account went into review in July 2000 after a 19-year relationship with DDB in New York. Ogilvy won the account last February and began working on it in March. DDB and the other incumbent on the business, E. James White of Herndon, Va., had participated in early rounds of that review as did BBDO and Foote, Cone & Belding, both New York, before the search was narrowed to FCB, Ogilvy and The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va.
Thanks to Ad Week
Turboliners are late;
troubles at Super Steel jeopardize plans
Layoffs, financial difficulties and engineering setbacks at a Schenectady, N.Y. plant are jeopardizing the New York state's plan to provide high-speed trains that would reduce the New York City to Albany trip to two hours. Citing financial problems, Super Steel Schenectady, Inc. last month laid off at least 15 workers, including welders, electricians, assemblers and painters, from its work force of about 150, sources said. The plant is already nearly a year late in providing the high-speed trains for New York's railways as part of a $74 million deal with the state.
The layoffs were the latest setback for the long-awaited trains that promise to cut travel time on the 142-mile trip from Rensselaer to Manhattan by 20 minutes.
"With the on-going delays, we would be very concerned that Super Steel is not putting every possible resource into getting the trains into service," said Bruce Becker, president of the Empire State Passengers Assn. Delays in the high-speed train affect residents across the state, threatening the success of Gov. George Pataki's $200 million program to improve rail service statewide. At the same time, the layoffs' impact is local, and underscores how Super Steel has struggled to live up to the optimistic forecasts surrounding its arrival in 1996 for hundreds of new jobs in the area. Super Steel was hired by the NYDOT to rebuild 1970s-era trains into 125-mph Turboliners, creating the world's fastest non-electric trains and providing a model for rail programs around the country.
Super Steel has received more than $30 million from its contract. The first of seven high-speed trains was initially expected to be in service in January 2001, but, after failing to meet a number of deadlines, it's now scheduled to go into service in early 2002, DOT officials said.
There have been many problems with the electrical system. Poor design led to leaky windows, which had to be pulled out, reinstalled, and resealed. Knobs rattled, panels buckled and the combination of many small problems have led to big delays, DOT documents show.
Super Steel Schenectady's general manager, Bill Carr, repeatedly declined Albany Times-Union requests for an interview concerning the layoffs and their impact on the high-speed rail project, but correspondence among company officials and with the DOT obtained by the newspaper indicate the job of rebuilding the old trains has proven to be an engineering feat more challenging than Super Steel initially expected and has pressed the company financially.
State DOT officials said layoffs at Super Steel do not reflect larger problems at the company.
"They have indicated to us that they are maintaining the schedule for the trains and that any limited reductions in personnel will not impact the schedule," said Michael Fleischer, a DOT spokesman.
The company's Milwaukee-based parent company set up the plant in Glenville in 1996, when the Schenectady area was reeling from massive layoffs at General Electric Co. Public officials, anxious to create manufacturing jobs, hailed its arrival as an economic success story that could help restore a blue-collar job base. The first round of 46 workers was chosen from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants.
Super Steel built its $13 million plant in an economic development zone that included the Glenville industrial park. In 1996, company officials said the plant could employ as many as 1,000 people by 2001, but those jobs never materialized. The Empire State Development loan required the company to maintain at least 300 jobs for three years, which a spokesman for the development corporation said it did.
The contract to build high-speed trains was awarded in 1998.
|Californians rule out maglev|
California's high-speed rail planners discarded dozens of potential route alignments and stations on November 14 and ruled out magnetic levitation trains in favor of slower, more conventional alternatives.
But the planners, members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board, delayed until January a decision on mountainous routes between San Jose and Merced and Bakersfield and Sylmar until they get more information about the feasibility of tunneling.
Board members are also scheduled to weed out potential routes and stations between Sacramento and Bakersfield and the Los Angeles airport and Union Station when they meet in January, according to an AP report.
The nine-member panel agreed to discontinue evaluations of 23 possible alignments and 24 potential station sites in the Bay Area and between Los Angeles and San Diego, but kept alive 16 potential alignments and 59 station locations in those two areas of the state. It cleared the way for more detailed studies needed before state officials can decide whether to build the 700-mile system, which would link California's major cities with trains running at top speeds of more than 200 mph.
Lawmakers gave the board $5 million last year to begin the nearly three years of environmental and engineering reviews, but faced with a state budget shortfall that could hit $14 billion, the state legislature approved only $1 million this year, enough to keep the board's small staff in place.
Since then the board has gotten $519,000 in unused transportation bond funds and hopes to get $4.5 million from the federal government to keep at least a slimmed down planning effort on track.
The board also agreed that sharing track with the slower Caltrain commuter trains was the only "realistic alternative" for high-speed rail between San Francisco and San Jose, although that strategy would reduce high-speed traffic on the San Francisco Peninsula. The commuter trains would move onto sidings to let the high-speed trains pass.
They also voted that only diesel-powered high-speed trains should be used between San Diego and Irvine, saying coastal communities don't like the "visual impacts" of the overhead wires required for faster electric trains. Electric trains can run at maximum speeds of more than 200 mph. The top speed for their diesel counterparts is 150 mph.
Thanks to the Contra Costa Times
|Signals upgraded in North Carolina|
The North Carolina Railroad Co., Norfolk Southern Railway and the NCDOT are partnering to upgrade the train control signals to cut travel time between Raleigh and Selma. Work began in late October and should be completed in February.
"Once work is completed, passenger train speeds will increase from 47 mph to 59 mph along this portion of the corridor, trimming 7 to 8 minutes from the travel time between Raleigh and Selma," according to a joint press release from the three entities. It should also eliminate slow orders.
The work is scheduled to avoid impacting train services, but passengers on Amtrak's Carolinian (trains 79 and 80) and Silver Star (trains 91 and 92) can expect delays of 75-90 minutes Mondays through Thursdays until late December.
"As this area continues to grow, it becomes even more critical that we improve our rail infrastructure," said State Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett.
He added, "These improvements will help make existing rail traffic more efficient, and help us prepare for future freight and passenger needs."
In addition to four Amtrak passenger trains, four freight trains travel daily along this portion of the corridor.
The North Carolina Railroad Company manages the 317-mile rail corridor that extends from Morehead City to Charlotte and is the backbone of the state's rail system. The corridor serves both passenger and freight transportation needs through lease agreements with NS while right-of-way control remains under NCRR. Funds for the $2.7 million project are provided jointly by the NCRR and the NCDOT.
NCI: Leo KingBombardier Transportation has nearly completed Amtrak's express train order.
Bombardier pays 4 cents per share;
company earns $5 billion revenues
The Bombardier Corp. of Montreal last week reported a dividend of $0.045 per share on its Class A shares (multiple voting) and of $0.045 per share on the Class B shares (subordinate voting), and is payable on Jan. 31, 2002 to the shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 18, 2002.
In a lengthy press release discussing its finances, Bombardier made no mention of any legal actions, including the recent suite it brought against Amtrak over Acela Express issues.
Holders of Class B shares (subordinate voting) of record at the close of business on Jan. 18, 2002, who have a right to a priority dividend at the rate of $0.0015625 per share per year, payable by quarterly installments of $0.00039075, will receive the third installment of $0.00039075 per share on Jan. 31, 2002.
A quarterly dividend of $0.34375 per share on the Series 2 Preferred Shares is payable on Jan. 31, 2002 to the shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 18, 2002.
Bombardier also reported its third quarter consolidated revenues rose 30 percent to $5.0 billion (Canadian), its income climbed 12 percent to $379.8 million, before special items, income taxes and goodwill amortization, and its order backlog reached $45.9 billion.
A company state reported "Income before special items, income taxes and goodwill amortization for the latest period increased 12 percent to $379.8 million, compared with income of $338.3 million on the same basis for the preceding year."
The firm also reported "Earnings per share before special items and goodwill amortization rose to $0.18, compared with $0.16 on the same basis for the previous year. After the net effect of the special items and goodwill amortization, net loss for the quarter amounted to $367.6 million, or $0.27 per share, against a net income of $225.9 million, or $0.16 per share on the same basis in the third quarter of last year."
For the nine months ended Oct. 31, 2001, consolidated revenues totaled $14.0 billion, a 32 percent increase over revenues of $10.5 billion for the same period last year. Income before special items, income taxes and goodwill amortization rose to $1.2 billion, an increase of 24 percent compared to an income of $945.2 million on the same basis for the previous year.
Earnings per share before special items and goodwill amortization, for the nine-month period, rose to $0.57 from $0.45 the previous year, a 27% increase. After the net effect of the special items and goodwill amortization, net income for the nine-month period amounted to $161.3 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to $627.4 million on the same basis, or $0.45 per share, for the nine months ended Oct. 31, 2000.
Bombardier's order backlog at Oct. 31, 2001 totaled $45.9 billion, compared with a backlog of $30.5 billion at Oct. 31, last year.
"These results for the first nine months of the year are in line with our revised earnings per share target of 15 percent growth for fiscal 2001-2002 before special items and goodwill amortization, as adjusted on Sept. 26, 2001," said Robert E. Brown, Bombardier's president and chief executive officer.
Brown said, "In aerospace, while the deliveries of regional aircraft were satisfactory, business aircraft sales and deliveries were affected by the general economic conditions and the aftermath of the September 11 events. We are aiming at recovering the situation in the fourth quarter while recognizing that we have to deliver a considerable number of business aircraft in a difficult environment. The sustained slowdown in the economy, and a difficult period for the commercial airline industry in North America, has lead us to adopt a cautious attitude."
Brown said, "The growth in third quarter revenues results from the consolidation of the accounts of Adtranz. It also reflects the new outboard engine activities in the recreational products sector," and added, "The course of action we have set for the newly acquired entities (Adtranz and OMC) continue to reap benefits and our order backlog remains strong at $45.9 billion. New order intake for the first nine months of the fiscal year was also strong, both in aerospace and transportation."
Bombardier Aerospace third quarter revenues reached $2.6 billion, and they delivered 69 airplanes compared to 85 one year earlier.
Bombardier Transportation profit rose considerably.
"Results of Adtranz fully included for the third quarter revenues were up 168 percent to $1.7 billion," income before income taxes and goodwill amortization was up 347 percent to $82.2 million, new contract wins totaled $1.1 billion during the third quarter, and it had an "order backlog of $21.0 billion."
For the three months ended Oct. 31, 2001, Bombardier Transportation had revenues of $1.7 billion, compared with $648.1 million in the previous year. For the period, income before income taxes and goodwill amortization was $82.2 million, compared with $18.4 million for the same quarter the previous year.
For the quarter, the increase in revenues arises mainly from the consolidation of the results of Adtranz with those of Bombardier Transportation as well as a higher level of activity for the New York subway and Virgin Rail contracts.
During the third quarter, Bombardier Transportation concluded contracts for a total value of $1.1 billion in seven countries.
Included were orders to supply 240 Electrostar cars, valued at $465 million, to Govia of the United Kingdom; 32 high-speed power heads, valued at $197 million, to the Spanish National Railways RENFE; 19 people movers and all related electrical and mechanical systems, valued at $150 million, for Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain; Automatic Train Protection Systems, valued at $125 million, for Taiwan; 10 automated people movers and all related electrical and mechanical systems, valued at $71 million, for Houston, Texas; refurbishment of 136 suburban passenger coaches, valued at $58 million, for Hungary; 10 freight locomotives, valued at $42 million, for Switzerland; and 12 cars and 36 power bogies, valued at $21 million, for Luxembourg.
In September, Bombardier Transportation was selected to supply of 500 high-capacity regional trains for the French National Railways (SNCF). The end of 2001 should finalize the contract.
Also in September, the Metronet consortium, which comprises Bombardier Transportation, was named preferred bidder for a second London Underground Infraco contract.
"Bombardier Transportation's $21.0 billion order backlog represents an increase of more than 169 percent as at Oct. 31, 2001 mainly as a result of the inclusion of Adtranz' orders," the firm reported.
The terms of the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) "for the acquisition of Adtranz from DaimlerChrysler provide for a purchase price adjustment based on the carrying value of the net assets acquired as at April 30, 2001. At this stage, the corporation and DaimlerChrysler disagree on the net asset amount. In such a case, the SPA provides a negotiation procedure and, if warranted, for an arbitration process to establish the final purchase price."
Negotiations began at the end of October.
On Nov. 13, Bombardier Transportation announced plans to implement its new European passenger-vehicle manufacturing network strategy, which calls for concentrating capital-intensive activities into specialized plants. This will result in the closure of three plants and the conversion of two manufacturing plants to service facilities. The costs involved with the implementation of this strategy are part of the previously announced special restructuring charge of approximately $180 million to be recorded after the third quarter or are part of the purchase equation of Adtranz. No special costs related to that announcement were recorded in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2001.
The company also makes consumer products, including Evinrude and Johnson outboard boat engines as well as "Sea-Doo" watercraft and Ski-Doo" snowmobile recreational vehicles.
The firm also underwrites capitalization plans. Its third quarter revenues were $239.9 million, but the company stated it had "withdrawn from manufactured housing and consumer retail financing sectors."
Bombardier Capital had revenues of $239.9 million, compared with $263.3 million in the previous year. Bombardier Capital's income before special items and income taxes was $12.9 million, compared with income before income taxes of $12.2 million for the same quarter last year.
Flying Yankee Restoration GroupThe Flying Yankee was a spiffy B&M passenger train in its day.
|Flying Yankee coach is restored|
A big milestone in restoring the Flying Yankee passenger train passed recently. One of the passenger cars of the 1930s technological marvel has been fully restored, and was displayed to a crowd of more than 500 in mid-November.
"We were fortunate to have been chosen," said Lori Barnes, president of the Claremont Concord Railroad Corp., which is restoring the train.
"This is a very big project."
R. Stoning Morrell, chairman of the Flying Yankee Restoration Group and son of project founder Robert S. Morrell, hailed the public's interest.
"Sixty-six and a half years ago, thousands of people gathered throughout New England to get a glimpse of the Flying Yankee," Morrell said. "It was the height of the Great Depression. Twenty percent of the population was out of work, and passenger railroad travel had declined 50 percent since 1929."
Originally the creation of the Boston & Maine Railroad, the Flying Yankee's route originally took it from Boston to Portland, Maine, and to Bangor.
The rail industry responded to the Flying Yankee. It was the first diesel-electric train, the transition between steam engines and modern rail transportation. A classic example of art deco design, it was one of the first trains to be fully streamlined, and its outline looks like a modern airplane fuselage. The resemblance between the Flying Yankee's outline and that of the Boeing 747 is remarkable.
"We are now past the halfway mark," said Carl Lindblade, executive director of the Flying Yankee Restoration Project.
"It's central to our mission, which is to celebrate the then-futuristic technology of the mid-1930s. All we need now is the rest of the money." $2.7 million is needed for the project; $1.4 million has been raised thus far.
John Flanders, 74, took a ride on the Flying Yankee not long after its debut.
"It was a beautiful train," he said. "I don't remember where we went; the only reason we went on it was because it was something new. But if you looked at the old locomotives, the Flying Yankee really shined."
Thanks to the Manchester Union Leader. For more information on the Flying Yankee and the restoration project, visit its web site at www.flyingyankee.com. The artwork is a print from their site.
Citizens' Forum for Transportation
Sierra Club of Connecticut, Transportation Choices Coalition of Connecticut and NCI 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., New London, Conn. Radisson Hotel. Creating an integrated transit-based transportation system for New London, southeastern Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island region.
Speakers to include former Rhode Island Governor's Counsel William G. Brody; Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority's GM Dr. Beverly Scott; Frank Guzzo, Siemens Transportation Systems of North America; transportation expert Marla Hollander; NCI President Jim RePass, and others.
For reservations, contact Sierra Club of Connecticut Transportation Chair Molly McKay via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and credit card information. Registration is $25 for Sierra Club, TCCC, and NCI members, $30 for non-members. Luncheon.
January 11-15 2002
National Railroad Contractors Assn.
Annual exhibit and technical meetings
Contact Ray Chambers, 800 883 1557
NCI: Leo King collectionLong Island Rail Road 4-6-0 locomotive No. 120 at Long Island City around 1900. It was built by Baldwin in 1892 to haul freight.
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In an effort to expand the on-line experience at the National Corridors Initiative web site, we have added a page featuring links to other rail travel sites. We hope to provide links to those cities or states that are working on rail transportation initiatives - state DOTs, legislators, governor's offices, and transportation professionals - as well as some links for travelers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists.
If you have a favorite rail link, please send the uniform resource locator address (URL) to the webmaster in care of this web site. An e-mail link appears at the bottom of the NCI web site pages to get in touch with D. M. Kirkpatrick, NCI's webmaster in Boston.
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