The National Corridors Initiative, Inc.

A Weekly North American Transportation Update

For transportation advocates and professionals, journalists,
and elected or appointed officials at all levels of government

Publisher: James P. RePass      E-Zine Editor: Molly McKay
Foreign Editor: David Beale      Webmaster: Dennis Kirkpatrick

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September 14, 2009
Vol. 10 No. 39

Copyright © 2009
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Our 10th Year

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IN THIS EDITION...   In This Edition...

  News Items…
Sarkozy Announces Ambitious Plan To Tax Carbon Emissions
  Expansion Lines…
MBTA OKs Rail Service From Boston To T.F. Green Airport In R.I.
  Selected Rail Stocks…
  Freight Lines…
Union Pacific To Improve Infrastructure In Central Texas
  Environmental Lines…
Union Pacific Reduces Emissions In Locomotives
  Political Lines…
Administration Calls On Senate To Pass THUD Appropriations Bill
  APTA News…
APTA Unveils Advertising Campaign At Capitol Hill Metro Stations
Daimler Buses Achieves Production Record: 3,000 Hybrid Buses
RailTrends 2009 - What Would Wal-Mart Do?
Railvolution, Boston, MA - Oct-Nov 09
  Across The Pond…
Berlin S-Bahn Faces New Crisis Defective Brake Cylinders
Dubai - Largest Driverless Urban Rail Transit System In The World
  Publication Notes …

NEWS OF THE WEEK... News Items...

Sarkozy Announces Ambitious Plan
To Tax Carbon Emissions

From Le Monde, Metrofrance, Associated Press And Other Internet Sources

PARIS, SEPTEMBER 10 -- French President Nicolas Sarcozy has announced that he and the French Government will introduce a carbon tax on fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel fuel, coal and natural gas in order to discourage their use.

In a highly anticipated speech, Sarkozy argued that a carbon tax was essential in the face of threats to the climate and the need to reduce France’s dependence on oil. It’s part of Sarkozy’s push for a more prominent role in the global fight against climate change,” reported Associated Press writer Greg Keller.

The tax is scheduled to begin January 1, 2010 and will initially cost 17 Euros (about $25) per ton of CO2. It will add 4 centimes (96 cents) to the price of a liter of gas (roughly 23 cents) to a gallon of gas. This fee is based on the market price for a carbon dioxide emissions permit – now C17 ($24.74) per ton of carbon dioxide. In compensation, the tax will be fiscally neutral.

According to Sarkozy, every centime of carbon tax receipts will be refunded to households, in the form of reduced income taxes if they pay taxes, or a “green check” if their household is not taxable.

The Le Monde French newspaper has reported that the new tax will cover as much as 70% of France’s carbon emissions and bring in about 4.3bn Euros (£3.8bn) of revenue every year.

“It is time for France to profoundly adapt its taxation system and create real ecological taxation,” Sarkozy said. Electricity would not be taxed, a fact that has some ecologists irritated (most electricity in France is nuclear).  

France’s goal is to reduce CO2 by 4 by 2050, but experts are saying that the tax is two times less than what is needed to reach that goal. One outspoken critic, Green Party senator Dominique Voynet, said the proposed French tax was not high enough to dissuade large polluters, and described it as “a complex gasworks whose efficacy for the environment will be close to zero.”

If it passes, France will be the largest economy to adopt such a tax, though other European countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Slovenia, already tax household carbon dioxide emissions.

Surveys show that two-thirds of the French people oppose the measure. Businesses also are concerned that the tax could hurt their competitiveness. Many viewed the tax as unfair “because it penalizes people who are obliged to use their cars every day,” one poll said.

There is also disagreement among high level government officials over how hefty the tax should be.

An editorial in Sightline Daily by Eric de Place expressed support for the President’s proposal:

“C’est bon. Not only is this an exceptionally good tax shift, but it’s also a good demonstration that carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems can go hand in hand.

“France is a charter member of the world’s largest carbon cap and trade program, the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System (EU ETS). And while the ETS has done a fine job (despite what you may have heard), its biggest flaw is that it is limited in scope to major emitters of carbon such as power plants and industrial facilities. By applying a carbon tax to home heating fuels and transportation fuels, France can do what virtually no one else has done: price carbon comprehensively across the economy.”

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President Nicolas Sarcozy, France  

EXPANSION LINES... Expansion Lines...  

MBTA OKs Rail Service From Boston
To T.F. Green Airport In R.I.

From The Providence Journal And Other Internet Sources

BOSTON, SEPTEMBER 10 -- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s board of directors unanimously approved last Thursday a contract that would extend commuter rail service in Rhode Island to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick and ultimately to Wickford Junction in North Kingstown, reported the Providence Journal in a story by Andy Smith.

Image: Wikipedia

Pictured: A “People Mover” on the Bukit Panjang LRT Line in Singapore. Similar transport systems are used in many cities to move people between intermodal terminals.
MBTA officials said the train service from Boston to Rhode Island, tentatively scheduled for eight trips a day, is not scheduled to begin until 2011. The new station at T.F. Green is scheduled to open in September 2010. But officials in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island said that if the Warwick station and the rail infrastructure are ready, there could be trains running from Boston to Warwick by the fall of 2010.

The Warwick station is part of a $267-million project that includes a parking garage and rental car facilities. It’s connected to the airport terminal by a 1,200-foot skyway that spans Post Road.

Kevin Dillon, president and chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said the facility is on schedule for a September completion. Although full service won’t start until the spring of 2011Full MBTA service is expected to be in place by the spring of 2011, but he anticipates there will be preliminary train service from Boston when the T.F. Green station opens.

Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, said train service continuing on to the Wickford station is not expected to start until sometime in 2011, but the goal of the Rhode Island DOT is to have limited MBTA service as far as T.F. Green before then.

Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA, said that if the state DOT gives the MBTA the go-ahead for service to Warwick, the MBTA will “make every effort to accommodate them.”

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said Thursday’s MBTA board decision makes it easier to deal with critics who insisted the T.F. Green intermodal project would never get train service.

Dillon said that he considers eight trains a day as just a starting point. “That’s the baseline. I fully expect the number of runs will increase, and ultimately we will try to tie the trains into our flight schedules.”

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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...


Burlington Northern & Santa Fe(BNI)84.6984.23
Canadian National (CNI)50.1049.62
Canadian Pacific (CP)49.0248.57
CSX (CSX)46.9345.29
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)31.8631.16
Kansas City Southern (KSU)27.5626.00
Norfolk Southern (NSC)48.6847.96
Providence & Worcester (PWX)10.7511.35
Union Pacific (UNP)62.5562.04

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FREIGHT LINES... Freight Lines...  

Union Pacific To Improve Infrastructure
In Central Texas

From San Antonio Business Journal

SEPTEMBER 8 -- Union Pacific Railroad plans to invest more than $7 million on track improvements over the 40-mile rail bed between San Antonio and San Marcos.

Starting next week, Union Pacific crews will begin to remove and replace more than 52,000 railroad ties. 35,000 tons of rock ballast will be added to the tracks to ensure that they are sitting on a stable roadbed. Crews will also renew the road surfaces at 32 crossings. Union Pacific’s freight line generally runs parallel to Interstate 35. The work should be completed within the next 60 days.

As a result, Union Pacific’s trains will run more efficiently and drivers should spend less time at crossings, according to company officials.

In all, Union Pacific will invest $1.7 billion in 2009 to enhance the company’s track infrastructure across its 32,000-mile system.

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating subsidiary of Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP). The company provides rail services in 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States.

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ENVIRONMENTAL LINES... Environmental Lines...  

Union Pacific Reduces Emissions
In Locomotives

San Antonio Business Journal

Union Pacific Corp. said Wednesday that it has achieved more than 57 percent of its contracted goal with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to reduce emissions in Texas through the use of ultra-low emission switch locomotives.

Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) invested in 98 new 2,000-horsepower Generator Set locomotives for use in the company’s rail facilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio metro areas.

Of those 98 locomotives, 46 are operating in the Metroplex, 43 are serving the Houston area and nine are in the San Antonio area.

Compared to older trains, these ultra-low emission switch locomotives reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 54 percent to 63 percent, while using about 30 percent less fuel.

Union Pacific purchased the locomotives from Railpower Technologies Corp. using incentives from the Texas Emission Reduction Program. Montreal-based Railpower (TSX: P) develops, constructs, markets and sells environmentally friendly technology for the freight transportation and related industries.

Union Pacific began studying and testing Generator Set locomotives in 2002. Today, the company has a total of 159 of these trains in its fleet in Texas and California.

The railroad company is also testing other aftermarket technologies to determine if they can reduce emissions in older locomotives.

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POLITICAL LINES... Political Lines...  

Administration Calls On Senate To Pass
THUD Appropriations Bill

From Internet Sources

WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 10 – Last Thursday the Obama Administration called on the Senate to pass H.R. 3288, the Fiscal Year 2009 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the legislation unanimously on July 30, a week after the full House voted to support it.

The bill includes $11.1 billion for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs—a funding level more than $750 million higher than the $10.33 billion in the president’s budget request.

“The President requested, and the [Senate Appropriations] Committee approved, significant new resources for the nation’s road, rail, and air transportation systems,” the statement said. “The legislation takes an important step toward modernizing what has become an outdated and over-stressed transportation network. Importantly, the legislation not only invests in new systems, but also works to improve the safety of those systems already in place.”

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APTA NEWS... APTA News...  

APTA Unveils Advertising Campaign
At Capitol Hill Metro Stations

Reprinted with permission

WASHINGTON -- APTA recently unveiled a new, month-long advertising campaign targeting lawmakers at two of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail stations on Capitol Hill with a clear message: Increase our nation’s investment in public transportation.

The advertisements—running in Union Station and Capitol South stations frequented by Congressional staffers and influential opinion leaders—position public transportation as the solution to many of the economic, environmental, energy, and quality of life issues facing America today. The main message of the advertising is: “Whether it’s more jobs, a cleaner environment, energy independence, or a better quality of life, public transportation takes us there. Congress: Keep America moving forward by increasing investment in public transportation.”

APTA decided to pursue the informational campaign while Congress considers its next steps on the transportation authorization and climate change legislation. The APTA position is that—with public transit infrastructure in desperate need of improvements and service cuts around the nation—Congress must increase the federal investment in public transportation to meet the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy needs while increasing mobility options.

The advertising effort is part of APTA’s Public Transportation Takes Us There campaign, which also targets lawmakers through advertisements in popular Capitol Hill newspapers and web sites to advocate for increased funding for public transportation through the climate change and authorization legislation currently being considered in Congress.

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Daimler Buses Achieves Production Record:
3,000 Hybrid Buses


From Press Releases


Daimler Buses North America announced that it has reached a milestone with its production of more than 3,000 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses. More than 2,200 of the vehicles are already in service, with an additional 850 firm orders in backlog from regions including New York City, Seattle, Houston, Ottawa, and Puerto Rico.

MTA New York City Transit operates the largest number of the company’s hybrid vehicles, with more than 1,250 Orion VII buses now in service and 425 more to be delivered over the next nine months.

Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County already operates 56 of the diesel-electric hybrid vehicles, with another 40 due for delivery this year, and the authority recently placed an additional order for 80 buses for 2010 delivery.

Also, Puerto Rico is transitioning into hybrid buses for its existing fleet of conventional diesel Orion transit buses with an order of 40 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses. These will be produced and delivered in 2010.

Orion began development and production of hybrid buses in the mid-1990s, with pilot vehicles first deployed by NYC Transit. Series production began in the early 2000s. Looking to the future, the company last year introduced lithium-ion energy storage technology for buses in volume production, which will reduce the weight of the overall bus.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), is located at 1666 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone (202) 496-4800 • Fax (202) 496-4321


At Left: From Daimler - Sample image of one of their hybrid units.

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EVENTS... Events...  


RailTrends 2009

What Would Wal-Mart Do?

Find out at RailTrends ( October 6-7, 2009, in New York City. Celebrating its fifth year, RailTrends is a two-day conference specifically created for rail professionals to address the many facets and challenges of the industry.

In their presentation “What Would Wal-Mart Do?”, Kelly Abney, Vice President of Corporate Transportation, Walmart Stores, Inc., and Greg Forbis, Senior Director, General Merchandise Traffic, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will address logisitics and changes in the retail industry, and the consequent impact this has on transportation. The presentation will place particular emphasis on optimization, packaging and supply chain reliability on ship point and shipment.

About the Presenters:

Kelly Abney

Kelly is the Vice President of Corporate Transportation for Walmart Stores, Inc. He is responsible for the company’s $2.5B inbound domestic transportation spend, as well as the grocery consolidation and third party crossdock facilities. Kelly manages Walmart’s portfolio relationship with 365 third-party carriers in all transportation modes and serves as the Logistics liaison for Walmart’s distribution center network in Central America. Previously at Walmart, Kelly served as a Regional Vice President in Logistics, managing distribution centers in the mid-western and northeastern states. Kelly has nearly 30 years of retail logistics experience.

Greg Forbis

Over the last 20 years with Wal-Mart, Greg has held positions in Internal Audit, Private Fleet, Corporate Traffic and SAM’s Distribution and Logistics. He currently serves as the Senior Director, General Merchandise Traffic in Wal-Mart’s Corporate Traffic department. In this role, he is responsible for the inbound transportation to Wal-Mart and SAM’s Club distribution centers, stores and clubs. He also has responsibility for the internal less-then-truckload consolidation network, SAM’s outbound delivery to club, and outbound ocean carrier deliveries for Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

RailTrends is a two-day summit that addresses the issues and topics that affect you and the future of the railroad industry. Click here ( for a complete listing of RailTrends presenters and session topics.

The event is only four weeks away. Sign up at today to secure your spot at RailTrends.

Additional information at:

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Brochure (PDF) -

Registration Information -

Exhibitor-Sponsor Information -

List of Speakers -


Boston, Massachusetts
October 29 - November 1st, 2009


What Is Rail ~ Volution?

Rail~Volution is, first and foremost, a conference for passionate practitioners - people from all perspectives who believe strongly in the role of land use and transit as equal partners in the quest for greater livability and greater communities.

Rail~Volution 2009 provides a unique opportunity for innovative minds to develop solutions for issues that affect livability in cities, towns and regions of all sizes and shapes. Attendees at Rail~Volution cross a broad spectrum of disciplines - including elected officials, developers, advocates, urban planners, transportation experts, financiers, citizen groups, architects and many others.

Program includes tours of segments of Boston’s Transit and Rail system, Historical Tours around Boston & Vicinity, tours of Transit-Oriented Development projects and more...

You should attend the conference if you:

  • Want to help your community become a “change agent” in the livability movement.
  • Are an elected official and are keenly interested in creating change in your community.
  • Work in the private sector and want to meet first hand with potential new clients.
  • Work in the public sector and want to take the next step forward in shaping changes.
  • Want to talk and brainstorm with developers who are champions of on-the-ground projects that improve their community.
  • Want to earn AICP CM credits in a unique, effective learning environment.

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ACROSSTHEPOND... Across The Pond...  

Installments by David Beale
NCI Foreign Correspondent


Berlin S-Bahn Faces New Crisis – Defective Brake Cylinders

Destination: Freedom Reader’s Traveler Advisory Update

Berlin – The Berlin S-Bahn, the urban – inner suburban commuter rail network in the German capitol and neighboring areas, suffered a new and crippling blow early in the week of 7th September when a cracked brake cylinder was found on a train during a routine inspection. Nearly half the fleet was already operating under reduced availability due to an earlier safety directive, which orders the replacement of thousands of wheel axles in the ET 481 series of DC third rail powered EMUs. The EBA, the German equivalent of the U.S. FRA, ordered an immediate fleet-wide inspection of similar brake cylinders in the entire Berlin S-Bahn fleet, after initial engineering investigation results suggested lack of routine maintenance could have been the route cause of the defect.

This latest development of a defective brake cylinder will temporarily idle nearly 75 percent of the fleet, thus resulting in the temporary closure of a number of S-Bahn routes in the Berlin region with significant curtailment of services on routes, which will keep services. Destination: Freedom readers who may be planning visits to Berlin in the next few weeks or month should expect that the S-Bahn commuter train system will be operating with dramatically reduced services including complete loss of services on the following routes (including S-Bahn trains to / from Berlin Schoenfeld Airport):

Alexanderplatz / Ostbahnhof – Westkreuz
Westkreuz – Nikolassee
Westkreuz – Spandau
Wartenberg – Springpfuhl
Schöneweide – Spindlersfeld
Strausberg – Strausberg Nord

These routes have the S-Bahn route numbers: S3, S5, S7, S75 and S47.

Autumn 2008 with an ET 481 pausing in the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof upper level

Photo: S-Bahn Berlin GmbH

Those were the days – happier times in autumn 2008 with an ET 481 pausing in the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof upper level while making a run along the east-west “Berliner Stadtbahn” rail corridor. The mostly four-track corridor has two tracks for DC third-rail powered Berlin S-Bahn trains and two tracks for conventional AC-overhead catenary powered trains – from locomotive hauled commuter and regional trains to ICE-1, ICE-2 and ICE-3 high-speed trains. Regional Express train frequencies to and from Berlin’s Schoenfeld Airport have been increased to compensate for loss of S-Bahn trains to this airport southeast of the city center.

The city transit authority in Berlin, BVG, has increased services on a number of parallel bus, subway and regional train routes, including temporary re-assignment of AC-overhead powered ET 423 train sets from Munich and Stuttgart for operations between Südkreuz / Potsdamer Platz in the center of the city and Gesundbrunnen in the northern part of the city. Regional trains operating along Deutsche Bahn “classic” rail tracks with AC overhead electrification have also increased frequency of operations. D:F readers are advised to check the BVG website for the latest information at or the corresponding website for the regional transit authority VBB at:

This new and potentially devastating development has caused a firestorm of criticism from various politicians and political party leaders, consumer protection groups, labor unions and other organizations. At a minimum, the crisis will likely result in Deutsche Bahn loosing its contract and concession to operate the rail network in Berlin via its subsidiary company. With many politicians and organizations, especially those on the left of the political spectrum in Germany pointing to the massive difficulties currently crippling the Berlin S-Bahn system as a direct result of privatization of the rail system in Germany, a potential long term consequence may be a reversal of the current government policy in place since the mid 1990s to take operations of mass transit agencies out of the hands of local and state governments and under the control of companies under contract to those governments.

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Dubai Metro Starts Operations


Largest Driverless Urban Rail Transit System In The World

Via press release from the Dubai Metro / Mena Report

DUBAI. U.A.E. – The $7.6 billion Dubai Metro, when running at full capacity, will be the world’s longest driverless train system with over 70 km (43 miles) of track on two lines. In Dubai style, the metro also boasts a VIP gold-class section. The inauguration of the system took place on the 9th of September 2009 (09.09.09), which number series which intones good luck in a number of cultures.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, called the metro a vital component to the nation’s infrastructure. “It’s the start of something,” he told reporters before the operation’s launch. “It is like when the first plane flew for Emirates (airline) and the first container ship arrived into port.”

There are over one million automobiles registered in Dubai, amounting to a car for every two residents. This has lead to unbearable bumper-to-bumper traffic in the growing city, despite the city’s wide multilane local roads and impressive expressway network.

“Dubai Metro aims to ease traffic congestion and reduce traveling time, which in effect will reduce air pollution caused by cars and improve air quality,” the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said in a statement.

While the opening date was meant to imply symbolism—09/09/09—Wednesday’s opening seemed rushed. As of now, only 10 of 29 stations are functioning. Some stations won’t open until as late as June. The project, moreover, is nearly 80 percent over budget.

Nevertheless, the new metro is among the most technologically advanced in the world. It is entirely driverless and controlled by remote controls. A screen barrier between passengers and the track keeps the stations air conditioned, while Internet is anticipated in the future.

In line with cultural considerations, each five-car train has separate compartments for women and children.

A ride on the new metro will cost 1.8 dirhams, or about 50 U.S. cents, while the gold-class trip will cost 13 dirhams, or $3.55, each way. RTA anticipates 200 million passenger trips annually.

The 52.1km (32.5 mile) Red Line will have 29 stations, four of which will be underground. It will run from Rashidiva to Jebel Ali passing the American University of Dubai. It is planned that the first phase will open in 2009. The whole 52.1km is expected to take 60 minutes to travel, with an estimated 32,000 passengers per hour.

Photo: Gulf News

A Dubai Metro train is being checked out by technicians in one of the system’s stations.

The 17.6km Green Line which will have 14 stations – six underground and eight at ground level – from Al Ittihad Square to Rashidiya bus station through Deira City Centre and Dubai Airport Terminals 1 and 3. It will be progressively extended to serve the Deira and Bur Dubai central areas and Souks up to Burjuman and Wafi shopping centres. Interchange stations will be built at Al Ittihad Square and Burjuman with direct connections to the Red Line.

Underground sections in the city centre are on the Red Line from the intersection of Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed roads to just before the intersection of Salahuddin and Abu Bakr Al Siddique roads and from Garhoud to Oud Metha Road on the Green Line.

Elsewhere, trains will run on elevated viaducts, the design and aesthetics developed specifically to enhance the urban architecture along its corridor. In no location will tracks cross highways, ensuring full mode segregation. A key objective is to minimise the impact on road traffic and on city life during the works. Underground works will be carried out without affecting buildings, and authorities have stated that residents will not be disturbed by excavation work. Visually intrusive overhead contact lines are obviated a third rail collection system. All stations, elevated or underground, will feature platform screen doors for passenger safety and facilitating full air conditioning.

Dubai joins other Middle East and South Asia cities such as Cairo, Delhi and Tehran in a currently very exclusive club of urban centers in the region with heavy-rail urban transit systems. Neighboring Abu Dhabi and Qatar are also planning to build rail transit systems, as well as several cities in Saudi Arabia.

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END NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2009 National Corridors Initiative, Inc. as a compilation work and original content. Permission is granted to reproduce content provided acknowledgements to NCI are given. Return links to the NCI web site are encouraged and appreciated. Color Name Courtesy of Doug Alexander. Content reproduced by NCI remain the copyrights of the original publishers.

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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 transportation initiative sites. We hope to provide links to those cities or states that are working on rail transportation initiatives – state DOTs, legislators, government offices, and transportation organizations or professionals – as well as some links for travelers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. If you have a favorite link, please send the web address (URL) to our webmaster.

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