TTCI to develop training and testing facility in Pueblo
The Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) is developing a training and on-track testing facility in Pueblo, Colorado. TTCI hopes the facility will be operational in 2022.
TTCI is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The facility will be located at the PuebloPlex facility in Pueblo County, and it will have the ability to expand in accordance with industry and research needs. TTCI said the site will feature a high tonnage loop for accelerated service testing, curve negotiation loops, as well as additional track infrastructure necessary to support AAR certification testing. The site will also feature a fully immersive hazmat response training facility to serve the emergency response community, and courses will be offered there starting in early 2022.
“As TTCI continues to evolve into an increasingly nimble and responsive organization, our facilities must be able to keep pace,” said TTCI President and CEO Kari Gonzales. “With this new, independent site, TTCI will make targeted, strategic investments in key, cutting-edge equipment and facilities to support the industry in a way we never could before.”
TTCI said developing the facility at PuebloPlex will allow TTCI more freedom to make key capital investments, streamline operations, increase flexibility and improve cost-effectiveness as it continues its research and testing.
“Pueblo has long been home to rail research and innovation, which is why we are thrilled to have TTCI serve as an anchor tenant for PuebloPlex and the region’s economy,” said PuebloPlex President and CEO Russell DeSalvo. “This is a long-haul relationship that will meet TTCI and the rail community’s needs today as well as create opportunities for future development and innovation.”
Former Patriot Rail exec joins Denver-based Pioneer Lines
Matthew Service has joined Denver-headquartered, short line operator Pioneer Lines as a senior vice president of corporate development. In his role, Service will focus on mergers and acquisitions as Pioneer Lines seeks expansion opportunities in the U.S.
“Matt is an excellent addition to our Pioneer team,” said President and CEO Alex Yeros. “We are pleased to have someone of his caliber join us at this critical stage of our company’s development. Matt has the experience, creativity and energy to implement our disciplined investment strategy and to drive the opportunities that lie ahead. We are very excited about our next phase of growth and building this great company.”
Service recently served as chief operating officer and executive vice president for Patriot Rail and Ports, overseeing U.S. rail operations and the company’s M&A initiatives. He has worked for short line and Class I railroad operators for 15 years, starting his railroading career at OmniTRAX before moving onto CSX (NASDAQ: CSX), where he held senior roles.
“This is an ideal time to be joining Pioneer,” stated Service. “I am joining an incredible team of railroaders who have done a great job of positioning Pioneer for growth. I look forward to digging in and working together to build and grow Pioneer’s assets across the U.S.”
Pioneer Lines owns and operates 15 short line railroads across 12 states.
Senate Commerce Committee approves Amit Bose nomination
The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted by voice vote to confirm Amit Bose as the next administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration.
The full Senate must now vote on whether to confirm Bose, who was appointed as FRA’s deputy administrator in January 2021.
“With the pending bipartisan transportation package that provides for historic investments in rail, we can think of no better time for Amit’s confirmation. We urge the Senate to act quickly on his final confirmation vote and look forward to working with the administrator in an official capacity,” said Michael Friedberg, executive director for the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor, an advocacy group seeking infrastructure support for the Northeast’s passenger rail system.
In his nomination hearing last month, Bose said FRA would be issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking on train crew sizes out of concern that there could be patchwork regulation among the states over the issue.
CSX wins environmental award
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry recently awarded CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) a 2021 Climate Leadership Award for its efforts to set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Arlington, Virginia-based C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
CSX was one of 25 organizations and individuals receiving the award earlier this month. The award recognizes “exemplary corporate, organizational and individual leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change in operations and strategies,” according to C2ES.
C2ES said CSX received the award because of the railroad’s goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 37.3% from 2014 to 2029, which equates to an absolute emissions reduction of 2.5% annually. This goal is in alignment with the Paris Agreement and was validated by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) in 2020. Units of emissions intensity are metric tons of CO2 equivalents per million gross ton-miles (the movement of 1 ton of freight over 1 mile), C2ES said.
“CSX is proud to receive this recognition, which is a testament to the commitment of our leadership, the knowledge and skill of our environmental team, and the daily implementation of our emission reduction strategies by railroaders across the company,” said Raghu Chatrathi, senior director of public safety, health and environment.