• 30 Jan 2012

    Well, at least it's intermodal

    "Bridge collapses in Kentucky after being rammed by hulking freighter carrying space rocket parts" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092796/
    • 5 Jan 2012

    Ahhh, the refreshing feel of a cold shower...

    http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_19596026 "Though California's high-speed train faces an intensifying backlash over its $99 billion price tag, political leaders from Washington to Sacramento justify the cost by touting another huge number: 1 million jobs the rail line is supposed to create. But like so many of the promises made to voters who approved the bullet train...
    • 21 Dec 2011

    Troy kills transit center, starting new Trojan War.

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20111220/METRO02/112200423/1409/metro/Troy-faces-business-backlash-over-transit-center-vote All the commentary will look boringly familiar to readers here; everything from knee-jerk support or condemnation of the project based on political alignment to some actual thought about the issues of long term public investment, the proper role of government in transportation planning, and...
    • 21 Oct 2011

    Furfurylation* (Say that five times fast.)

    A way to weatherproof and insect-proof woods that doesn't poison the environment, viciously attack fasteners, or create disposal problems, finally getting widely commercialized, and making its way down in cost. Ties and other trackside wood aren't far off now for widely feasible prices; 5 years on the outside, I'd guess, since it is now making its way into deck construction. Watch for it. *treatment...
    • 14 Oct 2011

    And the peasants rejoiced!!

    LaHood to leave post after 2012 election: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he will leave the Obama administration at the end of the president's first term. "I serve at the pleasure of the president, and it is an honor to look out for the safety of the American public when it comes to planes, trains, automobiles and more," LaHood said. "Throughout this term, we have also focused our efforts...
    • 24 Mar 2011

    Fella's slow, but he gets there.

    "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently designated Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., as an "official" high-speed rail corridor, opening the region up to additional federal funding." Way to go, Ray, but what took you so damned long to recognize that the easiest place to revive something just might be the place where it hadn't quite died? http...
    • 3 Mar 2011

    Six to one.

    That's the ratio of public costs of trucking over rail, when including externalities, according to GAO. That's an estimate, but a minimum estimate; the ratio may be worse. The report is worth a look: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11134.pdf For a summary - it's 67 pages -the highlights are at: http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11134high.pdf Inland waterways come out looking quite good when externalities...
    • 9 Feb 2011

    Is this a feature, or a bug?

    "New report; Building transit creates more jobs than building roads." http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/02/07/new-report-building-transit-creates-more-jobs-than-building-roads/ Looks suspiciously like valuing input regardless of output, at least on some levels. There are the usual questions about methodology and accuracy, too. In other news, we see that the administration is finally focusing...
    • 13 Jan 2011

    ...'cause it's not like they have other uses.

    Architects propose buildings on railroad tracks Swedish architecture firm Jagnafalt Milton thinks railroad tracks could be used as the base for buildings, which could then be positioned differently depending on the seasons and the weather. The firm’s idea is for cities to use their existing, often abandoned railways as the basis for future development. ...
    • 12 Aug 2010

    Freight Act

    Step forward or wolf in sheeps clothing? The language used around it is positive, it at least pays lip service to the idea that it would be nice to have a real transportation policy. The actual proposal seems a little narrowly focused.
    • 14 Jul 2010

    Ford foundation donating decent chunk of change to Transit/Rail friendly planning

    200 million over the next 5 years. http://www.builderonline.com/sustainability/ford-foundation-commits-200-million-to-smart-growth-planning.aspx?cid=BLDR100714002
    • 8 Jul 2010

    National Journal's expert's take(s) on HSR

    I'd have paid good money to see just one of them not toe their party line. My wallet is safe, of course. http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/2010/07/will-highspeed-rail-drive-busi.php
    • 11 Jun 2010

    Be Afraid, part 2

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=38528 Select bits: "(Crain's) — Federally funded high-speed rail projects in Illinois and others parts of the country could get under way in as little as two weeks, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday." ... "Even Boston-based non-profit, National Corridors Initiative Inc., a high-speed rail advocacy group, questioned...
    • 11 Jun 2010

    Cat's got your tongue?

    No, but it's got EMD. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100609-714974.html?mod=dist_smartbrief
    • 11 Mar 2010

    Does this sound familiar?

    "Simmering tensions between shippers and carriers erupt in Long Beach Shippers and the carriers on the transpacific have been at each other’s throats for as long as we can remember, but this year is different." (From Greg Knowler's blog on Maritime Professional) Worth a quick look. http://maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/Far-East-Maritime/March-2010/Simmering-tensions-between-shippers...
    • 1 Feb 2010

    Wall Street Weighs In.

    The Wall Street Journal, that is. (Opinion section.) A piece on economics of HRS. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575033672230734364.html?mod=WSJ_business_IndustryNews_DLW Summary: he's agin' it. Some of the assumptions about the subsidy level of some other means of transport suggest the message isn't getting through to everyone.
    • 7 Jan 2010

    Nothing New Under the Sun

    Google has begun scanning a lot of older, often out-of-copyright material up to Google Books. The Popular Science issue for Nov 1918 (page 78) contains an article on containerization and auto-hauler racking. A cautionary tale about not being too far ahead of your time?
    • 9 Dec 2009

    Be Afraid

    White House seeks federal oversight of rail-transit safety Transportation chief details plan in wake of high-profile accidents http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/08/AR2009120803964.html?hpid=moreheadlines
    • 20 Oct 2009

    Preliminary Rail Plan

    Well, it's out, and it doesn't look like too many surprises. Still more a vision than a plan. The graphics, especially the freight density map, need work: given the common location of many rail and highway routes , and the choice of a darker shade of red for highway tonnage, rail's lighter red traffic graphics were often hidden under the road's. (PRB showed up just fine, of course. Not much other traffic...
    • 24 Sep 2009

    Some more diesel-electric crossover technology

    Good article in Maritime Reporter (Sept 2009, pp 44-45) on recent midsize (6,000 -8,000 hp, roughly) diesel-electric powered supply boats. As with genset designs, several available engines, switched in and out to match load. Designer talks guardedly about power storage and recovery opition, like flywheel and battery. (Issue not on line yet.) Combined with the current (US/Canadian) West Coast maritime air quality push...
    • 6 Aug 2009

    The real reason why your Container isn't here yet, Mr. Consignee. (From Maritime Reporter)

    (res ipsa loquitur, as the lawyers sometimes say.) Container Lines Achieve Record Score Posted 08/06/09 at 10:43 AM Container lines achieved a record high on-time service reliability performance, according to Drewry Container Shipper Insights latest quarterly schedule monitoring survey, just published.Out of nearly 1,700 ships tracked in the three months between 1 April to 30 June, 69% arrived either...
    • 24 Jul 2009

    Cat hybrids

    Caterpillar is joining the hybrid heavy market. The implications for light rail, I think, are obvious: hybrid technology in the LRV, trackless trolley/hybrid bus market is still essentially produced to order, with very little of the economies of scale from carryover with conventional vehicles. Combined with the hybrid recycling vehicles testing with Volvo and the new UPS delivery platforms testing, this promises a significant...