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Rail News Home Communication and Signal


Rail News: Communication and Signal

Updates from ENSCO, TAC, Renaissance Rail Group, HLS Systems and Specialized Services


• ENSCO Inc. entered into an agreement with Tie-Gear International L.L.C. to distribute the TC-2000 Mini Tie Changer, a handheld, lightweight single railroad tie changer. ENSCO plans to unveil the TC-2000 at the American Railway Engineering Maintenance-of-Way Association's annual conference to be held next week in Salt Lake City, Utah. A one- or two-man crew can use the TC-2000 to change a single tie without a backhoe. Designed to pull a tie from under the rail, the device features a fold-down mechanism so trains can pass by while a tie is being replaced. Tie-Gear provides lightweight railroad tie-changing equipment.

• TAC obtained a $3.8 million contract from the Delaware River Port Authority and Port Authority Transit Corp. to replace an existing closed-circuit television system with an integrated video monitoring and emergency communications system along transit lines connecting Philadelphia and southern New Jersey via the Ben Franklin Bridge. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. TAC will install cameras and emergency telephones at 13 stations, and cameras in tunnels between the stations and on the bridge.

• Transportation consulting, management and investment firm Renaissance Rail Group Inc. obtained a contract from the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) to provide a range of services associated with SCCRTC's proposed acquisition of a Union Pacific Railroad line.  SCCRTC reached an agreement in principle with UP to acquire the 32-mile Santa Cruz branch line between Watsonville and Davenport, Calif. Since 1999, the commission has worked to acquire the line to preserve freight-rail service in the region and retain the corridor for future transportation options. Renaissance Rail will provide freight-rail consulting, negotiating and analysis services, and work with SCCRTC to evaluate rail operations and select a short-line operator for the Santa Cruz branch.

• HLS Systems International Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. won a contract from China's Ministry of Railways to design, construct and maintain a 65-mile high-speed rail line supporting train speeds up to 186 mph. HLS' portion of the contract — for a control system — totals $29.3 million. To be completed by mid-2010, the line will connect the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

• Specialized Services Co. (SSC) has completed line clearing work for Phoenix's Valley Metro so the agency can expand tests on a new light-rail line between Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz. SSC used a vacuum system to clear debris — resulting from a three-year construction project — along eight miles of track. Two months after the line's initial introduction in downtown Phoenix, Valley Metro began testing trains from Mesa through downtown Phoenix.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2008