More than 1,300 pieces of military equipment from the Minnesota National Guard are being loaded onto railcars for movement from Camp Ripley through the weekend of May 21, 2016.
“The logistics of this operation are nearly unprecedented,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Mellon, Brigade Mobility Officer for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. “Each one of these vehicles needs to be weighed, loaded and secured before we can send them out.”
Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, along with supporting units are moving their equipment in preparation for a rotation at the National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, Calif. in late June. Required equipment, including Humvees, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks and other systems will be loaded for a nearly 2,000-mile trip to the Mojave Desert.
Railroads have assisted the U.S. Department of Defense with the movement of military equipment for generations. To that end, the DOD established the Strategic Rail Corridor Network (STRACNET), which was initially designed for the mobilization of military units across the country during wartime. Today, the STRACNET maintains its use as an economically and environmentally responsible method of moving heavy military equipment. STRACNET consists of 38,800 miles of rail lines important to national defense and provides service to 193 defense installations whose mission requires rail service. STRACNET has identified 32,500 miles of rail line critical for movement of essential military equipment to ports located around the country as well as another 5,000 miles of track essential to connect one facility to another.
The loading and unloading of more than 400 railcars will be done by Soldiers of the 347th regional Support Group along with supervisors and facilitators from BNSF and Intercomp, a company providing advanced weighing and measurement systems.
“The loading and unloading of equipment at Camp Ripley and Ft. Erwin provides real-world training for Soldiers in our transportation units and is an important part of the mission success for the 1st Brigade,” said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, 347th RSG Deputy Commander.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transit Administration tomorrow will host a public outreach information session for the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project.
During the meeting in Havre de Grace, Md., the public will be able to meet the project team, learn about the project and the selected bridge design, review preliminary environmental analysis results, and ask questions, officials said in a joint meeting announcement.
The existing 110-year-old bridge Susquehanna Bridge experiences operational inflexibility, maintenance difficulties and conflicts with maritime uses. The structure, which connects Havre de Grace and Perryville, Md., is a critical link in Amtrak‘s Northeast Corridor.
The bridge’s problems create a bottleneck, which reduces on-time performance for Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) service and Norfolk Southern Railway, officials said.
MDOT is the project sponsor and is working with the FRA and Amtrak to study various alternatives to improve the rail crossing. The project team is in the process of considering the project’s environmental impacts.
The agency is seeking a firm to design, furnish, install, test, integrate and implement an account-based fare payment and collection system based on an open bank card payment system, according to the RFP document. The new system will utilize “contactless” media, including smart cards and mobile devices.
The technology would enable riders to hold a card or smartphone near a receiver to board instead of swiping a card.
The solicitation also includes a number of contract options for providing related equipment and services.
The project to overhaul NYCT’s current fare system will be completely MTA funded, according to the RFP document. Award of a contract will be contingent on approval of the 2015-2019 MTA Capital Program.
Proposals are due June 23.
The use of mobile fare payment apps is one way that transit agencies are taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) to address a host of challenges. Read this article in the March issue of Progressive Railroading to learn more about IoT in public transit.