White Pass & Yukon receives second new locomotive

News Wire Digest for May 19: Feinberg, Koos nominated for Amtrak board; South Shore completes key agreements for West Lake project
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The second of the White Pass & Yukon's new diesels arrives in Skagway, Alaska, on Monday.
White Pass & Yukon

Tuesday morning rail news in brief:

— The White Pass & Yukon has received the second in its order of 10 new locomotives. National Railway Equipment E3000CC-DC No. 3001 arrived in Skagway, Alaska, by ship on Monday and was offloaded and moved to the railroad’s shops. The 3,300-hp locomotive, with an EMD 645 prime mover, joins No. 3002, which arrived in March. Narrow gauge diesels being something other than an off-the-shelf product, the railroad coordinated with and tacked its order onto an order being built for Australia, WP&Y Superintendent of Rail Operations Mark Taylor told the CBC when the first locomotive arrived. Six units are scheduled to arrive this year, with four more coming in 2021-22. This is to be the last of the locomotives painted in the railroad’s traditional green-and-yellow paint scheme; the rest are scheduled to be delivered in a new black-and-red design. The arrival of the new units allowed the WP&Y to sell four of its distinctive Montreal Locomotive Works DL535C locomotives to Colorado’s Durango & Silverton [see “Durango & Silverton buys White Pass & Yukon diesels,” Trains News Wire, April 13, 2020]. Two of those locomotives are scheduled to arrive in Colorado this year and two more in 2021.

— Sarah Feinberg, former head of the Federal Railroad Administration and current interim president of New York City Transit, and Chris Koos, mayor of Normal, Ill., have been nominated by President Donald Trump for the Amtrak board of directors. Feinberg, 42, was named in February to succeed Andy Byford as the head of the New York subway and bus agency, and has been serving in that capacity since March 9. She was administrator of the FRA from 2015 and 2017 and also served on the Amtrak board at that time. The New York Post reports that Feinberg said she would continue in her MTA role since the Amtrak position does not require a significant time commitment. Koos, the mayor of Normal since 2003 and a member of the advisory board of Transportation for America, would become the only board member from the Midwest. “I'm very honored to have been chosen to do this,” Koos told the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantograph. “Passenger rail has been so important to our community and I'd like to tell that story on a national level and build Amtrak into a transportation system that it has the potential to be.” U.S. Sen Dick Durban (D-Ill.) said in a statement that he had recommended Koos for the position, and U.S. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also issued a statement supporting the nomination.

— The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has completed the major third-party agreements it needs to pursue the South Shore Line’s West Lake Corridor extension, a planned 8-mile branch from Hammond to Dyer, Ind. The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that agreements are complete with Metra, four freight railroads, and the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. for easements and to address utility work. South Shore president Michael Noland informed the NICTD board Monday that the deals were all complete. The Federal Transit Administration is in the process of reviewing the project and could provide an agreement for its portion of the funding this fall.

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