Digest: Progress Rail introduces new battery-powered switcher

News Wire Digest third section for July 28: MTA head, New York governor warn of dire impact if transit, local governments aren't included in virus relief bill; Sound Transit plans Sunday suspension of light rail service
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Tuesday afternoon rail news:

Progres Rail announces new battery-powered switcher, to be sold worldwide

Progress Rail has introduced a new battery-powered switcher to be available for sale globally. The zero-emission EMD Joule was developed in collaboration with Vale, the mining corporation headquartered in Brazil which operates about 1,200 miles of railroads in Brazil and leases lines in Africa. The switcher can develop up to 3,000 hp; the version being delivered to Vale has battery capacity of 1.9 megawatt hours, with options available to increase that figure to 2.4 hours. It can operate up to 24 hours, depending on charging and use. Marty Haycraft, president and CEO of Progress Rail, said the locomotive was developed in approximately 11 months; Gustavo Basots, executive manager at Vale’s Excellence Center and Innovation department, says the locomotive “represents a milestone in Vale’s operations decarbonization strategy and is aligned with its new pact with society.” Progress Rail anticipates the locomotive will be available globally in early 2021.

MTA head, New York governor decry lack of funding in virus relief proposal
The lack of transit funding in a coronavirus relief bill will force New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to make major service reductions and gut its capital spending plan, MTA CEO Patrick J. Foye says, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it will lead to increased taxes, fares, and tolls. Bloomberg quotes Foye as saying in a Tuesday statement, “If the federal government fails to act, this pandemic will end up on the backs of riders and stymie not just New York’s economic rebound, but the nation’s, as well. …. This backwards bill will only further devastate our country and economy.” The New York Daily News reports Cuomo said, “The money needs to come from somewhere. … It is going to have a dramatic practical effect on New Yorkers and I want New Yorkers to know the consequences, because I want our federal representatives held accountable.” Cuomo said increased property and school taxes, higher transit fares and bridge and tunnel tolls, and a slowdown of construction projects could all result if state and local support isn’t included in the relief bill. The version unveiled by Senate Republicans on Monday includes no funds for state, local, or transit agencies.

Sound Transit plans Sunday morning light rail stoppage
Sound Transit will suspend all light rail service this Sunday morning, Aug. 2, for system upgrades, the agency has announced. The shutdown is planned to run from approximately 5:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. Free shuttle buses will operate on 30-minute intervals during the suspension.


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