Digest: Wabtec to lay off 150 at Erie plant

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 19: SEPTA introduces new three-day passes; Kangaroo startles light rail passengers in Australian capital
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Wabtec logo
A still from security camera footage shows a kangaroo on the platform at a Canberra, Australia, light rail station.
Canberra Metro Operations

More Monday morning rail news:

Wabtec to lay off 150 at Erie plant, announces plans for new Pittsburgh facility

Wabtec Corp. will eliminate 150 jobs at its Erie locomotive factory between mid-November and the first quarter of 2021, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. This is in addition to 300 previously announced layoffs, about 170 of which have been carried out so far, according to a union official. Company spokesman Tim Bader told the paper the move was “to align with today’s volume realities,” with orders down during the COVID-19 pandemic. The layoffs came as Wabtec announced it would open a facility at Neighborhood 19, an additive manufacturing facility at Pittsburgh International Airport. That facility will build on the use of 3D printing technologies the company has at Erie and Grove City, Pa.

SEPTA announces new three-day passes for transit, regional rail
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority announced it is introducing three-day passes to give transit and Regional Rail riders additional flexibility, reflecting new work patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new passes for use with the SEPTA Key Card will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 20. The Convenience Pass for transit will cost $18 and allows up to 24 uses in a 72-hour period beginning with its first use. The Independence Pass for Regional Rail costs $36 and is essentially three one-day passes, which can be used on any three days, good for up to 10 rides each day. For more information, visit the SEPTA Key Card website.

Only in Australia: Kangaroo joins light rail passengers on platform
Passengers waiting at a light rail stop near the city center of Australia’s capital city, Canberra, found themselves with unexpected company recently when a kangaroo bounded down the platform on his way to a nearby lawn. The Canberra Times reports Canberra Metro Operations released the security camera footage of the Sept. 30 incident video earlier this week, with a reminder to use walkways and marked crossings. The passenger nearest the kangaroo was looking at his phone as the marsupial bounded past and only reacted after it was past.

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