Digest: Wabtec, Keolis announce partnership

News Wire Digest fourth section for Dec. 18: Man charged with murder in fatal New York subway fire; driver cleared of charges in North Dakota train-school bus crash
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Still more Friday morning rail news:

Wabtec, Keolis announce partnership

Wabtec Corp. and Keolis Group have announced an international agreement to partner on commercial activities and product development, which will combine Wabtec’s products and Keolis’ transportation experience to address transit needs such as HVAC system, brakes, rolling stock monitoring, pantographs, and passenger information systems. “This agreement builds on the strong relationship between our two companies over many years,” Lilian Leroux, President of Wabtec’s Transit business, said in a press release. “Our partnership reinforces the commitment to accelerate the deployment of solutions for a more sustainable and ‘greener’ world. It also underlines the value of our innovative product and solutions.” In the U.S., Keolis is the contract operator of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains, among other business. It si owned 70% by French railway company SNCF and 30% by Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.

Man charged with murder in March subway fire
New York police have arrested a suspect in connection with a March subway fire that killed a train operator and injured 16 other people, charging him with murder. Patch.com reports Nathanian Avinger, 50, had been taken into custody on an unrelated charge but was arrested for the fire when police investigated further. MTA operator Garrett Goble, 36, was found unconscious on the tracks after the fire at a Harlem station and pronounced dead at a local hospital [see “Operator killed, 17 injured in New York subway fire,” Trains News Wire, March 27, 2020] and was credited with “heroic” action in evacuating passengers.

School bus driver cleared of criminal charges in 2019 North Dakota collision with train
A North Dakota judge has cleared a school bus driver of criminal charges in a 2019 accident in which his bus was hit by a train, injuring five students. The Inforum website reports Judge Bradley Cruff said he did not “find any recklessness” on the part of driver Michael Skroch, 70, in the Dec. 19, 2019, accident in Lidgerwood, N.D., in which the driver stopped at a crossing, then pulled in front of a slow-moving Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western train he later said he did not see. Eighteen students were aboard at the time. Skroch had been charged with aggravated reckless driving.

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