It’s been about one month since Capital Metro hired the new passenger and freight rail contractors, and we’ve reached some key milestones along the way.
Herzog Transit Services has filled 58 of its 60 positions and has selected Terry Bruner for the position of General Manager. He has more than 30 years of experience in the railroad industry and has worked for Herzog since 1996. Most recently, Bruner served as Transportation Manager of the Trinity Railway Express in Dallas-Ft. Worth. His first day as MetroRail General Manager was Dec. 21.
The Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) signal programming work required to complete the project and open the system concluded on schedule at the end of 2009. Implementation and installation of the new programming began Jan. 4.
Capital Metro has selected Charles DeWeese as the new Business Manager of Freight Rail Operations. He is responsible for the financial planning and operational processes of the freight line and works closely with the Authority’s freight operator, Austin Western Railroad. DeWeese has more than 40 years of rail experience and comes to Capital Metro from HDR Engineering. His first day was Jan. 4.
Rail Line Assessment
Part of Herzog’s transition included a detailed assessment of the rail bridges, track bed infrastructure, CTC system and crossings. The assessment has identified the need for strengthened maintenance and inspection procedures, which are currently being finalized and will be implemented prior to the start of service.
- Tracks – Herzog will restore the 32-mile passenger rail corridor to “like new” conditions and maintain it this way.
- Bridges – Herzog has brought in a supplemental team to focus on bridge maintenance. Capital Metro and Herzog will work together to finalize a long term capital bridge repair/rebuild program.
- Crossings – Herzog and HAX, a signal maintainer firm, are conducting a thorough annual inspection on all crossings in the corridor and are making necessary adjustments.
These necessary upgrades will cost approximately $2.2 million and will be paid through Herzog’s operations and maintenance contract.
Capital Metro and Herzog estimate completing the project and beginning service in the first quarter of this year.