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Amtrak Advances Innovative B&P Tunnel Replacement Program Procurements




Amtrak announces new Delivery Partner model; Charts path for additional work

BALTIMORE – In a major step forward for the B&P Tunnel Replacement Program, Amtrak will be seeking a Delivery Partner to support the successful execution of the project to replace the nearly 150-year-old tunnel. In a Delivery Partner model, the private partner takes on substantial risk-sharing, impacting overall project outcomes. More than two dozen industry leaders responded to Amtrak’s recent Request for Information (RFI), which invited feedback on use of the Delivery Partner model.

“Amtrak received strong industry response to the Delivery Partner RFI, demonstrating a significant appetite for a private partner with ‘skin in the game’ to ensure a successful project delivery,” said Amtrak’s Vice President, Program Development & Project Services, Tony Ryan. “Timely advancement of this program is critical as we work to modernize and transform the Northeast Corridor, reducing delays and adding capacity for the future.”

Solicitation for the Delivery Partner is expected to launch in January 2023. The Delivery Partner engagement complements the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the first phase of the Program, the Southern Approach, which is already in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage of procurement. The Southern Approach CMAR solicitation includes:

  • the new ADA-compliant West Baltimore MARC Station
  • all major excavation for the approach to the south portal for the new tunnel and bridge construction
  • some utility and roadway work

This CMAR procurement represents the first major project procurement since Amtrak was awarded the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding. This is Amtrak’s first use of the CMAR alternate delivery method, which will improve project delivery time and allow design, pre-construction and pricing work to proceed simultaneously. Collaboration on the design offers an opportunity for innovation and reduces the risk to Amtrak for substantial changes to the scope of work later.

In partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA), the B&P Tunnel Replacement Program will replace the existing B&P Tunnel with the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel, named for the Maryland native and renowned civil rights leader. As part of the larger strategy to increase capacity and reliability on the Northeast Corridor, the existing B&P Tunnel will be dedicated to freight service, and the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel will be focused solely on passenger service.

Once complete, the new tunnel system will improve travel times for approximately nine million passengers each year who rely on the Northeast Corridor for service, including Amtrak AcelaNortheast Regional, and long-distance trains, as well as the MARC Penn Line.

Future construction packages for the Program will be announced in 2023. This will include one tunnel package for the twin bore tunnel construction work, featuring two parallel tunnels, each containing a single rail track.


Source: Amtrak


That year LA declared it was at “Peak Car!”



Peak Car
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Was there a time it was consider that “The City of Angeles,” had reached “Peak Car?”

I recently came across an article posted by the Metro Digital Resources Librarian on the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive web site run by Metro Los Angeles. The article talked about LA’s new obsession with the automobile and how it gained popularity, in the early 1920s.

Library researchers pointed out that notable resources concurred with this, including Scott L. Bottles’ Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City, and Ashleigh Brilliant’s The Great Car Craze, How Southern California Collided with the Automobile in the 1920s.

The automobile was new and fresh, and also offered freedom to its owners, who realized that they could become more mobile and not rely solely on the massive LA street car network at the time.  The number of vehicle registrations in Los Angeles had quadrupled in just an eight-year period from 1914-1922.

“Automobile use exploded as the passenger vehicle transitioned from a hobbyist’s pursuit to a relatively affordable means of getting around the sprawling region and beyond.”

Metro Librarian found out what was happening on the public transit side of the story when they found an article published in Electric Railway Journal titled “California and Her Tractions, Part II.

MetroDigital Resource Librarian:


As one of several features titled “A Series of Articles on Salient Phases of the Electric Railway Situation,” author Edward Hungerford details the then current state of public transit in the Los Angeles area.

And within that overview, he interviews Paul Shoup, Pacific Electric Railways president and vice-president of Southern Pacific Company.

Hungerford documents Pacific Electric’s earnings in a recent six-month period, and asks Shoup “for the real translation of these figures.”

Shoup responds by stating:

They mean that the peak of the competition of the automobile, publicly or privately owned or operated, has been reached out here — and passed. Not only is the rapidly rising cost of cars and tires and gasoline and oil beginning to deter the overenthusiastic motorists, but I think that the novelty of excessive motor riding also is rather wearing off. The hazards of driving on crowded highways are becoming more apparent and parking spaces in towns and cities more a question of doubt.

In addition to our great numbers of motor stage routes in every direction, we now have some 500,000 automobiles in California licensed for pleasure purposes, to which should be added the cars owned and operated by the 100,000 Easterners who come out here every winter. The competitive effect of all these cars has been, and still is, vast indeed. But we already can see in it a declining curve.

Yes, you read that right, Shoup declared that personal vehicle usage had peaked and that it was on the decline.


Shoup explains that Los Angeles Railway profits were consistent with those of Pacific Electric, but acknowledges that “increases in both operating cost and taxes had gone ahead a little more than proportionately.” But he intimates that the rising cost of automobile operation (gas, tires) means that cars will cease their encroachment into transit’s share of mobility.

MetroDigital Resource Librarian:

This statement was part of an interview published in a national journal. Was he telling industry professionals what they wanted to hear? Did he want to assuage fears of rail employees that their jobs were going to disappear as more people purchased and used automobiles? Was he hoping that his perspective would turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy so he could remain atop Pacific Electric and Southern Pacific?

You can read the full article here:

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ORLANDO, FL – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, is pulling back the curtain on Central Florida’s latest attraction, Brightline’s Orlando Station. Today, Brightline released a video and renderings of the future station, located at Orlando International Airport, that will connect millions and regionalize the state. The station spans three-stories, featuring groundbreaking design and a unique synthesis of luxury amenities that meet the demand of today’s modern traveler. Opening this year, Brightline’s Orlando Station will revolutionize train travel in America and continue Brightline’s vision of offering a guest-first travel experience.

The guest journey begins at the main entrance, located off the airport’s expansive two-story glass atrium. Once inside the station, passengers can purchase tickets from guest services or one of several self-service kiosks, and check luggage before proceeding through touchless turnstiles into the security screening area. Brightline is currently the only rail system in America that screens all passengers and bags prior to boarding. 

“This world-class train station continues our mission of transforming train travel in America,” said Patrick Goddard, president at Brightline. “We have carefully thought through each detail of this station to ensure that it exceeds the expectations of the modern traveler.”

The station takes the luxury amenities Brightline is known for to new heights featuring an upscale retail experience with convenient in-station shopping and its Mary Mary Bar, serving hand-crafted cocktails and lite bites. The signature sit-down bar is positioned at the far end of the station with a stunning panoramic view overlooking the train platform where guests can leisurely watch as trains arrive and depart the platform. 

Located above the Mary Mary bar is an iconic, flip-flap message board that can rotate alphanumeric text and/or graphics to form a message. A nostalgic nod to historic train stations, the flip-flap will provide updated train schedules, boarding times, news of the day and other announcements complete with the flip-flap sound reminiscent of the first passenger train stations in America.

Passengers will access trains by escalator or elevators to the first level platform and board from one of two new track platforms. These platforms are 1,000 feet long and will accommodate a train with four coaches and two locomotives that will transport guests on the Orlando to Miami route in just over three hours.


Brightline offers two classes of service, SMART and PREMIUM. Brightline’s PREMIUM service, will provide complimentary drinks and snacks in a dedicated lounge and train coach. Throughout the station, all guests will have access to free high-speed Wi-Fi, charging stations at every seat, 87 big screen televisions and a children’s play area located in the SMART lounge.

The 37,350 square foot station is located in the heart of Orlando International Airport’s new 80,000 sq. ft. Terminal C and connects directly to the airport’s parking deck C, which will have more than 350 parking spaces reserved for Brightline guests. An automated people mover connects the terminal to the rest of the airport facilities including Terminal A and B in under five minutes.

Brightline’s Orlando station is designed by Bigtime Design Studios, an architecture firm based out of Miami, Florida, that also designed the newly opened Brightline stations in Boca Raton and Aventura, alongside the architect of record Sonny Fornoles of Borrelli + Partner. The buildout of the station is led by Orlando-based contractor Gomez Construction Co., a minority owned business whose headquarters are based in Orlando, Florida, and employs more than 100 workers on this project.

For more information about Brightline’s Orlando station, visit

Source: Brightline


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Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Sets to Usher in the Era of Unmanned Ships



  • Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) aims to demonstrate machinery and safety system automation as the next step to successful autonomous transoceanic voyage
  • After completion of demonstration in 2024, the company plans to employ unmanned ship technologies for the first time in large merchant vessels

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the intermediate holding company of HD Hyundai, is joining hands with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to take another step forward to developing unmanned ships that can navigate and perform safety diagnosis without human assistance. KSOE signed a MOU with ABS on the development and demonstration of automated machinery and integrated safety control system in autonomous ships on January 6 in Las Vegas during CES 2023. The MOU signing ceremony was attended by: Kisun Chung, President and CEO of HD Hyundai and KSOE; Sungjoon Kim, Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) of KSOE; Jeon Seung-ho, Senior Executive Vice President of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), and from ABS, by Christopher J. Wiernicki, CEO and Patrick Ryan, CTO.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) signed an MOU on the development and demonstration of machinery automation solutions for autonomous ships on January 6 in Las Vegas. (From right: Jeon Seung-ho, Senior Executive Vice President of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI); Kisun Chung, President and CEO of HD Hyundai; Sungjoon Kim, Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) of KSOE; Patrick Ryan, CTO of ABS; Christopher J. Wiernicki, CEO of ABS.)

“We plan to cooperate with ABS on the AI-based LNG fuel propulsion system (Hi-GAS+) demonstration project that won the CES 2023 Innovation Award,” said Sungjoon Kim, SEVP and head of KSOE’s Advanced Research Center. “Through the MOU, we hope to further extend our lead in unmanned technology, that enables autonomous navigation and self-diagnosis of equipment and safety.”

ABS is one of world’s leading ship classification organizations that contributes to the stable growth of the shipbuilding and maritime industry by setting standards for safety and technological excellence for ships and offshore structures.

The two parties plan to demonstrate KSOE’s machinery automation system (HiCBM) and onboard integrated safety control system (HiCAMS) on actual ships for the first time globally by 2024. HiCBM and HiCAMS are AI-based solutions that allow ships to self-diagnose the condition of machinery and equipment within the ship such as engines and generators, and automatically recognize and respond to unexpected situations such as fire. KSOE obtained approval in principle (AIP) for the two systems from ABS in September 2022.

The two will work to bring a successful demonstration of the two systems which will mark the realization of the world’s first unmanned large merchant vessel ship capable of operating for long periods without the assistance of a navigator, engineer or even a deckhand.

“ABS is leading the industry in supporting autonomous projects and assisting pioneers like HD Hyundai and KSOE. Autonomous technologies that are fully integrated within the broader vessel infrastructure have the potential to increase safety by reducing human error,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.

In June 2022, HD Hyundai’s subsidiary Avikus, installed the autonomous navigation system on a large merchant ship and succeeded in crossing the ocean for the first time in the world.

About HD Hyundai


HD Hyundai is the world’s largest shipbuilding and heavy industries conglomerate. HD Hyundai started as a shipbuilder in 1972 in a small fishing village in Ulsan, the southeast of South Korea. On the foundation of solid leadership in the shipbuilding industry, it is now progressing to become the most innovative solution provider in the heavy industry and energy sectors, ranging from shipbuilding, offshore engineering and construction equipment to the refinery, petrochemical, and smart energy management businesses. Marking its 50th anniversary, the group was renamed to HD Hyundai to change the paradigm of traditional shipbuilding industry and emphasize its presence in other industries. 


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