Engineering

ENGINEERING

Van Nuys North Platform

Challenge

In a suburb of the greater Los Angeles area, the Van Nuys Station accommodates about 40 trains on any given weekday. However, the station’s lone permanent side platform meant that only one train could safely pass through the station at a time. As a result, any train running behind schedule would result in a complicated domino effect of delays along the route, inconveniencing railroad staff and passengers alike. Regional transportation authority, LA Metro, collaborated with local commuter railway, Metrolink, to propose the construction of a new center platform that would be able to serve both main tracks simultaneously, while also providing safer pedestrian access.

Solution

RailPros was able to craft innovative design solutions that accommodated numerous difficult project constraints. The design team developed a construction phasing plan and unique track alignment that kept at least one track in operation at all times, minimizing passenger service outages. Additional innovations simplified impacts to the surrounding structures and utilities.

Result

RailPros’ innovations not only succeeded in enabling construction to run on schedule, but also saved $20 million in costs, keeping the project well under budget.

ENGINEERING

Oceanside Quiet Zone

Challenge

With tracks used by three commuter rail lines, Amtrak, and two freight lines; the City of Oceanside is home to San Diego County’s busiest station outside of downtown San Diego – and increasingly so, as the City anticipated as many as 90 train trips per day by 2020. Oceanside residents, as a result, were plagued by train horns sounding at any and all hours of the day. To mitigate this complaint, the City planned renovations to make five intersections compliant with Federal Railway Administration (FRA) standards for a quiet zone, within which train horns would no longer be used. Required safety improvements included drop-down sidewalk gates; driveway, sidewalk, and roadway modifications; and updates to traffic and railroad signals.

Solution

RailPros oversaw the project design, coordinating with numerous stakeholder agencies to identify issues and solutions at each crossing. From there, the team developed concept exhibits detailing the proposed improvements and how to implement them.

Result

RailPros continued working with the City of Oceanside to provide construction management services until the project was completed in May 2019. Upon construction completion, rail authorities performed inspections to ensure all requirements were met, and the Quiet Zone officially went into effect in June 2019.

ENGINEERING

SCRRA
State of Good Repair

Challenge

Metrolink’s State of Good Repair (SOGR) Program exists to take inventory of the entire system’s assets – such as train vehicles, tracks, systems, and facilities – and determine repairs, upgrades, and replacements as needed to ensure safe, reliable operations. SOGR projects are funded by local transit agencies, as well as by federal grants.

Solution

RailPros is currently providing Construction Management services for Metrolink SOGR projects systemwide – primarily track-related facilities. By the end of our current contract, RailPros will have overseen upwards of 60 rehabilitation projects including bridges, crossings, and station upgrades. RailPros also provides document control under this contract, handling requests for information, various reports, and public outreach.

Result

One of RailPros’ most significant efforts under the SOGR contract was developing a comprehensive, easily accessible system to track and organize all SOGR data, which helps streamline project planning needs. Additionally, RailPros was instrumental in the development of the Metrolink Rehabilitation Plan (MRP), a comprehensive report on the state of Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) member agency assets. This report breaks down asset conditions and costs of required rehabilitation work, which guides SCRRA in prioritizing, budgeting, and scheduling each project.

Field Services

FIELD SERVICES

Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority

Challenge

Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) is America’s third largest heavy rail transit system, providing over 174 million rides to rail passengers each year.  With 117 miles of track and 91 stations throughout the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, compliance with FRA Track Safety Standards (TSS) is critical to public safety and on-time train schedules. To ensure their track and infrastructure remained in compliance, WMATA sought outside help.

Solution

RailPros mobilized and had “boots on the ground” to WMATA within three days of the Notice to Proceed.  The initial team of 10 Track Inspectors and one Project Manager all met WMATA’s stringent qualifications requirements. The exceptional work performed by the RailPros team prompted WMATA to extend the contract and request 10 additional Track Inspectors, a Special Detail Inspector, and administration support from RailPros.

In addition, RailPros was also selected to provide Advanced Mobile Flaggers (AMF) services for WMATA.  The contract which began in 2018 provides 30 flaggers and four supervisors for the WMATA system.

Result

RailPros conducts routine track inspections that help keep WMATA in regulatory compliance while decreasing service interruptions and schedule delays.  The inspections cite immediate track issues and aid in the development of short- and long-term maintenance plans for the Agency.

FIELD SERVICES

BNSF Construction Management

Challenge

BNSF sought a single reliable source to protect the BNSF franchise and assure safe operations during the construction of highway-rail grade separation projects in Southern California.  They needed a firm with construction management skills and significant railroad construction project experience.

Solution

RailPros answered the call by putting in place a strong team of Resident Engineers, Construction Managers, and Inspector Coordinators led by a Project Manager with extensive rail construction experience.  In addition, RailPros’ Structural Engineers are available to review critical lift plans, falsework plans, shoring plans, and other structural plans. RailPros team members monitor the contractor(s) that are working on each project to make sure they are following BNSF accepted construction documents, ensuring proper coordination occurs between BNSF forces, and other project parties, as well as providing proper documentation and reporting of the work being performed. RailPros also closely monitors each project to ensure compliance with BNSF and FRA on-track safety requirements.

Result

RailPros is currently providing construction management services for more than 12 individual project locations in California and Washington. RailPros helps identify potential issues early on and work with the BNSF project manager to mitigate those issues prior to work being performed.

Training

TRAINING

Norfolk Southern Training

Challenge

As the Class 1 freight railroad Norfolk Southern was growing to approximately 19,500 route miles across 22 states, they also faced a growing challenge – how to ensure all third-party contractors working across their expanding system were properly credentialed and trained.

Solution

In 2008, RailPros’ training division, Roadway Worker Training (RWT), approached NS with a solution – a comprehensive and consistent contractor training course and recordkeeping program. The program ensures contractors working on or about NS right of way are in compliance with 49 CFR 214 Subparts C, D and NS railroad operating practices. RWT designed, developed and delivered the NS-branded program that makes heavy use of video from NS properties, corresponding class materials, student reviews and a proctored final exam. So that no contractor has too far to travel, RWT provides monthly seminars across the east coast. Upon successful completion of the 4-hour training course, contractors are provided with a photo ID badge so NS employees can easily identify safe contractors.

Result

The RailPros RWT team trains nearly 6,500 contractors each year, giving NS confidence that all third-party employees are receiving effective compliance and safety training delivered with the professionalism and consistency of message that reflects their own mission and values.

Media Production

MEDIA PRODUCTION

CSX Transportation Annual Safety
& Operating Rules Training

Challenge

With as many as 8,200 employees spread across 23 states, CSX Transportation’s Engineering Department safety managers are challenged with ensuring their required railroad training is delivered in a consistent but engaging way each year. While the rules do not typically change, employees’ expectation and learning styles do, so CSX turns to the Focal Point team each year to develop a day-long syllabus of training that helps multiple instructors deliver consistent, engaging training effectively and confidently.

Solution

Focal Point works closely with managers and field personnel to understand what is important to both groups…and how to develop safety training that doesn’t just check a regulatory box, but affects a change in behaviors, attitudes and outcomes. Using a mixed media approach, Focal Point writes and creates presentation materials that include videos; PowerPoint; interactive media; handouts; a facilitator guide; class interactions and games; and, exams.

Result

Since beginning work with CSX safety managers on these programs in 2002, the departmental Frequency Index (FI) has dropped from an industry worst to an industry best at .87 for 2018 despite major disruptions in the company.

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