William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011 11:11

NS notches 2Q earnings record

Norfolk Southern Tuesday reported record second-quarter net income of $557 million, 42% higher than the $392 million notched during the same quarter in 2010. Diluted earnings per share were a record $1.56, up 50% compared with $1.04 per diluted share earned in the same period a year ago. NS said the results reflect favorable, non-recurring income tax-related benefits totaling $63 million, or $0.18 per share.

ns_logo.jpgThe company’s operating ratio improved to 69.5%, a second-quarter record, compared with 69.8% during the second quarter of 2010. Operating revenue increased 18% to $2.9 billion, also a second-quarter record.

“Norfolk Southern delivered excellent financial results in the second quarter, setting all-time records for net income and earnings per share, as well as second-quarter records for revenues, operating income, and operating ratio,” said Chairman, President, and CEO Wick Moorman. “We’re seeing opportunities in the global economy, and we are moving forward with initiatives to drive business growth, productivity, and efficiency across our company.”

General merchandise revenue, at $1.4 billion, was up 12% from the year-ago quarter, while coal revenue rose 28% to $893 million compared with the year-ago period. Intermodal revenue of $540 million was up 20% from a year ago.

Railway operating expenses for the quarter were $2.0 billion, 17% higher compared with the same period of 2010, which NS attributed primarily to increased fuel expenses and compensation and benefits costs.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 04:03

Flooding bogs down CP 2Q profitability

Flooding kept Canadian Pacific from joining its Class I brethren in setting record-breaking second-quarter results, with CP Wednesday reporting its second-quarter net income fell to C$128 million (US$135.7 million), or 75 Canadian cents per share. That still beat analyst expectations by two cents, but was 23% lower than the C$166 million, or 98 Canadian cents a share, posted in the second quarter of 2010.

cp_logo_2009.jpgRevenue rose slightly to C$1.26 billion, up from C$1.23 billion in 2010, but the improvement was limited by the impact of flooding on operations. CP said it recorded nearly 90 separate outages on its tracks during the three-month period ended June 30.

"We rerouted and detoured traffic over other railways and incurred significantly higher operating costs to ensure delivery of our customers' shipments," said President and CEO Fred Green in a release.

CP said operating expenses rose to C$1.03 billion from C$960.1 million a year earlier, prompted largely by increased fuel prices.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 09:33

China crash mars stellar HSR safety record

The collision of two high speed rail trains near Wenzhou, China, on July 23 has triggered doubt, both domestically and internationally, not of HSR’s viability but of China’s expertise to implement its HSR plans, in part because HSR for decades has operated nearly flawlessly in Europe and in Japan.

At least 43 were killed, and more than 200 seriously injured, when one HSR train reportedly lost power, attributed by Chinese railway officials to a lightning strike, which then disabled safety devices. The first train was then hit by a second HSR consist following the first train. The incident occurred roughly 860 miles south of Beijing.

Many rail industry observers have expressed outright skepticism about China’s explanation of the HSR incident. “I’ve never heard of lightning doing that, but if it did, everything else would stop, too,” Vukan R. Vuchic, professor of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times. “And the signal system should keep trains at a safe distance.”

China’s aggressive push for HSR has been criticized on several levels, with its reliability and safety questioned from the onset when power problems plagued the debut of Beijing-Shanghai service in June. Corruption forced the government to fire at least three high-ranking railway officials, including Railways Minister Liu Zhijun in February.

Immediately following the crash, the Ministry of Railways called for a two-month nationwide safety check and announced that three senior officials in the Shanghai Railway Bureau had been dismissed pending an investigation.

Manufacturers of HSR equipment, particularly from Japan, have alleged both privately and publicly that HSR equipment in China, produced by China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp. Ltd. (CSR), have liberally “borrowed” from proprietary designs of other, more established HSR equipment producers.

More openly, CSR has formed a partnership with General Electric Co. to develop HSR technology for global export, and had been considered a likely, even favored, bidder for California’s 700-mile HSR project. The Wenzhou accident could seriously damage any marketing push of Chinese HSR technology in California or elsewhere, one source knowledgeable of California’s efforts tells Railway Age.

As for safety, “If China is going to take HSR from international to global, then we will need a global body devoted to rail safety like the Flight Safety Foundation does for aviation,” Anthony Perl, director, Urban Studies Program, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, told Railway Age.


 “In part, that’s because China’s visions for HSR far exceed that of even existing HSR mileage now in operation. “A rail analog to the Flight Safety Foundation” might be required “if HSR is to remain a safe mode while meeting much higher volumes of global mobility, Perl said.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 10:42

Trinity 2Q earnings grow, as does backlog

Dallas-based Trinity Industries, Inc. Wednesday reported a second-quarter earnings of $30.0 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, up from $18.4 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010. Revenue of $710.5 million was up from $543.1 million for the year-ago period. Wall Street analysts expected 38 cents per diluted share, however, and shares of the company fell as much as 10% Wednesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the quarter, the Rail Group reported revenue of $280.7 million and an operating profit of $15.4 million, compared with revenue of $112.9 million and an operating loss of $2.7 million in the second quarter of 2010. The Rail Group shipped approximately 3,115 railcars and received orders for approximately 7,860 railcars during the second quarter. As of June 30, 2011, the Rail Group backlog grew to approximately $2.2 billion, representing approximately 27,240 railcars compared with a backlog of approximately $1.8 billion as of March 31, 2011, representing approximately 22,490 railcars.

“We continue to be encouraged by the level of demand for products in our railcar and barge businesses. This is reflected in their improving order backlogs,” said Timothy R. Wallace, Trinity's chairman, CEO, and president. “Subsequent to quarter end, we also announced a successful refinancing of a portion of our railcar leasing company’s debt, which is important for the growth of that business.”

Also encouraged is Steve Barger, director, Industrial Manufacturers, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. “Given the strength of Trinity's and the industry's second-quarter orders, our view that industry pricing is improving, and our general thesis that railcar manufacturers enjoy significant operating leverage as volume improves, we think investors should be buyers on weakness as we continue to think TRN is on the front end of accelerating EPS as the cycle improves,” Barger said in an analyst note Wednesday.
Thursday, 28 July 2011 04:45


TÜV Rheinland has appointed Suzanne Murtha as its business development manager for its Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) group. Murtha will develop and manage TÜV Rheinland’s North American consulting, assessment, analysis, verification, validation, testing, and certification of ITS components and systems.

tuv_logo.jpgA 15-year veteran of ITS, Murtha comes to TÜV Rheinland from Kapsch TrafficCom of Washington D.C., where she served as principal associate for government relations and business development.

Newtown, Conn.-based TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. is part of TÜV Rheinland Group, headquartered in Cologne, Germany.
Thursday, 28 July 2011 04:57


Effective November 1, Michel P. Melaniphy will succeed William Millar as president of the American Public Transportation Association. APTA’s Board of Directors on Wednesday unanimously approved Melaniphy’s selection.

apta_logo.jpgAPTA says Melaniphy’s entire career has been in public transportation with 23 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently vice president, Public Sector, for Schaumburg, Ill.-based bus manufacturer Motor Coach Industries, Melaniphy has led public transit systems in North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas.

Said APTA Chair Michael J. Scanlon, “Michael brings the ideal combination of tremendous energy and a proven track record in public transportation to lead the industry in these pivotal times. He not only understands—but has firsthand experience of—the critical role that public transportation plays in creating jobs and providing access to jobs necessary to move our economy forward.”

“It is an honor and privilege to be named APTA president,” said Melaniphy. “I believe fervently that public transportation is key to the economic vitality of our communities and our country. I am committed to working together with industry leaders, our stakeholders and elected officials so that we make the necessary transportation investments to grow our economy and ensure that Americans have access to quality public transportation.”

William Millar, APTA’s current president of 15 years, called Melaniphy an excellent choice. “I am delighted that someone with such broad-based experience as Michael Melaniphy will be following me at APTA,” he said.

Thursday, 28 July 2011 05:06

ARI notches second-quarter profit

St. Charles, Mo.-based American Railcar Industries late Wednesday reported a second-quarter profit of $569,000, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $5.9 million, or 28 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2010.

american_railcar_logo.jpgARI’s railcar shipments nearly tripled in the second quarter, the company said. Railcar shipments for the second quarter that ended June 30 totaled 1,040, up from 370 railcars for the same time period a year ago.

Revenue of $111.9 million was up 83% compared with $61.2 million in the second quarter of last year.

In an analyst note Thursday, Steve Barger, director, Industrial Manufacturers, for KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., said, “While railcar deliveries in the quarter (1,040 units) fell short of our estimate (1,145 units), we believe this is greatly overshadowed by the solid operational results and strong order activity as the Company’s backlog expanded 43% from 1Q11 to 7,540 cars.”
Thursday, 28 July 2011 06:13

U.S. freight traffic makes

U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending July 23, 2011 advanced 1.4% compared with the same week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume edged up 0.8% compared with the same week a year ago.

aar_logo.jpgAAR said 12 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, led by metallic ores, up 53.2%, iron and steel scrap, up 24.5%, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 16.8%. Groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 13.5%, waste and nonferrous scrap, down 10.2%, and primary forest products, down 10.1%.

Canadian freight carload traffic rose 0.7% compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal jumped 8.3%. Mexican freight carload traffic rose 15.2% for the week compared with 2010’s level, while intermodal soared 56.6%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 29 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.5% compared with the first 29 weeks of 2010, while combined intermodal rose 6.6% compared with a year ago.

Thursday, 28 July 2011 06:46

For RailAmerica, a record second quarter

RailAmerica, Inc. second-quarter results include income from continuing operations of $8.7 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss from continuing operations of $4.2 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010. RailAmerica President and Chief Executive Officer John Giles called it “a record second quarter.”

railamerica.jpgTotal revenue increased 17% to $139.2 million from $119.5 million. Freight revenue increased 7% to $105.6 million, with average revenue per car up 11% and carloads down 3%. Non-freight revenue increased 59% to $33.6 million. Excluding acquisitions, non-freight revenue increased 21% versus second-quarter 2010.

Giles commented: “Our second-quarter financial performance was strong despite persistent weather challenges, low coal volumes, and fuel price pressures. By controlling costs and capitalizing on non-freight revenue and pricing opportunities, we increased operating income 16%, excluding the impact of 45G credits, asset sales, and impairments. On the strategic front, I continue to be optimistic about our growing pipeline of acquisition and industrial development opportunities.”

The Los Angeles Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority has awarded a $485.9 million design-build contract to Foothill Transit Constructors, a Kiewit Parsons joint venture.

Authority directors called the contract “a significant milestone” for the 11-5-mile light rail project, which will extend the Metro Gold Line from Union Station to the Los Angeles County line, along the Foothills of the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. The work is expected to create nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output to the region during the four years of final design and construction.

The authority, an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1999 by the California State Legislature, said Los Angeles County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax increase will fully fund the contract.

The Metro Gold Line opened in 2003, connecting downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, and now averages more than 39,000 boardings every weekday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced an “innovative and pragmatic financing strategy” to fill a $$13.6 million funding gap that looms in the final three years of its 2010-2014 capital program.

new_york_mta_logo.jpgIn addition to ongoing savings expected to yield nearly $2 billion in savings by 2014, MTA proposed this bold new plan:

“Innovative federal loan: The MTA has applied for a $2.2 billion federal loan that benefits from low Treasury rates and utilizes longer maturity bonds that are appropriate for new infrastructure projects with long useful lives.

“MTA revenue bonds: The federal loan would be complemented by $4.7 billion in MTA revenue bonds.

“Manageable debt level: Existing capital funds—protected by ongoing MTA cost-cutting—would be used to repay the federal and MTA debt, creating no additional burden on the operating budget. In addition, during the period this debt would be issued, the MTA will be repaying $6.2 billion of existing debt.

“Ongoing local partnerships: In addition, ongoing support from the State, City, and Port Authority add another $1.7 billion.

“Asset sales and other resources will provide an additional $.89 billion. Along with federal grants ($4.1 billion), these sources provide the $13.6 billion needed to fully fund the remainder of the MTA Capital Program.”

The survival plan for the capital program was revealed as TA announced its preliminary new budget for 2011-2015.

jay-walder-nymta.jpg“We recognize that there’s no appetite for new taxes in New York today, and that makes it all the more important that we find ways to make these investments as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Chairman MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder (pictured at left). “At the same time, we continue to pursue innovative and pragmatic ways to move investments forward with our federal, state, and local partners, because we can't afford to eliminate or defer any of these critical projects.”

The plan is preliminary; the MTA board will vote on a final budget in December.

“By keeping our focus on making every dollar count, this financial plan brings stability back to the MTA’s finances,” said Walder.

The 2012-2015 Financial Plan relies on four key components: a continued focus on cost cutting; a three-year zero wage increase initiative that reflects new fiscal realities; continued implementation of biennial 7.5 % fare/toll increases in 2013 and 2015; and continued receipt of dedicated taxes and subsidies.

The plan builds on $525 million in recurring savings achieved in 2010, with savings targets increasing in each year of the plan and reaching $799 million by 2015. Savings of $623 million in 2011 are being achieved by pursuing better ways of doing business including: rebinding health care contracts; rationalizing and consolidating IT functions; overhauling procurement practices; and improving inventory management.
McKeesport, Pa.-based Maglev, Inc., the frontrunner expected to land any maglev project serving Pittsburgh International Airport, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it attempts to reorganize and await a $28 million federal grant.

Maglev, Inc. has sought to develop a 54-mile, $5.25 billion electromagnetic magnetic levitation train line linking the airport, downtown Pittsburgh, and Monroeville and Greensburg, Pa.

"It's just part of the economy being down, “company President Fred Gurney said in explaining the move. “We've got the money out there, but the funds aren't being released. If we were shutting down entirely, we'd have done it long ago; we believe in what we're trying to do."

The bankruptcy filing reportedly indicates the company has $50,000 or less in assets.
Friday, 29 July 2011 06:00

COASTER and Amtrak

An agreement between Amtrak and the North County Transit District will allow California COASTER customers to supplement monthly passes with a COASTER-Rail2Rail-UPGRADE. The upgrade opens access to Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner trains between the Oceanside Transit Center and San Diego.

The upgrade is available for $80 and more than doubles the number of trains available to COASTER monthly pass holders each day.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains serve Oceanside, Solana Beach, and San Diego stations.

“We are proud to be able to expand service options this year, and the COASTER-Rail2Rail-UPGRADE is just another example of this,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew Tucker. “This new bonus option will allow our regular commuters the increased flexibility they’ve been seeking. With the upgrade, they have more opportunities to travel during midday, stay at the office later in the evenings or take more weekend excursions.”

The COASTER’ s current (spring) schedule offers 22 weekday trains and 24 on Fridays, but the COASTER-Rail2Rail-UPGRADE will more than double that schedule to open up access to 24 more trains each weekday and 26 more on Fridays.The upgrade will also add 24 more trains to the COASTER’s typical weekend schedule of 22 trains, for a total of 46 weekend train options.

Amtrak's 350-mile Pacific Surfliner route links San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo in southern California.

GATX Rail earned a profit $56.7 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared with $29.4 million to second-quarter 2010. GATX Corp. said the improvement in Rail segment profit was driven by higher lease income and increased asset remarketing activity, partially offset by higher maintenance expense in Europe.

gatx_logo.jpgRail segment profit was $108.3 million for the year to date, compared with $78.7 million in the same period of 2010.

On June 30, GATX Rail’s wholly owned North American fleet totaledapproximately 109,000 cars, and fleet utilization was 98.2% compared with 97.8% at the end of the first quarter and 96.5% at June 30, 2010.

Rail’s European wholly owned tank car fleet totaled approximately 21,000 cars and utilization was 95.7%, compared with 95.8% at the end of the first quarter and 94.4% on June 30, 2010.
Friday, 29 July 2011 08:30

STB updates and lowers user fees

The Surface Transportation Board released Friday a new user fee list that incorporates a recent decision to reduce fees for filing formal complaints, including rate complaints and unreasonable practice complaints, to $350, and maintains the $150 fee to file an expedited small rate case.

stb_logo.jpgSTB said all of the board’s user fees have either decreased slightly or remain unchanged. In addition to the formal complaint fee reduction, a dozen of the agency’s user fees have decreased, while 113 others have not changed. The list was last updated in 2010.
Monday, 01 August 2011 08:54

Class I

Employment on U.S. Class I railroads reached 159,340 in June, an increase of 1.15%, or 1,688 workers over May and a 5.16% increase over June 2010.

Train crew employment (transportation-train and engine) showed the strongest increase. The June figure of 64,111 was 1.64% higher than in May and 7.49% higher than in June 2010.

The number of maintenance-of-way and structures employees rose by 244 to 36,279 in May, an 0.7% increase, and was 3.79% higher than in June 2010.

Other employment groups also reported increases over a year ago, with the number of executives, officials, and staff assistants up 3.95% to 9,331; professional and administrative, up 3.3% to 13,824; maintenance of equipment and stores, up 3.8% to 29,126; and transportation (other than train and engine), up 2.36% to 6,669.

The figures are compiled by the Surface Transportation Board from numbers reported by the railroads.

Monday, 01 August 2011 09:56

Freight car backlog grows by 10%

The latest freight car market analysis from Economic Planning Associates shows that the carbuilding backlog grew about 10% in the second quarter of 2011, compared to the previous quarter

“In spite of a slowing economy, the railcar market continues to improve,” EPA said. “First-quarter orders of 36,903 units were followed by second quarter orders of 16,900 cars and intermodal platforms. Thus, even with an evaporation of 900 cars from the backlogs, and a 38.7% hike in assemblies, total industry backlogs rose from 51,900 units at the end of March to 57,300 units at the end of June. This mid-year backlog level is 2.5 times higher than the beginning year level and represents 5.4 quarters of deliveries at current production rates.”

EPA’s outlook is optimistic: “Carbuilders can expect further orders as we proceed through this year and into 2012. Already in the third quarter, a major leasing company (CIT Rail Resources) has ordered 5,000 tank cars and hoppers from a number of builders. At the same time, CSX increased capital spending by $200 million to accommodate the growing coal export market by investing in facilities, locomotives, and additional freight cars.”

In its previous report, EPA said it was “concerned about the availability of parts and components.” That appears to have changed, because carbuilders “were able to ramp up production almost 40% without any problems.” Also, “we have allowed for continued high levels of assemblies in the second half of this year to arrive at our 2011 deliveries estimate,” EPA said. “While the slowing economy might dampen demand for some car types, we remain optimistic about further gains in railcar orders and deliveries.”

Based on current backlogs and anticipated further gains in demand for a variety of railcars, EPA has forecast 37,900 cars to be delivered this year, followed by an increase to 48,300 units in 2012. Beyond 2012, EPA is projecting deliveries to climb to 51,500 units in 2013 and 62,500 units in 2016.

Such gains, EPA said, will be attributable to several factors:

• “Far stronger economic activities will provide support for certain railcar assemblies, while an improvement in the financial environment, high gasoline prices, and strong government backing will stimulate greater demand for ethanol and DDG cars,” EPA said. “Replacement pressures and technological advances as well as legislative measures will also play a role in promoting the demand for a variety of railcars.

• “Construction activities are expected to return to higher levels, which should support movements of aggregates and structural steel products. Continued expansion in demand for petroleum products, chemicals, and food and beverages will prop up haulings of a variety of liquid products and the demand for tank cars.

• “Domestic demand for coal continues to struggle while exports are advancing at a rapid clip. We are expecting some rebound in coal’s market share of electricity generation during the remainder of this year, although the sluggish nature of the economic recovery does not indicate much of rise in electricity generation in the quarters ahead. Nonetheless, any increase in electricity generation, along with a modest rebound in coal’s share of electric power output, should result in not only a pickup in coal consumption, but also in production. As of March of this year, coal stocks held by the utilities amounted to 167.0 million tons, significantly below the 177.8 million tons of inventories in March 2010. Stricter air emission standards will promote the use of lower sulphur western coal, which is also lower BTU value coal, leading to greater volumes of coal traveling longer distances. This in turn, will lead to replacements of older, smaller, steel bodied coal cars with the larger volume aluminum gondolas and hoppers of today and tomorrow. At the same time, eastern coal fleet requirements could stimulate some demand for technologically advanced steel and hybrid coal cars.

• “On a brighter side, coal exports are booming. Due to the nuclear disaster in Japan, the European reaction to a potential nuclear meltdown in Europe, and flooding in Australia that is impacting their coal exports, demand for U.S. metallurgical and steam coal is rising. Through April of this year, U.S. coal exports amounted to 35.5 million tons, 40.9% above the comparable period of 2010. Should this momentum continue through the rest of this year, we will be reaching annual export levels not seen since 1990. Foreign demand for our coal will intensify as steel producers in Asia and South America continue to drive demand for metallurgical coal while Japanese and European countries look to move away from nuclear to coal fired facilities for power generation.

• “The covered hopper market remains vibrant. Stronger production of ethanol from corn as well as a rebound in chemicals and plastics activities are stimulating demand for hi-cube equipment, while increased export volumes and greater domestic grain consumption bolster demand for midsized cars. Sharply higher energy prices are stimulating oil and gas exploratory activities, and a large number of the small-cube cars are destined to oil and gas field service companies as well as other sectors of construction.

• “Growing worldwide nutritional needs and expanding exports will pressure the current grain service cars as we proceed through the longer term while long neglected segments such as equipment to haul waste, aggregates, and limestone show signs of revival and should add to the railcar delivery mix in the years to come.

• “Light vehicle sales and production activities are improving, and we should eventually see a rebound in demand for auto parts boxcars and autorack cars, especially for replacements in the extremely aged box car fleet.

• “At the same time, interest in mill gons and steel coil cars rebounded in the second quarter. During the first four months of this year, domestic steel shipments were running 7.8% above the comparable period of last year, while first half steel mill product imports were 24.8% ahead of last year’s first half.”

“The fact that the major railroads continue to report strong revenue and profit performances due to commodities traffic growth also will benefit the railcar industry,Æ EPA concluded. “We expect the roads to continue to invest in order to accommodate anticipated commodity haulings growth. This will involve expenditures for facilities, power, and rolling stock. And, we expect railroad traffic to continue advancing over the foreseeable future, which will justify these investments. Due to the sluggish performance of coal, we look for commodity haulings to increase 2.2% this year. The 2011 momentum will carry over into 2012, at which time, commodity haulings will increase 2.0%. From 2013 through 2016, annual growth in carloadings will moderate from 1.6% to 1.4%.”

CSX is building a privately funded $15 million, 34-acre intermodal terminal in Louisville, Kentucky. The terminal, which is slated to begin operations in early 2012, will provide intermodal service to customers and consumers in the greater Louisville area.

The new terminal will be built and operated by CSX Intermodal Terminals and will employ about a dozen people. It will provide inbound and outbound daily rail service connecting through the company's Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal to markets across CSX Transportation’s 21,000-route-mile network. “Initial service will be designed to capture the immediate market demands of the Louisville area and provide capacity for growth,” CSX said.

The new facility will be located between CSXT’s Osborne Yard and the Louisville Industrial Center near Louisville International Airport. Trucks serving the terminal are expected to use I-65, the Outer Loop, and National Turnpike. The terminal development project includes the installation of new track, pavement, drainage, gates for inbound and outbound containers, and the refurbishing of two buildings for use as office facilities.

“CSX consistently looks to provide quality rail service for the regions it serves,” said CSX Intermodal Terminals President Wilby Whitt. “We have a long and proud history of helping Kentucky's economy thrive, and we believe this new facility will help increase the benefits available to businesses and residents in the greater Louisville region.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the CSX’s investment “is welcome news on many fronts. It is a statement of confidence in the region’s economy by a private sector company. It will create jobs, and it will further strengthen the region’s transportation infrastructure, providing businesses access to more efficient, cost-effective transportation.”

A preliminary count by the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis shows that U.S. railroads reported 290 rail-related fatalities in the January-May period of 2011. Fatalities at highway-rail grade crossings totaled 110, vs. 104 in the 2010 period, an increase of 5.8%. Trespassing fatalities were essentially flat—167 in this year’s first five months vs. 166 in the corresponding 2010 period.

Total accidents/incidents reported by 730 large and small railroads added up to 4,273 in January-May this year, down 5.9% from last year’s ago 4,675.

The number of collisions increased 20.4% to 65; derailments were up 7.7% to 587; and yard accidents declined 1.8% to 427.

The number of employee fatalities increased to nine in January-May this year, compared with seven in the 2010 period.

Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC has agreed to sell the Arizona Eastern Railway Co. to Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. in a $90.1 million cash transaction, subject to post-closing adjustments.

The Arizona Eastern was chartered in 1895 as the Gila Valley, Globe & Northern, and was constructed between Bowie and Miami, Ariz., about 133 route-miles. In the final two decades of the 20th Century, it changed hands several times. When IPH purchased it in 2004, “it was in severely deteriorated condition,” the company said. “IPH worked with all stakeholders to improve track and bridge conditions, and to develop additional freight business.” In 2008, the Arizona Eastern purchased an additional line between Clifton, Ariz., and Lordsburg, N.Mex., and connected through trackage rights over the Union Pacific to the original Bowie line.

“As a result of all these actions, since 2004, the Arizona Eastern’s freight traffic has grown dramatically, track speeds have increased, and there has been a significant reduction in derailments and a corresponding improvement in other safety metrics,” said IPH President Ed Ellis. “We are grateful to the hard working men and women of the Arizona Eastern for their diligence and creativity in assisting us with the turnaround of this important rail property. We also acknowledge the instrumental contributions of the major customer, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, toward track and bridge rehabilitation. We are confident that G&W will take Arizona Eastern to the next level in service and condition of its physical plant, and are pleased to hand the reins to G&W.”

IPH is a privately-held operator of freight and passenger short line railroads in the U.S. and U.K., focusing its acquisitions on turnaround opportunities.

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