William Vantuono

William Vantuono

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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Economic Planning Associates has released its first-quarter 2012 report on the freight car market, and while there has been a decline in carbuilder backlogs, EPA has not measurably changed its forecast since its last report. EPA noted that “the railroads will continue to support demand for railcars.”

Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C. received the 2011 American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President’s Award for its outstanding safety record. The President’s Award, first presented in 2006, is awarded to the ASLRRA-member railroad with the lowest injury frequency rate in its category. FEC posted the best safety rate in the more than 500,000 man-hours category. FEC achieved an 0.56 frequency rate, which was below the industry average.

“Safety is a top priority for FEC, and this award shows the commitment and dedication of everyone at FEC to maintaining a safe working environment for our employees,” said FEC President and CEO James R. Hertwig.

Union Pacific General Director Car and Locomotive Engineering Michael Iden, Chicago, Ill., has been awarded the 2012 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award by the Association of American Railroads.

Friday, 27 April 2012 13:43

BNSF honors 2011 Employees of the Year

BNSF Railway has honored the accomplishments of its 2011 Safety Employees of the Year, Achievement Award winners, and “Best of the Best” safety team leaders.

Friday, 27 April 2012 12:54

BNSF, UP ordered to pay rate reparations

The Surface Transportation Board has ordered BNSF and Union Pacific to pay reparations totaling $9,244,144 to Arizona Electric Power Cooperative for rate overcharges for the movement of utility coal.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 13:42

Cuomo communications aide joins NYMTA

Stephen J. Morello, who has served for the past year as deputy director of communications in the office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, is joining the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as director of communications, government relations, and community affairs divisions of the MTA and its agencies. His formal title is counselor to MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota.

“Steve Morello will be an invaluable asset to the MTA,” Lhota said. “He has served three governors and one mayor, and I look forward to gaining his insights and guidance as we work to make the MTA more transparent and improve our image in the eyes of all our customers and elected officials.”

Forty-five Norfolk Southern chemical customers have earned the railroad’s Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award for their safe handling of chemical products in 2011.

Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hoback accepted Railway Age’s 2012 “Regional Railroad of the Year” award at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s national convention in Indianapolis April 24.

GE Transportation has launched a new a new portfolio of rail signaling and train control systems called Tempo Railway Solutions. Among Tempo’s offerings are ETCS (European Train Control System) technology and a Computer Based Interlocking system, both of which were introduced today at the UIC ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) World Conference 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:02

Wabtec: Record 1Q sales, strong backlog

Wabtec Corp. on Tuesday reported record results for the 2012 first quarter. Sales were a best-ever $583 million, 28% higher than the year-ago quarter, due to strength in the Freight Group.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:00

KCS: Record 1Q revenue, operating ratio

Kansas City Southern has reported record first-quarter 2012 revenue of $548 million with carloads up 7% from first-quarter 2011.

CN late Monday, April 23, posted strong first quarter results, prompting the railroad to revise its outlook for the year upward.

Following Canadian Pacific’s favorable first-quarter 2012 earnings report last week, Pershing Square Capital Management stepped up its attack on CP President and CEO Fred Green (pictured) and his management team with a strongly worded letter to shareholders that some industry observers are calling an obviously self-serving and misleading manipulation of numbers.

The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail carload traffic for the week ending April 7, 2012, fell 7.7% compared to the prior-year week, with U.S. railroads originating 270,974 carloads. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 231,153 trailers and containers, up 1.1% compared with the same week last year.

Nine of the AAR’s 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by: petroleum products, up 33.3%; primary forest products, up 11.8%; and stone, clay and glass products, up 11.2%. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included iron, steel and scrap, down 18.1%; grain, down 16.6%, and coal, down 16.1%.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 5.2% compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 9.3%, compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 14 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,950,064 carloads, down 2.9%t from last year, and 3,159,598 trailers and containers, up 2.4%from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 75,089 carloads for the week, down 3.4% compared with the same week last year, and 50,454 trailers and containers, up 1.6% compared with 2011. For the first fourteen weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,061,371 carloads, up 4.7% from the same point last year, and 683,388 trailers and containers, up 6.5% from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 11,999 carloads for the week, down 16% compared with the same week last year, and 7,141 trailers and containers, up 1.3%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 14 weeks of 2012 is 188,344 carloads, down 6.5% compared with last year, and 121,958 trailers and containers, up 21.2%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 14 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 5,199,779 carloads, down 1.6% compared with last year, and 3,964,944 trailers and containers, up 3.6% compared with last year.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:24

UP cites safest hazmat shippers

Union Pacific has named 74 companies as annual Pinnacle Award recipients for chemical transportation safety.

Now in its sixth year, Norfolk Southern’s “Train Your Brain” public safety program has reminded more than half a million people “to be smart and alert around highway-rail grade crossings and to avoid trespassing on railroad property,” the railroad notes.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:30

Canadian Pacific proxy battle heats up

The stage has been set for Canadian Pacific’s annual shareholders meeting on May 17, where hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management will attempt a takeover of CP and replace the railroad’s president, Fred Green, and board of directors with its own candidates.

Regan Smith, driving the no. 78 Furniture Row/CSX Play it Safe Chevrolet, rebounded to a 16th-place finish in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on April 1. 

The late-race turnaround “was a result of sound pit strategy, quick pit stops, and a combination of patient and savvy driving,” the team said.

Highlights from Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling’s remarks upon receipt of the Railroader of the Year Award, Union League Club, Chicago, Ill., March 13, 2012. “Railroading in North America: This Generation to the Next”

Kawasaki Rail Car USA, Inc. is currently assembling the prototype trainset of the Washington Area Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) new 7000 Series Metrorail rapid transit cars in Kobe, Japan.

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