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.
CN on Jan. 7, 2016 submitted its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) for its proposed logistics hub/intermodal facility to be built in Milton, Ontario.
January 7, 2016: Carl R. Ice, President and Chief Executive Officer of BNSF Railway, has been named 2016 Railroader of the Year by railroad industry trade journal Railway Age. Ice is Railway Age’s 53rd Railroader of the Year.
Updegraff Trucking, a full-service motor carrier with common carrier authority in 48 states offering dry bulk, flatbed and box van services, has established a new transload facility at SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) subsidiary Lycoming Valley Railroad’s Newberry Rail Yard in Williamsport, Pa.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study released Jan. 6, 2016, “Amtrak: Better Reporting, Planning, and Improved Financial Information Could Enhance Decision Making,” recommends that Amtrak take certain steps to improve its performance.
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has named Joseph G. Pulicare, P.E., President of its U.S. Transportation and Infrastructure Sector. Pulicare succeeds Cliff Eby, who is retiring after a distinguished career in the public and private sectors.
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Jan. 7, 2016 reported record financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30, 2015.
Wall Street analyst Cowen and Company has partnered with Chainalytics, a leading firm that collects tens of billions of annualized freight spend dollars covering well over 230 direct subscriptions with key shippers and third-party logistics providers globally, to offer the “Chainalytics-Cowen Index” monthly report.
Wabtec Corp. has begun deliveries of brake system equipment to Alstom, which is building up to 3,600 commuter railcars for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
Reuters, which originally broke the story late last year about Canadian Pacific’s targeting of Norfolk Southern for acquisition before CP officially announced it, has published excerpts of several letters to the Surface Transportation Board from industry groups representing several major NS freight customers. The letters ask the STB to reject a merger application.
BNSF President and Chief Executive Officer, Carl Ice, Railway Age’s 2016 Railroader of the Year, speaks candidly with Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono in a wide-ranging interview conducted for the magazine’s January issue.
Railroads operated by Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC carried nearly 400,000 passengers during the holiday season, and the company is the largest franchisee of the Warner Brothers Polar Express™ brand, both in locations and number of passengers. Iowa Pacific operates holiday trains in 13 locations, including nine with the Polar Express™ franchise and four with Train to Christmas Town.
The 17th year of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train program “saw tremendous crowds, generous donations and big smiles as it etched its way across Canada and the northern U.S.,” according to CP. “With results continuing to roll in, the 2015 edition of the Holiday Train is on track to raise more than $1.4 million and more than 300,000 pounds of food for food banks and food shelves.”
Vertex Railcar Corp. of Wilmington, N.C., has achieved two certifications from the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Following official site audits this fall, AAR representatives certified that the Vertex facility in Wilmington meets AAR Quality Assurance (M-1003) specification and awarded the S-2034 Car Builder Certification.
Citing a “tepid macroeconomic climate that is impacting all freight transport providers, including truckers,” Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl is lowering estimates and reducing price targets well before the railroads report fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 financials. Cowen has revised 4Q15 and 2016 earnings estimates downwards for most railroads, truckers and 3PLs (third-party logistics providers).
The Association of American Railroads, in reporting rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 26, 2015 (week 51), noted that total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 391,107 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.8% compared with the same week in 2014. Total carloads for the week, pushed by a near-32% drop in coal, nosedived 17.9% to 206,903, compared with the same week in 2014, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 184,204 containers and trailers, up 1.6%—not nearly enough to stop the bleeding.
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and representatives from Union Pacific, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Amtrak, Fort Worth & Western Railroad (FW&W) and Regional Rail Right-of-Way Co. on Dec. 28, 2015 signed a shared-use operating agreement for the TEX Rail commuter rail line, slated to begin service in 2018.
During much of fourth-quarter 2015, investor interest in Wabtec (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp.) has increased due to concerns about the North American railcar cycle, Wabtec’s pending acquisition of Faiveley Transport, the sustainability of margins and returns, and the company’s declining share price. Steve Barger of KeyBanc Capital Markets looked at revenue drivers and the Faiveley accretion model.
New Jersey Transit has appointed Dennis J. Martin as Interim Executive Director effective Dec. 28, 2015, replacing Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, who left NJT to become President of MTA New York City Transit.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Dec. 28, 2015 issued two interrelated decisions—a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Proposed Policy Statement (PPS)—proposing revised definitions and policy guidance for passenger train on-time performance and preference. The STB is seeking public comment on the proposals, both of which would affect Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) as codified at 49 U.S.C. § 24308(f).
Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl reports on a recent dinner conversation with “a large private shipper” that focused on the proposed Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern merger, rail pricing, railcar sourcing, and the U.S. economy. Following are his observations: