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For the fourth consecutive week, including the latest week ended March 20, freight traffic on U.S. railroads was up compared with the same period a year ago according to the Association of American Railroads.

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U.S. railroads originated 287,639 carloads during the week, up 4.3% from the comparable week in 2009, though still down 10.7% from 2008, prior to the onset of severe recession. Intermodal traffic totaled 201,300 trailers and containers, up 9.5% from last year but also down 4.6% compared with 2008. Total volume for the week was estimated at 31.3 billion ton-miles,up 5.4% from last year but down 7.7% from 2008.

U.S. railroads in the West saw traffic gain 5.9% compared with the same week last year, but off 7.8% compared with 2008. In the East, freight carloads were up 2.1% compared with 2009, but down 14.6% compared with 2008.

Sixteen of 19 carload commodity groups showed gains from ayear ago, with 13 of them showing double-digit gains, led by a 69.2% increase in loadings of metals and products. Other gainers included grain, up 24%; motor vehicles, up 20.8%; waste and scrap, up 33.1%; lumber and wood products, up 21.8%, and chemicals, up 14.4%. Coal loadings continued to lag behind as per recent weeks, down 6.4% during the week ended March 20, while pulp, paper, and allied products slipped 6.1%.

Canadian railroads reported volume rose 21.1% from last year, while intermodal climbed 12.8% from 2009. Mexico’s two major railroads reported carload freight trafficc rose 10.4% while intermodal soared, up 63.3%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 11 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 3,941,811 carloads, up 3.6% from last year, and 2,772,992 trailers and containers, up 8.7% from last year.

--> For the fourth consecutive week, including the latest week ended March 20, freight traffic on U.S. railroads was up compared with the same period a year ago according to the Association of American Railroads. ...

Germany’s  Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) reported Thursday that its 2009 net income fell to 830 million euros ($1.1 billion), as passenger and freight levels declined during economic recession.

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DB’s net income in 2008 was 1.3 billion; its revenue declined more than 12% to 29.3 billion euros in 2009 from 33.5 billion euros in 2008.

“Defending the company's economic strength and reducing our indebtedness are two items that will remain at the very top of our agenda in the future,” said Ruediger Grube, DB chief executive, in a statement. “There is no reasonable alternative to this stance.”

DB said it reduced its net debt almost 6% to just over 15 billion euros at the end of 2009 from nearly 16 billion euros in 2008.

Grube said other plans for Deutsche Bahn include developing the business through several initiatives, including customer quality, engineering, and capital expenditure. As one example, the company seeks to renovate about 2,000 small and medium-sized train stations across the nation by 2011.

DB said 2009 rail passenger levels declined 0.6% to nearly 2 billion people. Rail freight levels declined 10% to 341 million metric tons (376 million U.S. tons). Bus passenger levels, however,  increased nearly 4% to 800 million people in 2009; DB is Germany’s largest bus operator.

 

--> Germany’s  Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) reported Thursday that its 2009 net income fell to 830 million euros ($1.1 billion), as passenger and freight levels declined during economic recession. ...

Canadian National said earlier this year that it was expecting double-digit in earnings-per-share growth in 2010, and Chief Financial Officer Luc Jobin told a National Bank Financial conference Wednesday that "so far the numbers are supporting that view, despite the headwind of a stronger Canadian dollar. He added that “the first quarter is off to a good start, but it's still early in the year.”

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The Canadian dollar is about 10% stronger vs. the U.S. dollar than it was a year ago, said Jobin; that means CN's U.S.-dominated revenues are depressed when converted to Canadian currency.

Jobin said CN anticipates about C$700 million (US$686 million) in free cash flow this year.

--> Canadian National said earlier this year that it was expecting double-digit in earnings-per-share growth in 2010, and Chief Financial Officer Luc Jobin told a National Bank Financial conference Wednesday that "so far the numbers are suppor ...

Faiveley Transport announced Wednesday it will provide equipment for the first 204 light rail vehicles being provided by Bombardier Transportation to Toronto Transit Commission. TTC could exercise an option expanding the order to 410 cars.

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Faiveley said it will provide a traditional Light Rail Vehicle brake system including electronic control, hydraulic power units, and hydraulic calipers. Discs and magnetic track brakes will also be supplied. The hydraulic brake components will be manufactured in North America.

The company said it will also provide the complete door system (four doors per LRV), including a ramp access for disabled passengers. The single and double sliding plug doors are electrically powered.

Delivery to Bombardier will take place in December and January; delivery of the first 204 LRVs to TTC is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Saint-Denis Cedex, France-based Faiveley described its order as “a major breakthrough reinforcing Faiveley's presence in the North American market.” Faiveley Transport USA is located in Exton, Pa.

--> Faiveley Transport announced Wednesday it will provide equipment for the first 204 light rail vehicles being provided by Bombardier Transportation to Toronto Transit Commission. TTC could exercise an option expanding the order to 410 cars. ...

Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday it has received an order for 49 additional Régio2N regional double-deck trains, as an option from the “Régio2N” contract signed last February with French National Railways on behalf of the French Regions. The additional order, to be financed by the Regions, is worth $474 million.

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Including this option, the six Regions involved so far have ordered a total of 129 Régio2N trains, out of a possible order which could grow to 860. The equipment will be divided as follows: Aquitaine Region, 24 trains; Bretagne Region, 17 trains; Centre Region, 14 trains; Nord-Pas de Calais Region, 18 trains; Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, 16 trains; and the Rhône-Alpes Region, 40 trains.

Deliveries will beginin June 2013 with full delivery of the 129 trains ordered to date set for completion by mid-2016.

Bombardier’s new regional double-deck trains were created by company teams in Crespin, in France’s Nord-Pas de Calais Region. Bombardier will also design, build and test these vehicles at the site. 

--> Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday it has received an order for 49 additional Régio2N regional double-deck trains, as an option from the “Régio2N” contract signed last February with French National Railways on behalf of the Fre ...

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday voted to enact a range of service cuts to New York City Transit subways and buses, to be phased in beginning in June. The move is expected to save the MTA $93 million per year, still far short of the $400 million budget deficit MTA needs to address.

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Under the plan, the W train will be eliminated and the M line will no longer run in Lower Manhattan and south Brooklyn. Bus riders will lose 34 routes throughout the five boroughs, including 13 express routes. Several other bus lines will be truncated or rerouted.

Still to be determined is a plan to eliminate discounted fares for students.

 

--> The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday voted to enact a range of service cuts to New York City Transit subways and buses, to be phased in beginning in June. The move is expected to save the MTA $93 million per year, still far short o ...

The board of Denver’s Regional Transportation District agreed Tuesday to pay BNSF Railway $144 million for land, relocation, and engineering services to clear the way for FasTracks passenger rail projects.

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The price includes $102.7 million for property in a BNSF freight corridor from Union Station to West 71st Avenue in Westminster, and in another corridor from Sheridan Boulevard and West 58th Avenue to the city of Golden, Colo.

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The Denver Post noted that while RTD’s planned Gold Line service to Arvada and Wheat Ridge has a terminal station at Ward Road near West 49th Avenue, the agency is acquiring property to Golden for a potential extension.

The BNSF will operate freight trains on separate tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--> The board of Denver’s Regional Transportation District agreed Tuesday to pay BNSF Railway $144 million for land, relocation, and engineering services to clear the way for FasTracks passenger rail pr ...

In a letter addressed to company employees, Amtrak President Joe Boardman announced the creation of a High-Speed Rail Department, to be led by a vice president reporting directly to Boardman himself.  

joseph_boardman_for_website.jpg“Specifically, this department will work on the planning and development activities that will allow us to significantly increase operating speeds above 150 mph (240 kph) on the Northeast Corridor,” Boardman wrote. “It will also pursue partnerships with states and others in the passenger rail industry to develop federally-designated high-speed rail corridors such as the new projects moving forward in California and Florida.”

“Amtrak’s leadership in this area is reaffirmed in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 and we must make every effort to remain in that position,” Boardman (pictured above left) noted.

“The increasing demand for passenger rail service means we will face new competition from companies all over the world, but we have several strategic advantages that we must not waste. We have assets, partnerships, and knowledge that others do not. And most importantly we have an extremely skilled team of employees that is unmatched,” Boardman said.


--> In a letter addressed to company employees, Amtrak President Joe Boardman announced the creation of a High-Speed Rail Department, to be led by a vice president reporting directly to Boardman himself.   ...

L.B. Foster Co. and Portec Rail Products, Inc. have each received a formal second request for additional “information and documentary material” from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice regarding the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated Feb. 16 in which L.B. Foster proposed to acquire Portec. As a result, the waiting period during which the Antitrust Division is permitted to review the proposed transaction has been extended until the 10th day after L.B. Foster's compliance with the second request.

“L.B. Foster and Portec expect to promptly respond to the second request, and to continue to work cooperatively with the Antitrust Division as it conducts its review of the proposed transaction,” said L.B. Foster in a statement Tuesday. “As a result of the second request, L.B. Foster presently intends to extend the expiration time of the tender offer from time to time if the waiting period has not expired. L.B. Foster does not have the right under the Merger Agreement to unilaterally extend the expiration time of the Offer beyond June 15, 2010.”

--> L.B. Foster Co. and Portec Rail Products, Inc. have each received a formal second request for additional “information and documentary material” from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice regarding the Agreement and Pla ...
The Federal Railroad Administration's new Cab Technology Integration Laboratory (CTIL) locomotive simulator “will permit researchers to realistically simulate innumerable conditions and scenarios encountered during railroad operations to help identify safety problems and develop effective sol ...
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