Latest News Continued
28 March 2010

436 mpg, and beyond

Can the industry’s much-touted fuel efficiency number be improved?

They don’t usually show up on the industry’s “green” index, but the millions of crossties in place make a solid contribution to a better environment.

With capacity available, this is a good time to buy freight cars, says Michael Ward. So he’s buying about 1,400.

AMTRAK After confronting dark clouds for most of its 38-year life, Amtrak has seen a silver lining in the past year-and-a-half. The first break came with the passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) in October 2008, which is delivering $14.3 bi ...

Norfolk Southern, which transported approximately one-half million Toyota vehicles in 2009, has for the seventh time received the Toyota Logistics Services President's Award foroverall logistics excellence among rail carriers.

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It's Toyota's highest award for logistics providers and has been given since 1996.

Norfolk Southern's Toyota movements last year included those originating from NS-served plans in Georgetown, Ky., Lafayette, Ind., and Princeton, Ind.

“Norfolk Southern is proud to have been a strong logistics partner with Toyota for more than two decades,” said RichardKiley, NS group vice president—automotive. “We remain committed to continue meeting Toyota’s high standards for excellence by providing safe, damage-free, on-time service.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

--> Norfolk Southern, which transported approximately one-half million Toyota vehicles in 2009, has for the seventh time received the Toyota Logistics Services President's Award foroverall logistics excellence among rail ...

Huron Central Rail will be provided with C$15 million of provincial money for its infrastructure upgrades to keep the 186-mile short line operational, as part of the 2010 Ontario provincial budget unveiled Thursday.

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“The provincial-territorial base funding agreement has been signed by the province and the $15 million for Huron Central is in the budget,” said David Orazietti, member of Parliament, who represents Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, Huron Central’s hub city. “This is absolutely great news for Sault Ste. Marie and businesses that rely on the rail line to deliver their product,” he said.

Added fellow member of Parliament Tony Martin, “It's good news. That's what we were looking for in the budget and now Huron Central can move forward and this will help our industries and communities.” Martin said the provincial funds likely would trigger matching funding from the federal government.

The announcement comes just days before Huron Central’s self-imposed deadline that the railroad said would prompt it to start winding down operations during the spring and summer.

Huron Central is operated by Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.

 

 

--> Huron Central Rail will be provided with C$15 million of provincial money for its infrastructure upgrades to keep the 186-mile short line operational, as part of the 2010 Ontario provincial budget unveiled Thursday. ...

Brookville Equipment Corp. said Friday its Board of Directors has named Vice President of Operations Larry J. Conrad to the post of President.  Conrad accepted the position during a Board meeting March 18, 2010. Dalph McNeil is retiring after serving as the company’s president for nearly 33 years.

Conrad joined the company as employee number eight in 1979 as a design engineer. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1975 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and had previously worked in the engineering department of McCreary Tire & Rubber for three years prior to his arrival at Brookville.

--> Brookville Equipment Corp. said Friday its Board of Directors has named Vice President of Operations Larry J. Conrad to the post of President.  Conrad accepted the position during a Board meeting March 18, 2010. Dalph McNeil is retiring afte ...

Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm says it will provide a comprehensive yard automation system at CSX’s new intermodal facility under construction in North Baltimore, Ohio.

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The all-inclusive system includes direct switch control, NX routing, control point monitoring, track protection via derails and blue flags, automatic equipment identification and tracking, and a shove track protection system.

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The RailComm Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System will interface to Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) portals to associate all traffic movement within the facility to each specific car identifier. The DOC® system also will provide remote control and monitoring of all connected devices, with an extensive communication network comprised of RailComm RADiANT™ data radios. 

--> Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm says it will provide a comprehensive yard automation system at CSX’s new intermodal facility under construction in North Baltimore, Ohio. ...

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. ...
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