Grupo Mexico announced Thursday that Ferromex, the largest railroad company in Mexico, expects to invest $134 million for the year, mainly on infrastructure renewal, Octavio Ornelas, a director of the company’s transportation arm, said on a conference call for investors. He also said Grupo Mexico’s board authorized the acquisition of 44 new locomotives, which will increase cargo capacity by 7.5%.
Grupo Mexico said a proposed merger of Ferromex and Ferrosur, another railroad that is part of its transportation division, could come by the first quarter of next year, depending on approval by Mexico’s Competition Commission.
Antitrust regulators objected to the merger, but in May a federal court ruled in Grupo Mexico’s favor and said the commission should consider the merger approved. The commission could still appeal that decision.
Transportation Certification Services (TCS) has providedspring and summertime training to rail workers in six North America locations,offering training in varied disciplines involving Safe Rail Operations, Locomotive Engineering, Service Engineering, Locomotive Inspection, Commuter Coach Inspection, and Equipment Operations.
TCS trained equipment operators for Kawasaki Rail Car at Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven, Conn., terminal. Equipment operators were trained to run electrified cars in order to bring them from the Metro-North delivery track to Kawasaki’s facility for testing, warranty work, or retrofitting. Training consisted of safety procedures, operating practices, blue signal protection, safely securing, and operating equipment. Kawasaki Rail Car will provide M-8 passenger rail cars which will be used on both Metro-North’s New Haven Line and the Connecticut DOT’s Shore Line East Service.
TCS also trained employees of the Erskine Grain Terminal in Erskine, Minn., in safe operating practices and locomotive train handling, including the use of distributed power to safely unit trains of grain at the 1 million bushel facility. Erskine Grain Terminal is located on the BNSF mainline and loads 110 car unit trains of soy beans, wheat, or corn.
TCS trained its third and fourth classes of train equipment operators for Minnesota’s North Star Commuter Rail service at its Big Lake, Minn., facility in May and June. TCS trained the first two classes of equipment operators in 2009.
In Canada, TCS trainers were in Toronto offering recertification training for GO Transit’s commuter operations engineers. TCS has been training GO engineers since 2007 as a training partner of Bombardier Transportation, GO’s rail operator. TCS has also recently been training Locomotive and Car Inspectors for Bombardier.
Dennis J. Duffy, vice chairman-Operations of Union Pacific and the longest-serving head of the operating department in company history, has decided to retire this fall, UP announced Friday. UP has named Lance M. Fritz executive vice president-Operations, effective Sept.1, with responsibility for all aspects of Union Pacific’s railroad operations.
Duffy joined the company in 1973 and has held positions in the Finance, Marketing & Sales, and Operating departments.
“Dennis has incredible industry knowledge, a keen sense of anticipating what it takes to help us grow with our customers, and a tireless work ethic,” said James R. Young, Union Pacific chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “His unwavering commitment to our company’s values of focusing on safety, service, and performance, ensuring high ethical standards, and working as a team has led Dennis to make many significant contributions to Union Pacific. We are grateful for his service.”
Fritz joined the company's Marketing & Sales organization as vice president-Energy in 2000, having previously served as regional vicepresident-Northern Region, regional vice president-Southern Region, and vice president-Labor Relations prior to being named vice president-Operations in December 2009.
“Lance has a proven record of success in each of his areasof responsibility,” Young said. “The combination of his experience, vision and leadership makes him the right person at the right time to lead our Operating Department.”
TTCI’s “integrated freight car truck concept” is the next step in improved performance and reliability.
The Association of American Railroads reports that U.S.railroads originated 286,854 carloads for the week ending July 24, up 4.7% from the same week in 2009 but down 13.5% from 2008.
Intermodal traffic continued to show strength, totaling 230,443 trailers and containers in the latest week, up 19.2% from a year agoand down only 2.1% from 2008.
Fifteen of the 19 carload groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, led by metallic ores, up 56.3%; metals and products, up31.2%motor vehicles and equipment, up 29%; and farm products excluding grain, up 25.8%. Farm products excluding grain was the only commodity group to post an increase over 2008 levels; it was up 5.6%.
Canadian railroads reported volume of 73,375 cars for theweek, up 18.9% from last year, and 45,904 trailers and containers, up 9.7%. Mexican railroads originated 13,152 carloads, up 12.9% from the same week last year, and 6,243 trailers or containers, up 7.9%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 29 weeksof 2010 on 13& reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads added up to 10,652,140 carloads, up 10.2% from last year, and 7,601,774 trailers and containers, up 13.9%.
San Diego-based eAccess LLC, part of Cubic Corp., said Thursday it will deliver 1 million smart cards to the Port Authority of NewYork & New Jersey’s PATH rail system under a new three-year-contract.
The company will deliver a substantial quantity of Limited Use Contactless Smart Cards later this summer. The cards will be packaged with a secure RFID shield for convenient storage and retail handling, and will be sold through retail kiosks at various PATH stations.
“The eAccess Limited Use smart card allows transit riders who have been using paper magnetic tickets to switch to cutting-edge contactless technology,” said Paul Orloff, director of marketing for eAccess for the Eastern region. “This will ensure a consistent and efficient experience for transit patrons by reducing the time they spend at fare gates. Our cardsuse the most advanced, proven technology available, and complement the successful SmartLink(SM) contactless full-featured smart card already used by many transit riders in the New York/New Jersey area.” The new cards meet the ANSI 410 standard adopted by the American National Standards Institute, as well as ISO/IEC 14443 compliance.
American Railcar Industries, Inc. Wednesday reported a second-quarter 2010 net loss of $5.9 million, or 28 cents per share, on revenue of $61.2 million, compared with net earnings of $1.1 million, or 5 cents per share, on revenue of $109.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
ARI attributed the revenue decline “primarily due to lower railcar shipments and a change in product mix. The decrease was partially offset by increased railcar repair volumes primarily due to the company’s completed railcar repair facility expansions and the utilization of its railcar manufacturing facilities for railcar repair projects.”
ARI said it “shipped approximately 370 railcars [in the second quarter] as compared to approximately 980 railcars in the same period of 2009. Our backlog increased to approximately 1,210 railcars as of June 30, 2010.”
“The railcar industry has begun to see a modest improvement in demand during 2010,” said ARI President and CEO James Cowan. “Railcar orders have improved, railcar loadings have increased, and railcars are being returned to service from storage. We received orders for approximately 1,080 railcars during the second quarter of 2010. To fulfill the new railcar orders we will begin modestly ramping up production rates. Our railcar services segment continues to be strong, with revenues growing 25% year-over-year, to $34.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010. This growth resulted from higher volumes driven by repair plant expansions and repair work performed at our railcar manufacturing plants.”
“From an order standpoint, the 1,080 railcars booked represents the best quarter since 2Q07, and more cars were ordered in 2Q10 than in the prior 10 quarters combined,” commented Steve Barger, director, Industrial Manufacturers, for KeyBanc CapitalMarkets, Inc., in a note.
ARI said its net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was affected by lower operating earnings, an increase in netinterest expense, and increased losses from joint ventures, all partially offset by a decrease in selling, administrative, and other costs.
In its second-quarter 2010 report, Trinity Industries, Inc. said its Rail Group had revenue of $112.9 million and an operating loss of $2.7 million. This compares to revenue of $303.3 million and a loss of $328.7 million in the second quarter of 2009, which included a $325 million pre-tax goodwill impairment charge.
TrinityRail’s order backlog grew to approximately 3,990 railcars valued at around $300 million on June 30, compared with a backlog of 2,980 cars valued at $250 million of March 31.
TrinityRail delivered approximately 890 railcars and received orders for approximately 1,900 during the second quarter.
TILC had approximately 50,970 cars in its fleet as of June 30, 2010. This compares to a fleet of approximately 50,350 cars on March 31. TILC’s lease fleet utilization rose to 98.7% as of June 30, 2010, compared to 98.3% as of March 31, 2010.
On a corporate basis, Trinity Industries reported net income attributable to stockholders of $18.4 million for the second quarter ended of 2010. The second quarter of 2009 had a loss of $209.4 million. Excluding the goodwill impairment charge, income was $33.9 million.
In a note, Steve Barger, director, Industrial Manufacturers, for KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc., observed, “Overall, we consider this a solid quarter in what continues to be a tough environment, and we believe investors should be encouraged by the consistency of TRN’s performance over recent quarters.
Jacskonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica, Inc. reported late Wednesday that its second-quarter 2010 revenue increased 18% to $117.3 million from $99.7 million. With carloads up 11%, freight revenue increased 17% to $96.5 million. Non-freight revenue rose 22% to $20.8 million.
Including charges totaling $8.5 million after tax, or $0.15 per share, for the early retirement of debt and interest rate swap termination costs, RailAmerica reported a second-quarter 2010 loss from continuing operations of $4.6 million, or $0.08 per diluted share.
John Giles, RailAmerica’s president and CEO, said: “During the second quarter, we made progress on each of our strategic priorities of organic growth, balance sheet strength, and external growth. Our solid operating performance was driven by significantly higher revenue and further improvements in our underlying cost structure. Despite higher fuel prices, operating income was up 20% versus a year ago excluding theimpact of 45G tax credit monetization recognized in the second quarter of 2009. Late in the second quarter of 2010 we redeemed an additional $74 million of our senior notes, further strengthening our balance sheet. With the acquisition of Atlas Railroad Construction Company early in the third quarter, we expanded our presence in growing rail-related markets.”