July carload traffic advanced 4.1% compared with the comparable 2009 month, the Association of American Railroads said, but AAR also noted “roughly 23.4% of the North America railcar fleet,” or 349,471 cars, remains sidelined. Though industry analysts say some of those cars will be retired or scrapped instead of being returned to duty, the amount of stored equipment remains significant.
July’s traffic still lagged behind July 2008 totals by 14.6%, AAR said. Intermodal continues to show more strength, up 17.3% in July compared with a year ago and down 5.1% from July 2008.
In addition, “Seasonally adjusted AAR data showed month-to-month gains in carloads for July, up 3.2% from June 2010, as well as intermodal traffic, up 2.4% from the previous month,” AAR said.
NextSense, a company based in Graz, Austria, announced that it will unveil “the wheel diameter module for the Calipri high-tech measuring device” at the Innotrans 2010 railroad technology trade show in Berlin in September.
“The wheel diameter is one of the critical parameters involved in evaluating the running performance and safety level of railroad vehicles,” notes NextSense. “Until now, there have been no completely satisfactory solutions for measuring these diameters. The systems available on the market have either not been designed for mobile use or are too inaccurate. NextSense quite literally took up the challenge posed by these unsolved problems. After a two-year development phase, the solution is now available as a production-ready product for use in railroad workshops.
“A model manufactured using CFRP lightweight technology is fitted onto the built-in wheel with a hand grip. The user conducting the operation brings the sensor of the measuring device close to the model. After just a few seconds, the result is indicated and enables furthersubsequent evaluations to be carried out, such as the diameter difference on the wheel set or overstepping of thresholds,” NextSense says
NextSense says the new diameter-measuring device forms part of a family of measuring modules, which enable wheelsets to be measured while completely mobile.
Berkshire Hathaway has reported that operating earnings for the second quarter and first six months of 2010 increased 72.7% and 52.0% from the comparable periods in 2009.
“BNSF was the major contributor adding $885 million to net earnings since our acquisition on Feb. 12, 2010, including $603 million during the second quarter,” said the company in an earnings statement released Aug. 6. Another major reason for the improvement occurred at NetJets with a swing from a pre-tax loss of $348.5 million in the first six months of 2009 to a pre-tax profit of $114.5 million in 2010.
Berkshire paid $26.5 billion in February for the share of BNSF it did not already own.
Association of American Railroads praised the
introduction of the Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Act of 2010
(S.3749) by Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.). This
bipartisan measure is aimed at encouraging private capital investments that can
generate tremendous public benefits through expanded rail network capacity
needed for moving more people and goods by rail.
The Port of Quebec, a
terminal operator at the port and CN announced today a service arrangement that
will reduce transit times for shipments destined to Toronto to 38 hours from 53
hours, an improvement of almost 30 per cent. The improvement resulted from the
port and terminal operator agreeing to more consistent release times for
shipments and CN adjusting schedules to expedite the movement of traffic over
its network between Quebec City and Toronto.
The Federal Railroad
Administration plans to assess the potential to construct a large solar
photovoltaic array at its Transportation Technology Center, a railway testing
site in Colorado, Sunpluggers.com, The Solar Home & Business Journal
At its monthly meeting, the
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners authorized an
option under the PATH Railcar procurement contract with Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.,
to purchase 10 additional PA-5 railcars at a total cost of $15 million.
Consolidated sales for Koppers
Holdings Inc. in the second quarter of 2010 were 12% higher than sales in the
prior year quarter. Sales for Carbon Materials and Chemicals (CM&C)
increased by 30%, or $47.5 million over the prior year quarter, which was
partially offset by lower sales for Railroad and Utility Products (R&UP),
which decreased nine percent, or $12.0 million. The increase in sales in
CM&C was due to higher volumes for carbon materials and higher volumes and
prices for coal tar chemicals. R&UP sales were lower due to lower volumes
of untreated crossties, as reduced buying patterns by the Class I railroads in
the first quarter due to unfavorable weather continued into the second quarter
as some of the railroads have been reducing inventory levels.
Transportation, together with consortium partner, Vossloh Kiepe, signed an
option to supply an additional 14 BOMBARDIER FLEXITY Swift light rail vehicles
to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive's (GMPTE's) Metrolink
system. This option forms part of the contract signed with GMPTE in April 2007 and
is valued at $43 million U.S. with Bombardier's share amounting to approximately $32
of American Railroads announced that U.S. railroads reported the highest
traffic levels of 2010 for both carload and intermodal traffic for the week
ending July 31, up 9.4% the from same week in 2009 but down 10.65% from the
same week in 2008. U.S railroads originated 300,292 carloads for the week, and
intermodal traffic totaled 232,895 trailers and containers,