Breaking News

Norfolk Southern GoRail and Veterans Locomotives Pulling Covered Hoppers – Inman Yard; Atlanta, Ga. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of Norfolk Southern)

AAR: North American Rail Volume Down 1.9% Through 46 Weeks

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) now has 46 weeks of traffic data for 2022 (ending Nov. 19). Total North American carload and intermodal traffic dipped 1.9% from the same point last year—with decreases in the U.S. and Canada, and an increase in Mexico.

The Chicago Department of Planning and Development on Nov. 22 issued the first request for proposals under the city’s $10 million Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Program.

Transit Briefs: City of Chicago, CTA, Metra

The Chicago (Ill.) Department of Planning and Development (DPD) launches the first phase of a $10 million Equitable Transit-Oriented Development program. Also, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Department of Aviation team on wayfinding upgrades at O’Hare International Airport; and Chicago’s Metra commuter railroad will offer a new pilot schedule on the UP-West line.

John Rohner (left), Newel Jensen (middle) and Kitty Barkley (right) have joined WSP USA Southwest Mountain District's senior leadership team.
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People News: WSP USA, HNTB, Integrated Rail and Resources Acquisition Corp.

WSP USA announces new arrivals to the Southwest Mountain District’s senior leadership team, including John Rohner, Newel Jensen and Kitty Barkley. Also, Diana Timpson joins HNTB as Senior Project Manager of Rail Transit in the firm’s Seattle office; and Integrated Rail and Resources Acquisition Corp. (IRRX) announces the appointment of Jason Reeves and Rear Admiral Ronald “Curt” Copley as new Independent Directors to the company’s Board of Directors.

Pennsylvania-based Button Oil & Propane, in partnership with NSHR, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 22 for a new propane terminal. (Photograph Courtesy of NSHR)

Small-Road Briefs: NSHR, OmniTrax

Button Oil & Propane opens a 240,000-gallon rail-fed propane terminal in Northumberland, Pa., which is served by North Shore Railroad (NSHR). Also, Fulton County (Ga.) Railway LLC (FCR), a managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, presents a community donation to an Atlanta-area fire department in honor of Owens Corning Trumbull Atlanta Division.

CP Holiday Train Begins 2022 Tour

The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train program begins its 2022 live tour this week after two years of virtual concerts, with the first of two brightly decorated trains departing the Montreal area for the opening shows of the tour on Nov. 23 in Maine.

SMART-TD Says “No”; BLET Ratifies (UPDATED Nov. 22)

Conductors and yard workers represented by the Transportation Division of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD)—who constitute almost the full 30% of unionized rail employees bargaining over

Commentary
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Not My Grandfather’s Railroad

Aside from having been a locomotive engineer for 35 years, preceded by a decade in broadcasting, I have offered my insight into the ground pounder’s life on the railroad in books, magazines,

STB to UP: Explain Embargo Escalation

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is ordering Union Pacific (UP) President and CEO Lance Fritz and other top UP executives to appear at a Dec. 13-14 public hearing on what it’s calling a “substantial increase” in the Class I railroad’s use of embargoes as a method of reducing rail traffic congestion. UP responds.

NS Vice President Audit and Compliance Susan Stuart (left); NS Assistant Vice President Sourcing Jacqueline Gray (center); and at Union Pacific, UPVETS President David LaPlante and Air National Guard Member Jacquelynn Harris recently presented her supervisor Brett Hiscock, General Director, Tech, with an ESGR Patriotic Employer Award.

People News: NS, UP

Norfolk Southern (NS) Vice President Audit and Compliance Susan Stuart will retire on March 1, 2023. Succeeding her will be 14-year NS veteran Jacqueline Gray. Also, Union Pacific General Director, Tech Brett Hiscock has earned an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Report: City of Washington, Iowa Accepts CP Crossing Closure Counteroffer

In a unanimous vote, the Washington (Iowa) City Council has accepted a counteroffer from Canadian Pacific (CP) that would allow the city to secure city funds and “municipal cooperation” for the proposed CP-Kansas City Southern (KCS) merger, which would “increase train traffic by more than 300% in the area,” the Southeast Iowa Union reported on Nov. 21.

(Map Courtesy of MRL, via Nov. 18 STB Filing)

MRL Rails One Step Closer to Returning to BNSF

Montana Rail Link (MRL) in January announced it would cease its long-term lease with BNSF to operate over main line between Huntley, Mont., and Sandpoint, Idaho. Now, it is asking for Surface Transportation Board (STB) authorization.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MetroLink

The City of Madison will hold a kick-off meeting for its Passenger Rail Station Study to identify a recommended location for a potential future Amtrak Station. Also, the City of Vicksburg backs Louisiana rail plan that could potentially bring Amtrak passenger rail service to the city; and MetroLink Blue Line service will return to normal beginning Monday, Nov. 28.

BTS: September Transborder Freight Up 22.6%

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), $133.9 billion of North American transborder freight was moved by all modes of transportation in September 2022, up 22.6% compared to the same month last year.

FTA Issues NOFO for Standards Development

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is seeking proposals to develop voluntary standards and standards-related best practices, guidance, and tools in safety and other areas that improve public transportation under the Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program.

NS to Acquire Cincinnati Southern for $1.62B

Norfolk Southern (NS) on Nov. 21 reported executing a purchase agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of the 337-mile Cincinnati Southern Railway (CSR), which runs between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Chattanooga, Tenn. The $1.62 billion deal is expected to close in first-half 2024.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s proposed $8.3 billion capital and operating budget for 2023 includes funds to implement a new fare collection system and boost capacity for PATH. (Wikipedia/Trevor Logan photo)
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Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NCTD, PANY/NJ

Amtrak is resuming Adirondack service in 2023 and temporarily suspending Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr trains 380 and 381. Also, the North County (Calif.) Transit District (NCTD) will sell naming rights for stations, regional/commuter rail trains, and buses; and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ), which includes PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid transit, has released an $8.3 billion capital and operating budget proposal for 2023.