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When Warnings Aren’t Enough

It’s not often that I find myself in agreement with the National Transportation Safety Board. Not only is it infrequent, it’s downright uncomfortable. Truth be told, nothing worries me more than finding myself in agreement with a government agency, or a panel of experts, or the vice president operations of whatever railroad I happen(ed) to be working for at the time.

From Anderson to Flynn to … ?????

As Amtrak enters it 50th year, many of its schedules bear little resemblance to the service that was offered a mere two months ago. President and CEO Richard Anderson is out (though serving in a transitional role), and William Flynn is in. Will that change at the top mean much to Amtrak customers and supporters? The COVID-19 pandemic has knocked out a large portion of Amtrak service, as well as much local transit. Still, the nation will come back to life in some fashion, someday. How will Amtrak participate in the recovery? Anything can happen in these unpredictable times. What could happen in Amtrak’s possibly most-pivotal year?

Does Rebuilding Locomotives Beat Buying New?

Ever check out the list prices of brand-new main line diesel-electric locomotives? They are expensive, about $3 million each. Are you mesmerized by the horsepower quoted? Nah! You want tractive effort. Hauling heavy, long freight trains is the North American business model. You need to purchase tractive effort.

Tough Love, Because Competition Beckons

On May 12, IANA (Intermodal Association of North America) offered an interesting look at the North American rail intermodal sector. The webinar featured technical slides shared by Bloomberg Senior Analyst Transportation & Logistics Lee Klaskow and TTX Vice President Fleet Management Company Pat Casey. TTX market development experts John Woodcock and Peter Wolff also participated.