Breaking News

USDOT: $573MM Railroad Crossing Elimination Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on June 30 released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the new Railroad Crossing Elimination Program. More than $573 million in grant funds will be available in Fiscal Year 2022.

Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD), AFL-CIO

TTD to Lawmakers: Boost STB Enforcement Authority on Common-Carrier Obligations

Transportation Trades Department (TTD), AFL-CIO President Greg Regan is urging a bipartisan group of lawmakers to support legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board (STB). His agenda: to clarify the railroads’ common carrier obligation and to provide “more effective mechanisms” for the STB to enforce it. Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner weighs in.

Mueller was sworn in June 29 as the sixth MTA Chief of Police
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People News: NYMTA, OneRail Coalition, STV, HDR

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has appointed a new MTA Chief of Police. Also, OneRail Coalition announced winners of Canby Awards, STV welcomed new key leaders throughout Texas, and HDR

The public comment period on KDOT's State Rail Plan draft will remain open for 30 days.
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KDOT Requests Comments on State Rail Plan

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is requesting comments on its draft State Rail Plan, which provides an overview of freight rail networks in Kansas, commodity flows, economic data and information about

Photograph Courtesy of CN, via Twitter

CN to IBEW: ‘Return to the Bargaining Table’

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) “has failed to respond to CN’s latest offer to resolve the ongoing strike, now in its 10th day,” the Class I railroad reported June 29, noting in a Twitter update that it is “maintaining normal rail operations across Canada.”

Three Unions Ratify Agreements With CP

Employees on Canadian Pacific’s Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) South; Central Maine & Quebec (CMQ) U.S. and Central Maine & Quebec Canada subsidiaries have ratified collective bargaining agreements.

RTD will offer zero fares on all services during the month of August.

Passenger Rail Briefs: RTD, WMATA

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced on June 28 that it will be launching its statewide initiative, Zero Fare for Better Air. Also, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced

(Photograph Courtesy of NS)

Week 25: U.S. Carloads, Intermodal Down (Again)

For the week ending June 25, 2022 (Week 25), U.S. rail traffic was 493,374 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4% from the prior-year period, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported June 29. Class I railroads hauled 229,857 carloads, down 3.1%, and 263,517 containers and trailers, down 5.5%. Year-to-date, carloads were virtually flat (down 0.1%) and intermodal volume fell 3.5% compared with the same point last year.

SFRTA Names Dech Executive Director

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), which operates the Tri-Rail commuter rail service that links Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, has hired David Dech as its new Executive Director,

NTSB Chair Homendy and NTSB investigators, along with investigation party members, walk the accident scene of the June 27 grade crossing collision and derailment between an Amtrak passenger train and dump truck near Mendon, Mo. (Photograph and Caption Courtesy of NTSB, via Twitter, June 29)

NTSB Investigation of Amtrak Southwest Chief Derailment Under Way, BNSF Track Opens (UPDATED June 30)

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train 4 traveling eastbound from Los Angeles to Chicago on June 27 derailed after striking a dump truck that was obstructing a public grade crossing in Missouri. Three train passengers and the truck driver died as a result of the accident; 150 people were taken to 10 area hospitals for treatment of injuries ranging “from minor to serious in nature,” the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy in a June 28 media briefing said the agency was focused on the grade crossing, the approach to the grade crossing and survivability after an accident.

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Ronald L. McDaniel, 83

Ronald Lee McDaniel, an iconic figure in the railroad and railway supply community, died June 23, 2022. He was 83.

Commentary

Cowen: Adjusting the Tracks for 2Q22

At Cowen and Company, we are adjusting our railroad estimates ahead of second-quarter 2022 earnings. Continued rail congestion is hindering volume (still below 2019 levels), while pricing is expected to be on par with first-quarter levels.

Dissecting Failed Rail Labor Talks

It is more than two years since the rail industry’s 12 labor unions and management (representing most Class I railroads and some smaller ones) commenced bargaining to amend contracts defining wages, benefits and work rules.

Political Pedantry, NIMBY Nervousness, Maritime Mendaciousness

Recently, three filings with the Surface Transportation Board in opposition to the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger application came across the transom that strike me as odd. One is from a California Congresswoman. The second (multiple letters, actually) is from a Chicago region group called The Coalition to Stop CPKC. The third—and strangest—is from three Federal Maritime Commissioners.

Did NMB Cozy-Up to Rail Labor?

It may be the “snooker” of this century, and there’s not much railroads can do about it so long as Democrats control both chambers of Congress.