Author: Jim Blaze

Commentary

Can Rail Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

This is a deeper look at the possible role of using existing train movements to help reduce air pollution using direct carbon capture science, through an exclusive interview with the involved scientists—with a few independent observations as to the execution challenges ahead.

Commentary

Value-Added Freight Car Service Outsourcing Challenges

Trend Reminder: As always, this column represents Jim Blaze’s independent evaluation of trends and different rail freight vending companies. This column is about rail freight’s evolving software management tools. As a reminder, there are other providers competing out there. And some of the Class I railroads might disagree with my assessment that they can’t provide you with such value-added functionality. You, the railroad industry audience, must choose.

Commentary

Analysis: ‘Big 4’ Revised STB Service Recovery Plans

The four largest U.S. freight railroad companies—BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific—all reported, per the request of the Surface Transportation Board, supplemental information about their efforts to improve service and network fluidity. This is, of course part, of an ongoing STB service investigation with public hearings held back on April 26 and 27 of this year.

Commentary
  • News

Gulf Coast Battle: A Possible Solution

As the evidentiary hearing regarding the reintroduction and expansion of Amtrak passenger train service between New Orleans and Mobile continues before the Surface Transportation Board, interesting operational cost-sharing questions have emerged regarding how Amtrak trains may be able to coexist with very long CSX freights.

Rail Freight: What’s in the Crystal Ball?

This column is focused on the U.S. rail freight economy, starting with the near term, 2022 into 2023, followed by an overview toward 2030. Near the beginning of the year this outlook task may be a fool’s errand.

Commentary

A Journey Into the Telematics Universe

Over the past year and a half, I have been interviewing many of the people and companies that are in the business of trying to improve what is normally called “track and trace” and condition reporting of railway cargo and railway rolling stock equipment. Today, it’s called “telematics.”