Author: Jim Blaze


Where Intermodal Can and Will Grow

I’ve accepted the challenge offered back in April 2022 by Gil Lamphere regarding the intermodal business options for the North American rail freight sector.


Wayside Cameras, Integrated Sensors as Logistics Tools

The digital age of telematic network monitoring comes in different business models. It might even help resolve passenger and freight train capacity questions. Jim Blaze takes a look at how cameras might displace or at least supplement confusing private spreadsheet calculations as to network capacity and fluidity, as well as help shippers adjust their railway routing options when certain rail routes become congested.


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.


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.


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.

  • 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.