Intermodal rail—a transportation mode choice that was to take trucks off the road—is slowing down. Where is it heading? Over several decades, the premise was that railroad intermodal trailer on flat cars (TOFC) and containers mostly on double-stacked well cars (COFC) would grow in volume and therefore reduce highway truck congestion.
Author: Jim Blaze
CSX Executive Vice President Operations Ed Harris addressed his railway operating peers at the annual Association of American Railroad Superintendents conference the week of July 22. The topic was his view of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR). We have all seen and read about PSR multiple times. What could Harris possibly add, especially for the experienced operating men and women seated before him?
Union Pacific contractors were moving lots of dirt when this reporter visited the Brazos Yard site in Texas in November 2018. The location was to be the new crown of UP’s capabilities to improve and increase volume and service to the expanding customer base in the Houston and Gulf Coast chemical and petrol industry complex.
The future of the North America rail freight boxcar been a lingering question for about four decades during my railroad career. Much like the proverbial frog asks in slowly heating water, “Is it boiling yet?
RAIL EQUIPMENT FINANCE 2019, LA QUINTA, CALIF, March 5: BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose, nearing retirement, shared his views on the rail industry with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono and more than 400 attendees at Railroad Financial Corporation’s annual conference, organized by RFC President and Railway Age Financial Editor David Nahass and his staff. Rose talked extensively about Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), business growth, advanced technology and other topics.
In his just-published “My Life with Trains: Memoir of a Railroader,” the late Jim McClellan (June 10, 1939 – Oct. 14, 2016) left us with a detailed description of how difficult leadership can be.
This is Jim Blaze, rail economist and teacher—sometimes a reporter; always one who questions. I’m concerned about how the “Big 7” railroads are going to address their next five to ten years of market position, taking the wealth they created, and turning it into an upgraded business model. Which one so far has laid out the best disruptive plan? Which one is struggling? And which one might simply be cashing out?
It has been a bit more than a decade and a half since the rail industry, assisted by well-qualified consultants, alerted the public and industry watchers that economic growth would clearly require some form of a new partnership if the rail freight industry was to assemble the capital resources necessary to meet freight demand by about 2035.