R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC on Jan. 17 appointed 10 new people to leadership positions within its companies. “With the new leadership our company has in place, and the many opportunities that we have realized, 2019 is off to a great start for R. J. Corman,” Ed Quinn, President and CEO, stated. “We have an extremely talented leadership team stepping into key roles, and are bringing on experienced, highly respected individuals to complement their capabilities. I’m excited about the continued growth we will see in 2019 and beyond, and I look forward to working with these individuals.”
CSX Corp. on Jan. 16 announced 4Q2018 net earnings of $843 million, or $1.01 per share, vs. $4.14 billion, or $4.62 per share on a GAAP basis ($0.64 on an adjusted basis) in the same period last year. That’s about $.02 per a share better than what analysts expected. Of particular note is that the railroad’s full-year 2018 operating ratio dropped to 60.3%, a U.S. Class I record.
When building any radio system, the scarcest and most precious system component is not the radios, the antennas nor the towers, but available “clean” radio channels on which to transmit. That’s why specialized narrow-beam antennas can ease frequency planning and reduce interference for railroad communications.
Wheeling & Lake Erie and Herzog completed brake testing and preparations for Positive Train Control functionality in revenue service by the end of 2018.
Rio Tinto announced Dec. 28, 2018 that it successfully completed its $940 million AutoHaul project to automate the operation of its 1,700-km (1,054-mile) heavy-haul rail network in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which it says is now the “world’s largest robot and first automated heavy-haul, long-distance rail network.”
The 2018 University of Delaware Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering “Big Data in Railroad Maintenance Planning Conference,” held Dec. 13-14, spotlighted the progression the industry is making in dealing with Big Data—“converting the mountain of data collected by railway systems into effective maintenance planning information, with a focus on railway needs and practical applications.
The largest Canadian Class I railroad says it met its year-end deadline to install positive train control (PTC) equipment across its system, and is seeking a two-year extension “to complete deployment and interoperability.”
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Dec. 21 awarded $46.30 million in grant funding for 11 projects in 10 states to assist with deploying Positive Train Control (PTC) systems, marking the second selection of PTC systems deployment projects under the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act administered via the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program, collectively totaling $250 million.
Nothing says fundamental transformation quite like Norfolk Southern’s new Network Operations Center, a murmuring, windowless bunker where the Class I has aggregated its dispatching in downtown Atlanta.
New Jersey Transit announced Dec. 5 that Positive Train Control is “95% complete” toward meeting compliance with the Dec. 3, 2018 interim deadline. Concurrently, the agency launched “a new comprehensive communications initiative aimed at improving the customer experience” and announced a procurement for new multi-level railcars.