Railroads are fundamentally directly involved in heavy manufacturing, resource commodities, energy and industrial production. Not so much e-commerce—at least not as direct movers and organizers. With that in mind, let’s examine how the railroad merchandise carload traffic pattern looks more than halfway through the third quarter of 2020.
Railway Track & Structures Editor-in-Chief Bill Wilson talks with RT&S 2020 Engineer of the Year Ed Boyle about his outstanding career, working with COVID and the challenges that lie ahead in the rail industry. Boyle is the vice president of engineering with Norfolk Southern.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it is distributing $320.6 million to 50 projects that improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of freight rail and intercity passenger service in 29 states.
Intermodal gains mostly offset carload declines for U.S. and North American freight rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 19, 2020, reducing the weekly decline to less than 2%, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on Sept. 23. Traffic for the year’s first 38 weeks was still down significantly compared to 2019, however.
As a lifelong railroader, I’m especially pleased to join Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) and others across the nation in observing Rail Safety Week (RSW). In addition to Canada, this year we also welcome our colleagues in Mexico in helping all of us in North America to raise the profile of rail safety awareness.
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) today released the RSI-100 Product Quality Certification Standard for tank car components.
A $47.55 million grant has been awarded to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the purchase of CSX’s S-Line rail corridor from Raleigh to Ridgeway, N.C., near the Virginia state line, which will eventually contribute to higher-speed rail (HrSR) service to the Southeast.
Social media and virtual messaging is spreading the word for Rail Safety Week (Sept. 21-27) due to the pandemic. The #STOPTrackTragedies campaign is encouraging safe behavior near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way, and raising awareness of the need for rail safety education.
In the two weeks following Cowen and Company’s mid-September Transportation and Sustainable Mobility Conference, analyst Matt Elkott, with input from colleagues Adam Kramer and Jason Seidl (Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor), noted that railcar inquiries “have ticked up. While translation into orders may not yet be commensurate with inquiries due to election and pandemic uncertainty, there appears to be an improvement in underlying demand” that should carry forward into a recovery in 2021.
During a recent two-year period, engineers from Norfolk Southern (NS) and Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) evaluated rail performance on four curves on the NS Whitethorne District, near Roanoke, Va., during two periods of 39 to 40 MGT (million gross ton) traffic accumulation. The objective was to document RCF (rolling contact fatigue) development, rail friction, and rail wear as influenced by the TORFC (top-of-rail friction control) materials NS currently uses. The rails were ground at the beginning of the test and again halfway through the test in April 2017, with the intent of producing similar conditions, after which a 39-40 MGT monitoring effort commenced, each with a different TORFC product.(1,2) The curve rails differed by rail mill, age and wear.