MSU rail management program promotes sustainability

The Center for Railway Research and Education in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University has completed the inaugural session of a new continuing education program focused on sustainability: “Railway Motive Power and Alternative Propulsion.”

NS targets 60% OR by 2021

Norfolk Southern, at its Feb. 11 Investor and Financial Analyst Conference in Atlanta, said it plans to hold capital expenditures to between 16% and 18% of revenues through 2021, as the railroad targets a 60% operating ratio by that year.

First thing we do is file all the liens

Financial Edge, February 2019: One danger of writing for a monthly periodical is that high-profile situations (say the shutdown of the federal government) might begin and end between two issue publication dates. In a word, to tackle the risk of balancing remaining contemporary without becoming dated, one must be “fearless.”

Beware the operating ratio trap

Watching Washington, February 2019: Sizzle sells product. No wonder the sizzle of ever-lower operating ratios is leading to remarkably higher railroad share prices. But as operating ratios—operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue—flirt with a sub-60%, the meaning for the longer term is unclear.

Precision Crew Scheduling: What would Hunter say?

I knew Hunter Harrison when he was a Burlington Northern trainmaster and I was a BLET Local Chairman, all those many years ago. Today, as Hunter’s Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) is rolled out on six of the seven Class I railroads, I’ve come to believe that PSRis not a destination, but a never-ending journey. At least that’s how I see it.

Posner Foundation benefits OLI safety programs

A substantial donation to Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) from the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, Pa., will go a long way toward assisting the non-for-profit organization with its railroad public safety initiatives.

GZA’s SJG/Conrail environmental success story

Across the United States, gas utilities have been confronting the problem of remediating the environmental impacts of hundreds of former Manufactured Gas Plants (MGPs). Up until the late 1940s, at these plants, coal was converted into coal gas, which was primarily used for cooking and lighting until it was supplanted by much cleaner natural gas.

RailcarRx earns SOC 1 Audit Certification

RailcarRx, Inc., an IT product and service provider to the North American rail industry, has earned SOC 1 (Service Organization Controls) Audit Certification. The audit of RailcarRx’s controls included examination of the company’s data security policy, overall availability of data, monitoring of data processing, business continuity plans and operating environments.

KCS names Fahmy EVP PSR

Kansas City Southern, joining Class I contemporaries Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, CN and Canadian Pacific in adopting one form or another of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), has appointed Sameh Fahmy as Executive Vice President PSR, reporting to KCS President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer.

January freight rail traffic a “mixed picture”: AAR

The Association of American Railroads (AAR), in reporting U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 2, 2019, as well as volumes for January 2019, noted that gains in intermodal, chemicals and petroleum-related shipments offset losses in coal, grain and motor vehicles—fluctuations that “don’t reflect weakness in the economy.”

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