Editor’s Note: In 1918, the world was dealing with a deadly coronavirus pandemic, the “Spanish Flu.” Longtime Trains Editor and Publisher Kevin P. Keefe, now retired and a columnist for Classic Trains, sent me his April 2, 2020 “Mileposts” blog, in which he extensively references Railway Age. It is reposted here with permission, with some added photos. “It’s great to have a 170-year-old magazine around!” he said in his note to me. Actually, it’s 164, but who’s counting? Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. – William C. Vantuono.
Short Lines & Regionals
The Greenbrier Companies has developed an innovative new way for railcar customers to inspect build quality: Virtual Sample Railcar™ (VSR), which remotely brings customers into the Greenbrier plant from the convenience of a conference room or home office.
Special Podcast Series—The Coronavirus and the Rail Industry: Freight Railroads and Rail Equipment Market Analysis with FTR Transportation Intelligence and Railroad Financial Corporation
What is the depth of decrease in freight volumes as a result of COVID-19? Is there an increased percentage of freight rail moving over to trucking right now? What individual markets/commodities are under more stress as a result of the crisis? How will the railroads respond to the freight loss in the overall landscape of the PSR movement? Will Wall Street change its perspective on the railroads? Are there projected revisions to new-car builds for 2020? What is the state of the equipment leasing market, for both lessors and lessees? Is there timing for a return to normalcy?
An intermodal platform railcar developed at the turn of the century looks set to finally come into its own, as a new service, an innovative loading/unloading semi-trailer method called Megaswing, launches to improve intermodal freight movements between Germany and Austria.
Editor’s Note: The following story was posted on the BizNS area of the Norfolk Southern website. It is shared here in its entirety, with permission. We think it presents a useful example of what the rail industry is doing to protect the employees who keep the trains moving from the COVID-19 pandemic. — William C. Vantuono
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended March 28, 2020, as well as volumes for March 2020, and noted that COVID-19 has certainly taken its toll on the industry.
OmniTRAX, an affiliate of The Broe Group, launched its new Rail-Ready Sites program. This program, designed to bring together rail-served sites and customers in need of development properties, kicks off with 10 Rail-Ready Sites along the New Jersey division of the Winchester and Western Railroad (WW).
ClearBlade and NimbeLink Corp. announced a secure and scalable IoT edge solution aimed at simplifying the process required to track, monitor and alert assets rapidly.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 27, boosts unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad workers impacted by the pandemic.
Citing “increased macroeconomic uncertainty and corporate debt in focus across various sectors,” Cowen and Company recently delved into current debt levels at major railroad and trucking firms, and discussed actions these companies could take to combat the difficult times.
Special Podcast Series: Coronavirus and the Rail Industry – Insight on the Federal Stimulus Package, How the Freight Industry is Battling, and More
Rail Group News editors talk about the federal stimulus package.