FRA, Responding to Industry Joint Petition, Issues Emergency Waiver

In response to a Petition from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a 60-day emergency waiver for certain requirements of FRA’s rail safety regulations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The petitioners, on behalf of their member railroads, requested relief from certain requirements of 49 CFR Parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 239, 240, and 242.

AAR: “We May Have Seen the Worst of COVID-19’s Impacts on Asian Trade”

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) released U.S. rail traffic for the week ended March 21, 2020, and it contained some much-needed good news: The worst of the coronavirus’ effects on Asian trade may be over.

Allen Sutherland promoted to NS EVP

Norfolk Southern has promoted Senior Vice President Government Relations and Chief Legal Officer Vanessa Allen Sutherland to Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, effective April 1, 2020.

TRRA, R&N Take Home Short Line/Regional of the Year Awards

Railway Age’s 2020 Short Line and Regional Railroads of the Year are the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) and Reading & Northern Railroad (R&N), respectively. Delmarva Central Railroad Company (DCR) and Vermont Rail System (VRS), respectively, earned Short Line and Regional Honorable Mentions.

SRB Opens Second Location

Stucki Roller Bearing (SRB), a division of A. Stucki Company, recently opened a second location in Lincoln, Neb. SRB supplies reconditioned bearings for freight car, locomotive and transit applications.

Cowen: “Hard Assets For Hard Times”

Cowen and Company revealed three factors that could position railcar lessors well in the intermediate to long-term: Financial investors looking for hard, yield-generating assets amid further interest rate declines; partial, lease-term-driven insulation; and “our view that lease rates will be first to rebound in the rail equipment market when a freight recovery occurs.”

TRRA Selects CloudMoyo Crew Management

Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA)—Railway Age’s 2020 Short Line of the Year—has selected CloudMoyo Crew Management (CCM) technology for implementation across all locations “in an effort to ensure better crew availability, intelligent rostering and lowered costs with better crew utilization.”

NOPB Receives $7.29MM CRISI Grant

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently awarded $7.29 million to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant. NOPB said it will use the grant funds for the New Orleans Gateway Rail Fluidity and Capacity Improvements Project.

“Saving America”

A Union Pacific locomotive engineer based in the Pacific Northwest who had just received his notice of exemption from travel restrictions proudly told Railway Age Contributing Editor Bruce Kelly, “We’ve gone from building America to saving it.” This UP field employee in Train & Engine Service has embraced his railroad’s slogan, “Building America,” and his heartfelt statement takes it to a higher level—from motto to mantra.

OmniTRAX Names Walker CFO

OmniTRAX, an affiliate of The Broe Group, has appointed Robert Walker as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. He reports to CEO Kevin Shuba and is responsible for corporate finance, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and pricing.