Switching & Terminal

FRA reported on May 19 that more than 70,000 inspections were conducted in FY 2021 to assess railroad compliance with regulations and laws that govern track, motive power and equipment, operating practices, signal and train control, hazardous materials, grade crossing signal system safety, industrial hygiene, and safety management systems.

FRA Issues FY21 Safety Enforcement Report

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released its annual enforcement report summarizing the regulatory compliance inspections and audits conducted in the past fiscal year by FRA or state inspectors participating in FRA’s rail safety program, as well as the civil penalty enforcement actions arising from them.

AAR to STB: No ‘Quick Fix’ to Service Problems

“The Class I railroads recognize that their recent service performance has not met many customers’ expectations,” the Association of American Railroads (AAR) wrote in a May 18 filing to the Surface Transportation Board (STB). But while the STB’s May 5 decision to release updated, more-comprehensive rules for reporting performance and employment metrics “reflects an understandable desire for quick action,” it was “not issued in a vacuum,” AAR pointed out.

U.S. Traffic Downturn 12 Weeks and Counting

U.S. carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 14, 2022, were each down about 5% from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads’ figures released May 18. It’s the 12th consecutive week of declines from the prior-year period.

Watson Bryant—who earned a Railway Age “20 Under 40” award in 2021—brings both railroad operations and commercial experience to her new leadership role at NOPB.

Watson Bryant to Lead NOPB

Tomeka Watson Bryant on June 1 will be elevated to General Manager of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA).

Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl

Potential Modal Shifts as Diesel Stays Hot: Cowen

U.S. diesel pricing remains elevated, passing along significant costs to shippers via fuel surcharges. At Cowen and Company, we believe sustained high diesel pricing will ultimately benefit the railroads and IMCs (intermodal marketing companies) as shippers explore different modes of transport.

T&I STB Reauthorization Hearing Deja Vu All Over Again

The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure hearing, “Board Member Views on Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization,” was for the most part a rehash of the topics that the STB has been covering in its own hearings on freight rail service problems, reciprocal switching and other areas the industry has had to address in recent weeks. T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is not seeking re-election in this year’s mid-terms, and Railroad, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chair Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) chaired the hearing, which in a press release was couched as “The Surface Transportation Board’s Role in Resolving Freight Rail Conflicts.”