Much is being made in the railroad industry and transportation media about the Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) wildfire sweeping from coast to coast. Proponents of PSR will tell you that it will prove to be the industry’s savior. But it also begs the following question: Just what does the industry need to be saved from?
Switching & Terminal
Advancements in the logistics industry over the past ten years have been vast, especially in over-the-road shipping modes with shippers utilizing 3PLs at record levels for domestic transportation management. The move toward partnering with logistics service providers has allowed shippers to use the power of modern technology to increase visibility and track product movements throughout their supply chains with greater efficiency than ever before. Unfortunately, rail has not seen advancement at the same pace, leaving shippers with the perception that rail carriers are behind the times.
Quandel Consultants announced on April 15 that Peter Windschmitt has joined the national rail and transit firm as Director of Railroad Operations.
Railroads are a critical component of America’s transportation infrastructure, and have been making significant investments in advanced networked computer control systems and information technologies. This has enabled the employment of new capabilities such as “Positive Train Control and “Precision Railroading” with increased operational efficiencies and improvements in safety. However, the introduction of these new technologies also results in increased organizational and system vulnerabilities to disruption arising from cyberattacks .
Ironhorse Resources, Inc. on April 9 acquired two Tennessee-based Class III carriers: the Sequatchie Valley Railroad (SQVR) and the Walking Horse and Eastern Railroad (WHOE). They have been renamed Sequatchie Valley Switching Company (SQSC) and the Walking Horse Railroad (WHRR).
Somewhat buried in history is that today’s railroad map is a product of behind-the-scenes actions by former Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest Frederick (Fritz) Hollings (D-S.C.), who died April 6 at age 97. He was Commerce Committee Chairman 1987-1995 and 2001-2003, during years Democrats controlled the Senate. He left office in 2005.
Class II Reading & Northern (RBMN) has promoted two long-time employees—Dustin Berndt and Daren Geschwindt—to Vice President Motive Power and Vice President Distribution Services, respectively.
We traditionally have reported the Association of American Railroads weekly compilation of freight traffic statistics as “straight news,” with commentary restricted to what the AAR may include in the release, which is rare. In this case, there’s a lot going on here, enough to warrant some analysis. The figures are all here, along with supporting charts. But don’t take them at face value.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) and the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) a National Clean Diesel Funding grant that will cover 40% of the cost of retrofitting one diesel-electric switcher locomotive with a Tier 4-compliant prime-mover.
Railway Age Contributing Editor Jim Blaze is not the only one singing the boxcar blues (“I’m singin’ the boxcar blues” article, March 26). Members of the Railway Supply Institute Equipment Leasing Committee (ELC) have also identified the looming boxcar shortage as a significant issue that needs to be addressed.