No Soup, No Fires, No Fines

In extremely cold weather, poor combustion sealing can cause diesel engine lube oil to get past piston rings in the power assemblies and pushed out the exhaust stack. Locomotive mechanical officers call the condition “souping.” It’s a messy environmental problem, with oil-coated carbodies that need to be cleaned, at high labor and disposal costs.

Road & Rail Wins Seventh Plant Processor of the Year Award

Louisville, Ky.-based Road & Rail Services, Inc. recently received—for the seventh time—the 2019 Plant Processor of the Year Performance Excellence Award from American Honda Motor Corporation (AHM) of North America.

OmniTRAX Acquiring Cleveland Commercial Railroad

A managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cleveland Commercial Railroad (CCRL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad (CHB). The acquisition is expected to close in late August 2019, and terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

STB Moves to Rehab Antique URCS

If you think a currently under way Surface Transportation Board (STB) search for outside experts to rehabilitate and modernize the 30-year-old Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS) is not of significant importance to railroads and their customers, then think again, and stay focused.

So, What Do Rail Shippers Really Want?

Periodically, pundits who are not active participants in Surface Transportation Board (STB) proceedings offer for publication in a variety of newspapers—presumably aimed at members of Congress and other public policy opinion leaders—guest opinion columns containing warnings of dire results should railroads be “re-regulated.”

Thermal Rail Stress and Undergrade Bridges

When consideration is given to track engineering and maintenance, many newcomers to the railroad industry don’t realize what massive amount of effort is put forward to properly manage thermal rail stress by track engineering and track maintenance professionals. A concept even more difficult to grasp is the relationship of thermal rail stress to undergrade bridges.

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2019 Finalists Announced

Bentley Systems Inc. has announced the finalists for its Year in Infrastructure 2019 Awards program, which honors “the extraordinary work of Bentley software users advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world.” Twelve independent jury panels of industry experts selected the 54 finalists from 571 nominations submitted by more than 440 organizations in more than 60 countries.

CN, CSX Create New Intermodal Lane

On Oct. 7, 2019, CN and CSX will launch a new intermodal service linking CN’s greater Montreal and Southern Ontario areas with CSX-served ports in Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey.

URCS: Love It or Hate it, We’re Stuck With It

For a sleep inducer, consider working with the Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS), long a general costing system indispensable for determining maximum reasonable rail rates. Worse, its second side-effect is indigestion, as this 30-year-old accounting relic is much like a classic car lacking modern GPS and satellite radio. Practitioners too often become frustrated with its built-in averages from a time when railroads, rather than shippers, owned most of the freight car fleet and line hauls were shorter as the modern merger movement had not yet run its course.

Wabtec Offering Additional GE Shares

Wabtec Corp. recently filed a 20,485,156 share offering of GE, and expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,048,515 shares. Wabtec said it will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares in the offering.

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