Mechanical

Cold Comfort

RAILWAY AGE, AUGUST 2020 ISSUE, ANNUAL WINTER PREPAREDNESS REPORT: Winter preparedness is essential for avoiding frozen equipment, malfunctioning cars, service delays or even suspended operations.
Fail to prepare for winter’s harsh conditions and your railroad will be running on ice—literally and figuratively. One railroad that prepares for winter’s onslaught is BNSF, which has some of the most rugged territory in North America.

Amtrak “Phase VI” Livery Gets a Fresh Application

Amtrak diesel-electric locomotives have worn many liveries over the years since the company was founded in 1971. The latest of these is a variation on the current “Phase VI” scheme that dates to 2002, to be worn by five of the first six ALC-42 Siemens Chargers that will replace the current P40 and P42 “Genesis” fleet on the National Network, including all long-distance and many state-sponsored routes. The sixth unit will be painted to recognize next year’s 50th anniversary of the inauguration of Amtrak service. Amtrak says “a final livery will be unveiled later as part of a fleet-wide plan.”

Cowen: “COVID-19’s Effect as Large As The Great Recession”

“Permanent changes in trade flows will likely cause the Port of LA to permanently lose about 15% of its market share to Gulf and East Coast ports, a clear negative for Union Pacific but favorable for CSX, Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern. COVID-19 has had as large of an effect as the Great Recession. Peak season expectations were mixed to positive, with retail inventory replenishment likely needed.”

CN Publishes Grain Plan, Invests in 1,500 High-Capacity Grain Hoppers

CN plans to acquire 1,500 new-generation, high-capacity grain hopper cars with delivery starting in January 2021. The new railcars aim to “encourage the economic recovery through job creation in the North American manufacturing sector and help CN continue to meet the growing needs of grain farmers and grain customers,” the company said.

Cowen: “Cash For Clunkers,” Spot Lease Rate Recovery and Other Observations

“A resuscitation of a long-futile push for railcar scrappage tax subsidies may be under way. While the effort is in its infancy, and the outcome remains speculative, we see success as less of a long shot than it has been at any time in the past. This would be positive for railcar suppliers, including Trinity and Greenbrier, and metals companies such as Schnitzer Steel, Commercial Metals Company, Nucor Corporation and Steel Dynamics.”