2019 will be remembered as the year of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) and for the great traffic drought in North American railroading. PSR has indeed helped deliver the eye-popping levels of operating ratios (OR) that rail executives could once only dream about, and many of the Class I’s set record ORs throughout the year.
CSX’s first Train Inspection Portal (TIP), southeast of Waycross, Ga., aims to usher in a new era of railroad safety technology.
Trinity Industries, Inc. has named E. Jean Savage Chief Executive Officer and President, effective Feb. 17, 2020. Savage, 55 and a member of the company’s board of directors since November 2018, comes to Trinity from the Surface Mining & Technology division of Caterpillar Inc., where she has been Vice President. She will remain a member of the Trinity board.
Three recently released Cowen and Company reports—Fourth-Quarter 2019 Rail Equipment Survey and Rail Shipper Survey, and Rail Estimates—indicates that, though times are tough and rail freight traffic in most sectors has not begun to recover, “the sky isn’t falling.” Here’s what Cowen Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason H. Seidl, along with analysts Matt Elkott and Adam Kramer, see it.
The railroad industry estimates that advances in fault detection technology are preventing more than 700 road failures monthly on the North American system, based on 2019 preliminary statistics. Among the efforts to identify the causes of failure and further understand issues that affect freight rail performance and safety is the Association of American Railroads Asset Health Strategic Initiative (AHSI), data from which is shared with Railinc.
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) Equipment Leasing Committee has named TrinityRail Senior Vice President Harry Zander as its new chairman. Zander, a long-time railcar leasing professional, brings 29 years of railcar leasing experience to the role, beginning with Chrysler Capital and including stints at GE Capital, Mitsui and Macquarie.
In West Virginia and Virginia, two Norfolk Southern owned and/or operated rail facilities—a state-financed intermodal terminal near Charleston, W.Va., and the railroad’s shop complex in Roanoke, Va.—have been impacted by closure and layoffs.
The Greenbrier Companies (GBX) reported financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30, 2019, and the highlights include orders for 4,500 diversified railcars valued at $450 million; railcar deliveries totaling 6,200 units; and the Board increasing the quarterly dividend 8% to $.27 per share, payable on Feb. 18, 2020, to shareholders as of Jan. 28, 2020.
Wabtec Corp. has acquired RELCO Locomotives for $29 million, on a cash- and debt-free basis. All conditions for the acquisition are complete and the transaction will be accretive in year one. RELCO’s projected sales for 2019 are roughly $50 million.
The 57th annual recipient of Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year Award is Kansas City Southern President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, a leader in positioning North American railroads as a critical part of the globally competitive, integrated supply chain. In this interview with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono, Ottensmeyer talks about his efforts on behalf of the North American rail industry to support mutually beneficial trade and robust economic growth to help ensure that the rail industry has a voice, working with public- and private-sector leaders to strengthen bilateral commercial ties.