Editor’s Note: The following story was posted on the Rail Talk area of the BNSF website. It is shared here in its entirety, with permission. We think it presents a useful example of what the rail industry is doing as an essential service in the national supply chain, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. — William C. Vantuono
What is the depth of decrease in freight volumes as a result of COVID-19? Is there an increased percentage of freight rail moving over to trucking right now? What individual markets/commodities are under more stress as a result of the crisis? How will the railroads respond to the freight loss in the overall landscape of the PSR movement? Will Wall Street change its perspective on the railroads? Are there projected revisions to new-car builds for 2020? What is the state of the equipment leasing market, for both lessors and lessees? Is there timing for a return to normalcy?
Editor’s Note: The following story was posted on the BizNS area of the Norfolk Southern website. It is shared here in its entirety, with permission. We think it presents a useful example of what the rail industry is doing to protect the employees who keep the trains moving from the COVID-19 pandemic. — William C. Vantuono
President Trump on March 27 signed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, into law, following swift passage in the House of Representatives by voice vote, and one day after the U.S. Senate passed the bill in a unanimous 96-0 vote. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that addresses the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes many funding measures that directly benefit the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger.
In response to a Petition from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a 60-day emergency waiver for certain requirements of FRA’s rail safety regulations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The petitioners, on behalf of their member railroads, requested relief from certain requirements of 49 CFR Parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 239, 240, and 242.
Stucki Roller Bearing (SRB), a division of A. Stucki Company, recently opened a second location in Lincoln, Neb. SRB supplies reconditioned bearings for freight car, locomotive and transit applications.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently awarded $7.29 million to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant. NOPB said it will use the grant funds for the New Orleans Gateway Rail Fluidity and Capacity Improvements Project.