Timely accident investigations are critical to the future of safe transportation operations, for a number of reasons. First, they must begin expeditiously. As the clock runs, evidence can deteriorate or become corrupted. Witness memories of events fade, sometimes to the detriment of actual fact-finding. Second, the search for cause factors and efforts to remediate are delayed, leaving people and property at risk of more accidents and incidents caused by the same risk factors. Third, as time passes, other accidents and incidents demand investigation, putting a strain on investigatory resources.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has named Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under Chairman John Thune (R-S.Dak.) as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, effective in November. Arnakis will replace Ian Jefferies as he transitions into his new role as the AAR’s next President and CEO.
“We have no skepticism in Canadian Pacific’s post-Hunter world, said Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor Jason Seidl in comments on Canadian Pacific’s Oct. 4 investor day and 3Q2018 preliminary results. “We are encouraged by CP’s opportunities in intermodal and grain, and believe that increased free cash flow will give management the option to raise the dividend or pay down high yielding debt. We raise our price target to $236.”
BNSF Railway Co. Executive Chairman Matthew K. Rose will step down and retire from the railroad in April of 2019, after 26 years of service. At the end of his tenure, Rose will have been Executive Chairman for six years, and BNSF CEO for the prior 13 years. He also served in senior marketing and operations positions at BNSF before assuming the CEO role in 2000.
Union Pacific’s plan to implement Precision Scheduled Railroading caught the attention of the Surface Transportation Board, which on Sept. 20 sent a letter signed by Chairman Ann Begeman and Vice Chairman Deb Miller to UP chief executive Lance Fritz requesting that the railroad’s senior management engage in weekly calls with the Board’s Rail Customer and Public Assistance office during the implementation process. The purpose of the calls is “to keep the agency fully informed of UP’s operating changes and impacts to customers and others.”
Transport Canada on Sept. 19 issued Protective Direction 39, which accelerates phase-out of non-jacketed (no thermal layer of protection) CPC-1232 tank cars for crude oil service as of Nov. 1, 2018, 17 months earlier than originally mandated. In addition, non-jacketed CPC-1232 and older DOT-111 tank cars will be prohibited from transporting condensates as of Jan. 1, 2019, more than six years ahead of schedule.
News item: Ian Jefferies, 42, currently Senior vice President for Government Affairs at the Association of American Railroads (AAR), will succeed Ed Hamberger as President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2019. Most notably, Jefferies will serve as the railroad industry’s chief congressional lobbyist and spokesperson.
Union Pacific late on Sep. 17 (following Wall Street close of business) announced a new operating plan, “Unified Plan 2020,” that “implements Precision Scheduled Railroading principles” that were deployed over the past 20-odd years at, in order, Illinois Central, CN, Canadian Pacific and CSX by the late E. Hunter Harrison.
After what the Association of American Railroads (AAR) termed “an exhaustive executive search,” the organization has chosen one of its own—Senior Vice President Government Affairs Ian Jefferies—to succeed President and CEO Ed Hamberger.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held its second hearing of the year on Sept. 13 on implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC).