Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 8, railroad industry professionals from across the country will gather to participate in Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. More than 430 representatives from industry, labor, Class I’s, short lines, shippers and manufacturers who support the rail industry will visit with 350 Congressional Offices.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, MAY 2019 – Oh, the contempt that drippeth from a judicial petition of the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL), whose members ship and receive by rail some 175 million tons of coal annually. It accuses the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of impersonating a regulatory agency by not acting on long-pending rulemakings, and asks a federal court to order the STB to do as its statute instructs—timely decide cases brought before it.
In its eighth year, Penn State Altoona’s bachelor of science degree program in Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE) remains the only one of its kind in the country. Having met the standards set by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in goals, objectives and educational outcomes, students graduating from this program are prepared and eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, the first step toward becoming a licensed professional engineer.
The Surface Transportation Board Rate Reform Task Force has completed a staff report providing its recommendations for “possible changes to the rate review methodologies and processes used by the Board,” STB said.
Wabtec Corp. recently celebrated the delivery to CN of the 1,000th Evolution Series Tier 4 locomotive at its plant in Fort Worth, Tex, a former GE Transportation facility.
OmniTRAX, Inc. and the Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new environmentally friendly locomotive at the STE depot in San Juaquin, Calif.
Norfolk Southern (NS) continued its upward trend and posted record railway operating revenues, operating income, operating ratio, net income and earnings per share in first-quarter 2019.
Much is being made in the railroad industry and transportation media about the Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) wildfire sweeping from coast to coast. Proponents of PSR will tell you that it will prove to be the industry’s savior. But it also begs the following question: Just what does the industry need to be saved from?
What’s the Good News? At least one large Class I freight railroad has finally codified some meaningful fatigue countermeasure provisions with its train operating employees, in an actual written agreement. And, yes, that is Good News, although it has been very slow in coming.
LEGISLATIVE REPORT, APRIL 2019 – Knock, knock. Who’s there? If at the door are those laboring in official Washington, the answer is, “many new faces”—new congressional committee chairs, regulators, association chiefs, lobbyists and labor negotiators. Does not danger dwell where unfamiliarity and uncertainty lurk?