Now On Line: January 2024 Railway Age Digital Edition

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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Railway Age’s January 2024 issue is now available digitally. It features a profile of CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson—the recipient of Railway Age’s 2024 Railroader of the Year Award, the 61st annual.

“Optimism is Tracy’s mantra,” according to Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono, who interviewed her at CN’s Montreal headquarters in early December. Following are a few excerpts:

  • “We talk about growing the business because we power the economy. If the railroads aren’t performing and if they’re not adding to the capacity where our customers need it, the economy is not going to grow. But if we can be in a position where we can help the economy grow, we’re also going to grow. So that means you need to start with that foundation of a strong, consistent operation and service to your customers. But especially these days, you need to be very close with your customers around how they’re trying to build their business and what the opportunities are.”
  • “The biggest change between the time when I stepped out of the industry and came back is the advancement in technology. It’s important to lean into for several reasons. We aspire to zero harm in our company, which means environment. It means people and communities. We need to keep our rail operations safe, and technology plays a big role in doing that. But if we’re going to operate consistently, it means we need a minimal amount of disruption.”
  • “There’s no better organization than a railroad when it comes to a crisis. The ability of our teams to get track back in shape to run and to deal with whatever is going on around it is amazing. It’s a hallmark of the industry.”
  • “I’m a strong believer that if we are going to succeed in the future, we need to lean into diversity. It’s the right thing to do, but there’s also a strong business imperative for it. We need those different perspectives and different backgrounds coming together in the right way. This business is changing, and the culture needs to change, as well. We need to come together differently.”
  • “I want to make this industry the place that people want to work, to make CN in particular the place that people want to work. I want to help get people as excited as I am about getting up every morning and making this work for our customers, for our industries, for the economy, for the country and the continent. It’s a great purpose to rally around.”

Other January 2024 issue highlights:

  • 2024 Passenger Rail Outlook: Moving Forward—at Restricted Speed. NORAC Rule 290/GCOR Rule 6.27 appear the most prominent indications for the foreseeable future, reports Railway Age Contributing Editor David Peter Alan.
  • Timeout for Tech With Gary T. Fry, Ph.D., P.E.: Fry covers innovation: invisible to the eye, essential to safety.
  • MxV Rail R&D: Predicting Wheel Wear. MxV Rail analyzed wheel profile detector data to determine the potential for predicting wheel end-of-useful life based on wear rates. Preliminary results are promising, Scientist Matthew Witte writes.

Plus, Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner looks ahead to 2024: Rail lobbyists, attorneys and influencers will toil to block costly rail safety legislation, derail a bill delimiting management operating-plan discretion, and thwart unwelcome Surface Transportation Board and Federal Railroad Administration decrees. And Railway Age Financial Editor David Nahass addresses the railroads’ real problem: management’s seeming indifference to the outward appearance and public opinion of the rail industry.

These articles and more can be accessed in Railway Age’s January 2024 issue:

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