PSR, The Next Generation, Part 1: Rail Group On Air Podcast

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), as we know it today, is rapidly reaching an inflection point. Escalating trade disruptions, rail strikes, blockades, weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the urgency to make supply chains more resilient. The current version of PSR has produced measurable financial, operational and service improvements for railroads. Yet, some internal growing pains continue, accompanied by shock waves absorbed by shippers, non-PSR railroads, industry partners, advocates and policymakers.

This Rail Group On Air podcast, the first of three and based on a feature story published on line and in the June print and digital issues, introduces PSR 2.0 as envisioned by Sonia D. Bot and John F. Orr. PSR 2.0 takes Precision Scheduled Railroading to the next level, within individual railroads and across railroad and transportation “ecosystems.” It demands an entrepreneurial culture focused on business rigor, forging productive partnerships, safeguarding origin-to-destination traffic flow and increasing knowledge. In Part I, Sonia and John make the case for PSR 2.0 as the next step, the foundation for extending PSR across the full ecosystem of rail and other transportation stakeholders.

Sonia D. Bot, chief executive of The BOT Consulting Group Inc., has worked at the forefront of technology, media, and telecommunications companies worldwide, and was instrumental in PTC implementation on CN’s U.S. lines. John F. Orr, a top-level operations executive for railroading and transportation ecosystems, is a fourth-generation railroader who rose through the ranks and became CN’s Chief Transportation Officer. With E. Hunter Harrison and his successors, Orr delivered PSR operations, and continues the mission today throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

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