AAR taps Arnakis for government affairs post

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.

Railroads go nine for ten

In reporting U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 15, 2018, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) noted that nine of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2017. Among them were petroleum and petroleum products, up 4,253 carloads to 13,335; chemicals, up 2,153 carloads to 32,650; and farm products excluding grain, and food, up 1,986 carloads to 16,583. Coal was the only commodity group that posted a decrease, down 3,457 carloads to 85,562.

Why Ian Jefferies?

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.

Energy, consumer spending lead rail traffic gains

Freight rail traffic “continues to reflect the strength of the U.S. economy across all major industry sectors, with 15 of the 20 commodity categories we track having higher carloads in July 2018 than in July 2017,” said Association of American Railroads Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray noted as the AAR presented U.S. figures for the week ending July 28, 2018, as well as volumes for July 2018. “July saw especially strong gains in commodities related to the energy sector—and also in categories tied to consumer spending, including automotive and intermodal traffic. Still of concern, though, is the potential negative impacts that could result from the ongoing discussions around trade.”