New EPA Rule Will No Longer ‘Categorically Preempt’ State Locomotive Regs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing revisions to its regulations addressing preemption of state and local regulation of locomotives and engines used in locomotives.

Paducah & Louisville Railway, Inc. was one of five ASLRRA Southern Region members to earn a President’s Award in 2023. ASLRRA President Chuck Baker (right) and ASLRRA Southern Region Vice President Ben Tarbutton III (left) presented the award at this month’s Eastern & Southern Region Meeting. (ASLRRA Photograph)

ASLRRA Members Honored for Safety Performance

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented President’s Safety Awards to members at its Central and Pacific Region Meeting, held Sept. 26-28 in Long Beach, Calif., and at its Eastern and Southern Region Meeting, held Nov. 7-9 in Lexington, Ky.

Rail Stakeholders Weigh in on Reciprocal Switching Proposal

The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) comment period closed Nov. 7 for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) it issued this fall in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 2), Reciprocal Switching for Inadequate Service.

Overhead photograph of the accident location in Houston, Tex., outside the Greens Port Industrial Park. Watco-subsidiary WDRL provides switching service for the facility. (Courtesy of NTSB; Source: Google Earth)

NTSB Releases Report on 2021 Houston Shoving-Movement Accident

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a report and three safety recommendations on shoving movements following its investigation of the Oct. 29, 2021, accident involving a Watco Dock and Rail LLC (WDRL) conductor killed when a train collided with a combination vehicle at a grade crossing in Houston, Tex.

ASLRRA Legal and Office Administrator Kathi Birch

Birch Joins ASLRRA as New Legal and Office Administrator

The American Short Line and Railroad Association (ASLRRA) recently announced that Kathi Birch has joined as the new Legal and Office Administrator. She will be responsible for a range of administrative and paralegal duties, and will report to Senior Vice President, Law and General Counsel Sarah Yurasko.

Gov. Laura Kelly on Oct. 11 announced that Kansas would have a two-person crew rule “to improve safety.” (Gov. Kelly’s Office Photograph)

Kansas Attempts Two-Person Crew Requirement

The state of Kansas on Nov. 3 will put into effect an administrative rule requiring two-person freight railroad crews.

From Left to Right: Kristin Fallon, Chief Marketing Officer, Bentley Systems; Chris Bradshaw, Chief Sustainability Officer, Bentley Systems; Colin Ellam, Chief Executive Officer of Cohesive; and Oliver Conze, Senior Vice President, Bentley Infrastructure Cloud. (Images Courtesy of Bentley Systems)

People News: ASLRRA, Bentley Systems

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) names Cameron Downs as Director of Data & Research. Also, Bentley Systems announces executive appointments.

Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA

Dysfunctional Washington Must Not Slow Us Down

ASLRRA PERSPECTIVE, RAILWAY AGE OCTOBER 2023 ISSUE: As this column is written, the federal government is either shut down or operating under a short-term Continuing Resolution. Whether shut down or just limping along, there appears to be little appetite for compromise between the warring factions in Congress. Be that as it may, the short line industry has much government-related business to concern itself with in the coming months.

ASLRRA staff members (L to R) JR Gelnar, Mike Ogborn and Kathy Keeney managed the Association’s booth at Railway Interchange 2023.

ASLRRA Staff Participate in Railway Interchange

The Association had a strong presence at Railway Interchange this week in both the exhibit hall and education sessions.

“We’re proud to support construction technology that helps communities build transit projects more quickly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

FRA: $1.4B in Infrastructure Funding Through CRISI Program

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced Sept. 25 that it has invested more than $1.4 billion from President Biden’s Infrastructure Law into 70 rail improvement projects in 25 states and Washington, D.C.