AAR to Congress: Freight rail strong and flexible—and the backbone of passenger rail

In two days of testimony before two separate U.S. House of Representatives transportation panels, Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger emphasized that “billions in annual privately funded rail infrastructure investments have made America’s rail network vital to U.S. competitiveness in the global supply chain,” and those investments spent on infrastructure and maintenance “provide a world-class foundation for America’s intercity passenger and commuter rail operations.”

AAR fires at NITL over forced switching proposal

Like a U.S. Navy destroyer unleashing all of its weapons simultaneously, the Association of American Railroads has launched a strongly worded attack on the National Industrial Transportation League’s proposal to the Surface Transportation Board for “forced switching,” also known as “mandated access,” “mandatory switching,” and “forced competition.”

Rail industry goal: 5,000 jobs for vets this year

The freight railroads, intercity passenger and commuter railroads, and 
rail supply companies of the United States expect to hire more than 5,000
 veterans in 2012.

Iowa Pacific Holdings joins AAR

The Association of American Railroads announced Thursday that Iowa Pacific Holdings (IPH) has become its newest full member.

Railroad strike averted as BLET, ATDA settle with NCCC; BMWE remains

Represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, the major U.S. railroads late Thursday reached tentative agreements with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train Dispatchers Association, which together represent about 26,500 employees in collective bargaining. The last remaining union without a settlement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), agreed with the railroads to extend the “cooling off” period until Feb. 8, 2012, eliminating the immediate threat of a national rail strike, which could have occurred as soon as Dec. 6.