It’s third-quarter 2019 railroad financial results reporting time, and sometimes, insight about rail freight markets comes from strange places. One of those might just be the quarterly report by J.B. Hunt (JBHT). The Hunt logistics company is one of the largest U.S. intermodal rail organizers. It essentially buys contracted intermodal train service from railroad companies like BNSF and Norfolk Southern.
RAILWAY TRACK & STRUCTURES at RAILWAY INTERCHANGE 2019: Collins Aerospace, a technology company that provides a variety of services to commercial and business aviation, military and defense, space flight, and airports is now in the railroad business – well, sort of. They offer positive train control (PTC) solutions, rail data, and analytics services, along with other technology solutions tailored for railroads.
The U.S. Coast Guard on Sept. 5 issued a FONSI (Finding Of No Significant Impact) on BNSF’s plan to construct a new bridge across Sand Creek and Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, supplementing an existing structure and eliminating a bottleneck.
In a wide-ranging interview with Railway Age in December 2018, BNSF’s then-Executive Chairman Matt Rose had this to say about the future of locomotive propulsion technology:
I have this friend, a railroad professional. I know I would never question his commitment to safety. I hope he wouldn’t question mine. This friend is concerned that railroad management will unfairly use medical information it obtains from employees, from employees’ medical care providers, and from the requirements of a medical fitness for duty regulation, to disqualify employees from service. He fears railroads will weaponize the information.
Railway Age, June 2019 Issue, The Evolution in Track Geometry Technology: As railroaders know, establishing and maintaining proper track geometry requires frequent attention to maintain safe and fluid operation. Despite best efforts, derailments will occasionally occur due to geometry exceptions, prompting track engineers to look for more effective methods of correcting issues before they become problems.
BNSF Railway and the Chicago CREATE partners have completed BNSF Connection project (WA4), which established a new direct connection between BNSF’s Corwith and Cicero Yards, as well as between the CN Freeport Subdivision and the Western Avenue Corridor along which BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX and Union Pacific operate. Prior to WA4, freight trains had to travel longer, more indirect routings to make these connections, including long and potentially hazardous reverse moves.
For the fifth time in as many years, Toyota Logistics Services named BNSF Railway Co. (BNSF) the winner of its 2018 President’s Award for Rail Logistics Excellence.
BNSF is engaged in service recovery efforts in multiple areas across its network in the northern and central Plains following another major winter storm. Blizzard conditions, with wind gusts to near 70 mph in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have caused significant train delays since March 14. With the temperature rising, BNSF is now confronting major flooding issues in the region, particularly in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, as multiple subdivisions are currently out of service due to track washouts.
BNSF is experimenting with the process of combining two empty unit grain trains into one and sending the double-length train east out of Auburn, Wash., over Stampede Pass.