‘Big 4’ Submit Service Recovery Plans to STB

BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) and Union Pacific (UP) have answered the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) call to submit service recovery plans—identifying the steps they will take to clear congestion and improve service plus the metrics they will use to evaluate progress over the next six months.

BNSF 1Q22: Revenue Up Despite Lower Volume

For the first three months of 2022, BNSF posted freight revenue of $5.968 billion, up 10% from the prior-year period, on 2.339 million revenue units, down 3% from 2021, the Class I railroad reported.

Construction is slated to start this fall on a new $1.1 billion Encina manufacturing facility, which will be served by North Shore Railroad, Railway Age’s 2017 Short Line of the Year. (Photo: North Shore Railroad)

Small-Road Briefs: NSRR, Watco

Encina is planning to build a $1.1 billion manufacturing facility in Point Township, Pa., to be served by North Shore Railroad. Also, the Birmingham-Jefferson County (Ala.) Port Authority and Watco are investing $1.9 billion to boost business at Port Birmingham.

“With thermal detector technology, we can gather more data about the health of brakes on a moving train than can be collected from a visual inspection,” BNSF EVP and COO Matt Igoe reported.

Watch: BNSF Brake Health Pilot Program

BNSF is conducting a pilot safety program approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to evaluate the effectiveness of thermal detector technology for monitoring brake health.

BNSF, FRA Automated Track Inspection Dispute in Federal Court

BNSF has filed a Petition for Review with the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, naming the Federal Railroad Administration, FRA Administrator Amit Bose and the USDOT, of the FRA’s March 21, 2022 order (Docket Number FRA-2020-0064 – Request to Expand Automated Track Inspection Program) denying BNSF’s request “to expand an existing waiver of certain requirements of 49 C.F.R. § 213.233 to permit BNSF to broaden its implementation of automated track inspection technologies.”

AT&SF Bicentennial Locomotive Requiem

It was 1976, and the U.S. was celebrating its 200th birthday by turning everything red, white and blue. Commemorative bicentennial souvenirs abounded, and many companies tied their products or brand to the observance.

STB Chair Martin Oberman

STB’s ‘Marty Party’ Targets Rail CEOs

Call it a “Marty Party” scheduled for April 26-27 at which CEOs of the four largest U.S.-headquartered railroads will be placed as frogs on a lily pad in a lake of pain to be grilled as suspects in the offense of failing to provide adequate service to shippers.