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.

NGFA Takes Railroads to Task With STB (UPDATED April 13, 2022)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) on March 24 sent a letter to Surface Transportation Board Chairman Marty Oberman complaining, on behalf of its members, about what it calls “a network problem affecting entire regions of the country.”

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.

Katie Farmer, President and CEO, BNSF Railway

CEO PERSPECTIVE: Sustain a Growth Mindset

As part of a special series in Railway Age’s March 2022 issue, 11 North American railroad CEOs address what must be done to grow and gain market share from competing freight transportation modes. Katie Farmer, President and CEO of BNSF Railway, is the first to share her perspective.

Construction is slated to start this summer on the 665-acre CentrePort Canada Rail Park in the capital region of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Winnipeg Rail Park Project Moving Forward

The Manitoba (Canada) government and CentrePoint Canada Inc. on March 25 reported their selection of Focus Equities Inc. as the developer of a Winnipeg rail park, to be served by BNSF, Canadian Pacific (CP) and CN.

Phase 1 of the Port of Victoria’s rail project at the Texas Logistics Center will see the addition of over 42,000 feet of track, including the build-out of three 10,000-foot drop and pull tracks.

TNW Advances Texas Logistics Center Project, Hires Railway Ops Leader

Texas-based TNW Corp. and the Victoria County Navigation District are moving forward on a multi-phase rail expansion project at the Port of Victoria’s (POV) Texas Logistics Center. Also, the short line and logistics center operator has named Jeremy Bush Superintendent of Railway Operations for its TXGN and TXR railways.

BLET, SMART-TD Seeking Arbitration Over BNSF Hi-Viz

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the SMART Transportation Division reported March 23 that they will “proceed as expeditiously as possible to arbitration” over BNSF’s Hi-Viz worker availability policy that took effect Feb. 1.