Opinion

‘Maybe So Sir, But Not Today’

I spent about a half-decade of my railway career working with several intermodal freight logistics luminaries: Marvin Manheim of Northwestern University’s Transportation Center, Penn State Professor of Logistics Kant Rao and Bryan Stone of Intercontainer, with contributions from Rick Hill and Dick Andino, pioneers of ship-to-rail intermodal at APL. These folks and others helped shape my view of moving containers along complex links and nodes among different modes and terminals.

Reciprocal Switching: Complex, Expensive, Time-Consuming (i.e. Mostly a Bad Idea)

Here are a few observations about the often operationally complex competitive rail carload service that many shippers and public advocates would like federal regulators to shove down the throats of the railroads: “reciprocal switching,” or as the Association of American Railroads calls it, “forced access,” a “misguided” method that could, ultimately, undermine the railroads’ ability to reliably serve customers.

Amtrak: New Equipment Brings New Challenges

Having worked into Washington D.C. Union Station from the South my entire Amtrak career as a locomotive engineer, I’m excited yet apprehensive about the acquisition of dual-power and battery-hybrid motive power and integrated trainsets from Siemens Mobility, because it’s going to require the type of commitment to maintenance and service that’s historically been haphazard at Amtrak, at best.