(Photograph Courtesy of BNSF)
Commentary

Trackathon: BNSF’s ‘American Idol’ for Innovation

Many businesses are rising to the challenge of operating sustainably to reduce their impact on our planet. At BNSF, we’re also finding more and more ways to contribute to long-term sustainability, including tapping members of Team BNSF for new ideas.

Commentary

Wayside Cameras, Integrated Sensors as Logistics Tools

The digital age of telematic network monitoring comes in different business models. It might even help resolve passenger and freight train capacity questions. Jim Blaze takes a look at how cameras might displace or at least supplement confusing private spreadsheet calculations as to network capacity and fluidity, as well as help shippers adjust their railway routing options when certain rail routes become congested.

Commentary

Yes, It’s the Same Rishi Sunak

If the name of Britain’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, seems familiar, it’s not because most recently he was the comical BoJo’s (Boris Johnson) treasury chief (they call it Chancellor of the Exchequer across the pond, where lately the ruling Conservative Party has been changing out Prime Ministers with the frequency of replacing furnace filters).

Commentary

History Brought Back to Life: A Northern Pacific Passenger Car to Become a Home

BNSF is made up of almost 400 predecessor rail lines, and one of the majors was Northern Pacific Railway (NP). During NP’s prime, the railroad ran not only freight, but passenger service. Traveling by train was often a necessity up until the mid-20th century before automobiles became common and the highway system was established. Although the heyday of traveling by train has passed, some of the railcars of yesteryear remain. One NP passenger rail car is now being repurposed, thanks to rail enthusiasts who want to keep history alive.

Commentary

All Aboard Amtrak’s Mary Jane Limited?

If you’re a railroad historian, you’re doubtless aware of some of the passenger trains of bygone days named for famous people, like the Ethan Allen Express, Abraham Lincoln, Commodore Vanderbilt, William Penn,

Commentary

Can STB Avoid Political Division?

WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE OCTOBER 2022 ISSUE: Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairperson Martin J. Oberman remains as difficult to categorize today as when he arrived in January 2019. In many respects, he brings to mind mythical Roman god Janus, who, in seeing forward and backward, symbolizes change and transition.

Commentary

School Reform: A New Report Card for Service Levels

The time has come. Parents (Shareholders), Teachers (CEOs), Principals (Board of Directors), Students (Railroad Managements), and Boards of Education (STB) need a more descriptive report card—and the latter may demand it.

Commentary

All Aboard the Cybersecurity Express

The rail industry has always placed a keen emphasis on safety – ensuring that every ride is as safe as possible, posing no risk to passengers or employees.  But rail systems have

“Order expectations from shippers’ remain relatively in line from our second-quarter survey, but the level of certainty moderately declined in our recent survey,” Cowen analysts report. “It appears that gondolas saw demand improvement relative to second-quarter 2022. Boxcars declined relative to second-quarter 2022.”
Commentary

Cowen: 3Q22 Shipper Surveys Say …

According to Cowen and Company’s recently conducted third-quarter 2022 Rail Equipment and Rail Shipper surveys, the positive outlook for railcar orders remains relatively unchanged from the second quarter, and rail shipping pricing expectations have ticked down sequentially. Details follow, plus insights on the Class I railroads, ahead of earnings.

Commentary

Note to Lego: Issue This Kit!

My son Craig is an automotive technician specializing in German high-performance cars (BMW M Class, Mercedes AMG, Porsches, etc.—you get the picture.) He also owns a new Royal Enfield Continental GT motorcycle he has been modifying, and he and one of his buddies have started buying older rides to spruce up and modify. Craig got his start in his chosen field as a child, building Legos. He still collects and builds them.

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