November 27, 2014

Railroads press against proposals to slow oil trains

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U.S. railroads are rallying customers, including lumber and steel companies, to fight a government proposal to slow trains hauling crude oil. Urged by railroads, more than a dozen companies and business groups are warning regulators that cutting speeds to 40 mph from 50 mph would have a cascading effect, delaying other trains sharing the tracks [...]

Rail groups push feds to drop Bakken oil rule

WASHINGTON — Two railroad industry trade groups have quietly asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to drop its requirement that rail carriers transporting large volumes of Bakken crude oil notify state emergency officials. The railroads have maintained that they already provide communities with adequate information about hazardous materials shipments and that public release of the [...]

Oil, rail industries want seven years to fix tank cars

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The oil and railroad industries are urging federal regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday (Sept. 30). The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires. Jack Gerard, president of the [...]

AAR, railroad execs offer take on state of industry

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America’s railroads today are handling more business more efficiently and safely and for better profits than ever before in their nearly 200 years of existence. They remain a growth industry. The record $15 billion they invested in 2013 will no longer be a record in 2014, considering that two of the Class I’s alone will [...]

BNSF, UP target of price-fixing lawsuit

A mining and natural resources company, Oxbow Carbon and Minerals, has filed an antitrust suit against BNSF and Union Pacific, alleging the railroads have illegally fixed freight rates, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, “to gouge customers.” Oxbow mines and ships coal and petroleum coke. The lawsuit, before the federal District Court for the [...]

PTC installation could be trimmed 10,000 miles

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration suggests scaling back by 10,000 miles a federal mandate that positive train control (PTC) be installed on some 140,000 miles of freight and passenger track no later than Dec. 31, 2015. The 10,000 miles represents track over which freight railroads say neither passengers nor dangerous hazmat will be transported in [...]

Rail freight loadings continue upward climb

WASHINGTON — Rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 15 continued its upward climb, reports the Association of American Railroads. Carloads were up by 7.5 percent compared with the same week in 2010, and intermodal (trailers and containers on flat cars) showed a gain of 5.8 percent over the same week in 2010. The AAR [...]

Shippers spurn all-truck for rail intermodal

Shippers are increasingly abandoning all-truck movements for their freight in favor of rail intermodal (trailers and containers atop rail flat cars), reports the Journal of Commerce. Journal of Commerce trucking editor Bill Cassidy writes, “Supermarkets and shopping malls don’t have rail sidings, truckers love to point out, but the intermodal industry is moving steadily closer [...]