April 1, 2015

Five ways energy is transforming U.S. railroads

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U.S. railroads have not hauled so much crude oil since the short period at the dawn of the petroleum age, when John D. Rockefeller relied on trains to build his Standard Oil empire. But the long, black tanker trains are only the most visible way that the changing U.S. energy picture is transforming railroads. The [...]

Railroads to spend $29B on network, hire 15,000

U.S. freight railroads plan to spend an estimated $29 billion on the nation’s rail network, and project to hire about 15,000 people in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Feb. 2 in its 2015 Outlook. These high-paying jobs, and record private spending will further strengthen an essential transportation system that is today powering [...]

Spending bill provisions for Amtrak, railroads

According to The Washington Post, a $1.01 trillion spending bill that will keep most of the federal government funded through September retains Amtrak’s current funding of $1.39 billion, the same amount it currently receives. It also provides $3 million to expand inspections along the roughly 14,000 miles of track used by trains hauling oil tankers. To view the [...]

NTSB recommends better sleep disorder screening

Federal regulators who concluded that an engineer’s sleep apnea caused a deadly train derailment in New York adopted several recommendations Wednesday for better screening of such disorders, including a call for improved physician training. The National Transportation Safety Board, meeting in Washington, approved all the conclusions and recommendations in a staff report that examined five [...]

Cargo rates trigger shipper backlash at railroads

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After CSX Corp. (CSX) raised rates for shipping specialty gas by 41 percent over three years, Diversified CPC International Inc. had to shutter a production line near Chicago. The buyer of a custom-ordered Diversified gas didn’t want the expense from those freight bills, so it decided to bring the manufacturing in-house. Read the complete story [...]

Rails post highest weekly coal carloads of year

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U.S. railroads hauled the highest number of carloads so far this year in the week that ended Saturday (Aug. 2), partly driven by low stockpiles at US utilities and pressure from producers to move more coal. The Association of American Railroads said Thursday (Aug. 7) that weekly coal carloads originated on all U.S. railroads totaled 116,881, [...]

DOT: Rails lack insurance for oil train disasters

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The insurance policies that most railroads have cannot cover the costs of many crashes or derailments involving oil trains, the Department of Transportation said. New safety rules for oil trains proposed last week would not mandate higher insurance levels than the $25 million common to the industry. But a DOT analysis released along with 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 [...]

Railroads 2010: How sweet it was

How did major railroads perform in 2010? Reviewing their calendar-year and fourth-quarter profit statements, one wouldn’t know they were operating in the midst of a nationwide recession. Profits soared, stock dividends were raised and operating ratios improved. (Operating ratio — a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue — is considered by [...]

Who owns the railroads

By Assistant President Arty Martin andGS&T Kim Thompson Among the most difficult challenges facing us in 2009 arrives in November, when we exchange Railway Labor Act Section 6 notices with the carriers — the list of each side’s demands for the next collective bargaining round. Our national rail contract is open for renewal on Jan. [...]