August 4, 2015

Railroads reap record profits despite decline in traffic

The nation’s four major railroads are still carrying less freight than they were before the recession. But the last decade has been an exhilarating ride for them nonetheless — an era of growing profits, soaring stock prices and ambitious investments. For Jacksonville-based CSX Corp., freight volume has dropped 7 percent since 2004. Meanwhile, its shares [...]

Union Pacific promotes Lance Fritz to CEO

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Union Pacific’s board of directors today elected Lance M. Fritz president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. He also was elected to the company’s board of directors. Fritz had been president and chief operating officer since Feb. 6, 2014. Fritz, 52, succeeds John J. (Jack) Koraleski, who was named executive chairman. “Lance has the right [...]

At least 10 killed when prison bus hits train in Texas

PENWELL, Texas – At least 10 people were killed Wednesday when a bus carrying state prisoners skidded off an icy highway overpass in West Texas, slid down an embankment and collided with a passing train, a county sheriff said. The overpass on Interstate 20 was slick with ice Wednesday morning when the Texas Department of [...]

Large settlement upheld in case against UP

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An administrative review board decision to award North Platte resident Brian Petersen more than $300,000 in damages from Union Pacific Railroad was upheld on Nov. 20. The case dates back to August 2009 when Petersen, an apprentice machinist, was checking his work schedule in an employee parking lot late on the night of Aug. 28, [...]

More jobs, locomotives on the way, UP says

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Union Pacific Railroad has boosted hiring plans and aims to add 200 new locomotives next year to improve network congestion, the company said at an investor conference Wednesday in Chicago. “We have been short of train crews,” acknowledged Chief Operating Officer Lance Fritz, speaking at the conference. “We have more than doubled the hiring we [...]

UP boosts inspections in hazardous mountain passes

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Faced with public concern about the risks of crude oil shipments, the Union Pacific railroad last month boosted its rail inspection program on mountain passes in California and the West, dispatching high-tech vehicles with lasers to check tracks for imperfections. UP officials say they have leased two rail inspection vehicles, called geometry cars, doubling the [...]

Railroads sue California over new crude oil rules

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California’s two major railroad companies have filed suit in federal court challenging a state law requiring railroads to come up with an oil spill prevention and response plan. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, contends federal laws largely prohibit states from imposing safety rules on railroads such as the ones [...]

Train derails in Mer Rouge, La., two injured

Update:  KNOE 8 News has learned that the two railroad employees injured in Sunday’s train derailment are now both being treated for their injuries in a Shreveport hospital. Mer Rouge Police Chief Mitch Stevens says the train engineer has a compound fracture to his leg and some bumps and bruises. The chief says the conductor [...]

Deadly Arkansas train crash cleanup ongoing

An important highway in northeast Arkansas could stay closed into next week as crews clean up the wreckage left from a head-on train collision, a highway official said Wednesday. Two railroad workers were killed and two others were injured when the Union Pacific freight trains crashed. Read the complete story at ClaimsJournal.com.

Funeral set for member Hayes, killed in UP crash

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A funeral service will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in Allen, Texas, for SMART Transportation Division member Roderick A. Hayes, 31, who was killed in a Union Pacific train collision Aug. 17. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 6 [...]