April 24, 2014

Confidential Close Call Reporting proving its worth

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It’s confidential and no-fault. And the result, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, is a significant reduction in rail workplace derailments that too often lead to serious injury and death — plus, as a bonus, better labor/management relationships and improved operational performance. We’re talking about four pilot projects called Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), whose core value [...]

First quarter 2012 rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 15 percent increase in profit forf the first quarter 2012 versus first quarter 2011, citing improved pricing and higher fuel surcharges. BNSF’s first quarter 2012 operating ratio of 74.4 percent was one percentage point lower than for the first quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage [...]

What part of ‘no’ can’t railroads understand?

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Sadly, there is a part of “no” that railroads just can’t understand. So, once again, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has hit a railroad in the wallet for violating an employee’s rights as protected under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970, which was supplemented by the Rail Safety Improvement Act [...]

CN, CP, CSX, KCS, NS, UP report 2011 earnings

CANADIAN NATIONAL Canadian National reported a 9 percent increase in profit for calendar-year 2011 versus calendar-year 2010. The CN calendar-year operating ratio of 63.5 percent was a slight improvement over the 63.6 percent operating ratio for calendar-year 2010. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered [...]

OSHA raps UP again for whistleblower violation

Once again, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered a railroad to reinstate an employee and pay him back wages for violating an employee’s rights as a whistleblower. In the latest OSHA order, Union Pacific was ordered immediately to reinstate an employee in Idaho and pay him back wages, compensatory [...]

Court cancels UP fines in drug smuggling

The Department of Homeland Security has been ordered by a federal district court in Nebraska to cease assessing fines against Union Pacific and seizing its rolling stock following discovery of illegal narcotics on trains originating in Mexico and delivered by Mexican railroads to UP at the Mexican border. The court said U.S. Customs and Border [...]

UP lone “revenue adequate” railroad for 2010

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined that only one major railroad – Union Pacific – was “revenue adequate” in calendar year 2010. A railroad is considered “revenue adequate” if it achieves a rate of return on net investment equal to at least the current cost of capital for the railroad industry. Revenue [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 3d quarter 2011 profits

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BNSF reported a 9 percent improvement in profit for the third quarter 2011 versus the third quarter 2010. The third-quarter operating ratio of 71.7 percent was slightly higher than the 70.8 percent for third-quarter 2010. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the [...]

UP track inspector dies in hi-rail accident

ABILENE, Kans. – A unidentified Union Pacific employee, operating a hi-rail vehicle, was killed in an accident here with a SUV at a highway-rail grade crossing, reports KAKE television news. KAKE reported the UP employee was driving the hi-rail vehicle westbound while inspecting track when it was struck at the crossing by the SUV. The SUV driver [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 2d quarter 2011 profits

Canadian National: Canadian National Railway July 25 reported an 8 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2011 versus the second quarter 2010, citing a 10 percent increase in intermodal loadings (trailers and containers on flat cars) and a 14 percent increase in intermodal revenue. CN’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 62.3 percent [...]