BNSF Railway and New Mexico DOT Reach Agreement on Future Commuter Rail Line Between Belen and Trinidad

November 28, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – BNSF Railway Co. (BNSF) on Nov. 28 announced that an agreement has been reached with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to sell the nearly 300-mile BNSF main rail line between Belen, N.M. and Trinidad, Colo. The sale will be closed in segments for a total of $76 million to create a commuter rail line. Under the agreement, BNSF keeps on-going freight easement rights on the line, and NMDOT also has acquired a 13-acre portion of BNSF’s Albuquerque rail yard property. The sale and commencement of service are contingent on completion of other agreements anticipated by

Settlement for South Dakota Core Line Announced

November 28, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Mike Rounds and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) on Nov. 28 announced a settlement has been reached for the sale of the state-owned Core railroad line to BNSF. “South Dakota producers and shippers will benefit by enhanced transportation access to markets,” Rounds said. “As a condition of the sale, we negotiated a settlement protecting and expanding access to the Core line for our South Dakota shippers. This is access to worldwide markets that our smaller carriers have never before had.” The state will collect approximately $40,337,295 from BNSF for the sale of the Core Line. The proceeds

Success Story? Twenty-Five Years Ago, Railroads Changed Forever, But the Debate Continues Over Whether the Staggers Act is a Success

November 1, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON — On Oct. 14, 1980, the fate of American railroads changed. Congress passed the Staggers Act, legislation that deregulated the industry. But a quarter of a century later, the debate over the law rages on. By 1980, between a fifth and a third of the railroad industry was bankrupt, the byproduct of government regulation. An investor could have made more money putting money into the typical savings account than investing in the railroad industry. Maintenance was, to say the least, sub par and the rate of wrecks was skyrocketing. Despite the grim outlook of the railroad industry, it was

Success Story? Twenty-Five Years Ago, Railroads Changed Forever, but the Debate Continues Over Whether the Staggers Act is a Success

November 1, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — On Oct. 14, 1980, the fate of American railroads changed. Congress passed the Staggers Act, legislation that deregulated the industry. But a quarter of a century later, the debate over the law rages on. By 1980, between a fifth and a third of the railroad industry was bankrupt, the byproduct of government regulation. An investor could have made more money putting money into the typical savings account than investing in the railroad industry. Maintenance was, to say the least, sub par and the rate of wrecks was skyrocketing. Despite the grim outlook of the railroad industry, it was

Federal Railroad Administration Urges Safer Shipments of Time-Sensitive Hazardous Materials by Rail

November 1, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Railroads, manufacturers, refiners, and businesses that ship or receive hazardous materials by rail should immediately improve procedures for tracking the movement of time-sensitive shipments, according to a Safety Advisory distributed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Oct. 5. “Anyone involved in shipping hazardous materials must take the necessary steps to ensure that time-sensitive products are properly tracked from origin to final destination,” said FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. “There is no margin for error when it comes to shipping hazardous materials. Everyone involved in this process has to get it right.” The Safety Advisory requests that all

Amtrak Trains Roll Out of New Orleans Starting Oct. 9

October 9, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Passenger rail service from New Orleans, suspended since Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast in later August, returned to the Big Easy Oct. with the departures of the City of New Orleans to Memphis and Chicago and the Crescent to Atlanta and New York, according to Amtrak. The New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, Amtrak facilities and the rail lines owned by the CN Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway leading into the city sustained extensive damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina. “We are proud to restore our operations to and from New Orleans to both serve passengers and

Norfolk Southern Reopens New Orleans Intermodal

October 3, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Southern Corp. on Oct. 3 reopened its intermodal terminal in New Orleans. The facility had been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast Aug. 29. The terminal is now accepting inbound and outbound shipments at the gate. The yard is located at 2900 Florida Ave. in New Orleans. Due to local curfews, the terminal will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “The restoration of intermodal service will assist with the transportation of reconstruction and relief materials to the Gulf Coast region,” said Bob Huffman, vice president intermodal operations. “We are working closely with our

A Brewing Battle: Poor Management Leads to Millions in Losses

September 15, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON — Poor management controls of Amtrak’s food and beverage service lead to millions in losses annually, reports reveal. The Amtrak Inspector General (IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), at a recent Congressional hearing, outlined their separate reviews of Amtrak’s food and beverage service and the substantial losses incurred by Amtrak due to poor management. According to the IG’s review, Amtrak’s food and beverage operations lose up to $150 million each year. The IG figures do not incorporate losses resulting from theft, which were discussed in the hearing as being significant. The GAO review found that for every dollar

BNSF Railway Makes $1 Million Contribution, Offers Transportation Help to Hurricane Victims

September 2, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

FORT WORTH, Texas – A contribution of $1 million to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina was announced Sept. 2 by BNSF Railway Company, along with an offer to the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to provide railroad transportation in support of hurricane relief and recovery efforts. The contribution by the railway, a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, will be made to the American Red Cross via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation. “All of America grieves at the unfolding tragedy and our Company and employees are anxious to help. We understand there are matters more immediate than

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