Innovation Under Way as Railway Aims to Cut Costs

December 18, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

CALGARY, Alberta – Canadian Pacific Railway in December became the first railway in Canada to operate intermodal freight trains with mid-train remote-control locomotives, the company said. Mimicking the control inputs of engineers in leading locomotives, the remote-control units enable CPR to run intermodal trains approaching three kilometers in length through the winter when they were previously shortened because of air-pressure loss in colder temperatures. Since 1995 all new main-line locomotives ordered by CPR have been equipped to operate in leading or remote-control configuration. Introduction of remote-control locomotives is a cornerstone of the railway’s campaign to completely transform its intermodal service,

Communities Can Quiet Train Horns

December 17, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Dec. 17 announced a rule allowing local communities to quiet train horns at some 150,000 railroad crossings nationwide if safety requirements are met. “For several years, the Federal Railroad Administration has been working to address the impact of train horn noise on communities in a way that improves quality of life for nearby residents without sacrificing safety for motorists at railroad crossings,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. “Train horns are important safety devices, but they also can be a nuisance for residents,” he added. “This rule means less noise

NS to Spend $810 Million in 2004

December 11, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Southern Corporation plans to spend $810 million in 2004 for capital improvements to its railroad operations and subsidiaries. “Our capital spending budget reflects our commitment to providing the highest levels of service and safety for our customers and to utilizing our equipment and facilities efficiently,” said Norfolk Southern Chairman, President and CEO David R. Goode. The anticipated spending includes $517 million for roadway projects and $258 million for equipment. In roadway improvements, the largest expenditure will be $384 million for rail, crosstie, ballast and bridge programs. In addition, $29 million is provided for communications, signal and

November is Good to Amtrak

December 11, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Amtrak ended the busiest November in its 32-year history with a ridership total of 2,076,054, up 11.7 percent over last year’s total of 1,858,345. All 16 long-distance trains posted double-digit gains and, collectively, posted a 32 percent surge in ridership. The most impressive gains were realized on the Capitol Limited (Chicago – Pittsburgh – Washington), up 54 percent; the Sunset Limited (Orlando – New Orleans – San Antonio – Los Angeles), up 50 percent; and the Cardinal (Chicago – Indianapolis – New York), up 51 percent due to a route extension from Washington to New York City. Regional

Intermodal Sets Annual Record on U.S. Railroads

December 11, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – For the eighth time in the past ten years intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads has set an annual record, according to the Association of American Railroads. Intermodal volume for 2003 reached 9,399,690 trailers or containers during the week ended Dec. 6, 2003, breaking the annual record of 9,349,630, which was set last year.  With three weeks left in 2003, U.S. intermodal volume is expected to exceed 9.8 million units for the year. For just the week ended Dec. 6, intermodal traffic totaled 202,690 trailers or containers, up 7.0 percent from the comparable week last year. Carload freight, which doesn’t

Amtrak Employees May Strike for One Day

September 17, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Don’t expect to see any trains Oct. 3 if unions representing Amtrak get what they want. Union leaders have threatened a one-day strike to focus attention on what they are calling gross under funding of the national passenger railroad. Acting Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees President Freddie N. Simpson noted that Amtrak’s President, David Gunn, said Amtrak needs $1.8 billion for Fiscal Year 2004 to maintain its operations. And without that level of funding, Gunn said he will seek to shut down Amtrak nationwide. The US House of Representatives has agreed to provide $900 million in funding

N.J. Transit Set to Open Secaucus Station

August 30, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. – After much anticipation, N.J. Transit will open its Secaucus Transfer Station Sept. 6 for weekend-only service, Executive Director George Warrington announced July 31. “The Secaucus transfer station creates new markets, generates job growth and sparks economic development for the State of New Jersey,” said N.J. Transit Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “The new hub also sets the groundwork for the next generation of transportation services, such as a new two-track tunnel under the Hudson River and 100 bi-level rail cars.” The $450 million Secaucus transfer connects 10 of N.J. Transit’s 11 rail lines, providing rail

UP Opens $181 Million Chicago Region Intermodal Facility

August 28, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ROCHELLE, Ill. – Union Pacific on Aug. 27 officially opened a new $181 million intermodal facility here, which officials say will attract companies to the area. “The level of interest from companies looking to relocate to the area continues to be quite high,” Neil Palmer, a suburban Milwaukee-based consultant who worked with Union Pacific on the Rochelle hub, told the Rockford Register Star. “It gives you reason to believe that the facility will continue to attract new business as well as keep business in the region.” Intermodal shipping involves moving freight by more than one mode of transportation without re-packing

The Great Blackout of 2003

August 23, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW YORK – A sweltering heat welcomed passengers to Penn Station Friday (Aug. 15) as power remained out after the nation’s largest blackout. The massive power outage left millions without power and thousands more stranded when transportation unable to operate. Commuter rail and subways shut down leaving residents without travel options. And when power was partially restored, travel was slow and fewer trains, particularly on New Jersey Transit lines, operated. Within days, however, rail service was back to normal, with passengers being whisked across the Northeast on assorted subways and commuter trains. “I would like to thank our customers for

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