Hurricane Ike Causes Rail Freight Downturn

September 27, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON —  Freight traffic on U.S. railroads was off sharply during the week ended September 20 in comparison with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported. Much of the decline can be attributed to disruptions caused by Hurricane Ike which struck the Gulf Coast Sept. 13. Total volume was estimated at 32.8 billion ton-miles, down 6.8 percent from the comparable week last year. Carload freight in the week totaled 312,662 cars, off 7.8 percent from last year. Volume was down 10.4 percent in the West and 4.3 percent in the East. Intermodal volume, which is

U.S. DOT Report Identifies Freight Railroads’ Role in Amtrak Train Delays

September 25, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Improper dispatching practices and poor operating discipline by freight railroads are among the key reasons why Amtrak trains suffer poor on-time performance on tracks operated by those host freight railroads. That’s the upshot of “Root Causes of Amtrak Train Delays,” a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. The DOT IG issued the report in response to a request from the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. More than 70 percent of the miles traveled by Amtrak trains are operated over tracks owned by other railroads. Federal law requires that, except in emergencies or as

2007: A Strong Year For Railroad Safety

WASHINGTON — Last year was another strong year for safety on the nation’s railroads, with records being set in two key safety measurements while a third fell just shy of setting a record. “Over the years, the railroad industry has developed a strong safety culture,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) at the annual E.H. Harriman Awards luncheon which honors railroads with the best employee safety records for the previous year. “Last year the train accident rate was the lowest in history,” he said. “So was the grade crossing accident rate. The

Congressmen Oppose CN’s Request for Expedited Review

WASHINGTON — Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., have sent a joint letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) stating their opposition to Canadian National’s request for an expedited environmental review and decision on its pending acquisition of the EJ&E Railroad. “Given the impact of this acquisition on local communities throughout Northwest Indiana, it’s important that the STB have the time for careful consideration of the deal,” Bayh said. “I believe strongly that area residents should be given the opportunity for a thoughtful, public review and the chance to voice concerns and have

Rail Network Could Face Major Congestion in Coming Decades

WASHINGTON — Congestion on the nation’s rail network is expected to increase over the next two decades and could eventually pose a major problem, members of Congress warned. Since deregulation of the freight railroad industry in 1980, Class 1 freight ton-miles have increased 93 percent, while miles of track have decreased 40 percent, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., said. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the demand for rail freight transportation will increase 88 percent by 2035, and their studies estimate that an investment of $148 billion in infrastructure expansion will be needed over the ext 28 years to

Pacer Stacktrain Initiates Expanded Intermodal Services with BNSF Railway

CONCORD, Calif. — Pacer International Inc. announced expanded intermodal services between its Pacer Stacktrain unit and BNSF Railway which allows Pacer Stacktrain to begin full service on their network effective April 1, 2008. Pacer Stacktrain will — for the first time — have access to the entire BNSF intermodal network within the United States. Interline service is available to and from Pacer-served CSX and Canadian National locations. “We are very pleased to have expanded our service with BNSF. The new Pacer Stacktrain BNSF Double Stack Service is a major milestone for our customers, providing fast and reliable ramp-to-ramp and door-to-door

Safe Crossing Week 2007 Teaches Kids How to Behave Safely Around Trains

November 12, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — To encourage educators, parents and caregivers to teach children that trains and railroad tracks may be dangerous places, Safe Kids USA and Canadian National are launching Safe Crossing Week, which begins today and runs through Nov. 18. Each year in the United States, an average of 916 people are killed and 8,300 are seriously injured in collisions with trains in the United States. In 2005, a total of 39 children aged 15 and under were killed in an incident involving a train. According to the two safety partners, education is key to preventing these injuries. CN created the

NTSB: Crew’s Failure to Comply With Signals Caused Miss. Derailment, Fatigue Also a Possible Factor

March 20, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board today determined that the probable cause of a fatal train collision was the failure by the crew to comply with wayside signals requiring them to stop at North Anding. The crew’s attention to the signals was most likely reduced by fatigue, the Board said, although other factors cannot be ruled out. ” This was an accident that could have been prevented,” said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “We will continue to promote and reiterate the importance of having positive train control on our railroad system.” On July 10, 2005, two CN freight trains

STB Releases Fall Peak Service Plans

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board has released letters from Class I railroads outlining their “peak season” service plans. In June, Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey sent letters to the chief executive officers of the seven largest railroads and to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), asking the railroads to inform the STB of their plans to ascertain the demand for, and to prepare for, the provision of peak-season service; their performance goals for the remainder of 2006 and their plans for achieving those goals; and their plans to communicate their service goals and plans with customers. In

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