Hurricane Ike Causes Rail Freight Downturn

September 27, 2008 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

UP Brakeman Sues Metrolink Over Crash

September 27, 2008 News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES — The brakeman on the Union Pacific train involved in a deadly collision with a California commuter train is suing Metrolink, saying they failed to properly screen, train and supervise the engineer who is being blamed for the wreck. On Sept. 12, a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train collided near Chatsworth, Calif., killing 25 people and injuring more than 130 more. As part of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board said the Metrolink engineer sent and received text messages prior to the crash. “Basically the guy was asleep at the switch and not

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

September 25, 2008 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

NTSB: Engineer Sent, Received Texts Prior to Crash

September 17, 2008 News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES – The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that the engineer of a Metrolink commuter train that crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train sent and received text messages prior to the crash. “NTSB investigators asked for records of the Metrolink engineer’s cell phone calls and text messages from the service provider,” the agency said in a statement. “The Board today received some of those records, which indicate that the engineer had sent and received text messages on the day of the accident, including some while he was on duty.” The Metrolink commuter train and the Union Pacific

Amtrak Tracks Remain Closed Due to Collision — Pacific Surfliner & Coast Starlight Affected

September 16, 2008 News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES — Railroad tracks remain closed following a fatal Metrolink crash, Amtrak officials said. A Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train collided on on Sept. 12 near Chatsworth, Calif., killing 25 peopel and injuring more than 130 more. As a result, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner trains with connecting Thruway Motorcoach buses will not operate north of Los Angeles Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Pacific Surfliner Service and Related Thruway Motorcoaches There will be no service by Pacific Surfliners and their connecting Thruway Motorcoach buses on September 15 and 16, between San Luis Obispo and Goleta, California, and

Union Pacific and Progress Rail Services Sign Agreement to Initiate First Testing of Green Technology in Intermediate-Haul Locomotives

September 12, 2008 News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad has signed an agreement with Progress Rail Services, a Caterpillar company, to test five SD40-2 locomotives originally built in the 1970’s that have been remanufactured with 3,005-horsepower low-emission diesel engines. These locomotives will meet Tier 2 emissions standards, incorporate new emission control technologies, and will be the first ever tested for intermediate-haul routes. The prototypes are powered by Caterpillar model 3516, 3005- horsepower diesel engines. They have more power than the typical 2000- horsepower 4-axle Genset “switch” locomotive used around terminals, but are less powerful than the 4400- horsepower 6-axle “line haul” locomotives used

Union Pacific Surpasses Own Records for Moving Loaded Coal Trains Out of Wyoming

September 8, 2008 News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific said it has surpassed its own monthly record for delivering coal out of Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) not only once, but twice. In August, the railroad moved 1,190 loaded coal trains out of the SPRB, making it the best month on record and surpassing the previous record of 1,174 loaded trains set in July 2008. “Our investments in the Joint Line and throughout our coal network are paying dividends in terms of our coal train velocity and throughput,” said Doug Glass, vice president and general manager – energy. UP also announced the following

Legendary Steam Locomotive Represents Historical Whistle-Stop Tours

September 1, 2008 News Wire 0

Union Pacific Railroad’s No. 844, the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, has brought many people trackside along Colorado’s Front Range as the locomotive made its way from Cheyenne to Denver and back, to celebrate railroad history and heritage during the Democratic National Convention (Aug. 25-28). “We are proud to have No. 844 on display during the convention because of our historical connection to the campaign trail,” said Bob Turner, Union Pacific’s senior vice president – Corporate Relations. “Long before candidates traveled via planes or automobiles, rail offered candidates a way to deliver themselves and their platforms to far-flung

Union Pacific Reports 24 Percent Earnings Growth

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Corporation reported record 2008 second quarter net income of $531 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, compared to $446 million, or $.82 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2007. “We achieved a record second quarter in the face of rising fuel costs and an estimated 5 cents earning reduction associated with Midwest flooding,” said Jim Young, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We demonstrated the resiliency of our network by quickly restoring service to our customers, which provided us with a strong finish to the quarter, driving solid revenue growth and continued productivity improvements.”

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

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