Archive for the ‘More News’ Category
Las Vegas Railway Express has announced that John McPherson has been elected as chairman of its board, and George Rebensdorf has been elected as director of the board.
Gil Lamphere, the former chairman, remains on the board as director.
McPherson joined the board of directors of CSX in July 2008. He served as president and chief operating officer of Florida East Coast Railway from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. From 1993 to 1998, McPherson served as senior vice president of operations, and from 1998 to 1999, he served as president and CEO of the Illinois Central Railroad. Prior to joining the Illinois Central Railroad, McPherson served in various capacities at Santa Fe Railroad for 25 years. From 1997 to 2007, he served as a member of the board of directors of TTX Company.
Rebensdorf is a finance and mergers and acquisitions professional with more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international industry. He has worked with financial and investment banking firms of various sizes and has participated in more than 50 merger and acquisition transactions. He has served as an advisor in public and private financings, with concentrated transaction experience in the small cap and micro cap industries. Rebensdorf has served on the board of directors of numerous public and private companies, many of which he or his investors have invested in. He also has experience with corporate and SEC compliance standards. He is currently president of The Rebensdorf Group.
Operation Lifesaver has named DeQuendre Bertrand its new director of internal and external communications, according to Joyce Rose, president and CEO of the nonprofit rail safety organization.
“Her expertise will help Operation Lifesaver, Inc., make greater use of digital technology, social media and e-learning to differentiate the OLI brand, increase public awareness and deliver lifesaving education campaigns,” Rose said in a written statement.
Bertrand’s career experience includes serving as writer-editor for ESI and as communications manager for NABA; she has also been an independent consultant with multiple nonprofit clients. She has managed e-mail marketing, audience development and publications design and production for numerous organizations, including Volunteers of America, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers. Bertrand began her career as a journalist, writing for New York Newsday and The Bergen Record. Most recently, Bertrand was a public relations specialist with Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia.
Knorr-Bremse has opened a new rail vehicle systems production plant in Westminster, Md.
The opening ceremony was attended by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, as well as Heinz Hermann Thiele, owner and chairman of the supervisory board of Knorr-Bremse.
The former plant in Westminster had reached the limits of its capacity, as a result of the ongoing growth of the U.S. mass transit market and three current orders for HVAC systems, according to the rail and commercial vehicles braking systems manufacturer. The new plant tripled capacity.
The new facility, which represents an investment of $28 million, provides more than 20,000 square meters (about 215,278 square feet) of production and office space.
“Our new plant in Westminster is one of the most advanced facilities in Knorr-Bremse’s global production network,” said Dieter Wilhelm, member of Knorr-Bremse’s executive board responsible for the rail vehicle systems division, in his introductory address at the opening ceremony.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has adopted final mediation and arbitration rules that establish a new arbitration program under which shippers and railroads may agree in advance to voluntarily arbitrate certain types of disputes with defined liability limits in matters coming before the agency.
The changes to the existing mediation rules establish procedures that allow the board to order parties to participate in mediation in certain types of disputes before the board, on a case-specific basis.
These actions reflect the board’s facilitation of alternative dispute resolution, in lieu of formal agency proceedings, wherever possible, in an attempt to consolidate and simplify formerly separate arbitration procedures and to encourage greater use of arbitration. The board has identified specific types of disputes eligible for the new arbitration program and established limits on monetary amounts in controversy.
The decision follows the board’s August 2010 decision seeking public input on ways to increase the use of mediation and arbitration at the board, a March 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, receipt and analysis of public comments in response to both, and review of testimony provided in an August 2012 public hearing.
The first of Amtrak’s 70 new electric locomotives, being built by Siemens for U.S. Northeast intercity rail passengers, began rolling off of the assembly line yesterday.
The Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotives are being assembled in Siemens’ Sacramento, Calif., rail manufacturing plant, with parts built from its plants in Norwood, Ohio; Alpharetta, Ga.; and Richland, Miss., and nearly 70 suppliers. They will operate on Northeast Regional trains at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor along the Washington-New York-Boston route and on Keystone Service trains at speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa. In addition, all long-distance trains operating on the NEC will be powered by the new locomotives.
The new locomotives are designed for easier maintenance and are intended to improve energy efficiency by using a regenerative braking system that will feed energy back into the power grid. They also meet the latest federal rail safety regulations.
The first three locomotives of the $466 million order will undergo a comprehensive testing program this summer for entry into revenue service in the fall, including two at a U.S. Department of Transportation facility in Pueblo, Colo., and one on the NEC. Once they are commissioned, production of the remaining units will ramp up for monthly delivery through 2016.
The new locomotives are part of a comprehensive Amtrak fleet strategy plan to modernize and expand its equipment. The new units will replace electric locomotives that have between 25 and 35 years of service and average mileage of more than 3.5 million miles traveled, with some approaching 4.5 million miles.
Union Pacific’s recent ethanol rail safety conference educated about 90 participants representing more than 15 ethanol shippers on railroad safety and security measures.
Joined by equipment supplier GATX, the Class I railroad used hands-on training to focus on non-accident release reduction, emergency response techniques and safe loading and unloading procedures.
GATX provided a tank car for the training session, which demonstrated safe practices for transferring ethanol to tank cars. The conference also featured a panel discussion with industry safety experts, including representatives from UP, the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition and the Federal Railroad Administration.
“Strong attendance at the ethanol rail safety conference is a clear indication that our customers share Union Pacific’s commitment to safety and understand the direct correlation between safe operations and exceptional service,” said Paul Hammes, UP’s vice president and general manager of agricultural products, in a written statement.
The Andersons has completed its newly constructed, 27,300 square foot railcar paint facility in Maumee, Ohio.
The new facility will help alleviate the current shortage of services of this kind, as well as meet the industry’s expected growth in demand for railcar painting, said Rasesh Shah, president of The Andersons’ Rail Group, in a written statement.
The facility also includes 1,700 feet of track that allows railcars to move through the building.
Murex and Cetane Energy have plans to further improve and expand the Cetane crude oil transloading facility in Carlsbad, N.M.
The capital improvement project will consist of a rail expansion to load unit trains of crude oil, additional railcar loading stations and a long-term crude oil gather system from local producers.
Over the past year, Murex, a crude oil and ethanol distributor, and Cetane, a renewable energy solutions company, have added 40,000 barrels of crude oil storage, 12 tanker truck unloading stations and additional custody transfer meters at the Carlsbad facility. The current capital improvement project also calls for an extra 20,000 feet of track to be laid by August 2013, which will allow for the loading of 110-car unit trains.
“We have made significant improvements over the past year and look forward to the commencement of unit train service at Cetane,” said Robert Wright , president of Murex, in a written statement.
“We look forward to working with Murex and Cetane to provide unit train service out of the Permian Basin,” said Dave Garin, BNSF Railway’s group vice president of industrial products. “Today, rail is providing a more flexible, long-term, and economical option to ship crude oil to destination markets throughout the East, West and Gulf coasts, and along the Mississippi River.”
Shortly after completing the rail expansion, Murex intends to further expand the Cetane facility. Murex is working with Frontier Energy Services, a midstream crude oil and natural gas asset development company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., to build gathering infrastructure for delivery of crude oil into the terminal from local producers.
Harsco reported revenue for its rail segment in the first quarter of 2013 was $72 million, increasing 5 percent from $68 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Quarterly operating income was $3 million, plummeting from $9 million in the same quarter last year.
The operating margin in the first quarter was 4.7 percent, versus 13.7 percent in 2012’s first quarter. The rail segment’s “unusually low” first quarter margin was primarily fueled by the mix of equipment deliveries, Harsco said in a written statement. As the division nears completion of its multi-year contract with the China Ministry of Railways, its production content in the quarter shifted to lower margin components, consistent with the contract’s structure, Harsco added.
In the second quarter of 2013, Harso expects the rail division’s revenue, operating income and operating margin to improve from the second quarter of 2012, driven by equipment delivery timing and a favorable contracting services mix.
Harsco said total revenue for the industrial company was $715 million in the first quarter, down from $752 million in the first quarter of 2012. The decline was due to the company’s decision to exit underperforming contracts in the metals and minerals business and to cease underperforming operations in certain countries in the infrastructure segment in 2012.
“We delivered better-than-expected financial results despite challenging industry dynamics in our two largest businesses,” said Patrick Decker, Harsco’s president and CEO. “While we face headwinds in certain markets, we also have many opportunities to grow in key emerging markets and to serve our customers with our innovative products and services.”
Norfolk Southern has appointed James A. Squires president, effective June 1, according to Wick Moorman, chairman and CEO of the Class I railroad.
In his new role, Squires will be responsible for the company’s administration, finance, law and corporate relations and planning and information technology divisions. He joined NS in 1992 and served in several law positions before being named vice president of law in 2003, senior vice president of law in 2004, senior vice president of financial planning in 2006, executive vice president of finance in 2007 and executive vice president of administration in 2012.
NS has also named Cindy C. Earhart, currently vice president of human resources, as executive vice president of administration, and Juan K. Cunningham, currently assistant vice president of executive, as vice president of human resources, effective June 1.
Earhart joined NS in 1985 as supervisor of subsidiary accounting. She served in accounting and IT positions before being named vice president of human resources in 2007.
Cunningham joined the company in 1973 as a management trainee in engineering. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in human resources before being named as assistant vice president of human resources in 2010 and to his most recent position in 2012.
Additionally, NS has announced that Daniel D. Smith, senior vice president of energy and properties since 2003, has decided to retire after 37 years with the company, effective July 1.
The company also named David T. Lawson, currently vice president of industrial products, as vice president of coal marketing; Michael R. McClellan, currently vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing, as vice president of industrial products; and Jeffrey S. Heller, currently group vice president of international intermodal, as vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing. All three of these appointments will take effect on July 1.
Lawson joined NS in 1988 as a sales representative and served in various capacities in the automotive supply chain group and as president of Modalgistics before becoming vice president of industrial products.
McClellan joined Conrail’s general marketing and sales organization in 1985. In 1988, he was named assistant vice president of performance planning for NS and became vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing in 2000.
Heller joined NS’s intermodal department in 1994 as a marketing manager and has served as group vice president of international intermodal since 2004.
All six senior management appointees are based in Norfolk, Va.