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Archive for January, 2013

ASLRRA Launches Search for Timmons’ Successor

January 31st, 2013

Rich Timmons

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association officially announced that its president, Rich Timmons, will retire by summer’s end. Timmons has been at the helm of the ASLRRA since 2002, joining the organization following a career in the Army where he attained the rank of lieutenant general and a post at Norfolk Southern.

ASLRRA Board Chairman Mike Ogborn said that the Washington-based trade group has been “blessed” by Timmons’ service. “Under his leadership, ASLRRA has greatly expanded both its membership and the scope and reach of its work on behalf of that membership,” Ogborn said in an ASLRRA publication. “In addition to accomplishments too numerous to mention, he has brought new prestige to and recognition of the association. I join with all ASLRRA members in wishing him a long, healthy and happy retirement.”

ASLRRA Board Vice-Chair Ed McKechnie will lead a search committee to find Timmons’ successor. Letters of interest and resumes are due March 1 to aslrrasearch@gmail.com.

The search announcement on the ASLRRA website, which includes a complete job description, is available at:

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North Carolina Railroad Company Names Kessler VP of Engineering

January 30th, 2013

North Carolina Railroad Company has hired Jim Kessler, PE, as vice president of engineering and planning.

In that role, he will bring his knowledge and experience to bear on the company’s capital investment program and work with transit organizations, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and especially Norfolk Southern, whose personnel are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the railroad. Kessler joins Glenn Hartsoe, who will continue to work with NCRR as a part-time consulting engineer.

“Jim brings more than three decades of railroad engineering experience to NCRR, and that makes him a valuable resource for our company and for North Carolina,” NCRR President Scott Saylor said.

Before joining NCRR, Kessler worked as a principal engineer with HNTB in Raleigh, N.C., where his duties included managing the firm’s North Carolina rail practice. He retired from HNTB in 2010 after 30 years and joined Hatch Mott MacDonald as a rail engineering consultant. Kessler holds a B.S. in civil engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Hentschke Named AVP at TranSystems

January 24th, 2013

Paul HentschkeTranSystems has promoted Paul Hentschke to the position of assistant vice president.

Hentschke has been successful in developing transportation solutions through multiple leadership positions during his 15 years with the firm, the company said. He serves as a mentor to young engineers at TranSystems and is a leader on the freight rail team.

A member of American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, Hentschke serves on its yards & terminals committee. He also is involved in the Grain Elevator and Processing Society and the Renewable Fuels Association.

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L.B. Foster Makes Rail Technologies Appointments

January 23rd, 2013

L.B. Foster Company has announced two leadership appointments in its Rail Technologies area, effective immediately.

James F. Tanner has been named general manager, Rail Technologies, reporting to Kostas Papazoglou, vice president, Rail Technologies. Tanner, who joined L.B. Foster in 2004 as the sales and marketing manager for the company’s Precise Structural Products business, will be located at the company’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa.  A graduate of Union College with a civil engineering degree, Tanner first came to the company after holding positions of increasing responsibility with other companies in the steel fabrication industry.

Robert Docherty joins the company as head of business development, Rail Technologies UK Ltd. He will report to Peter Jones, general manager, Rail Technologies UK Ltd., and be based at the company’s Sheffield, U.K., location. A graduate of Bell College with an HNC in metallurgy, Docherty worked in the steel industry in both France and the United Kingdom, before joining UK Trade & Investment as a rail specialist in 2006.

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Murray Scholarship Applications Due March 1

January 21st, 2013

The application deadline is March 1, 2013, for the annual Susan C. Murray Memorial Women’s rail industry scholarship.

The four-year college scholarship is named after Mrs. Murray, an executive at Commonwealth Business Media (now known as UBM Global Trade) who was instrumental in the creation and early success of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s annual exhibition, and who passed away in January 2003. The Susan C. Murray Scholarship is awarded annually to a daughter or granddaughter of an employee of an ASLRRA railroad or associate member company who holds a strong academic record, serves as a participant and leader in extracurricular activities and possesses the drive to reach success in their chosen profession.

Past winners are:

  • Amanda Dawn Simmons, granddaughter of Tommy Joe Alexander from Jefferson Warrior Railroad
  • Dina McKenney, daughter of Rob McKenney from the former Georgia & Florida RailNet
  • Kathryn Medlock, daughter of Mike Medlock from Klutts Equipment
  • Marion Joy, daughter of Christine Joy from Union Switch & Signal
  • Kristin Wegner, daughter of Mark Wegner from Twin Cities & Western Railroad
  • Margot Sidman, daughter of Mark Sidman from Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC
  • Mary Perkins, daughter of David Perkins from Angelina & Neches River Railroad
  • Jane Muir, daughter of Scott Muir from Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • Angelica Chapman, daughter of Mark Chapman from Greenbrier Rail Services

Click here for the 2013 scholarship application forms.

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Glassman Named CSX VP, Operations Finance

January 17th, 2013

CSX Corp. has named Andrew Glassman vice president of operations finance.

Glassman, who has served as assistant vice president of intermodal marketing since 2010, joined CSX in 2004 as assistant vice president of financial planning and analysis.

“In addition to his excellent analytical capabilities, Drew brings valuable experiences from inside and outside of our industry and a unique ability to inspire and lead continuous improvement and customer-focused solutions,” said Fredrik Eliasson, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a written statement.

Before joining CSX, Glassman served in many financial leadership positions, including as senior director of corporate accounting for US West/Qwest Communication International and as financial director at AT&T’s consumer division. He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado.

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Port of Los Angeles Kicks Off Railyard Project

January 17th, 2013

A switcher pulls a string of intermodal railcars. Photo: BusinessWire

Port of Los Angeles officials, joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, broke ground Jan. 16 on a new intermodal storage railyard that will provide staging and storage for trains using the Alameda Corridor.

Construction of the $137.7 million rail project at Berth 200, also known as the West Basin Railyard, will be funded with $16 million in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program as well as $51.2 million from the California State Proposition 1B Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF) grant that is administered by Caltrans and $22.1 million from METRO-awarded federal funds. The Port of Los Angeles itself is contributing $48.37 million from its Harbor Revenue funds for the project.

The Berth 200 railyard project also makes possible an on-dock rail facility at the TraPac container terminal, which is undergoing rail, roadway and terminal improvements. The other seven container terminals at the Port of Los Angeles that offer shippers the speed-to-market advantage of on-dock rail.

The project will be built in two phases. Phase I includes construction of the new yard, support tracks for the TraPac and China Shipping/West Basin Container terminals, double-track connections to the Alameda Corridor and national rail network, and access road improvements. Phase II, which is due to begin construction in 2013, includes final rail network connections and vehicle overpasses to eliminate at-grade crossings. Both phases are expected to be completed in summer 2014.

“The West Basin Railyard is a model project for how government is supposed to work,” said Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski in a written statement. “We are pooling federal and state grants with Port revenues to improve a critical link in the nation’s supply chain and support the kind of sustainable solutions we need to meet our most pressing needs.”

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CN, Indiana Rail Road Partner on West Coast Intermodal Service

January 16th, 2013

CN and the Indiana Rail Road Company will partner in building an intermodal terminal in Indianapolis and in offering an all-rail intermodal service between that city and the Canadian West Coast ports of Port Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

“CN-INRD intermodal service will offer a more reliable, consistent and environmentally-friendly movement of goods that is less susceptible to costly weather and congestion delays,” said Tom Hoback, INRD founder, president and chief executive officer, in a written statement.

The new Indianapolis facility, which is already under construction, will be located at INRD’s existing Senate Avenue Terminal in downtown Indianapolis. It will start receiving empty containers, June 15, 2013; an on-site agricultural products containerized export loading facility is expected to be in service about the same time.

“CN is pleased to enter into this partnership with the Indiana Rail Road,” said Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. “This all-rail service will reduce transit times and improve transportation consistency for Indiana importers, making their supply chains more competitive. CN’s level-of-service agreements with the container terminal operators at Vancouver and Prince Rupert deliver superior fluidity from ship-to-rail at the ports.”

CN estimates that the transit time for containerized imports from China and South Korea could be as little as 18-20 days from port loading in Asia.

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Redeker Elected to Railinc Board

January 15th, 2013

Michael Redeker, vice president and chief information officer of Canadian Pacific, was recently elected to Railinc Corp.’s board of directors.

“To have someone with Mike’s credentials on our board is very exciting,” said Allen West, Railinc president and CEO, in a writtens statement. “He brings the vision and IT experience we value as Railinc continuously improves its service to the freight rail industry.”

Redeker came to CP in October 2012. Before that, he served as chief information officer at ATB Financial, where he completed an end-to-end technology upgrade and replacement program. He also spent 11 years at IBM Canada.

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NRC/REMSA Event Draws Crowd in Miami

January 10th, 2013

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association’s conference and NRC-REMSA exhibition opened yesterday to a record crowd.

The NRC conference in Miami has “record attendance for the ninth year in a row,” Chuck Baker, president of the association, announced at the conference’s opening session. According to preliminary reports, the event drew more than 1,000 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors.

NRC Chairman Terry Benton of Colo Railroad Builders officially welcomed everyone to sunny South Florida and introduced the first of several speakers providing forecasts on railroad capital spending plans for 2013 and beyond.

David Brown, COO of Genesee & Wyoming, described it as a “pivotal time” for his railroad company. The “new G&W,” as he described it, is only two weeks into the integration of its RailAmerica acquisition.

The company now has 111 freight railroads and has set up an organizational structure that operates 11 regions with nine of them in North America. While some things, such as purchasing, will be more centralized, Brown noted that the company believes in keeping decision-making and control as close to the customers as possible.

He noted that G&W expects a $340 million capital program for 2013 with the RailAmerica acquisition. The bulk of the capital will go toward track upgrades and maintenance.

The conference runs through this weekend at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. It will include presentations on spending/capital projects for BNSF, CN, CP, CSX, FEC, NS, and UP, New York City Transit, Miami Dade Transit, Chicago’s Metra as well as Watco Companies and OmniTRAX and special keynote remarks by Rep. Bill Shuster, the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.


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