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Archive for February 12th, 2013

Union Pacific Announces Leadership Changes

February 12th, 2013

Class I railroad Union Pacific has named Kate Betsworth vice president of intermodal operations, David Giandinoto assistant vice president and general manager of distribution services, Neil Scott superintendent of transportation services for the Chicago service unit and John Turner general superintendent of transportation services for the Utah service unit.

Betsworth will direct UP’s intermodal facilities and network operations and will be responsible for meeting customer service requirements for the segment. She has more than 18 years of experience with UP and most recently served as assistant vice president and general manager of distribution services. She replaces Barry Michaels, who left the company.

Giandinoto will succeed Betsworth. He is an 18-year UP veteran and has held a variety of management positions in the company’s operations and marketing and sales departments. He most recently served as general superintendent of transportation services for the Chicago service unit.

Scott succeeds Giandinoto in leading the railroad’s Chicago service unit, assuming responsibility for the safety and transportation operations across 1,000 miles of track in Illinois and Wisconsin. He has 19 years of experience at the railroad and most recently led the company’s Utah service unit.

Turner succeeds Scott in the Utah service unit. He assumes responsibility for 1,900 miles of track in Utah, Nevada and Colorado. He is a 14-year veteran of UP and most recently was director of transportation services for the Portland service unit.

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Federal Court Rules in Favor of Port Mackenzie Rail Extension

February 12th, 2013

A second federal court has struck down an effort to block construction on the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension, which will link the main line of the Alaska Railroad to Port Mackenzie in Alaska.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline denied a request for a preliminary injunction by Cook Inlet Keeper, writing that halting construction “does not appear to be in the best interest of the public.” The environmental group, along with Sierra Club and Alaska Survival, objected to the U.S. Army Corps’ decision to issue a wetlands permit, alleging that the rail extension would cause “irreparable harm.”

“As defendants point out in their respective briefs, extensive studies were conducted over a period of years regarding this project, which suggest that the likelihood of irreparable harm is small, especially given the special conditions included in the permit that was issued by the Corps of Engineers and the significant mitigation measures required of the Alaska Railroad,” Beistline wrote in a brief.

The project will undertake 100 mitigation measures, and the Corps permit imposed 19 additional conditions to protect the environment. The rail link has plans for eight bridges and up to 100 culverts, and it will incorporate crossings for wildlife and recreational trail users. The project is also purchasing 160 acres of wetlands to preserve them, in exchange for the 95 acres of wetlands it is affecting.

In January in San Francisco, in a separate case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the environmental groups to allow construction of the project and denied injunction on construction.

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Rio Tinto Applauds Australian Regulator’s Ruling Blocking Third-Party Access

February 12th, 2013

London-based Rio Tinto has welcomed a decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal that the international mining group’s Hamersley and Robe rail lines in Western Australia should not be opened up to rival miners.

Paul Shannon, acting chief executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, said in a written statement that Rio Tinto’s operations would be “severely hindered” if third parties were allowed to run trains on its rail network.

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