Welcome to RailResource.com
If it's on the minds of railroad professionals, it's on RailResource.com

Rail News

Jenkins Named CSXT VP Market Strategy E-Business

August 19th, 2014

CSX has named Ed Jenkins vice president market strategy e-business for CSX Transportation, effective August 15. He will continue to report to Clarence W. Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Jenkins has fostered the development of the team responsible for service innovations that support each of the railroad’s key markets.

“Ed has led remarkable innovations in e-business tools and customer analytics that have helped propel CSX’s service insights and service culture and, in these areas, has set industry standards,” said Gooden. “His work has helped CSX gain genuine and constant customer engagement and insight. As a result, the company is much more skilled in anticipating and addressing the needs and expectations of current and future customers. These skills will be essential as our service grows in volume and complexity, and I am very pleased to have Ed and his team in place to help take us forward.”

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in management in transportation, finance and marketing from Northwestern University.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

U.S. Weekly Rail Traffic Increases 3.9 Percent

August 18th, 2014

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported a 3.9 percent increase in total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending August 9, 2014, when compared to the same week in 2013, with 567,908 carloads and intermodal units reported.

U.S. carloads, with a reported total of 301,755 for the week, increased 4.5 percent compared to the same week last year. U.S. intermodal volume increased 3.2 percent for the week, with a total of 266,153 units reported.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups that are tracked by AAR posted increases compared with the same week in 2013. Petroleum and petroleum products showed the highest increase, up 32.1 percent, with 16,804 carloads. Grain increased 26.5 percent, with a total of 21,191 carloads, and nonmetallic minerals increased 9.6 percent, with 40,716 carloads. Coal posted a decrease of 2.6 percent, with 114,101 carloads.

U.S. railroads reported a 4.7 percent increase in total combined traffic for the first 32 weeks of 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, with a total volume of 17,416,613 carloads and intermodal units. U.S. carloads increased 3.7 percent, with a reported total of 9,221,860 carloads. U.S. intermodal volume, with a total of 8,194,753 units, increased 5.8 percent.

Canadian railroads reported an increase of 7.3 percent in carloads and an increase of 9.7 percent in intermodal units for the week ending August 9, 2014, when compared to the same week in 2013. Weekly 2014 totals were 81,995 carloads and 58,564 intermodal units.

For the first 32 weeks of 2014, Canadian railroads reported a cumulative volume of 2,522,108 carloads, an increase of 1.5 percent when compared to the same time period last year. An increase of 6.8 percent was reported for intermodal units, with a total of 1,803,526 units.

Mexican railroads reported a 4.5 percent decrease in carloads for the week, with 16,136 carloads reported. Intermodal units saw an 8.6 percent increase from last year, with 11,624 units reported.

For the first 32 weeks of 2014, cumulative carload volume on Mexican railroads increased 2.1 percent when compared to the same time period in 2013, with a reported 501,219 carloads. Intermodal units increased 3.8 percent, with 325,758 units reported.

On the 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, combined North American rail carload volume for the first 32 weeks of 2014 was 12,245,187 carloads, an increase of 3.2 percent compared with the same time period last year. Intermodal trailers and containers totaled 10,324,037 units, up 5.9 percent.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

Stark Named Executive Director of Washington’s Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

August 18th, 2014

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has selected Charles W. Stark as the new executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. In his new position, Stark will oversee construction of the Phase 2 extension of the Metro Silver Line from Reston, Va., through Washington Dulles International Airport to Ashburn, Va. He succeeds Pat Nowakowski, who resigned earlier this year to become president of the New York Long Island Railroad.

“The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is fortunate to have someone of Charles Stark’s broad experience in transit construction and engineering in this position as we complete the Silver Line project,” said Jack Potter, Airports Authority president and CEO. “He will be instrumental in achieving our goal of providing top-quality transportation infrastructure for the National Capital region.”

Stark has 40 years’ experience in rail transportation. He recently served as vice president and project executive for the engineering firm Aecom, where he managed several projects for Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), including the Westside Subway Extension.

Prior to Aecom, he was assistant general manager of San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system and served as executive officer for engineering and construction for the Los Angeles MTA. Stark also led the team involved in rebuilding the World Trade Center complex and its public transit facilities following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He began his career as field engineer in General Electric’s rail car division.

Stark earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from City College in New York. He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia and California.

“It is unique for someone to have such extensive background in rail operations, systems and also civil engineering,” said Airports Authority Vice President for Engineering Ginger Evans.”We are especially pleased with Charles’ leadership and successful track record in quality, safety, budget and schedule.”

The 11.4-mile Phase 2 extension of the Silver Line project includes six rail stations, nine entrance pavilions and pedestrian bridges, aerial guideways through Dulles Airport and 89,000 feet of track. Engineering and design work on Phase 2 began last July. The project is expected to be complete in approximately five years.

Phase 1 of the Silver Line began service on July 26, extending the Metrorail into Reston and Tysons, Va. The Silver Line currently runs between Reston and Largo, Md., via downtown Washington, D.C.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

G&W Reports Increase in July Rail Traffic

August 18th, 2014

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) has reported a total of 177,186 carloads for the month of July 2014. This is an increase of 7.3%, or 12,114 carloads, compared with July of 2013.

Excluding traffic from Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, Inc., which commenced operations on June 1, 2014, G&W’s same-railroad traffic was 171,814 carloads for July, an increase of 4.1%, or 6,742 carloads, compared with July of last year.

Commodities that saw the largest increase for the month of July 2014 when compared to July of last year include minerals and stone, up 23.5 percent; food or kindred products, up 19.5 percent; and petroleum products, up by 11.8 percent.

The largest decreases in commodities for July compared to last year were in intermodal, which was down 15.9 percent, and waste, which decreased by 13.2 percent.

Excluding traffic from the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, North American traffic increased 5.9 percent, or 8,527 carloads. This was primarily due to an increase in minerals and stone traffic and coal traffic. Due to decreased agricultural products and intermodal traffic, Australian traffic dropped by 8.2 percent, or 1,785 carloads.

Excluding traffic from the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, minerals and stone traffic increased 17.2 percent, or 3,393 carloads, primarily due to increased shipments in G&W’s Central, Ohio Valley, Northeast and Midwest regions. Coal and coke traffic increased 10.6 percent, or 3,036 carloads, which was mostly due to increased shipments in G&W’s Midwest, Central, Northeast and Ohio Valley regions.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

California High-Speed Rail Authority Awards ARCADIS PCM Contract

August 15th, 2014

The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors has announced that ARCADIS U.S. Inc. was awarded the Project and Construction Management (PCM) contract for the Construction Package 2-3 (CP 2-3) for the new high-speed rail system.

Under the contract, ARCADIS will provide design and construction oversight, including oversight of inspection and testing of the high-speed train infrastructure, technical and environmental compliance, utility relocation, construction safety and public outreach.

ARCADIS could receive up to $71.86 million based on actual work performed over a period of approximately five years.

“Awarding the Project and Construction Management contract is another significant step forward for this program,” said Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales. “Partnering with ARCADIS will help provide California with a high-speed rail system worthy of our state. Their experience, expertise, and employment opportunities will be a tremendous asset to the high-speed rail program and the Central Valley.”

CP 2-3, which is in the Fresno to Bakersfield project section, includes more than 60 miles of rail system from Fresno south to approximately one mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line. CP 2-3 will have approximately 36 grade separations, including viaducts, underpasses and overpasses.

The California high-speed rail will connect San Francisco to Los Angeles, with an expected operation date of 2029. The system will eventually travel to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

ARCADIS U.S. Inc. is a consulting firm that provides construction management and design services.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

Three Chicago Blue Line Stations to be Upgraded

August 15th, 2014

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that a $33 million improvement plan to renovate and upgrade the California, Western and Damen Blue Line stations will begin in September. The stations were built in the late 1800s and are among the oldest on the CTA system.

California and Damen stations will receive extensive stationhouse and platform upgrades, including structural repairs along with improved lighting, signage, more turnstiles and new bike racks. Historic features of the stations will be preserved and restored. All three stations will receive one-of-a-kind public artwork, which will be installed when the station improvement project is completed.

The station work follows extensive track upgrades that began on the branch in March and are expected to be completed in September.

The station upgrades are part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $492 million Your New Blue modernization program for the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line rail system. The program involves updating 13 Blue Line stations, upgrading elevated and subway infrastructure, improving track signals and upgrading traction power.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

Axion Receives Third ECOTRAX® Rail Ties Order from Australia

August 15th, 2014

AXION International Holdings, Inc. has received a third purchase order for ECOTRAX® rail ties from Australia worth $471,000. Following approximately 3 years of in-track testing, AXION received Type Approval from several major freight railroads in Australia, leading to an increase in demand.

“With the completion of successful in-track testing, we are in the process of filling orders as the Australian market has been receptive and impressed with the many benefits that ECOTRAX rail ties have over traditional hardwood ties. We have taken considerable time and focus to develop the market and we anticipate many forthcoming purchase orders,” said Cory Burdick, global manager ECOTRAX Rail Division of AXION.

AXION currently sells its ECOTRAX® rail ties/sleepers to multiple domestic and international transit and freight railroads. AXION uses 100%-recycled consumer and industrial plastics to make structural composite products such as composite rail ties.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

SKF to Build R&D Center in Illinois

August 14th, 2014

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that Swedish-based SKF Group has chosen Naperville, Ill., for the location of its new North American research and development center. The 130,000 sq. ft. facility will be located along the Interstate 88 business corridor.

“SKF Group has a long history of providing quality technology products and services all over the world,” said Governor Quinn. “Illinois is making a comeback and innovative companies like SKF are an important part of it. We are proud SKF has chosen to open this new facility and create jobs for Illinois’ highly-skilled and educated workforce.”

Under the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE program, SKF was offered a state incentive package worth an estimated $2.2 million over 10 years. The agreement with SKF USA requires the company to invest at least $18.6 million at its Naperville location over the next 10 years. While the legal commitment to the state is for a minimum of 80 new jobs within four years, SKF said the facility eventually might have up to 200 employees.

“One of SKF’s driving forces is to continue to deliver world-leading research and innovation and to develop products which deliver significant energy savings for our customers,” stated Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO. “This newest center supports our growth ambitions for the U.S. and the investments of over $2.5 billion that we have made during the past five years.”

“The Naperville-based R&D center will strengthen our global network of technical centers that support each of our key regions,” continued Johnstone. “It provides a central location to some of our most significant U.S. customers, proximity to many local world class research universities and a highly-educated workforce that is critical to our knowledge engineering efforts.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall with operations expected to begin by the end of 2015.

SKF Group is a global provider of bearings, seals, lubrication systems, and industrial and consulting services for major business sectors, including transportation.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

Chicago Transit Awarded $35 Million FTA Grant to Improve Rail Lines

August 14th, 2014
CTA Red Line improvement plan moves forward. Photo: courtesy of FTA.

CTA Red Line improvement plan moves forward. Photo: courtesy of FTA.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was joined last week by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Transit Authority  (CTA) President Forrest Claypool, and other officials to announce that the CTA has received a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) $35 million Core Capacity grant to help improve the North Red Line and Purple Line rail transit system. The funds support $43.7 million that will be used to plan the initial phase of the CTA’s 9.6-mile, $4.7 billion Red-Purple Line Modernization Project. The CTA is the first U.S. transit agency selected for funding through the Core Capacity Grant Program.

“The City of Chicago has run on public transportation for over a century, and it is up to all of us to ensure that the many thousands of riders who cross this city by train every day to get to work, to school, to the doctor’s, or even to see the Cubs or White Sox, can continue to do so safely, efficiently, and comfortably,” said Secretary Foxx. “Congress should pass the President’s GROW AMERICA Act so we can support more projects like this in transit-intensive cities across the country.”

The funds will be used on the Red-Purple Line Modernization Project development expenses, including preliminary design and engineering and environmental planning. This will enable the project to proceed with construction of a track bypass, expansion and modernization of four stations, upgrading rail signals and making infrastructure improvements. The CTA expects these enhancements to increase passenger capacity by approximately 30 percent.

“Modernization of the Red Line is an investment in Chicago’s future, improving economic growth and benefiting a diverse group of residents in some of the densest neighborhoods in the country,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The FTA has made an important down payment on this critical project at a time when the CTA is aggressively modernizing its rail system, including updating aging infrastructure, improving service, alleviating future overcrowding and make stations accessible to customers with disabilities.”

“The City of Chicago is focused on building a 21st century public transportation infrastructure to match our rapidly growing economy. Chicago’s future depends on our ability to improve our existing infrastructure to meet new demand and today is a strong step toward fulfilling that vision,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We appreciate Secretary Foxx’s leadership and commitment on this critical issue, the Core Capacity Program allows the CTA to plan improvements on the Red Line that will benefit riders for generations to come, while supporting and encouraging economic development.”

The CTA is currently in the planning process to extend the Red Line South from its current terminus at 95th Street to 130th Street. In addition, later this year, CTA will break ground on complete reconstructions of the 95th Street Terminal and the Wilson stations.

FTA’s Core Capacity Program is a new addition to the agency’s existing Capital Investment Grants Program. Projects eligible for Core Capacity grants must expand capacity by at least 10 percent in existing transit corridors that are already at or above capacity today, or are expected to reach that point within five years.

Posted in More News | Comments Off

The Andersons, Inc. Reports 2014 Second Quarter Results

August 14th, 2014

The Andersons, Inc has reported a net income of $44.3 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.3 billion for the 2014 second quarter that ended June 30, 2014. In the 2013 second quarter, net income was reported at $29.5 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.6 billion.

“We’re pleased with our first half performance for 2014, which is a record,” said CEO Mike Anderson. “Both our Ethanol and Plant Nutrient groups had strong results this quarter. In fact, our Ethanol Group had the best quarter in its history. In addition, our Grain Group’s operating income benefited from improved space income in our grain operations, and the addition of income from the Thompsons Limited joint venture.”

The Rail Group reported $2.5 million in pre-tax gains on sales of railcars, related leases and non-recourse transactions in the 2014 second quarter, approximately $2.4 million less than last year’s second quarter. At the end of June, the Rail Group’s utilization rate was 89.1 percent, up from 86.1 percent in 2013. The company expects the utilization rate to increase as the year progresses.

The Andersons, Inc. Rail Group provides services such as fleet management, leasing, repair and custom fabrication to the rail industry.

Posted in More News | Comments Off