U.S. rail traffic numbers continued to tell a familiar story in Week No. 38: Carloads were down, while intermodal volumes were up, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s leadership yesterday introduced a bipartisan bill that would extend the deadline for railroads to implement positive train control (PTC) technology through the end of 2018.
The bill would extend the deadline for three years, but also allow an additional two years at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Transportation for railroads facing circumstances beyond their control.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Three groups will receive $5.9 million in federal grants to train first responders to handle railroad incidents involving crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids.
The U.S. Transportation Department announced the grants Monday.
Progress Rail Services Corp. has entered into an agreement to purchase Rail Product Solutions Inc. (RPS) from Amsted Rail Company Inc.
Coal is a key revenue-generating commodity for railroad operators. Naturally, the decline in domestic coal shipments have contributed big time to the dismal performance by U.S.-based railroad stocks so far this year. The struggles of the railroad operators have been exemplified by the 27.9% year-to-date decline in the Dow Jones U.S. Railroads Index.
The upheaval in the natural resources sector has had a significant negative effect on the railroad stocks because rail is the principal mode of transport for coal, iron ore and other minerals. As a result, the Dow Jones Railroad index is down about 26% so far in 2015, on its way to what is likely to be its worst annual decline since the index began in 2000.
New safety regulations and a slump in oil prices means tens of thousands of railroad tank cars are being taken out of service. Railroads are scrambling to find space to store unwanted oil trains. Listen to the story or read the transcript on NPR here.
Short lines are urging the Surface Transportation Board to approve TTX Company’s bid to extend its flatcar pooling authority.
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Rich Timmons said his organization’s members benefit daily from TTX’s flatcar pool. “Many small railroads own few cars of their own. Thus, the reliable availability of specialty flatcars from TTX allows our members to serve diverse customer needs knowing that needed flatcars will be available,” he told the STB on behalf of the group’s more than 480 Class II and III railroad members.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a spike in rail deaths last year.
At this time last year, the railroads were proudly calling 2012 their safest year ever as derailments and crossing accidents kept declining. But last year, the number of trespassing deaths rose by 47, or 11 percent, to 476, and the number of deaths in accidents increased nearly 8 percent to 250.
The National Transportation Safety Board today issued a series of recommendations (see Safety Recommendation Letters R-14-001-003 and R-14-004-006) to the Department of Transportation to address the safety risk of transporting crude oil by rail. In an unprecedented move, the NTSB is issuing these recommendations in coordination with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.