Railroad News

CP to sell Arbutus Corridor to Vancouver for $55 million

Canadian Pacific and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, have agreed to terms for the railroad's sale of the Arbutus Corridor to the city for $55 million.

CP has been talking with city officials for many years about the corridor's future, said CP President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel in a press release.

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UP set new safety record in 2015

Union Pacific Railroad employees set an all-time reportable personal injury rate record in 2015, improving 11 percent from 2014 to 0.87, UP announced today.

The injury rate makes UP the safest Class I in the United States based on Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) data, according to a UP press release.

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CP considering legal options against some merger opponents

Canadian Pacific is considering all of its legal options in response to major U.S. railroads that have publicly stated their opposition to its proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp., CP announced Wednesday.

Other Class I railroads are working collectively to block CP's effort to "create a pro-customer, competition-enhancing combination" with NS, CP officials said in a prepared statement.

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CSX announces new engineering leadership

CSX has appointed three new engineering leaders following the announcement that Vice President-Engineering John West will retire April 1, the Class I announced yesterday.

Ricky Johnson has been named VP-engineering as of April 1; Greg Mellish, formerly chief engineer of maintenance of way (MOW) south, has moved into the role of chief engineer MOW north; Lee Moss, most recently serving as assistant chief engineer, has been appointed chief engineer MOW south; and Eric Pachman, previously director of network modeling and analytics, has been named assistant chief engineer, according to a CSX press release.

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CP asks STB to clarify voting trust issue, revives CSX talks

Canadian Pacific has petitioned the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order that would confirm the voting trust structure the railroad has proposed as part of its attempt to acquire Norfolk Southern Corp., CP officials announced yesterday.

The Class I filed the petition in response to CP and NS shareholder requests that the STB clarify its views on the voting trust model ahead of any formal application that CP would file, said CP Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison in a press release.

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NTSB: Broken rail probable cause of 2014 Lynchburg train derailment

The derailment of a CSX crude-oil train two years ago in Lynchburg, Va., was likely the result of a broken rail caused by a reverse detail fracture with evidence of rolling contact fatigue, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded in its accident report issued yesterday.

The CSX oil train derailed in April 2014.
NTSB

The train derailed April 30, 2014, sending three of the 17 derailed cars into the James River. One car was breached and released 29,868 gallons of crude oil into the river, some of which caught fire, according to the report.

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Norfolk Southern to consolidate into northern, southern segments

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced yesterday that it would consolidate from three operating regions into two segments as part of a previously announced five-year strategic plan to cut $650 million from annual expenses by 2020.

The consolidation, which will take effect March 15, will make the Class I a faster and more profitable railroad, said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler in a press release.

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KCS names Garza to board of directors

David Garza, chairman and chief executive officer of Maquinaria Diesel SA de CV (MADISA), has been elected to serve on Kansas City Southern's board, the railroad announced yesterday.

Garza was chosen to join the board after a thorough search process that lasted throughout 2015, said KCS Chairman Robert Druten in a press release.

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CP cites growing shipper support for NS merger deal, while UPS and TTD voice objections

Canadian Pacific has received more than 80 letters from shippers in support of its proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp., CP announced yesterday.

Sixty-two of the letters have been posted on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) website. The total number of letters to shippers in support of the proposed merger is now more than three for every one shipper letter in opposition, CP officials said in a prepared statement.

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Kansas City Southern set to begin $5.6 million in Louisiana projects

Kansas City Southern Railway Co. will perform $5.6 million in construction and improvement projects on its Shreveport Terminal Subdivision in Louisiana, the railroad announced yesterday.

The projects — which are being done to address capacity, maintenance and safety improvements — will begin March 8 and continue through March 22. The work will include installation of 37,000 ties and other improvements to more than 20 public and private grade crossings in Shreveport, according to a KCS press release.

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North Carolina business park designated CSX 'Select Site'

The Wasburn Switch Business Park in Cleveland County, N.C., has been identified as a CSX "Select Site," the Class I announced Monday.

CSX Select Sites are development-ready properties along the railroad's network where standard land use and due diligence issues have been addressed. The properties are positioned to meet manufacturers' needs, thereby significantly reducing the time required to build new facilities and bring products to market, CSX officials said in a press release.

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CSX joins Nasdaq-100 Index

CSX became a component of the Nasdaq-100 Index as of yesterday's market open, the company announced yesterday.

The index is composed of the 100 largest non-financial stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. CSX currently has a market capitalization of about $25 billion, CSX officials said in a press release.

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UP named to 'Most Admired' list

Union Pacific Railroad was named the most admired company in the trucking, transportation and logistics industry by Fortune for the sixth consecutive year, UP announced last week.

The recognition is the 13th time in 17 years that the Class I has been named No. 1. The magazine's annual "World's Most Admired" list is published in the March 1 edition, according to a UP press release.

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CN issues $500 million debt offering

CN late last week announced a public debt offering of $500 million worth of 2.75 percent notes due 2026.

The railroad will use the offering's proceeds for debt refinancing, share repurchases and other general corporate purposes, CN officials said in a press release.

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Report: Shuster leaning toward 'no' on CP-NS merger

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is leaning toward opposing a proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern Corp., a Pennsylvania newspaper reported this morning.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster

After touring Norfolk Southern Railway's Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona yesterday, Shuster said he was keeping an open mind but was currently leaning toward "no," the Altoona Mirror reported.

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CSX expects significant decline in Q1 earnings

CSX Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro said yesterday the company expects this year's economy to be "challenging," as the Class I faces intensifying coal headwinds and other economic factors that will contribute to declining volumes.

In a press release, Lonegro said CSX expects first-quarter earnings to drop "significantly."

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CSX to cut back on car repair facilities

CSX will streamline operations at 16 of its car repair facilities as part of an ongoing effort to align resources with demand, the Class I announced last week.

Operations will be reduced at car shops in Montgomery, Ala.; Washington, D.C.; Baldwin, Fla.; Indianapolis and Evansville, Ind; New Orleans; Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Wilmington, N.C.; Kenmore, N.Y.; Ashtabula, Ohio; Erie and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Florence, S.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Huntington, W.Va., according to a CSX press release.

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CP to seek declaratory order from STB on voting trust issue

Canadian Pacific announced today it will ask the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to issue a declaratory order confirming the viability of a voting trust structure that the railroad has called for as part of its proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp.

CP called on NS to assist "constructively in this effort," but will proceed regardless of its cooperation.

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Canadian Pacific unveils new website to promote NS merger proposal

Canadian Pacific yesterday launched a new website that highlights what the Class I says would be the benefits of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp.

The website provides details of CP's proposal, along with details of its next steps in the effort to acquire NS, according to a CP press release.

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CN details 2016 capex plan

CN yesterday announced details of its 2016 capital spending plan that's projected to total about $2.9 billion (in Canadian dollars).

The railroad plans to spend about $1.5 billion on track infrastructure, including the replacement of rail, ties and other track materials, improvements to bridges and upgrades to targeted branch lines.
 
The Class I also expects to spend $600 million on rolling stock, including the delivery of 90 new high-horsepower locomotives in 2016.
 
Meanwhile, CN plans to invest $400 million in "a range of other key initiatives," including $400 million on the implementation of positive train control technology on portions of its U.S. rail network.

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