Railroad News

CP 'takes exception' to government probe into Vancouver rail service issues

Canadian Pacific executives are taking issue with a Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) plan to include the Class I in a far-reaching investigation into possible freight-rail service problems in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area.

The CTA announced yesterday in a press release that such an investigation "would be appropriate based on information received from shipper associations and other parties." The agency plans to hold a public hearing in Vancouver in late January to provide railroads and shipper groups an opportunity to provide evidence in response to the CTA's concerns.

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Railroads employ new, old approaches to strengthen bridges

Amtrak is planning a $1.5 billion, six-span bridge to replace the Portal North Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey.Photo – Amtrak

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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NS assists Georgia community affected by derailment

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 1/14/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
imageNorfolk Southern Railway will keep an assistance center open through Wednesday to serve families and businesses affected by last week's train derailment near Bartow, Georgia.Some of the train's 39 cars that derailed were carrying chlorine, and chlorine odors and a cloud were reported in the area after the accident, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Jan. 6, according to an NS statement.The incident prompted a temporary evacuation. It was later determined that hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid — and not chlorine — had been released as a result of the derailment.NS opened its assistance center in Louisville on Jan. 7. The Class I is compensating affected members of the community for their inconvenience and out-of-pocket expenses, NS officials said in a post late last week on the railroad's website."Environmental teams are continuously monitoring the air in Bartow and other community areas surrounding the derailment and will continue monitoring until the chemicals have been removed from the site," they said.The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

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Feds, states and railroads team up to boost grade crossing safety

A rail bridge overpass (shown) in Landis/China Grove, North Carolina, was completed in 2017 to eliminate a crossing.Photo – North Carolina DOT

By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor

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Matt Rose has helped drive BNSF’s technological changes, industry’s policy changes

In 2000, Matt Rose became the first baby boomer to head a major North American railroad.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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NS facilitated $1.5 billion in industrial projects last year

Norfolk Southern Railway generated more than 60,000 carloads of new traffic last year through its industrial development efforts, the Class I announced today.

The 72 new and 18 expanded industrial plants in 17 states represented an investment of $1.5 billion by NS customers. The commercial development is expected to create nearly 3,000 new customer jobs and contribute to the economy in communities across the railroad's service area, NS officials said in a press release.

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BLET ratifies CN-Wisconsin Central contract

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 1/2/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageBrotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members have ratified a new two-year agreement with CN's Wisconsin Central subsidiary.The contract governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for more than 600 members. It calls for a 2.5 percent general wage increase retroactive to Jan. 1,  2018, and a 3 percent general wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2019, BLET officials said in a press release.The settlement is patterned after the recently ratified national agreement settlement reached by the Coordinated Bargaining Group, which included BLET. That agreement protects all work rules and freezes monthly health care contributions at current levels. It becomes amendable on Jan. 1, 2020.The BLET organized the Wisconsin Central in 1997. CN purchased the railroad in 2001.

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BNSF cranks up volume, caps off capital plan as year draws to a close

BNSF Railway Co. is moving strong volumes throughout its network during the late portion of the peak season, according to a customer letter issued by the Class I Dec. 21.

Volume in the week ending Dec. 15 increased slightly over the prior week and represented a new year-to-date high at nearly 216,500 units, BNSF officials wrote in the letter. Year-to-date volume through that week totaling 10.3 million carloads and intermodal units exceeded the full-year volume in each of the past 11 years, they said.

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CN meets year-end PTC deadline, applies for extension

CN has met all Dec. 31 milestone deadlines in its positive train control (PTC) implementation plan, the Class I announced last week.

Last month, CN applied to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a two-year extension to complete deployment and interoperability of its PTC system, according to a press release.

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Canadian Pacific tallies 2018 Holiday Train donations

Rail News Home Canadian Pacific 12/26/2018 Rail News: Canadian Pacific
image The train recently completed its 20th journey through Canada and the United States as part of CP's charitable efforts.Photo – Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific's 2018 Holiday Train is on track to have raised more than CA$1.3 million and collected more than 200,000 pounds of food for local food banks, the Class I announced last week.

The train recently completed its 20th journey through Canada and the United States as part of the railroad's charitable efforts.

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Minnesota council OKs agreements for Willmar Wye rail project

The City Council of Willmar, Minnesota, this week unanimously approved master agreements for the Willmar Wye rail project.

The project is a public-private partnership between BNSF Railway Co., the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar to build a new rail line bypass on the city's west side.

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CN, Unifor reach tentative pact

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 12/18/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageCN has reached a new tentative collective agreement with Unifor Local 100, which represents 2,100 locomotive and freight-car mechanics, electricians and apprentices who work across Canada.Negotiations began Oct. 5 for the agreement, which will be presented for a ratification vote. The current agreement expires Dec. 31."This new agreement reinforces CN's commitment to working together with our people and their representatives to address workplace issues in a mutually beneficial manner," said JJ Ruest, CN's president and chief executive officer. Details of the tentative pact won't be made publicly unavailable until after ratification meetings are held.

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Howard Street Tunnel project back on with CSX support, Maryland delegation says

CSX has reversed an earlier decision and determined the Class I will participate in a project to upgrade the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland federal and local officials announced late last week.

Railroad officials appeared to "walk away" from the proposal about a year ago, and are now willing to commit $91 million toward the tunnel project's cost, Maryland's congressional delegation said in a press release.

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Norfolk Southern will move its HQ to Atlanta

The announcement was expected for months, but yesterday Norfolk Southern Corp. made it official: The Class I will move its corporate headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia, to Atlanta.

NS is in advanced discussions to purchase a site from Cousins Properties at 650 W. Peachtree St. NW in Midtown Atlanta, where the railroad plans to build its new headquarters. Progress on the move has begun and will span the next several years as the facility is built, NS officials said in a press release.

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Norfolk Southern report outlines sustainability efforts in 2017

Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday released its latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which includes such details as the Class I's record locomotive fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

NS improved locomotive fuel efficiency by 5 percent in 2017 over 2016, conserved 23 million gallons of diesel and avoided more than 233,750 metric tons of GHG emissions, according to the report.

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CP and grain: New high efficiency train, new monthly volume mark

Canadian Pacific yesterday unveiled its first 8,500-foot high efficiency product (HEP) grain train at G3 Canada Ltd.’s Pasqua elevator near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

The HEP train features more efficient hopper cars and is designed to move about 44 percent more grain than the Class I’s prior generation of grain train. The new hopper cars feature a capacity 10 percent greater by weight than older-model Canadian government cars, and can hold 15 percent more volume.

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Norfolk Southern to serve new Georgia inland port

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 12/4/2018 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image The new inland port will be situated in the manufacturing and logistics corridor along Interstate 85 near Gainesville, Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal (shown at the podium) announced.Photo – Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton

Norfolk Southern Railway will provide service to a new inland port to be developed near Gainesville, Georgia, state and Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) officials announced yesterday.

Set to open in 2021, the Northeast Georgia Inland Port will be situated in the manufacturing and logistics corridor along Interstate 85 and operated by the GPA.

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Union Pacific to participate in Bush funeral procession

Union Pacific Railroad will be part of this week's funeral procession for President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

Following funeral and memorial services in Washington, D.C., and Houston, Bush will be transported by the funeral train from Spring to College Station, Texas, on Thursday.

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BLET conducts vote for CN-Wisconsin Central pact

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/30/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageThe Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a tentative contract agreement with CN's Wisconsin Central subsidiary. Ratification ballots — due Dec. 28 — were mailed this week to active BLET members employed by CN-Wisconsin Central who are eligible to vote on the agreement, according to a BLET press release.The tentative pact governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for more than 600 members.The BLET organized the Wisconsin Central property in 1997 and the railroad was purchased by CN in 2001 for $1.2 billion. At that time, Wisconsin Central operated about 2,850 miles of track and retained trackage rights in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Ontario.

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CN awards second rail-car inspection contract to Duos Technologies

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/29/2018 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
imageDuos Technologies Group Inc. has obtained an additional contract from CN to provide the Class I with three additional high-resolution train imaging systems for security and mechanical inspections. The contract is the second awarded this year, following Duos' announcement in May that it obtained a multimillion-dollar pact with CN to provide the systems. Under this second agreement, Duos will provide the Class I with three additional rail inspection portals similar to the units that were recently deployed near Winnipeg, Manitoba.The new installations will be conducted at three CN mainline locations: two in the United States and the other in Canada, Duos officials said in a press release.The systems are based on Duos' proprietary rip® technology, which combines several intelligent technologies and subsystems to provide real-time images and data used for rail-car inspections, company officials said."Monitoring and maintaining the structural health of rail cars and their environment is vital to ensuring secure and efficient railroad operation," said Noel Heiks, president and chief operating officer of Duos Technologies Inc. "With these new deployments, CN will be able to more effectively track all rolling stock passing through its various inspection points."

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