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January 17, 2012
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • UP is one of Louisiana's key economic drivers
    Union Pacific's rail operations in southern Louisiana are vital to the state's economy, writes Koran Addo. Companies such as Dow Chemical, Shintech and SNF depend on the Class I for cargo transportation each day, according to Drew Tessier, UP director of public affairs for Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. UP has 1,400 miles of tracks in Louisiana and over the last 150 years has maintained its role as an economic force in the state, Tessier said. "The more trains we have moving, the better the economy," he said. The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Boardman: Expedited reviews for NEC plans is "great news"
    Amtrak CEO and President Joseph Boardman welcomed news of accelerated environmental reviews for high-speed rail plans in the Northeast Corridor. "A faster review process will help speed along Amtrak's efforts to rebuild and improve today's corridor and advance Amtrak's vision to develop a new high-capacity, 220 mph NextGen high-speed rail system serving the region," Boardman said. ProgressiveRailroading.com (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $171B estimate for bullet-train alternatives in Calif. questioned
    Construction of new airports and highways as alternatives to a proposed $98.5 billion high-speed train system in California would cost an estimated $171 billion, according to the state's High-Speed Rail Authority. An additional 2,300 miles of roads would be needed if high-speed rail plans were scrapped, the authority said. However, some experts say the $171 billion figure is "divorced from any reality" and that the methodology employed by rail consultant Parsons Brinkerhoff in its analysis was flawed. However, "Expanding freeways and then maintaining them is not a free alternative," said Dan Richard, a board member of the CHSRA. Los Angeles Times (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • White House develops new website to empower job creators
    The Obama administration is creating Business.USA.gov to help job creators find information and financing. Representatives of The Financial Services Roundtable called the move a "fantastic idea." Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs at the Roundtable, suggested the website could include parts of the U.S. tax code. "You obviously can't post the entire U.S. tax code," Talbott said, but some information could "help them with filing deadlines, estimated payment rates." NextGov.com (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • President says merging agencies would help economy
    President Barack Obama proposed consolidating six federal agencies to make it easier for businesses to deal with regulators. The plan, which includes combining the Commerce Department's business-related functions with agencies including the Small Business Administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, would help streamline the federal bureaucracy, the president said. The proposal received a positive reaction from some Republican lawmakers in Congress. The Wall Street Journal (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Energy & Environmental Watch 
  • Group says boiler ruling leads to confusion on air permits
    A federal court ruling rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to delay emission rules for industrial boilers is expected to make it harder for firms to meet federal standards. The ruling will affect "new" and "existing" sources, as defined by 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, said Leslie Hulse, assistant general counsel for the American Chemistry Council. "Is EPA going to give us direction on this. Do we have to file tonight, do we have 30 days? It's unclear," Hulse said. Chemical Week (subscription required) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Safety & Security 
  • Cold weather means some shorter trains for CN for a few days
    Canadian National's shipments along specified corridors are expected to experience a slight drop in delivery schedules for the next few days as the railroad shortens some trains due to "extreme cold weather conditions," according to CN. However, the railroad's traffic activity "remains close to seasonal norms at present," the Class I said. Grainews.ca (Canada) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills."
--Minna Antrim,
American writer


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