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March 19, 2013
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • Railroads most improved piece of U.S. infrastructure, says ASCE
    The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the country's infrastructure a grade of "D+," slightly better than four years ago. The report highlights railroads as being the most improved sector, earning an overall grade of "C." Investments of $75 billion since 2009 in rail upgrades and capacity expansion were cited as reasons for that improvement, including Class I's private investment fueled, in part, by the shale-oil boom. CNBC (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Class I's should be "free" from regulatory threats
    Class I railroads should be freed from "burdensome regulation" to maintain the U.S. economy's growth, writes Frank Wilner. This year, the Class I's will invest billions in upgrades, "including new facilities to handle growing freight transportation demands," Wilner notes. "These and future investments are at risk should Congress roll back the regulatory freedoms contributing to the renewed financial health of the industry." (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sen. Reid touts freight rail, short-line tax credit extension
    Short-line railroads and the extension of the short-line tax credit through 2016 are important for Nevada's economic growth, said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., during Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. "Rail transportation is essential to Nevada's economy, and I am committed to ensuring that we develop this important infrastructure," Reid said. (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Keeping It All On Track
As the industry enters a dynamic future, HDR is your trusted partner for strategic counsel and a full suite of integrated engineering services. We offer solutions for Class I, regional, and short lines. Explore the hands-on experience that helps keep our clients' programs on track.
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Business Roundtable plans push to overhaul tax code
    The Business Roundtable plans to embark on an extensive campaign to educate the public on what it says is the need to modernize the U.S. tax code. It will promote the idea that the corporate tax rate should be reduced 25% and offshore income taxes should be limited. Some fear that this push by the largest corporations could widen a gulf opened with small business advocates, who felt betrayed by big businesses' acquiescence to allowing the top income tax rate to rise in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Many small businesses are taxed at individual rates. The Hill/On the Money blog (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CSX, NS-served Va. port notes 7.9% growth in volume
    Cargo volume of 20-foot equivalent units at the Port of Virginia, which is served by CSX and Norfolk Southern, rose 7.9% in February year-on-year. "Though February isn't normally a high-volume month, this was the second-best February in our history in terms of TEUs and general cargo tonnage," said Rodney Oliver, Virginia Port Authority interim executive director. "Our rail containers were up 17% for the month and almost 14% for the calendar year." (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. approves sale of bonds for initial work on $68B HSR project
    The sale of $8.6 billion in voter-approved bonds for the first construction phase of California's $68 billion high-speed rail project recently gained approval from state officials. Some funds will go to upgrades of commuter rail systems. Although the HSR project still faces some lawsuits, the approved sale of bonds signals a positive direction, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. "It's another step towards the process of breaking ground on the nation's first high-speed rail system in California this summer," said CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard. Reuters (3/18), KGO-TV (San Francisco)/The Associated Press (3/18), KXTV-TV (Sacramento, Calif.) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Energy & Environmental Watch 
  Safety & Security 
  • KCS reports 50% decrease in grade-crossing events in February
    The number of Kansas City Southern's grade-crossing collisions dropped 50% in February compared to the same month last year, according to the railroad's latest State of Safety report. KCS' safety initiatives, including "Officer on a Train" events, helped bring down the number of incidents along highway-rail intersections. RT&S online (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAR News 
  • Freight railroads praise American Society of Civil Engineers' report citing private investments as key to boosting rail sector’s 2013 Infrastructure Report Card grade
    The Association of American Railroads lauded the American Society of Civil Engineers report released today citing private freight rail infrastructure investments as a key factor for highlighting rail as the "most improved" sector of our nation’s critical infrastructure systems. ASCE today issued its "2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure" assessing 16 of the nation’s major infrastructure categories, including transportation in which "rail" includes both passenger and freight railroads. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
--Margaret Thatcher,
British prime minister

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