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February 7, 2013
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • AAR: Railroads to invest $24.5B, hire 11,000 workers in 2013
    The U.S. freight rail industry plans to spend $24.5 billion in capital expenditures this year and provide 11,000 new jobs, according to the Association of American Railroads. "While most other transportation modes rely on government funds, America's freight railroads operate on infrastructure they own, maintain and upgrade to serve their customers and power our economy," said AAR President and CEO Edward Hamberger. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (2/6), RT&S online (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • TTCI advances rail engineering with new educational offering
    The Transportation Technology Center Inc. is partnering with Colorado State University in Pueblo to provide a special master's degree for aspiring engineers that aim to join the railroad industry. "It's a very well-rounded program that gives students knowledge that they can't get in any other program," said Robert Florom, TTCI vice president of engineering. The Pueblo Chieftain (Colo.) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AAR note: Railroads are delivering a safer tomorrow, today. Watch a video. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Labor union ratifies 4-year labor contract with CN
    Around 700 Canadian National workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council 11 recently ratified a four-year labor contract with the railroad. "The early negotiation of the agreement and its subsequent ratification reflect a positive working relationship between the parties and an interest in reaching a settlement that benefits both CN and the IBEW membership," said CN President and CEO Claude Mongeau. RT&S online (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • LaHood: "Think outside the box" on funding transportation
    Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the next secretary should push Congress toward considering new funding mechanisms for transportation. "The next decisions that will be made by this Congress, by this administration, will have to be bold if we're going to continue our efforts to fix up our roads, keep our highways in a state of good repair, to fix up unsafe bridges," LaHood said. "We need a bold plan, and a bold way to fund it." The Hill/Transportation blog (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Millions to be allotted for freight rail projects in Conn., Pa.
    "Fixing Freight First," a program in Connecticut to help it bolster its freight rail network, will get $10 million, thanks to a State Bond Commission vote. Railroads will be able to apply for funding to modernize their infrastructure. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled a proposal to change the way the state funds transportation infrastructure projects. If passed, $80 million would be allotted to rail projects and other multimodal improvements. RT&S online (2/6), The Journal of Commerce (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Security 
  • FRA's Szabo details railroads' safety achievements in 2012
    U.S. freight and passenger railroads performed well in terms of safety initiatives in 2012, marking the year as the safest in the industry's history, said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. The railroads' partnership with FRA on projects such as the "Risk Reduction" and "System Safety" programs aim to further improve rail safety. "Our goal -- always -- is to lead the way to continuous improvements in railroad safety," said Szabo. (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    An item in Wednesday's AAR SmartBrief about freight rail carloads included an incorrect percentage of petroleum products carried in 2012. AAR reports that petroleum products accounted for 3.7% of carloads. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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