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March 1, 2013
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • AAR: Rail traffic drops but intermodal rises in latest week
    Freight carload volume of U.S. railroads fell 1.2% in the week ending Feb. 23 versus year-ago levels, but intermodal climbed 4.1% in the same period, according to the Association of American Railroads. Crude oil shipments continued to lead among the 10 carload categories with a 66.4% growth in the latest week. Combined rail traffic and intermodal volume for 2013's first eight weeks rose 0.6% year-on-year, AAR noted. RailwayAge.com (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Railroads top Fortune's "Most Admired" transportation companies
    Railroads made a strong showing in Fortune Magazine's annual list of "Most Admired" companies. Union Pacific and CSX topped the list of Trucking, Transportation and Logistics companies listed, taking the top two spots. BNSF parent company Berkshire Hathaway was ranked eighth out of the overall top 50 companies most admired by Fortune readers and also topped the Insurance, Property and Casualty category. CNNMoney/Fortune (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BNSF's $500M intermodal project gets final impact report
    BNSF's planned construction of the $500 million Southern California International Gateway moved closer to reality with the Port of Los Angeles' issuance of a Final Environmental Impact Report. The intermodal facility outside the port would greatly minimize truck traffic in the region with an estimated 1.5 million more containers passing through Alameda Corridor each year, according to BNSF. ProgressiveRailroading.com (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Amtrak's 31.2M ridership in 2012 a 55% rise from 1997
    Amtrak's 31.2 million passenger count last year represents a 55% increase since 1997, which suggests a sense of urgency for Congress to create a nationwide rail development plan, according to a recent study. "I think there's a need for passenger rail in this country," said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa. Meanwhile, the Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO appealed to Congress in the establishment of a long-term freight and passenger-rail infrastructure plan to abolish a sense of "underinvestment and disrepair," TTD officials said. The Washington Post (3/1), ProgressiveRailroading.com (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Optimism in short supply as sequestration deadline arrives
    Hopes of averting $85 billion of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect today disappeared as Congress left the U.S. Capitol for the weekend. Congressional leaders are scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama today to talk about the matter, but the White House has expressed little optimism that the effort will provide any quick solution. In the House, Republicans are now focused on the March 27 deadline for preventing a government shutdown. The Washington Post (2/28), CNN (3/1), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CSX, NS service vital for Ga. port's automotive exports
    CSX and Norfolk Southern rail service will be important for the Port of Brunswick, Ga., as the port would be the channel for Toyota's U.S.-assembled vehicle exports to Russia and Ukraine, according to the Georgia Port Authority. "Because of our direct interstate access and two Class I rail services, we can move exports from inland factories more efficiently, as well as move import cargo to destinations across the Southeast," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. ProgressiveRailroading.com (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BNSF plans $16M mudslide prevention project for Seattle line
    BNSF is planning a $16 million program to address mudslide-prone areas along its rail network between Seattle and Everett, Wash. "We're proposing to move debris from the tops of slopes, put in additional catchment walls in the area as well as drainage systems," said BNSF spokesman Guy Melonas. KING-TV (Seattle) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • MAPI forecasts rosy manufacturing activity in 2013-2014
    U.S. manufacturing activity this year is predicted to rise 2.2% and 3.6% in 2014, according to a Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation report. "Consumer deleveraging is close to an end; there are definitive signs of improvement in the housing market, especially on the supply side; and there is moderate job growth, pent-up demand and the potential for spending that was previously postponed," said Daniel Meckstroth, MAPI chief economist. The Journal of Commerce (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Energy & Environmental Watch 
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--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
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