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April 1, 2013
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • Freight railroads' investments helped make them strong
    When freight railroads were deregulated, they started investing their own money in their infrastructure and began "turning their networks into double-lane steel freeways," writes Michael Barone, The Examiner's senior political analyst. And it is that act that separates freight rail from passenger rail, making it a winner and passenger rail a loser, he contends. The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (3/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Supporters tout benefits of $500M BNSF project in Calif.
    A $500 million BNSF project, the Southern California International Gateway rail yard, should be approved because it will take trucks off the roads and incorporate green technologies to make it environmentally friendly, say supporters. They say it would create about 1,500 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 jobs when operations reach full capacity by 2035. A discussion of the project among Port of Long Beach officials was scheduled for today. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (3/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Short lines are strong in Arkansas
    Less than 1% of short-line tracks in Arkansas are owned by the state, which means that more than 1,000 miles of track in the state are owned and operated locally by 22 short lines. Many of them work in conjunction with BNSF, Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific. Since 2010, the amount of active short-line track in the U.S. has risen to about 50,000 miles from "nearly nothing." Arkansas Business (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Obama urges Congress to approve $21B infrastructure funding plan
    A $21 billion funding package for U.S. infrastructure development should be passed by Congress to bolster investments in construction projects, said President Barack Obama during his recent speech at the Port of Miami. For instance, a $23 million grant helped restore Florida East Coast rail service to the port, the president said, noting that such projects "strengthen our economy over the long haul by rebuilding our infrastructure that powers our businesses and our economy." The Hill/Hill Tube (3/29), United Press International (3/29), The Washington Post (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Railcar fleet in North America increased 1.1% in 2012
    The "revenue-earning freight railcar fleet in North America" increased 1.1% last year to 1.5 million units, but it is still not at the level it was before the recession, according to Railinc’s 2013 North American Freight Railcar Review. Tank, gondola and covered hopper cars saw the largest increases. The Journal of Commerce (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CHSRA receives merit for ridership, revenue forecasts on HSR project
    Ridership and revenue estimates by the California High-Speed Rail Authority for a $68.4 billion high-speed rail project are "reasonable," according to an audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The audit "gives us even greater confidence to go forward," said CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard. Meanwhile, a public meeting is scheduled this week to solicit feedback on the proposed 155-mile Northern Lights Express project -- a high-speed rail line that would make much use of BNSF tracks between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (3/29), Minnesota Public Radio (3/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Top five news stories selected by AAR SmartBrief readers in the past week.

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  Safety & Security 
  • Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver educate public on rail safety in N.C.
    Amtrak is helping Operation Lifesaver and several other officials in Thomasville, N.C., to increase the public's awareness about railroad safety. For instance, the railroad's "Partners for Amtrak Safety and Security" program aims to let the community become involved in safety awareness by reporting security issues through the slogan: "If you see Something, Say Something. Hopefully, it's Nothing." The Dispatch (Lexington, N.C.) (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely."
--Erma Bombeck,
American humorist

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