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November 19, 2012
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • CSX's $850M National Gateway an example of a wise investment
    The scheduled completion of CSX's $850 million National Gateway project in 2013 will bring benefits, including less road congestion and a quicker and less expensive transportation alternative, said John Spychalski, a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and a faculty affiliate at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. Meanwhile, both CSX and Norfolk Southern have made significant investments in Iowa. "These investments are positioning these companies to be more competitive in intermodal railroad," he said. The Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Railroads offer crude shippers flexibility
    Railroads are expected to play a larger role in the oil-transportation business in the wake of an expected surge in production due to a frenzy of drilling projects. "Railroads offer the shippers of crude flexibility you just can't get with a pipeline because you have the ability to divert to the exact destination you wish, where the market's the best," said Keith Schoonmaker, a Morningstar analyst. Petroleum shipments have skyrocketed from 11,000 barrels per day in 2007 to 340,000 this year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Reuters (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Short-distance intermodal may be the largest business generator
    Intermodal rail shipments in the 750-mile to 1,000-mile market have grown considerably, but the short-haul market in the U.S. has been difficult to penetrate, writes Mark Solomon. However, Florida East Coast has done it and seen the benefits. "You can make money in short-haul intermodal," said FEC President and CEO James Hertwig. "The key [to successful short-haul intermodal] is to provide truck-like service." DC Velocity online (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expansion project at Ga. port allows NS to cut travel time
    A $6.5 million rail yard expansion at the Georgia Ports Authority's Mason Intermodal Container Transfer Facility is expected to save Norfolk Southern six hours on its round trip to Atlanta. "These improvements allow Norfolk Southern to offer an efficient, competitive route to the large inland port just up the road -- Atlanta," said Jeffrey Heller, NS group vice president of international intermodal services. Savannah Morning News (Ga.) (free registration) (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Work can continue on Calif.'s $68B high-speed rail project
    Site surveys, geological testing and design work can continue for California's $68 billion high-speed rail project after a judge denied a request by a group of farmers for an injunction to halt work. The California High-Speed Rail Authority "acted reasonably and in good faith" in observing the state's environmental rules, said Timothy Frawley, Sacramento County superior court judge. The case will be heard in the spring, and construction is expected to start in July. Google/The Associated Press (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Energy & Environmental Watch 
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AAR SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Safety & Security 
  • NTSB: Float crossed after warning signals were activated
    A parade float that was hit by a train last week in Texas did not obey the warning signs, according to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Instead, it entered the tracks after warning signals went off. "Once the crossing becomes active, people should stop," said Robert Accetta, lead investigator with the NTSB. Four people were killed in the accident and sixteen were injured. CBS News (11/17), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FRA, rail industry, labor advocate peer-to-peer programs to curb distraction
    The Federal Railroad Administration, rail industry representatives and labor leaders hosted a safety event at Union Pacific's Proviso Yard in Northlake, Ill., to educate employees on the dangers of workplace distractions. The event "marks the launch of a collaborative outreach effort to encourage the establishment of peer-to-peer programs that raise awareness among all railroad employees of the dangers of distraction," FRA said. (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    An item in the Nov. 16 AAR SmartBrief misstated the capital expenditure increase the rail industry saw in 2011. The figure should have been $11.6 billion. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt."
--William Cornelius Van Horne,
Canadian railway executive

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