The Board of Directors of the Intermodal Association of
North America (IANA) elected Stephen G. Branscum, group vice president,
consumer products at BNSF as its Chairman for 2010. Branscum, who succeeds Greg
Stefflre, chief executive officer at Rail Delivery Services, Inc., has held
numerous key intermodal positions for BNSF and its predecessor, Santa Fe. David
L. Howland, vice president, Optimodal, LLC, was elected IANA's Vice Chairman
and Steve Rubin, president, Seacastle Chassis, Inc. was named the Association's
Amtrak President Joseph Boardman had been given a one-year
interim contract extension. Although Boardman is a voting member of the Amtrak
board, he did not vote on his own contract extension.
Boardman rallied rail labor and Amtrak
supporters to lobby Congress for a transportation appropriations bill that
passed in December. The bill provides $1.58 billion to Amtrak through September
2010, an increase of $90 million from fiscal year 2009. The money includes $1
billion for capital grants, $560 million for operating subsidies and $20
million to fund Amtrak's inspector general's efforts to eradicate waste, fraud
Intermodal volume was up but
both carload freight and total volume as measured in ton-miles slipped from
year-ago levels during the week ended December 26, the Association of American
Railroads reported today.
The AAR also reported that
volume during the most recent week remained sharply below levels reported
during the comparable 2007 week. In order to offer a complete picture of the
progress in rail traffic, AAR will now be reporting 2009 weekly rail traffic
with year over year comparisons for both 2008 and 2007. Comparison weeks from
all three years included the Christmas holiday.
Intermodal traffic totaled
141,699 trailers and containers, up 14.2 percent from a year ago but down 10.7
percent from 2007. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume rose
21.6 percent and trailer volume dropped 14.5 percent. Compared with the same
week in 2007, container volume fell 4.5 percent and trailer volume dropped 34.4
Carload freight totaled
197,754 cars, down 1.1 percent from 2008 and 22.3 percent from 2007. In the
Eastern U.S., carloads were up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last
year, but off 25.2 percent compared with 2007. In the West, carloads were down
2.3 percent compared with 2008, and 20.7 percent compared with the same week in
Carload volume was down
largely because of a more-than 21,000 carload (19.1 percent) drop in coal
loadings. Seventeen of the other 18 carload freight commodity groups were up
compared with the same week last year, with fourteen reporting double digit
increases, including motor vehicles (52.1 percent); lumber and wood products
(44.8 percent); grain (31.1 percent); metals (31.7 percent) and chemicals (18.7
Total volume was estimated
at 22.1 billion ton-miles, down 0.9 percent from the comparable 2008 week, and
down 17.5 percent from the comparable 2007 week.
For the first 51 weeks of
2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,585,290 carloads, down
16.3 percent from 2008 and 18.2 percent from 2007; 9,731,474 trailers or
containers, down 14.3 percent from 2008 and 17.8 percent from 2007, and total
volume of an estimated 1.47 trillion ton-miles, down 15.4 percent from 2008 and
16.3 percent from 2007.
Canadian railroads reported
volume of 55,572 cars for the week, up 33.5 percent from last year, and 30,653
trailers or containers, up 49 percent from 2008. For the first 51 weeks of
2009, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,192,327 carloads, down
18.2 percent from last year, and 2,084,051 trailers or containers, down 14.2
percent from last year.
Mexican railroads reported
originated volume of 10,718 cars, up 37.7 percent from the same week last year,
and 5,462 trailers or containers, up 53.3 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican
railroads for the first 51 weeks of 2009 was reported as 594,083 carloads, down
9.5 percent from last year; and 284,211 trailers or containers, down 12.9
Combined North American rail
volume for the first 51 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and
Mexican railroads totaled 17,371,700 carloads, down 16.4 percent from last
year, and 12,099,736 trailers and containers, down 14.2 percent from last year.
The station enhancement
program, initiated in April 1991, was designed to restore the appearance of
Metrorail stations. The $7.5 million program sees each station restored about
every four years.
The work is being organized
into "mini" and "major" enhancements.
A mini enhancement includes
the cleaning of masonry surfaces, painting interior surfaces, repairing
interior masonry surfaces, painting exterior surfaces, fabricating, installing
or repairing signs, refinishing bus and station platform shelter benches and
spot finishing bronze surfaces such as railings. A major station enhancement
includes all responsibilities under a mini enhancement but also includes
pressure washing the ceilings and walls, and painting interior surfaces.
A major station enhancement
takes three months, which is approximately 25 percent longer than the
For a list of stations
slated to receive a mini or major cleaning enhancement through June 2011, visit
WMATA's website by clicking here .
The Rhode Island Department
of Transportation (RIDOT), with approval from the State Properties Committee,
completed the purchase of property needed for the Wickford Junction train
station and parking garage. The purchase price for the land and easements
located on Route 102 in North Kingstown, near its intersection with Route 4, was
$3.2 million, of which 80 percent came from federal funds.
The Wickford project, along
with the Warwick Intermodal Facility currently under construction, will provide
the infrastructure necessary to support the initial start-up phase of the South
County Commuter Rail Service. This service will extend existing Massachusetts
Bay Transit Authority trains through Providence an additional 20 miles with
stops at T.F. Green Airport and Wickford Junction. The new service is intended
to provide an alternative mode of travel to the already congested I-95 and
Route 4 corridor, which is the State's fastest growing region, and provide
access to major employment, retail and recreational centers in Providence and
Boston. MBTA is expected to add commuter rail stops at T.F. Green Airport in
2010 and at Wickford Junction in 2011.
Once built, Wickford
Junction Station, with an estimated construction cost of $30 million, will
feature a train station and platform along with a 1,100-space parking garage.
It is expected that once construction begins it will take approximately 16
months to build the station and garage. Commuter rail service would start
shortly after that. Daily ridership is projected to be approximately 1,750
passengers, with eight weekday round trips planned.
Houston-based EOG Resources Inc. expects the
first shipment from the terminal near Stanley, N.D., on Jan. 4, following a
four-day trip. The new terminal is capable of loading 60,000 barrels of oil
onto a 100-car unit train each day and unloads in Stroud, Okla., where it is
then sent through a 17-mile pipeline to a terminal in Cushing, Okla.
Encore Rail Systems,
Inc., named Tony Chambers Eastern Region Sales Manager based in Ravenswood, W.Va.
Chambers brings to this position many years of railroad sales experience from
his career with Burke-Parsons-Bowlby Corporation.
Senator Robert Menendez
and Congressman Frank Pallone joined NJTRANSIT Executive Director Richard
Sarles and other officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new 477-space
parking lot that more than doubles parking capacity at Edison Station on the
Northeast Corridor rail line. The lot opens to customers January 1.
With the onset of the
recession this year, government agencies, private businesses and individual
households all faced budget challenges and the Chicago Transit Authority was no
exception. Due to the significant consequences presented by the slowing
economy, as the CTA developed its 2009 Budget, staff sharpened their pencils
and looked for ways to streamline operations and reduce costs without impacting
the quality or level of service provided. Despite financial constraints, the
CTA continued to innovate in 2009 and apply the best solutions to keep Chicago