An independent team of
consultants charged with looking at competitiveness in the U.S. rail industry
has found that railroad rates have been steadily increasing since 2004, with a
particularly steep increase in 2008. But Christensen Associates, Inc., of
Madison, Wis., found that the rate increases were driven by fluctuating fuel
prices and other costs and did not appear to reflect a greater exercise of
railroad market power over captive shippers.
national environmental group with deep pockets and specialized legal expertise
is joining the effort to block a permit for one of the area's biggest development
projects, The Kansas City Star reports. The Natural Resources Defense Council
filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 to halt the environmental permit issued for a rail yard
proposed for southwest Johnson County.
lawsuit is separate from one brought by Hillsdale Environmental Loss Prevention
Inc. and several other plaintiffs. Unlike the earlier lawsuit, BNSF Railway is
not named as a defendant.
defense council's entrance into the case is significant because of the hefty
resources at its disposal. During 2007-08, the organization raised $108
million, according to its tax returns from that year. As of mid-2008, the group
had assets of $186 million.
decision to join the legal dispute "guarantees there will be some funding at
least for the plaintiffs," said John Ragsdale, who has taught environmental law
at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
like the council have national constituencies with dues paid by thousands of
people, enabling the groups to assemble lots of money with small donations,
of these groups have staffs of attorneys ... that are very, very competent and
skilled," Ragsdale said. "They can bring a strong force to bear."
wants to build what's known as an intermodal hub for transferring freight
arriving on West Coast trains to trucks for shipment elsewhere. The railroad
plans to develop the hub on 492 acres while a private developer builds a nearby
distribution and warehouse complex to store some of the incoming freight. Overall,
the project promises the creation of 13,000 jobs when fully built in about 20
is seeking $50 million in federal stimulus money to get the project started.
Bayer MaterialScience AG
has acquired the worldwide marketing and usage rights for the DURFLEX® track
superstructure system from Hyperion Verwaltung GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
The two companies have signed an agreement to this effect. Financial details
have not been disclosed. The superstructure system stabilizes the ballast
stones under rail tracks, thus enabling more cost-effective railroad operation
in the long term. It is based on the flexible Bayflex® polyurethane foam system
from Bayer MaterialScience.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn visited
Moline, Ill, Jan. 30 to announce $45 million in state capital funds to establish
passenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities. The new service will
result in up to 825 new jobs, including 440 construction jobs.
Infotech Enterprises Limited, a global technology
solutions provider with headquarters in Hyderabad, India, said its wholly-owned
subsidiary Infotech Enterprises America Inc., acquired Daxcon Engineering Inc.
located in Peoria, Ill.
New Lenox, Ill., Mayor
Tim Baldermann is "confident" that he soon will be talking to
Canadian National Railway officials before the village's battle against the
company reaches the courts, the Southtown Star reports.
The steel railroad bridge
crossing high above Alhambra Avenue in Martinez, Calif., is known to local
train buffs as both the Muir Trestle and Alhambra Trestle. Owned and operated
by BNSF, the trestle has long been a recognizable Martinez landmark, and lately
a conversation has resurfaced among local denizens about the trestle's
appearance, the Martinez News-Gazette reports. Splotched with large
patches of rust in between its fading gray paint, the structure is in need of a
Alaska Railroad invites the public to an open house February 19 in Seward to provide
an opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects for 2010.
Open House displays are open to the public and will be set up in the inn's
Mount Marathon meeting room. Displays will showcase continuing and proposed
capital improvement projects that are in various stages - from conceptual
planning to engineering and construction.
The CREATE Partners said
that the CREATE Program will receive $133 million as part of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a critical rail/rail flyover near 63rd
and State Streets in the Englewood community on the south side of Chicago.
The flyover will carry the north-south Metra Rock Island commuter rail line
over the east-west Norfolk Southern/Amtrak line, eliminating conflict between
78 Metra Rock Island trains and approximately 60 freight and Amtrak trains that
presently cross at grade each day.