Dear Railway Track & Structures and Rail Group News readers, Happy New Year. January 1 marked my first day as publisher of the Simmons-Boardman Rail Division, which consists of Railway Age, International Railway Journal and Railway Track & Structures.
I have 29 years’ experience working in the magazine and online media industry. I was the head of the Entertainment Technology Division (10 publications, 8 websites, events, and data businesses) at Penton Media; publisher at Spin and The Industry Standard (the first magazine about the internet economy); head of International at Inc. magazine; and a salesperson for BusinessWeek. My expertise is taking traditional magazines and diversifying their brands into online media, conferences and data businesses.
The railway industry is a new market for me and I am very excited to learn the business, in which I have a strong interest, both professional and personal. Our industry is in great shape heading into 2012. North American railroad freight volume surged 17 percent just before the holidays, the most in a year, an indication that the U.S. economy will avoid a second recession. Rising shipments of retail goods helped drive the jump in carloads for the period ended Dec. 24, according to the Association of American Railroads.
As a reader of RGN and our three industry-leading magazines, you can expect to see improvements and expansion of our media brands. Beginning this month, RailwayAge.com will re-launch as a news destination website for the railway industry. Our online and magazine articles will be put into twelve searchable categories. In the first quarter of 2012, you will also see the redesign of RT&S. And in the first half of the year, IRJ will start offering data products about the expansion plans of international railroads.
There is a lot more coming for our brand brands in 2012, and I welcome your input. Please feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or comments on how we can best serve your informational needs for today’s new age of railways.
Publisher, Simmons-Boardman Railway Division