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BNSF to STB: Extend CP-KCS comment period to assess impact on Mexico

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 11/17/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has asked the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to extend its the proposed timeline for making comments on or objections to Canadian Pacific's application to acquire Kansas City Southern. In a Nov. 12 filing with the board, BNSF says that the proposed 90-day comment period (and Jan. 27, 2022 deadline) is not enough time to address one of the central issues in the proposed acquisition, which is how competition, rate-setting and regulation will affect U.S. shippers involved in transborder movements into and out of Mexico. "This issue has important implications for U.S. grain shippers in competition with counterparts in Canada, for rail shippers on other U.S. rail networks that compete for access to Mexican origin and destination markets and for communities on rail lines that will be affected by the supposed growth in transborder traffic," BNSF officials state in their filing. The CP-KCS application provides scarce information on the Mexican portion of the proposed transborder flow of freight, according to BNSF. "As a result, the Board and interested parties will need to develop this information (or applicants will need to supplement or refile their application to include this information) in order to assess the benefits that applicants claim will result from these new cross-border movements, along with any potential harms to U.S. shippers of transborder freight that may result from competitive conditions in Mexico," BNSF's filing states. BNSF asks the STB to extend the comment deadline for another 60 days so that it and "other interested parties" can analyze the impact of new single-line service to Mexico. To view BNSF's filing, click here.

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BNSF joins Class I legal battles with unions over COVID vaccine mandate

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 11/11/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has joined other Class Is that have filed lawsuits against rail unions that are fighting implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a company spokeswoman confirmed yesterday. BNSF's stance had been that an employee's decision to get the vaccine was personal. But, the railroad implemented a vaccine mandate after the Biden administration required federal contractors to implement a vaccine policy. BNSF is a federal contractor. "While we maintain that the decision to be vaccinated for COVID-19 is a personal one — and have encouraged employees to make the decision that is best for them and their families — the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate now obligates BNSF’s employees to be vaccinated and we all must work toward that end," spokeswoman Amy Casas said in an email. "That said, the company has processes in place for reasonable accommodations for employees exempting them from the vaccination requirement." Casas confirmed that BNSF on Sunday joined other Class Is that are suing certain rail unions that are fighting the mandate. "It was apparent that there is a Rail Labor Act (RLA) dispute requiring federal court resolution," she said. "BNSF thinks it's logical for all those RLA issues to be resolved in a single, coordinated litigation." Both Union Pacific Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway — which are federal contractors — are involved in legal battles with rail labor unions over the vaccine requirement. CSX and Kansas City Southern have said they are encouraging their employees to get vaccinated, but have not yet required them to do so.

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BNSF posts revenue, income and volume gains in Q3

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 11/9/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. yesterday reported third-quarter 2021 net income rose 14% to $1.5 billion and total revenue climbed 12% to $5.8 billion compared with Q3 2020 income and revenue levels. Operating income during the quarter was $2.3 billion, a 12% increase, and operating expenses were $3.5 billion, an 11% increase, compared to a year ago, according to financial results posted on BNSF's website. The Class I reported an operating ratio of 59.5% in the quarter compared to 59.7% a year ago. BNSF's revenue gain reflected higher volumes of 4% in the quarter. The average revenue per car/unit increased 5%. Higher rates per car/unit and increased fuel surcharges principally from higher fuel prices were offset by business mix changes. Revenue changes were driven by continued improvements from the 2020 effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by the ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain. Also during Q3:
• Consumer products volumes increased 3% primarily due to growth in intermodal in both international and domestic shipments driven by increased retail sales, inventory replenishments by retailers and increased e-commerce activity, as well as from growth in automotive shipments;
• Agricultural products volumes decreased 10% due to lower grain exports;
• Industrial products volumes rose 14% due to improvement in the U.S. industrial economy driving higher volumes in construction and building sectors; and
• Coal volumes increased 12% due to increased electricity generation, higher natural gas prices and improved export demand.

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BNSF named one of America's best employers for women

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 9/8/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Katie Farmer Photo – bnsf.com

BNSF Railway Co. has made Forbes' list of America's Best Employers for Women 2021.

The steps BNSF has taken to support its female talent are reflected in its standing on this year’s list, where it climbed 203 places to No. 6, according to an article on the Forbes website.

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BNSF reopens Arkansas intermodal site

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/19/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has reopened its Harvard Intermodal Facility in Marion, Arkansas, to meet increased intermodal demand in the Memphis, Tennessee, region.All International intermodal shipments originating at the Port of Long Beach's Pier T Terminal in California will now terminate at BNSF's Harvard Intermodal Facility, the Class I announced this week.The facility is located 27 miles northwest of BNSF's Memphis Intermodal Hub.
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