Railroad News

Norfolk Southern: Ledoux becomes VP of government affairs, Maestri to retire

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 11/28/2018 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Marque LedouxPhoto – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced yesterday that Marque Ledoux will become vice president of government affairs on Jan. 1, 2019. He will succeed Bruno Maestri, who is retiring from the Class I.

Ledoux joined NS in 2003 as assistant VP of government affairs. Prior to joining the company, he worked for FedEx for 16 years in public relations and government relations positions. In his new role, he will continue to be based in Washington, D.C., and report to John Sheib, executive VP of law and administration.

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UP's Bolin to succeed Rock as VP-external relations

Union Pacific Corp. has named Printz Bolin vice president-external relations, effective Dec. 1. He will succeed Mike Rock, who will retire Feb. 15, 2019, after 29 years of service at the Class I.

Currently assistant VP-external relations, Bolin will continue to work out of UP's office in Washington, D.C., when he starts his new role, UP officials said in a press release.

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UP's Knight dubbed 'Best CFO' for sixth-straight year

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 11/27/2018 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Rob Knight has made Institutional Investor magazine's "Best CFO" list for the sixth consecutive year.He is listed on the 2019 All-America Executive Team list of airfreight and surface transportation companies. Knight topped Institutional Investor's Best CFO list in the buy-side category of the combined airfreight and surface transportation sector.Knight began his UP career in 1980 and since has held various positions, including VP and general manager-energy, VP and general manager-automotive and senior VP of finance. He is a board member for Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano and TTX Co."Being recognized Best CFO by Institutional Investor for six years in a row is truly an honor recognizing our team's unrelenting focus on driving shareholder value," Knight said in a press release. "We are committed to rewarding shareholders through responsible capital management, dividends and share repurchases."The magazine has recognized people and firms in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. Best CFO rankings are determined by Institutional Investor's annual survey of the country's top analysts and portfolio managers. Other CFOs recognized on the latest list include Old Dominion Freight Line's Adam Satterfield and J.B. Hunt Transport Services' David Mee.

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Union Pacific updates PTC progress report

Union Pacific Railroad is making progress on its plan to implement positive train control (PTC) and will meet all required deadlines for installing the safety technology on its network, the Class I announced yesterday.

"As allowed by federal law," UP will continue to implement, test and refine the technology during 2019 and 2020, company officials said in a press release.

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CSX to sell 373 miles of rail lines in Florida, Georgia

CSX is selling 373 miles of rail lines to Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad LLC (FGAR), according to a Nov. 6 filing with the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

The notice of intent to acquire the rail lines did not mention a sale price.

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Kansas City Southern's Wochner to retire as SVP, chief legal officer

Kansas City Southern yesterday announced the retirement of W. James Wochner as senior vice president and chief legal officer, effective March 31, 2019.

In addition, Adam Godderz will be promoted from associate general counsel and corporate secretary to general counsel and corporate secretary for KCS and the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. on Jan. 1, 2019, company officials said in a press release.

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CSX launches program to support veterans, active military, first responders

CSX last week unveiled its new Pride in Service community investment program to honor and improve the lives of military veterans, active duty military and first responders.

The multimillion-dollar commitment and "collaborative approach" will affect more than 100,000 people over the next two years, CSX officials said in a press release.

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Kansas City Southern to kick off Holiday Express tour

Kansas City Southern's 18th annual Holiday Express will distribute a total of $171,756 in gift cards to The Salvation Army at stops along its route starting Nov. 21.

The holiday train will visit 22 communities on 27 dates, starting in Shreveport, Louisiana, and wrapping up Dec. 18 in Kansas City, Missouri. Other stops in other states include Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois. A complete schedule is available on the KCS website.

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Norfolk Southern proposes new HQ building in Midtown Atlanta, report says

Details of Norfolk Southern Corp.'s potential relocation of its headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia, to Atlanta emerged in documents released yesterday by Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development agency.

NS is proposing construction of a new headquarters in Midtown Atlanta that would feature 750,000 square feet of office space and a daycare center for employees' children, according to the documents.

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Norfolk Southern names Farrell SVP transportation

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 11/7/2018 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Michael FarrellPhoto – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. has tapped Michael Farrell to serve as senior vice president of transportation.

Based in Atlanta, Farrell will report to Michael Wheeler, executive VP and chief operating officer. Farrell's duties will include all transportation operations, division mechanical and rail terminal management functions, NS officials said in a press release.

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CP broke grain, biofuel shipping records in October

Canadian Pacific has broken its record for the shipment of grain, moving 2.64 million metric tons (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products in October, the Class I announced today.

The milestone makes October 2018 CP's biggest month ever for moving Canadian grain, breaking a record set in September 2017, CP officials said in a press release.

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BNSF posts higher revenue, expenses in Q3

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 11/6/2018 Rail News: BNSF Railway
imageBNSF Railway Co. reported third-quarter revenue rose 16 percent to $6.1 billion from $5.3 billion, while operating income increased 9 percent to $2.1 billion from $1.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago.The Class I's net income in the quarter surged 34 percent to $1.4 billion from $1 billion in Q3 2017, according to BNSF's Q3 performance summary.BNSF posted an operating ratio of 64.5 percent for the quarter, compared with 62.4 percent a year ago. Expenses during the quarter increased 20 percent to $4 billion from $3.4 billion in Q3 2017.Average revenue per car/unit rose 11 percent during the quarter as a result of business mix changes, higher fuel surcharges driven primarily by higher fuel prices and increased rates per car/unit.Also during Q3 2018 compared with last year:
• Consumer product volumes rose 1 percent due to higher intermodal volumes;
• Industrial products volume increased 13 percent primarily due to strength in the industrial and energy sectors;
• Agricultural products volume rose 16 percent due to strong export and domestic grain shipments, as well as higher fertilizer and other grain products; and
• Coal volume fell 5 percent, primarily due to plant retirements combined with competition from natural gas and renewables, partially offset by market share gains and improved export volumes.

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CSX Santa Train to travel through Appalachia this month

Rail News Home CSX Transportation 11/5/2018 Rail News: CSX Transportation
image County music and bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs joined Santa on the 2017 Santa Train ride. Country duo Maddie & Tae will be the featured entertainment on this year's Santa Train.Photo – CSX/Ed Rode

CSX will operate its 76th annual Santa Train on Nov. 17, as part of the Class I's efforts to deliver toys, food, winter clothing and other gifts to residents in need along the 110-mile route.

The train will travel through the Appalachia region and stop in 14 locations in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. More than 15 tons of toys and other items will be delivered to families, CSX officials said in a press release.

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Texas Central, Renfe sign bullet-train operator pact

Rail News Home High-Speed Rail 10/31/2018 Rail News: High-Speed Rail
image Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar (left) and Renfe President Isaias Taboas signed the contract in Madrid.Photo – Texas Central

Yesterday in Madrid, Texas Central Railway and Renfe officials signed an agreement that formalizes the Spanish rail operator as the Texas bullet train's strategic operating partner.

With its decades of experience, Spain-based Renfe was a "natural fit" to join Texas Central’s other partners, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

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LIRR opens renovated Farmingdale, Wantagh stations

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has opened newly renovated Farmingdale and Wantagh stations.

Although work on the Farmingdale Station is ongoing, doors to the building were opened yesterday. The facility's upgrade is part of an $84 million, eight-station renovation package awarded earlier this year.

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Metra starts PTC service demos on Rock Island line

Rail News Home Positive Train Control 10/31/2018 Rail News: Positive Train Control
image PTC might be fully implemented on the Rock Island line by January.Photo – Metra

Metra recently launched revenue service demonstrations (RSDs) of its positive train control (PTC) system on the Rock Island District Line, which runs southwest from Chicago to Joliet, Illinois.

The RSDs are the final stage before PTC is fully implemented along the route. The demonstrations involve operating some trains in regular service with PTC engaged to determine if the system is working as intended.

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Metropolitan Council’s Tchourumoff to step down as chair next month

Rail News Home Railroading People 10/31/2018 Rail News: Railroading People
image Alene TchourumoffPhoto – Metropolitan Council

Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff yesterday announced she will be stepping down at November’s end to pursue a new professional opportunity.

Per council bylaws, Vice Chair Harry Melander will assume her duties until the Minnesota governor-elect appoints a new chair.

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Pan Am Railways, Boston & Maine fined for tie disposal in Massachusetts

Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals 10/31/2018 Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
imageThe Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has ordered Pan Am Railways and Boston & Maine Corp. to pay $90,000 in penalties for violations linked to the abandonment of old crossties.The fines relate to new violations of an agreement — signed by both rail companies in 2013 — and solid waste management regulations concerning the abandonment of ties along a rail line in Buckland, Greenfield and Hatfield, Massachusetts.MassDEP previously issued enforcement orders to Pan Am and Boston & Maine for their waste management practices involving ties, department officials said in a press release.In the latest instance, the department in May surveyed rail lines operated by the two companies in western Massachusetts. The survey found ties in several locations that were in violation of the agreement. As a result, MassDEP issued penalties of $30,000 for each of the three locations were the violations were observed, for a total of $90,000."MassDEP will continue to monitor the railroads for rail-tie disposal and has not ruled out issuance of additional penalties," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "There has been a long, multiyear dialogue with the railroad on this issue; Pan Am and Boston & Maine have had more than enough time to come into compliance with the consent agreement and the regulations.”

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Canada's TSB highlights fatigue on safety watchlist

Rail News Home Safety 10/31/2018 Rail News: Safety
image TSB Chair Kathy Fox discussed the board's 2018 Watchlist at a press conference this week.Photo – TSB YouTube

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) this week released its Watchlist 2018 to highlight seven safety hazards in the industry.

This year's list cites the TSB's call to action on safety management and employee fatigue issues across transportation modes, board officials said in a press release.

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WMATA selects site for new HQ

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday announced it chose L'Enfant Plaza as the site for a new centrally located headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The agency now will seek final board approval to purchase a vacant office building at the plaza as the replacement for its current headquarters, the Jackson Graham Building. WMATA plans to strip the acquired building’s exterior and completely renovate the facility, including new commercial amenities on the ground floor. In addition, the agency might add three floors to create lease space and generate additional revenue, WMATA officials said in a press release.

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