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Nov
08

In memoriam: Bob Grandy

Robert “Bob” Grandy, retired president of Unity Railway Supply Co., Inc., died Oct. 18, 2016, at age 82. 

 

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Nov
08

Rail supplier news from GREX, PFL, Industry-Railway Suppliers, Hub Group, and in memoriam: Robert Grandy (Nov. 8)

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Supplier Spotlight

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Nov
08

CP’s new website focuses on facts of Work-Rest-Time Off

Canadian Pacific (CP) launched a website Nov. 8 that makes available the facts relating to work, rest and time off for Canadian-based employees.

 

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Nov
08

Sound Transit solicits comments on light-rail station designs

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Passenger Rail

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Nov
08

Amtrak boosts Wi-Fi speed on Acela Express

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Amtrak

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Nov
08

Patriot Rail investment raises California subsidiary’s rail capacity

Patriot Rail Services Company LLC (Patriot Rail), a U.S.-based rail services provider, has announced a rail infrastructure investment in its California-based subsidiary, Sacramento Valley Railroad (SAV), which serves McClellan Business Park. 

 

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Nov
08

Vancouver's Evergreen Skytrain extension to open next month

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Passenger Rail

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Nov
08

NCDOT infuses rail improvement program with $10M boost

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division has allotted an additional $10 million toward the Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program for fiscal year 2017.

 

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Nov
08

Port Everglades logs decline in TEUs for FY2016

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Intermodal

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Nov
08

CP lauds October grain movement, launches website detailing time off

Rail News Home Canadian Pacific 11/8/2016 Rail News: Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific announced yesterday that October was its best month for Western Canadian grain movement to Vancouver. A record 15,865 carloads were moved to West Coast ports in October, besting the previous record of 15,449 carloads in March 2016. Total Western Canadian grain movements in the month climbed 3.9 percent over last year, just off the record set in May 2014, CP officials said in a press release.CP and its supply chain partners have invested millions of dollars over the past three years on grain elevator capacity, CP officials said."We continue to focus on providing best-in-class service to our customers and look forward to moving more Western Canadian grain to market for the benefit of farmers, shippers and the Canadian economy," said CP President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel.Details of the supply chain's weekly performance can be found at www.cpr.ca/grain.Meanwhile, today the Class I launched a website that posts information on work, rest and time off for Canadian-based running trades employees. The site outlines what CP describes as its labor relations story and communications with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train and Engine leadership.The site dispels myths and "outdated perceptions" of work and time off for its train crews, CP officials said in a press release. Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff. More News from 11/8/2016

Nov
08

CP lauds October grain movement, launches website detailing time off

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Canadian Pacific

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Nov
08

CP lauds October grain movement, launches website detailing time off

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Canadian Pacific

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Nov
08

MBTA names Dalton GM for Green Line extension, shakes up capital project team

11/8/2016    

Rail News: Passenger Rail

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Nov
08

The 'CSX of Tomorrow' will dawn if the railroad can adopt a more intermodal-driven, less coal–centric operating strategy

Rail News Home CSX Transportation November 2016 Rail News: CSX Transportation

Photo – CSX — By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Managing EditorTo say sagging coal volumes have been a drag on CSX’s finances the past five years is an understatement. Coal revenue losses that have been mounting since 2011 are expected to reach a total of $2 billion by 2016’s end.The Class I’s coal fortunes aren’t expected to turn anytime soon, either. Low natural gas prices figure to keep compelling domestic utilities to favor that power-plant fuel source for the foreseeable future and tectonic shifts in the global coal market are forecast to keep abating U.S. exports. So, a change in strategic direction is necessary to deal with coal’s steep fall from its longtime perch as the railroad’s top revenue producer.Last year, the senior executive team met to develop a strategy framework that could address the changing customer base and shifting business portfolio. Ultimately, the team considered two options: continue to chase ways to help overcome the coal losses in the short term or develop a plan to change the structure and operation of the coal-dominant railroad for the long term. They opted for the latter.A 40-member cross-functional group that included leaders from each department then helped flesh out the idea and shape specific supporting initiatives, and CSX’s board reviewed and approved the chosen strategy in early 2016. Now, if it ushers the Class I into a new era as hoped, the “CSX of Tomorrow” will dawn in the not-too-distant future.Formally launched in late April, the CSX of Tomorrow (CoT) strategy calls for the company to:
• realign its network to de-emphasize coal traffic and optimize the volume-growth potential of the more promising intermodal sector and solid merchandise segment;
• deploy more high-tech equipment and information systems to forge a highly automated railroad that can support safety, service-performance and efficiency efforts;
• pursue service excellence to help prompt volume growth and better meet customers’ needs; and
• develop a workforce of the future with the right tools and skills to drive productivity and innovation.Expected to take a number of years to implement, the strategy will help spur volume growth and increase profitability in the intermodal and merchandise franchises, and yet preserve the business value of coal as it becomes a smaller part of the company’s portfolio, says CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward.“We’ve got to adapt; the world has changed. Coal has gone from one-third of our annual revenue to about 15 percent,” he says. “We have been a more cyclical company, one that was a slave to the vagaries of the general economy. Now, we can be more nimble and flexible.”CSX will benefit by controlling the things it can control: service, safety and productivity, says Ward. In addition, the strategy can help the company attain its long-term goal of a mid-60s operating ratio.CSX plans to carry out the CoT in part by operating two networks: a primary one accommodating longer and heavier trains along the “Iron Triangle” mainlines between Chicago, New York City and Jacksonville, Fla.; and a local one comprising other lines and territories that don’t require the same train speeds and resource intensity. Each network will essentially have the same route mileage, and the local network would retain the same level of safety and customer service as the primary one.CSX also aims to extend sidings or build new ones to accommodate longer trains; triple the amount spent each year on technology adoptions; and provide better quality-of-life benefits and more modern equipment to hone a stronger workforce.Operational performance a prime componentService execution is the most critical aspect of the CoT, says Ward. To win over and best serve shippers of truck-competitive freight, CSX needs to align operating capabilities to customers’ expectations and provide consistently higher levels of reliability.“If we want to grow our other businesses, the service has to be there,” says Ward.He believes the CoT initiative aligns well with the company’s vision to be the safest, most progressive North American railroad, one that relentlessly pursues customer and employee excellence. It lines up with CSX’s core values, too, says Ward. That means continually striving to be fact-based, ensuring people make the difference, stressing safety as a way of life and getting the right results the right way.“It’s how we behave and who we are. It still fits,” says Ward. “The biggest difference [with the CoT] is being more intentional in deploying technology.”CSX strategists performed a lot of modeling exercises to ensure the strategy could be carried out, and the team plans to tweak and refine it as CoT implementation continues.“The way we see it is: OK, we have a path now, and we see where we’re going,” says Ward.A new terminal under construction in Pittsburgh, which is slated to open next year, figures to help boost intermodal business. CSX

But there will be some bumps along that path. For example, to become a more efficient and productive CoT, there will be hundreds of fewer jobs at the company. Meetings have been held with rail labor unions about the job reductions, which mostly will be addressed through attrition, says Ward.

“We’re not being secretive about it. We will have less jobs available,” he says.

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Nov
08

The 'CSX of Tomorrow' will dawn if the railroad can adopt a more intermodal-driven, less coal–centric operating strategy

Rail News Home CSX Transportation November 2016 Rail News: CSX Transportation

Photo – CSX — By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Managing EditorTo say sagging coal volumes have been a drag on CSX’s finances the past five years is an understatement. Coal revenue losses that have been mounting since 2011 are expected to reach a total of $2 billion by 2016’s end.The Class I’s coal fortunes aren’t expected to turn anytime soon, either. Low natural gas prices figure to keep compelling domestic utilities to favor that power-plant fuel source for the foreseeable future and tectonic shifts in the global coal market are forecast to keep abating U.S. exports. So, a change in strategic direction is necessary to deal with coal’s steep fall from its longtime perch as the railroad’s top revenue producer.Last year, the senior executive team met to develop a strategy framework that could address the changing customer base and shifting business portfolio. Ultimately, the team considered two options: continue to chase ways to help overcome the coal losses in the short term or develop a plan to change the structure and operation of the coal-dominant railroad for the long term. They opted for the latter.A 40-member cross-functional group that included leaders from each department then helped flesh out the idea and shape specific supporting initiatives, and CSX’s board reviewed and approved the chosen strategy in early 2016. Now, if it ushers the Class I into a new era as hoped, the “CSX of Tomorrow” will dawn in the not-too-distant future.Formally launched in late April, the CSX of Tomorrow (CoT) strategy calls for the company to:
• realign its network to de-emphasize coal traffic and optimize the volume-growth potential of the more promising intermodal sector and solid merchandise segment;
• deploy more high-tech equipment and information systems to forge a highly automated railroad that can support safety, service-performance and efficiency efforts;
• pursue service excellence to help prompt volume growth and better meet customers’ needs; and
• develop a workforce of the future with the right tools and skills to drive productivity and innovation.Expected to take a number of years to implement, the strategy will help spur volume growth and increase profitability in the intermodal and merchandise franchises, and yet preserve the business value of coal as it becomes a smaller part of the company’s portfolio, says CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward.“We’ve got to adapt; the world has changed. Coal has gone from one-third of our annual revenue to about 15 percent,” he says. “We have been a more cyclical company, one that was a slave to the vagaries of the general economy. Now, we can be more nimble and flexible.”CSX will benefit by controlling the things it can control: service, safety and productivity, says Ward. In addition, the strategy can help the company attain its long-term goal of a mid-60s operating ratio.CSX plans to carry out the CoT in part by operating two networks: a primary one accommodating longer and heavier trains along the “Iron Triangle” mainlines between Chicago, New York City and Jacksonville, Fla.; and a local one comprising other lines and territories that don’t require the same train speeds and resource intensity. Each network will essentially have the same route mileage, and the local network would retain the same level of safety and customer service as the primary one.CSX also aims to extend sidings or build new ones to accommodate longer trains; triple the amount spent each year on technology adoptions; and provide better quality-of-life benefits and more modern equipment to hone a stronger workforce.Operational performance a prime componentService execution is the most critical aspect of the CoT, says Ward. To win over and best serve shippers of truck-competitive freight, CSX needs to align operating capabilities to customers’ expectations and provide consistently higher levels of reliability.“If we want to grow our other businesses, the service has to be there,” says Ward.He believes the CoT initiative aligns well with the company’s vision to be the safest, most progressive North American railroad, one that relentlessly pursues customer and employee excellence. It lines up with CSX’s core values, too, says Ward. That means continually striving to be fact-based, ensuring people make the difference, stressing safety as a way of life and getting the right results the right way.“It’s how we behave and who we are. It still fits,” says Ward. “The biggest difference [with the CoT] is being more intentional in deploying technology.”CSX strategists performed a lot of modeling exercises to ensure the strategy could be carried out, and the team plans to tweak and refine it as CoT implementation continues.“The way we see it is: OK, we have a path now, and we see where we’re going,” says Ward.A new terminal under construction in Pittsburgh, which is slated to open next year, figures to help boost intermodal business. CSX

But there will be some bumps along that path. For example, to become a more efficient and productive CoT, there will be hundreds of fewer jobs at the company. Meetings have been held with rail labor unions about the job reductions, which mostly will be addressed through attrition, says Ward.

“We’re not being secretive about it. We will have less jobs available,” he says.

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Nov
07

Amtrak and Michigan DOT wrap up this year’s construction season

Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have completed construction for the season for Wolverine Service trains, with more work scheduled in the New Year.

 

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Nov
07

LACMTA continues Blue Line overhaul with $30 million in improvements

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has announced $30 million in safety improvements to 27 intersections along its Blue Line.

 

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Nov
07

McAndrews named port association chair

11/7/2016    

Rail News: People

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Nov
07

TransLink appoints Cunningham chair

11/7/2016    

Rail News: People

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Nov
07

TriMet, Verizon add mobile service at underground station

11/7/2016    

Rail News: Internet-Digital

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