Archive for the ‘Railroad News’ Category

NS Recognized as Military Friendly Employer

December 2, 2016

Norfolk Southern has also been recognized as a military friendly employer by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines.

In a news release, NS said it was the 10th time that it has made the list, which features companies with a “proven record of hiring and supporting veterans in the workplace.”

NS logo 2NS said that 3,800 of its employees, or 14 percent, are veterans, including members of the National Guard and military reserves.

“Military veterans are thriving at our company in all areas of operations and management,” said NS CEO Jim Squires, an Army veteran. “With their leadership skills and knowledge, veterans bring a strong work ethic and a commitment to safety and service that make us a better railroad, which in turn helps America prosper.”

Victory Media’s military friendly list rates companies’ performance across six categories: recruiting and sourcing; hiring and onboarding; career opportunity and advancement; culture and commitment; military support and retention; and military employee policies and compliance.

Some Pets Will Ride Amtrak for Free

December 1, 2016

Amtrak is allowing pets to travel with their owners for free between Dec. 9 and March 31, 2017, on select routes.

Amtrak logoThe promotion is part of a celebration of the release of a movie titled The Secret Life of Pets. The film is being released on Dec. 6 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Amtrak has expanded in the past year the number of trains on which a limited number of pets may travel in carriers.

During the first year of the program, Amtrak has hosted more than 15,000 dogs and cats.

Further information about the pets ride free offer is available at select ticket counters and stations, and on trains, including AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi portals.

Amtrak will be awarding The Secret Life of Pets prizes to customers at some stations, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland, Dallas, Baltimore, Cleveland, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville.

CSX VP Lonegro Projects ‘Flat to Slightly up’ Earnings Per Share for 4th Quarter of 2016

December 1, 2016

CSX projects that its earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2016 will be flat to slightly up.

CSX logo 3Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro delivered that assessment to investors and analysts attending a conference on Thursday.

Although some of the factors that have worked against the carrier’s financial health are moderating, Lonegro said, “At the same time, a recent operating property sale will now offset the impact of a debt refinancing charge announced earlier in the quarter.”

In a news release, CSX said that quarter-to-date volume has declined 3 percent overall, and many markets are showing more moderate declines than in previous quarters.

In particular, coal traffic is showing sequential volume stabilization and is essentially flat to date.

Volume is now expected to decline in the low-to-mid single digit range on a comparable 13-week basis.

STB Finalizes Passenger Dispute Rules

December 1, 2016

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has issued its final rule implementing standards for resolving dispute between passenger carriers and their host railroads.

STBThe standards were mandated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015.

The STB said that “the FAST Act clarified and augmented the Board’s existing adjudicatory responsibilities related to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).”

“Specific FAST Act provisions address STB adjudication of disputes regarding Amtrak cost recovery for its operation of state-supported routes, and costs allocated to states in their use of rail facilities for commuter rail operations within the Washington, D.C.-to-Boston Northeast Corridor.”

The FAST Act requires the Board to establish procedures for resolving such disputes, which may include the provision of professional mediation services. The Board said its final rule implements those provisions.

New N.F. Station to Open Next Tuesday

December 1, 2016

Amtrak will begin halting at the new Niagara Falls, New York, station next Tuesday.

Amtrak 4The station will be served daily by the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf and two Empire Service trains from New York City.

Service is being phased in over a 24-hour period on the first day. The two Empire Service trains to New York will depart on Tuesday from the current station at 2701 Willard Ave.

The Maple Leaf and the two inbound Empire Service trains from New York will use the new station, located at 825 Depot Ave.

The new $43 million facility has been in the planning and construction stages for more than two decades and attracted attention after it took longer than expected for the city and Amtrak to agree on a lease.

Amtrak said it will notify passengers where to board and depart, as well as update its website.

CVSR Head Tallman to Retire

December 1, 2016

The head of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad plans to retire at the end of the year and the non-profit organization is seeking his replacement.

CVSRCraig B. Tallman joined the CVSR as president and chief executive officer in May 2012, replacing Steven Wait. Tallman came to the CVSR after serving as a vice president for YRC Worldwide trucking.

The CVSR has hired Ratliff & Taylor of Independence to conduct the search for a new head of the railroad, which serves the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and has been in operation since 1975.

CVSR Board Chair Raymond Labuda said that Tallman during his tenure was responsible for increasing the railroad’s service offerings, attracting new riders, maintaining a balanced budget and improving safety, reliability and overall passenger experience.

The CVSR serves nearly 200,000 passengers annually and generates revenues of more than $3 million.

NS Names 2 to Board, Chao to head DOT

November 30, 2016

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been named to the board of directors of Norfolk Southern Corporation.

He will be joined on the board by Marcela Donadio, a retired partner at Ernst & Young.

Daniels is the president of Purdue University and served as the governor of Indiana between 2005 and 2013.

In other news, Elaine Chao is expected to become the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the Trump administration.

Chao is a former deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush between 1989 and 1991, and served as the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush between 2001 and 2009.

FRA Says PTC Progress is Uneven

November 29, 2016

Progress toward the implementation of positive train control has been uneven, the Federal Railroad Administration said in a report based on third quarter 2016 information submitted by railroads.

FRAThe FRA said PTC is active on 12 percent of freight railroad lines, an increase from 9 percent in the second quarter.

Passenger railroads increased their percentage to 23 percent this quarter compared to 22 percent last quarter.

In a news release, the FRA said the greatest progress has occurred on the West Coast. East Coast railroads, other than SEPTA and Amtrak, have remained relatively stagnant.

Support for Daily Cardinal Builds in W.Va.

November 29, 2016

Support for daily service by Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal is building in West Virginia, but supporters know that it remains long way off.

Amtrak CardinalAmong those recently supporting increasing the frequency of service of the tri-weekly train is the mayor of Charleston, Danny Jones.

Jones describes himself as train travel enthusiast who travels via Amtrak several times a year.

“It would bring more people through or more visitors if it were seven days a week,” Jones said. “However, “It would still lose money.”

Shortly after a conference was held in Cincinnati this past September to discuss a daily Cardinal, the West Virginia Governor’s Conference on Tourism unanimously passed a motion in favor of daily Cardinal service.

The Cincinnati conference was sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.

In the meantime, Mayor Jones is fighting to retain the Amtrak agent at the Charleston depot, which is wedged between MacCorkle Avenue and the CSX railroad tracks.

Jones said some improvements have been made to the stop, including the installation of benches outside and some signs and landscaping around the station.

Buffalo Station Committee to hold 1st Meeting

November 29, 2016

A committee to study sites for a new Amtrak station in Buffalo, New York, expects to hold its first meeting in December.

Amtrak 4The 17-member committee will review such locations as the former Buffalo Central Terminal, Larkinville, Canalside and the current Exchange Street Amtrak station.

The State of New York has allocated $20 for construction of the station and the committee will look to see if it can obtain some federal funding.

“We’ll be able to fast track these initiatives that unfortunately have taken the back burner because of a lack of funding,” said committee member Tim Kennedy, a state senator from Buffalo. “Now we can drive forward with those. And I think it fits right into the timetable that we’re looking at with the new train station in Buffalo.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he will accept a challenge from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decide on a station location within the next six months.