Archive for the ‘Railroad News’ Category

KRR Coal Traffic Has Exceeded Expectations

August 26, 2016

An executive with Watco Companies said that it underestimated the demand for Appalachian coal when it launched the Kanawha River Railroad.

Kanawha River RailroadA month after the KRR began using the former West Virginia Secondary and Princeton-Deepwater District of Norfolk Southern, it has been running coal trains almost daily.

“Coal traffic is more than we anticipated — the domestic utility coal is up right now,” Kanawha River Railroad General Manager Derrick Jackson told Trains magazine.

As a result, the KRR has acquired additional locomotives and hired more employees for train and engine service.

The KRR has leased 10 NS SD60s and has its own fleet of three SD40-2s and four GP39-2s that are used to handle freight and local traffic.

In speaking with Trains, Jackson said the KRR is actively seeking to increase the local freight business.

Using trackage rights, KRR trains terminate at Watkins Yard on NS in Columbus.

Kentucky Company Shipping Crude Oil by Rail

August 26, 2016

A Kentucky company has begun shipping crude oil by rail from the Somerset Rail Park in Ferguson, Kentucky.

KentuckyContinental Refining company said in a news release that it began shipping via Norfolk Southern from the 34-acre truck-to-rail trans-loading facility in order to expand its national distribution more efficiently.

“We now have the added advantage in our region of shipping products farther and reducing costs, while utilizing a new resource,” said CRC President and Chief Executive Officer Demetrios Haseotes in a statement.

The Somerset-based Continental began using the rail park on July 27 to bring in gasoline components for gasoline pool blending. It also buys trans-mix fuel and ships it by rail.

It said it hopes to continue procuring additional blending components in the future.

Ohio Short Line Railroad Finds New Business

August 25, 2016

The Mahoning Valley Railway Company has landed a new business line hauling diesel exhaust fluid from a new terminal in Struthers, Ohio.

G&WThe MVR will serve a terminal owned by Pilot/Flying J that will produce diesel exhaust fluid at the terminal and transload it to trucks for area distribution.

Owned by Genesee & Wyoming, the MVR operates six miles of track between Youngstown and Lowellville.

It interchanges with CSX, Norfolk Southern, and two short line and industrial railroads.

R.J. Corman Appoints Interim President

August 25, 2016

Fred Mudge has been appointed as the interim president and chairman of R.J. Corman.

CormanNow chairman of the board of trustees, Mudge has worked at Corman for 17 years. Before then he worked in the aluminum business and served as secretary of transportation for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Corman said in a news release that Mudge’s experience with internal company operations and external customer relationships make him well qualified to serve in the president’s role during the transition.

The Corman board of trustees said it hopes to be able to appoint a permanent president and CEO within the next 60 to 90 days. At that time Mudge will return to his seat as board chairman.

Class I RR Employment Fell in July 2016

August 25, 2016

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board said that Class I railroads employed 152,718 people as of mid-July, which was down 10.71 percent from 2015. However, it is a 0.19 percent increase over June 2016.

STBTransportation (train and engine) was the only employment category out of six to show an increase when compared with mid-June’s employment figures. The workforce in that category rose 1.30 percent to 58,934.

Categories declining compared with mid-June were executives, officials and staff assistants, down 0.11 percent to 9,276 employees; professional and administrative, down 0.8 percent to 13,695; maintenance of way and structures, down 0.22 percent to 36,201; maintenance of equipment and stores, down 0.82 percent to 28,496; and transportation (other than train and engine), down 0.44 percent to 6,116.

In comparing 2016 figures with those of July 2015, all categories reflected decreases.

These included executives, officials and staff assistants, down 6.4 percent; professional and administrative, down 6.06 percent; maintenance of way and structures, down 5.86 percent; maintenance of equipment and stores, down 8.56 percent; transportation (other than train and engine), down 8.95 percent; and transportation (train and engine), down 16.07 percent.

KRR Now Operating in Ohio

August 23, 2016

The entire former West Virginia Secondary of Norfolk Southern is now back in operation.

Kanawha River RailroadThe Kanawha River Railroad is now operating loaded coal trains between West Virginia and Columbus, where they are handed off to Norfolk Southern for forwarding to Sandusky.

The first of those trains operated on Monday and was the first time that most of the West Virginia Secondary had seen a train since NS mothballed it last February.

Trains magazine reported that the first unit coal train had two NS locomotives and two SD60s leased by NS to the KRR, which is a property of Watco Companies.

KRR plans to restore shipping chemicals by rail within the next few weeks.

INRD to Serve New Indy Warehouse

August 22, 2016

Indiana Rail Road and Venture Logistics are set to open a rail-to-truck warehouse in Indianapolis that the companies say represents the first “mega-warehouse” with rail access to be constructed in Marion County in several years.

Indiana Rail Road 2The 406,000-square-foot Venture Rail Warehouse and Distribution Center is located on West Hanna Avenue adjacent to INRD’s mainline and a mile from the intersection of South Harding Street and Interstate 465.

Featuring an indoor rail siding, the facility also has a 32-foot clear ceiling, an 8-inch concrete floor, 58 truck dock doors, and food-grade capability.

Indianapolis-based Venture Logistics operates a fleet of 1,000 semi-tractors and 2,500 trailers.

South Shore Extension Gains New Push

August 20, 2016

A proposal to extend the South Shore commuter line by 9 miles south of Hammond, Indiana, took another step forward when the Hammond City Council recently voted to provide $27 million to the project over the next 30 years.

South Shore logoThe extension would run from Hammond to the border of Munster and Dyer, Indiana.

The expansion now will be reviewed by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

The Authority will examine potential economic development projects surrounding the proposed new stations on what is being called the West Lake corridor project.

Planners are eyeing three potential routes and the Authority is expected to recommend a preferred route within a couple months.

The Authority is charge of administering the commuter railroad’s operation.

More than a dozen Indiana communities have already made 30-year financial commitments to the project.

Moorman to be Next Amtrak President

August 19, 2016

Former Norfolk Southern head Charles W. “Wick” Moorman has agreed to become president of Amtrak effective Sept. 1.

Moorman, who retired as president and CEO of NS in 2015, will replace Joseph Boardman.

Amtrak logoIn announcing Moorman’s appointment, Amtrak said he had agreed to take a $1 yearly salary but will be eligible for a $500,000 annual bonus if meets specified performance goals.

Moorman would be the third Amtrak head to take over after serving as president of a Class I railroad.

Graham Claytor Jr. served as Amtrak president from 1982 to 1993 after having previously been president of the Southern Railway.

Alan Boyd was president of Amtrak between 1978 and 1982 and had been president of the Illinois Central Railroad.

“I view this as public service,” Moorman told Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono. “Amtrak is important to the freight rail carriers, and to the country. This is something I really want to do, and I believe I can contribute to making Amtrak a better railroad. I’m sure the work will be interesting, and I hope it will be fun as well.”

Moorman said he did not take the job for the money or because he had been unhappy in retirement.

In a news release, Moorman said he agreed to take the position because, “it is an honor and privilege to take on the role of CEO at Amtrak, and I look forward to working with its dedicated employees to find ways to provide even better service to our passengers and the nation. At Norfolk Southern, our team fostered change by placing a solid emphasis on performance across all aspects of our business, which helped develop a stronger safety and service culture throughout the company. I look forward to advancing those same goals at Amtrak and helping to build a plan for future growth.”

Moorman has more than 40 years in the railroad industry with NS and the Southern.

He began his railroad career working on a track gang during college and became a management trainee after graduation.

Moorman is a graduate of Georgia Tech University and the Harvard Business School.

He serves on the boards of Duke Energy Corporation, Chevron Corporation, the Virginia chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the Georgia Tech Foundation.

He had held the post of NS executive chairman until late 2015.

“Wick Moorman is a proven railroader whose track record of success demonstrates his commitment and adherence to rail safety, efficiency and service to customers,” said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger in a statement. “His contributions and leadership in the freight rail industry, I believe, will advance the working partnership the freight railroads have with Amtrak. The AAR and its freight rail members recognize the importance of Amtrak as a reliable U.S. passenger rail service and look forward to working with Wick in his new capacity.”

Amtrak Board Chairman Anthony Coscia said in a statement, “We are very pleased that someone with Wick’s experience and vision will lead Amtrak during this critical period as the company charts a course for future growth and improvement.”

Coscia expressed optimism that Moorman would improve Amtrak’s relationship with its host freight railroads.

“He clearly understands both worlds, and he’s going to be in a position to try to get us all to a much better place,” Coscia said.

NS Introduces New ‘Black Mane’ Livery

August 19, 2016

NS conversion loco

Norfolk Southern has a new specialized livery that is designed to imitate the flying mane of a horse.

Dubbed “black mane,” the scheme has been applied to DC to AC conversion locomotive that underwent modification at the Juniata shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The first unit to get the “black mane” treatment is AC44C6M No. 4004, which entered the shop as D9-40C No. 8866.

The new livery is similar to that of other converted units, but retains the traditional black nose rather than having a blue one as was the case with the prototype conversion locomotives.

Blue accenting has been applied to simulate a horse’s mane flying as well as to transition from black to gray on the rest of the locomotive.

NS said in a statement that the “back mane” livery also shows that the locomotive was converted in the Juniata shops.


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