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AAR Smartbrief Jan 25th 2013

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JANUARY 25, 2013 SIGN UP
Daily news coverage of the railroad industry 


  Industry Update   

? Class I's capital investments reached $13B in 2012, says AAR
Capital investments by Class I railroads in 2012 reached $13 billion, according to John Gray, Association of American Railroads senior vice president of policy and economics. Gray was at the Transportation Research Board's 92nd annual meeting earlier this month, where MAP-21, the surface transportation bill, was a focus of conversation. Gray also noted that intermodal "is the fastest growing segment of the rail industry." Engineering News-Record (1/23)  ? ? ? ? 


Hanna to promote freight rail as economical, sustainable
Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., takes over as vice chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. "Freight rail is an especially important connector in upstate New York and throughout the Northeast and I intend to help promote this economical and sustainable mode of transportation," Hanna said. Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.) (1/23)  ? ? ?


? AAR: Rail carload traffic drops but intermodal rises in latest week
U.S. railroads' freight carload volume slipped 3.5% in the week ending Jan. 19 versus year-ago levels, but intermodal climbed 13.5% in the same period, according to the Association of American Railroads. A 60.9% surge in crude oil shipments was the highest increase among nine carload categories that posted gains. North American chemicals shipments also grew 4.9% in the latest week, AAR noted. RailwayAge.com (1/24), Chemical Week (subscription required) (1/24)  ? ? ? ?  
  
 
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight   
 


? $50.5B Sandy aid bill awaits Senate vote
Contractors and officials from New York, New Jersey and other states damaged by superstorm Sandy are awaiting a Senate vote on the $50.5 billion recovery aid bill passed by the House this month. "I'm hopeful ... the Senate will act expeditiously to move this [bill] along," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Passage of the bill would create construction jobs and begin the rebuilding process. Engineering News-Record (1/23)  ? ? ? ?

 
? Double-stack route in Northeast helps CSX reduce transit time
CSX has reduced transit time between Worcester, Mass., and the New York state line with the first double-stack-cleared intermodal route in New England. The project, which was done in conjunction with Massachusetts, "is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together on projects that benefit the public, strengthen the economy and enable highway-to-rail freight conversion to reduce strain on public infrastructure and serve supply chains seamlessly," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. ProgressiveRailroading.com (1/25)  ? ? ? ? 


W.Va. sees possibility of transporting fracking water by rail
CSX and Norfolk Southern operate on about 84% of the railroad tracks in West Virginia, including some that run along the Ohio River. A recent public meeting on expanding rail in the state brought up the possibility of using freight rail to carry water for fracking operations. "With all of this gas activity, it makes sense. You could get some of those trucks off the road," said Ed Gorczyca of Wheeling, W.Va. Herald-Star (Steubenville, Ohio) (1/23)  ? ? ? ? 


Amtrak sets Mich. ridership record of almost 800,000 passengers in 2012
Detroit Free Press (1/24)  ? ? ? ?
  Energy & Environmental Watch  
 


? Court denies EPA request to review emissions rule for coal plants
A federal appeals court has denied an Environmental Protection Agency request for a review of a previous court decision to scrap a proposed pollution rule to curb emissions from coal plants. The agency's rule is "one of the most costly, burdensome and arbitrary" regulations under the Clean Air Act, according to lawsuits filed by utility firms. Bloomberg (1/24)  ? ? ? ? 
  SmartQuote   
 
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