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AAR Smartbrief December 2013

Industry Update

AAR: Carload traffic drops, but intermodal rises in latest week
Freight carload traffic of U.S. railroads dropped 4.4% in the week ending Dec. 7 year-on-year, but intermodal activity increased 9.4%, according to the Association of American Railroads. Shipments of petroleum products climbed 18.6%, and four more of the carload categories posted gains. Overall rail traffic in North America rose 0.3% year-to-date compared with the same period in 2012, AAR noted. Transport Topics (12/13), RailwayAge.com (12/12)

 

Foxx: John Porcari's tenure at DOT has been beneficial
John Porcari, Department of Transportation deputy secretary, is scheduled to leave his post by year's end, and his tenure at the agency has been significant in accomplishing DOT's goals, said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Both Secretary (Ray) LaHood and I have benefited from having him by our sides at every step of the way," Foxx said. Porcari has been an instrumental figure for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan and National Freight Network. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez will take on his role by Jan. 1. The Journal of Commerce (12/12)

 

§  Norfolk Southern donation helps fix roof at Feeding America Southwest Virginia
WSET-TV (Lynchburg, Va.) (12/11)

§  Children get a peek at elves' workshop on KCS holiday train
Marshall Democrat-News (Mo.) (12/12)


Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight

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House overwhelmingly approves budget deal
In a 332-94 bipartisan vote, the House passed a budget compromise aimed at preventing any government shutdown for two years. The measure would blunt the effect of automatic spending cuts previously enacted by Congress. However, the compromise would not reduce the budget deficit or reform U.S. tax law. The Senate is expected to approve the deal next week. Reuters (12/12), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/12), American City Business Journals/Washington Bureau blog (12/12)

 

U.S. budget deficit narrows
The U.S. budget year that began Oct. 1 is off to a strong start, with a deficit of $226.8 billion that is down 22.7% from a year before. Economists now predict the gap will narrow to about $600 billion for the full year, aided by higher taxes and a mending economy. The Seattle Times/The Associated Press/Bloomberg (12/11)

 


Energy & Environmental Watch

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Drilling permits in Ohio's Utica Shale exceed forecasts
Oil and natural gas drilling activities in Ohio's Utica Shale have spiked as drilling permits issued by the state since 2009 reached more than 1,000, surpassing projections by the state Department of Natural Resources. "In general, 1,000 permits is a milestone. It shows the resource is here and companies are allocating the investments to develop it," said Shawn Bennett, Energy in Depth Ohio's director of corporate and community affairs. American City Business Journals/Columbus, Ohio/Columbus Biz Insider blog (12/12)

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Best-selling author of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, discussing Competing in Today's Marketplace. Join OPEN Forum to get access to the Livestream on December 17th.


 

AAR News

AAR reports mixed weekly rail traffic
The Association of American Railroads on Thursday reported mixed U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 7, with 279,213 total U.S. carloads, down 4.4% compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 262,765 units, up 9.4% compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 541,978 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.8% compared with the same week last year. Read more.

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SmartQuote

Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius."

-- Benjamin Disraeli,
British politician

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