Aar updates Rail Industry Highlights Best Safety Practices at Annual Leadership Forum

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RAIL NEWS – May 2014

AAR Updates
Rail Industry Highlights Best Safety Practices at Annual Leadership Forum


Washington, D.C., April 30, 2014 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today recognized highlights in best safety practices from around the industry at the annual Railroad Safety Leadership Forum, in Atlanta. The event brings together railroad teams from AAR’s full-member railroads to underscore achievements in personal safety and injury prevention and provide a venue to share best practices.


“Safety is at the core of the railroad industry, driving every day decisions and operations from offices in headquarters to the cab of locomotives moving across America’s 140,000 mile rail network,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.  “Through innovation and hard work, our employees continue to make the railroad industry one of the safest in which to have a career. We will continue to innovate and invest, and bring together teams from around the industry to listen and learn and take every opportunity to improve safety.”


The 2014 Safety Forum Groups are as follows:


BNSF Railway: Safety Employees of the Year (across BNSF network)


These employees represent the many facets of BNSF Operations and were instrumental in fostering peer-to-peer programs that proactively identify risk to exposures and reinforce safe behaviors with positive feedback. They have demonstrated a significant and consistent leadership role in safety programs and initiatives at a high level and have modeled the desired attitudes and actions to support personal ownership of safety. They initiate an atmosphere that promotes superior safety performance for others with their innovative ideas and programs and contributed off-duty time to activities involving safety efforts as well as promoting safety within their families and communities.


Canadian National Railway (CN): Harrison Hump Yard Safety Team (Memphis, Tenn.)


With more than a year since the last reportable injury, the Harrison Hump Yard Safety Team’s strong leadership, focus on employee engagement, teamwork, and commitment to safety are the core values that have made this achievement possible. The joint management/union local safety committee assumed a key role within the terminal by effectively engaging and leading safety outreach through peer conversations focusing on top causes of injuries and accidents. Management within the terminal focused activities on critical rules, top causes of injuries and accidents in the yard.  Specifically, they held safety summits and town hall meetings where open conversations with employees were encouraged. Additional time was devoted to new hires in the field to ensure proper understanding of safety rules. Senior management took steps to be more visible in the terminal and interactive with employees. The result has been developing a more collaborative environment that promotes a culture of safety for all.


Canadian Pacific Railway (CP): Chase Work Equipment Shop & Milwaukee Operations (Wisc.)


The Chase Avenue Roadway Equipment Shop and Operations Team, in Milwaukee, Wis., passed more than 5,000 days (more than 14 years) without a FRA injury and is still going strong. The small shop employs seven full time employees plus 15-20 additional workers in the winter. The shop repairs almost all equipment used in maintenance of way activity.  Employee skills include welders / boilermakers, electricians, machinists and mechanics. The shop’s safety culture is unsurpassed. Two key factors to their success are daily safety briefings and a collaborative approach to safety. If an employee sees something that isn’t quite safe, they are not afraid to bring it up with a supervisor or coworker. Various safety initiatives are being used to encourage a personal responsibility for safety. This kind of “buy-in” at Chase is a big part of that safety culture and has translated into a safety record worthy of admiration.


CSX Transportation: Rule Simplification Team (across CSX network)


The Rule Simplification Project was designed to address employee needs to more easily understand operational rules. A joint labor/management team reviewed every rule with a mandate to reorganize and rewrite rules using a structure that would make the rules shorter and easier to teach and understand.  Previous rule books lacked consistent formatting, uniformity of wording and terms, and structure that allowed task related rules to be scattered across many sections and books. Now, rules have been streamlined in a hierarchical “cookbook” fashion using an organizational structure that groups all relevant rules by task. Rules are written in a standard format that dissects common tasks into step by step processes. Team members also identified opportunities to strengthen critical safety rules and address new operating practices and technology. This collaborative effort created tasks and employee-centric rules that are clear, concise, and support uniform application across the network. Since their introduction on January 1, 2014, employee response has been overwhelmingly positive.


Iowa Pacific Holdings: Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway (Calif.)


Despite the challenges of being a start-up organization handling both passenger and freight operations, the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay (SCMB) team has managed from day-one to be injury and accident-free for 525 days and counting.  This has been achieved with a very limited budget and a “from scratch” team of individuals that were completely new to this railroad.  While getting underway, the railroad field tested the company’s new conductor certification training program and other part 230-compliant training programs.  Since start-up, the team located a new customer (a biofuel manufacturer) and increased business from existing customers by 30 percent.  The SCMB team’s efforts to operate two seasons of passenger events and grow the freight business have been successful.


Kansas City Southern Railway: TEaM Training Center “Static Display” (Shreveport, La.)


Last year, Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) committed to an expansion of its training program for all craft employees in a new facility to be housed in a former customer service center in Shreveport, La. Beginning with conductor training, new computer classrooms were set up as well as static displays of equipment to allow trainees to practice their skills before moving to a live yard. Students build confidence as they learn proper techniques for mounting and dismounting equipment, radio, and hand signals.  KCS employees designed and installed the equipment in a matter of months and the facility’s role is expanding to include training for mechanical and engineering personnel.


METRA: Elgin Safety and Interactive Management (SIM) Team (Elgin, Ill.)


The Elgin SIM team has been credited with many accomplishments over the years, making METRA a safer system for employees and passengers. The team has adopted a proactive approach in promoting safety by eliminating or reducing exposure thereby reducing the risk of injury or incident. The secret of the team’s success is their professionalism and ability to build good working relationships with employees of other crafts and departments who are needed to correct or repair potential safety hazards. For example, the team identified the need for a safer walking surface other than ballast in the Elgin Yard, particularly during the winter months. The ballast surface provided a hazard for carmen performing inspections.  After working with the engineering department, the team decided that using a metal grate style walkway system affixed to the ties provided the best option.  As a result, 2,000 feet of metal walkway was installed before winter. Not only has the new system reduced exposure to injuries, it has proven to have an added benefit of allowing the snow to fall through the grates, eliminating the need for crews to clear the snow for comfortable walking. The walkway also can be easily removed and replaced if track work is being done in a way which is less costly than replacing a traditional asphalt walkway. Because of the safety benefits of this new walkway, METRA is planning on expanding its use as future walkways need replacement.


Norfolk Southern Railway: Detroit Terminal Safety and Service Committee (Mich.)


The Safety and Service Committee has focused on recognizing safety behaviors and coaching employees for peak safety performance. The team enthusiastically boasts that they are “changing the world” through developing a safety culture and implementing peer-to-peer interaction. They believe that each person can make a positive impact on safety. The committee has put safety in action by establishing best practices. For example, the committee identified a potential exposure when rail wheels were damaged by handbrakes left applied.  The committee conducted an audit to educate employees on the consequences of the improper use of handbrakes.  The committee also brought customers into the safety process by providing safety “check-ups” with customers to educate and benchmark safety best practices. Believing that safety is every employee’s responsibility, the committee consistently looks for new opportunities to improve the safety of their employees, customers and communities they serve.


Union Pacific Railroad: Houston Service Unit Derailment Prevention Team (Texas)


The Derailment Prevention Team demonstrated their commitment to safety through the implementation of UP Way problem solving tools.  They used data from an eight step problem solving process to identify the top three causes of human factor derailments: shoving, behaviors around a switch, and employees with less than five years of service. These findings resulted in the successful implementation of several new safety tools at the Houston Service Unit: a new job briefing book written from the employee’s perspective, visual management job aids, and a two-day derailment prevention class for employees with less than five years of service. The result has been a reduction of human factors from an average of 5.5 per month to an average of 2.0 per month. Implementation of these prevention countermeasures has yielded sustainable results and enhanced employee engagement in safety improvement. These new tools are being deployed throughout the Southern Region.

Washington Updates

AAR Responds to DOT Emergency Order Requiring State Notification of Large Bakken Crude Oil Shipments by Rail


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7, 2014 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) issued the following statement in response to an Emergency Order issued today by the U.S. Department of Transportation requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about these shipments. 


“Freight railroads have for years worked with emergency responders and personnel to educate and inform them about the hazardous materials moving through their communities. These open and transparent communications will continue as railroads do all they can to comply with the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Order.”

AAR Statement on the Passing of Congressman Jim Oberstar
Washington, D.C., May 4, 2014 -- The Association of American Railroads issued the following statement by President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger in response to the passing of U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chairman Jim Oberstar, who has been a true leader on transportation issues on Capitol Hill. Mr. Oberstar was a thoughtful and knowledgeable lawmaker with almost unparalleled influence in the transportation world, with an appreciation for planning for the long term. He was the leading infrastructure expert of our time who focused on the most effective ways to move people and goods, including the adoption of intermodalism. Congressman Oberstar will be remembered as a dedicated and loyal servant to the American people."

Department of Transportation Surface Bill Released

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2014 - The Department of Transportation has transmitted its surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, to Congress.

Download the bill text: http://goo.gl/vZ3PDk

Download the section-by-section summary: http://goo.gl/OSU6vS
DOT Requests Data on Bakken Crude Oil from 37 Companies Operating in Region
[Download the Letter from the DOT] (May PDF3)
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2014 — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx reached out to 37 companies with oil operations in the Bakken region of North Dakota to request information on the characteristics of crude oil produced in that region, according to letters (see attached sample) provided by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
In letters dated April 24, Foxx asked the companies to provide the DOT with data regarding the variability and flammability of Bakken crude oil “as soon as possible.”
On April 28, PHMSA provided Bloomberg BNA with copies of the 37 letters sent by the secretary, including letters to Marathon Oil Co., Whiting Oil & Gas Corp., Emerald Oil Inc. and Kodiak Oil and Gas Inc.
In the letters, which contain identical requests for information, Foxx noted that the department lacks “comprehensive data” on the characteristics of Bakken crude oil. The letter specifically asks the companies for any available data or test results on the flash point, initial boiling point, gas content and corrosivity of Bakken crude, as well as any information on whether those characteristics vary based on temperature, seasonal changes or mode of transportation.
In January, the DOT issued a safety advisory notice warning that crude oil from the Bakken region may be more flammable than other forms of crude oil.
The department's investigation into the characteristics of Bakken crude oil is part of a larger effort to address the safety of transporting crude oil and ethanol by rail in response to increased energy development in North America and a series of recent high-profile derailments in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and Casselton, N.D.
Foxx first requested data on the characteristics of Bakken crude from the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association that represents U.S. oil and natural gas companies, in January.
Foxx, testifying April 9 before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, said that the department had not yet received “robust” data from the industry, which he said is slowing down the federal government's effort to improve rail safety.
Officials with the API have repeatedly said the association does not typically collect proprietary data from its members, but has encouraged its member companies to share any available data with the DOT.
The North Dakota Petroleum Council, an association representing oil and gas companies that operate in that state, has hired an independent commercial laboratory to conduct a study on the range and variability of Bakken crude oil characteristics.
Tessa Sandstrom, communications manager with the North Dakota Petroleum Council, told Bloomberg BNA April 28 the results of that study, which will test samples from about 18 different locations across the Bakken region, will be shared with both the DOT and the API. She said a preliminary report on the study will be presented May 20 during the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, which will be held in Bismarck, N.D.
Report from the NTSB's Rail Safety Forum on the Transportation of Crude Oil and Ethanol

[Download report from the Rail Safety Forum on the Transportation of Crude Oil and Ethanol] (MAYPDF2)

[View the NSTB hearing agenda & presentations]
On April 23 & 24, 2014, AAR, railroads, suppliers, and other trade associations participated in a two day forum hosted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Included is a report from that meeting.
AAR Responds to Transport Canada Recommendations for Transporting Hazardous Materials by Rail


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2014 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) responded to steps announced today by Transport Canada aimed at improving the safe movement of hazardous materials by rail, including crude oil and ethanol. 


“We are pleased that Transport Canada has recognized the safety benefits of the voluntary action items already implemented by railroads in the U.S.,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Railroads also have been in the vanguard of those calling for the aggressive retrofit or phase out of older tank cars currently in service moving flammable liquids, including crude and ethanol.  Transport Canada has indeed recommended an aggressive timeline and we are confident that the industry will do all it can to meet it.”


To learn more about voluntary steps freight railroads agreed to with DOT earlier this year, visit www.aar.org.

Freight Railroads Assert FCC-Required Antenna Review Lengthening Delays in Installing Positive Train Control (PTC)
$4 Billion Spent to Date to Implement High-Tech Braking System
[Click Here to download the PTC Report]
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2014 – In a new report updating the industry’s progress on installing Positive Train Control (PTC), the nation’s freight railroads said that a year-long moratorium on installing 20,000 communication antennas imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), followed by a lengthy federal approval process mandated by the agency, has seriously delayed the implementation of nationwide interoperable PTC.  Whereas freight railroads once projected that by 2015 they would have PTC installed on 40 percent of the network mandated by FRA, they now believe thanks to the FCC issues only 20 percent of the PTC network will be up and running by the Congressionally imposed deadline.


“Everyone in the industry is greatly frustrated at the inability to move forward and do what we need to do to advance PTC installation,” said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “It’s been two steps forward, three steps back for months and we simply don’t have the certainty we need to move ahead and get PTC tested, fully functioning, certified and ready to go.”


Causing the timing for installation to be delayed significantly, Hamberger said, was an FCC directive to suspend installation of approximately 20,000 communications antennas necessary to for PTC to work until the antennas are assessed through the FCC’s environmental and historical evaluation process. The problem, Hamberger noted, is that how the thousands of antennas are to be reviewed has yet to be determined.  The majority of the antennas at issue are between 10- to 60-feet tall, and roughly 97 percent are located on railroad property, he added.


The freight rail industry is expected to install PTC on approximately 60,000 miles of mainline track and has spent approximately $4 billion to date implementing the automatic braking system Congress called for as part of the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act.


AAR’s report to FRA summarizing the freight railroad industry’s progress, available here, includes an in-depth look at issues, such as delays in availability of critical back-office-server software, complexities of mapping an ever-changing nationwide rail network, and taking a phased approach to testing and implementing PTC on each railroad’s PTC network.


Hamberger noted that despite the challenges, railroads so far have been able to make progress in some areas of PTC implementation, including:

  • Installing or partially installing PTC equipment on 50 percent of the locomotives on which it will be required;

  •  Deploying one third of the wayside units that will be required;

  • Replacing half of the signals needed for implementation, and

  • Mapping most of the track that will be equipped with PTC.

AAR Statement on Recent Questions About Rail Service Issues


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2014 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today issued the following statement in response to recent questions about rail service issues, and in light of today’s related hearing at the Surface Transportation Board.


“There have been recent rail service challenges in parts of the country and railroads are working around the clock to mitigate them. Those challenges result from a confluence of events that were concentrated in particular regions. These events include a winter that was far worse than usual and forced railroads to dramatically shorten train lengths and crew exposure to the elements; a record grain harvest and unexpected surge in grain exports; and higher coal volumes as utilities sought to replenish stockpiles they consumed when they generated additional electricity to keep all of America warm this winter.


“Despite regional service issues, railroads continue to move vast volumes of goods safely and efficiently. In March 2014, U.S. railroads originated nearly 39,000 more carloads and nearly 93,000 more containers and trailers than in March 2013. They transported higher average weekly intermodal volume than any in March in history and the fourth highest of any month in history. Average weekly U.S. rail carloads of coal in March were the highest in six months; carloads of chemicals (the category that includes ethanol) were the highest in 23 months; motor vehicles were the highest in 12 months; lumber was the highest in 67 months; and nonmetallic minerals were the highest in six months.


“It remains the railroads’ goal to provide service at the high levels their customers expect.”

Surface Transportation Board Seeks Comment In Advance of Public Hearing on Rail Revenue Adequacy

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 2, 2014 - The Surface Transportation Board announced today that it is seeking written comments from the public in advance of a future public hearing to explore both the Board’s methodology for determining railroad revenue adequacy and the revenue adequacy component used by the Board in judging the reasonableness of rail freight rates.

The Board is statutorily required to annually determine which railroads are revenue adequate. Since standards were established in 1981, the Board has made adjustments to its methodology to improve the agency’s ability to accurately determine revenue adequacy. However, during the past decade, both the structure of the rail industry and the flow of commerce have continued to change substantially. The Board believes a new examination of revenue adequacy is in order, and today has begun a proceeding to begin that process.

The Board's Notice seeking comment, announcing a subsequent hearing, and providing details and due dates for the submission of filings in Railroad Revenue Adequacy, Docket No. EP 722, and in Petition of the Western Coal Traffic League to Institute a Rulemaking Proceeding to Abolish the Use of the Multi-Stage Discounted Cash Flow Model in Determining the Railroad Industry’s Cost of Equity Capital, Docket No. EP 664 (Sub-No. 2), may be viewed and downloaded at the Board's website, www.stb.dot.gov, under "E-LIBRARY / Decisions & Notices / 04/ 02 / 14".

[View the STB news release]

Damage Prevention & Freight Claims Update
2013 Freight Loss & Damage Report Released
The amount paid for loss and damage by U.S. and Canadian railroads decreased from $100.3 million in 2012 to $99.4 million in 2013.  Loss and damage as a percent of revenue remained at 0.13%, tying the all-time low mark set in 2010 and 2012.  Also of note is the percent of claims settled by carriers within 30 days during 2013 – 83%, the greatest percent over the past nine years.
[Download the 2013 Freight Loss & Damage Report] (MayPDF1)

Environment, Hazardous Materials & Tank Car Concentration Area Update

Online Registration open for the BOE Seminar

The Bureau of Explosives will be hosting the 27th Annual AAR/BOE Hazmat Seminar on May 20-22, 2014 in Addison, TX at the InterContinental Dallas.

Attendee, exhibitor and sponsor registration is now open on the event website – http://www.boe.aar.com/boe-hazmat_seminar.htm

For more information, contact BOE Manager Sam Chapman at sam_chapman@aar.com or 719-584-0749.

Safety Concentration Area Report
RSAC Activity Update

Subsequent to the Lac Mégantic derailment RSAC formed three Working Groups to address the following:

Hazardous Materials

Discussions included items such as product classification, handling of residue shipments and securement of cars on private trackage. Labor advocated extensive training language for employees handling or in proximity to haz mat shipments; carriers felt such matters are already sufficiently addressed in existing regulations. RSAC recently voted to recommend proposed regulatory text to FRA

Equipment Securement

The RSAC reached consensus and the industry subsequently filed a Petition for Special Approval asking FRA:

1) To clarify that trains with Appendix A materials be allowed to be unattended on main tracks and sidings adjacent to yards,
2) Crews leaving such equipment need not notify the dispatcher but rather verify with another person the equipment is properly secured.
Crew Size

FRA believed a rule is warranted with the premise that a two-person crew is the norm but that limited allowances be made for specific exceptions in the rule along with a process to consider future exceptions.  FRA presented no data to support this and AAR’s analysis of ten years of data showed no main line accidents that would have been prevented by a second crew member. Consensus was not reached at the final Working Group meeting on March 31. On April 9 FRA issued a press release stating, “In light of the working group's failure to reach consensus on crew size, the FRA took action today to move forward with a rulemaking.”

New Task; “Inward- and Outward-Facing Recording Devices”

In response to NTSB recommendations FRA offered and RSAC accepted a new task whose purpose is to develop:

“. . . regulatory recommendations addressing the installation and use of recording devices in controlling locomotive cabs. The recommendations should address installation requirements and timelines, technical controls, recording retention periods, retrieval of recordings, controlled custody of recordings, crashworthiness standards, use of recordings for accident investigation and railroad safety study purposes, and use of recordings in conducting operational tests.”

FRA expects to initiate a new Working Group in June.

The following list of pending rules and projected action dates was presented at the March 6 RSAC meeting and is the latest information as of this writing.

  • Risk Reduction Programs, NPRM expected by May / June 2014

  • Training Standards, Final Rule expected May / June 2014

  • Critical Incident Stress Plan, Final Rule published March 25

  • §219 Testing for MW Employees, NPRM expected by May 2014

  • Emergency Escape Breathing Devices, Final Rule expected late 2014

  • Passenger System Safety Rules, Final Rule expected May / June 2014

  • Rules for Non-Signaled Territory, Set aside until Risk Reduction Programs completed

  • Revisions to §240, NPRM expected May / June 2014

  • Revisions to Roadway Worker Rules, Final Rule expected May / June 2014

Technical Services Concentration Area Update

Updates from Committees

You can view the latest reports from key AAR committees submitted by your associate member representatives by visiting to the members’ area, Click here to access Committee Reports and Descriptions.

Associate Member Representatives submitted reports for the following committees during in the month of April:

  • Arbitration & Rules Committee

  • Brake Systems Committee

  • Car Repair billing committee

  • Intermodal Car Performance Committee

  • Locomotive Committee

  • Mechanical & Vehicle Track Systems Committee

  • Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee

  • Wheels, Axles, Brakes, & Lubrication (WABL) Committee

New AAR Circular Letters

Below is a list of all new AAR Circular Letters issued since the last newsletter. You will need to have a current subscription to the circular letter service and login via the AAR Circular Letters Website to view the letters below. Please contact Kathy Trujillo at TTCI if you have any questions about subscriptions.








Tank Car Marking Requirements for Transport Canada Protective Direction #34




AAR Basic M-1003 Auditor Training Seminar



EW - 5290

EW-5290 – Inspection and Removal of Suspect Wheels




Transport Canada Protective Direction No. 34



MA - 148

Tank Cars Overdue for Compliance T93.18



MA - 147

Pressureaide® Covered Hoppers - Horizontal End Platform Handhold Clearance Issues.




AAR Advanced M-1003 Lead Auditor Training Seminar




Implementation of Revision to Specification M-998, Intermodal Container Support and Interbox Connector (IBC) Securement Systems for Freight Cars.




Solicitation of Comments on Proposed Revision to MSRP Section C Part III, M-1002, Specifications for Tank Cars, Appendix R




Implementation of Changes to M-950-09, M-950-A-09 and M-950-A, Regarding Deck Height Clearances on Bi-Levels and Tri-Levels.




AAR QA - Root Cause and Corrective Action Training Seminar – May 13-14 in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX.




Training Seminar on M-1002 and M-1003 Requirements for F, G & L Facilities




Quality Assurance Nonconformance Reporting in MSRP Section J




IMPLEMENTED. AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices (MSRP), Section K-V System Management Standards, ITC System Management (ITCSM) Common Systems Management Requirements, Standard S-9451.V1.1




IMPLEMENTED. AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices (MSRP), Section K-IV Railroad Electronics Messaging Standards, Interoperable Train Control (ITC) Wayside-Locomotive Interface Control Document (ICD), Standard S-9362.V1.1




Implementation of Revision to MSRP Section C Part III, M-1002, Specifications for Tank Cars, Appendix B (T91.2.1)




Announcement of the 27th Annual AAR/BOE Hazardous Materials Seminar




Subject: SOLICITATION FOR COMMENTS – Proposed changes to SECTION F, SENSORS; Specification S-920: AAR Component Identification (CID) Bar Code Standard; CEPM data requirements for Emergency and Service Portion of Brake Valves

Associate News

This section contains news and press releases from our Railroad Affiliate & Associate Member community. If your railroad or company has a press release that they would like to contribute to the next edition of the newsletter, please contact Kelly Donley and Bill Pzedpelski
Iowa Pacific Holdings: CBS News Video Pullman rail cars: A detour back through time
ANSALDO STS publishes its Sustainability report 2013
Bombardier Honours its Operators and Suppliers for Outstanding Performance

Bombardier Confirms Value of Contract with Transnet Freight Rail for Locomotives in South Africa

Encana Reaches Agreement to Sell Properties in East Texas
First Union Rail closes its acquisition of Long Haul Holding Corporation (MayPDF4)
Florida East Coast Railway Acquires 24 Locomotives from GE Transportation
GE Transportation Named Top 100 Logistics Technology Provider for Ninth Consecutive Year

GE Transportation Showcases Rail Software Technology at the Annual ASLRRA 2014 Meeting

Greenbrier Commends Canadian Government's Rail Safety Measures
Jim Cowan joins Greenbrier in newly created role as Senior Vice President, Operations
Hanson opens new office in Tallahassee, Fla.
HDR Launches Refreshed Brand Identity
HNTB: Best practices for major infrastructure programs
Midland Appoints Bill Galbreath as Product Manager for General Purpose Railcar Products
Midland Appoints Steve Herbst as Product Manager for Pressure Car Products and Remanufacturing
Parsons Brinckerhoff Selected to Update AASHTO’s Visualization in Transportation Guide

Rockwell Collins receives 2014 Career and Technology Education Award from the Maryland State Department of Education

Shell publishes 2013 Sustainability Report and payments to governments data

Shell lifts first crude oil from the Majnoon oilfield

Timken Acquires Schulz Group, Further Expanding Services Offering

Timken Awards Scholarships Valued at $790,000 to 38 Employees' Children

Wabtec Signs $16.6 Million Contracts to Provide PTC Equipment/Services for Alaska Railroad

Westport delivers first LNG tender to EMD
Parsons Announces Updated Corporate Social Responsibility Report
The Association of French Regions (ARF), SNCF and Alstom introduce Régiolis, the next-generation TER regional train which is gradually entering into service in the French Regions.

Monthly Traffic Report
AAR Reports Increased Traffic for April, Increased Traffic for the Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 8, 2014 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported increased U.S. rail traffic for April 2014, with both carload and intermodal volume increasing compared with April 2013. Intermodal traffic in April totaled 1,316,176 containers and trailers, up 9 percent (108,485 units) compared with April 2013, and the 53rd-consecutive year-over-year monthly increase for intermodal volume. The weekly average of 263,235 intermodal units on U.S. railroads in April 2014 was easily the highest for any April in history and was the second highest for any month in history.
Meanwhile, U.S. carload originations totaled 1,481,586 in April 2014, up 6.4 percent (88,801 carloads) over April 2013. Fourteen of the 20 commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw year-over-year carload increases in April. Commodities with the biggest carload increases included coal, up 34,502 carloads, or 6.4 percent; grain, up 22,683 carloads, or 27.6 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, 10,194 carloads, or 9.5 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 5,316 carloads, or 7.6 percent.
Commodity categories with carload declines last month included metallic ores, down 8,408 carloads, or 27 percent; and food products, down 972 carloads, or 3 percent.

Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 31,616 carloads, or 4.1 percent in April, the biggest such percentage increase in six months. 

 “April was a good month for rail traffic, as carload and intermodal volume rebounded from disappointing winter months,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.  “As is the case for a number of economic indicators that have shown recent improvement, the key question is how much of the rail traffic increase in April represents a catch-up from the winter and how much is a sign of stronger underlying growth. It’s probably some of both.”
AAR today also reported increased rail traffic for the week ending May 3, 2014. U.S. railroads originated 297,432 carloads last week, up 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 267,369 units, up 8.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was 564,801 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.6 percent compared with the same week last year.
Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, led by grain, with 21,018 carloads, up 24.8 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic were led by metallic ores and metals, with 24,912 carloads, down 4.4 percent.
For the first 18 weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,084,325 carloads, up 2.4 percent (120,557 carloads) from the same point last year, and 4,519,175 intermodal units, up 5.3 percent (226,557 carloads) from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 18 weeks of 2014 was 9,603,500 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.7 percent from last year.
Canadian railroads reported 85,096 carloads for the week, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 61,866 intermodal units, up 12.4 percent compared with 2013. For the first 18 weeks of 2014, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,346,028 carloads, down 5.1 percent from the same point last year, and 968,632 intermodal units, up 4.1 percent from last year.
Mexican railroads reported 15,339 carloads for the week, up 7.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,528 intermodal units, up 30 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 18 weeks of 2014 is 271,268 carloads, up 1.6 percent from the same point last year, and 171,444 intermodal units, up 1.6 percent.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 18 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 6,701,621 carloads, up 0.8 percent compared with the same point last year, and 5,659,251 trailers and containers, up 5 percent compared with last year.
For more information contact: Abigail Gardner, 202-464-6603, at AARMedia@skdknick.com, or Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2344.
Upcoming Events
For the latest updates on upcoming events, please visit the AAR Website.

  • May 20, 2014 (Dallas, TX) 27th Annual AAR/BOE Hazardous Materials Seminar

  • May 28, 2014 (San Francisco, CA) North American Association of Rail Shippers (NARS) 2014 Annual Meeting

  • May 28-30, 2014 (Teleconference) ConnectMEX U.S.-Mexico Transport and Telecom Conference

  • June 16-18, 2014 (Charleston, SC) 2014 Railroad Accounting Officers & Internal Audit Division Training Sessions

  • June 23-25 (Vienna, Austria) 4th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference

  • June 30, 2014 - July 2, 2014 (Orlando, FL) 2014 Damage Prevention & Freight Claims Conference

  • September 10-12, 2014 (Kansas City, MO) Railroad Insurance Management Association (RIMA)

Member Resources

  • 2014 AAR Member Directory (AAR.org login required)

  • AAR Committee Reports from Associate Member Representatives (AAR.org login required)

  • 2013 Edition of Railroad Facts & Other AAR Statistics (AAR.org login required)

  • AAR Circular Letters (subscription required)

  • AAR/TTCI Publications Website

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