Freight – Railway Age

NS Announces Finance Division Changes

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) announced organizational changes within its Finance Division, effective June 1, 2020. Jason Zampi will become Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, a new department. Clyde “Jake” Allison, Jr. will become Vice President and Controller, with responsibility for all accounting functions. Chris Neikirk will become Vice President of Treasury and Investor Relations. The three will report to NS Chief Financial Officer Mark George.

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Tough Love, Because Competition Beckons

On May 12, IANA (Intermodal Association of North America) offered an interesting look at the North American rail intermodal sector. The webinar featured technical slides shared by Bloomberg Senior Analyst Transportation & Logistics Lee Klaskow and TTX Vice President Fleet Management Company Pat Casey. TTX market development experts John Woodcock and Peter Wolff also participated.

NS “Keeping the Steel Wheels Moving”

At Norfolk Southern’s May 14 Annual Shareholder Meeting, held virtual-only for the first time, CEO Jim Squires expressed optimism on the railroad’s future as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, and resultant plummeting traffic. NS is “well-positioned to safely and successfully weather the unprecedented situation, despite economic challenges,” he said.

FreightWaves SONAR: Port Volume Weakness Through at Least June in L.A., Savannah

Directors of the ports at Los Angeles and Savannah agree that the second quarter will be tough on port volumes as both facilities cope with blanked (cancelled) sailings. The lower port volumes, coupled with a loose truck market, could be a double whammy for U.S. Class I railroads.

Walsh to Serve as SLSI Director of HazMat Programs

The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) has hired John Walsh as Director of Hazardous Materials Programs. Walsh’s 30-year career includes experience in public safety, security, emergency management, homeland security and compliance, including 15 years in the freight rail industry.

Brake Defects Plague Canada’s Aging Grain Cars

Hard-to-detect braking system defects have rendered Canada’s aging fleet of grain hoppers a safety hazard, says a former director of derailment investigations for the country’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. NTSB. Ian Naish, who retired from the TSB in 2009, in a CBC interview posted May 15, declared, “The grain car fleet overall is quite defective.”

FRA: PTC at 98%

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) first-quarter 2020 update on railroads’ self-reported progress on fully implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) by the Dec. 31, 2020 deadline shows that, as of March 31, 2020, the job is 98% complete. Nearly all railroads subject to the statutory mandate are operating their systems in revenue service or in advanced field testing, known as revenue service demonstration (RSD), with PTC technology remaining to be activated on only approximately 1,100 required route-miles.

10 OmniTRAX Railroads Receive Jake Awards

Ten of the railroads operated by OmniTRAX, an affiliate of The Broe Group, earned safety commendations from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) for 2019. The ASLRRA Jake Awards honor railroads that reach the goal of achieving a 0.00 Frequency/Severity Index, a measure of rail safety, for the entire year.

Murray Becomes First Female RAC Board Chair

The Board of Directors of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has elected Fiona Murray, VP of Public and Government Affairs at CN, as Chairperson. She is the first female Board Chair in the RAC’s 103-year history.

Siemens, Ondas Team Up for Wireless Communications Systems

Siemens Mobility has entered into an exclusive partnership with Ondas Networks, a developer of private-licensed wireless data networks for mission-critical industrial markets, to bring a Siemens-branded portfolio of its wireless radio communication systems to the North American Rail Market.


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