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FW: Weekly Rail Recap for the Week Ending Saturday, February 8, 2003

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  • Gino & Kelly DiCarlo
    ... From: Timothy Truscott Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 22:25:38 -0500 To: mohud Subject: Weekly Rail
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2003
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      FW: Weekly Rail Recap for the Week Ending Saturday, February 8, 2003
      ------ Forwarded Message
      From: "Timothy Truscott" <empirestate@...>
      Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 22:25:38 -0500
      To: "mohud" <mohud@...>
      Subject: Weekly Rail Recap for the Week Ending Saturday, February 8, 2003

      WEEKLY RAIL RECAP
      For the week ending SAT, February 8, 2003
      By Dave Mears

      (NOTE: The expression "ffd" at the end of a news item means "for further details" and usually represents what I believe to be the most helpful news resource if a reader wants more information on a particular item.)

      THE WEEK'S TOP NEWS (in chronological order):

      (SUN) A passenger train and a freight train collided head-on in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia.  The crash killed at least 46 persons and injured at least 64 others.  Officials were still investigating the cause at press time, but noted that the signals on the line had, for several months, been operating improperly. (ffd: wire services)

      (TUE) The Bush Administration called for a FY2004 budget of $900 million for Amtrak, approximately one-half of what Amtrak projects it will need in that fiscal year.  The Administration's statement continued previous calls for ending federal funding for long-distance train services, with these services either being discontinued or sustained with state support.  In response, an Amtrak spokesman said that "it remains our position that maintaining a national network of trains is a federal responsibility and we're committed to preserving that network." (ffd: NARP)

      (WED) The Connecticut Department of Transportation renewed its commitment to rehabilitating the 10 bar cars still in service on the Metro North Commuter Railroad.  In a statement related to CDOT's announcement, Commuter Council Vice Chairman Jim Cameron, who had campaigned to eliminate the bar cars and have them converted to high-capacity coaches, said "I'm astounded that anytime anyone talks about the bar cars, there is a tremendous human cry from the people who use them." (ffd: Stamford Advocate)

      (WED) Amtrak announced a 3 year agreement with hotels.com under which Amtrak reservation agents will transfer customers interested in lodging to hotels.com booking agents.  An Amtrak spokesman said that the new agreement will allow Amtrak customers who express interest in hotel accommodations in the more than 500 cities served by Amtrak to procure them with a single telephone call. (ffd: Amtrak)

      (THU) The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, through the U.S. Department of Transportation, issued temporary regulations requiring security checks of Canadian truck and rail operators carrying explosives into the U.S.  Under the temporary regulations, explosive carriers must register with the Canadian government's Transport Canada agency, which will then conduct background checks on the carriers, their customers, truck drivers and train crews.  The regulations are temporary pending settlement by the U.S. and Canada of comprehensive permanent regulations regarding background checks on individuals transporting hazardous materials across the border. (ffd: USDOT)

      (THU) Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern announced expansion of their joint expedited intermodal rail services.  Expanding upon earlier introduced southbound expedited services to Mexico, UP and NS said that they would now introduce similar services northbound, from Mexico and Laredo, TX. to selected eastern and southeastern U.S. cities. (ffd: UP Corp.)

      (THU) The U.S. Surface Transportation Board announced that it would hear public comments February 27 on its efforts to expedition resolution of rail rate challenges considered under stand-alone cost methodology.  An STB spokesman said that the hearing, to be held at STB offices in Washington, DC., would consider existing and new proposals to expedite resolution. (ffd: STB)

      (FRI) Kansas City Southern announced the opening of a new transloading terminal in Baton Rouge, LA. and the expansion of 2 existing transloading terminals, one at Spiro, OK. and the other at Jackson, MS.  A KCS spokesman said that the Baton Rouge terminal will primarily handle plastics and chemicals, that the Spiro terminal primarily handles phosphates and forest products and that the Jackson terminal, which is situated on 55 acres, handles all food grade commodities, fertilizers, dry bulk and liquid commodities, lumber and steel. (ffd: Railway Age)

      STATS:

      (THU) For the week ending February 1, U.S. carload rail traffic was down 0.6 percent from the comparable week last year, down 1.1 percent in the East and down 0.1 percent in the West.  Also for the week, U.S. intermodal rail traffic was up 13.5 percent, Canadian carload rail traffic was up 3.5 percent and Canadian intermodal rail traffic was up 20.6 percent, all when ranked with the comparable week last year.

      For the month of January, 2003, U.S. carload rail was down 0.1 percent when compared with January, 2002.  This January versus last January, notable traffic increases included metallic ores up 38.5 percent, coke up 19.7 percent, metals and metal products up 14.3 percent and chemicals up 5.8 percent; notable traffic decreases included coal down 6.5 percent and grain down 4.5 percent.  Also for the month of January, 2003, U.S. intermodal rail traffic was up 11.2 percent, Canadian carload rail traffic was down 1.0 percent, Canadian intermodal rail traffic was up 17.6 percent, Mexico's Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana's rail traffic was up 21.1 percent and TFM's intermodal rail traffic was up 47.2 percent, all when ranked with January, 2002. (ffd: AAR)

      ACQUISITIONS, ABANDONMENTS AND ALIKE:

      (FRI) Canadian National-Illinois Central filed to abandon approximately 3 miles of line in Hattiesburg, MS. (ffd: STB)

      CHANGING PEOPLE AND PLACES:

      (WED) U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta appointed Martin Whitmer Deputy Chief of Staff of USDOT.  Mr. Whitmer replaces Vincent Taylor, who last month because the Assistant Secretary for Administration at USDOT. (ffd: USDOT)

      (FRI) Montana Rail Link appointed Thomas J. Walsh President and CEO.  Mr. Walsh, who had been MRL's EVP, succeeds K. Watts, who has announced plans to retire at the end of 2003. (ffd: ASLRRA)

      (FRI) London, England's London Underground subway system appointed Tim O'Toole Managing Director.  Mr. O'Toole, an attorney, was president of Conrail from the time of its takeover by CSX and Norfolk Southern in August, 1998 until its dissolution in May, 1999 and continued on as president of the Conrail remnant terminal company, Shared Assets, from June, 1999 until his resignation in early 2001. (ffd: BBC News)

      * * *

      Weekly Rail Recap is edited from public news sources and published weekly, usually on Sunday or Monday, to the rail and transit industries and those interested in them.  


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