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Old January 28th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #81
Tom 958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
I experience the jam first hand. The at-grade crossings need to be removed. And I noticed how just in NW Indiana so many rail lines have been torn up over the past fifty years. That has to stop. Rebuild the rail lines!!

Ultimately, laying more track and separating passenger from freight traffic on rail lines is what will have to happen. It is an expensive solution, but it has to happen and the gains made in decreased transportation costs and shipping time will make up for the expense.
Is there a master plan?
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:23 AM   #82
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The line shown here, located in Hershey NE, west of UP's Bailey Yard, frequently gets about 100 trains a day on 6 tracks. It is part of the Nebraska Cornhusker line, part of the triple track Kearney Subdivision.

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Old March 4th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #83
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Taconite pellets (concentrated iron ore)

This is the densest commodity regularly hauled by rail in North America. Each of those freight cars weighs the same as any other freight car when fully loaded, only that they are each between 7.5 and 8 meters long.

These trains are running around here in NE Wisconsin while several Great lakes ports are frozen up for the winter.



Yes, those loaded 200 car trains weigh about 25000t.

Also, a train of empties at Main St in Neenah, WI (immediately south of my home town of Appleton):



Enjoy!



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Old April 24th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #84
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:14 PM   #85
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ANALYSIS-Railroads look to the highways to boost shipments

NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) - A recovering U.S. economy and rising fuel prices are giving the nation's railroads a chance to muscle in on what long has been trucker's turf -- the shipment of consumer products.

Big companies including Union Pacific Corp and CSX Corp are stepping up their investment in intermodal shipping -- handling the 53-foot (16 metre) boxes that are moved expeditiously from ship to truck to train around the world, carrying goods from appliances to toys.

Taking advantage of rising fuel prices -- U.S. diesel costs have surged some 32 percent over the last year -- railroad executives are looking to snag more business from their trucking rivals.

That marks an expansion from railroads' traditional strong suit, hauling bulk commodities such as coal and grain.

Their moves have caught Wall Street's attention, with investors seeing a chance to cash in not only on the railroads themselves but on the makers of shipping containers.

"We're believers in the intermodal story," said Benjamin Hartford, senior research associate at Robert W. Baird. "It's cheaper than truck and more fuel efficient, and it behooves retailers and other shippers to use domestic intermodal."

While most trains and trucks run on the same fuel-- diesel -- trains are far more efficient, using a quarter the amount of fuel a truck does to haul a comparable amount of cargo.

The top reason cited is that steel wheels on steel tracks create less resistance than rubber tires on concrete roads. Also, freight locomotives run on diesel-electric power, relative to hybrid autos.

"Rising costs on the truckload side because of increasing capacity scarcity, higher fuel prices, highway congestion, the increased (trucking) regulatory environment all help promote conversion from truck to rail," Hartford said.

He expects about 10 pct growth in total domestic intermodal cargo shipments this year.

Intermodal revenue at the five top U.S. railroads -- BNSF Railway Co, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc ; Union Pacific, CSX, Norfolk Southern Corp and Kansas City Southern -- rose to $11.3 billion in 2010 from $6.9 billion in 2000, the Association of American Railroads said.

Union Pacific believes that intermodal shipping offers its greatest growth potential, said Chief Financial Officer Rob Knight.

"Over the mid-term and long-term, in our book of business, intermodal will, without question, be the highest volume growth and ... the highest margin improvement," he said Thursday at a Wolfe Trahan conference that was Webcast.

The largest publicly held U.S. railroad spent over $28 billion on infrastructure last decade and plans a record $3.3 billion this year, including significant investment in its intermodal network such as adding track lines and buying containers.

"We see a possible 11 million truckloads of opportunity, meaning 11 million truckloads we could potentially convert from highway to Union Pacific," spokesman Thomas Lange said.

The railroad recently bought 5,000 shipping containers, boosting its fleet 9 percent,

A pickup in demand for containers would be good news for the world's top container makers -- China International Marine Containers (Group) Co Ltd and Singamas Container Holdings , analysts said.

TEST, OPPORTUNITY FOR TRUCKERS

While railroad executives speak of moving shipments off the nation's highways and onto their rails, they are not cutting truckers out of the picture entirely.

Intermodal transport works best for freight that's moving at least 500 miles (800 km) and is not particularly time-sensitive, such as televisions and refrigerators, rather than trendy fashions or fresh produce.

While a railroad could make a good case for hauling Chinese-made sofas from California to a distribution center in New Jersey, it would not be able to make the next stage of the shipment -- to individual stores.

That is where truckers come back in.

"Rail intermodal is a win-win. Trucking companies are putting a big chunk of freight on the railroads," said Bob Costello, chief economist at American Trucking Associations.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services and Hub Group Inc are among those who stand to gain.

BULLISH VIEW

After touring CSX's new Northwest Ohio intermodal hub this month, several Wall Street firms turned more bullish. The hub "lived up to its billing and helped highlight intermodal's strong long-term growth potential," wrote Deutsche Bank analysts, led by Justin Yagerman.

Barclays sees CSX gaining more truck traffic in longer-haul eastern freight lanes, estimating a 1 percent shift there from truck to intermodal would boost intermodal tonnage 13 percent.

Those views are reflected in railroad shares, which have outperformed the transportation sector. Over the past year, Union Pacific is up almost 50 percent and CSX has risen 52 percent, outpacing the 28 percent rise of the Dow Jones transportation average <.DJT>.

Analysts said railroads could hold the gains they have made over truckers even if the diesel prices come back down.

"Given a lot of capacity fears in the trucking side that aren't fuel related, a lot of this freight will prove sticky for the railroads," said Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl. "If fuel goes down 10 percent from here, all this freight isn't going to rush back to the highway."
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:42 PM   #86
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I'd LOVE to see some of these more aggressive competitors be able to come up here into central and northeastern Wisconsin, the local Class I railroad here is uninterested in serving this area and won't let anyone else onto their track.



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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:22 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post

I'd LOVE to see some of these more aggressive competitors be able to come up here into central and northeastern Wisconsin, the local Class I railroad here is uninterested in serving this area and won't let anyone else onto their track.



Mike
Or , when is CSX going to upgrade its tracks....there in bad shape they seem to have minds on something else. Why not give your trackage to the states....NJ would love to take all the CSX lines , seeing how we want to turn them into Regional Rail and LRT....so does NY and MASS....
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:02 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post

I'd LOVE to see some of these more aggressive competitors be able to come up here into central and northeastern Wisconsin, the local Class I railroad here is uninterested in serving this area and won't let anyone else onto their track.



Mike
Excuse my ignorance but I thought that trackage rights in the USA are something agreed by the regulatory authorities, not the railroad companies themselves.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:58 PM   #89
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I thought the rail operators own the tracks. Regulators are there for safety enforcement and rule-setting.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 05:18 PM   #90
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I thought the rail operators own the tracks. Regulators are there for safety enforcement and rule-setting.
True in North America.

BTW, for 'trackage rights', that's usually negotiated by two companies and the track's owner will likely NEVER agree to it if another operator would want to come in to serve one or more of their own on-line customers. It is usually used by a railroad company to get between one part of its own system and another and the agreement almost always includes strict 'no compete' clauses.

It's a complicated mess and a real drag on the economies of many local areas.

We don't operate on a European-style 'open access' system here. <sigh...>



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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #91
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A small question - what is height of fully loaded double-stacked container car?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #92
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A small question - what is height of fully loaded double-stacked container car?
I'm not exactly sure, but I do know that new bridge structures in the USA MUST be a minimum of 7 meters above the railhead of most railroads. Auto racks and loaded double-stacks just clear them.

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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #93
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So it seems to impossible to doublestack in Russia and CIS - default height of overhead wire is "not lower than a 5,75 m above railhead"...
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Old June 5th, 2011, 09:07 PM   #94
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Crescent corridor map

Does anyone know the status of this freight rail improvement project?

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Old June 5th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #95
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Does anyone know the status of this freight rail improvement project?

I think its dead...or on hold....
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Old June 5th, 2011, 09:37 PM   #96
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Crescent corridor map

DOUBLE POST
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Old June 13th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #97
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I thought different parts were under construction? At least from what simple internet research turns up.
http://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=31361

Sounds less sexy than a whole new railroad but it makes me feel good there is investment like this in the US rail infrastructure.I found a great site for North American railroads, its a massive forum filled with rail workers and transport geeks alike http://www.railroad.net/forums/index.php

Isn't KCS also doing something like this, or am I wrong? In south Texas, they just rebuilt an abandoned line(former SP, they tore it up in 1993 but left the right of way) from the towns of Rosenburg to Victoria, with a yard and a intermodal terminal in Kendleton, TX. I think the idea is for KCS to own more of its own track between its principal network in the southern US and the Mexican railroads it as a corporation owns.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:43 AM   #98
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A Port In The Desert

By Bill Hume / For the Journal on Mon, Jun 27, 2011



SUNLAND PARK – Santa Teresa “will become a key inland port in the United States” when Union Pacific Railroad’s massive $500 million refueling and intermodal yard is completed there in five years, according to Zoe Richmond, UP’s director of public affairs for Arizona and New Mexico. “Think of it as a chicken coop for trains,” Richmond said.

It will be a major refueling, crew change, switch yard and intermodal ramp for UP’s busy Sunset Corridor, from Los Angeles-Long Beach through to Chicago and across the nation.

Union Pacific in New Mexico
• 618 miles of track
• 327 employees
• Annual payroll: $22.4 million
• In-state spending: $4.1 million
• Capital spending: $14.8 million
- Source: Union Pacific

An intermodal ramp is characterized by the heavy gantry crane machinery necessary to move massive freight shipping containers from railroad cars to highway trailers and vice versa.

Speaking to more than 700 people attending the 17th annual NAFTA Institute, Supplier Meet the Buyer trade conference earlier this month, Richmond and other UP officials outlined details of the five-year project.

Construction alone will have a major impact on the economy of southern New Mexico. It will generate more than 3,000 jobs during the construction phase, and result in the payment of more than $23.5 million in state and local taxes, UP officials said. When in full operation, projected for 2015, it will have a permanent workforce of about 600. The project also is expected to trigger significant retail, service and entertainment enterprises in the Santa Teresa area in the near term, to serve this influx of workers. UP currently is moving about 40 trains a day on the Sunset Corridor, not yet back to the levels prior to the economic crash, “but getting close,” Richmond said. The goal is to support a capacity of 70 to 90 trains a day.

The railroad intends to use the Santa Teresa facility as a virtual extension of its Long Beach port facilities, with ocean freighters being unloaded in bulk onto trains bound for Santa Teresa. The cargoes will be broken down in Santa Teresa for shipping to diverse destinations around the country. The objective is to try to reduce the bottleneck and congestion at the California ports, Richmond said. The southern New Mexico operation will facilitate the movement of goods into the nation’s heartland – and, of course, to all points in New Mexico. In addition, it will give New Mexico manufacturers and agricultural producers an efficient and direct connection for shipment all over the country and the world.

The El Paso/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico/Las Cruces area already is the seventh biggest manufacturing center in the world – and the UP facility will materially improve its global connections to raw materials, components and consumers. “Make no mistake, we intend that Doña Ana County and the border area will lead jobs development in New Mexico,” said Economic Development Secretary-designate Jon Barela, at the NAFTA conference, predicting at least 800 new jobs in Doña Ana County within the next 12 months. “Infrastructure development along the border is a priority of mine, it’s a priority of the governor’s.”

Statistics on activity at the Santa Teresa border crossing demonstrate the growth potential. In 1997, fewer than 100,000 private vehicles crossed at Santa Teresa; in 2010, more than 500,000. Trucks totaled about 3,000 in 1993; in 2010, more than 80,000. “It is the fastest, most modern port crossing in the district,” said Jerry Pacheco, primary organizer of the NAFTA conference and a Journal trade columnist. “It still has to be fully developed and its potential fully realized.”

[...]


Santa Teresa is in the upper left corner of this map. San Jeronimo is just to the south, in Mexico.


The new Union Pacific inland port facility is shaded in yellow.


.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:53 AM   #99
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The key El Paso Union Pacific hub will be shifted to Santa Teresa NM. The U.P. intermodal facility in Joliet Il below indicates the type of layout U.P. will be constructing in Southern New Mexico.

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Old July 22nd, 2011, 05:29 PM   #100
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Does anyone know the status of this freight rail improvement project?

The best Wikipedia information suggests it's being worked on...slowly. Working around an active freight line takes quite a bit of time...and NS needs to undertake this project because CSX is likewise preparing its (closer to the sea) ROW for doublestacks (they're undercutting the line and reworking bridges in Philadelphia right now).

My guess is that the NS project will involve tunnel heightenings, too.
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