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Smaller Rail Cars seen in grain’s future

Heading into the future, elevators will be more efficient and trains will carry more grain, according to industry professionals at the Grain World conference in Winnipeg.

“I think there’s a real shift happening from low efficiency to the higher-efficiency facilities,” Karl Gerrand, CEO of G3, said Wednesday during the What will the Canadian grain industry look like in 10 years? panel.

Almost 3,000 elevators dotted the Prairies in the 1980s, compared to just under 350 today, as elevators become larger and more efficient.

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Positive Trends Reported

rail car stackApproximately one week before the Oct. 11 Surface Transportation Board hearing (curiously called a “public listening session” by the STB) on CSX service issues, the railroad is pointing to extended “positive trends” as President and CEO Hunter Harrison’s Precision Scheduled Railroading is implemented.

CSX on Oct. 5 reported “another week of improving performance as it adopts the tenets of Precision Scheduled Railroading.” “CSX’s performance shows improved transit time, train speed, car-handling efficiency and terminal fluidity as we continue implementing the principles of scheduled railroading and the previous transitional issues are resolved,” Harrison said.

“Since mid-July, system-wide train velocity on CSX’s 21,000-mile network has increased by approximately 16%t, and is now higher than the 2016 full-year average,” Harrison noted. “Transit times for scheduled merchandise trains have returned to a normal range, and are lower than transit levels at the outset of CSX’s Precision Scheduled Railroad implementation in first-quarter 2017. Average terminal dwell (the number of hours cars spend in terminals between their origins and destinations) has steadily improved over the past two months and is currently 11.2 hours, declining more than 15% since the summer. Dwell is now lower than 2016 full-year average. CSX’s hump terminals continue to operate fluidly, within planned parameters and with capacity available to handle additional freight requirements.”

“We continue to drive forward in our effort to become the best railroad in North America, and the benefits of Precision Scheduled Railroading are becoming more apparent to our customers and our partners every day,” Harrison concluded.

STB on Oct. 6 published the list of those who will testify at the Oct. 11 hearing. They include:

• The Chemours Company / Kevin Acker, Strategic Relationship and Category Manager for Rail and F. Eddie Johnston, Federal Government Affairs Manager.

• Collum’s Lumber Products, LLC / William Scott, Vice President.

• Cristal / Lisa A. Powers, N.A. Distribution Manager.

• Dow Chemical Company / Jacqueline Faseler, Global Director Supply Chain Sustainability and Compliance.

• Kellogg Company / Sharron Moss-Higham, Senior Vice President of Operations and Distribution-Snacks.

• Murray Energy Corporation, et al. / Robert Edward Murray, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales.

• Occidental Chemical Corporation / Robin Burns, Vice President-Supply Chain.

• Packaging Corporation of America / Bruce Ridley, Vice President, EH&S and Operational Services.

• Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers / Jennifer Thomas, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs.

• American Chemistry Council / Cal Dooley, President and CEO.

• American Forest & Paper Association / Julie Landry, Director of Government Affairs.

• Corn Refiners Association / John Bode, President and CEO.

• The Fertilizer Institute / Justin Louchheim, Director, Government Affairs.

National Grain and Feed Association / Randall C. Gordon, President

• The National Industrial Transportation League / Mary Pileggi, Chairman, Board of Directors for NITL and Sourcing & Logistics Manager, Fluoroproducts for The Chemours Company.

• National Milk Producers Federation / Clay Detlefsen.

• Private Railcar Food and Beverage Association / Barbara A. Cataneo, Secretary of the Board of Directors.

• Rail Customer Coalition / Herman J. Haksteen, Member through the Private Railcar Food and Beverage Association.

• American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association / Linda Bauer Darr, President.

• National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) / Scot L. Naparstek, Chief Operating Officer.

• SMART Transportation Division / John Risch, National Legislative Director.

• Virginians for High Speed Rail / Danny Plaugher, Executive Director.

• CSX Transportation, Inc. / To be determined.

Railcar backlog increases 10%

SERC welder in actionThe Railway Supply Institute ARCI (American Railway Car Institute) Committee on July 25 published its railcar industry order, delivery and backlog statistics for second-quarter 2017. Orders in the quarter improved sequentially to 17,665 cars from 4,814 cars in the first quarter. Deliveries of 10,625 railcars increased 5.8% from 10,042 railcars. The backlog now stands at 66,561 railcars, up 10.1% from the prior quarter’s level of 60,471 cars, and the first sequential increase in the backlog since fourth-quarter 2014—11 quarters.

Read More... http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/mechanical/freight-cars/rsi-railcar-backlog-increases-10.html

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