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Location: Middleburg (Jacksonville), Florida, United States

Published in Trains magazine, Railfan & Railroad, Passenger Train Journal

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nottingham, Simpson take posts

WASHINGTON – Two federal rail-related agencies have installed new leaders.

Charles D. ("Chip") Nottingham was sworn in as the newest member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), and James S. Simpson is the new Federal Transit Administration administrator.

Nottingham's oath of office was administered on August 14 in the office of USDOT (DOT) Acting Secretary Maria Cino, herself new to her post following Norman Mineta’s retirement in July.

Nottingham joins current STB Members W. Douglas Buttrey and Francis P. Mulvey.

President Bush nominated him on June 5 and the Senate confirmed his nomination on August 4. His term of office will end December 31, 2010.

Nottingham formerly was the Associate Administrator for Policy and Governmental Affairs for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the USDOT.

Cino also swore in Simpson at the FTA. He served for 10 years on the board of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), among other posts.

President Bush nominated Cino to be the Acting Secretary of Transportation, in April 2005, and confirmed by the Senate a month later.

During his first term, Bush appointed Cino to be Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service at the Commerce Department, where she managed a worldwide organization responsible for connecting small- and medium-sized businesses with export opportunities and protecting all United States businesses overseas.


More coal moves at BNSF

FORT WORTH BNSF Railway Co. is realigning two divisions and creating another to keep up with coal demand and better serve coal customers — especially those in the Powder River Basin (PRB). Progressive Railroading reported on Friday effective September 1, the Powder River and Montana divisions will have new boundaries, and the Colorado Division will launch operations.

BNSF named Janssen Thompson general manager of the new Colorado Division, which will be headquartered in Denver. The carrier also appointed Sam Sexhus general manager of the Powder River Division to succeed Thompson and named Frank Anderson general director of unit trains to assume Sexhus’ Network Operations Center responsibilities.

BNSF Vice President of Transportation Dave Dealy said the average daily Powder River Basin coal train loadings are running more than 10 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Tie buys, production off in July

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – Crosstie purchases and production continued to drop in July following a June slowdown.

Purchases totaling 1.6 million units decreased about 26 percent and production totaling 1.6 million ties declined about 19 percent compared with June, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly market report.

Progressive Railroading reported on Friday that in June, tie purchases fell 21 percent and production tumbled 18 percent compared with May.

The RTA said “July’s numbers appear to lie below seasonal norms,” but the inventory-to-sales ratio edged up from 0.75 in June to 0.76 in July. During 2006’s first seven months, tie purchases totaled 13.2 million units, up 16 percent, and production totaled 13.3 million units, up 29 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

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