American Railroads

News each weekday of American railroads. Our focus is on freight rail, but Amtrak and commuter rail are also essential ingredients. Nothing published on holidays.

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Location: Middleburg (Jacksonville), Florida, United States

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

Thursday, October 12, 2006

NJT makes multilevel service plans

After months of extensive testing, New Jersey Transit will out its first multilevel train into service on December 11 for commuters on the Northeast Corridor between Trenton and New York.

“These cars provide much needed capacity to meet our growing demand while we build the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

The Port Authority and NJT spent $250 million for the first 100 multilevel rail cars,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia.

“That investment was the precursor to our landmark contribution to Trans-Hudson Express tunnel project, which we believe will serve as our generation’s George Washington Bridge – a transportation project that is a cornerstone of economic growth for the region.”

In December, NJT expects to have nine multilevel cars available for service. The delivery schedule calls for the manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation of Montreal, to produce seven cars each month from February 2007 until July, and then 10 cars per month until all 234 are on the property.

As they are delivered and tested, the new cars will replace single-level cars where they are needed most, on NJT’s busiest rail lines – the Northeast Corridor, the North Jersey Coast Line and Midtown Direct service.

APTA salutes Guardino

Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) President and CEO Carl Guardino was honored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) with APTA’s Outstanding Business Executive of the Year Award for his work on transit and transportation, including rail, in the Silicon Valley region.

“Carl Guardino is a leader in the business community who understands the importance of having a good public transportation system,” said APTA President William W. Millar.

“The residents of Silicon Valley should know that he has helped to improve their quality of life.

The award, Millar said, recognizes outstanding contributions of an executive who has taken a leadership role in improving his or her company and has made significant contributions to the community and public transportation.

Nearly one million people work in Silicon Valley, and more than 200 companies comprise SVLG membership

Rail freight totals rise again for week

Freight traffic on U.S. railroad rose during the week ended October 7 in comparison with the corresponding week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today.

Intermodal volume of 250,894 trailers or containers was up 2.5 percent from the comparable week last year. Container volume rose 7.0 percent for the week while trailer volume declined by 10.2 percent.

Carload freight totaled 336,836 cars, up 3.9 percent from last year, with loadings up 8.8 percent in the West but off 2.0 percent in the East.

Total volume was estimated at 34.5 billion ton-miles, up 5.2 percent from 2005.

Among individual carload commodities, metallic ores rose 22.2 percent from last year, while coke gained 13.0 percent and grain was up 11.3 percent. On the downside, lumber and wood products were down 23.1 percent, nonmetallic minerals dropped 14.5 percent and primary forest products were off 13.9 percent. In all 11 of 19 commodity groups were up from last year.

Cumulative volume for the first 40 weeks of 2006 totaled 13,473,039 carloads, up 1.4 percent from 2005; 9,454,369 trailers or containers, up 6.2 percent; and total volume of an estimated 1.34 trillion ton-miles, up 2.7 percent from last year.

On Canadian railroads, during the week ended October 7 carload traffic totaled 75,460 cars, down 2.9 percent from last year while intermodal volume of 49,711 trailers or containers was up 5.6 percent from last year.

Cumulative originations for the first 40 weeks of 2006 on the Canadian railroads totaled 2,985,388 carloads, down 1.2 percent from last year, and 1,811,606 trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent from last year.

Combined cumulative volume for the first 40 weeks of 2006 on 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 16,458,427 carloads, up 0.9 percent from last year and 11,265,975 trailers and containers, up 6.1 percent from last year.

The AAR also said that during the week ended October 7 Mexican railroad Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) reported total carload volume of 12,552 cars, up 7.0 percent from last year. KCSM reported total intermodal volume of 4,103 trailers or containers, down 0.6 percent from the 40th week of 2005.

For the first 40 weeks of 2006, KCSM reported total cumulative volume of 453,633 cars, down 3.8 percent from last year, and 159,730 trailers or containers, down 3.4 percent.

Railroads reporting to AAR account for 87 percent of U.S. carload freight and 96 percent of rail intermodal volume. When the U.S. operations of Canadian railroads are included, the figures increase to 96 percent and 100 percent. The Canadian railroads reporting to the AAR account for 91 percent of Canadian rail traffic. Railroads provide more than 40 percent of U.S. intercity freight transportation, more than any other mode, and rail traffic figures are regarded as an important economic indicator.

The AAR is online at


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