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Rail News - October 2012

AAR Updates

Associate Advisory Board Election Update

The votes have been counted and results from the first round of Associate Advisory Board elections are in. Please join the AAR in congratulating the three gold associate member companies elected for three-year terms on the AAB in this round of voting:

  • Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company (elected by the Car Owner & Lessor category)
  • Progress Rail Services (elected by the Mechanical & Rolling Stock Manufacturing category)
  • Harsco Rail (elected by the Track, Bridge, Signal, and Engineering category)

Ballots for the fourth and final at-large seat on the Associate Advisory Board have been distributed to all associate member companies.

The initial election and nomination timeline has shifted slightly. Here is the revised timeline for the remainder of the year:

October 10 – Ballots distributed for Round 2 of AAB election
October 24 – Ballots due back Round 2 of AAB election
November 1 – Nominations open for AAR committee seats
November 15 – Deadline for incoming nominations, nominations vetted by AAR
November 30 – Expected mailing date for nomination binders to the AAB
December 7 – Associate Advisory Board meets and selects new AAR committee seat holders
January 1 – Terms begin for new AAB members and committee seat holders

TTCI Announces New Board of Directors Member



September 24, 2012 - Pueblo, Colo. - Transportation Technology Center, Inc. Board of Directors elected Carmen Bianco, Senior Vice President, Department of Subways, New York City Transit, as a new board member September 19, 2012.

Bianco joined NYCT with 33 years of experience in corporate safety, loss control, and transportation operations. He oversees the operation of the NYCT subway system.

“I am very pleased that Mr. Bianco has joined the TTCI Board of Directors. Along with Mr. Stadtler from National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Mr. Bianco can provide guidance to TTCI to make our business more relevant to the needs of passenger and transit train operations,” said TTCI President Lisa Stabler.

Other TTCI Board Members are D.J. Stadtler, National Railroad Passenger Corp.; Dave Ebbrecht, Kansas City Southern Railway Co.; Sameh Fahmy, Canadian National Rail Co.; Mike Franczak, Canadian Pacific Railway; Lance Fritz, Union Pacific Railroad; Edward Hamberger, Association of American Railroads; Michael Howe, C.P.A.; Carl R. Ice, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC; Mark Manion, Norfolk Southern Corp.; Oscar Munoz, CSX Transportation, Inc.; Thomas Simpson, Railway Supply Institute; and Lisa A. Stabler, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.

Contact Peggy L. Herman at 719-584-0576 for more information.


AAR Launches New Television Ad Campaign in the Washington, DC Area





You can find more freight rail industry information, resources, and videos like these at


New AAR Publication Released, Analysis of Class I Railroads

The AAR Policy & Economics Department has released the newest edition of the Analysis of Class I Railroads. This publication assembles financial, operating, and traffic statistics for U.S. Class I Railroads from the year 2011. Members can access and download copies of this publication and the data by logging into the Members Area and following the link labeled "View Publications."

Updates from Committees

You can view the latest reports from key AAR committees submitted by your associate member representatives by logging in and visiting the “Associate & Affiliate Members” section of the Members Area and then clicking on “Committee Reports & Descriptions” link under the “Associate Member Representatives on AAR Committees” heading.

The following committees had new reports posted to the website in the month of September:

  • Advanced Safety & Efficiency Committee
  • Coupling Systems & Truck Castings Committee
  • Equipment Health Management Committee
  • Quality Assurance Committee
  • Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee

Associate News

AECOM joint venture awarded contract for Chicago traffic engineering studies

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport UAE Awards ARINC Major 10-year Contract

Ansaldo STS awarded new EUR 65 million contract in Australia

Electro-Motive Diesel Enters Agreement With Bombardier to Assemble Locomotives for Southeast Asia and Pacific Region (PDF)


Hanson’s Jeff Ball named Engineer of the Year

HDR Selected as Architect for Chicago’s Focal Point Community Campus

HNTB: Top 10 transportation questions to ask during the presidential debates

Parker Creates Endowed Chair at Cleveland State University for Research in Human Motion and Control

Parsons Appoints Tripp as VP and Defense & Security Sector Manager

Parsons Brinckerhoff Names Paul Skoutelas Director Of Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center

Siemens No. 1 in sustainability – Supersector Leader in the DJSI for the first time

T.Y. Lin International Honored as Gold Stevie Award Winner in 2012 American Business Awards

URS to Provide Asset Management and Logistics Services to Internal Revenue Service

Wabtec Acquires LH Group,A UK-Based Provider Of Maintenance, Overhaul Services

Cummins Westport Announces New Mid-Range Natural Gas Engine

Lockheed Martin Joins Industry and Academia to Promote the TechAmerica Big Data Commission's Report

Savage: Bakken Petroleum Services Hub near Trenton, ND delivers crude to strategic markets.

Eyeing the start of operation of the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa, JR East and JR West will jointly develop new Shinkansen railcars.

Transnet: Blue Train Named as Africa’s Leading Luxury Train


Monthly Traffic Report

AAR Reports Mixed Rail Traffic for September

Weekly Rail Traffic Also Mixed

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 4, 2012 - The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail carloads originated in September 2012 totaled 1,152,174 carloads, down 3.7 percent (43,746 carloads) compared with September 2011. Intermodal traffic in September totaled 973,715 containers and trailers, up 2.5 percent (24,126 units) compared with September 2011. September 2012 represents the 34th straight month of intermodal gains. Detailed monthly data charts and tables will be available in the AAR’s Rail Time Indicators report released online tomorrow.

Commodity groups that saw carload gains in September 2012 compared with September 2011 included: petroleum and petroleum products, up 55.7 percent or 16,586 carloads; crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 12.3 percent or 9,044 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.3 percent or 3,088 carloads.

Commodities with carload declines in September 2012 were led by coal, down 12.1 percent or 65,867 carloads; metallic ores, down 21.7 percent or 7,531 carloads; and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.3 percent or 1,815 carloads. Carloads excluding coal were up 3.4 percent, or 22,121 carloads, in September 2012 over September 2011.

“September rail traffic is again a mix of good news and bad news,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “The primary bad news is that coal carloads continue to struggle, due to the various economic and regulatory constraints faced by coal-fired power plants. The good news is that many other key rail traffic categories are offsetting coal’s decline, including petroleum and petroleum products, motor vehicles, crushed stone and sand, and lumber. Intermodal volume has risen for 34 straight months and could very well set a new record this year.”

AAR today also announced mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 29, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 295,243 carloads, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 257,225 trailers and containers, up 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year. This week’s U.S. intermodal originations of 257,225 represent the highest weekly total of the year and the third highest weekly intermodal total ever.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 59.4 percent; iron and steel scrap, up 16.6 percent, and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 14.7 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 19.6 percent; coal, down 17.3, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 11.3 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 4.1 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 39 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,042,405 carloads, down 2.5 percent from the same point last year, and 9,200,508 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 82,983 carloads for the week, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 54,995 trailers and containers, up 6.4 percent compared with 2011. For the first 39 weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,004,841 carloads, up 2.7 percent from the same point last year, and 2,007,347 trailers and containers, up 7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 14,675 carloads for the week, up 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 12,115 trailers and containers, up 16 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 39 weeks of 2012 is 559,273 carloads, or flat compared with the same point last year, and 384,490 trailers and containers, up 18.1 percent from last year.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 39 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 14,606,519 carloads, down 1.4 percent compared with the same point last year, and 11,592,345 trailers and containers, up 4.6 percent compared with last year.


Weekly Rail Traffic Charts (PDF)

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For more information contact: Nell Callahan, 202-464-6913, or Abigail Gardner, 202-464-6603,, or Holly Arthur,, 202-639-2344.

Spotlight On

This month’s spotlight is on our newest Gold Associate Members. Please join the AAR in welcoming ARINC Inc., a brand new Gold Associate Member for 2012.

William P. Everett
Sr. Principal Business Analyst

2551 Riva Road Annapolis, MD 21401

Our customers expect results. And everyone at ARINC is dedicated to meeting—even exceeding—your expectations. As the premier provider of communications, engineering, and integration solutions, we help our customers in the defense, commercial, and government industries mitigate risk, improve operational and systems performance and meet program requirements. We are a global company distinguished by our technical strength, knowledge, and experience. Our innovation, disciplined pursuit of excellence, and dedication to your success are all key distinctions that define our past, strengthen our present and focus our future. ARINC is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group. For more information, please visit

Please join the AAR in welcoming Plasser American Corporation as a Gold Associate Member. Plasser has upgraded its membership from silver to gold.

Plasser American Corporation

Josef W. Neuhofer
2001 Myers Road
Chesapeake, VA 23324

Plasser American Corporation is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia. From a small operation with five employees in 1960, Plasser American now has more than 200 employees and a modern 150,000+ square foot facility. Plasser American is actively engaged in all sectors of design, production, marketing and customer service in the manufacturing of switch and production tamping machines, dynamic track stabilizers, ballast regulators, ballast undercutting/cleaning machines, track recording cars, catenary inspection and maintenance vehicles and various types of specialty machines. Plasser American Corporation continues to serve not only the nation’s freight railroads, but the high speed inter city and commuter systems. City transit and light rail operations are also an important part of Plasser’s customer base. For more information, please visit


Upcoming Events

  • October 10-12, 2012 (Washington, DC) 19th Annual Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference – Washington Marriot Hotel
  • October 16-17, 2012 (Urbana, IL) 2012 Railroad Environmental Conference - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • October 17-18, 2012 (Atlanta, GA) AAR Tank Car Committee Meeting
  • December 7, 2012 (Washington, DC) AAR Associate Advisory Board Meeting
  • March 18-21, 2013 (Atlanta, GA) North American Rail Mechanical Operations Seminar (NARMO)
  • September 12-14, 2013 (Banff, Alberta, Canada) Railroad Insurance Management Association Meeting (RIMA)