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AAR Updates

Save the Date - March 13, 2013 - AAR Associates Meeting in Washington, D.C.

AAR will host its annual meeting for affiliate and associate members on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The meeting will feature presentations by AAR staff and will be followed by a reception and dinner. This meeting will be held the day before Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. Please save the date and stay tuned for more information.

Associate Advisory Board Selects New Officers & Appoints New AAR Committee Representatives

The AAR Associate Advisory Board met on Friday, December 7 to elect officers and select associate member representatives for AAR committees. Here are the results:

Patrick T. Ameen of Amsted Rail Company, Inc. was re-elected to serve as Chair of the 2013 AAR Associate Advisory Board.

Patrice Powers of GE Capital Rail Services was elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the 2013 AAR Associate Advisory Board.

From the many nominations submitted by Gold Associate Members, the following representatives were selected to serve on the following committees for two-year terms (unless otherwise noted):

Arbitration & Rules Committee (1 vacancy)
Tom Mordock...................................... GATX Corporation

Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) Committee (1 vacancy)
No nominations received, seat remains vacant

Brake Systems Committee (1 vacancy)
Ed Gaughan......................................... Wabtec Corporation

Car Repair Billing Committee (2 vacancies)
John M. Kieras..................................... Union Tank Car Company
Peter P. McGinley................................ GE Capital Rail Services

Coupling Systems & Truck Castings Committee (1 vacancy)
Joseph Gagliardino............................... Trinity Industries Leasing Company

Damage Prevention & Freight Claims Committee (1 vacancy)
Lori Funk.............................................. Sunrise Mfg. Inc.

Equipment Assets Committee (1 vacancy)
Joan O’Brien........................................ First Union Rail Corporation

Equipment Engineering Committee (3 vacancies)
Roger Hawkins..................................... GE Capital Rail Services
Gregory J. Saxton................................. Gunderson (The Greenbrier Companies)
*Dennis R. Weed................................. Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company
(* elected to 1-year term)

Equipment Health Monitoring Committee (1 vacancy)
Patrick T. Ameen.................................. Amsted Rail Company, Inc.

Heavy Axle Load Engineering Research Committee (2 vacancies)
*Andrew Brown.................................. Trinity Industries Leasing Company
Jay Gowan........................................... Harsco Rail
(*elected to 1-year term)

Intermodal Car Performance Committee (1 vacancy)
Jerry Vande Sande............................... Trinity Industries Leasing Company

Intermodal Operations Committee (1 vacancy)
Murray Crane...................................... Raildecks Inc.

Locomotive Committee (1 vacancy)
Harvey Boyd........................................ Electro-Motive Diesel

Mechanical & Vehicle Track Systems Committee (1 vacancy)
Tom Petrunich..................................... Amsted Rail Company, Inc.

Quality Assurance Committee (2 vacancies)
Don Fredbeck...................................... First Union Rail Corporation
*Mark A. Lumadue.............................. Standard Steel, LLC
(*elected to 1-year term)

Railway Technology Working Committee (1 vacancy)
Jay P. Monaco...................................... Amsted Rail Company, Inc.

Technical Services Working Committee (1 vacancy)
Robert S. Hulick.................................... Trinity Industries Leasing Company

Technology Scanning Committee (1 vacancy)
Brent Wilson........................................ Amsted Rail Company, Inc.

TTCI Research Advisory Board (3 vacancies)
Car Owner/Lessor
Gerald F. Chalko................................... GE Capital Rail Services

Mechanical & Rolling Stock Mfg.
Alan Buchanan..................................... The Timken Corporation

Track, Bridge, Signal & Engineering
R. Scott Goehri..................................... HDR Engineering, Inc.

Umler Committee (1 vacancy)
Lilija Martinka...................................... First Union Rail Corporation

Wheels, Axles, Bearings, & Lubrication (WABL) Committee (1 vacancy)
Maurice Dew....................................... Progress Rail Services

Wireless Communications Committee (1 vacancy)
Rakesh Malhotra.................................. Wabtec Corporation

Please join the AAR in congratulating your new AAB officers and committee members! AAR would also like to thank all companies and nominees who volunteered themselves for consideration; we had a record amount of qualified applicants for this year’s slate of seats.

[View an updated chart which lists all Associate Member Representatives on AAR Committees] 

2013 Membership Renewal Packets Have Been Mailed

AAR membership renewal packets have been sent to the primary contact persons of each Railroad Affiliate Member and Associate Member. This packet contains a list of membership benefits and opportunities to update your organization’s contact information and entry in the 2013 AAR Member Directory. If you do not receive your packet by December 14, please contact Kelly Donley at kdonley@aar.org and Bill Pzedpelski at billp@aar.org.

Concentration Area Changes for 2013

AAR has added two concentration areas to its current offerings: Safety and Security. This brings the total number of available concentration areas to eight. [View the updated List of Concentration Area Benefits]

As a result of this expansion of offerings, Silver Associate Members may now subscribe to two concentration areas instead of only one. Railroad Affiliate Members & Gold Associate Members may subscribe to any of the eight concentration areas. If you would like to change your concentration area subscriptions, please indicate your new preferences on your renewal application or contact Kelly Donley at kdonley@aar.org and Bill Pzedpelski at billp@aar.org.

AAR Applauds TTCI on Receipt of UIC's Innovation and Railway Research Award

TTCI’s FAST Program Recognized with Prestigious International Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dec. 11, 2012 — The Association of American Railroads today lauded the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) on its receipt of the prestigious International Union of Railways’ (UIC) Innovation and Railway Research Award in the “Rail Freight Services” category for the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) Program. Today in Paris, France the award was presented by the UIC, an international railroad organization that seeks to promote rail transport at the international level and meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development.

“The world’s scientific community has an enormous ability for finding breakthrough solutions to significantly raise the level of dependability, quality, safety and customer-friendliness of railways,” said Boris Lapidus, International Railway Research Board (IRRB) Chairman at UIC. “Our aim is to establish conditions to discover the best solutions and growth of prestige of rail research organisations and individual researchers.”

Developed at TTCI in Pueblo, Colo., the FAST Program was originally created to fully assess the safety, technical and economic issues related to increased heavy axle loads. Over the course of the last 24 years, the FAST Program has continued to serve as a unique, world renowned testing facility used to evaluate countless rail research projects from around the world. These projects, and the research work done by TTCI, have greatly enhanced the safety and efficiency of the railroad industry worldwide.

“The work done at TTCI has helped to make railroads one of the world’s most innovative, safe and efficient forms of freight transportation,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “UIC’s recognition of those efforts is an honor that is well-deserved and I congratulate all those who, over the years, have been involved in the transformational work that has been done through the FAST Program.”

“We are delighted that the outstanding results provided by the dedicated professionals at our world-class railroad research center at TTCI have been recognized by the receipt of this prestigious international award,” said AAR Senior Vice President Bob VanderClute. “For decades, our member railroads have utilized the research results to cultivate their operations in a more safe and economical manner.”

The UIC Innovation and Railway Research Award was presented in conjunction with the rail organization’s 90th anniversary. This marks the first year that these awards have been presented for rail research leading to innovations in five categories: safety and security; sustainable development; rail system technology; rail freight services and cost reductions. The FAST Program was one of 41 eligible submissions for the award.

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For more information contact: Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2100

AAR Urges STB to Consider Competition from Natural Gas in Select Coal Rate Cases

Easily Available Information Makes the Case for Considering Indirect Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nov. 19, 2012 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to initiate a rulemaking that would propose re-introducing indirect competition – specifically product and geographic competition for fuel used to generate power – as a factor to be considered in determining if the STB has jurisdiction to hear rate cases involving the transportation of coal to coal-fired power plants. The STB has jurisdiction over rail rates only where a carrier is “market dominant” – that is, where it does not face effective competition. Where railroads face effective competition, current law allows the market to determine the level of rail rates.

While previously the STB found it difficult to determine whether indirect competition was present in a given case, AAR noted there now is ample public information that would allow the STB to determine where indirect competition in wholesale power markets exists and whether it effectively puts downward pressure on coal rail transportation rates, particularly given the low price of natural gas in recent years.

“Considering that nearly two-thirds of all rate cases brought before the Board over the last 15 or so years involved coal, we believe the STB should consider the now-easily available evidence in relevant coal rate cases, ” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Times have changed, and today more information is publicly available. Where indirect competition is present, we believe it should be factored into any Board determination of whether to review the level of rail rates for coal.”

Prior to 1998, the STB considered indirect competition in rate cases, but that year decided it was too difficult or burdensome to collect the information necessary to determine the effect indirect competition had on rail rates. The STB eliminated consideration of indirect competition, but the Board acknowledged at that time indirect competition in many cases did exist and had an effect on rail rates.

“We’re hopeful that the STB will take note of the additional data that is now available and of the changes in the energy market and consider the petition and propose a rule that would allow parties to present evidence of indirect competition in individual rate cases,” Hamberger added. “The STB has in the past acknowledged that indirect competition can exist, and the AAR believes that it has effectively addressed the concerns the STB has previously raised.”

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For more information contact: Patti Reilly, preilly@aar.org, or 202-639-2100.

AAR Issues 2012 Edition of Railroad Facts

Premier Railroad Industry Fact Book Shows 2011, Plus Historic Annual Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nov. 15, 2012 — The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today released the 2012 Edition of Railroad Facts – the premier industry statistical reference book. The publication notes that in 2011, the rail industry continued to recover from the economic recession, improve performance, increase capital expenditures to $11.6 billion, and add employees.

Railroad Facts contains more than 80 pages of facts and statistics for 2011, as well as historical data on critical aspects of railroad business, including: finance, operations, plant and equipment, employment and compensation, fuel consumption and costs. Railroad Facts contains a profile of each Class I railroad, Amtrak, the two major Canadian railroads, and the two largest Mexican railways. The publication also features a “Year in Review” and “Preview of 2012” as well as designated sections for advertisements.

Copies of the publication are available for purchase by non-AAR members for $20.00 with discounts applied for purchases of two or more copies. The cost for AAR members is $5.00 per copy. Additional shipping and handling charges apply for each order. To purchase Railroad Facts, visit the AAR web site at www.aar.org, and go to Statistics & Publications – Publications – Online catalog. A digital version of Railroad Facts is also available.

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For more information contact: Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2100

Rail Industry Reinforces Commitment, Acknowledges Challenges to Implementing PTC

2012 On Track to Be Safest Year on Record for Railroads

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nov. 14, 2012 – Following the National Transportation Safety Board’s inclusion of positive train control (PTC) as one of its “most wanted” safety initiatives for 2013, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reinforced the railroad industry’s commitment to implementing PTC but recognized significant challenges remain to doing so. Implementation of PTC on the scale required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 has not been done anywhere in the world. So far railroads have spent more than $1.5 billion in private capital to try to implement the technology by the 2015 deadline.

“Freight railroads remain committed to implementing PTC and are doing all they can to address the challenges that have surfaced as implementation moves forward,” said Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of AAR.

The federal mandate requires that PTC systems must be fully interoperable— or able to seamlessly operate on all railroads’ systems. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and railroads have been working together to find solutions to technical challenges in order to meet the 2015 deadline. However, the FRA, railroads and others have acknowledged that unresolved issues make that date unrealistic.

“The mandate and implementation of PTC is an unprecedented undertaking and, despite nearly a decade of research and development, still faces significant hurdles to deployment,” said Hamberger. The PTC system being designed and implemented by the railroads and suppliers is being created from scratch and must allow each individual railroad to safely operate on every other carrier’s network. “Implementing a technology like this, with so many players, has never been done before,” Hamberger said.

According to the FRA, the freight rail industry is on pace for the safest year on record. FRA data shows train accidents have declined 15.2 percent through August 2012, compared with the same period last year, while collisions are down 21.6 percent and derailments are down 13.3 percent. The number of yard accidents also dropped 9.6 percent, while the total number of railroad employee fatalities declined to 14 from 18 in the January-August period. Fatalities at highway-railroad grade crossings also dropped 13.5 percent through August.

To learn more about how the freight rail industry makes safety its top priority, visit: http://freightrailworks.org/#innovation/tomorrow

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For more information contact: Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2344.

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 submitted new reports in the month of November & December. These reports will be posted to the website as soon as they are available:

  • Arbitration & Rules Committee
  • Equipment Engineering Committee
  • Equipment Health Monitoring Committee
  • Heavy Axle Load Engineering Research Committee
  • Intermodal Operations Committee
  • Mechanical & Vehicle Track Systems Committee
  • Quality Assurance Committee
  • Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee
  • Technology Scanning Committee

Associate News

AECOM uses balanced capital allocation strategy to drive organic growth, improved profitability and cash flow

Another win for the Ansaldo STS site KWD Webranking Best Improver 2012 Award

QR National enters new era as Aurizon

Aurizon secures performance-based contract with Rio Tinto Coal Australia

AXION's ECOTRAX Sales Continue to Grow With 3rd Purchase From San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (via Marketwire)

EMD Opens Brazilian Locomotive Manufacturing Facility (via Rail Resource)

GATX Corporation Announces Appointment of Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Risk Officer     

Our view: We're proud to see Erie workers in GE commercial (via GoErie.com)

HDR's Hacker to Receive 2012 SAME Industry Small Business Advocate Award

New York Air Brake: 20 Questions, A Homegrown Leader (via NNY business)

Parker Hannifin Now #246 Largest Company, Surpassing Fastenal (via Forbes)

Parsons Brinckerhoff Designing Rehab Plan for Chicago Moveable Bridge

RailWorks Corporation Appoints Corporate Equipment Manager

Stan Wlotko Retires From Patriot Rail Corp

Siemens strengthens core activities, Acquisition of Invensys Rail - Divestment of baggage handling, postal and parcel sorting activities

Transnet Freight Rail Partners With General Electric to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Improve Efficiency

T.Y. Lin International Welcomes Paula Pienton, S.E., P.E., as Associate Vice President/Central Region Transit & Rail Director

Westport Announces Advanced LNG Tank System for Natural Gas Trucks::New System Improves Performance, Extends Range and Reduces Costs, Begins Shipping by mid-2013

Monthly Traffic Report

AAR Reports Mixed Rail Traffic for November

Weekly Traffic Down for Week Ending December 1

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 6, 2012 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reports U.S. rail monthly rail traffic continued to show mixed results in November, while weekly rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 1, 2012 was down.

Intermodal traffic in November saw an increase for the 36th straight month, totaling 934,595 containers and trailers, up 1.2 percent (11,519 units) compared with November of 2011. Carloads originated in November totaled 1,130,770 carloads, down 4 percent (47,512 carloads) compared with the same month last year. Carloads excluding coal and grain were up 5.5 percent for the month, or 30,466 carloads, compared with the same month last year.

Commodity groups that saw carload gains in November 2012 compared with the same month last year included: petroleum and petroleum products, up 56.9 percent or 17,592 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 14.1 percent or 7,762 carloads, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 7.4 percent or 5,319 carloads. Commodities with carload declines in November were led by coal, down 12.8 percent or 68,837 carloads; grain, down 10.7 percent or 9,141 carloads, and metallic ores, down 10.7 percent or 3,545 carloads.

“Coal and grain together account for almost half of non-intermodal U.S. rail traffic, so they are obviously very important to railroads. But coal and grain carloads often rise or fall for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the economy. Other commodity categories like autos, lumber, and crushed stone, sand and gravel that are more highly correlated with economic growth have been growing, which we hope is a good sign for the economy moving forward,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.

Detailed monthly data charts and tables will be available in the AAR’s Rail Time Indicators report released online tomorrow.

AAR today also reported declines in rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 1, 2012. Last week U.S. railroads originated 305,708 carloads, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 241,411 trailers and containers, down 1.1 percent compared with the same week last year.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 65.3 percent; metallic ores, up 27.2 percent, and iron and steel scrap, up 20.2 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included coal, down 12.7 percent; waste and nonferrous scrap, down 5.6 percent, and primary forest products, down 5 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 2.1 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 1.9 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 48 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,595,829 carloads, down 3.1 percent from the same point last year, and 11,379,334 trailers and containers, up 3.3 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 78,774 carloads for the week, down 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 49,783 trailers and containers, down 2 percent compared with 2011. For the first 48 weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,710,095 carloads, up 2.1 percent from the same point last year, and 2,484,231 trailers and containers, up 6.7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 15,113 carloads for the week, up 6.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,722 trailers and containers, up 15.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 48 weeks of 2012 is 693,244 carloads, up 0.8 percent from the same point last year, and 483,528 trailers and containers, up 19.6 percent from last year.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 48 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 17,999,168 carloads, down 1.9 percent compared with the same point last year, and 14,347,093 trailers and containers, up 4.3 percent compared with last year.

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For more information contact: Nell Callahan, 202-464-6913, or Abigail Gardner, 202-464-6603, at AARMedia@skdknick.com, or Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2344.

Spotlight On

This month's spotlight is on our newest Gold Associate Member and an Affiliate Member which has recently changed its name.

Please join the AAR in welcoming Shell, a brand new Gold Associate Member for 2013.

Shell
Erik Montague
Business Development Advisor
777 Walker Street
Houston, TX 77433
erik.montague@shell.com

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with around 90,000 employees in more than 80 countries and territories. Our innovative approach ensures we are ready to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. For more information, please visit www.shell.com.

On December 1, 2012, Railroad Affiliate Member QR National officially changed its name to Aurizon. From their recent press release announcing the change: “Aurizon is a combination of Australia and Horizon. It conveys the geographical scope of the company’s expanding operations, as well as the extraordinary growth opportunities on the horizon.”

Aurizon
Nicky Bittenbinder
GPO Box 456
Brisbane QLD 4001 AUSTRALIA
Nicole.Bittenbinder@aurizon.com.au

Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2011/12, Aurizon transported more than 250 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. The company also operates and manages the 2,670 kilometre Central Queensland Coal Network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone. Previously known as QR National, Aurizon has more than 147 years of rail freight industry experience. For more information, please visit www.aurizon.com.au.

Upcoming Events

  • March 5-6, 2013 (Pueblo, CO) 18th Annual AAR Research Review - Pueblo Convention Center
  • March 13, 2013 (Washington, DC) AAR Associates Meeting
  • March 14, 2013 (Washington, DC) Railroad Day on Capitol Hill
  • March 18-21, 2013 (Atlanta, GA) North American Rail Mechanical Operations Seminar (NARMO)
  • April 24-25, 2013 (Kansas City, MO) AAR Tank Car Committee Meeting
  • June 16-19, 2013 (Boston, MA) Railroad Accounting Officers & Internal Audit Division Training Sessions
  • June 17-19, 2013 (San Antonio, TX) AAR Damage Prevention & Freight Claim Conference
  • September 12-14, 2013 (Banff, Alberta, Canada) Railroad Insurance Management Association Meeting (RIMA)

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