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Affiliate & Associate Members Gather for the Annual AAR Associates Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Over 60 representatives from AAR Affiliate & Associate members attended the annual AAR Associates Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 13. Members received updates on the Washington political climate and industry legislative priorities from Laurie Knight, AAR’s Senior VP of Government Affairs. Staff from AAR’s Communications, Law, and Policy & Economics departments along with members of the Technical Services Working Committee and the Railway Technology Working Committee also gave presentations. Attendees also received updates from TTCI, Railinc, and representatives from member concentration areas.

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At the conclusion of the meeting, AAR President & CEO Edward R. Hamberger (left) recognized former First Union Rail President Jack Thomas (not pictured) for his years of service on the AAR Associate Advisory Board and congratulated him on his recent retirement. First Union Rail Vice President of Equipment Rick Grossman (right) accepted a formal citation from the AAR on behalf of Jack Thomas.
 
Slideshow presentations and other resources from the 2013 AAR Associates Meeting have been posted in the members’ area of the AAR website. Click here to access the presentations from the meeting.

If you have not yet set up an account to access the members’ area,
please click here to register your e-mail address and set a password

2013 AAR Member Directory Released

The 2013 edition of the AAR Member Directory has been posted in its entirety in the members’ area of the AAR website. Click here to access the online version of the directory. The latest changes and updates to the AAR member directory will be posted in the members’ area on a regular basis. Member companies will be receiving paper copies of the directory by mail in the coming days.

If you have not yet set up an account to access the members’ area,
please click here to register your e-mail address and set a password.

America’s Freight Railroads Oppose Senate Antitrust Bill

Bill Would Threaten Freight Rail Industry Self Sufficiency
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 21, 2013 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) strongly objects to the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act, introduced today by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), saying that while the bill claims to repeal freight railroads’ limited antitrust exemptions, it actually singles out railroads for policies that could undermine the industry’s ability to build, maintain and continuously upgrade the nation’s rail infrastructure without taxpayer assistance. 
 
“This bill proposes sweeping changes that would negatively impact this country’s freight rail industry,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.  “Sections of this bill are designed to override existing regulatory decisions and could potentially roll back government-approved transactions in railroad history.  That retroactive application would inevitably create conflicts and uncertainty for railroads, railroad customers and courts. The resulting regulatory uncertainty could undermine the private freight railroads’ ability to sustain necessary and critical private investments in America’s rail infrastructure.
 
“There’s one thing in Washington that everyone agrees on – and that is our nation’s infrastructure needs attention and serious investment.  Freight railroads have invested more than $526 billion in private capital over the past three decades – half a trillion dollars – into America’s rail infrastructure so taxpayers didn’t have to. A regulatory environment that encourages private investment should remain a priority.”
 
Contrary to what bill proponents assert, Hamberger said that railroads are subject to most antitrust laws. In areas where they do have limited exemptions, railroads are regulated by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). “Bear in mind, there is no gap in government oversight of railroad activities,” he added.

Annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill Highlights the Vital Role Freight Rail Plays in the U.S. Economy

Freight Railroads, Labor Groups, Rail Suppliers, State and Local Officials Come from Across the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—March 14, 2013
— Representatives from the nation’s freight railroads, labor groups, rail suppliers, and state and local officials today are joining together for the annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. As part of Rail Day (#RailDay2013), rail representatives will discuss the need to preserve the current regulatory framework that has allowed the industry to invest billions of dollars into the nation’s rail infrastructure, making the U.S. rail system the best in the world. These groups are urging Congress to continue to support policies that encourage the freight rail industry to deliver safe, reliable and efficient service so that American businesses can successfully compete in the global marketplace.

“Americans whose livelihoods depend on a healthy rail industry want Congress to know that freight rail is working for our country, and carrying the investment load so taxpayers don’t have to,” said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Freight rail is the backbone of our nation’s economy, and we need to maintain policies that keep that possible.”

Advocates for freight rail will talk to legislators about how rail differs from other modes of surface transportation; most notably that freight rail invests private capital—more than $24 billion this year alone—in its own infrastructure, while other modes of transportation heavily rely on subsidies by taxpayers. When government budgets are tight, rail advocates will assert, it is important to support policies that will encourage railroads to continue private investment.

“As the economy grows and American businesses and manufacturing expands, freight rail continues to deliver for the nation,” Hamberger said. “In addition to investing billions into our physical network, the freight rail industry will be hiring thousands of new employees this year. We want to thank all the representatives, suppliers, advocates and government officials who came to Capitol Hill to tell their story about how freight rail has improved their lives.”

Railroad Day participants will also discuss the need to reject potentially dangerous and unfair proposals to increase the truck size and weight allowances. Allowing heavier and larger trucks, rail advocates maintain, will increase the damage big trucks inflect on the nation’s roads and highways while diverting freight traffic from the self-sustaining railroads.  The price tag for repairing this damage is shouldered by taxpayers. Rail advocates will make the case for the trucking industry, not general revenue funds, to pay for the wear and tear caused by their trucks.

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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

AAR Celebrates Rail Industry’s Safest Year On Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 11, 2013 – Today the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced that 2012 was the safest year in the rail industry’s history, according to new statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Across a sweeping set of categories, rail industry safety showed marked improvement in 2012.

“Nothing is more important to railroads than safety, and America’s railroads are safer today than ever before,” said Hamberger. “We are proud of the investments the rail industry has made to improve safety for employees, passengers and the public at large. Rail technology is constantly evolving, and we will continue to invest in new technologies, training and processes aimed at preventing incidents before they ever happen.”

Overall, 2012 set a new record for railroad safety, breaking the previous record set in 2011, which in turn broke the record set in 2010. In 2012, compared to 2011, the train accident rate per million train miles was down 19 percent, the employee casualty rate was down 9 percent and the grade crossing collision rate was down 8 percent.

According to FRA data, from 1980 to 2012 the U.S. train accident rate fell 80 percent and the U.S. rail employee injury rate fell 85 percent. Since 2000, the declines have been 45 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Train collisions per million train-miles have dropped 87 percent since 1980 and 36 percent since 2000.

"Freight rail is committed to constantly improving employee safety,” said Hamberger. “Railroads today have lower employee injury rates than most other major industries including trucking, agriculture, and construction. It is safer to work on a railroad than it is to work in a grocery store.”

While railroads saw gains in the other safety categories, trespassing deaths increased in 2012. “These tragedies affect many communities across the country, and the freight rail industry remains committed to public education efforts that warn youth of the dangers of playing on railroad tracks,” said Hamberger.

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

Updates from Committees

The Spring 2013 Schedule of AAR Committee Meetings has been posted to the members’ area on the AAR website. To access the schedule, please visit the Associates & Affiliates section.  The link to the schedule is at the top of the page.
 
You can view the latest reports from key AAR committees submitted by your associate member representatives by visiting to the members’ area, Click here to access Committee Reports and Descriptions.
 
The following committees submitted new reports in the month of March. These reports will be posted to the website as soon as they are available:
·         Intermodal Car Performance Committee
·         Intermodal Operations Committee

Associate News

ARINC Conducts Border Security Workshops Focusing on Issues Impacting National Security and Immigration Control

GE Transportation promotes Tempo signaling solutions at Asia Pacific Rail 2013 Hong Kong

GE Transportation Attends the 4th Signaling and Train Control 2013 Conference

HDR Acquires Salva Resources

HDR Launches the HDR Foundation

HDR to Receive 2012 EBJ Business Achievement Award

HNTB Corporation names Steve Hague, PE, as a project director in the firm’s national bridge practice

Invensys Rail successfully commissions Leicester Relock project

Midland to Mark Debut of Houston, TX Remanufacturing Facility with a Grand Opening in April, 2013

Lara Karamatsu of Parsons Brinckerhoff Named 2013 Young Engineer Of The Year In Hawaii

Shell ready to invest several hundred million dollars in promising technology companies

Shell to develop two additional natural gas for transport corridors in North America

Jacob Lew Visits Siemens Manufacturing Facility In Georgia

EnergyBiz names Southern Company “Energy Company of the Year”

URS to Provide Corps of Engineers with Worldwide Dam, Levee, and Flood Mitigation Safety Services

Westport and Clean Energy Co-Marketing Program Helps Companies Ramp Up Natural Gas Transportation Solutions

Monthly Traffic Report

AAR Reports Mixed Rail Traffic for March, Declines for Week Ending March 3

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 4, 2013 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that U.S. monthly rail traffic showed mixed results in March 2013, while both carloads and intermodal traffic declined for the week ending March 30, 2013.

Intermodal traffic in March 2013 totaled 933,208 containers and trailers, up 0.5 percent (4,859 units) compared with March 2012. That percentage increase represents the smallest year-over-year monthly gain for intermodal since August 2011.

Carloads originated in March 2013 totaled 1,117,427, down 0.5 percent (5,969 carloads) compared with the same month last year. While it was a decline, March had the lowest year-over-year monthly dip in carloads since January of 2012. Carloads excluding coal and grain were up 3.4 percent (19,965 carloads) in March 2013 over March 2012. Seven of the 20 major commodity categories tracked on a monthly basis by AAR saw year-over-year increases in March 2013 over March 2012.

Commodities with the biggest carload increases in March included petroleum and petroleum products, up 54.3 percent or 19,295 carloads; crushed stone, gravel and sand, up 11.9 percent or 8,380 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 6.1 percent or 4,127 carloads; and coke, up 11.4 percent or 1,550 carloads. Commodities with carload declines last month included grain, down 20.1 percent or 16,971 carloads; coal, down 2 percent or 8,963 carloads; metallic ores, down 13.2 percent or 2,908 carloads; and chemicals, down 1.3 percent or 1,581 carloads.

“U.S. rail traffic continues to mirror the overall economy:  not great, not terrible, anticipating a better future,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.  “Petroleum and petroleum products continues to lead traffic gains, while coal and grain have seen better days.  Intermodal volume in March was up just 0.5 percent over last year, but it was still the highest-volume March in history and built on even stronger gains earlier in the quarter.”

AAR today also reported declines in rail traffic for the week ending March 30, 2013.  U.S. railroads originated 281,367 carloads last week, down 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 233,587 units, down 3.8 percent compared with the same week last year.  Total U.S. traffic for the week ending March 30 was 514,954 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.8 percent over the same week last year.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum products, up 55.6 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic were led by grain, down 27.4 percent.

For the first 13 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,570,874 carloads, down 3 percent from the same point last year, and 3,084,916 intermodal units, up 5.3 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 13 weeks of 2013 was 6,655,790 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 80,227 carloads for the week, up 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 47,127 intermodal units, down 10.5 percent compared with 2012. For the first 13 weeks of 2013, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,007,936 carloads, up 2.2 percent from the same point last year, and 660,535 intermodal units, up 4.4 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 13,948 carloads for the week, down 6.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 7,839 intermodal units, down 13.9 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 13 weeks of 2013 is 192,104 carloads, up 8.4 percent from the same point last year, and 118,373 intermodal units, up 0.9 percent from last year.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 13 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 4,770,914 carloads, down 1.5 percent compared with the same point last year, and 3,863,824 trailers and containers, up 5 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 two newest members. Please join the AAR in welcoming new Silver Associate Members The Andersons, Inc. & ISARail US LLC.

The Andersons, Inc.
Betty Csehi
Maintenance Analysis Manager
419-891-2990 – Phone
betty@csehi@andersonsinc.com

The Andersons Rail Group is one of six operating groups of The Andersons, Inc., a publicly-traded company based in Maumee, Ohio. The Andersons Rail Group has a fleet of more than 23,000 various railcars and more than 120 locomotives that we lease, manage and sell. Our Fabrication Shop builds custom railcar components including gates and hatch covers for hoppers and interior Swing-Away Bulkheads for boxcars. We also build one of the largest railcar gravity discharge gates in the industry. Our business model is to develop lasting relationships with our customers so we can provide the best service for their unique shipping needs.For more information, please visit
http://www.andersonsrail.com/.

ISARail US LLC
Marco Zilberstein
Executive Director
267-231-1469 – Phone
marco.zilberstein@isarail.us

ISARail is a European private and independent company born in 2000. It operates in the field of assessment of railways safety systems. ISARail is recognized as ISA from the ANSF (Italian National Agency for Railways Safety), and it operates in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 (Management system for Quality - Assessment of Railways Systems) and according to ISO/IEC 17020:2005 (Inspection Organisms) and ISO/IEC 45011:1999 (Product's Certification Organisms). Moreover, it is an Independent Safety Assessor according to CENELEC standards. The company provides indipendence, impartiality and integrity, and it has a structure able to organize the activities tests needed for the assessment of railways systems. ISARail uses fully qualified personnel for testing on railway and rolling stocks subsystems. Our goal is to certify innovation, improving processes and methodologies.

Upcoming Events

For the latest updates on upcoming events, please visit the AAR Website.