Freight Rail

Freight Railroads
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Massive Explosion Seen After Train Derails Near Rock Springs, WY

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Massive Explosion Seen After Train Derails Near Rock Springs

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. – A Union Pacific train hauling alcohol and liquid propane derailed near Rock Springs, Wyoming, according to Scott Kitchner, fire chief for Sweetwater County Fire District 1.

Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic

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Union Pacific's Bailey Yard lays off workers due to pandemic


The Union Pacific Railroad Tuesday laid off an unspecified number of workers in Bailey Yard’s mechanical department.

Raquel Espinoza, U.P.’s senior director for corporate communications and media relations, confirmed the first job reductions related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the North Platte classification yard, the world’s largest.

“Union Pacific is experiencing volume declines as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the country,” Espinoza said in a email. “We are operating fewer locomotives and rail cars, requiring us to reduce our workforce in the mechanical department today.”

AAR: “As the COVID-19 Situation Evolves, Freight Railroads Will Remain Focused”

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AAR: “As the COVID-19 Situation Evolves, Freight Railroads Will Remain Focused”


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended May 16, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 416,115 carloads and intermodal units, down 22% compared with the same week last year.

SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

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SMART poised to take control of North Bay freight hauling, expanding beyond passenger service

San Francisco, CA - 5/19/20

A multimillion-dollar deal is in place to have SMART take over North Bay freight rail by buying out the region’s lone hauler, a move that would hand SMART unified control of the local track system and make it one of a small group of agencies nationwide that controls both passenger and commercial shipping service.
Under the proposed deal, Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co. would sell its track rights and equipment for $4 million, and the state would kick in almost $4 million more to repay debt owed to the company by a financially troubled state agency that oversees North Coast commercial rail operations.

Cleanup underway of freight train derailment in East Aurora, NY

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An investigation has begun into why a Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad freight train derailed Monday night in East Aurora.

The traveling from Salamanca to Buffalo derailed at 10:52 p.m. in the vicinity of Main and Elm streets in the village, police said Tuesday morning.

Fifteen of the train's 98 cars, including the engine, went off the rails.

Brake Defects Plague Canada’s Aging Grain Cars

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Hard-to-detect braking system defects have rendered Canada’s aging fleet of grain hoppers a safety hazard, says a former director of derailment investigations for the country’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. NTSB. Ian Naish, who retired from the TSB in 2009, in a CBC interview posted May 15, declared, “The grain car fleet overall is quite defective.”

Naish’s warning followed his former employer’s Rail Safety Advisory Letter dated April 20, 2020, which said that the standard visual inspection of brake pipe connections and piston applications—the so-called “Number 1 Test” performed by car inspectors prior to trains departing originating yards—is unreliable and does not reveal a high percentage of malfunctioning railcar brakes.

Full Story:

NS “Keeping the Steel Wheels Moving”

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NS “Keeping the Steel Wheels Moving”

At Norfolk Southern’s May 14 Annual Shareholder Meeting, held virtual-only for the first time, CEO Jim Squires expressed optimism on the railroad’s future as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, and resultant plummeting traffic. NS is “well-positioned to safely and successfully weather the unprecedented situation, despite economic challenges,” he said.

Full story:

UP Shuts Down Cold Connect

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UP Shuts Down Cold Connect


Union Pacific on May 8, 2020 shut down its Cold Connect service for perishables traffic from the West Coast to the East Coast. Cold Connect began in January 2017 with the acquisition from Railex of three cold storage and distribution facilities in Delano, Calif.; Wallula, Wash.; and Rotterdam, N.Y.

AAR: “Railroads Have Experience Weathering Difficult Times, and They’ll Weather This One”

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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended May 9, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 412,549 carloads and intermodal units, down 22.1% compared with the same week last year; total carloads were 185,144 carloads, down 28.4% compared with the same week in 2019; and U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 227,405 containers and trailers, down 16% compared to 2019.
Stuff along the Sub - Spokane
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Got these yesterday. Day before was raining with whitecaps on the lake which might have made a good pix, although ISP had multiple cars pulled over in the spot I could stop and get off US95. These are about 1/4 mile away looking kinda Northeast.

Looks like the alignment is gonna be just shorter than the existing.
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Abilene Kansas Action 2020
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My catches from today

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BNSF To Permanently Close Glendive, MT Diesel Facility

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Glendive Broadcasting along with many of this community have received news of the Glendive Diesel Shop closure. In an official letter sent by Gary Grissum VP of Mechanical of the BNSF Railway Company to effected employees the reason for closure was outlined. In the letter Gary indicated the closure was due to the current business environment with the decline in crude oil shipments and to the structural decline in coal demand. Along with the Glendive Diesel shop several locations across the BNSF system including locations in Kansas, Minot, and Mandan among others have been affected.

Some photos of my railfanning around the East Bay 2020
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New Years eve found me driving up Santa Fe Avenue in the central valley


Rolling Into 2020
by lennycarl08, on Flickr

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Loaded and Waiting
by lennycarl08, on Flickr




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