RZD Logistics and China Railway Corp have delivered an initial shipment of goods from Beijing to Moscow in a van attached to a passenger train, following the signing on June 8 of a memorandum for the development of cross-border express freight services. The shipment of LED lights and office supplies left Beijing on July 21 and arrived at Moscow’s Yaroslavl station on July 27. RZD said the six-day journey was comparable in time but cheaper than air freight.

The Canadian National board has appointed Jean-Jacques Ruest as President & CEO. He has been with CN for 22 years, the last eight as Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, and was appointed Interim President & CEO with the departure of Luc Jobin on March 5. ‘JJ brought the team together to tackle the immediate operational and customer service challenges the company was facing’, said Chairman Robert Pace. ‘Following a global search, the board concluded that JJ is the right leader to accelerate CN’s innovation strategy, to lead the company forward, and to restore and retain industry-leading metrics and best-in-class customer service.’

The American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association has published an economic impact study of the US short line sector prepared by PwC. This found that 603 Class II and III railways provide 61 070 jobs, $3·8bn in labour income and $6·5bn in value added to the US economy in 2016. Industries reliant on short line services provided 478 820 jobs, $26·1bn in labour income and $56·2bn in value added to the economy.

FESCO has delivered its first consignment from Japan to Moscow using its Hayamichi express freight service. Sea transport from the port of Toyama to Vladivostok took two days, processing in Vladivostok three days and transport on the regular FESCO Moscow train on the Trans-Siberian railway took 10 days, compared with 50 days via the traditional sea route through the Suez Canal. Potential shipments are expected to include construction materials, car parts and consumer goods.

The national railways of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have carried out a joint evaluation of freight facilities at Termez in Uzbekistan and Hairatan in Afghanistan, meeting with shippers and local officials to discuss opportunities for freight traffic to and from Afghanistan.