Vossloh Rolling Stock DE 18 locomotive in operation

BBL Logistik has exercised an option to order five more Vossloh Rolling Stock DE18 Stage V-compliant locomotives, taking its total order to 15 to be delivered in 2024. ’Thanks to the certified use of environmentally-friendly HVO fuel, we can contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions even in the area of new infrastructure construction and maintenance on non-electrified routes’, said Managing Director Jens Ziese.

The €1·23m European Shift Enabler Portal for Freight research project funded by the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking held its kick-off meeting during September. The consortium of nine partners from five countries aims to create an open-access web platform with a map of European rail freight infrastructure, a CO2 calculator, a contract toolbox and a match-making tool; to make recommendations to adapt the legal framework for intermodal transport to different needs; and to bring together the European logistics system to identify information needs.

FLEX EuroDual (Image ELP)

Flex Rail Services has signed a 10-year agreement to lease a second Stadler EuroDual electro-diesel locomotive from European Loc Pool from January 2025, joining one it has been using since August. ‘The immense flexibility of this locomotive and the option to increase train capacities are crucial factors for us’, said CEO Jan Habraneck.

Union Pacific train

Union Pacific has reported Q3 2023 net income of $1·5bn, or $2·51 per diluted share. This compares to $1·9bn, or $3·05 per diluted share, for the same period in 2022. ‘We faced many challenges in the quarter, including continued inflationary pressures and a drop in carloads’, said CEO Jim Vena on October 19. ‘Operationally we gained momentum through the quarter, which positions us to provide our customers with great service. Operating and safety metrics are showing solid improvement, as we increase asset utilisation.’

Chilean state railway group subsidiary EFE Arica – La Paz is to work with regional authorities on both sides of the border on a five year programme to develop freight traffic between the Chilean port of Arica and Porto Velho in Brazil.

Norfolk Southern and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen have announced a Signal Safety Collaboration, a one-year pilot programme to establish a collaborative process — including joint inspections, information sharing and training — to identify further improvements and best practices that enhance signal safety. NS and BRS have agreed to advocate together in favour of regulatory changes offering opportunities to enhance safety.

Russian Railways has spent 853m roubles on infrastructure including 5·2 km of track and electrification works to support the opening of a grain terminal with a capacity of 4 million tonnes/year at the Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk. The port 120 km northwest of St Petersburg previously specialised in coal.

Bourque Logistics is to integrate INet‘s SMRTag RFID technology with its YardMaster system to provide North American rail shipping and storage facilities with single-point wagon data collection to reduce or eliminate individual tag scans. This will include data on impact, pressure, load/empty status and temperature. It will save ’hundreds of hours of track walk for manual scans’, said Steve Bourque, President of Bourque Logistics. 

CSX train.

On October 19 CSX announced Q3 operating income of $1·30bn compared to $1·58bn in Q3 2022. Net earnings were $846m, or $0·42 per diluted share, compared to $1·11bn, or $0·52 per diluted share. ‘Over the third quarter, our efforts centred on delivering the reliable customer service that has allowed us to remain resilient and successfully manoeuvre through mixed markets’, said President & CEO Joe Hinrichs. ‘Our merchandise business remained solid, and our coal operations delivered strong volume growth.’

TMH Bryansk has begun delivering 50 2TE25KM diesel locomotives ordered by Kazakhstan’s KTZ Gruzovye Perevozki in April 2023. They are designed to haul trains of up to 6 400 tonnes in any climate on challenging route profiles.