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World rail freight news round-up

13 May 2019

Polish freight operator Laude has awarded Newag a 60·5m złoty contract to supply four six-axle Dragon 2 electric locomotives, two of which will also be equipped with a diesel module. Delivery is scheduled for 2020. This manufacturer will provide a 36 month warranty.

Isabelle Courville was confirmed as Chair of the Canadian Pacific board at the AGM on May 7, succeeding Andrew F Reardon who has retired. ‘I congratulate Isabelle on becoming Chair of the board and on making history as the first woman to hold that position, not only for CP but across the Class 1s in North America’, said President & CEO Keith Creel.

Following an international search by recruitment agency Kerridge & Partners, the board of New Zealand's KiwiRail has appointed former Chairman Greg Miller as Group CEO, succeeding Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle. Brian Corban is Acting Chairman.

More than 550 US rail industry professionals participated in the annual Railroad Day in Washington DC on May 8, with more than 430 representatives of Class I and short line railways, staff, shippers and manufacturers visiting 350 congressional offices. Attendees called for on Congress to extend the Short Line Tax Credit, oppose any increases to lorry sizes and preserve ‘balanced economic regulation‘. President of the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association Chuck Baker said ‘our issues are ones that Congress should care about – spurring economic growth, proving safe and environmentally friendly transportation, and ensuring every industry and geography has access to the US and global economy.‘

ČD Cargo has leased a Bombardier Traxx F140AC3 electric loco with last mile module from Railpool. This will help the Czech operator to handle growing traffic in Austria, where it has been operating under its own licence since January. Traffic so far includes timber trains from the Czech Republic to pulp mills at Gratwein-Gratkorn and Lenzing, transit grain trains from Hungary, Romania or Slovakia to Straubing in Germany, and some ad-hoc traffic. In early April, ČDC took over haulage of coal trains throughout from Karviná to a power plant at Werndorf.

The Scottish government has announced up to £25m of ring-fenced funding to support rail freight modal shift objectives; this can include proposals which do not require infrastructure upgrades, such as wagons and locomotives.

Tasmanian operator TasRail has welcomed the Australian government’s commitment to a deliver a new A$40m bulk minerals shiploader at the Burnie Port, which CEO Steven Dietrich said would provide certainty for the iron ore mining industry on the island’s West Coast.

Kansas City Southern has reorganised the leadership of its Chemical & Petroleum and Industrial & Consumer commodity groups with Vice-President Energy, Industrial Development & Innovation Ginger Adamiak becoming Vice-President Energy & Chemical Products, adding chemicals and petroleum in the USA and Mexico to her responsibilities. Yesica Gloria Marrufo has been promoted to Vice-President Sales & Marketing for Industrial & Consumer Products in the USA and Mexico, with David Eaton becoming Vice-President operations for Kansas City Southern de Mexico.

CN has operated its first train of thermal coal from Coalspur’s Vista Mine in Hinton, Alberta, to Ridley Terminals at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, and the first block train of propane from Alberta for export via the new AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal. ‘I’m very proud to announce the start of these new export supply chains to Asia’, said President & CEO JJ Ruest on May 8. ‘As these new projects and our record grain movements for the month of April demonstrate, our capital investments are strengthening our existing network and expanding our capacity to move more western Canadian natural resources to market safely and efficiently.’