World rail freight news round-up
Freight traffic has resumed on a 35 km section of the SNCF Réseau network between Oiry and Esternay, serving a cereal-growing area east of Paris. Funding for the €7m upgrade programme was provided by sources including the French government (€2∙25m), the Grand Est region (€1∙7m), SNCF Réseau (€1∙3m) and the département of Marne (€1m).
OmniTRAX’s Stockton Terminal & Eastern Railroad has been awarded a grant to purchase a Tier 4 compliant Knoxville Locomotive Works SE10B T4L loco as part of the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Central District’s programme to support the replacement of older locomotives with more energy efficient models.
On March 7 Canadian National’s Interim President & CEO JJ Ruest said the company would ‘quickly improve the movement of Western Canadian grain’, and was directing staff and equipment to clear backlogs. ‘We apologise for not meeting the expectations of our grain customers, nor our own high standards’, Ruest said. Steps taken included offering incentives for key staff to postpone leave and delay or return from retirement, deploying managers to operate extra trains, adding train crews in Western Canadan and leasing 130 locomotives. CN is also investing C$250m this year to add track and yard capacity and improve resilience.
Polish open access operator Industrial Division has ordered a Siemens Vectron MS locomotive for use by its Cargounit subsidiary from September. It will be equipped with ETCS and certified for operation in Poland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.
Norfolk Southern has updated its AccessNS e-commerce tool, which now allows customers to create a personalised dashboard with the information they consider most important. ‘We have redesigned AccessNS from the ground up, giving it a totally new look’, said Fred Ehlers, Vice-President IT & CIO. ‘We want to provide our customers with timely and reliable data they need to satisfy the demands of their customers and grow their business. Our goal is to be the transportation industry leader in providing data the way customers want it.’
Bulgarian freight operator DMV is to take delivery of two Siemens Vectron locomotives this month. DMV said it chose Vectrons for the short delivery time and availability of spares and support.