Rail and Carriers

BNSF and Wabtec Battery-Electric Locomotive

BNSF and Wabtec Commence Battery-Electric Locomotive Pilot Test in California

Jan. 4, 2021 – BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and Wabtec’s (NYSE: WAB) exploration of the future potential of battery-electric locomotives crosses another significant milestone this week as they begin testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California. As BNSF seeks ways to further reduce its environmental impact, the advancement of battery technology offers some possible solutions.

“We've got everything in place and we're ready to see how this next-generation locomotive performs in revenue service," said John Lovenburg, BNSF vice president, Environmental. “BNSF is focused on continuing to reduce our environmental impact, and we’re committed to doing our part to test and assess the commercial viability of emerging technologies that reduce emissions.”

The battery-powered locomotive will be situated in a consist between two Tier 4 locomotives, creating a battery-electric hybrid consist. When running on the mainline, both the battery-electric and diesel locomotives will power the train.

The battery-electric locomotive is expected to reduce the environmental impact from emissions along the route in an efficient manner, while improving the fuel economy for the entire consist by at least 10 percent. The pilot test will run from January until the end of March. If the initial pilot proves successful, BNSF will look to expand testing to other locations and operating conditions on its system.

This initiative builds on BNSF’s existing investments in sustainable technologies including idle control, electric wide-span cranes, battery-electric hostlers, automated gates at its intermodal facilities, and Tier 4 locomotives. BNSF partnered with Wabtec on the development of the battery-electric locomotive, which features an overall energy-management system, including onboard energy storage that, when coupled with advanced system-optimization controls, will improve consist and train performance.

“The FLXdrive is the world’s first 100-percent, heavy-haul battery-electric locomotive that optimizes the total energy utilization of the entire locomotive consist,” said Alan Hamilton, Wabtec vice president, Engineering. “This technology works in a manner very similar to how electric vehicles use regenerative braking. It’s a significant step forward for the rail industry and will change the course for even cleaner, more energy-efficient transport.”

The battery-electric locomotive pilot program is part of a $22.6 million grant awarded to BNSF and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District from the Zero- and Near Zero-Emission Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) project by the California Air Resource Board to pilot several emissions-reducing technologies in and around railyards. The ZANZEFF project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces.

SOURCE: BNSF

 

FESCO transport group

Russian Railways, Belarusian Railway and FESCO Arranged the First Fully Digitalized Transit Transportation between Asia and Europe

Sept. 10, 2020 - A pilot intermodal container transportation was carried out on September 3 from the Port of Ningbo in China through the Port of Vladivostok in Russia to the Kolyadichi station in Belarus as part of the INTERTRAN project.

This transportation became the first completely digitalized transit container shipment between Asia and Europe arranged by Russian Railways, Belarusian Railway and FESCO Transportation Group.

INTERTRAN technology has already been replicated throughout the Russian Railways network, and over 6,000 containers have been transported with this service.

The service reduced the time required for processing freight documents by four days. It was the use of solely electronic transport documents, transit declarations and electronic customs clearance that made it possible.

The positive effects of the INTERTRAN project were particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, because digital processing reduced physical contacts during transportation to a minimum.

The INTERTRAN project was presented at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in September 2019. The electronic system is designed to develop intermodal transportation in Eurasia, reduce paperwork, and accelerate interactions between all parties in the transportation process. These shipments are being carried out on a regular basis from JapanChina, and South Korea.

SOURCE: Russian Railways

 

CN Containers

CN Joining The Commtrex Transload Marketplace

MONTREAL, Sept. 8, 2020 - CN (Canadian National Railway) announced that it has joined The Commtrex Transload Marketplace, offering customers one-stop access to CN’s unique tri-coastal rail network and its extensive range of transloading distribution services across Canada and the U.S.

Commtrex makes it quick and easy to find and request transloading services by efficiently connecting shippers with transloading providers who can handle the movement of bulk, liquids, packaged goods, oversized cargo, and more. Commtrex matches shippers with the most relevant transload facilities, then allows shippers to compare detailed information about each location before connecting directly through the platform to discuss terms.

“CN is focused on leveraging technology to better serve our customers; The Commtrex Marketplace helps us achieve exactly that by providing multiple transload options for shippers and facilitating quick and nimble decision-making between all parties,” said Mark Lerner, Vice-President, Marketing and Business Development for CN.

“By using Commtrex, CN can connect customers with our team of experts to receive the best transload solutions that will help optimize their supply chains. With CN’s comprehensive data analytics from our distribution facilities, as well as data from the Commtrex platform, we are offering increased visibility, and deeper level insights on customers’ goods including volumes, inventory aging, and last mile optimization,” Lerner added.

SOURCE: CN
 

Canadian Pacific Launches First Train of International Containers from Port of Saint John

​Aug. 19, 2020 - Canadian Pacific on Aug. 11 officially launched its international intermodal service through the Port of Saint John, N.B. The inaugural train carries containers from the Hapag-Lloyd vessel Detroit Express bound for intermodal terminals on the CP network in Canada and the U.S.

"The new Port of Saint John service offers shippers a compelling value: a congestion-free port with a world-class operator, matched with CP's precision scheduled railroading model," said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer. "CP has been without access to a deep-water Atlantic Ocean port for a quarter-century, and today I'm pleased to deliver a simple message: We're back."

CP originated westbound train 251-11 this morning for the Montreal region at Brownville Junction, Maine, with the first Port of Saint John containers on connection from the New Brunswick Southern (NBSR) and Eastern Maine (EMRY) railways. From Montreal, CP will move containers from the vessel Detroit Express on connecting trains to destinations that include Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Chicago and Minneapolis.

The first eastbound intermodal train to the Port of Saint John departed Montreal on Friday, Aug. 7.

CP gained access to the Port of Saint John through connections with EMRY and NBSR with CP's purchase of the Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQ), completed in June. CP has committed to investing $90 million over three years into the CMQ property to enhance safety and efficiency over the corridor. Complementing that investment is the port's $205 million West Side Modernization project, which includes a new wharf, a terminal upgrade and a deeper shipping channel.

CP's route is the shortest between Atlantic Canada and key North American markets. By year's end, CP anticipates it will be able to offer 24-hour service between Saint John and Montreal.

"The Port of Saint John connection gives us the rare opportunity to offer shippers a truly new and extremely compelling service to reach North American markets," said Jonathan Wahba, CP Vice-President Sales and Marketing Intermodal and Automotive. "With a world-class terminal operator in DP World and CP's investment in the CMQ, our customers will enjoy an unmatched value proposition that will benefit beneficial cargo owners for years to come."

SOURCE: Canadian Pacific (CP)

 

North American Rail Freight

Rail Traffic Down 8.5% for the Week Ending July 18

July 22, 2020 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 18, 2020 (week 29).

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 481,597 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.5 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending July 18 were 214,685 carloads, down 15.7 percent compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 266,912 containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent compared to 2019.

One of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. It was miscellaneous carloads, up 212 carloads, to 10,782. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included coal, down 22,464 carloads, to 56,202; metallic ores and metals, down 6,659 carloads, to 15,766; nonmetallic minerals, down 6,108 carloads, to 30,986, and forest products, down 10.0% to 8,683 carloads.

For the first 29 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,117,168 carloads, down 16.1 percent from the same point last year; and 6,951,086 intermodal units, down 9.6 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2020 was 13,068,254 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 12.8 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending July 18, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 312,112 carloads, down 13.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 354,593 intermodal units, down 1.8 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 666,705 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.5 percent. North American rail volume for the first 29 weeks of 2020 was 18,061,760 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.7 percent compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 71,949 carloads for the week, down 13.1 percent, and 67,698 intermodal units, down 5.1 percent compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 29 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,005,349 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.5 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 25,478 carloads for the week, up 16.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,983 intermodal units, up 10 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 29 weeks of 2020 was 988,157 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.9 percent from the same point last year.

Rail traffic data for commodity groups are available in the AAR's Week 29 Railroad Traffic report (4-page pdf).

SOURCE: Association of American Railroads (AAR)

 
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