Disclaimer

The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Grain train derails at Bunge facility

Work crews try to get a train car uprighted Saturday afternoon after a derailment at Bunge Oilseed Processing. Photo by Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

Details are still pending after at least one and as many as three train cars overturned at Emporia, Kansas’ Bunge Oilseed Production facility recently.

KVOE News was told on site Saturday that […]

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Port of L.A. and railroad appeal a court decision that blocked a new freight yard in the harbor

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. and harbor officials are seeking to overturn a decision in March by Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barry P. Goode.

Goode ruled that the port and BNSF violated state law by failing to adequately assess the environmental impacts of the proposed Southern […]

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Long Beach wins lawsuit over $500 million rail yard plan for Port of Los Angeles

From the Press-Telegram:

A judge’s ruling in favor of Long Beach and other litigants in a pivotal lawsuit challenging a $500 million rail-yard project at the Port of Los Angeles puts the project on an indefinite pause and may give Long Beach officials considerable leverage in negotiating greater environmental protections for any future project design.

[…]

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IANA reelects BNSF's Farmer as chair

The Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) board last week welcomed four new members and installed officers for the 2016 membership year.

Katie Farmer, group vice president for consumer products of BNSF Railway Co., was reelected chairman. Farmer has more than 20 years of experience in the railroad industry and is responsible for the commercial […]

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Truck hits train, tankers catch fire on Columbia River

Tanker cars hit by semi in Portland

A truck driver died after colliding with a train, which set off a series of tanker fires that shut down Portland’s St. Johns Bridge and a section of Hwy 30 on Sunday morning.

A massive plume of smoke was seen for miles after the crash around 8:45 a.m. […]

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Environmentalists ask judge to halt $500-million harbor-area rail yard

From the Los Angeles Times:

A coalition of environmentalists, community groups and Long Beach officials is seeking a court order to halt construction of a controversial $500-million Port of Los Angeles rail yard that they claim will increase pollution in surrounding low-income, minority communities.

During hearings Monday and Tuesday, attorneys representing the group asked Contra […]

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Port of Vancouver celebrates completion of rail trench project

The Port of Vancouver on Thursday shined a spotlight on the completion of a $30 million project — a new rail entrance to the port dubbed the “trench” — that’s part of a larger effort to relieve congestion and to speed products to markets.

A new rail entrance to the port, the project allows trains […]

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BNSF exec warns of congestion coming to East Coast

From the Journal of Commerce:

The same congestion that snarled U.S. Pacific Coast ports earlier this year is headed for ports on the East Coast, a BNSF Railway executive warned earlier this week.

“Port congestion, many have said, is not over,” Dean Wise, BNSF vice president of network strategy said Tuesday at the Council of […]

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Farmer takes office as IANA chair

Katie Farmer, group vice president of consumer products at BNSF Railway, has taken office as the first woman to chair the Intermodal Association of North America’s board of directors.

Farmer succeeded Phil Shook, director of intermodal at C.H. Robinson, who remains on the board.

Trucker Kevin Lhotak, president of Reliable Transportation Specialists, Inc., was named […]

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BNSF restricts empty containers headed to Seattle, Tacoma, citing labor productivity decline

BNSF Railway is no longer accepting empty containers headed to Seattle and Tacoma marine terminals at railyards in Chicago; St. Paul, Minnesota, Denver and Omaha, citing reduced labor productivity at the Pacific Northwest Ports.

The Class I railroad reinstated its ban on empty containers heading to the two ports at Logistics Park Chicago in Elwood, […]

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Rail car shortage blunts Puget Sound ports’ comeback bid

From Bloomberg:

In the U.S., shippers of grain, coal and other commodities have told regulators of poor service from BNSF, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The U.S. Surface Transportation Board in June ordered railroads to report plans for resolving the backlogs.

Seattle and Tacoma are being stymied in their push to […]

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New contract between BNSF, Tacoma Rail could boost Port of Tacoma

A new contract between the Pacific Northwest’s busiest railroad, BNSF, and Tacoma’s home-grown Tideflats shortline railroad, Tacoma Rail, could give the Port of Tacoma an additional competitive edge over rival ports.

Under the new contract, Tacoma Rail is refueling, doing minor maintenance and stocking the locomotives with supplies to allow them to get back on […]

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US grain exporters welcome ILWU contract but rail delay concerns persist

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say they are working to improve service as the 2014 harvest starts to move from farms to grain elevators. A backlog of shipments caused by a harsh 2013-2014 winter, coupled with an increase in intermodal and carload freight, has resulted in some […]

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Port of Tacoma executive asking railroad for better service

Two to three 100-car crude oil unit trains a day now arrive in the Pacific Northwest daily. That number, say researchers, is likely to increase geometrically as more rail crude-oil terminals are built here.

The Port of Tacoma’s chief executive officer , John Wolfe, Wednesday was on a pilgrimage to Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC’s […]

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Coal exports from Bellingham could ramp up rapidly

Developers of the largest of the region’s proposed coal-export terminals have shifted their site plan to claim a dramatic reduction in impacts on wetlands.

Simultaneously, SSA Marine, the Seattle international terminal operator, said it will speed up plans to operate Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) north of Bellingham at full capacity. The capacity planning, along with […]

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