Thursday, August 27, 2009

US Rail Freight Boosts Capacity

Rolling stock being taken out of mothballs
Shipping News Feature

US – North American rail freight operator Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) has reintroduced nearly a third of its parked railroad fleet back into service according to CNN. The move is considered a further sign of an economic recovery in the United States.

Though Norfolk Southern still has about 14 percent of its locomotives and a quarter of its freight cars still parked, the company says that it has returned to service some 9,500 cars and 200 engines, and expects for more to resume operations in the coming weeks.

Chief Marketing Officer Donald Seale says that: "We are bumping along the bottom, making some headway in some markets. We are somewhat encouraged.”

He did, however, also state that: “We know it is going to take some time for a recovery from this deep in the recession.”

Norfolk Southern’ move follows Union Pacific’s announcement last month that it too was returning stored locomotives due to improving conditions. UP bought back into service some 11, 000 of the peak 71,000 freight cars it had in storage in May, and 200 of the 2,100 locomotives.

(pic: courtesy of NSC)