Progressive Railroading

Progressive Railroading September 2019 Editorial Lineup

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Cover Story:

Progressive Railroading's 2019 Rising Stars

Six years ago, Progressive Railroading created the Rising Stars recognition program as a way to highlight and celebrate the industry's up-and-comers. Each year, we ask readers to help us identify 25 individuals under the age of 40 who are making a positive difference in the rail industry.

Earlier this year, readers nominated more than 120 individuals who are well on their way to successful careers. From that group, we selected the 2019 Rising Stars. Honored at a July 22 recognition dinner in Norfolk, Virginia, this year's class comprises a diverse set of men and women chosen based on their contributions to the industry, career achievements, demonstrated leadership, professional association activity or community involvement. This month, we feature profiles of our 2019 Rising Stars.

Passenger Rail:

L.A. Metro Preps for the 2028 Summer Olympics

Last year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) board adopted the Twenty-Eight by '28 plan, which calls for completing 28 transportation projects ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Los Angeles. The Twenty-Eight by '28 plan includes the Purple Line extension's second and third phases, which are scheduled for completion in 2025 and 2026, respectively. How are the projects and prep work coming along? Senior Associate Editor Julie Sneider provides an update.

Rail Customer Focus:

UPS needs rail service to go from so-so to superior

On-time rail service is crucial for United Parcel Service (UPS) because time literally is money for the package delivery company. Expenses go up and profits go down if parcels aren't delivered like clockwork. So how has rail service fared thus far in 2019 for Class I's largest intermodal customer? Severe weather and precision scheduled railroading-related hiccups — at least at the Class Is that are adopting that operating strategy — hindered performance in 2019's first half, says UPS Vice President of Corporate Transportation Services Ken Buenker.

To learn more about the implications of the so-so service and how it needs/has to get better in the second half, Managing Editor Jeff Stagl checks in with Buenker and intermodal executives at several Class Is.

Recruiting and Diversity:

Women Working on The Railroad

North American railroads and suppliers aren't just in need of investment capital to meet the demands of growth. They also need to raise capital of the human variety. They'll be doing their share of recruiting top talent in the near term, and to get it, they'll likely need to cast a wider net than they have, traditionally.

Although the North American rail industry continues to lag when it comes to hiring women, H.R. managers say they're making efforts to get more females on board — and, once they've signed on, to keep them there. Associate Editor Vesna Brajkovic talks with a range of railroad officials, rail supply company execs and other links in the industry chain to find out what they're doing to recruit and retain women.

MOW/Annual Market Update:

Cross, Switch and Bridge Ties

In January, tie production increased 23.3 percent to 1,395,000 ties and purchases rose 24.4 percent to 1,468,000 units compared with December 2018 levels, according to Railway Tie Association (RTA) data. On a year-over-year basis, production climbed 8.4 percent while purchases dropped 7.4 percent. Meanwhile, January inventory fell 0.5 percent to 14,356,000 ties compared with December 2018 and by 20.4 percent from year-ago levels. "This year started with increased production and purchases," according to an RTA report. "Since purchases were stronger than production, the inventory was still in [a] declining trend."

It's midyear. What do the production, purchase and inventory levels look like? And what are telling observers about where the market's going? For context and perspective, we'll talk with the RTA, and tie suppliers and treaters.


Lightning & Surge Protection

To protect against service disruption due to lightning strikes, railroads use an array of surge protection systems. We connect with a cross-section of suppliers to find out what products and systems they're employing, as well as any new surge-protection approaches they're taking.

Special Advertising Opportunity:
Trade Show Product Preview

September Issue Bonus Distribution:
Railway Interchange 2019 (Sept. 22-25, 2019, Minneapolis); American Public Transportation Association's 2019 TRANSform Conference (Oct. 13-16, 2019, New York City); 101st Annual Railway Tie Association Symposium and Technical Conference (Oct. 15-18, Tucson, Arizona)

Acacia Reber

Regional Sales Manager