dailyimpact | It’s a picture that’s worth a thousand choruses of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Here in the Seventh Straight Successful Year of the Recovery from the Great Recession, tucked into a corner of the Arizona Desert, is a line of parked Union Pacific locomotives. It was discovered on Google Earth, so it is, as they say, visible from space. There are 292 of them, baking in the sun like so many dinosaur skeletons, in a line stretching almost five miles. They, and the people who used to run them, are now “excess capacity” for one of the country’s largest freight haulers. In this, the Seventh Straight Successful Year of the Great Recovery.
No one should be surprised. But even when you know that trade — the buying and selling of stuff — has been slowing down all over the world for years, it is startling to see such stark, graphic evidence that we are all in deep trouble.
billingsgazette | GILLETTE — Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad officials say they are keeping about 150 locomotives and rail engines stored near Gillette because of decreased demand.
BNSF spokesman Matt Jones said the rail engines and two sets of box cars remain at the railroad's yard in the Donkey Creek area because of a downturn in rail shipping.
The problems can be attributed to the decline in the coal sector. The passage of the federal Clean Power Plan has pushed power plants away from coal and toward natural gas.
The impact can be seen in the Powder River Basin, as nearby coal companies Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal have filed for bankruptcy.
Jones said the declining demand for transportation has hit several sectors, not just coal.
inforum | FARGO - An economic downturn involving a variety of commodities across various parts of the United States has resulted in BNSF Railway parking about 45 of its train locomotives at the railroad’s train yard just off 12th Avenue North west of the North Dakota State University campus.
“Customers’ volumes across a broad spectrum of commodities have come down somewhat from their prior estimates,” said Amy McBeth, a spokeswoman for BNSF. “As a result, we are strategically storing locomotives in some yard locations across our network.”
McBeth said the locomotives will remain stored until traffic volumes warrant returning them to service.
Quarterly profits for Forth Worth-based BNSF, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, fell 25 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
The railroad has been cutting staff in the wake of a changing economic environment that includes low energy prices, the strong dollar and other factors, McBeth said.
“Nationwide, while petroleum products volumes are down, coal is down, too, as are a number of other commodities,” she added.
newsok | BNSF Railway has parked dozens of its locomotives at a storage yard north of downtown Oklahoma City over the past several weeks as slowing traffic demand has left the units idle.
The engines parked along the east side of Interstate 235 north of NW 23 are from BNSF trains throughout the country, company spokesman Joe Sloan said.
"We have a reduced amount of freight traffic now, and that storage point was available," he said.
Sloan said there is no timeline as to when the locomotives are expected back on the rails.