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January 2021

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

From the Editor: Our most-read news stories from 2020


By Pat Foran, Editor

Pandemic-related coverage has dominated the slates of many information delivery vehicles since March 2020, and our Daily News service was no exception. Posted on March 16, “FRA declares emergency in response to coronavirus outbreak” was far and away the most-read Daily News story of 2020.

There are a few other COVID-colored stories on our most-read list, including a who-got-what stimulus piece. Other stories (of the not-exactly-uplifting variety) also could be considered COVID related.

The pandemic-related items aside, last year’s most-read stories ran a predictable gamut — from merger-and-acquisition activity (M&A shows us how and why the rail map is changing, and suggests confidence in rail’s future) to positive train control (the implementation deadline was imminent) to any and all Amtrak news (because it’s Amtrak). Expect these three news topic areas to continue to rule in 2021, as well — with new bents, of course. We’re especially looking forward to covering PTC, post implementation (aka PTC 2.0). There also will continue to be COVID-related coverage in the months ahead — some of it not all that uplifting, still. But there will be more light-at-the-end-of-the-pandemic-tunnel news as the year unfolds, too. 

Here are 20 from 2020 — the Daily News stories our readers clicked on most often last year (and thank you, as always, for clicking and reading): 

1. “FRA declares emergency in response to coronavirus outbreak” (3/16/20)

2. “STB approves CN acquisition of CSX rail line” (4/7/20)

3. “Schumer calls on FRA to let Amtrak move new high-speed train to test track” (1/10/20)

4. “Trump’s budget slashes Amtrak funding, phases out long-distance routes” (2/11/20)

5. “NTSB: Subgrade fill failure led to CSX train derailment, bridge collapse” (4/8/20)

6. “Norfolk Southern to idle Bellevue hump yard” (6/17/20)

7. “Stimulus bill includes $25B for transit, $1B for Amtrak” (3/27/20)

8. “Amtrak to furlough nearly 2,000 workers, cut 100 managers” (9/8/20)

9. “FRA: Eight railroads at risk of missing PTC deadline” (2/28/20)

10. “Reading & Northern preps locomotives for passenger excursion” (1/15/20)

11. “Texas state lawmakers ask USDOT to end high-speed rail project” (4/9/20)

12. “Brookfield Infrastructure acquires Genesee & Wyoming” (1/2/20)

13. “Unions: FRA denies request for employee safety order” (4/17/20)

14. “BNSF budgets $3.4 billion for capital expenditures in 2020” (2/4/20)

15. “KCS rejects takeover bid, report says” (9/11/20)

16. “TSB: ‘Ice jacking’ led to CN train derailment” (8/17/20)

17. Progressive Railroading announces Rising Stars for 2020” (4/17/20)

18. “CSX to end McKees Rocks intermodal operations” (5/6/20)

19. “FRA: Four railroads at risk of missing PTC deadline” (5/18/20)

20. “Norfolk Southern mainline to serve Little Canoe Creek Mega-Site” (1/22/20)



Browse articles on pandemic COVID Amtrak FRA PTC CN CSX BNSF Brookfield Infrastructure Rising Stars Norfolk Southern stimulus bill

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