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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Indiana Rail Road continues to cut coal-train cycle times

During the past six months, The Indiana Rail Road Co. (IRR) has reduced unit coal train cycle times about 20 percent. But the 155-mile short line is trying to cut cycle times even more to please two shippers that move more than 8 million tons of coal annually, according to IRR's fall newsletter.

Every Monday morning, IRR officials review the performance of every train movement the previous week to identify successes and determine remedies to problems.

The short line also is increasing train speeds because of recent track upgrades, including construction of a second connection track between Canadian Pacific Railway's mainline and IRR's Midland Subdivision in Jasonville, Ind., to improve service for Indianapolis Power & Light Co. Next year, the short line plans to install rail, upgrade signals, and improve ballast and drainage to increase train speed from between 20 mph and 30 mph to 40 mph.

IRR and CPR also recently modified train crews to reduce delays at their Midland interchange. CPR's crew now moves trains from a Terre Haute, Ind., yard to Ameren Corp.'s generating plant in Newton, Ind., while IRR workers return trains to the yard.

"Getting trains over the road faster will be a key ingredient for better and more efficient service for all of our customers," said IRR Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Rickoff. "In addition, the innovations, investments and lessons learned can be applied to other segments of our business."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/9/2003