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Jim Blaze

Jim Blaze is a railroad career economist with an engineering background and a strategic analysis outlook. Jim’s career spans 21 years with Consolidated Rail Corporation (CONRAIL), 17 years with the rail engineering firm Zeta Tech Associates, 7 years with the State of Illinois Department of Transportation in Chicago urban goods movement research, and two years studying what to do with the seven bankrupt and unrecognizable Northeast railroads at the federal agency USRA. Now primarily a teacher and writer, Jim likes to focus on contrarian aspects of the railroad industry.
Feb - 2021 -
03 February
Jim Blaze

Viewpoint: Strategic outlook for rail freight?

Traffic density matters because it helps managers decide which rail track routes shift from main lines to possibly less viable branch lines.

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Jan - 2021 -
21 January
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Rail freight real-time, all-the-time inventory visibility

Rail could leap forward with on-time management of shipper goods if it were bolder and faster at innovating.

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14 January
Jim Blaze

Commentary: No, railroad freight electrification is not dead

AAR disregards that straight electric locomotives are easier to maintain. Plus each electric locomotive could be as powerful as perhaps two diesel-electric units.

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06 January
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Rail chemicals’ 2021 rebound

Momentum for increasing railroad chemical traffic should continue in 2021.

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Dec - 2020 -
30 December
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Railroad freight car orders depressed through 2021

A good news indicator will be when the railroads and private car fleet owners start placing large new orders.

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24 December
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Let’s watch rail freight recovery differently

The abnormal year of 2020 cannot be ignored. It simply is less relevant for strategic purposes when tracking rail’s progress.

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08 December
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Rail freight could grow market share

Important railroad customers are not satisfied with a business-as-usual case.

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02 December
Jim Blaze

Commentary: Cloud-based tool has been supply chain breakthrough

Regardless of a transport or logistics manager’s objectives, the digital age name of the game is to estimate the dollar savings provided by an application like this.

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Nov - 2020 -
27 November
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