Utica Comets Overtaken By Albany Devils 2-1

Will Acton (above), recently traded in from the Oilers, scored the lone Comets goal.

Joe Whitney scored on a power play midway through the third period and the Albany Devils edged the Utica Comets 2-1 in an American Hockey League game Saturday at the Times-Union Center.
The Comets, who had won their previous two games, are 14-5-2-0 and still in first place in the North Division. The Devils, who have defeated the Comets in all five meetings since Utica returned to the league last season, are 10-6-1-4 and in second place in the Northeast Division.
Graham Black scored the other goal for the Devils, and Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves to pump his record up to 6-1-2.

Joe Cannata
Joe Cannata

, making his first start for the Comets this season after spending most of it with the California Reign in the East Coast Hockey League, made 22 saves.

The game was the third in four nights for the Comets, who will do the same thing on their upcoming trip to the West, playing at Oklahoma City Tuesday, Texas Wednesday and San Antonio Friday. It was the 14th one-goal decision in 21 games and fourth in a row for Utica, which is 9-3-2-0 in those games.
The Comets will not return to the Utica Memorial Auditorium until the Rochester Americans visit Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141129/News/141129381#ixzz3KX7CAfYk

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise


Utica Comets end Adirondack Flames Streak 2-1

Wacey Hamilton (above) scored late in the second period and the goalie Joacim Eriksson came up big late as the Utica Comets scored a 2-1 American Hockey League victory.

Joacim Eriksson
Joacim Eriksson

Cal O’ Reilly who leads the American Hockey League in assists, switched gears early in the first period by finding the puck in the slot after a quick feed from Dustin Jeffrey. At 3:41 O’Reilly wristed a shot past Flames goaltender Joni Ortio for his second goal of the season and the Comets first of the game to give them the early 1-0 lead.

Cal O'Reilly
Cal O’Reilly

The Comets found the game-winner with 2:40 left in the second period. After a shot from the point from Henrik Tommernes and a tip from New Hartford native Mike Zalewski, the puck bounced off of Ortio directly to Hamilton who was able to bury the re-bound for a final score of 2-1.

Trevor Linden, the Vancouver Canucks President of Operations stopped in to catch tonight’s win over the Flames. “It was a real special experience tonight,” Linden said. “We couldn’t be happier with things here in Utica.”

The Comets are right back at it again tomorrow night, except this time they will be at the Times Union Center to face the Albany Devils at 5 p.m. Last season, the Comets dropped all four meetings to the Devils, however their red and white opponents have lost eight out of their last 10 match-ups
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have recalled forward Nicklas Jensen from the AHL Utica Comets.

Jensen, 21, has collected 11 points (6-5-11) in 15 games with the Comets this season. He currently ranks tied for fourth on Utica in scoring. The Herning, Denmark native has appeared in 22 career NHL games, recording six points (3-3-6) and 10 penalty minutes.

The 6’3”, 202 pound forward was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, 29th overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise

All Aboard Florida, Siemens and More

All Aboard Florida execs talk Siemens train purchase, funding options

The phrase “all aboard” is becoming a bit closer to reality for All Aboard Florida (AAF), as officials continue to make progress on the Miami-to-Orlando intercity passenger-rail project. Designs for stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have been unveiled and are being finalized. Station site prep work is under way, and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2015.
But two of the most significant project announcements to date have come in the past two months.
In mid-September, AAF officials announced they had awarded a contract to Siemens to build locomotives and single-level intercity passenger cars for the corridor. AAF execs chose Siemens after an “exhaustive” search and procurement process that took nearly two years, says President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson. The process included trips to Europe, where AAF officials rode trains to get a feel for the type of service and ride quality they want the Florida service to mimic.
Execs focused mainly on higher-speed corridors and trips in the three-hour range — the amount of time AAF trains would take to make the 235-mile trek from south to central Florida.
“As you go a shorter distance or a longer distance, [riders’] needs change,” says Robinson. “During a three-hour trip, how do people use and store their luggage? How do they use dining cars? What seat configurations worked for them?”
Seven rolling stock manufacturers expressed interest in the AAF contract. The agency selected Siemens because of the company’s willingness to adapt products for AAF’s needs. Plant location was a big factor, as well: Siemens will build the locomotives and rail cars at its Sacramento, Calif., plant, meaning the rolling stock will be made in America. The company will retrofit a portion of its plant so it can manufacture the intercity passenger cars — the first such vehicles Siemens will build for a U.S. rail system, says Robinson.
Rolling stock order
AAF’s order includes five trainsets that will operate on the initial Miami-to-West Palm Beach segment. The agency plans to purchase an additional five trainsets once it has financing and environmental approvals secured for the second phase of the project, from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport.
AAF officials say they are aggressively pursuing new options for the project on the financing front. The first phase is being funded through equity from Florida East Coast Industries L.L.C., which is developing the project and owns the rail corridor, as well as bonds that were issued earlier this year, says Robinson. AAF had been seeking a $1.6 billion federal Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to help finance the second phase, but now is considering issuing private activity bonds to solicit debt financing from private capital markets.
Seeking private equity bonds
Doing so would ease taxpayers’ concerns that they might be on the hook for any project financing, says Robinson. The alternate financing also could be quicker to obtain.
“[This option] … gives us responsibility of and control over the timing of the process,” said AAF President and Chief Development officer Michael Reininger during an audio interview posted on the Treasure Coast Newspapers’ website on Oct. 7.
The private activity bond program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which must approve AAF’s application for a $1.75 billion bond allocation. Depending on the approved amount, AAF would be able to either eliminate or significantly reduce the requested amount of the RRIF loan, says Reininger.

All Aboard Florida to state agency: No local governments would oppose its new financing plan

More than 38,000 people have signed petitions to stop All Aboard Florida. Protests have reached the governor, members of Congress and the U.S. secretary of transportation.
Yet despite a groundswell against the proposed high-speed train, specifically on the Treasure Coast, All Aboard Florida has told the state it doesn’t know why any city, county or other local government would oppose issuance of tax-exempt bonds to fund its project, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers has learned.
All Aboard Florida avoids even mentioning the vehement opposition with a plan to cut off the Treasure Coast from any of the bond money, instead spending $1.3 billion of it in the other five counties along its 235-mile corridor.
It’s a subtle distinction in All Aboard Florida’s application to the Florida Development Finance Corp.
“AAF has received clear and consistent support from each county in which proceeds from the private activity bond will be invested,” the company wrote in its application for the bonds.
Where the application asks, “Are you aware of any reason why any local government unit (city, county, special district, etc.) would not want Florida Development Finance Corp. to issue bonds in connection with this transaction,” All Aboard Florida marked “No.”
The application — submitted Sept. 24 and signed by Michael Reininger, All Aboard Florida president and chief development officer — was obtained by Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers under Florida’s public-records law. Reininger certified that “The information contained in this application is … complete and accurate and presents fairly the condition of the applicant … ”
Asked if the company had answered the question about opposition honestly, All Aboard Florida declined to comment.
Bill Spivey, Florida Development Finance Corp. executive director, said his agency asks about opposition “to make sure if there are any issues, we’re aware of it. Typically, bondholders want to know if there are any issues. We want to be fully apprised.”
Spivey also stressed his agency has “nothing to do with anything other than financing.” Issues such as zoning, development and land use — and other concerns that ignited a firestorm against the $2.25 billion project — are beyond the authority of the Florida Development Finance Corp., he said.
All Aboard Florida plans to spend more than $387 million to upgrade its rail right of way through Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the railroad. Yet while its application to the state confirms no money from the private activity bonds would be spent on the Treasure Coast, the company won’t comment on how it would pay for construction here.
It also refused to explain why it chose to use the bond money only in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Brevard and Orange counties.
“We are a privately owned company and are not disclosing our capital structure,” the company said in a statement. “All Aboard Florida is fully financed to begin construction on the south segment (from Miami to West Palm Beach). Proceeds from the private-activity bonds; equity contributions from All Aboard Florida’s parent company, Florida East Coast Industries; and rolling stock financing will provide all the funding necessary to develop the project from Miami to Orlando.”
All Aboard Florida has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to authorize the sale of $1.75 billion of tax-exempt private-activity bonds. The railroad would pay a fee to Florida Development Finance Corp. to be the “conduit issuer,” and would begin marketing the bonds before the end of the year, according to its application.
All Aboard Florida initially asked the federal government for a $1.6 billion low-interest loan, a part of its plan that has drawn some of the most strenuous criticism. However, if the tax-exempt bonds are approved, the loan “would either be completely replaced or substantially reduced, ” Husein Cumber, Florida East Coast Industries executive vice president, said last month.
In addition to buying locomotives, train cars, maintenance equipment and equipment for its stations, All Aboard Florida plans to use money from the private-activity bonds to pay off $405 million it borrowed through a bond offering in July, according to the bond application. All that money remains in escrow, according to the application.
Private Activity Bonds
All Aboard Florida wants to scrap its request for a $1.6 billion federal low-interest loan and instead borrow $1.75 billion by having the state issue tax-exempt public-activity bonds. How would that work?
The U.S. Department of Transportation must approve “allocation” of the $1.75 billion, meaning it authorizes the amount of bonds to be sold.
All Aboard Florida pays Florida Development Finance Corp. an issuance fee as the “conduit issuer.”
Florida Development Finance Corp.’s name is on the bonds, but the state of Florida is not financially at risk if All Aboard defaults. The state does not pledge its credit, any cash or anything else, and acts only as a financing conduit, not a lender.
Bond interest rate is set by a third-party underwriter, based in part on market conditions, before the sale.
With a bond sale this large, buyers typically would be institutional investors.
All Aboard would repay investors their principal plus interest. Term of the bonds has not been determined, but state law sets a maximum of 30 years.
Investors would be exempt from paying federal income tax on the interest earned.
Brevard and Miami-Dade County commissions last month voted to approve the amount of bond proceeds to be used locally. It was required because they are the only counties along the All Aboard Florida corridor whose interlocal agreements with Florida Development Finance Corp. include “bond caps.”
Source: Florida Development Finance Corp.

Utica Comets Get Their Revenge Over Syracuse Crunch 5 to 4

Darren Archibald scored his second and third goals of the season, including the game winner with 4:12 to play, and also had an assist as the Utica Comets outbattled the Syracuse Crunch 5-4 in an American Hockey League game before a sellout crowd of 3,815 Wednesday at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Brandon DeFazio
Brandon DeFazio

Brandon DeFazio had a goal, assist and fight to help lead the way for the Comets (13-4-2-0, 28 points, first in North Division), who had lost their previous two games, including a 2-1 loss to the Crunch in Saturday’s historic Frozen Dome Classic. Newcomer Will Acton, who played with Archibald and DeFazio had two assists as that line rolled up seven points in their first-ever game togehter.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141126/News/141129501#ixzz3KFaIwltS

The Utica hockey club will have one day of rest before they return to The AUD this Friday to take on the Adirondack Flames for the third time this season. Previously the Comets slipped by the Flames in a 5-4 decision at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Nov. 1. Since then, the Flames have not lost a game and have won nine in a row.

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise

Successful SCM On-Going Disruption Recovery

Successful supply chain management requires a company to recover from disruptions, which are a normal part of any business. We have recently talked about unexpected and unusual disruptions / mistakes. But normal disruptions can and should be solved by the “operations people”.

Now that all the smart companies have gone into a unified Supply Chain Management organization including Procurement and Logistics, everything is much easier. The solution for on-going disruptions is the SCM Control Tower. They now also play an important role in unusual disruptions, but the “War Room” full of executives, consultants etc might still happen for big or strange stuff.

So let’s see what kinds of “normal” disruptions we run into and how we deal with them:

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/advisors/ec-bps-bloggers/10805-successful-scm-on-going-disruption-recovery#ixzz3K9aVqbjd

Find out about Commitment and Fair Promise

A TROLL is a New Term For Me

This is a very popular topic. enjoy!


After a while I get used to new terms almost every day. Forget the really technical stuff. That goes in one ear and out the other. I talking about “layman” terms like Cloud, SEO, EDI, etc.

Well I have recently seen a new one called “Troll” or “Trolling” and decided to find out more. To me, a troll was always a mythical (maybe real) thing (see picture at top) that lived under a bridge and collected tolls. Ummm, maybe they moved to the Cloud like all you should be too.

So we turned to an information source we trust, The Urban Dictionary:

One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of…

View original post 234 more words

Norfolk Southern is Getting To Be A “Class” Railroad

Sometimes I take a look at the live camera on The Norfolk Southern at Chesterton, Indiana. LOTs of traffic, always moving right along. It is a mainline that looks like a mainline.
Norfolk Southern Corp. and Canadian Pacific subsidiary Delaware & Hudson Railway Co. (D&H) announced November 18, 2014 a proposed transaction under which NS would acquire 282.5 miles of a D&H line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., for $217 million. CP would retain ownership of D&H’s line from Montreal to Albany, N.Y. 
The southern portion of D&H’s lines connect with NS’ network in Sunbury and Binghamton, N.Y., and would provide the Class I single-line routes from Chicago and the southeastern U.S. to Albany and its recently built intermodal terminal in Mechanicville, N.Y., NS officials said. NS also would gain an enhanced connection to its joint venture subsidiary Pan Am Southern, which serves New England markets, and acquire D&H’s car shop in Binghamton along with other facilities along the corridor.
“Acquiring this portion of the D&H provides for more efficient rail transportation system by consolidating freight operations with a single carrier,” said NS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wick Moorman. “Aligning the D&H track with Norfolk Southern’s 22-state network allows us to connect businesses in central Pennsylvania, upstate New York and New England with domestic and international markets, while enhancing the region’s competitive rail and surface transportation market.”
As part of the transaction, NS would retain and modify overhead trackage rights on the line between Schenectady, Crescent and Mechanicville, as well as Saratoga Springs, N.Y. D&H would retain local access to serve customers in Schenectady and maintain its access to shippers in Buffalo, N.Y. NS would retain its current employees and offer employment to about 150 D&H workers in the area.
But hold your hat folks, here is more from Norfolk Southern.
An acceleration of resource additions, coupled with the annual volume decline after Thanksgiving, should provide incremental improvements in train performance and terminal fluidity heading into next year, Norfolk Southern Corp. officials said in a service update posted on the Class I’s website on Monday.

“As severe winter weather will have an adverse impact to operations, we expect a return to historical train performance and velocity toward the end of the second quarter of 2015,” they said. “We remain committed to an improved operating environment ahead.”

The service update included a summary of recent actions taken by NS to boost operational performance, as well as measures the Class I expects to implement soon.

The railroad:

• plans to increase the number of active train and engine service (T&E) employees by about 400 in November and December, largely concentrated in the Northern Region between Chicago and New Jersey;

• expects to increase the number of active T&E employees in the range of 700 to 800 in 2015, with an emphasis on adding as many workers as possible in the year’s first half;

• plans to place the remaining 50 of 75 new purchased locomotives into service by 2014’s end, as well as take delivery of 40 used locomotives, with an additional 60 scheduled for early 2015 delivery;

• expects to complete rehabilitation work at several yard tracks in Conway yard by Thanksgiving; and

• projects to start to reaping benefits from the $160 million classification yard expansion in Bellevue, Ohio, in early December, with full operations phased in during first-quarter 2015. (For more information on the Bellevue yard expansion, and how it factors into NS’ long-term freight-moving strategy, read this cover story from

Progressive Railroading’s November issue.)
NS also is rerouting some loaded and empty trains over alternative gateways to better manage interchanges in Chicago, particularly through the coming winter months, and has completed about 90 percent of major rail, tie and surfacing work across the Northern Region to enhance velocity and fluidity.

The Class I plans to continue providing service updates on a regular basis.

Now a feature article on NS
Norfolk Southern’s Bellevue Yard expansion is vital to the railroad’s strategy for moving freight
Mark Dewberry was a 24-year-old project manager when he worked on the construction of the Linwood, N.C., hump yard in 1978, which is the last time a major classification yard was built by what is now Norfolk Southern Railway. Today, as NS’ chief engineer of design and construction, Dewberry is overseeing the largest single infrastructure project currently underway on the NS network, and of his career: the $160 million expansion and modernization of the Bellevue classification yard in northern Ohio.
Covering 650 acres and stretching 5.5 miles, Bellevue will become NS’ largest hump yard and one of the largest in North America when the expansion is completed in December. It’s one of 12 NS classification yards, where freight cars are collected and sorted for final destination. About 100 trains depart, move through or terminate daily at Bellevue, and 710 NS employees work there. Slated to be phased into full operation during first-quarter 2015, the expansion will double Bellevue’s capacity to accommodate current and future traffic demand.
What makes Bellevue such a crucial facility? Its location. The yard is halfway between New York City and Chicago, and sits at the intersection of five NS lines. The expansion is part of the Class I’s overall goal of having the “right assets in the right place at the right time” — as NS President James Squires described it at a Sept. 23 conference for investors and analysts in Cleveland and Bellevue.
“Bellevue is geographically and operationally located just where we need it for the growth we see coming,” Squires said, according to a transcript of his remarks.
“Our customers require different services in different places than they did just a few years ago. … Bellevue is at the crossroads of our changing coal merchandise and intermodal franchises, and really highlights how we’re using infrastructure to drive growth.”
NS executives hope a vastly bigger Bellevue also will help the Class I improve its operating efficiency by “pre-blocking” rail cars for longer hauls, and increasing direct interchanges with western carriers that will help reduce switching at other terminals. Also, more capacity at the yard will open up space at other terminals, thus improving asset utilization. Once the bigger and better Bellevue comes on line, customers should see transit times improve by one to 2.3 days, NS officials say.
Since the railroad broke ground on the project in April 2012, NS traffic volume — driven in large part by the crude production and shale-drilling business — has mushroomed in the railroad’s northern region. About a year into the expansion effort, the rapid growth in the region’s traffic motivated NS officials to move up the project’s completion date by about six months. As a result, NS now expects to start deriving benefits from its investment by year’s end.
The project calls for adding 39 miles of track and 145 miles of underground cable for communications and signaling systems, which will allow NS to double Bellevue’s capacity from 1,800 to 3,600 cars. The new track will feature 38 new classification tracks, a five-mile mainline track around the yard, three forwarding tracks, two receiving tracks, one pullback track and one hump lead track.
When completed, Bellevue will feature a total of 80 classification tracks and will be the only yard in the NS network to contain two operating humps used to sort rail cars. Also, crews have constructed a four-story control tower and mechanical and maintenance-of-way facilities, and installed 11 100-foot light towers to illuminate the yard and 22 diesel-powered back-up generators.
As of mid-October, the project was about 95 percent completed, according to Dewberry, who has been involved in the planning, design and construction from the get-go. Most of the track construction was finished, and crews were getting the computer process control function that operates the hump operations up to speed.
The primary challenge of the massive job has been building nearly 40 miles of track in what already was a very busy classification yard, Dewberry says. So, how did Dewberry and construction crews manage it?
“We worked very closely with our transportation people during the construction,” he says. “They made a lot of sacrifices to keep us going, to give us the tracks, train crews and engines that we needed to do things like unload rock. All our disciplines — engineering, transportation, operations — we all worked together to get the [task] done, and get it done when it was needed.”
Getting Started
Construction crews’ first tasks involved grading the land, mainly for the classification yard and some of the support track, the creation of a drainage system and the laying of underground cable.
“Bellevue, Ohio, is excellent farmland, but not that great for structural fill,” Dewberry says. “We had to stabilize the ground with stone and grout and various stabilization methods, especially in the hump area where so much rail-car activity would be happening in a concentrated area.”
Also early on, crews needed to relocate a number of buildings that were in the way of the expansion’s progress, but housed functions that were necessary to maintain the yard’s existing operations. A pedestrian underpass and associated retaining walls also had to be built beneath the new hump lead so that employees could cross the yard from the employee parking area to the yard’s administration building.
“That was the first 12 or 13 months: the grading, the draining, the underground cable, the underpass, which actually took more than half way into the second year to do it totally,” Dewberry says. When grading was about 75 percent finished, crews started working on the second mainline around the yard, a project component the transportation department believed was important to maintain the yard’s operation during construction.
It was about 13 months into the expansion when NS officials determined the completion timeline had to be shortened to accommodate the increasing traffic through the region.
“We had to sit down and rethink the whole job to figure out where we were going to take time out of the schedule,” Dewberry says. “Every group on the facility had to turn their schedule upside down to accommodate other NS groups in order to accelerate the project.”
Crews worked with the signals team to relocate controls, computers and cabling associated with running the old yard. Classification track construction also was moved up. By November 2013, the second mainline around the yard was opened. And by December 2013 — just before the start of an unusually severe winter season — all the tracks and switches in the yard were constructed, with a majority covered with ballast and surfaced.
Since then, backup power for the old and new yards has been installed, and a new compressor system that operates the retarders on the new hump system is in place. Additionally, construction of a one-mile connection between the yard and the NS Sandusky line has begun. As of mid-October, testing of the second hump was expected to begin soon.
When a train pulls into Bellevue, it enters one of 12 two-mile-long receiving tracks. From there, the cars are pushed over the hump and released one or a few at a time to one of two lead tracks. Next, a computer system determines the speed of each car based on weight and other factors. Retarders control the cars’ speed as they’re routed to specific tracks, depending on their destination. They’re then organized into “blocks” for outbound tracks.
Building and operating two humps will help NS sort and classify cars more quickly. That’s why a diamond crossover was located between the two hump leads, which will allow for two sets of cars to be classified simultaneously.
Norfolk and Western Railway leaders had expansion in mind when they built Bellevue in 1966-67; they set aside enough property to double its size when business warranted it. More than 45 years later, that time is now, says Jerry Hall, NS’ vice president of network and service management.
“As we saw our volumes really ramp up over the past couple of years, we realized that we really needed to speed this project up because a lot of our growth is in the northern part of our system,” he says. “The timing was perfect to get the new Bellevue on line as soon as possible. With the doubling of capacity at Bellevue, we’re very confident that it can handle the increase in volume over the coming years.”
Hall noted that a significant cost of running a railroad is the handling and switching of rail cars in yards and terminals. The Bellevue expansion will help NS lower those handling and switching costs, while also increasing efficiency, he says. For example, traffic moving from the Philadelphia area to Chicago currently is handled at three or four yards. With more capacity and classification tracks at Bellevue, NS will be able to sort and build bigger blocks of cars there and allow trains to bypass two other yards on the way to Chicago, saving money and handling time.
Bypassing extra yards also will help improve traffic flow and reduce delays for other railroads that move traffic on the Class I’s lines in the region, NS executives say. One example is Amtrak, which operates trains on NS track between Chicago and Cleveland and has struggled with its own on-time performance problems due to freight train delays.
“One of the big benefits of the Bellevue expansion is it will save us from having to send a lot of traffic to Chicago to be handled by one of the big terminals there,” Hall says.
The decision to double Bellevue’s size was not a “seat-of-the-pants-type decision,” according to Hall. Transportation managers relied on computer modeling tools to help determine the best locations for improving the NS network. One tool used was the algorithm blocking and classification, or ABC system, which is designed to identify and route traffic on the most efficient line. The ABC model identified Bellevue as the best route for NS, while a second tool — the operating plan developer, which can determine a proposed service plan’s impact on car miles, train miles and crew recruitment — showed the yard lacked the necessary capacity to handle a surge in traffic.
Gearing Up For Growth
After the expansion, Bellevue’s traffic volume is expected to increase about 81 percent and additional capacity will be created at NS terminals in Elkhart, Ind., Conway, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio. More employees are being brought on board, too: NS announced in April 2012 that it expected 275 new railroad jobs would be added to Bellevue’s employment base. This year alone, the Class I expects it will have hired 109 conductors to serve the larger yard, accommodate an overall increase in traffic and address attrition due to retirements.
Overall, the Bellevue expansion will have a significant impact on the railroad’s entire network, NS executives believe.
“A lot of science and planning has gone into this project,” says Hall. “It allows us to reduce unnecessary car handlings across the network, streamline the operation, and help improve customer service and the flow of traffic through Chicago. … We’re very excited about it. We can’t wait to flip the switch and start using it.”

Find out about accomplishments and Fair Promise

Utica Comets drop to Syracuse Crunch But Part Of Hockey History

The Utica Comets helped make history.

They did not get a win.

The Comets and Syracuse Crunch met in the main event of the Frozen Dome Classic on Saturday at the Carrier Dome, playing before the largest indoor crowd in American Hockey League  history – 30,715.

It was a festive occasion, complete with handshakes between the teams afterward – usually not done in the regular season – and post-game team pictures, as well.

The Crunch got the best of it of the deal, just barely, with Yanni Gourde’s second-period goal standing up as the winner.

It was the fifth win in six games for the Crunch (10-5-3-0), who are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 23 points. The Comets lost a second straight game for the first time this season. They are 12-4-2-0 and still in first place – temporarily, at least – in the Western Conference with 26 points.

Gourde and Joel Vermin scored for the Crunch, with Tanner Richard, Jonathan Marchessault and Nikita Nesterov earning assists. Alex Friesen scored the Comet goal, with Ronalds Kenins and Nicklas Jensen assisting.

The Crunch took the lead with a goal just 49 seconds into the second period – and a second after Alex Biega came out of the box on a carryover penalty – as Gourde tipped in Marchessault’s shot from high in the slot. The Comets outshot the Crunch 11-9 in the period, and the Friesen-Kenins-Jensen line had a couple of particularly good chances, but couldn’t get anything past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Comets have good chances in the third period as well, and took things down to the bitter end, controlling a faceoff in the Syracuse end with 16 seconds left in the game and getting a couple of good looks before it was all over.

The Comets and Crunch will meet again Wednesday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.


Read the rest of this great story

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise

Utica Comets Drop to Rochester Americans 7-4

Tim Schaller scored two goals and added three assists to lead the Rochester Americans to a 7-4 American Hockey League victory over the Utica Comets Friday at Blue Cross Arena.

The Amerks (8-8-1-0) stormed to a 3-0 first-period lead, held off a late challenge by the Comets, then added insult to injury with a goal with one second to play.

Brandon DeFazio scored twice on the power play for the Comets (12-3-2-0), who had won six of their previous seven games, Dustin Jeffrey had a goal and an assist, and Alex Friesen scored the other goal, his first of the season. Utica had a 35-33 edge in shots, but Jacob Markstrom, who came in with a 1.24 goals-against average and 0.995 save percentage, gave up six scores, with another going into an empty net.

Dustin Jeffrey
Dustin Jeffrey
Alex Frieson
Alex Frieson

The Comets headed to Syracuse after the game to get ready for Saturday’s Frozen Dome game with the Syracuse Crunch at the Carrier Dome.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141121/Sports/141129809#ixzz3Jm8Oa8Sk

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise