CA-Black-Transp

Gateway Pacific Terminal

By Dave Gambrel

The U.S. coal exporting community could not imagine a more perfect place than Cherry Point from which to export America’s cleanest coal, coal produced in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Montana and Wyoming. Over the last 10 years, some six or eight project developers took a shot at building a coal terminal in the Pacific Northwest. Of the two that are left, Millennium and Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT), GPT was the only one standing when the race began, and may be the only one left standing when built.

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Status of Positive Train Control Implementation

By Dave Gambrel

Seven years ago, a tragic train crash in southern California riveted the nation. As far as the nation was concerned, this crash was the last straw. Congress quickly responded by passing a bill that would remove the responsibility of train braking from the hands of man and place it firmly in the “hands” of an automatic control system. Little did they know, they were demanding a system with the technical equivalence of a NASA rocket launch from an industry unschooled in developing automatic control systems, and they were giving the railroads seven years and no money to make it happen. Now, we are on the glide slope of that adventure; the railroads are saying they have spent billions and still won’t make the December 31 deadline.

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Shipping World Review

By Dave Gambrel

This is a brief review of shipping issues of immediate interest. For example, there is a focus on the Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) definition of New Panamax. ACP does not use the terminology Post Panamax, but others do, so this article will attempt to clarify. It is defined as all vessels with dimensions greater than Panamax or Panamax Plus that comply with the size and draft limitations of the new locks, namely 366 m (1,200 ft 9 in.) in length by 49 m (160 ft 9 in.) in beam by 15.2 m (49 ft 10 in.). Tropical fresh water draft vessels are referred to as New Panamax vessels. Others may refer to Post-Panamax vessels, so the charterer/terminal manager/agent must be very careful when vessel dimensions are an issue.

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India Coal Logistics Perspective

By Dave Gambrel

There are many terminals that can unload coal in India; our interest is focused on terminals that service the major existing coal-fired power stations, those that generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) or greater. There are 17 such thermal stations on the West Coast (Arabian Sea), and another 16 on the East Coast (Bay of Bengal) (See Table 1). West Coast power stations receive coal through five different major terminals, and East Coast stations receive coal from nine different major terminals.

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Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill

By Dave Gambrel

Following two days of debate and consideration of numerous amendments, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 240-177 a $34.5 billion FY16 Energy and Water Development spending bill, HR 2028. The measure would fund the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Civil Works Program at $5.6 billion, $182 million higher than current spending levels and $905 million more than the president’s request. Increased corps funding and full use of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund would be achieved if the legislation were approved by the White House.

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