Copyright 2006, Traffic World, Inc.
Driven. We liked the photo one trucker friend sent us last month as FedEx Freight closed its buy of Watkins Motor Lines, now christened FedEx National Freight. Looked to us like the Watkins truck was in the left lane, half a trailer length ahead.
Lottery. Connecticut resident Tom McArdle was a recent $100,000 winner in the state''s Cash5 lottery game, turning a $1 ticket into a windfall. McArdle works for a local shortline, the Housatonic Railroad, proving once again that this clearly is a great financial year for the freight railroads.
Leaving. The Wall Street Journal recently broke the story of the problems railroads are having with autumn leaves falling on tracks, making the tracks slick and slowing trains down as they cope with slipping and skidding. So far, the Surface Transportation Board is undecided on whether the rails can charge a leaf surcharge, a rake surcharge, or both.
FEMA. New reports of problems at the Federal Emergency Management Administration are coming out with word that FEMA paid one hurricane-relief contractor $6.2 million for box lunches in Louisiana. That amounts to $14.85 a lunch, and that doesn''t begin to count for seconds on the beignets.
Mapped. Thanks to the AAA for coming out with its first "Easy Reading Road Atlas," a special edition aimed with large type at Baby Boomers who find squint at the highway exit numbers in the regular edition. It''s very kind.
Shh. Did you know a new "NAFTA Super Highway" is surreptitiously being planned through the United States to link Mexico and Canada? So says an e-mail forward going around. The NAFTA Highway, of course, is a figurative concept aimed at moving freight north-south through the continent. "Seems they want to build a highway through the middle of our country and let it belong to someone else," the ubiquitous message warns. Watch out for that construction in your backyard.