Rail Group Develops

Chemical Spill DataThe Association of American Railroads has developed a computerized emergency response program for hazardous materials.

CERIS - Chemical Emergency Response Information System - is based on the AAR's publication, Emergency Handling of Hazardous Materials in Surface Transportation. It will be available April 4.

CERIS is designed to support the growing demand among emergency services providers for affordable, rapid access to specific emergency response information, said Charles Keller, the AAR's director, hazardous materials systems.

The program provides detailed information for handling chemical emergencies, including firefighting techniques, environmental considerations and first-aid measures. The program covers more than 3,700 commonly transported chemicals, including all hazardous materials regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Union Pacific Starts

Rail-Rider Service

OMAHA - Union Pacific Railroad has begun operating its Rail-Rider service.

Rail-Rider consists of trailers that ride directly on the rails, making flatcars unnecessary, UP said. When the trailers arrive at their destination, the trailers are simply driven off their railroad wheels to customers' loading docks.

UP said the new equipment allows 70 mph operation. The trains will be operated by two-man crews, the result of labor agreement between UP and the United Transportation Union, which represents the train crewmen.

Group Raps Analyses

Of Rail Reform Bill

WASHINGTON - The Consumer Federation of America criticized two public policy groups for their interpretations of pending railroad reform legislation.

The federation said the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute are fundamentally flawed in their economic and regulatory analyses of legislation to reform the Interstate Commerce Commission and its regulation of the railroad industry.

The federation said recent research papers from the two groups present an extreme view of regulatory reform proposals by suggesting that railroad bankruptcies and government nationalization will result.

The consumers' group released its own study criticizing the two think tanks.

M-K-T Railroad

Replacing Rail, Ties

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad said the laying of continuous welded rail on its main line in Texas is halfway to completion.

M-K-T Railroad spokesman Jerry Sheridan said the carrier is also replacing ties as needed along its right of way between Waco, Texas, and Houston.