TRANSPORT BRIEFS

TRANSPORT BRIEFS

9 HURT AS TAIWAN JET

MAKES FORCED LANDINGTAIPEI, Taiwan - Nine people were hurt when a Taiwanese airliner carrying 152 people made a forced landing at the international airport in the southern city of Kaohsiung Monday, an airline spokeswoman said.

The left wing of the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 jet, operated by Far East Air Transport Corp., caught fire soon after takeoff on a flight from Kaohsiung to Taipei, and the plane was forced to turn back, the spokeswoman said.

Investigators were trying to find the cause of the fire, the spokeswoman said.

The airport was closed for about 15 minutes while passengers were evacuated from the jet. They were to fly to Taipei later Monday, a national holiday.

ATTENDANTS, AMERICAN

RESUME CONTRACT TALKS

DALLAS - The Association of Professional Flight Attendants and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines resumed bargaining talks Monday under a federal mediator's eye in an effort to head off a threatened strike during the busy Thanksgiving holiday.

The new negotiations began in Dallas five days before the end of a 30-day cooling-off period and less than one month prior to Nov. 22, the day APFA threatened to walk out.

The flight attendants are demanding an "industry-leading contract" to compensate for what union officials say is a decade of few contract improvements and small wage hikes.

EUROTAINER USA INC.

EXPANDS INTO MEXICO

SOMERSET, N.J. - Eurotainer USA Inc., a tank container lessor, is expanding into Mexico by opening new locations at Monterrey, Guanajuato and Veracruz.

The company, which said it was the first tank container firm to locate inventory in Mexico, offers three models of containers for food products and other commodities.

Locating equipment in Mexico will enable the company to improve service and equipment management. Previously, its equipment was located in Houston and moved empty from there to Mexican originating points.

"We recognized our surveying our customers in and out of Mexico that continuing long-distance transport to and from US. depots was hampering our efforts to grow in that country," said Russell F. Jones, Jr., Eurotainer's president.

Cittec-Mexico SA serves as Eurotainer's agent in Mexico.

ALASKA RAIL LAYOFFS

BLAMED ON STALLED TALKS

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaska Railroad has laid off 25 people since July and expects that number to increase as negotiations with one of its largest shippers remain deadlocked.

Bob Hatfield, the railroad's president, said the initial layoffs were necessary when it became evident that the railroad's coal contract with Suneel Alaska would be terminated.

The railroad, which said it is losing up to $1 million annually on the contract, is locked in a dispute with the coal broker over freight rates on the coal Suneel buys from Usibelli Coal Mine and sells to Korea Electric Power Co.

Railroad officials claim it costs them between $9.13 and $9.50 a metric ton to ship the coal from Healy to Seward.

Suneel has been paying the railroad $8.62 a ton and its spokesmen said its can't pay any more because of price pressure from international competition.

SANTA FE RECEIVES

INTERMODAL AWARD

KENILWORTH, Md. - Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway received the seventh Intermodal Achievement Award at the Intermodal Association of North America's fall meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

The award, which has been made by IANA and predecessor organizations, recognized the railroad for service and equipment innovations, as well as its alliance with J.B. Hunt Transport that fostered a new era of truck-rail cooperation.