Freight congestion has spread across the Union Pacific Railroad system, especially in Southern California and the southwestern United States, raising concern about the effects on America's trade with Asia.
Yukos, Russia's second-largest oil company, said on Monday an agreement with Russian Railways (RZD) to boost crude shipments to China fivefold by 2007 will support the company's efforts to tap new fields in eastern Siberia.
The privatisation of the rail network has failed and the system is in a "mess'', according to passengers' representatives.
Users of the system look back fondly on the state-owned British Rail which, at the time, was accused of a lack of vision and inability to invest, the report by the Rail Passengers' Council (RPC) said. Passengers wanted the industry to be controlled by one person with a strategic vision of how the railways should develop.
The death toll from a train blast in North Korea has risen to 161 people, a Beijing-based Red Cross official said. "We have heard from our people in North Korea that the death toll has risen to 161," said Niels Juel, regional relief coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.