Transportation

Rail gridlock

With more goods moving across the country by rail, gridlock has become a big problem and its costing rail operators billions of dollars.

Kartouchken | Getty Images

In a poll conducted by lastminute.com.au, a booking website, 912 people admitted to lying in order to receive free upgrades on flights. Some 44 percent of these individuals reported being successful in their deceptions. There are plenty of white lies and tall tales employed by these upgrade-chasers, but the most popular involve either romance or illness, according …

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Truck drivers navigate a rain-covered highway on the outskirts of Chicago, in Hinsdale, Ill.

From deliveries of online shopping orders to massive pieces of equipment,the open road and trucking help drive the U.S. economy. Autonomous cars and drones may be on the horizon, but trucks—with drivers—still haul and deliver goods to doorsteps. There’s just one problem. America has more open trucking jobs than available commercial drivers. As older drivers retire in …

Amy Langfield | CNBC
A new Siemens-built Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotive passes work crews in Hamilton, New Jersey, where a new substation and catenary system will support future high-speed rail.

Amtrak, you could say, is an aging railroad looking for a magic pill that can get its infrastructure juiced up enough so it can handle the fastest new things on the market. Created by Congress in 1970 from the remnants of failing private passenger train lines, Amtrak remains saddled with failing, high-maintenance infrastructure as it tries …

Source: Linhart family
Kelly Linhart, above, was a professional truck driver and a father of four. He was run over by another truck driver who veered out of his lane, according to the police report.

Experts say “chameleon” trucking companies, which re-register with the government to clear prior issues, are more likely to be in severe crashes.

Dina Gusovsky | CNBC
A Volvo truck equipped with safety technology.

Nearly 4,000 people are killed and more than 100,000 injured every year because of truck accidents. But what if those collisions could be avoided, or at the very least, mitigated? Companies such as Volvo Trucks and Daimler are banking on safety as a selling point, offering customers everything from enhanced cruise control to lane departure warnings. But the American Trucking …

Livecal | iStock | Getty Images

Although federal authorities say the practice is safe, cellphone calls from 30,000 feet may soon be prohibited for other reasons. The Department of Transportation’s general counsel said in a speech last week that the agency is moving for a ban on all in-flight calls, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people present. A DOT spokeswoman confirmed to …

GM under investigation

The U.S. Attorney in New York reportedly opened a criminal investigation into General Motors’ recall of more than one million cars.

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The pervasiveness of consumer technology that can track our every move has left some people scratching their heads as to why something so much more technically advanced, like the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 239 people, could just disappear from the sky. Experts say the technology used to track an airplane like the Boeing 777 is state of …

Great freeze on the Great Lakes

The bitter cold is creating challenges for shippers, carrying everything from heating oil to grains.

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A tall hangar rises out of nowhere, surrounded by concertina wire and tumbleweeds on the barren outskirts of North Las Vegas. In this dry, unforgiving place, Robert Bigelow is designing housing that will have to withstand much harsher conditions. Here, inside Bigelow Aerospace, the man who made a fortune putting up hotels is now building …

Panama Canal work stoppage

Massive cost overruns are halting the expansion of the Panama Canal, disrupting commerce across the county.

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Another severe ice and snowstorm blew through the Midwest and Northeast on Wednesday, grounding more than 2,000 flights before daybreak as states of emergency were declared in many regions to keep people off the roads. “The storm is having a huge impact on air travel in the Northeast,” FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker said in an …

Auto, airlines and weather

January’s brutal weather weighed on auto sales and travel plans.

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While football fans couldn’t have been luckier with the unseasonably tolerable weather during the Super Bowl, luck ran out by Monday morning as snow and ice returned to the Northeast, disrupting travel in the air and on the roads and rails. “This morning is off to a rough start for the Northeast,,” FlightAware CEO Daniel …