The Blanchard Company
2041 Christian Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146-1338
Phone 215 985-1110 Fax 215 985-1446

Curriculum Vitae

Roy Blanchard founded The Blanchard Company in 1989 to provide general management, marketing, and strategic planning support for short line railroads. A happy extension of this work is a growing book of assistance to rail transportation users on commercial and technical matters from rate negotiation and sidetrack construction to demurrage management and supply chain support.

Blanchard publishes The Railroad Week in Review, an electronic compendium of railroad industry news analysis and comment. He is also a Railway Age Contributing Editor and for 15 years wrote a semimonthly column on industry best practices. Blanchard also contributes regular feature-length articles. All Railway Age articles as well as a complete collection of weekly letters are available at . Blanchard also appears quarterly in TRAINS magazine as a columnist and a regular feature writer on short line railroads.

Blanchard enjoys long-standing personal relationships with and relatively easy access to the senior management teams of the North American Class I railroads. With a behind-the-scenes understanding of Class I commercial, operating, and financial goals Blanchard has been particularly effective in creating strategic partnerships between his short line clients and their Class I connections. In addition, Blanchard has been instrumental in turnarounds and acquisitions. These projects are examples of how the tools described in the resources section of this website help clients achieve the results they desire.

  1. For two short line clients, one in North Carolina and the other in Indiana, Blanchard took on the role of Acting General Manager for about a year each, creating smoother running, more efficient railroads and in the bargain helping the owners set specific strategic directions and goals. Route mileage for the two railroad ran about 150 miles each; carloads, revenues and operating income increased significantly and creative use of state grants and other funding mechanisms gave the railroad a better infrastructure at the end of the assignment than they had at the beginning.

  2. Blanchard was retained in a bankruptcy case in Tennessee where the principle shareholder died and the remaining shareholders were fighting over the railroad. The court decreed it a bankruptcy and the trustee hired me to evaluate the property and get it sold. The county owned the railroad property and my project really dealt with the operating assets -- locos and shops and materials. The line is now in the hands of a Texas-based operator who had originally contacted Blanchard for assistance on one of his other properties.

  3. A similar theme -- a county-owned right of way with operator problems -- was played out in Virginia where Blanchard was retained to write a Business Plan for the railroad, vet it with the state and the class I connections, and find a new operator if need be. The new operator was selected based on Blanchard's RFP scorecard: Out of a maximum of 20 points for meeting all the RFP requirements, how did the applicant do? This removed all political emotion from the selection process.

  4. For multiple-short line operators, Blanchard has, in partnership with a Philadelphia investment banker, examined acquisition candidates assisted in the bidding process. Too often we have discovered that lines were overpriced and yet there existed a seller's market for them. Lines that we have had our clients to walk away from have subsequently faced difficulties; lines that we have advised our client to buy have had much better success. Moreover, Blanchard has also advised owners of multiple short lines which properties to sell and recommended potential buyers with the resources to make the target properties better performers.

Blanchard's corporate clients include Dietrich Industries, Distribution Services of America, General Motors, Hartz Mountain, NUI Environmental, Sun Oil, Tosco Refining, York Paper Co. and the City of Philadelphia. The railroad client list includes Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern, North Shore Railroad Group, Watco Companies, Wheeling & Lake Erie, RailAmerica, Morristown & Erie Railway, Gulf & Ohio Railway Group, the Indiana & Ohio, and about a dozen more shortlines and regional railroads as well as the FRA.

A graduate of the College of William Mary, Blanchard lives and works in Philadelphia with his wife Laura. She is Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collection Libraries, does web development work for the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia and does volunteer work with several area non-profit organizations. Samples of her work may be seen at .

Updated: 5/9/2008