Railroad Week in Review:
First Quarter 2005
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Wall Street analysts have varied opinions about what's happening now
in rails. Rail stocks outperformed the broader indices in 2004. CSX'
Mike Ward wants a "boring railroad." CN faces possible strikes
by UTU and Teamsters (ex-BLE). Watco adds three lines, Omnitrax adds
two. BNSF Bayport build-in may not be needed. More on rip Plan Compliance.
Soybean shipments soft but on the verge of a strong return.
its first from CSX. UP mired in mud in So Cal; Jack Koraleski tells
all. GWR and RRA report December carloads. Time may be running out for
CN and its unions. EMD sold to investor group. New applications for
Desktop-dot-com's rate-maker tool.
KCS wins approval for TFM control. Union Pacific plans to reopen its
ex-SP California Coast Line and 80 miles of its Nevada desert canyon
line for at least partial service by next Monday (1/24). BNSF and CN
sign a "routing protocol agreement" to streamline their exchange of
rail traffic at major gateways. GWR collects kudos from "The Motley
Fool." RailAmerica's 2005 eps guidance press release says they "could
either miss or beat" Street estimates. The FRA issues a Safety Advisory
on switch alignment. Photo of an egregious error.
Earnings week mostly good news from the Big Six. We cover 'em all. Fuel
price chart. A remark on the slowing rates of RR stock price increase.
Tony Hatch offers his views on RRA's recent earnings announcement. Larry
Kaufman finds certain Class I operations change announcements instructive.
Rail stocks generally were little changed at Friday's close. KCS revenues
climb 18% ion Q4 and 11% for the year. Railroad traffic in Week 4 (Jan
29) up 4.2%. A note in Tuesday's WSJ suggests that CSX service is improving
thanks in part to the One Plan.
Coming soon to a railroad near you: increased FRA scrutiny. KCS stock
hits 52-week high Thurs and again Fri. UP stock may have bottomed out
but the folks in Phoenix will take a rate hit. GWR and RRA traffic for
Jan. Why can't they use the same commodity reporting scheme as the AAR?
Declining inventory-to-sales ratios may hurt some carload business.
A faithful rail shipper writes on his reasons for shifting to truck,
Final week of Earnings
season: FEC, GWR, RRA revenues up double-digits, ops income up for two
out of three. CSX shortline meeting notes: pricing and ops interface
take top billing. Relating both to car supply. The shortline role in
the One Plan, esp in Phase II coming soon to a railroad near you. After
the close: UP shares up 5% on improving metrics and Wall Street upgrades.
More feedback from the CSX shortline meeting. Old physics meet new
leaders. How the fluid network helps car supply, service quality, and
pricing to market.More on the Shipper's Lament. RMI's Paul Pascutti
on fixing carload data gaps on shortlines.
CSX shortline cars redux. Tony Hatch suggests a great metric. Jim Valentine
upgrades CSX. Rail stocks outperform market for another week. GWR gets
ink in Forbes On Line. Why a lawyer's letter rankles. Shortlines hanging
on to empties and loads ought to lose car hire relief and pay demurrage.
Shipper groups press STB to get tough with railroads. Pennsylvania's
Lycoming Valley Railroad wins a nice one. Steve Friedland on shortline
car hire economics. What happens when there's a spill and nobody knows
what it is.
Continuing the paper Barrier thread with remarks from NS and GWR. Kaufman
on hazmats. STB overrules DC Council on hazmats. Fort Worth & Western
gets new link to Mexico. Tony Hatch on RRA supplier conference. Weekly
rant: car hire relief on cars held overlong has to end.
Arch Coal adds assets presenting opportunities to rails. Wall Street
looking favorably on rails. Valuation comps, table. UP update. BNSF
wins shipper award. IBEW threatens to walk out on CN. Economic trends.
Stock ticker Quiz.