The Railroad Week in Review:
Second Quarter 2005


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  • Week Ending 4/1/2005
    Watco opens its first CSX spin off. OmniTRAX affiliate merges with three NA RailNet properties. KCS shareholders approve TFM acquisition. BNSF to start mileage based fuel charges in 2006. Comparing Class I performance metrics. Class I freight volumes up 4.6% YTD. More on shortline event reporting. Railinc introduces two new products.
  • Week Ending 4/8/2005
    ASLRRA selects BNSF as provider of choice for technical training. Shortline-to-shortline marketing opportunities with the Class I as overhead carrier with no equipment in the mix -- will they price it that way? CSX leases 32 miles in north Florida to GWR's Railink Div. Momentum slows for rail stocks. The importance of "transparent" financial reporting. Why follow commodity stocks. See www.cn.ca re upcoming CN shortline meetings. Common themes among the RR Annual Reports received thus far. First quarter earnings release dates.
  • Week Ending 4/15/2005
    Barron's On-Line asks, "Is This the End of the Line for Transports?" Notes on The Dow Jones Theory. RMI's shortline commodity pie chart. UP shareholder law suit frivolous? Class I PEG rations redux. NS makes Fortune Top Fifty list of shareholder returns. GWR reports Q1 revenue units.
  • Week Ending 4/22/2005
    CN and UP open Earnings Season -- what a contrast! Tables. FEC increases revenues 15% and ops income 35%. Wierd swings in stock prices present values in spite of themselves. Indicators of customer value. Watco wins another BNSF branchline lease. Reader pooh-poohs UP shareholder suit. Demurrage bills I would not pay. Quiz answers.
  • Week Ending 4/29/2005
    Earnings week was upbeat. See reports on BNSF, CP, CSX, NS. RRA reported this week but we'll do them next week with GWR and KSU. Tables compare the Big Six. Earnings may have been up but the mood on The Street was definitely down. Tech signs for rail stocks are not encouraging near term. A disturbing note re tank car security. If you can get to it with a spray can, what else can you get next to it with? Responsible Care needs to be more responsible.
  • Week Ending 5/6/2005
    Earnings Week concludes. RRA posts great eps improvement but results from rail operations lag. GWR rail ops in NA do well, AUS not so well, eps still up 18% yoy. Table comparing RRA and GWR yoy ops expense changes. KCS Railroad ex-Mexrail and Tex-Mex posts 27% ops income gain on 23% more revs and 21% more expense. South of the border remains a challenge. The hazmat thread continues with contributions from a shortline operator, a RR safety pro, and readers.
  • Week Ending 5/13/2005
    CN to hold three regional shortline meetings this year. Kudos for RAC's "Interchange" magazine. "Responsible Care" and hazmat security. Shift in US employment may bode well for shortlines if they pay attention. Case histories. Rail stocks drift south again. DM&E/ICE taps Terbell VP-Ops. Steve Eisenach passes at 55.
  • Week Ending 5/20/2005
    What shortlines, airlines and General Motors have in common. Canadian Nationalís Eastern Region shortline meeting in Montreal. BNSF regional shortline meeting in Seattle. Notes from RailAmerica Analyst Day. Gold, silver or bronze E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards to a dozen RRs. Tables.
  • Week Ending 5/27/2005
    GWR will acquire substantially all the rail operations of Rail Management Corporation (RMC) for some $243 mm in cash plus $1.7 mm of debt. Further observations on the NA RailNet Transaction. Watco's "consumables" approach to measuring shortline performance. The shortline allowance model is STILL broken. What I said in WIR 3/19/2004 and why it's even more relevant today.
  • Week Ending 6/3/2005
    Are shortlines missing the boat on track rehab? Further insights from the recent BNSF Regional Shortline meeting. Norfolk Southernís Southern Hospitality will be in full bloom starting Sunday. GWR redux. Why summer drive time drives up price of diesel fuel. Rail stocks up a bit, besting the Dow. Week 21 rail traffic volumes.
  • Week Ending 6/10/2005
    More than 200 shortline reps from 160 shortlines attend NS meeting in Roanoke. Commercial opportunities rank high. Further observations on the shortline infrastructure tax credit program. Fixing the shortline allowance model. Peabody Coal activity bodes well for rails. Rail freight volume growth anemic for the week ending June 4. Rail stocks drift south for the week.
  • Week Ending 6/17/2005
    Freight volume comps for AAR, shortlines in general, GWR, RRA with the latter three besting the first as usual. Table. Why Class Is pay shortlines as out of revenue rather than as an expense line item. Watco wins Kansas Governor's Award of Excellence. Michigan shortline success story. Baton Rouge opens the hazmat can of worms. More Amtrak follies.
  • Week Ending 6/24/2005
    The Supremes decree that if the state wants your property for re-development you may be turned out, your property seized and then turned over to a developer. ASLRRA considering shortline impact. The seller's market for shortlines has been strong; let's see what happens how. More on shortline car-counts. Table. Larry Kaufman on Amtrak. AAR releases 66-page "Rail Transportation of Chemicals" study. Joe Biden's new hazmat bill. CSX stocks touted by analysts; what's happening in the field may not support the projections.


 

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