Railroad Week in Review:
Second Quarter 2005
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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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.