The Railroad Week in Review:
Third Quarter 2005


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  • Week Ending 7/1/2005
    Using ETFs to spot rail traffic trends. California shortlines face onerous legislation triggered by Biden bill and other foolishness. Three contradictory legislative threads. What it costs to build a Class I spur. North Shore Rail Group, CP and NS win one for SEDACOG. CSX shortlines four Michigan branches. Rail stock tech
    indicators improving.

  • Week Ending 7/8/2005
    CSX Gulf Coast service alert. AAR freight volumes through June. Ohio tax law change -- impact on shortlines? More truck drivers mean more capacity and less aggressive truck freight rate hikes. KCS and RRA stock price tech signs improve. Shortline marketing success stories in NY and Penna. Pinsley adds 70 miles in Florida. Earnings dates. NS offers surplus materials to shortlines.

  • Week ending 7/15/2005
    Rail traffic for Week 27 (July 9) was up a point. Norfolk Southern stock price performance technicals flash Strong Buy. New railroad coverage from JPM. June volumes for GWR show strength from acquisitions. FEC Chair tapped for local bank board membership.
    New light on KCS valuation from Bear Stearns. How shortline track subsidies help Rule of 100. Railway Age editor determines Kelo no threat to rails. LUVly story on the benefits of aggressive fuel hedging.

  • Week Ending 7/22/2005
    Earnings week. CN net up 45%, UP net rises 47%. Both see yields rise faster than traffic volumes, indicating some welcome upside inelasticity in rail freight rates. Table of earnings estimates. Common thread is strength in the carload sector.
    Tex Mex does $50 mm RRIF loan at 4.3%. KCS and Watco ink deal to lease five branches in three South Central states. Why shortlines need a "supplier mentality." Manufacturing segment shifts can benefit the rails.

  • Week Ending 7/29/2005
    Week Two of Earnings Season produces more record-breaking results. BNSF sees 13 consecutive quarters of yoy volume increases and the six consecutive quarters of double-digit freight revenue growth. CP Total revenue up 10% to C$1.1 bn with increases in five of seven business lines. NS sets new records for quarterly revenues, ops income, eps and OR. CSX knocks the cover off the ball with Q2 operating income up 43%. RailAmerica punches up a 41% yoy increase in operating income.

  • Week Ending 8/5/2005
    Genesee & Wyoming’s North American operating income for 2Q05 grew by 19%. Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) did its own hat-trick posting 18% more revenue on 11% more volume. Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCSR) revenues for 2Q05 rose 16.8%. Edward H Harriman's views on capex live today on the UP.

  • Week Ending 8/12/2005
    The rather lengthy lead piece on this week's CSX analyst conference at the NYSE is "must" reading for shippers and shortlines wanting to know more about what CSX is doing and why. We now have density maps by commodity and a detailed capacity management plan. Be sure to have the presentation slides in hand as you read it. Then get a CSX system map and see where you fall in relation to the core structure. It'll be an eye-opener.

    Elsewhere, a word on FECI's non-railroad business and below-the-line results. Virginia shortline for lease. Rail Trends conference in NYC coming in Sep. GWR tidbits. PAL to lease Evansville line. UP and CSX to launch unit train service for Washington produce. July traffic for Class Is plus RRA, GWR.

  • Week Ending 8/19/2005
    Rail stocks continue sell-off; RRA hits shorts. What CEOs of Listed companies think will be the drivers for the next five years; RR implications. Truckers' hours-of-service violations on the increase. News from Arkansas Best and JB Hunt. Some thoughts on shortline compensation. California Shortline Association meeting notes. Table comparing 2Q05 results for FEC, KCS, GWR, RRA.

  • Week Ending 8/26/2005
    "The trend is your friend," continued; why prudent capex adds shareholder
    value. One more catalyst for Union Pacific stock. BNSF Logistics wins spot
    on "Top Ten" list of 3PL providers.
    CN increases intermodal train capacity simply by running the RR better. Investors take a look at car builders and suppliers. Shortlines get a better tool for sanity-checking Class I rate making. Class I revenue/cost ratios. Table.

  • Week Ending 9/2/2005
    Katrina impacts rail operations and financial outlook. Comments on wood and
    chips from Chop Hardenbergh. Greenbrier division takes on car hire
    management for FEC. Rail stocks in a lull. Shortline carload growth
    predictions through 2007. Timmons' wrap at UP shortline meeting.

  • Week Ending 9/9/2005
    RailAmerica to acquire Alcoa lines plus one more from CSX. Rail traffic not horribly hit by Katrina. Shortline outlook. Week 35 AAR freight volumes. A mark of insanity.

  • Week Ending 9/16/2005
    How NS fixed the Lake Pontchartrain bridge in a matter of days. A reader asks, "How will successful will railroads be in profiting from the present growth opportunity?" Rate increases have to be earned yet the performance metrics don't show much improvement. Outlook for RRA'a Alcoa acquisition.

  • Week Ending 9/23/2005
    RR Preparations for Rita along the Gulf Coast; more on Katrina cleanup. Jim Valentine reports on "Dinner with the Dean of Railroading." Further thoughts on leadership in the RR industry. NS' Jim McCracken gets WSJ ink on Lake Bridge fix. Rail Stocks in the news with a special note to the metals group.

  • Week Ending 9/30/2005
    A fitting obit for Jim Bistline penned by Don Phillips, who also contributed the nub of my passenger train rant. How Watco prepared for Rita. NS' increased coal business bodes well for shortlines' merchandise carload business. Observations on how (and examples of how not) to sell a shortline.





 

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