Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2005
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The ISM Production
Index increase for Sep bodes well for the merch carload trade. Week
39 carloads up, but not as much as the trailing six-week trend. RailAmerica
closes Alcoa shortline purchase. Nonsensical, anonymous "press
release" re CSX dispatcher changes.More
on paying shortlines out of revenue and doing it so as to generate top
value for shortline and Class I alike. CN simplifies supp services.
Truck weights up? Lexington Group meeting in Harrisburg a winner
Forest Products stocks fall; how shortliners can make lemonade
from the news. Comparing Sep and Q3 carloads for shortlines, GWR, RRA.
To short or not to short RRA? ACWR gets safety mention in RT&S.
Watco begins ops on Arkansas Southern. Nober leaving? Giblin, Zollars,
Blanchard on bureaucracy.
ASLRRA Eastern Region meeting a hit -- lessons learned and cautionary
tales. CN's 3Q05 results show double-digit increases in operating
income, net income and eps. BNSF shortline meeting preview and new
fuel surcharge roll-out.
breaks the mold on what a shortline annual meeting ought to be. I
counted at least five firsts. Class I earnings are all in: revenues
are up double-digits on modest volume increases, operating incomes
are way up as expenses are held in check.
Season concludes with reports on GWR, KCS, FEC, RRA. Summary Table.
Revised Class I comps table from last week. Another look at fuel charge
sharing. Fred Green gets tapped as CPR Prez; keeps COO job. Chart.
DM&E applies for $2.5 billion RRIF loan to reach PRB. New legislation
to permit RRIF loans for new construction. More on linking car hire
reclaim to shortline performance. Nine NJ shortlines sign ISAs with
Conrail. Indiana Rail Road adds 92 miles. UP wins Home Depot carrier
award, BNSF wins Wal-Mart award.
More on shortline economics, car hire relief and fuel surcharges. October
carloads for GWR and RRA. Giblin on the effects of new truck HOS laws.
Larry Kaufman on managing capacity. AAR unit volumes up a bit in Week
- Week Ending
No Week in Review Thanksgiving Week
Class I Q3 carload volume growth vs. same for shortlines. Are shortline
gains masking Class I losses? Perils of small shortline underinvestment
in service. How the Class I gains by moving a branchline customer to
a shortline-served location. Opportunities in short-haul lanes. CN and
CP host analysts conferences. Take-aways for shortlines and carload
no punches during the Q&A following its investors' conference. KCS
and NS form joint venture for Meridian Speedway. Shortline comps: what
tracking car hire and fuel can tell you. Upgrades and downgrades with
implications for carload shippers and shortlines.
YTD revenue loadings. GWR and RRA comps. AAR comps with both. Tables.
Why rail stock performance ought to be importnt to shortline operators.
Stock report synopses from Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley.
NS shortline and Ag groups swap leadership. BNSF moves up two.
Sharp shortline operators know that the key to remaining in business
is providing a superior transportation product at a cost they can afford.
Comparison with Southwest Airlines model. Reader response to WIR remarks
on same-store sales and shortline fuel consumption.
This is it for
2005. Thanks for your help making WIR a lot of fun to do. Looking
forward to starting yet another year (my eleventh!) of it.