The Railroad Week in Review:
First Quarter 2009


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  • Week in Review, March 27, 2009
    How the actions of the House of Representatives re AIG bonuses might affect short lines through the retroactive taxing of specific payments. The effect of higher consumer saving rates on the merchandise carload franchise. Lessons from the Railway Age "Creating Capacity" conference. INRD to build five miles of new rail to reach more deeply into the Indiana coal fields. Hail and Farewell at NS. Watco founder Dick Webb passes away at 70.


  • Week in Review, March 20, 2009
    The government has changed the rules of the game for banks retroactively; are the rules for shortline tax credits, grants and RRIF loans subject to change as well? Depression or recession -- does it matter? How shortline grants early on saved what turned out to be a highly valuable property. Frank Tatnall on the ARRA. The AAR elaborates on antitrust exemptions. Dagny Taggart, call Wick Moorman!


  • Week in Review, March 13, 2009
    The Railroad Anti-trust bill now coming out of committee has stirred up a lot of railroaders because (a) it's not really needed and (b) it appears there are supporters in Congress who don't really know what they're talking about. The ramifications for short lines are onerous. Meanwhile, CSX held its 15th Annual Shortline Workshop this week and although I was precluded from attending my feedback is that once again CSX outdid itself.


  • Week in Review, March 6, 2009
    Are track grants keeping some short lines on life-support? Rail stock blood bath ought to be causing some consternation among railroads and their suppliers. Credit Suisse sees coal shipments at risk. Wisconsin utility tries on the WFA gambit and is shot down on appeal. Watco's Austin & Western gets a breather on the commuter operation. NS postpones freight claims seminar.


  • Week in Review, February 27, 2009
    More on the BNSF coal captive shipper decision; a worrying precedent for short lines. Washington's Portland Vancouver Junction (PVJR) reorganizes; entrepreneur seeks to reopen 33 miles of the old Piedmont & Northern in North Carolina. Are positive signs for dry-bulk shipping a leading indicator for rails? Shortline commodities through Week Six less-worse than Class Is year-over-year.


  • Week in Review, February 20, 2009
    STB bombs BNSF on captive coal: one-time event or first olive out of the jar? GWR fourth quarter call gets gold star for transparency. NS to host L&D seminar in Atlanta. Barron's on PPPs, the importance of "solid" financials.

  • Week in Review, February 13, 2009
    Class Is continue to invest in plant and equipment through the downturn; car builders see order short-fall; some commodities showing "less worse" trends. Using performance measures to derive value to the customer. Short lines get hit harder than Class Is with volume downdrafts. NS uses short line in new MidAmerica Corridor with CN. Signs of the times in NYC.


  • Week in Review, February 6, 2009
    Jim Young and Rick Webb testify in DC. Readers comment on the stimulus bill. Kaufman with more on the GM-PC parallels in the present auto bailout. KCS fourth quarter and year end results.

  • Week in Review, January 30, 2009
    The hazards of short line bailouts and other unearned subsidies. Pennsylvania adds $8.5 mm to the RFAC program with significant monies to worthy players. Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific results commentary.

  • Week in Review, January 23, 2009
    Earnings Week was off to a good start with four of the Big Six Class Is reporting. Revenues up, revenue units down, RTMs down but not as much. Good ops expense control driving strong operating income growth. GWR reports some softness in volumes for December and the quarter. Ed Wolfe channel checks. Part II of How to do a RRIF loan.


  • Week in Review, January 16, 2009
    Rail stocks slide along with the broader market. FOMC December minutes not encouraging. Notes from RW Baird, Wolfe Research and Morgan Stanley say volumes will be down but pricing will hold; CSX as precedent. How to interpret the RailConnect Index from RMI. Watco expands mechanical services franchise. George Woodward on bailouts. Larry Kaufman on the same plus re-reg prospects in Congress.

  • Week in Review, January 9, 2008
    The "beware the kindness of strangers" thread continues. Part One of a series on how to get and use RRIF loans. Why Elihu Root's 1913 warnings on the dangers of too much leverage are timely today. Business car trip on the old Maine Central with Pan Am Rail President David Fink and others. Are the Class Is pricing themselves out of certain markets? News you can use: outlook for building materials and agriculture. Amtrak job openings. Kent Shoemaker obit.














 

 

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