The Railroad Week in Review:
Third
Quarter 2009


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  • Week in Review, September 25, 2009
    Money tight for short lines? Covenants limited to ONE times EBITDA? How to survive as a short line in a unit train world. Railex adds fourth trans-con reefer train. JPM says traffic outlook improving, legislative outlook a toss-up. Comparing shortline carload changes YTD with the Class Is. Lessons learned.

  • Week in Review, September 18, 2009
    “New railroad legislation is likely to come next week,” writes Morgan Stanley’s Bill Greene in a note issued Wednesday. The Canadian economy is expected to expand by a modest two percent in the third quarter and 2.4 percent in the fourth, so says the latest forecast from RBC Economics. UBS conclusions from  the USDA’s September 14 crop report. Notes from a pair of railroad investor conferences. Watco acquiring two line segments in Idaho from Rio Grande Pacific. Value Line not encouraging about sungle-car segment of railroad business.

  • Week in Review, September 11, 2009
    Heat may be off near term for rail re-reg. What to expect and ask at the Sep 27-29 UP shortline meeting. Wall Street senses a turnaround in freight traffic numbers. Short line car-count changes lag the Class Is. Coal outlook could be better. How consumer credit impacts rail earnings.

  • Week in Review, September 4, 2009
    Out on the railroad again: CSX shows its stuff in a grand manner Buffalo to Albany. How BNSF is adding capacity with bigger trains. Why center-beams and bulkhead flats are likely to remain parked for a long time. UP's Koraleski warns of the impacts of government mandates.
  • Week in Review, August 28, 2009
    Rail traffic rate of decline may be slowing; short lines still lag class Is in year-over-year comps. How UBS' Rick Paterson picks rail stocks in recovery scenarios. Why Ed Wolfe sees "catalysts" at KCS and GWR. Patriot Rail adds a sixth property. Minnesota Prairie Line gets a track upgrade. How PAL makes distributed-power units at home. A reader remembers life on the SP in the San Joaquin Valley in the seventies.
  • Week in Review, August 21, 2009
    Spend a few days on the UP in California and see some solid railroading. How to get fourth morning delivery in NY from Bakersfield by boxcar. Why railroads ought to eschew price-shopping shippers. Credit Suisse upgrades CSX.
  • Week in Review, August 14, 2009
    Weekly carload declines settling down? Short lines still off ten points more than Class Is. USDA sees grain increases in Midwest, esp for corn; why UP is the winner in the domestic grain sweepstakes. Economic outlook not particularly anything to write home about but no reason to sell the farm, either.Wolfe upgrades GWR, KCS; lack of exposure to consumer goods helps the former. Kaufman comments on the Dan Elliott STB confirmation hearings in the Senate.
  • Week in Review, August 7, 2009
    Jon Langenfeld of Baird sees "no immediate demand catalyst" for freight volume gains. Schwab''s Sonders thinks the recession may have ended in May. EPA says carbuilder's will have a tough go of it through 2010. RailAmerica IPO shows a strong turn-around story. Short lines facing a comp and benefits squeeze? Book review: Coal Trains. RailTrends version 5.0 scheduled for Oct in NYC.
  • Week in Review, July 31, 2009
    This quarter I'm trying a slightly different format for reporting earnings. I'm looking more for comps and trends among the players than at the individual performance of each. There is no mention of anything "below the line" as the WIR audience seems to care more about operating results than per-share results. Let me know what you think. Amtrak is looking for two or three strategic thinkers to beef up their Class I relations department. RailAmerica IPO announcement here; commentary next week. Make it a safe one.
  • [there was no Week in Review July 24, 2009]
  • Week in Review, July 17, 2009
    The politics of presidential appointments hits home. CSX posts a 20 percent operating income drop on a 25  percent revenue drop and 21 percent fewer revenue units. Best OR in six consecutive quarters. CSX short line outlook bleak. Rate of freight price increases may be slowing. Railroads, the Dow Theory and the economy. New appointments and other developments at RailAmerica. Ashtabula Carson & Jefferson RR in Ohio celebrates its 25th. New England Central hosts legislator tour. Kel MacKavanagh remembers the 844 of forty years ago.
  • Week in Review, July 10, 2009
    Why eastern short lines will take the biggest hit in the current downdraft in coal loadings. How to use grant money to help qualify for RRIF loans. Why the Santa Maria Valley Railroad is succeeding where others are not faring particularly well. Union Pacific 844 to run excursions Denver-Cheyenne. Kodachrome ends its run.
  • Week in Review, July 3, 2009
    How provisions the new Hours of Service Act can degrade short line service, impact Class I connections, and lessen the railroads' supply chain value customers are just now beginning to acknowledge. Paper Barrier wars heating up? Entergy picks a fight with UP and MNA. How the present downturn in coal vols will impact short lines.

 

 

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