The Railroad Week in Review:
Second Quarter 2010


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  • Week in Review, June 25, 2010
    Country elevators and the rails that serve them are toast -- it's all super-sized now, USDA notwithstanding. More on the decline of the single-car freight shipment. Short lines down 28 percent in total revenue units year-to-date 2010 vs 2006. Will the earlier vols ever return? How continued uncertainty clouds the outlook for the private sector. Sound Bites from the Street.
  • Week in Review, June 18, 2010
    Notes on visits to NS in Norfolk plus seven short lines in five days. Genesee & Wyoming, RailAmerica report May carloads. More background on FreightLink, GWR's latest Australia venture.
  • Week in Review, June 11, 2010
    Why "recovery" does not equal "return." Viewing the remains in central Connecticut. GWR scores big in Australia -- immediately accretive and meets GVA rules. Chart of shortline commodity losses over five years.
  • Week in Review, June 4, 2010
    This week's Canadian Pacific "Investors Day and Technical Train Tour" event was all about technology and How It Works at and for CP. The Wednesday afternoon sessions were the usual PowerPoints with a difference: everything pointed to how CP is integrating different tools -- some of which have been around for decades -- to add value for customers. Thursday's train ride over the Continental Divide via Banff and Lake Louise provided a first-hand look at the railroad, neatly amplifying what was said Wednesday.
  • Week in Review, May 28, 2010
    Why the Marcellus Shale field is such a big deal for short lines. Railroads upbeat at Wolfe-Trahan conference. Shortline-specific notes.
  • Week in Review, May 21, 2010
    Providence & Worcester first quarter results show a positive shift toward more carload and less intermodal revenues and car-counts though labor costs are still too high and shareholder value is not growing the way one might like. Does PTC add capacity? I think not and it is surely of no benefit to short lines. UP adds $100 mm in capex budget for more domestic intermodal containers while 38,000 freight cars remain parked. CN announces webinars to resolve questions arising at the recent shortline meeting. Tidbits.
  • Week in Review, May 14, 2010
    Notes from the CN shortline meeting in Montreal: building customer satisfaction into the CN mantra of operational excellence. April carloads for GWR and RA; why the latter is the better proxy for North American short lines. AAR's John Gray on solar-powered highway-crossing protection on the Alaska Railroad. How short lines hitching onto Class I volume gains can become better operators and why those that don't, won't.
  • Week in Review, May 7, 2010
    RA first quarter revenues up 14% on 5% volume increase. GWR carload deltas soft, results skewed by AUS, Canadian dollar appreciation vs. US dollar. BNSF first quarter carload deltas lag other Class Is. Chart. Don Phillips reports on the Berkshire Hathaway Annual meeting with emphasis on BNSF. Shortline tidbits. Comments from around the internet.
  • Week in Review, April 30, 2010
    We heard from the rest of the class Is plus GWR and RA this week. Got the former bunch covered here; saving the short lines for next week. Common theme for all: volumes up year-over-year and sequentially, cost-control going gang-busters, incremental vols added at low margins. Second quarter looks OK; second half may go either way.
  • Week in Review, April 23, 2010
    Class I and passenger rail PTC Implementation Plans due FRA; implications for shortlines and regional railroads. UP first quarter results most impressive and encouraging for those in the carload sector. Morgan Stanley Freight Pulse 18 drills down into who's moving what in what and what changes are likely.
  • Week in Review, April 16, 2010
    CSX leads off Earnings Season with a powerful story that bodes well for the industry. Class I carloads finish the quarter with positive deltas. Shortline carloads up for the week and quarter. GWR and RA report gains for the month of March and for the quarter. Gartman comments on Canadian dollar parity with the US Dollar. UP reports first quarter results April 22; everybody else is jammed into the week of the 26th like toothpaste at the end of the tube.
  • Week in Review, April 9, 2010
    AAR reports double-digit carload gains for Class Is through Week 12. Credit Suisse looks at sequential quarterly comps -- Canadian National first place, Canadian Pacific second and why I think this is happening. RailAmerica adds Hoosier Southern; San Diego & Imperial Valley gets "green" locos. GWR's Jack Hellmann chats w WolfeTrahan; Columbus & Greenville in line for rebuild funds. Record rainfalls in southern New England disrupt passenger and freight services; link to aerial photos. Reading & Northern wins ASLRRA marketing award.
  • Week in Review, April 2, 2010
    Grain yields up, prices down, impact fertilizer sales "cloudy." Why the health care law promises further mischief for short lines; inventory management practices favor smaller, more frequent shipments of raw materials and finished goods. How domestic intermodal is making inroads on over-the-road trucks. Drilling down into the Providence & Worcester 10-K for 2009. The Men Who Loved Trains redux.


 

 

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