The Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2010

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  • No Week in Review for December 24 or December 30 -- Chirstmas Break]
  • Week in Review, December 17
    An update from California's Santa Maria Valley Railroad. RailAmerica, Genesee & Wyoming November carloads up year-over-year but without much change month-to-month. Watco heads to Australia, takes on Kinder Morgan Energy Partners as equity partner.
  • Week in Review, December 10
    We're getting confirmation that ethanol is indeed a STCC 28 chemical -- not a STCC 20 grain product -- from the car-counting community. Intermodal growth rate continues to outrun carload's. Solving the mystery of the strong ores and metals growth rates in a soft economy. Schwab's Liz Ann Sonders on the economy; LEI chart. KCS brand now includes original logo. Hurrah!
  • Week in Review, December 3
    Comparing revenue units for 2010 Week 46 year-to-date with the same period for 2007. Take-aways for short lines. Pennsylvania DOT awards $32.5 million in rail-related projects. Reading & Northern places a high value in good track to support a growing business. Patriot Rail to operate Piedmont & Northern in NC. Some impressions and a question re Unstoppable.
  • [No week in Review, November 26 -- Thanksgiving]
  • Week in Review, November 19
    This is mostly about trucks and intermodal with implications for the merchandise carload business so crucial to the short lines. RailAmerica Investors' Day Tuesday gets generally favorable reviews; note emphasis on industrial products.
  • Week in Review, November 12
    Election results, "meds for grandma," HSR grants and short lines. October carloads for GWR and RA. NS corridor car-counts up sharply. UP Investors Day take-aways for short lines.
  • Week in Review, November 5
    BNSF unveils a better way to tap the true value of shortline entrepreneurship. Carl Ice tapped as BNSF Railway President while Matt Rose retains CEO role. Michigan's Adrian & Blissfield to operate 47-mile NS line segment. JPM's Tom Wadewitz on what the election results may mean for the railroads. Chicago gains a rail advocate. Red-State-Blue-State thread continues. GWR wraps up the Earnings Season with some strong numbers.
  • Week in Review, October 29
    We skip the details of every call and focus on the trends: a good news story is at hand. Why listening to the calls, following the PowerPoints and reading the transcripts is important to shortline managers. Five-year traffic trends confirm 90% as the "new normal." Red state-blue state comps no surprise.
  • Week in Review, October 22
    UP call a delight -- 46% ops income gain on $4.4 bn revenues, 68.2 operating ratio, 40 operating ratio on incremental revenues. Chris Ceraso deconstructs commodity volume changes 2006-2010; I reconstruct them. Why you need to get the AAR Rail Time Indicators report if you're going to be in this business.
  • Week in Review, October 15
    The monthly gains in year-over-year revenue unit counts continues. September carloads for GWR, RA. CSX jump-starts the third quarter railroad earnings season with sales up 17% to $2.7 billion. Pan Am Rail adds personnel and locos, takes injury ratio below 1.0. Reader feedback dept: Keeping employee count below 50 takes on new meaning. Stopping urban sprawl and reducing highway congestion is a mixed bag of blessings.
  • Week in Review, October 8
    Further commentary on the Maine Amtrak extension. Railroads of New York (RONY) reports RR rehab funds awarded five years ago may finally be sent out, though local observers don't expect to see much before 2012. New truck regs and driver shortages could give the merch carload sector a boost.
  • Week in Review, October 1 [larger than usual -- 7 MB]
    Notes from RailTrends. What I'm seeing out on the RR and why I'm encouraged by current volume trends and earnings outlook. Pictures. Why I think rail stocks are undervalued; how to see for yourself. Chart.



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