The Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2011


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Week in Review, December 23
NS wins $15 mm TIGER grant to pay a quarter of the total cost of Rutherford (Harrisburg) intermodal terminal upgrade. Jefferies & Co. reviews Week 50 vols and implications thereof. RW Baird cautions that times of lean inventory may mean slim pickings for carriers, but there is an upside. Truckers dodge hours-of-service change; short lines stuck though ASLRRA got a waiver for commingled service. RailAmerica Chief Commercial Officer Charlie Patterson to retire December 31

Week in Review, December 16
AAR car counts YTD are up a little with short lines are doing better: three out of four top commodity groups by volume are in the plus column. Total car-count gain ex-intermodal for short lines is 87 percent of what the Class Is got. RailAmerica and Genesee & Wyoming post ho-hum November carload increases. CP brings Ed Harris and Tony Ingram onto the Board of Directors. Early feedback from the Street and my channel checks says the move is a plus. Rick Paterson on Class I productivity gains as measured by revenue units per T&E employee.

Week in Review, December 9
Watco acquires two names and adds a new Wyoming short line start-up. Iowa Northern expands franchise in the corn belt. Stifel's John Larkin finds reason for encouragement in the hustings. Week 48 revenue units still running ahead of last year but not doing so well in successive quarters.

Week in Review, December 2
We've dodged the strike bullet at least for now. But come Feb, who knows? GE Transportation buys RMI. Reader feedback on the STB's punting on open access. Why short lines could be at risk in an open access environment.

Week in Review, November 18
STB on Open Access: the conversation continues. October carload comps for GWR and RA. NECR wins key political backing for TIGER III grant application. Why CP has taken down its shortline web page. PWRR turns the operating ratio corner.

Week in Review, November 11
Canadian National shortline meeting notes; how CN supply chain focus opens new doors to short lines. CSX export coal a hot topic to some, but it's still a carload railroad. STB punts on open access.

Week in Review, November 4
GWR wraps up the 3Q2011 earning season with great numbers; backing out North American Results. GWR leases NS line in SW Georgia. Hedge fund accumulates 12 percent stake in CP.

Week in Review, October 28
RailAmerica, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern all had positive trends to report for 3Q2011 in spite of sluggish car counts. We saw revenues generally going up faster than operating expenses and lower operating ratios. Incremental margins increased across the board as more traffic was brought on without a corresponding ops expense deltas. Everybody expects muted results in Q4 and on into 2012 with domestic intermodal and energy-related commodities carrying the day.

Week in Review, October 21
Brief earnings reports for CSX, UP, KCS. RailAmerica, GWR Sep carload comps. BNSF shortline meeting followup questions.

Week in Review, October 14
Notes and take-aways from the BNSF Annual Shortline Meeting in Texas. Reminders about upcoming Passenger Trains on Freight Rails and RailTrends conferences.

Week in Review, October 7
Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse views on the languishing economy: unemployment remains elevated and GDP growth never hits 3%. Packaging, chemicals, food processing (Smithfield, Corn Products) and energy exploration/production offer good prospects for more shortline carload vols. RailAmerica, Vermont AOT and Amtrak get theVermonter to St Albans back to normal in short order. FRA announces a new "Safety Advisory" re delivering time-sensitive chemicals" in a timely manner; how RailAmerica and the ASLRRA beat them to it.

 

 

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