The Railroad Week in Review:
First Quarter 2013


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Week Ending March 29
What's wrong with the NIT League Competitive Access filing with the STB. Those who've seen this movie before weigh in. Wall Street Journal antidote to the League. Fourth-quarter and full- year 2012 results for FEC and P&W compared. Sorting out CSX carload comps for YTD through Week 8 as reported by CSX and the AAR.

Week Ending March 22
AAR takes umbrage at STB's non-decision on coal rates. Dove-tailing the Graham Number and a secular-positive outlook. Further revelations on who's moving crude oil where. Valuing short lines a Graham & Dodd approach the real worth of an enterprise.

Week Ending March 15
GWR carloads essentially unchanged from Feb, 2012; GWR reporting as if RA had been part of GWR a year ago to get true YOY comps. Highlights from three CSX Shortline Workshop commodity breakout sessions. Crude-by-rail: where's it been, where it's going. Charts.

Week Ending March 8
CSX takes center stage this week with a resounding success at Short Line workshop XXIV. The importance of the Class II and III railroad community to CSX results carried through all the formal presentations, the 42 Trade Show tables and the 24 commodity market breakout sessions. BNSF full-year revenue units up 2%; merch carloads ex- petroleum up 9%, industrial products carloads up 13%.

Week Ending March 1
Three shortline success stories. NS closes Shaffer's Crossing hump -- shades of what's happening at CP? Dwell chart. CSX Short Lines XXIV on tap: what to look for, what to ask.

Week Ending February 22
Railroad revenue-unit comps YTD show small deltas in merch carloads; why small short lines are taking it in the shorts. There's more to CSX and NS than just coal; are they driving off low- margin traffic to put assets against higher-rated commodity groups? GWR Jan carloads include RA for the first time. Hedging your bets through safety in numbers. ASI/Transmatch charts of CSX, NS merch vol deltas over 5 years.

Week Ending February 15
GWR increases North American carloads more than seven percent in the 2012 fourth quarter, is planning for 2013 revs of $1.6 billion from the combined RA+GWR properties, up seven percent from what it would have been had the roads combined in Jan 2012. Table comparing key financial metrics for the six traded Class I railroads.

Week Ending February 8
RA and GWR report individual monthly carloads for the last time; what to expect from the combined properties. CP hires Keith Creel as Ch Ops Officer, agrees not to poach "certain CN employees" for three years. Class I, II and III railroad YTD volume comps. Two responses to my recent request for shortline success stories.

Week Ending February 1
CP brings the 2012 Earnings Season to a strong close with sales up 7% to C$1.5 billion and the OR down 3.7 points to 74.8. Revs may be going up but merch carloads lag; NS as an example. Texas New Mexico Railroad initiates crude-by-rail unit train service to Texas Gulf refineries. PRR book review and author presentation.

Week Ending January 25
Earnings Week in the truest sense: all Class Is ex-CP this week (CP next Tuesday). Common thread: running faster, smarter railroad increases reliability and thus quality in the eyes of the beholder. First-mile, last-mile very much on their radar screens, and that includes Class II and III rails. KSC and CNI achieve striking financial results. Dismal NS and CSX coal comps ought to start getting reeled in toward March. GWR reports Feb 12.

Week Ending January 18
John Larkin's "Railroad Capsule Summaries" of Listed railroads. I add my own for BNSF. How ShipXpress Command uses off-the-shelf hand-helds in car movement event reporting. Indiana Rail Road extends CN direct intermodal service to downtown Indy.

Week Ending January 11
Why RailConnect mCrew is the way to go for timely car movement event reporting. (This is not a paid commercial; I first learned about mCrew all by myself.) Week 52 Class I and Class II-III railroad revenue unit comps; why I'm backing out crude-by-rail for shortline comps. TCWR objects to potential ROW re-route to accommodate trolleys. NS 13-week moving average chart: where and why merch carloads are getting squeezed.

Week Ending January 4
BNSF service performance snapshot shows the merch group leading the pack in November YTD gains. Measures for BNSF short lines to match. Smaller inventories, the intermodal model and single-carload strengths. Iron ore producer shares up, steel sector upgraded. CN finalizes integration of the J. Congress passes 45G tax credits retroactively.

 

 

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