Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2003
Available in Adobe
Acrobat format only. You will need
the free Adobe
ending December 19, 2003
We profile Progressive Railroad as an example of a shortline that is
aggressively building and expanding its business base and service offerings.
NS takes $50 mm write-down of telecom sub and announces $817 mm capital
program for 2004. STB institutes proceeding for 2003 railroad cost of
capital. A closer look at AAR performance measures. CP running mid-train
RC units in intermodal service, adds to and standardizes intermodal
car fleet. Rail stocks again hit 52-week highs.
ending December 12, 2003
Dow breaks 10000 and stays there; some strong indicators for railraods
in general and shortlines in particular. CSX shortline meeting scores
a number of firsts, future bodes well for shortline relationships. Getting
the operating-pricing relationship right. GWR, RRA post November carloads;
implications for the rest of shortlinedom.
ending December 5, 2003
Christmas came early with good economic news. RailAmerica adds
Central Michigan. Trains magazine "map-of-the-month" features BNSF's
hub-and-spoke network, a useful tool for shortlines and carload shippers.
NS makes senior management changes. HDR Engineering's newsletter draws
favorable reviews. Shortline event reporting scorecards are out and
there's work to be done.
- Week ending
November 28, 2003
Thanksgiving Week, no WIR. Sorry.
ending November 21, 2003
BNSF's Financial Analysts conference bodes well for carload shippers
and shortlines. Table with 23 separate performance improvement metrics.
Trucker's new Hours of Service regs decried by shippers and trucking
companies for raising costs and decreasing productivity. CSX selling
off a few lines and opening others to trackage rights for shortlines.
Ed Dodge to leave CP in Mar; Gary Spiegel leaves RRA this month.
ending November 14, 2003
Three from CSX: Mike Giftos will take his retirement next March. About
1,000 non-agreement personnel will be let go. CFO Oscar Munoz on data
automation and network rationalization. Norfolk Southern's non-agreement
buyout program was accepted by about 500 out of the 4,000 that were
eligible. STB upholds as reasonable NS' common carrier rates on certain
coal shipments to several of Duke Energy's facilities. Dave Parkinson
buys San Pedro Southwestern, a former RRA property off the ex-SP at
ending November 7, 2003
Seven leading trucking firms averaged an 8.8% yoy revenue jump in 3Q03,
better than twice the rate of the best Class I railroad. We offer a
modest proposal. More on the "Revenue per Intermodal Carload Equivalent"
metric. How KCS preserved its operating revenue gains on the top line
through operating expenses to operating income on the bottom line. GWR's
excellent and refreshing account at the BB&T Logistics Conference webcast.
ending October 31, 2003
NS operating income even with 3Q02 with no change in either revenue
or expense. KCS net got killed on the Mexican Standoff over TFM, but
its domestic numbers show some real strengths. CP's actual performance
was a lot better than the reported results, distorted by foreign exchange
rates. RRA to exit Australia. Domestic same-store numbers lag what one
would expect. GWR same store revenues up 7% yoy. BNSF shortline meeting
concludes with a number of positive messages for attendees.
ending October 24, 2003
CN to buy the assets of the Great Lakes Transportation Group including
the B&LE and DM&IR. 3Q03 operating income C$454 mm, down 6% yoy more
on exchange rates than constant dollars. BNSF operating income up 2.6%
on 3.6% more revenues and 4% added expense with fuel the chief culprit.
FEC posted its eighth consecutive quarterly gain in freight revenues.
UP posts 4% yoy quarterly revenue gain to $3 bn thanks to merchandise
carload gains. Five of eight CSX merchandise carload categories posted
RPU increases with revenue gains across the board.
ending October 17, 2003
Rail stocks continue to lag the DJIA in a persistent sideways pattern;
what's behind this funk. Sep carloads for RRA were up only 1% while
GWR got a 4% boost, 8% if you include the Oregon line annexed to its
Portland &Western last December. Bill Burt of LAL addresses the Lexington
Group gathering. remarks are excerpted here. Three solid uninterrupted
hours with ASLRRA President Rich Timmons drew further insights on the
shortline-Class I relationship. Conference call with STB Chairman Roger
Nober and Senate Commerce Committee staffer Debbie Hersman.
ending October 10, 2003
revenue per carload equivalent as a measure of relative yield with respect
to car load freight. Table compares Class I results. Excerpts of Bear
Stearns' Rail Outlook for 3Q03; CSX, NS, BNSF mentioned. Paper stocks
back in favor - implications for RRA, GWR and other shortline operators.
ending October 3, 2003
UP investor conference good news for carload shippers and shortlines.
WABCO wins contract for hand-held car repair reporting system at BC
Rail. NS to sponsor TRANSCAER train tour down south in Oct. Phila Inquirer
on changing transportation buying patterns. Third quarter estimates
for the Big Six.