The Railroad Week in Review:
First Quarter 2005

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  • Week Ending 1/7/2005
    Wall Street analysts have varied opinions about what's happening now in rails. Rail stocks outperformed the broader indices in 2004. CSX' Mike Ward wants a "boring railroad." CN faces possible strikes by UTU and Teamsters (ex-BLE). Watco adds three lines, Omnitrax adds two. BNSF Bayport build-in may not be needed. More on rip Plan Compliance. Soybean shipments soft but on the verge of a strong return.
  • Week Ending 1/14/2005
    Watco wins its first from CSX. UP mired in mud in So Cal; Jack Koraleski tells all. GWR and RRA report December carloads. Time may be running out for CN and its unions. EMD sold to investor group. New applications for Desktop-dot-com's rate-maker tool.
  • Week Ending 1/21/2005
    KCS wins approval for TFM control. Union Pacific plans to reopen its ex-SP California Coast Line and 80 miles of its Nevada desert canyon line for at least partial service by next Monday (1/24). BNSF and CN sign a "routing protocol agreement" to streamline their exchange of rail traffic at major gateways. GWR collects kudos from "The Motley Fool." RailAmerica's 2005 eps guidance press release says they "could either miss or beat" Street estimates. The FRA issues a Safety Advisory on switch alignment. Photo of an egregious error.
  • Week Ending 1/28/2005
    Earnings week mostly good news from the Big Six. We cover 'em all. Fuel price chart. A remark on the slowing rates of RR stock price increase. Tony Hatch offers his views on RRA's recent earnings announcement. Larry Kaufman finds certain Class I operations change announcements instructive.
  • Week Ending 2/4/2005
    Rail stocks generally were little changed at Friday's close. KCS revenues climb 18% ion Q4 and 11% for the year. Railroad traffic in Week 4 (Jan 29) up 4.2%. A note in Tuesday's WSJ suggests that CSX service is improving thanks in part to the One Plan.
  • Week Ending 2/11/2005
    Coming soon to a railroad near you: increased FRA scrutiny. KCS stock hits 52-week high Thurs and again Fri. UP stock may have bottomed out but the folks in Phoenix will take a rate hit. GWR and RRA traffic for Jan. Why can't they use the same commodity reporting scheme as the AAR? Declining inventory-to-sales ratios may hurt some carload business. A faithful rail shipper writes on his reasons for shifting to truck, albeit reluctantly.
  • Week Ending 2/18/2005
    Final week of Earnings season: FEC, GWR, RRA revenues up double-digits, ops income up for two out of three. CSX shortline meeting notes: pricing and ops interface take top billing. Relating both to car supply. The shortline role in the One Plan, esp in Phase II coming soon to a railroad near you. After the close: UP shares up 5% on improving metrics and Wall Street upgrades.
  • Week Ending 2/25/2005
    More feedback from the CSX shortline meeting. Old physics meet new leaders. How the fluid network helps car supply, service quality, and pricing to market.More on the Shipper's Lament. RMI's Paul Pascutti on fixing carload data gaps on shortlines.
  • Week Ending 3/4/2005
    CSX shortline cars redux. Tony Hatch suggests a great metric. Jim Valentine upgrades CSX. Rail stocks outperform market for another week. GWR gets ink in Forbes On Line. Why a lawyer's letter rankles. Shortlines hanging on to empties and loads ought to lose car hire relief and pay demurrage.
  • Week Ending 3/11/2005
    Shipper groups press STB to get tough with railroads. Pennsylvania's Lycoming Valley Railroad wins a nice one. Steve Friedland on shortline car hire economics. What happens when there's a spill and nobody knows what it is.
  • Week Ending 3/18/2005
    Continuing the paper Barrier thread with remarks from NS and GWR. Kaufman on hazmats. STB overrules DC Council on hazmats. Fort Worth & Western gets new link to Mexico. Tony Hatch on RRA supplier conference. Weekly rant: car hire relief on cars held overlong has to end.
  • Week Ending 3/25/2005
    Arch Coal adds assets presenting opportunities to rails. Wall Street looking favorably on rails. Valuation comps, table. UP update. BNSF wins shipper award. IBEW threatens to walk out on CN. Economic trends. Stock ticker Quiz.


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