The Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2005

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  • Week Ending 10/7/2005
    The ISM Production Index increase for Sep bodes well for the merch carload trade. Week 39 carloads up, but not as much as the trailing six-week trend. RailAmerica closes Alcoa shortline purchase. Nonsensical, anonymous "press release" re CSX dispatcher changes.More on paying shortlines out of revenue and doing it so as to generate top value for shortline and Class I alike. CN simplifies supp services. Truck weights up? Lexington Group meeting in Harrisburg a winner
  • Week Ending 10/14/2005
    Forest Products stocks fall; how shortliners can make lemonade from the news. Comparing Sep and Q3 carloads for shortlines, GWR, RRA. To short or not to short RRA? ACWR gets safety mention in RT&S. Watco begins ops on Arkansas Southern. Nober leaving? Giblin, Zollars, Blanchard on bureaucracy.

  • Week ending 10/21/2005
    ASLRRA Eastern Region meeting a hit -- lessons learned and cautionary tales. CN's 3Q05 results show double-digit increases in operating income, net income and eps. BNSF shortline meeting preview and new fuel surcharge roll-out.

  • Week Ending 10/28/2005
    BNSF breaks the mold on what a shortline annual meeting ought to be. I counted at least five firsts. Class I earnings are all in: revenues are up double-digits on modest volume increases, operating incomes are way up as expenses are held in check.

  • Week Ending 11/4/2005
    Earnings Season concludes with reports on GWR, KCS, FEC, RRA. Summary Table. Revised Class I comps table from last week. Another look at fuel charge sharing. Fred Green gets tapped as CPR Prez; keeps COO job. Chart.

  • Week Ending 11/11/2005
    DM&E applies for $2.5 billion RRIF loan to reach PRB. New legislation to permit RRIF loans for new construction. More on linking car hire reclaim to shortline performance. Nine NJ shortlines sign ISAs with Conrail. Indiana Rail Road adds 92 miles. UP wins Home Depot carrier award, BNSF wins Wal-Mart award.

  • Week Ending 11/18/2005
    More on shortline economics, car hire relief and fuel surcharges. October carloads for GWR and RRA. Giblin on the effects of new truck HOS laws. Larry Kaufman on managing capacity. AAR unit volumes up a bit in Week 45.

  • Week Ending 11/25/2005
    No Week in Review Thanksgiving Week

  • Week Ending 12/2/2005
    Class I Q3 carload volume growth vs. same for shortlines. Are shortline gains masking Class I losses? Perils of small shortline underinvestment in service. How the Class I gains by moving a branchline customer to a shortline-served location. Opportunities in short-haul lanes. CN and CP host analysts conferences. Take-aways for shortlines and carload shippers.

  • Week Ending 12/9/2005
    CP pulls no punches during the Q&A following its investors' conference. KCS and NS form joint venture for Meridian Speedway. Shortline comps: what tracking car hire and fuel can tell you. Upgrades and downgrades with implications for carload shippers and shortlines.

  • Week Ending 12/16/2005
    Shortline YTD revenue loadings. GWR and RRA comps. AAR comps with both. Tables. Why rail stock performance ought to be importnt to shortline operators. Stock report synopses from Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley. NS shortline and Ag groups swap leadership. BNSF moves up two.

  • Week Ending 12/23/2005
    Sharp shortline operators know that the key to remaining in business is providing a superior transportation product at a cost they can afford. Comparison with Southwest Airlines model. Reader response to WIR remarks on same-store sales and shortline fuel consumption.

    This is it for 2005. Thanks for your help making WIR a lot of fun to do. Looking forward to starting yet another year (my eleventh!) of it.


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