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Weekly Rail Recap for the Week Ending Saturday, April 27, 2002

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  • Gino & Kelly DiCarlo
    WEEKLY RAIL RECAP For the week ending SAT, April 27, 2002 By Dave Mears (NOTE: The expression ffd at the end of a news item means for further details and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2002
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      WEEKLY RAIL RECAP
      For the week ending SAT, April 27, 2002
      By Dave Mears

      (NOTE: The expression "ffd" at the end of a news item means "for further
      details" and usually represents what I believe to be the most helpful news
      resource if a reader wants more information on a particular item.)

      THE WEEK'S TOP NEWS (in chronological order):

      (MON) The U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad
      Administration announced that they had approved the second loan from the
      federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program. The
      loan, totaling $12 million, will be to the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad.
      Although enacted in 1998, the RRIF program has been criticized for slow
      processing and approval of loans due to bureaucratic obstacles, which the
      American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association has been helping to
      overcome. (ffd: FRA, industry sources)

      (MON) Burlington Northern Santa Fe announced two new initiatives with other
      railroads. First, BNSF and Norfolk Southern debuted what they called the
      "first ever, coast-to-coast guaranteed" intermodal rail service. The new
      service offers a 100 percent refund for intermodal rail shipments moving
      between San Bernardino, CA. and Harrisburg, PA. that do not meet the
      scheduled availability time for customer pickup. Second, BNSF and Kansas
      City Southern announced a "marketing alliance" to coordinate marketing and
      operating initiatives in several target markets. "The complementary,
      end-to-end nature of the BNSF and KCS networks makes this alliance the basis
      for a natural partnership," said BNSF CEO Matt Rose. (ffd: BNSF Corp.)

      (MON) Kansas City Southern reopened Bossier Yard in Bossier City, LA.
      Switching that had been performed in Beaumont, TX. will be shifted back to
      Bossier Yard. A KCS spokesman said that the shift will provide better
      service to customers and also operating efficiencies. (ffd: KCS Corp.)

      (MON) Union Pacific announced that it would transfer locomotive repair work
      from Pine Bluff, AR., distributing the work to UP facilities in Chicago,
      IL., Fort Worth, TX. and Houston, TX. A UP spokesman said that the shift
      resulted from the need to center locomotive repairs at locations where
      trains
      originate and terminate, rather than at the midpoint location at Pine Bluff.
      (ffd: UP Corp.)

      (TUE) A Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train collided with a Southern
      California Metrolink commuter train near Placentia, CA. The resulting crash
      killed 2 persons and injured 264 persons aboard the commuter train, 29 of
      whom were held overnight at area hospitals. On Wednesday, a National
      Transportation Safety Board investigator said that the event recorder on the
      locomotive of the BNSF train indicated that the BNSF engineer had passed
      through a caution signal and then a stop signal without reducing speed.
      (wire
      services)

      (TUE) Amtrak's ridership on its Acela Express service between New York, NY.
      and Washington, DC. was reported to be neck-and-neck with ridership of the
      combined US Airways and Delta Air Lines shuttles. Amtrak reported that its
      March, 2002 Acela Express ridership was 219,917 persons or approximately 300
      per train. The last available airline statistics reported to the U.S.
      Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which were for December, 2001,
      indicated 215,366 passenger boardings on the air shuttles. (ffd: Chicago
      Tribune)

      (Editor's Note: Rail news for much of the remainder of the week was the
      release of 1st Qtr., 2002 business results, see below.)

      STATS:

      (THU) For the week ending April 20, U.S. carload rail traffic was down 3.9
      percent from the comparable week last year, down 2.3 percent in the East and
      down 5.1 percent in the West. This week this year versus this week last
      year, notable traffic increases included motor vehicles and equipment up
      21.9
      percent and crushed stone, sand and gravel up 9.8 percent; notable traffic
      decreases included metallic ores down 19.8 percent, coke down 15.6 percent,
      grain down 13.5 percent and coal down 8.3 percent. Also for the week ending
      April 20, U.S. intermodal rail traffic was up 13.0 percent, Canadian carload
      rail traffic was down 1.8 percent, Canadian intermodal rail traffic was up
      5.5 percent, Mexico's Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana's carload rail
      traffic was up 26.4 percent and TFM's intermodal rail traffic was up 50.9
      percent, all when ranked with the comparable week last year.

      For the period January 1 through April 20, U.S. carload rail traffic was
      down
      3.6 percent, U.S. intermodal rail traffic was up 0.9 percent, Canadian
      carload rail traffic was down 4.1 percent, Canadian intermodal rail traffic
      was up 3.3 percent, TFM's carload rail traffic was down 2.7 percent and
      TFM's intermodal rail traffic was up 2.9 percent, all when ranked with the
      comparable period last year. (ffd: AAR)

      STATS CONTINUED - 1ST QTR., 2002 RESULTS:

      (MON) Canadian National reported net income of $146 million for the first
      quarter this year, up from $128 million for the first quarter last year.
      Revenues were $960 million for the first quarter this year, up from $889
      million for the first quarter last year. CN's operating ratio was 73.1
      percent in the first quarter this year, up from 72.5 percent in the first
      quarter last year. (ffd: CN Corp.)

      (MON) CSX reported net income of $25 million for the first quarter this
      year, up from $20 million in the first quarter last year. Revenues were
      $1.96
      billion for the first quarter this year, down from $2.03 billion for the
      first quarter last year. (ffd: CSX Corp.)

      (TUE) Burlington Northern Santa Fe reported net income of $172 million for
      the first quarter this year, up from $134 million for the first quarter last
      year. Revenues were $2.16 billion for the first quarter this year, down
      from
      $2.29 billion for the first quarter last year. (ffd: BNSF Corp.)

      (WED) Norfolk Southern reported net income of $86 million for the first
      quarter this year, up from $74 million for the first quarter last year.
      Revenues were $1.50 billion for the first quarter this year, down from $1.54
      billion for the first quarter last year. NS's operating ratio was 84.2
      percent in the first quarter this year, down from 86.7 percent in the first
      quarter last year. (ffd: NS Corp.)

      (THU) Union Pacific reported net income of $222 million for the first
      quarter
      this year, up from $181 million for the first quarter last year. Revenues
      were $2.97 billion for the first quarter this year, up from $2.94 billion
      for
      the first quarter last year. UP's operating ratio was 81.6 percent in the
      first quarter this year, down from 83.8 percent in the first quarter last
      year. (ffd: UP Corp.)

      (FRI) Canadian Pacific Railway reported net income of $136 million for the
      first quarter this year, up from $35 million in the first quarter last year.
      Revenues were $875 million for the first quarter this year, down from $918
      million for the first quarter last year. CPR's operating ratio was 79.9
      percent in the first quarter this year, down from 83.4 percent in the first
      quarter last year. (ffd: CPR Corp.)

      ACQUISITIONS, ABANDONMENTS AND ALIKE:

      (THU) Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern's I&M Rail Link Railroad granted trackage
      rights to Canadian Pacific/Soo Line over approximately 500 miles of I&M Rail
      Link lines in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. (ffd: STB)

      CHANGING PEOPLE AND PLACES:

      (FRI) Amtrak appointed David Gunn its president and CEO. Mr. Gunn, who
      started with the Santa Fe Railway in 1964, was head of Philadelphia, PA.'s
      SEPTA from 1979 through 1984, New York, NY.'s NYCTA from 1984 through 1990,
      Washington, DC.'s WMATA from 1991 through 1994 and Toronto, ON.'s Transit
      Commission from 1995 through 1999, and is credited with accomplishing
      notable improvements at all of these transit authorities. Amtrak also
      announced that its EVP-Operations, Stan Bagley, would serve as acting
      president and CEO from April 27 until Mr. Gunn's arrival at Amtrak, allowing
      the departure of George Warrington to his new position as head of New Jersey
      Transit. (ffd: Amtrak)

      * * *

      Weekly Rail Recap is edited from public news sources and published weekly,
      usually on Sunday or Monday, to the rail and transit industries and those
      interested in them.
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