July 24, 2014

Parliament ends 9-day CP Railway strike

OTTAWA – Some 4,800 striking Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference are returning to their jobs June 1 following final passage by Parliament of back-to-work legislation. The strike in Canada began May 23. The legislation provides for appointment of an arbitrator, who will have [...]

Rail fatality in N.D.; amputation in Missouri

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During the month of May, one UTU member was killed  in North Dakota in a rail switching accident, another was murdered on his bus route in Los Angeles, and another lost a foot in Missouri in a yard switching accident. On CP Rail (Soo Line) in Kenmare, N.D., conductor Robert J. Glasgow, 38 (UTU Local 887, [...]

Confidential Close Call Reporting proving its worth

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It’s confidential and no-fault. And the result, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, is a significant reduction in rail workplace derailments that too often lead to serious injury and death — plus, as a bonus, better labor/management relationships and improved operational performance. We’re talking about four pilot projects called Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), whose core value [...]

First quarter 2012 rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 15 percent increase in profit forf the first quarter 2012 versus first quarter 2011, citing improved pricing and higher fuel surcharges. BNSF’s first quarter 2012 operating ratio of 74.4 percent was one percentage point lower than for the first quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage [...]

UP lone “revenue adequate” railroad for 2010

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined that only one major railroad – Union Pacific – was “revenue adequate” in calendar year 2010. A railroad is considered “revenue adequate” if it achieves a rate of return on net investment equal to at least the current cost of capital for the railroad industry. Revenue [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 3d quarter 2011 profits

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BNSF reported a 9 percent improvement in profit for the third quarter 2011 versus the third quarter 2010. The third-quarter operating ratio of 71.7 percent was slightly higher than the 70.8 percent for third-quarter 2010. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 2d quarter 2011 profits

Canadian National: Canadian National Railway July 25 reported an 8 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2011 versus the second quarter 2010, citing a 10 percent increase in intermodal loadings (trailers and containers on flat cars) and a 14 percent increase in intermodal revenue. CN’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 62.3 percent [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 1st quarter 2011 profits

Most major North American freight railroads reported strong earnings for the first quarter 2011 versus first quarter 2010. Following is a wrap-up for the quarterly earnings reported by the railroads to the investment community. Not included is BNSF, which is privately held and does not report its financial results to the investment community. Mention is [...]

Winter weather jolts CP first-quarter earnings

Canadian Pacific Railway reported a sharp drop in profit for the first quarter 2011 compared with first quarter 2010, citing severe winter weather. CP said its 15,143 employee count increased by 613 during the quarter, but gave no indication of whether it would add employees the remainder of 2011. First quarter 2011 train speeds fell [...]

Railroads 2010: How sweet it was

How did major railroads perform in 2010? Reviewing their calendar-year and fourth-quarter profit statements, one wouldn’t know they were operating in the midst of a nationwide recession. Profits soared, stock dividends were raised and operating ratios improved. (Operating ratio — a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue — is considered by [...]