Class I railroads
CSX earnings show an uptick from last year
By Roy Blanchard CSX leads off the railroads’ earnings season with record first-quarter revenue, operating income and operating ratio. Total freight revenue increased 11 percent to $2.5 billion as merchandise carloads (all but coal and intermodal increased to 55 percent of the total and coal dipped to...
Mon, Apr 19 2010
Here’s how short lines are doing
By Roy Blanchard In an earlier post Fred Frailey comments on the traffic gains the Class I railroads are seeing as we begin to come out of the economic downturn that started more than two years ago. Shortline and regional railroads are seeing better days too -- not surprising since roughly 20 percent...
Tue, Apr 20 2010
Union Pacific operating income jumps 47 percent in a year
Posted by Roy Blanchard Union Pacific stepped up to the quarterly earnings plate Thursday and, like CSX, knocked the first pitch out of the park. It’s a case of doing many things right. Operating income was up 47 percent to $988 million on a 16 percent revenue increase to $4 billion. Operating expense...
Mon, Apr 26 2010
A ride on the Northeast Corridor: Always something new
Posted by Roy Blanchard New Jersey Transit Train 3930 runs express from Trenton, N.J., to New York Penn Station, covering the 50 miles in 70 minutes. It departs Trenton at 8:09 a.m., arriving at Penn at 9:19 a.m. with three station stops: Hamilton, Princeton Junction, and Newark. For those of us in Philadelphia...
Tue, Apr 27 2010
“Without rails it fails…"
By Roy Blanchard ” That’s what Mark Murawski, transportation planner for the Lycoming County (Pennsylvania) Planning Commission said at the 2010 Pennsylvania Freight Seminar, an annual affair of the Pennsylvania Rail Freight Advisory Committee. Murawski was speaking as a panelist on "Railroads and the...
Wed, May 26 2010
Amtrak’s Adirondack from the Head End
Amtrak Train No. 68, the southbound Adirondack, will never win any speed records. But it passes through some of the prettiest scenery this side of the New River Gorge courtesy of Canadian Pacific and the former Delaware & Hudson Railway. The piece de resistance is the way the railroad hugs New York...
Sun, May 30 2010
Over the Top on the Royal Canadian Pacific
By Roy Blanchard It's early June and I'm in Calgary, Alberta to attend the 2010 Canadian Pacific Investors Day program. Day One was the usual collection of presentations from the CP senior staff about matters marketing, financial and operations. Today is Day Two, the Royal Canadian Pacific ( www.royalcanadianpacific...
Mon, Jun 28 2010
How to teach an old railroad new tricks
By Roy Blanchard Winchester, Va., July 10, 2010. Norfolk Southern’s former Norfolk & Western Shenandoah Valley line has long been a favorite. Today I visited the line from Riverton Jct., Va., just north of Front Royal, to see how the Crescent Corridor improvements have changed the line since I first...
Mon, Jul 19 2010
Covered wagons Redux
Posted by Roy Blanchard It’s quite a treat to climb into the cab of a 50-year-old F-unit and go tooling along at sixty-plus over a piece of railroad one first rode as a teenager behind E7s. The sensations are all there — no sound insulation from the horn or bell noises, the smells are...
Thu, Jan 6 2011
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