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CPKC CEO Keith Creel on Modern Railroading

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CPKC CEO Keith Creel on Modern Railroading
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, February 18, 2024 12:22 AM

A year old but interesting interview, learned a few new items.   He covers mixing passenger and freight trains at the start.    Covers PSR as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mleuKRppAbg

I am not sure what the issue is with centering on the webcam though.Big Smile

 

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 8:48 PM

I listened for 10-15 minutes and gave up on it. Didn't hear what Precision Scheduled Railroading is supposed to be, aside from run bigger trains, slower. How did that "scheduled" get in there? Maybe that's why he mentioned reliability -- to make the railroad reliable, give each train 1 horsepower per ton, find out how much time such a train takes, and make the scheduled running time at least 50% longer than that.

He said CP is using maybe 500 fewer locomotives than it did before PSR, but is hauling more freight. Guess that just means a train with half the power gets where it's going in less than double the time. So schedule it for double the time, and it will be reliable.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 6:15 AM

Reducing the number of required locomotives can be accomplished by more precise power distribution and scheduling and by better and preventive maintenance, not just a lower horsepower (or tractve effort) to trasin-weight ratio.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 8:37 AM

timz

I listened for 10-15 minutes and gave up on it. Didn't hear what Precision Scheduled Railroading is supposed to be, aside from run bigger trains, slower. How did that "scheduled" get in there? Maybe that's why he mentioned reliability -- to make the railroad reliable, give each train 1 horsepower per ton, find out how much time such a train takes, and make the scheduled running time at least 50% longer than that.

He said CP is using maybe 500 fewer locomotives than it did before PSR, but is hauling more freight. Guess that just means a train with half the power gets where it's going in less than double the time. So schedule it for double the time, and it will be reliable.

 

That is a good point.  I have always thought that the original meaning of PSR was to make the railroad more nimble with more consistent and reliable service.  But the industry seems to have embraced the name, Precision Scheduled Railroading only because it sounds good, and then they applied their own definition which is the radical increase of train length, which tends to have the opposite effect on precision scheduling.  This is why nobody can actually define it anymore. 
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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 9:37 AM

timz
I listened for 10-15 minutes and gave up on it

They flashed a map up on the screen at one point.    Looks like CPKC is going to concentrate on upgrades on the Mississippi River Line South of La Crosse (I know it is the other side of the River) down to Iowa and towards Kansas City.    Not sure how much money but it was highlighted in a lot of places and I suspect either long passing sidings or double track possibly one before the other. 

Also he stated the traffic on the newly reacquired line to Saint John is significantly increasing.

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Posted by traisessive1 on Monday, February 26, 2024 12:30 AM

PSR is all about running trains the heaviest/longest they can with as few locomotives as they possibly can.

 

We're running trains at .4 hpt on the regular. Speed does not matter. Even our highest priority trains out here are only run at .8 hpt on the Prarie mainline. 

We're running trains with Notch 4 restrictions to reduce them to the service plan which is .5 hpt. 

These trains are doing high teens and low 20s mph on average and that's exactly WHAT THEY WANT. 

 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by Backshop on Monday, February 26, 2024 7:14 AM

We're back to the drag era.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, February 26, 2024 9:31 AM

traisessive1
These trains are doing high teens and low 20s mph on average and that's exactly WHAT THEY WANT. 

It's a lot easier to do things precisely if you do them slowly...

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 12:07 PM

The PSR boys would have a coronary if people like Krebs and Haverty ever got back in control over a class 1.  They literally prioritized speed and service over the all mighty operating ratio and still returned profits to the shareholders.  

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 11:59 PM

Shadow the Cats owner

The PSR boys would have a coronary if people like Krebs and Haverty ever got back in control over a class 1.  They literally prioritized speed and service over the all mighty operating ratio and still returned profits to the shareholders.  

 

They wouldn't get the chance to be brought back.  The activist investors wouldn't let them be rehired.  I don't think Buffet/Berkshire Hathaway would bring them back, either.  

BNSF earlier this week eliminated about 20% (if the numbers cited by some BNSF people are accurate) of mostly mechanical department workers system wide.

Jeff 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 29, 2024 6:31 AM

From the news, more changes of job liocation and trade, rather than reduction in employment.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 29, 2024 8:05 AM

daveklepper
From the news, more changes of job liocation and trade, rather than reduction in employment.

Tell it to the 80+ at the Topeka Shops that were let go.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, March 2, 2024 8:10 PM

daveklepper

From the news, more changes of job liocation and trade, rather than reduction in employment.

 

They are eliminating jobs.  That doesn't necessarily mean a person who's job is eliminated will be unemployed.  It does mean he will have to bump a less senior employee in his craft, maybe into another facility.  The person he displaces will do the same.  Eventually, there will be a person (many persons) who will be furloughed because there's no place for them to go.

In many respects, your vaunted BNSF is becoming no different than the other class ones.  Or other industries for that matter.  Warren Buffett can still keep his kinder, gentler billionaire persona.  He has Katie Farmer to do the dirty work.

Jeff   

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, March 2, 2024 10:05 PM

BaltACD
Topeka Shops

Kind of an isolated complex from where the BNSF action is, in my view.    They downgraded the line Topeka is on a long time ago..........I thought.

Thats like the UP RR complex at Palestine, TX.

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Posted by diningcar on Sunday, March 3, 2024 7:40 AM

Topeka is an AMTRAK stop for #"s 3 and 4. The line is well maintained and has local freight service. It will also be utilized when the double track line between Emporia and Olathe is under stress.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, March 3, 2024 10:07 AM

diningcar
Topeka is an AMTRAK stop for #"s 3 and 4. The line is well maintained and has local freight service. It will also be utilized when the double track line between Emporia and Olathe is under stress.

  Topeka, KS is not on a major BNSF mainline and indeed BNSF even stated at such in the past when it came time to track upgrades for that same Amtrak train on this same line farther to the West.    The point which I was trying to make which I thought was clear, why is there that many BNSF employees still in Topeka, KS when operations of the railroad do not necessitate they be there?

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Posted by diningcar on Sunday, March 3, 2024 10:20 AM

BNSF has their computer system and extensive shops in Topeka. The shops are not as significant as they once were. Santa Fe built a new office building and computer system in Topeka in the 1980's that is still in use.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, March 3, 2024 1:42 PM

diningcar
BNSF has their computer system and extensive shops in Topeka. The shops are not as significant as they once were. Santa Fe built a new office building and computer system in Topeka in the 1980's that is still in use.

What computer system?    Their main IT is in Alliance and so is their dispatch center.    They can service locomotives in Kansas City (just 60 miles away).   Topeka is probably excess at this point and that is why they are reducing people.   They can sell or lease the office building, thats never an issue for a company.

40 people is what?   $3.5 to 4 million a year?   Maybe more?

  Getting layed off was a stigma in the 1960's -1980's and probably the early part of the 1990's.    After 9-11 though being layed off is a fact of life across most career fields.   I remember when your job was cut at age 55-60 or above you were finished working at a livable wage......not the case anymore.    Those days have been gone for probably 10-15 years running now.    Your the CEO of your career these days, there is no more loyalty to companies anymore.   The country is moving to a skills based hiring approach.   Thats becomming across the board with both Blue Collar and White Collar jobs.   Not sure how much farther we will go down that path, time will tell.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, March 3, 2024 2:16 PM

jeffhergert
Katie Farmer

I read her BNSF Bio, it is challenging to do what she did as far as moving around to all the different BNSF departments she has worked in.    I was impressed with her bio.

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, March 3, 2024 8:19 PM

CMStPnP

They can service locomotives in Kansas City (just 60 miles away).  

Topeka doesn't "service" locomotives.  It was one of four heavy repair shops on the Santa Fe.  It is the last one left in railroad ownership.  The others were San Bernardino, Albuquerque and Cleburne.  Sooner or later, all the badordered locomotives that PSR lets sit around will need to be repaired, and Topeka is one of the few places that can do it.

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Posted by diningcar on Monday, March 4, 2024 9:37 AM

 What computer system?

The financial accounting is done in Topeka. My pension check gets mailed from Topeka. Car accounting is done there and perhaps several things that do not need to be in Fort Worth. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, March 8, 2024 8:28 PM

Check out BNSF 2023 Financials.

Net Income dropped 14%.

OR was above 68 after being over 65 in 2022.

Mr. Buffett was charitable in his comments about BNSF in his annual letter.

https://www.bnsf.com/about-bnsf/financial-information/pdf/performance-summary-4q-2023.pdf

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Posted by ns145 on Saturday, March 9, 2024 4:54 PM

kgbw49

Check out BNSF 2023 Financials.

Net Income dropped 14%.

OR was above 68 after being over 65 in 2022.

Mr. Buffett was charitable in his comments about BNSF in his annual letter.

https://www.bnsf.com/about-bnsf/financial-information/pdf/performance-summary-4q-2023.pdf

 

Not surprising that BNSF and NS got hammered the most in 2023 since they have the #1 and #2 largest intermodal franchises.  Even with a 9.6% drop in intermodal volume in 2023 BNSF was still 1 million units up on Union Pacific.  NS was 1.1 million units up on CSX.  The fact that BNSF and NS have such radically different franchises than the other four Class I's always seems to get passed over by all of the "know-it-all" pundits.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, March 11, 2024 7:46 PM

About 5 percent of all the drop can be attached to losing Schiender and Swift and the rest from Yellow imploding.  Yellow and all it subsidiary companies shipped a lot on the BNSF and the other 2 are only the 2nd and 3rd largest truckload carriers in the nation for dry van cargo.  But look for BNSF to rebound in 2024 with more Amazon loads and such.  

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