Wednesday, August 15, 2012

12-month report shows strong railroad earnings

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Class I railroads in the 12-month period ended June 30 earned consolidated net income of $11.9 billion on an increase of 0.58% in traffic (1.7 trillion revenue ton miles of freight) compared with the year-ago period, according to a report posted on the Surface Transportation Board website.

Another STB report released earlier showed that railroad employment is also steadily increasing, with the number of Class I railroad workers up 2.40% in June to 153,169 compared with June 2011.

The STB did not calculate an operating ratio for the 12-month period, but the performance on which that key measure of efficiency is based improved substantially: Railway operating revenues increased 9.6% to $69.6 billion in the 12-month period ended June 30 and net railway operating income improved 16.36% to $12.3 billion.

Among individual Class I carriers, Union Pacific reported net income of $3.83 billion for the latest 12-month period, up 21.4% from the year-earlier period; BNSF, $3.48 billion, up 23,6%; Norfolk Southern, $2.03 billion, up 10.9%; CSX, $1.9 billion, up 7.78%; CN/Grand Trunk, $429.9 million, up 20%; Kansas City Southern, $123 million, up 7.32%; and Soo Line, $90.96 million, down 10.2%.