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Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Thursday said its first-quarter net was $16.0 million, up 15% from $13.9 million recorded in the first quarter of 2009. GWI's diluted earnings per share of 39 cents was up one penny from the year-ago quarter.

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Revenue of $145.6 million was up $7.1 million, or 5.1%, compared with $138.5 million in the year-ago period, though the company noted appreciation of the Australian and Canadian dollars, as well as the euro, versus the U.S. dollar increased revenue by $8.4 million. Excluding foreign currency appreciation revenue fell declined $1.3 million, or 0.9%.

GWI noted that carload traffic increased significantly in March, up 5.0% compared with March 2009 and up 17.8% from February 2010. Total carload traffic for the quarter still lagged the 2009 period by 5.6%. But the company’s operating ratio was 79.3% in the quarter, a 1.8 percentage point improvement over the 81.1% operating ratio in the first quarter of 2009.  

Said GWI President and CEO John C. Hellmann, “Our first-quarter financial results were a good start to 2010. In late February, our traffic began to strengthen in several commodity groups including steel and grain, and we continued to control our costs.  The result was an operatingratio of 79.3%, which is a first-quarter record in the history of GWI. We are focused on sustaining this level of operating efficiency for the remainder of the year, regardless of the pace of improvement in the economy.”

--> Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Thursday said its first-quarter net was $16.0 million, up 15% from $13.9 million recorded in the first quarter of 2009. GWI's diluted earnings per share of 39 cents was up one penny from the year-ago quarter. ...

Dallas Area Rapid Transit has set December 6, 2010 as the date for completion of the final sections of the Green Line light rail project. Two sections, one from MLK, Jr. Station near Fair Park south to Buckner Station in Pleasant Grove, and from Victory Station northwest to North Carrollton, will open on that date, completing the 20-station, 28-mile, $1.8 billion project, according to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

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The section from Fair Park to Pleasant Grove includes four stations: Hatcher, Lawnview, Lake June, and Buckner. A featured stop will be the 6,000 acre Great Trinity Forest near Lawnview Station. The largest urban hardwood forest in the United States is also home to the Trinity River Audubon Center, which has nature trails and hands-on exhibits.

Destinations along the 11 stations north of Victory Station include the Market Center and Medical Districts, a Love Field Airport connection from Inwood Station, and Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

Bachman Station is also the junction for the Orange Line, which will connect Irving and Las Colinas by 2012. As reported earlier this week, the Denton County Transportation Authority’s A-Train diesel multiple-unit (DMU) service is scheduled to connect to the Green Line at Trinity Mills Station in Carrollton, Tex.

Lyons says that according to data provided by the American Public Transportation Association, DART is responsible for more than 25% of all light rail construction in North America. DART’s current expansion programs will expand the LRT system to more than 85 miles by 2012. The extensions are expected to add 60,000 weekday passenger trips, essentially doubling ridership on the DART rail system by 2030.

 

 

--> Dallas Area Rapid Transit has set December 6, 2010 as the date for completion of the final sections of the Green Line light rail project. Two sections, one from MLK, Jr. Station near Fair Park south to Buckner Station in Pleasant Grove, and from Victory ...

Canadian Pacific earned first-quarter net income of C$100 million, an increase of 74% from first-quarter 2009. Earnings per share were C$0.59, up from C$0.36 and ahead of the Wall Street consensus estimate of C$C0.51.

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“We put in a solid performance this quarter, and our results reflect both improvements in the economy and CP’s proven ability to rapidly adjust to changes in our customers' demands,” said Fred Green, president and CEO.

Other highlights of CP’s first-quarter report:

* Total revenue was C$1.2 billion, up 5% from C$1.1billion.

* Operating expenses were C$962 million, down 2% from C$977 million.

* Operating income increased to C$205 million from C$132 million, or 55%.

* Operating ratio improved 570 basis points to 82.45%.

--> Canadian Pacific earned first-quarter net income of C$100 million, an increase of 74% from first-quarter 2009. Earnings per share were C$0.59, up from C$0.36 and ahead of the Wall Street consensus estimate of C$C0.51. ...

Prudent and persistent capital investment has positioned Union Pacific for a robust recovery.

Although the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was written primarily for the Class I’s, many of the short line and regional railroads that touch roughly one out of every five carloads the Class I’s handle will have to deal with this mostly unfunded mandate.

The Class I’s are, and the technical cooperation, says one key participant, “is truly remarkable.”

The Seattle City Council's Transportation Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed First Hill modern streetcar project, and even seeks to extend the proposed route with surplus funds if construction comes in below budget.

The proposed streetcar route would run along Broadway, an alignment supported by both the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Funding for the project remains in doubt, however, in light of budget constraints facing Sound Transit. In addition, Sound Transit’s Board of Directors has expressed reluctance to expand the scope of the plan beyond what’s been approved by voters.

The route, if established, would not be Seattle's first; the 1.3-mile South Lake Union Streetcar debuted in December 2007, linking its namesake neighborhood with downtown.

Many supporters of the First Hill streetcar plan anticipate acquiring equipment from Clackamas, Ore.-based United Streetcar, LLC, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works attempting to establish itself as a long-term U.S. supplier of streetcars to meet anticipated domestic demand. United Streetcar currently has orders from Portland, Ore., and from Tucson, Ariz. 

--> The Seattle City Council's Transportation Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed First Hill modern streetcar project, and even seeks to extend the proposed route with surplus funds if construction comes in below budget. ...

The railroad industry has a safety record that’s the envy of many other industries, yet when railroads think safety, they think continuous improvement. The most important element is a strong safety culture, supported by training and technology.

Whether it’s wheat or wind energy components, the 2010 Regional Railroad of the Year seeks an ever-growing customer base, come heck or (literal) high water. Perhaps more than some portions of the U.S., prairie residents must know their environment. Fordville, N.D.-based Northern Plains ...

Now that BNSF is no longer a public company and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, what can BNSF’s short lines expect? There are two indicators, both of which are in Warren Buffett’s 2009 Shareholder Letter (available at www.berkshirehathaway.com).

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