Latest News Continued

Wabtec Corp. earned net income of $31.2 million in the second quarter, or 65 cents a share, vs. earnings of $30.8 million or 64 cents a share in the same period last year. The company's second-quarter 2010 earnings topped Wall Street's estimate of 62 cents. Wabtec increased its 2010 earnings forecast to a range of $2.45 to $3.55 a share compared with an earlier $2.40 to $2.50.

wabtec_logo.jpg

Wabtec said its second-quarter sales increased 12% to $374 million, the highest quarterly figure since the first quarter of 2009. Income from operations was $50 million, or 13.3% of sales.

The company said its Freight Group had a strong sales increase due to organic growth and acquisitions.

During the quarter, the company completed the integration of Xorail LLC, which was acquired in mid-March, and announced the formation of a third joint venture in China. After the quarter ended the company announced an agreement to acquire G&B Specialties and Bach-Simpson from Global Railway Industries Ltd.

Albert J. Neupaver, Wabtec’s president and CEO, said: “We’re pleased with the company’s overall performance in the first half and cautiously optimistic about the balance of 2010, assuming the global economy continues to improve. Our diversified business model, focus on cash generation, investment in growth strategies, and rigorous application of the Wabtec Performance System are serving the company well in the current environment and laying the groundwork for long-term growth.”

 

--> Wabtec Corp. earned net income of $31.2 million in the second quarter, or 65 cents a share, vs. earnings of $30.8 million or 64 cents a share in the same period last year. The company's second-quarter 2010 earnings topped Wall Street's estimate of 6 ...

L.B. Foster Co. reported Tuesday that net income increased by 125.8% to $6.0 million, or 58 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2010, compared to $2.7 million or $0.26 per share in the same period of 2009. Analysts had expected second-quarter 2010 earnings of 33 cents.

lbfoster.jpg

Second-quarter sales increased 20.3% to $119.5 million from $99.3 million in the comparable 2009 quarter. The company said gross profit margin was 17.0%, an increase of 410 basis points from the prior-year quarter principally due to negative adjustments totaling $3.7 million made last year related to concrete tie problems encountered during 2009. Additionally,a $2.1 million improvement in manufacturing variances in the current quarter was partially offset by a $1.1 million reduction in favorable LIFO adjustments.

"Sales were up across all segments in the second quarter of 2010 and our backlog continued at a substantially higher level than it was a year ago,” said Stan Hasselbusch, president and CEO. “While business activity continues to be inconsistent, especially in the industrial markets, we continue to see a general strengthening in activity in most of our businesses. Bookings for the quarter were $120.6 million compared to $115.0 million last year, a 4.9% increase and backlog was $207.2 million, up 41.1% from last year.

“With regard to the Portec acquisition,” said Hasselbusch, “we were pleased to learn that the courts had lifted the preliminary injunction that had enjoined the completion of our tender offer. However, after working with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, we believe that the DOJ will seek some type of restructuring ‘solution’ to alleviate their concern that the acquisition, as proposed, would have an anti-competitive effect with respect to the insulated bonded rail joint product.”

--> L.B. Foster Co. reported Tuesday that net income increased by 125.8% to $6.0 million, or 58 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2010, compared to $2.7 million or $0.26 per share in the same period of 2009. Analysts had expected second-quarter 2010 earni ...

Kansas City Southern reported a second-quarter 2010 profit of $34.6 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $6.5 million or seven cents a share in last year’s second quarter, thus easily beating Wall Street's consensus estimate of 46 cents for this year quarter. The company also slashed its operating ratio to 72.4%, a record, from 87.4% a year ago.

(KCS said the temporary interruption of some of its Mexican operations by Hurricane Alex would reduce profits by about five cents per share this year. It said most losses will be covered by insurance.)

kcs__logo.jpg

Revenue rose to $461.6 million in this year’s second quarter, up 35% from the 2009 period. KC said growth wasstrong across the board, with automotive revenue up 292% over second-quarter 2009 on increased auto production in Mexico. Intermodal revenue increased 54% as new business lanes and organic volume growth continued to improve. Other improvements were 42% for Agriculture & Minerals; 31% for Industrial & Consumer Products; 25% for Coal; and 18% for Chemical & Petroleum.

Operating income for the second quarter was $127.2 million, representing a 195% increase from a year ago. Operating expenses in the second quarter increased 12% from a year ago to $334.4 million.

mike-haverty-kcs-color.jpg

Chairman Michael J. Haverty (pictured at left) commented:

“A year ago, KCS was in the depths of the worst freight recession since the Great Depression. Over the last year, we have seen a steady improvement in traffic levels ... During the quarter, KCS continued to bring on new business and improve operating margins. The reported 72.4% operating ratio is a 15 percentage point improvement from a year ago, and represents a record operating ratio for KCS. Operating expenses excluding fuel were up just 3% on strong increases in volume, demonstrating the continued operating leverage KCS has been able to achieve.

“We raised approximately $215 million from an equity offering during the quarter, and along with existing cash on our balance sheet, we announced plans to reduce our debt levels by $300 million,” Haverty said. “At the end of the second quarter, we had retired approximately $237 million of this debt, and plan to retire the remainder of the announced $300 million during the third quarter. Including the refinancing in January, these transactions significantly improve our financial strength by reducing leverage and lowering our interest expense by approximately $40 million per year. On June 21, 2010, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the company’s long-term ratings to BB- from B and on June 28, 2010, Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook to positive. Coupled with strong free cash flow being generated by our operations, our financial flexibility has improved substantially.”

--> Kansas City Southern reported a second-quarter 2010 profit of $34.6 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $6.5 million or seven cents a share in last year’s second quarter, thus easily beating Wall Street's consensus estimate of 46 cents for this ...

BNSF late Monday announced that the strike price, the Highway Diesel Fuel (HDF) price at which BNSF will assess a fuel surcharge, will be reset from $1.25 per gallon to $2.50 per gallon. This change, BNSF said, reflects current fuel pricing trends which on a sustained basis have averaged above $2.50 since 2005.

bnsf_logo.jpg

The change applies to BNSF’s mileage-based and percent-of-revenue fuel surcharge programs for Agricultural Products, Industrial Products, Coal, and Automotive shipments beginning next January. Intermodal shipments will not be affected, BNSF said.

Underlying base rates will be appropriately adjusted to reflect the new strike price.

“Based on continual monitoring of our fuel programs and input from our customers, BNSF is not only rebasing, but will also develop and institute a program that compensates our customers when HDF falls below the strike price for an extended period,” said John Lanigan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Tables reflecting the new strike price and other program details are available on the BNSF website at www.bnsf.com/customers/fuel-surcharge/. BNSF said its sales and marketing representatives will provide customers with additional details as they become available in the coming months.

 

--> BNSF late Monday announced that the strike price, the Highway Diesel Fuel (HDF) price at which BNSF will assess a fuel surcharge, will be reset from $1.25 per gallon to $2.50 per gallon. This change, BNSF said, reflects current fuel pricing trends which on ...

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the award of just over $300 million in federal loans to the Denver Union Station project, which will include a light rail terminal consisting of three tracks and two platforms for existing and planned routes and an intercityand regional rail facility with eight passenger tracks and platform.

The DOT announcement said the loans will be made through “an unprecedented and historic innovative financing arrangement using the Department of Transportation’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program.” The project for the first time combines loans from both programs.

The loans are being awarded to the Denver Union Station Project Authority (DUSPA), a non-profit, public benefit entity formed by the city in July 2008, through a partnership with the Regional Transportation District (RTD), City and County of Denver, Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver Regional Council of Governments, and Denver Union Station Metropolitan District.

Together the TIFIA and RRIF loans constitute approximately 58% of all funding sources for the project. An RTD bond as well as tax increment revenues pledged to DUSPA will be used to repay the debt.

 

--> Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the award of just over $300 million in federal loans to the Denver Union Station project, which will include a light rail terminal consisting of three tracks and two platforms for existing and pl ...

Kansas City Southern’s Mexican subsidiary, Kansas City Southern de Mexico, reopened the flood-damaged Anahuac Bridge lateSaturday and said it expected to operate 25 to 30 trains over the Nuevo Laredo gateway by late Monday. It removed service embargoes established July 3 in the aftermath of Hurricane Alex.

kcs__logo.jpg

“We are very pleased to have the Nuevo Laredo gateway opened again for cross border traffic,” said KCS President and COO Dave Starling.“Given the magnitude of the damage to this bridge, coupled with the difficult conditions under which our crews had to work, it is a great accomplishment that we were able to put the Anahuac Bridge back into service this weekend and plan to lift the embargoes tomorrow night.”

“The disruption of service caused by Hurricane Alex has been very significant; however, our team has worked very hard to restore service to our customers as quickly as possible,” said KCSM Presidentand executive representative Jose Zozaya. “We will continue to work very closely with each of our customers to resume the normal flow of traffic to their facilities.”

--> Kansas City Southern’s Mexican subsidiary, Kansas City Southern de Mexico, reopened the flood-damaged Anahuac Bridge lateSaturday and said it expected to operate 25 to 30 trains over the Nuevo Laredo g ...

MTA New York City Transit announced that the final units of a 1,662-RF160 car order have now been delivered by the joint venture of Alstom and Kawasaki and are in service on the system’s lettered lines. The high-tech cars were unloaded from flatbed trucks in May and rolled into the 207th Street Maintenance Facility. They were moving riders along the system's lettered lines about a month later.

mta_nycsubway.jpg

The cars were funded in the New York MTA's 2005-2009Capital Program with money provided by the Federal Transit Administration.Deliveries began began nearly five years ago and since then, said NYCT, “the fleet has earned a reputation for high reliability, recently operating an average of more than 370,000 miles between mechanical failures.”

The new cars have digital information boards and the Flexible Information Notice Display (FIND) system, which incorporates a video screen, scrolling station names as the train progresses, and a route map that can be changed if a train switches to another line. Like the R142 cars that have been in service since late 2000 on the numbered lines, the R160s have an advanced heating and cooling system designed to be easier to maintain than the units in older cars.

Operating ad maintenance features include computer-monitored throttles and speedometers for better control and smoother ride and an onboard, computerized diagnostic system that allows quicker repair when a failure does occur.

Now retired are 1,500 subway cars in service more than 40 years. Most of these cars have been stripped, cleaned, and placed on the Atlantic seafloor where they joined more than 1,000 redbirds as artificial reef material. A few have ended up as exhibits in the MTA’s New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.

 

--> MTA New York City Transit announced that the final units of a 1,662-RF160 car order have now been delivered by the joint venture of Alstom and Kawasaki and are in service on the system’s lettered lines. The high-tech cars were unloaded from flatbed truc ...

Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm said Monday it has provided the Track Warrant Control (TWC) system for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co.  RailComm’s state-of-the-art Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) train control system is accessed through a web-enabled Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model.

railcomm_logo.jpg

RailComm’s SaaS offering provides a “pay-as-you-go” model, thus eliminating capital equipment procurement constraints. Through the SaaS delivery system, trains are remotely dispatched by Milwaukee-based Wisconsin & Southern wherever an internet connection is available. Therefore, it ispossible to relocate the dispatchers to alternative locations as required. Additionally, railroad management can log in from an office, home, or even from a hotel and directly view dispatching activity and management reports.

The DOC® control application resides on servers withinRailComm’s managed data center in Rochester, N.Y., reducing a railroad’s requirement for local IT support.

Wisconsin & Southern has twice been named Railway Age Regional Railroad of the Year, honored in 2001 and in 2009. 

--> Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm said Monday it has provided the Track Warrant Control (TWC) system for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co.  RailComm’s state-of-the-art Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) train control system is ...

 

--> Amtrak’s long-awaited fleet renewal program finally got under way late Friday, July 24, when the railroad awarded a  five-year, $298.1 million contract to CAF USA for 130 new single-level “Viewliner 2” passenger railcars to support long-distance train services. ...

The Surface Transportation Board announced Friday that its Section of Environmental Analysis has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed construction, operation, and reactivation of a 20-mile rail line between Wallaceton and Gorton, Pa. by R.J. Corman Railroad Co. Pennsylvania Lines Inc.

Corman plans to build a new 10.8-mile line over abandoned right-of-way and reactivate a connecting 9.3-mile rail-banked line. Corman says the resulting line could serve a new landfill, quarry, and an industrial park as well as “several other interested shippers.” Two unit trains daily are envisioned.

On Sept. 14, SEA and cooperating agencies will hold a public meeting in the proposed project area to receive comments on the Draft EIS. Written comments on must be postmarked by Sept. 28, 2010.

Mitigation measures in the DRAFT EIS are mainlythose voluntarily offered by the applicant and covering grade crossing delay,rail operations safety, land use, energy resources, air quality, noise, threatened and endangered species, wetlands and watercourses, parks and recreation facilities, geology and soils, hazardous waste sites, and historic resources.

 

--> The Surface Transportation Board announced Friday that its Section of Environmental Analysis has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed construction, operation, and reactivation of a 20-mile rail line between Wallaceto ...
426
Page 426 of 589