Railroad officers attending the JP Morgan Transportation conference in New York Wednesday expressed optimism that the slide in railroad traffic has been arrested, but in their presentations expressed deepening concern that re-regulation sentiment is growing in Congress and could slow railroad recovery.
U.S. freight traffic completed the first week of March with an estimated volume of 29.2 billion ton-miles, off 13.9% from the comparable first week of March 2008, the Association of American Railroads reported. U.S. carload freight declined 15.0% for the week ended March 7 compared with the comparable period of one year ago, slipping 11.9% in the West and 19.5% in the East. U.S. intermodal volume declined 12.7% compared with year-ago levels.
U.S. railroads reported that freight volume during the week ended Feb. 14 was once again down in comparison with last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Carload freight fell 12.2% from the level achieved in the comparable week of 2008, though AAR noted carload volume for the week reached its highest level so far in 2009 and was up 6.2% from the previous week ended February 7.
Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Tuesday said its January traffic was up 12.2% compared with the comparable month of2008. The increase was attributable in large measure to GWI's rail acquisitions made during 2008, including CAGY Industries, Inc., the Georgia Southwestern Railroad, and the Ohio Central Railroad System.
Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Wednesday reported an 81% increase in fourth-quarter profit compared with the comparable quarter in 2007, helped by higher revenue and an income-tax benefit which boosted earnings per share by about 30 cents. Earnings rose to $25.3 million, or 70 cents per share, from $13.9 million, or 39 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose almost 11% to $149.2 million.