Author: David Nahass

Fuzzy math, politics and railcars

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, MARCH 2019 – On Feb. 19, the Alberta government announced that it had entered into transportation (and some logistics) contracts with CN and Canadian Pacific to begin to move Canadian oil sands crude from the Albertan province down to the Gulf of Mexico. The province intends to move 20,000 barrels per day (BPD) by rail beginning in July 2019, increasing to a total number of 120,000 BPD by midyear 2020.

The Ghosts of A Railroad Christmas Story

Financial Edge, January 2019: Railway Age’s January Issue will be released early next month, but we thought we’d give our readers a Holiday treat with Financial Editor David Nahass’ column, which has a particularly relevant (and a bit tongue-in-cheek) Christmas theme centered around a famous Charles Dickens short story.

Who will protect the French Fries?

Financial Edge, November 2018: In mid-September, CSX filed a report to the FRA stating that its June 2018 derailment near Princeton, Ind., (about 150 miles south of Indianapolis) was caused by buckled track. The derailment included 23 freight cars and caused the evacuation of nearby homes (within a radius of about one mile from the crash site) as a precautionary measure. Some of the derailed cars were carrying liquid petroleum gas (LPG or NGLs) and liquid propane (LP). 60,000 gallons of liquid NGLs were released. One tank railcar filled with leaking propane was on fire.

Tempest in a tank car

Industry watchers greeted the news of the recent BNSF derailment in Doon, Iowa, as typical ho-hum news. 32 tank railcars hauling crude derailed on a stretch of track that had been compromised by floodwaters. Several of the cars were ruptured and there was a crude spill. Emergency services (BNSF and others) were able to contain the size of the spill, and residents of the area were evacuated as a precaution. Luckily for all parties involved, there was no conflagration whatsoever as a result of the derailment.

Tesla ups the ante once again

Financial Edge, December 2017: Here at the Financial Edge, we always try to stay one step ahead of the news. Last month’s column on locomotive leasing means that an article discussing GE’s sale of its locomotive group will come at another time. Never fear! Interesting issues in rail will always abound.

Tough sledding in the loco market

Financial Edge, November 2017: Last month’s Railroad Financial Desk Book identified the influx of new investment capital as a cause for concern for railcar investors. Not discussed was that as capital files into railcars due to their longevity and utility, few, if any, dollars moving into the rail economy are used for investing in locomotives.

Rudderless rail economy continues trek

Financial Edge, August 2017 Railway Age: Industry watchers spend a fair bit of time trying to take economic data and translate it into future carloads and railcar deliveries. Recent economic data continues to confound watchers who, several years into an economic downturn (railcar-wise), struggle to reconcile growth in the broad economy with the weakness in railcar and carload data.