Financial Edge, February 2019: One danger of writing for a monthly periodical is that high-profile situations (say the shutdown of the federal government) might begin and end between two issue publication dates. In a word, to tackle the risk of balancing remaining contemporary without becoming dated, one must be “fearless.”
Author: David Nahass
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.
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.
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.
President Trump has accepted the recommendations from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that steel and aluminum tariffs be implemented to prevent the dumping of foreign products at a discount. These cheaply sold products undercut the pricing of domestic (and other legitimately imported) steel and aluminum products.
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.
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.
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.
At Railway Age’s 2017 Rail Insights conference, attendees were treated to updates on a variety of current industry topics, such as the current status of Amtrak’s replacement of the Acela Express train, and a “what’s next” panel on the state of growth in North American rail freight (intermodal or bust?).
Recently, a rumor circulated in the railcar lease market that a Class I railroad had made an overture to a group of its operating lessors requesting that these lessors submit offers on cars currently on lease to the railroad.