Author: David Nahass

What Will Happen When The Other Shoe Drops?

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE MARCH 2020 ISSUE: In its 4Q2019 earnings call, Union Pacific announced a decline in revenue and the laying off of 3,000 employees (layoffs as opposed to furlough). Freight revenue declined 10%; operating revenue declined 5%. Operating expenses declined 12%, thereby decreasing (improving) the operating ratio (OR) to 59.7%. Additionally, UP indicated that the reduction in workforce would bring the total number of employees to roughly 35,000, from roughly 42,000 in 2018.

Why FAST Really Is Not So Fast

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE FEBRUARY 2020 ISSUE: The 2015 FAST Act is notable to most consumers of rail assets as being the legislation that established the tank car regulations and time frames for moving the tank railcar design from the DOT-111 (legacy or CPC1232 specification) to the DOT-117J (and 117R) design.

Justice For All?!?

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE DECEMBER 2019 ISSUE: When an investor buys rail equipment to lease it to a customer (lessee), generally there are terms and conditions that govern the use and maintenance of that equipment during the term of the loan or lease. Specifically, in leasing, the investor in the equipment (the lessor) makes a forward bet on the future value of the equipment.

Rail Safety, Skateboards and Google

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE: On Aug. 14, the ESPN show ¿Highly Questionable? showed a video clip of a skateboarder sliding underneath a moving passenger locomotive, riding the rail on the skateboard and then sliding back out from underneath the train before the second wheelset (1). (The clip can be seen starting at about 16:30 into the video.) The hosts were suitably shocked and aghast over the audacity of the act of sliding underneath a locomotive and unsurprisingly thoughtless about the carelessness of the rider.

Clickbait Journalism at The New York Times

FINANCIAL EDGE, AUGUST 2019: With a 100-plus-degree F temperature and/or heat index blanket covering half the U.S., the summer doldrums are fully upon us. The time of year lines up with the anniversary of one of the most horrible rail tragedies in recent memory—the Lac-Mégantic derailment in July 2013. The 47 deaths that occurred as a result of that accident are unrecoverable losses for families and communities. Their memory should always serve as a reminder of the importance of safety and the need for best practices throughout the railroad industry.

Amtrak: Freedom From Responsibility is Illusory

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, MAY 2019 – In a recent TED talk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested that, in an attempt to combat abusive speech and harassment, Twitter would consider moving from threads written by individuals to topic threads. Dorsey suggested these interest networks would be easier to monitor for Twitter code of conduct breeches.