Staggers, Loadings and the Election

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE, NOVEMBER 2020 ISSUE: The 2020 U.S. Presidential election may be the most unique in modern times. Paper ballots came into use in the early 19th century; the modern lever-pull voting machine in the late 19th century; and push cards (until the infamous “hanging chad”) were used until 2000. Cue the pandemic: In the 2020 election, mail-in ballots were expected to account for at least 80 million votes—more than half the total number of votes expected.

Reason Not The Need: 2021 Financial Desk Book

Welcome to the 2021 Railway Age Railroad Financial Desk Book. It’s been about seven months since the COVID-19 pandemic began in earnest in the U.S. Generally, people, and by extension the rail finance community, would like things/business to return to normal. Normal, however, is as much a state of mind when it comes to North American rail, since heading into the pandemic, rail was heading into a softening market hoping for a rebound.

Are Intermodal’s “Green Shoots” Signs of Recovery?

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE: The rail industry continues to twist as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. To say that the length of the pandemic either has or will exceed most people’s initial expectations would be an understatement. So as the market continues to scuffle along, “Financial Edge” tried to look for some “green shoots” to provide some sense that there will be a return to normalcy sometime in the future.

Pipeline Shutdown Highlights Downturn’s Depth

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE AUGUST 2020 ISSUE: The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been grabbing headlines for a few weeks. A second pipeline, the Tesoro High Plains Pipeline, has been shut down recently, due to disputes involving the pipeline’s right-of-way.

Recovery, Growth, Car Supply Confront Rail

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE, JULY 2020 ISSUE: On the June 17 Railway Age Rail Insights webcast (held in lieu of the usual conference in Chicago), the path forward for rail and the post-pandemic future of rail loadings was on the mind of presenters and the audience. The rail industry is searching for the bottom and looking for “green shoots” that suggest the market has “bottomed,” and that loadings might start to return to normal levels.

2020 Guide to Equipment Leasing: Patience Is A Virtue

RAILWAY AGE, JUNE 2020 ISSUE: Welcome to the 2020 Railway Age Guide to Equipment Leasing. It would not be an exaggeration to say that heading into mid-year 2020, the railroad industry and railcar owners and operators are dealing with times and circumstances heretofore never seen in the rail industry and to the lives of those working in it.

COVID-19 and the Rail Economy

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE MAY 2020 ISSUE: Too much ink (printer ink in the modern era) has already been spilt trying to find an angle on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the national and global economy, the consumer, the business segments most impacted by the terrible crisis (think aerospace, restaurants, the arts), the front line healthcare workers risking their lives daily and the retail, delivery and factory workers keeping aspects of life in the United States (e.g. food supply) relatively normal.

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.

Arthur Edward Lewis, Jr., Dec. 1, 1950 – Jan. 10, 2020

Arthur Edward Lewis, Jr., 69, of Lancaster, Ohio, died at his residence on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Lewis was a rail industry icon who started his career at the Penn Central, followed by Conrail.