Freight Cars

Answering the Call: BNSF Keeps Supplies Moving in Times of Crisis

Editor’s Note: The following story was posted on the Rail Talk area of the BNSF website. It is shared here in its entirety, with permission. We think it presents a useful example of what the rail industry is doing as an essential service in the national supply chain, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. — William C. Vantuono

Special Podcast Series—The Coronavirus and the Rail Industry: Freight Railroads and Rail Equipment Market Analysis with FTR Transportation Intelligence and Railroad Financial Corporation

What is the depth of decrease in freight volumes as a result of COVID-19? Is there an increased percentage of freight rail moving over to trucking right now? What individual markets/commodities are under more stress as a result of the crisis? How will the railroads respond to the freight loss in the overall landscape of the PSR movement? Will Wall Street change its perspective on the railroads? Are there projected revisions to new-car builds for 2020? What is the state of the equipment leasing market, for both lessors and lessees? Is there timing for a return to normalcy?

Duos: “We Ended the Year on a High Note”

Duos Technologies Group, Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2019. In doing so it noted that its total revenue increased 125% to $5.75 million, compared to $2.56 million in the same quarterly period, and its gross profit increased 176% to $3.15 million (55% of total revenue) compared to $1.14 million (45% of total revenue) in the same quarterly period last year.

Trinity Realigns Senior Execs

Trinity Industries, Inc. realigned responsibilities for some of its most senior executives, effective April 1, 2020. Specifically, Eric R. Marchetto has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, and W. Relle Howard, currently Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, will return to his previous role as Chief Information Officer.

UPDATED MARCH 27: Stimulus Bill—Signed Into Law—CARES For Rail

President Trump on March 27 signed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, into law, following swift passage in the House of Representatives by voice vote, and one day after the U.S. Senate passed the bill in a unanimous 96-0 vote. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that addresses the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes many funding measures that directly benefit the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger.

FRA, Responding to Industry Joint Petition, Issues Emergency Waiver

In response to a Petition from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a 60-day emergency waiver for certain requirements of FRA’s rail safety regulations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The petitioners, on behalf of their member railroads, requested relief from certain requirements of 49 CFR Parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 239, 240, and 242.

Cowen: “Hard Assets For Hard Times”

Cowen and Company revealed three factors that could position railcar lessors well in the intermediate to long-term: Financial investors looking for hard, yield-generating assets amid further interest rate declines; partial, lease-term-driven insulation; and “our view that lease rates will be first to rebound in the rail equipment market when a freight recovery occurs.”