News

KCS: Strong 4Q18, record 2018, higher capex in 2019

Kansas City Southern (KCS) posted record revenues, adjusted operating income and adjusted earnings per share in 2018, but fell short of its own expectations for financial and operation performance, the company reported on Jan. 18. As well, it plans to increase capital investment in 2019 substantially, compared to 2018.

Total restructuring at R.J. Corman Railroad Group

R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC on Jan. 17 appointed 10 new people to leadership positions within its companies. “With the new leadership our company has in place, and the many opportunities that we have realized, 2019 is off to a great start for R. J. Corman,” Ed Quinn, President and CEO, stated. “We have an extremely talented leadership team stepping into key roles, and are bringing on experienced, highly respected individuals to complement their capabilities. I’m excited about the continued growth we will see in 2019 and beyond, and I look forward to working with these individuals.”

Cloud architecture for Big Data

Railway infrastructure does not provide much information in and of itself, however, high-tech inspection vehicles, equipped with sensors and radars, frequently perform inspections of the track. They capture millions of data points when inspecting miles of track, by measuring numerous characteristics, such as rail, track and substructure quality. Further, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are now being used to take images and scan tracks.

More hot food for hungry Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited passengers

After months of having to endure mostly cold boxed food—what some critics dubbed “Unhappy Meals”—on two Amtrak long-distance route, the New York-Chicago Lake Shore Limited (Trains 48/448 and 49/449) and the Washington D.C.-Chicago Capitol Limited (Trains 29 and 30), sleeping car passengers on those trains now have can choose from several hot food choices on the menu.

White House renames rail nominees

Five nominations for rail transportation federal leadership posts were announced Jan. 16 by President Trump. All are nominees from the previous session of Congress, and were cleared by respective Senate oversight committees for confirmation on the Senate floor—but none advanced for a floor vote prior to the Senate adjourning.

CSX 2018: A record OR

CSX Corp. on Jan. 16 announced 4Q2018 net earnings of $843 million, or $1.01 per share, vs. $4.14 billion, or $4.62 per share on a GAAP basis ($0.64 on an adjusted basis) in the same period last year. That’s about $.02 per a share better than what analysts expected. Of particular note is that the railroad’s full-year 2018 operating ratio dropped to 60.3%, a U.S. Class I record.

Freight rail traffic: Everything is up

The Association of American Railroads (AAR), in reporting U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 12, 2019, noted that carloads and intermodal volume both experienced healthy increases. As well, there were gains in all carload commodity groups.