Coal is a key revenue-generating commodity for railroad operators. Naturally, the decline in domestic coal shipments have contributed big time to the dismal performance by U.S.-based railroad stocks so far this year. The struggles of the railroad operators have been exemplified by the 27.9% year-to-date decline in the Dow Jones U.S. Railroads Index.
The upheaval in the natural resources sector has had a significant negative effect on the railroad stocks because rail is the principal mode of transport for coal, iron ore and other minerals. As a result, the Dow Jones Railroad index is down about 26% so far in 2015, on its way to what is likely to be its worst annual decline since the index began in 2000.
Short lines are urging the Surface Transportation Board to approve TTX Company’s bid to extend its flatcar pooling authority.
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Rich Timmons said his organization’s members benefit daily from TTX’s flatcar pool. “Many small railroads own few cars of their own. Thus, the reliable availability of specialty flatcars from TTX allows our members to serve diverse customer needs knowing that needed flatcars will be available,” he told the STB on behalf of the group’s more than 480 Class II and III railroad members.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a spike in rail deaths last year.
At this time last year, the railroads were proudly calling 2012 their safest year ever as derailments and crossing accidents kept declining. But last year, the number of trespassing deaths rose by 47, or 11 percent, to 476, and the number of deaths in accidents increased nearly 8 percent to 250.
The National Transportation Safety Board today issued a series of recommendations (see Safety Recommendation Letters R-14-001-003 and R-14-004-006) to the Department of Transportation to address the safety risk of transporting crude oil by rail. In an unprecedented move, the NTSB is issuing these recommendations in coordination with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.