By Keith Norbury
The Hudson Bay Railway line proved no match for the uneven, boggy terrain of the Hudson Bay Lowlands this spring. On June 9, a news release from OmniTrax Inc., its owner, said it had suspended service indefinitely on the railway from Amery, 29 rail miles northeast of Gillam, to Churchill — a section it had been unable to operate since May 23. A preliminary assessment by an independent engineering firm found the flooding had washed the track bed away in 19 locations, the release said. The flood “visibly damaged” five bridges with another 30 bridges and 600 culverts needing further assessment.
The CP Holiday Train program launched in 1999, and has since raised more than C$13 million and four million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the United States.
Beginning in Montreal, Quebec, on November 25 and 26, 2017 respectively, two trains will make the festive journey, travelling through both the U.S. and Canada to bring holiday cheer to 182 communities along CP’s network. Each event is completely free, with CP encouraging every attendee to open their cupboards or wallets to ease hunger needs in their community. Local food banks will be accepting donations at each stop to ensure those less fortunate can access adequate food this holiday season and year-round.
“The Holiday Train program is all about local food banks and food shelves and the critical role they play in our communities,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “People come for the beautifully-lit train and stay for the incredible show – all in the name of community. The holiday season is the best time of the year, and we look forward to bringing together thousands of Canadians and Americans this season for this incredibly important cause and a great time.
The 2017 edition of the Holiday Train also concludes CP’s Canada 150 celebrations and the Canadian train will feature the Spirit of Tomorrow car, which was part of the Canada 150 Train this past summer. For a schedule of stops, kindly visit http://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/canada
By Alexander Whiteman
Hurricane Harvey failed to derail North American operators as intermodal revenue continued to rise in the third quarter – international shipments bolstering double-digit net income gains. Kansas City Southern stood out as the sector’s star performer, with nine-month revenue up 11 per cent year-on-year, to $1.9 billion, resulting in $411 million in net income for the period. While intermodal revenue for the year to date only showed marginal gains at $266 million, the mode performed better in the third quarter with turnover up 4 per cent to $92.3 million. Revenue for the three months to September climbed 8 per cent to $656 million, with net income up 7 per cent to $129.9 million.
By Alexander Whiteman
CSX released its third-quarter results, and it seems it has something to cheer about. CSX reported a strong three months, with total volumes up 5 per cent to 718,000 carloads and revenue increasing some 5 per cent to $446 million, although revenue per unit saw a marginal dip. The carrier’s international Q3 volumes were up 11 per cent, “driven by new customers and strong performance with existing customers as eastern port volumes increased”.
Both of Canada’s major railways announced third quarter results for the period ended September 30. Although both carriers put in admirable performances, their results appear to point to a weakening economy.
During the quarter, CN’s revenues increased by 7 per cent to $3.22 billion. Operating expenses as a percentage of revenues increased from 53.3 per cent to 54.7 per cent. Cash flow from operations declined to $1.41 billion from $1.48 billion. However, “free” cash flow, the amount remaining from operating cash flow after subtracting net investments made during the quarter and dividends paid to investors, increased to $373 million from $310 million. During the first nine months of the year, “free” cash flow increased to $1.44 billion from $923 million. From Jan 1 to Sept 30, CN spent $1.543 billion repurchasing its own shares, and paid $932 million in dividends. As of September 30, the company’s equity stood at $15.1 billion (as compared to $14.8 billion as at December 31, 2016), while total debt declined to $22.0 billion from $22.2 billion (Dec 31, 2016). During the quarter, CN’s operating ratio slipped from 53.3 per cent to 54.7 per cent.
CN and Norfolk Southern announced a new joint interline service initiative is reducing transit times by one to two days for carload traffic between Western Canada and NS destinations in the Eastern United States.
This seamless interline service, established in August, allows freight to bypass traditional interchange points in Chicago, in favour of using the most efficient existing CN and NS routes. The service has reduced transit times by up to 48 hours, providing customers more efficient delivery to final destinations.