Well brothers and sisters, the numbers are in. It appears that U.P. made a profit...BUT, according to Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer "The company already this year has furloughed — or temporarily laid off — about 900 employees. Union Pacific has said decreased demand for its services made the cutbacks necessary. Analysts say additional cuts are likely." Then Mr. Hubbard goes on to say "Union Pacific hasn’t disclosed where the furloughs have happened or in what job categories. The company not only operates freight trains, but also terminals, yards, workshops, offices and myriad other installations." Here are the true numbers of the furloughs just in OUR hub. Keep in mind these aren't just numbers. Each number represents a person, a family, an employee cut off to preserve the proverbial "bottom line".
Of the 900 employees reportedly furloughed, TE&Y represents 749 employees. That's 83.2% of the "non-disclosed" job categories. The following is a list, by region, of the current TE&Y cut off employees.
Northern Region: 318
Southern Region: 98
Western Region: 333
So, of the 900 employees reportedly furloughed...our hub alone represents 108 employees of that statistic! That's 12% of the total layoffs for the company. I understand that each of us has dealt with our fair share of being cut off, but the company must shoulder the responsibility of over hiring.
By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor of
Seven finalist locations have been chosen for the site of a proposed transload center, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KSDOT) announced on Monday.
The KSDOT/Kansas Turnpike Transload Facility site analysis team selected the finalists from 111 proposals submitted for consideration. Some communities that responded to the request submitted multiple sites.
The finalist sites are located in Abilene, Concordia, El Dorado, Garden City, Great Bend, Norton and an industrial park south of Parsons. The selection committee will hear presentations from the finalists later this month, with a site to be chosen in late August.
"A transload facility has the potential to not only lower shipping costs, it is a job creator and provides economic development opportunities for the export of Kansas products,” said Mike King, secretary of transportation director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, in a press release.
The facility will be used to transload goods from truck to rail and from rail to truck. The seven finalist sites are served either by BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad, Genesee & Wyoming Inc.'s Kyle Railroad or Watco Cos. LLC's Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, said KSDOT Freight and Rail Program Manager John Maddox in an email.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today sent a letter again instructing railroads transporting crude oil that they must continue to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) of the expected movement of Bakken crude oil trains through individual states and tribal regions. Since May 2014, trains with 1,000,000 gallons or more of Bakken crude oil – approximately 35 tank cars – are subject to the notification.
“Transparency is a critical piece of the federal government’s comprehensive approach to safety,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “DOT is committed to making certain that states and local officials have the information they need to prepare for and respond to incidents involving hazardous materials, including crude oil. The Emergency Order that requires these notifications still stands, and we expect railroads to fully comply.”
The requirement, part of an Emergency Order issued in May 2014, also directs railroads to include estimated volumes of crude oil, the frequency of anticipated train traffic, and the route the crude oil will be transported. Contact information for at least one individual at the host railroad must be provided as well. In May, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it would make the notification requirements of the Emergency Order permanent.
“We strongly support transparency and public notification to the fullest extent possible,” said FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “Railroads transporting crude oil must continue to provide the information required by the Emergency Order to SERCs and to update notifications in a timely manner. FRA will continue with random spot checks and regular compliance audits to ensure that states, local communities, and first responders have the information necessary to respond to a possible accident. FRA will take enforcement actions as necessary to ensure compliance.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation (DOT), released its comprehensive rule that raises the bar on the safety of transporting crude oil by rail. The rule requires stronger tank cars and 21st century electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes that activate simultaneously on all tank cars, reduce the distance and time needed for a train to stop, and keep more tank cars on the track if a train does derail.
Read the letter below:
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), has made enhancing the safety of rail transportation of crude oil one of its top priorities. And we have improved safety by convening the railroad and energy industries, undertaking and completing a comprehensive rulemaking, and executing multiple safety advisories and emergency orders.
CSX Corporation announced all-time record quarterly financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Operating income for the railroad came in at more than $1 billion for the first time in company history. The railroad also saw an all-time record in operating ratio of 68.8 percent.
Net earnings came in at $553 million or an all-time record of $0.56 per share, an increase from the reported $529 million or $0.53 per share of the second quarter of 2014. CSX expects to deliver mid-to-high single digit earnings per share growth for 2015.
“While we saw challenges in a number of markets, CSX employees delivered an even safer, more reliable and more differentiated service product this quarter,” Chairman and CEO Michael J. Ward said. “We expect the momentum in network performance we saw in the second quarter to accelerate, continuing to create value for our customers and shareholders.”
Revenue declined six percent due to the impact of lower fuel recovery. At the same time, continued low fuel prices and savings from efficiency initiatives reduced expenses for the railroad by nine percent.
Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.
Kansas City Southern reported a decrease in earnings in a press release July 17. The railroad reportedly saw a 10 percent decrease in revenue to $586 million as compared to the second quarter of 2014.
Operating income saw a decrease of 13 percent to $187 million. Operating ratio saw a 1.1-point increase to 68.1 percent compared with last year’s second quarter operating ratio of 68.3 percent. Reported net income totaled $112 million or $1.01 per share, a 15 percent decrease compared to the reported $130 million or $1.18 per diluted share for the second quarter 2014.
Overall, the railroad reported that carload volumes were six percent lower for the quarter. Second quarter revenue declined in all commodity groups except chemicals and petroleum, which grew by one percent. However, operating expenses also saw a decrease of eight percent to $399 million.
“KCS continued to scale its operations in both the U.S. and Mexico and has made strides in improving its network fluidity,” stated CEO David L. Starling. “Our actions contributed to the company attaining a solid second quarter operating ratio despite volume challenges, particularly in its energy commodity group. We expect our system performance and operating metrics to continue to improve throughout the remainder of the year.
“As evidenced in the weekly industry carload data, there are still uncertainties in many of the primary markets served by rail. However, KCS’ average daily volumes increased each month throughout the second quarter and the initial results from the first few weeks of July suggest the positive trend may be continuing.”
Check back on the following dates for second quarter earnings reports from the other Class I railroads:
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a five-month, $8-billion extension of surface transportation programs on July 15. The new extension would give lawmakers until Dec. 18 to find a longer-term solution.
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