Ask The Experts: January 29, 2019

Tony Hatch
Independent Transportation Analyst and Consultant

Q:  Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, in its 2019 Preview issue, listed “50 Companies to Watch” for the year – and not one of them was a railroad. What do you think about that?
   With PSR transformations of varying degrees underway at, one could argue, at 5 of the 8 major railways (GWR inclusive), a reinvigorated regulatory approach in the US & Canada, not to mention the great impact that trade (or further trade disruption) could have on their volumes - BusinessWeek doesn’t think this year will an interesting one for railways? WTH?!? 

Q:   What are your thoughts on the Canadian Transporation Agency's investigation into rail service in British Columbia?
  Sure, Canada is upset with being labeled a “security risk” (in steel and aluminum – and it was close for automobiles) by their heretofore biggest ally.  And yes, it is an election year.  But, for the CTA to launch an investigation into rail service in BC – not this time last year but now – seems silly.  At best.  Sort of like closing the barn door after the horse had run off, returned, washed itself, and put away the saddle.

Q:  How did the two big Canadian rails react to the investigation?
With justifiable umbrage.  CP’s Keith Creel said he and CP “take great exception”  Both carriers demonstrated that they have grown significantly over the winter time period in question in Vancouver (CN, for example, is up 10-11% in the last two months).  Oh, Canada, WTH?!?!

Click Here to learn more about Tony Hatch and ABH Consulting.

Alison Babcock