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Five Class Is attained 'revenue adequate' status in 2013, STB says


Five Class Is were revenue adequate in 2013, meaning they achieved a rate of return equal to or greater than the calculation of the rail industry's average cost of capital, Surface Transportation Board (STB) members determined in a decision released yesterday.

The revenue-adequate railroads were BNSF Railway Co., CN (Grand Truck Corp./U.S. affiliates), Canadian Pacific (Soo Line Corp./U.S. affiliates), Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.

The STB determined that the rail industry's cost of capital in 2013 was 11.32 percent compared with 11.12 percent in 2012. The board calculated a 2013 revenue adequacy figure for each Class I by comparing the cost-of-capital figure with return-on-investment data obtained from the railroads.

The STB determined the following rate of returns on net investment for each Class I in 2013:
• BNSF, 14.01 percent;
• CSX Transportation, 10 percent;
• CN (Grand Truck Corp./U.S. affiliates), 11.84 percent;
• Kansas City Southern Railway Co., 8.67 percent;
• NS, 12.07 percent;
• Canadian Pacific (Soo Line Corp./U.S. affiliates), 12.03 percent; and
• UP, 15.39 percent.

In a Dec. 31, 2013, decision, the STB determined that BNSF, NS and UP were the only revenue-adequate Class Is in 2012. In an Oct. 17, 2013, decision, the board found that only NS and UP were revenue adequate that year, but after considering refiled data submitted by BNSF, the STB changed its decision. Congress directs the STB to conduct revenue adequacy determinations on an annual basis.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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