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January 2023

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

From the Editor — Ten from '22: Our most-read Daily News stories last year


By Pat Foran, Editor

In 2021, two proposed Class I mergers — Canadian Pacific’s offer for Kansas City Southern, CN’s subsequent bid for KCS, and KCS deeming the CP offer “superior” — captured the interest of our readers of each of our information delivery vehicles.  

We continued to cover merger-related news as it unfurled in 2022, but readers increasingly turned their attention to a couple of stories that, as summer faded into fall, began to garner national attention. Stories related to the potential for a rail labor strike (and other labor-management issues) and Class Is’ service problems were by far the most-read stories on’s Daily News in 2022. 

The remaining highly clicked-on stories include a story about a well-regarded Class I operating exec stepping down after a 35-year career; a Class I unveiling yet another operating plan; and the unveiling of the 2022 class of Rising Stars, our annual awards program recognizing 25 professionals under the age of 40 who are making a positive impact on their company, organization, department, team or industry. 

Here are the top 10 from 2022 — the Daily News stories our readers clicked on most often last year: 

1. “Class Is enact plans for possible strike; IAM members vote down tentative agreement” (9/14/2022) 

2. “STB concerned service troubles could impact grain harvest season” (8/22/2022) 

3. “Sanborn to leave NS, Duncan named successor” (11/14/2022) 

4. “CSX revamps employee attendance policy” (12/19/2022) 

5. “Class Is prep for rail strike, unions cry ‘corporate extortion’” (9/12/2022) 

6. “BNSF CEO Farmer responds to NGFA service complaints; Sen. Capito asks STB to address rail-car shortage” (4/4/2022) 

7. “NTSB investigating deadly collision between train, stored rail cars” (9/30/2022) 

8. “NS kicks off new operating plan” (6/27/2022) 

9. “BNSF posts record earnings for 2021” (3/1/2022) 

10. “Progressive Railroading announces Rising Stars for 2022” (4/26/2022) 

Plus: the five most read/viewed items on RailPrime 

In 2021, the proposed Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger was far and away the topic that most interested readers/viewers of RailPrime, our digital subscription offering dedicated to all things freight transportation and home to the lion’s share of our originally reported coverage. 

Interest in the (last?) Class I merger lingered well into 2022. The most-read RailPrime article in 2022 was CPKC-related. 

But readers/viewers had a lot more than the proposed merger on their minds. They were more interested in Class I service issues/recovery plans, workforce shortages and the ESG evolution. 

Here are the top five most-read articles/most-viewed video clips on RailPrime in 2022: 

1. “CP-KCS: Illinois communities rebuff CP mitigation offer; railroad seeks ‘dialogue rooted in facts and respect’” (6/23/2022) 

2. Video: “Tony Hatch on CN’s Big News, plus his take on the current Class I earnings round” (1/28/2022) 

3. “Class Is update service recovery plans for STB” (7/8/2022)  

4. “Heard at RailTrends 2022” (11/18/2022) 

5. Video: “CN’s Drysdale — ESG ‘has moved from niche to mainstream to mandatory’” (3/3/2022)  

An annual subscription to RailPrime is $199; you also can subscribe monthly for $19.99. 

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