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Part 1 : Outlook 2018: Railroad Contractors feel better than hopeful
Part 2 : Outlook 2018: Kevin Riddett, RailWorks Corp.
Part 3 : Outlook 2018: Nate Bachman, Georgetown Rail Equipment Inc. (GREX)
Part 4 : Outlook 2018: Larry Laurello, Delta Railroad Construction Inc.
Part 5 : Outlook 2018: Ray Sipes, R.J. Corman Signaling LLC
Part 6 : Outlook 2018: Bill Dorris, J-Track LLC Central Division
Part 7 : Outlook 2018: Gary Kohnert, Loram Maintenance of Way Inc.
RailWorks is cautiously optimistic about the uptrend we’ve seen in the Class I market this year as well as in our own business. We anticipate modest, steady growth in the railroad contracting segment overall in 2018 and believe that will translate into additional growth for our business lines.
Among Class I railroads, we are starting to see a preference to work with fewer qualified partners rather than spreading that business across many contractors. That approach can simplify contractor management and facilitate a closer partnership where the contractor truly operates as an extension of the railroad’s engineering department. RailWorks excels in working in close partnership with our railroad customers. We’re hopeful this more streamlined approach to outsourcing will benefit our businesses.
We are continuing to see record-setting opportunities in the transit market. Our transit businesses, both in the United States and Canada, remain strong. In fact, transit investment has contributed to achieving a historic backlog — the highest in RailWorks’ history. We forecast our backlog will grow even larger in the coming year.
Despite improved market conditions, the uncertainty of the market over the past few years is probably our greatest concern. RailWorks has spent the last year gearing up by conducting research and analysis to better understand our markets and organize our business lines. As a result, we think we are well-positioned and will be more responsive than ever to our customers. We will be using new technology to better manage our business and plan to offer some new technology-based services to our customers, such as a new electronic track inspection and maintenance app.
Safety is not what I would call a big concern, but one that is always at the forefront of our efforts. We’ve made a number of changes in the past year that are reaping some significant improvements. It started by realigning our safety resources and providing additional support in the field. We also invested in new training programs and systems to communicate more often and directly with our frontline employees.
Our intense focus will continue in 2018. We will stay focused on driving a safety culture of zero incidents and holding all of our stakeholders accountable.