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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Small roads pave way for CPR's revenue growth, Ritchie says

Small roads' flexible labor agreements, close customer relationships, focused marketing and respect for cost-containment earned high praise from Canadian Pacific Railway President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Ritchie June 10 at the Class I's short-line and regional railroad conference that's being held June 9-11 in Quebec, Canada.
Ritchie believes short lines and regionals "are showing the way toward
partnerships and other inter-railway arrangements that help improve business for themselves and their larger cousins," according to a June 10 statement.
"We need you — this synergistic relationship is what is driving a significant portion of the industry today," he said.
Ritchie urged small roads to join larger railways in pressing for changes to property and fuel taxation, and revised governmental policies that ensure competitors pay a fair rate to use public infrastructure.
He also thanked short lines and regionals for helping CPR grow since its fall spin off: The railroad's small road-related freight revenues account for about 18 percent of CPR's total freight revenues — a portion that's expanding.
"Last year, in a relatively flat market, these revenues grew by 4 percent while our total freight revenues grew by 1 percent," Ritchie said.
During the past 10 years, CPR transferred to regionals and short lines about
twice as much track as the Class I discontinued, which has helped set the table for revenue growth.
About 50 short lines and regionals are participating in CPR's seventh conference, along with Railway Association of Canada, and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/10/2002