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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS sole Class I to earn cost of capital in 2004, STB says


Last year, Norfolk Southern Corp. was the only U.S. Class I that earned its cost, according to the Surface Transportation Board. In 2003, no Class Is met the board’s “revenue adequacy” requirements by earning their cost of capital.

Railroads’ 2004 cost of capital was 10.1 percent; NS’ return on investment (ROI) was 11.6 percent, the STB said. BNSF Railway Co.’s ROI was 5.8 percent; CSX Transportation’s, 4.4 percent; Grand Trunk Corp.’s (Canadian National Railway Co.’s U.S. subsidiary), 6 percent; Kansas City Southern’s, 8.3 percent; Soo Line’s (Canadian Pacific Railway’s U.S. subsidiary), 3.3 percent; and Union Pacific Railroad’s, 4.5 percent.

BNSF’s, CSXT’s, UP’s and Soo Line’s ROI included special charges related to asbestos and environmental issues. Excluding the charges, BNSF’s ROI was 7.4 percent, CSXT’s, 4.5 percent: UP’s, 5.3 percent; and Soo Line’s, 7.6 percent.

Each year, the STB determines railroads’ revenue adequacy to comply with a congressional mandate.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/5/2005