Posts Tagged ‘Kansas City Southern’

UPDATED: Local 584 member killed in on-the-job accident in Tupelo, Miss.

Our union lost another member late last month in an accident.


Tyrone Davis, 40, of Local 584 (Meridian, Miss.), passed away the morning of Dec. 23 in Tupelo, Miss., after an on-the-job accident.

Known as “Mr. T” by co-workers, he had been a SMART-TD member since April 2018 and had about 10 years of seniority as a conductor for Kansas City Southern Railroad.

“I trained him — he was a good guy,” Local Chairperson and Secretary & Treasurer Timothy Dallas said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Brother Davis’s death, which occurred after he was riding a tank car. SMART-TD union officers are involved in leading the investigation of the incident.

The fatality was the fourth on-the-job death of a member of our union in 2020.

Brother Davis leaves behind a wife and children. Dallas said that members of the local are donating money to assist Brother Davis’s survivors.

Services are scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 16, 2021, at Union Star Church Cemetery, 5378 Waverly Road, West Point, MS 39773.

An online memorial tribute wall for condolences has been established.

Court vacates FRA approval of KCSM engineer certification

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 28, 2020) — A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has vacated Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval of the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR) certification program under which locomotive engineers employed by a contractor of Kansas City Southern de México (“KCSM”) have been permitted to operate over Texas Mexican Railway (Tex-Mex) tracks in the United States since July 10, 2018. Under the decision, the matter has been remanded to FRA “either to ‘offer a fuller explanation of the agency’s reasoning at the time of the agency action,’ or to ‘deal with the problem afresh by taking new agency action.’”

This ruling followed a challenge by the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (“SMART–TD”) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) to the agency’s actions in approving the certification program.

The court agreed with the unions’ position, holding that FRA “fail[ed] to provide a reasoned explanation for its approval of the materially altered engineer certification program administered by one of the railroads.” The court further held that KCSM was under a statutory and regulatory obligation to have its own engineer certification program, which requirements FRA failed to enforce, finding that:

“By virtue of the Railroad Administration’s passive approval system and the complete absence of any accompanying explanation for the agency’s approval of [KCSR’s] modified engineer certification program, the administrative record is devoid of any explanation or reasoning for the administrative steps taken and legal determinations made by the agency in approving the engineer certification program. Likewise, in searching the administrative record for the rationale by which the agency allowed [KCSR] to certify the engineers of another railroad, despite the former’s apparent lack of control over [KCSM’s] crew members, we come up empty-handed. And in a hunt for the reason that service under a foreign regulatory system was credited to allow an abbreviated certification program, we hear only crickets.

* * *

“… what we confront in this case is a total explanatory void. There is no reason — not one word — in the administrative record for the Railroad Administration’s material and consequential decisionmaking on important matters of railroad safety. Not even [KCSR’s] certification program itself, as submitted to the agency, provides an explanation for the relevant determinations that the Agency presumably reached.”

However, the Court declined to rule on several other objections made by the unions that related to conductor certification, transfer of the air brake testing waiver in place for northbound trains, and inadequacy of hours-of-service recordkeeping, finding that there had been no final agency action so the Court lacked jurisdiction to address these objections. In doing so, the Court acknowledged FRA’s “shadowy and unwritten processes make it difficult for aggrieved parties to navigate the … jurisdictional constraints.”

SMART–TD President Jeremy R. Ferguson and BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce applauded the decision.

“We congratulate the court for exposing just how much FRA has become captive to the railroad industry,” the presidents said. “This is a significant victory for Tex-Mex crewmembers, but is just one skirmish in the war to preserve well-paying American jobs. We also thank all the counsel who worked so hard on this case, especially Special Counsel Kathy Krieger for an outstanding job.”


The SMART Transportation Division is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of crafts in the transportation industry.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen represents nearly 58,000 professional locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States. The BLET is the founding member of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Class I carriers report 2020 second quarter earnings

Net Earnings: Decreased to $1.131 billion from $1.338 billion.
Revenue: Decreased to $4.602 billion from $5.893 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased to $1.73 billion from $2.007 billion.
Operating Expenses:Decreased to $2.872 billion from $3.886 billion.
Operating Ratio: Improved by 3.7 points to 61.1%.

Link to read BNSF’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to C$908 million from C$1.25 billion.
Earnings Per Share: Diluted earnings per share decreased 59% to C$0.77 from C$1.88 and adjusted diluted EPS decreased 26% to C$1.28 from C$1.73.
Revenue: Decreased 19% to C$3.21 billion from C$3.96 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased 53% to C$785 million from C$1.27 billion.
Operating Expenses: Increased 6% to C$2.42 billion.
Operating Ratio: Declined by 18 points to 75.5%; adjusted operating ratio declined 2.9 points to 60.4% from 57.5%.

Link to read CN’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to C$635 million from C$724 million.
Earnings Per Share: Diluted earnings per share decreased 10% to $4.66; adjusted diluted earnings per share decreased 5% to $4.30.
Revenue: Decreased 9% to C$1.79 billion from C$1.98 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased to C$770 million from C$822 million.
Operating Expenses: Decreased to C$1.02 billion from C$1.16 billion.
Operating Ratio: Improved 140 basis points to 57%.

Link to read CP’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to $499 million from $870 million.
Earnings Per Share: Decreased to $0.65 from $1.08.
Revenue: Decreased 26% to $2.26 billion from $3.06 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased 37% to $828 million from $1.31 billion.
Operating Expenses: Decreased 19% to $1.43 billion from $1.76 billion.
Operating Ratio: Declined 5.9 points to 63.3%.

Link to read CSX’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to $109.7 million from $128.7 million.
Earnings Per Share: Decreased to $1.16 per diluted share from $1.28.
Revenue: Decreased to $547.9 million from $714 million.
Operating Income: Decreased to $180.4 million from $208 million.
Operating Expenses: Decreased to $367.5 million from $506 million.
Operating Ratio: Improved 3.8 points to 67.1% from 70.9%; adjusted operating ratio worsened 1.5 points to 65.2% from 63.7%.

Link to read KCS’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to $392 million from $722 million.
Earnings Per Share: Diluted earnings per share decreased to $1.53 from $2.70.
Revenue: Decreased 29% to $2.1 billion from $2.9 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased to $610 million from $1.1 billion.
Operating Expenses: Decreased 21% to $1.5 billion from $1.9 billion.
Operating Ratio: Worsened to 70.7% from 63.6%.

Link to read NS’s full earnings report.


Net Earnings: Decreased to $1.13 billion from $1.57 billion.
Earnings Per Share: Decreased to $1.67 per diluted share from $2.22 per diluted share.
Revenue: Decreased 24% to $4.2 billion from $5.6 billion.
Operating Income: Decreased 28% to $1.13 billion from $1.57 billion.
Operating Expenses: Decreased 22% to $2.59 billion from $3.34 billion.
Operating Ratio: Worsened 1.4 points to 61.0% from 59.6%.

Link to read UP’s full earnings report.



  • BNSF’s earnings report had not been released as of July 29, 2020. This post will be updated when the information becomes available.
  • Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.
  • All comparisons are made to 2019’s second-quarter results for each railroad.
  • All figures for CN & CP are in Canadian currency, except for earnings per share for CP

SMART TD, TTD ask nation’s trade representative to protect U.S. rail jobs

A letter co-signed by SMART Transportation Division President Jeremy R. Ferguson and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Larry Willis asked the United States’ chief trade representative to re-examine policies that leave American rail workers at a disadvantage.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), planned to be a trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), does not address certain issues covering cross-border traffic between Mexico and the U.S., the union leaders wrote.

Since 1931, Mexican railway companies have had a policy that they only employ Mexican rail workers. This policy has endured through the decades and was “enshrined” through NAFTA in the mid 1990s.

In the summer of 2018, Kansas City Southern began to allow Mexican crews to cross the U.S. border and operate within the country’s borders, drawing strong objections from both SMART TD and the TTD.

“Allowing workers from Mexico to operate in the United States while U.S. workers are prohibited from operating in Mexico is a direct and existential threat to the jobs of thousands of conductors and locomotive engineers represented by SMART TD,” the letter stated.

A reciprocal measure requiring U.S. crews to operate the trains was not included in the USMCA amid objections from the Mexican government, Ferguson and Willis stated.

“Without its inclusion, the agreement fails domestic rail workers and their sector, and further fails to uphold principles of parity between the U.S. and Mexico on the issue of rail service,” they wrote, calling upon Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to fix the disparity.

“SMART TD and TTD strongly agree with the Administration that NAFTA has failed working people and that the impacts of a trade agreement that was not written for their benefit are still being felt,” they stated. “We call on you to not abandon freight rail workers.”

Read the letter in its entirety (PDF).

House members send letter to DOT opposing KCS cross-border waiver

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Ranking Member Michael Capuano (D-MA) sent a letter signed by 27 bipartisan members of Congress to Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Elaine Chao expressing opposition to a petition filed by Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR) requesting a waiver of critical federal safety and inspection requirements on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

This petition is the latest in a series of actions taken by KCSR to allow Mexican workers, who are not subject to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations regarding pre-employment screening and random drug and alcohol testing, to operate trains in the United States— moving U.S. rail jobs to Mexico.

“Freight railroads have long sought the ability to allow Mexican crews to operate trains in the United States. We oppose any groundwork that the FRA might be laying toward that effort… We strongly urge you to deny the May 31 petition and to rescind the process of allowing Mexican rail crews to operate within the United States,” the members wrote.

SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have filed a court petition challenging KCSR’s actions.

The letter was signed by DeFazio, Capuano, as well as Representatives John Katko (R-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), William Keating (D-MA), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Seth Moulton (D-MA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Richard M. Nolan (D-MN), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Charlie Crist (D-FL), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Andre Carson (D-IN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Michael Doyle (D-PA), David P. Joyce (R-OH), Don Young (R-AK), and Gene Green (D-TX).

Visit this link to read the full press release from the committee.

Visit this link to view the letter.

FRA investigates conductor death in Miss.

Christopher Ross Hubbard, age 36,  died on Sunday morning, October 30, during an accident that occurred as he and the engineer were performing a routine track switch near the town of Artesia, Miss.  Hubbard, from Cottondale, Ala.,  was a conductor on the Alabama Southern train. The accident occurred on a stretch of track owned by Kansas City Southern.  The FRA is investigating. Read more here. 

Class I’s release 3rd Quarter 2016 earnings


Net Earnings: $455 million or $0.48 per share; down from $507 million or $0.52 per share
Revenue: Declined 8 percent
Operating Income: Declined 10 percent to $841 million
Operating Ratio: Increased 70 basis points to 69.0 percent
Click here to read CSX’s full earnings report



Net Earnings: $121 million or $1.12 per diluted share; down from $132 million or $1.20 per diluted share
Revenue: Decreased 4 percent to $605 million
Operating Income: Decreased 9 percent to $200 million
Operating Ratio: Increased to 66.9 percent
Click here to read Kansas City Southern’s full earnings report



Net Earnings: C$347 million (7 percent increase) or C$2.34 diluted earnings per share (a 15 percent increase); up from C$323 million or C$2.04 diluted earnings per share
Revenue: Decrease of 9 percent to C$1.55 billion
Operating Income: C$657 million, a decrease of 13 percent
Operating Ratio: 57.7 percent, lowest ever reported
Click here to read Canadian Pacific’s full earnings report



Net Earnings: $1.1 billion or $1.36 per diluted share (9 percent decline); down from $1.3 billion or $1.50 per diluted share
Revenue: $5.2 billion, down 7 percent
Operating Income: Declined 11 percent to $2.0 billion
Operating Ratio: 62.1 percent, up 1.8 points
Click here to read Union Pacific’s full earnings report



Net Earnings: C$972 million or C$1.25 per diluted share, as compared to 2015 3rd quarter of C$1,007 million or C$1.26 per diluted share
Revenue: Decreased 6 percent to C$3,014 million
Operating Income: Declined 5 percent to C$1,407 million
Operating Ratio: A record 53.3 percent, a 0.5-point improvement
Click here to read Canadian National’s full earnings report



Net Earnings: $460 million (2 percent increase) or $1.55 diluted earnings per share (4 percent increase); up from $452 million or $1.49 diluted earnings per share
Revenue: Declined 7 percent to $2.5 billion
Operating Income: Stayed at a steady $820 million
Operating Ratio: 67.5 percent, a 220 basis point improvement over 2015’s reported 69.7 percent in the third quarter
Click here to read Norfolk Southern’s full earnings report


Note: Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.

KCS to invest $20 million in rail line

KCS_rail_logoRailway Age reported that Kansas City Southern announced that its principal subsidiary will, in 2016, invest approximately $20 million into construction and improvement projects. Read the entire story here.

KCS announces Patrick J. Ottensmeyer as president

KCS_rail_logoKansas City Southern announced Feb. 20 that as part of its succession planning process, Patrick J. Ottensmeyer has been appointed president, effective March 1, 2015. He will continue to report to David L. Starling, who remains chief executive officer.

Ottensmeyer is currently the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In his new role, he will continue to be responsible for sales and marketing with additional responsibilities for operations, which includes transportation, engineering, mechanical, network operations, operations support and information technology.

“I am excited about Pat’s appointment as president of our company,” said Starling. “He has served as the company’s chief financial officer and, most recently, its chief marketing officer, which has prepared him for his new role as president.”

Ottensmeyer has more than 15 years of railroad industry experience, holding various positions within KCS and previously with the BNSF Railway. He has also held executive level positions in the banking industry. He holds a bachelor of science in finance from Indiana University.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama.

KCSR starts training, data surveying of PTC

KCS_rail_logoKansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) has begun employee training and data surveying as part of its effort to implement positive train control (PTC) by year’s end.

Last week, employees began to receive training on PTC track and wayside data management at KCSR’s TEaM Training Center in Shreveport, La. About 160 workers were trained and another group will begin training this week, railroad officials said in an item posted on the “KCS News” web page.

Read the complete story at Progressive Railroading.

Teen realizes dream of becoming train conductor

LISBON, N.Y. — A Lisbon Central School graduate is living his dream of working as a railroad conductor at age 19.

Matthew House, a 2013 graduate of LCS, is now conducting trains in Kansas City.

House has been fascinated by trains since age three and even formed a model train club while attending school in Lisbon. He said working on the railroad was something he had always hoped to do and it’s hard for him to believe he has already achieved that goal.

Read more from North Country Now.

Class I railroads release 4th quarter earnings

CSX_logoCSX Corporation announced its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2013 Jan. 15. The railroad reported net earnings of $426 million or $0.42 per share for the fourth quarter. These earnings were down from the same quarter in 2012, with earnings of $449 million or $0.44 per share. Earnings dropped $37 million from the third quarter of 2013.

The railroad also reported that revenue for the quarter increased by five percent to $3 billion. The increase was due to merchandise and intermodal markets.

“Supported by the strength of an expanding economy, we delivered six percent volume growth in the quarter, despite another sharp decline in coal,” said Michael J. Ward, who acts as chairman, president and chief executive officer for the company.

Annual net earnings for 2013 came in at $1.83 per share, up from 2012’s $1.79 per share. Revenue increased for the year by two percent to $12 billion, a record for the company. Operating income came in at $3.5 billion and the operating ratio increased to 71.1 percent for the year.

Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.


ns_LogoNorfolk Southern published its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2013 January 22. The railroad reports a fourth quarter net income of $513 million or $1.64 per diluted share. Net income was 24 percent higher than recorded earnings for the same quarter 2012. Fourth quarter earnings were also up $31 million over third quarter earnings for the same year.

NS reported that the operating ratio improved five percent to 69.4 percent for the quarter. Operating revenues for the railroad totaled $2.9 billion, up seven percent from the same quarter last year. Income from railway operations was up 23 percent at $881 million.

For the year 2013, operating revenues for the railway reached $11.2 billion, up two percent over 2012. Income from railway operations came in at $3.3 billion for the year, four percent higher than last year. Net income rose nine percent higher than the previous year at $1.9 billion. Diluted earnings per share also saw an improvement of 12 percent at $6.04. Overall, the railway’s operating ratio improved by one percent to 71.0 percent for the year.

“Norfolk Southern’s team of safety and service-oriented employees drove our record-setting fourth quarter results through increased productivity, efficient network operations, and continued revenue gains,” Wick Moorman, NS CEO, said. “In 2014, we plan to invest $2.2 billion, a 12 percent increase over 2013, to maintain safe railway operations, purchase locomotives and freight cars, and support growth and productivity initiatives.


union_pacific_logoUnion Pacific announced their full-year earnings for 2013 as well as their fourth quarter earnings. The company stated that the fourth quarter of 2013 was their best quarter yet with records set.

The railroad reported a net income of $1.2 billion or $2.55 per diluted share for the fourth quarter, a 16 percent increase over last year. Last year’s results for the same quarter were only $1 billion or $2.19 per diluted share.

Operating revenue saw an increase of seven percent to more than $5.6 billion. The same quarter last year only saw an operating revenue of $5.25 billion. Operating income was up 14 percent, totaling $1.97 billion. UP’s operating ratio was a fourth quarter record at 65.0 percent.

“For the first time in six quarters, we reported overall volume growth, despite significantly weaker coal shipments,” said CEO Jack Koraleski. “The fourth quarter wrapped up another tremendous year for Union Pacific, with our overall financial performances exceeding all previous milestones.”

For 2013, UP reported a net income of $4.4 billion or $9.42 diluted share, up from 2012’s reported net income of $3.9 billion or $8.27 per diluted share. Operating revenue saw a record $21.96 billion for the railroad in 2013. Operating income also saw an increase of 10 percent, coming in at more than $7.4 billion. The 2013 operating ratio for the railroad was also a new record, coming in at 66.1 percent.

“As we look at 2014, we see signs that the economy is slowly strengthening. We’re well-positioned for economic growth and are confident in our ability to deliver on our customer’s growing transportation needs,” Koraleski said. “We’ll continue our unrelenting focus on both safety and service to our customers. We strongly believe in the power and potential of the Union Pacific franchise to drive even greater financial performance and shareholder returns in the years to come.”


KCS_rail_logoKansas City Southern Lines reports record fourth quarter revenues and record full-year 2013 revenues. The railroad saw an eight percent increase in revenue to $616 million over the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net income totaled $114 million or $1.03 diluted earnings per share for the quarter, a 12 percent increase over the same quarter last year. They also saw a two percent increase in carloads for the fourth quarter.

KCS’s operating income also saw an increase to $196 million for the quarter, a full 13 percent higher than 2012. Operating ratio came in at 68.1 percent for the railroad. Operating expenses also increased by six percent to $420 million for the quarter.

Full year 2013 revenue came in at a record $2.4 billion, up six percent over 2012. Carloads for the year increased two percent to 2.2 million. Operating income for the year is being reported at $739 million, an increase of 10 percent over 2012. The operating ratio for KCS was 68.8 percent for the year, a 1.1 point improvement over 2012.

“The year 2013 proved to be another very good year for Kansas City Southern,” said President and CEO David L. Starling. “2013 marks the fourth consecutive year KCS has recorded a double-digit percentage increase in its adjusted earnings per share. We expect to maintain our excellent growth momentum in 2014 and beyond.”


cp-logo-240Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada’s second-largest railroad, said fourth-quarter profit more than quintupled. Net income surged to C$82 million ($74 million), or 47 cents a share, from C$15 million, or 8 cents, a year earlier, and earnings per share for 2014 will rise 30 percent or more from last year, CP said. 

Since taking over in June 2012, Harrison has cut jobs and shut rail yards to bolster profit and close the operations gap with larger rival Canadian National Railway, his former employer. CP reported record operating ratio, a costs-to-revenue measure of efficiency, for the last quarter and said it expects more improvement this year. The railroad’s operating ratio improved to a record 65.9 percent in the quarter from 74.8 percent a year earlier, and the company said it’s targeting 65 percent or lower this year. 

“This was a solid quarter, with decent operating numbers,” Jason Seidl, a Cowen & Co. analyst in New York who rates the shares market perform, said in a telephone interview. “The guidance is for a minimum of 30 percent growth. This year they did much better than their original guidance, so if they do that again this year, they will be well above the consensus.” 

Canadian Pacific stock shares jumped 4.3 percent to C$165 at the close in Toronto, the biggest single-day increase since Oct. 23. The stock has gained 2.7 percent this year.

The 69-year-old Harrison, who came out of retirement to become Canadian Pacific’s CEO, insisted he still plans to lead the company for another two years before handing the reins to Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel. 


CN_red_logoCanadian National Railway Co. Jan. 30 said its fourth-quarter earnings increased to C$635 ($568 million), or 76 Canadian cents a share, up from C$610 million, or 71 Canadian cents, a year earlier, helped by higher petroleum product volumes and a stronger U.S. dollar. The company also boosted its quarterly cash dividend by 16 percent and reaffirmed its guidance for 2014.

The railroad, based in Montreal, was helped by strong energy markets. Revenue from the transport of petroleum and chemicals jumped 22% in the fourth quarter, while revenues from metals and minerals and forestry products also made double-digit gains. 

Revenue increased 8 percent to C$2.745 billion and operating expenses rose 5 percent to C$967 million. The company’s operating ratio rose to 64.8 percent from 63.6 percent. The operating ratio is the percentage of operating revenue consumed by operating costs, so an increase indicates a decline. 

“Key operating and service metrics remained solid, and we continued to drive incremental improvement in our broad safety record,” Chief Executive Claude Mongeau said in a statement. 

“CN sees good opportunities in 2014 in a number of markets, including intermodal, oil-and-gas-related commodities, Canadian and U.S. grain, and commodities related to the recovery in the U.S. housing market,” Mr. Mongeau said.