Thursday, July 28, 2005

BNSF Railway: THIRTEENTH consecutive quarter of year-over-year volume increases

received the following via email

BNSF reports record quarterly revenue (7/27/2005)

BNSF has reported a 15% increase in freight revenue for the second quarter of 2005, at a record $3.04 billion, reflecting revenue increases in all four of the company’s business groups.

Record quarterly operating income at $710 million was up 40% year-on-year, while the quarterly operating ratio decreased four percentage points to 76.7% from 80.7% in the second quarter of the prior year.

Consumer Products revenues increased by $201 million (19%), partially as a result of double-digit volume increases in the international, truckload, automotive, and perishable sectors. Industrial Products revenues increased by $98 million (16%) to $718 million, reflecting strong demand in the building products, petroleum products, and construction products sectors.

Agricultural Products revenues were up $69 million (16%) to $493 million, which included strong corn, soybean and wheat export moves to the Pacific Rim countries. Coal revenues rose $38 million (7%) to $591 million, despite operational and maintenance disruptions caused by adverse weather conditions in the Powder River Basin.

“The second quarter of 2005 was our thirteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year volume increases and the company’s sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit freight revenue growth,” said chairman, president & CEO, Matthew Rose. “Also, we were able to continue lowering our operating ratio, compared to the same prior-year period, a trend we have been able to maintain for seven consecutive quarters.”

For the second quarter of 2005, BNSF reported a pre-tax income of $590 million and a net income of $366 million on total operating revenues of $3.14 billion (Q2 2004: $402m, 249m and $2.68bn respectively).

For the six-month period ending June 30, 2005, BNSF reported a pre-tax income of $1.11 billion on total operating revenues of $6.12 billion (H1 2004: $713m and $5.17bn respectively).

Author: Newsdesk /

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

ROCO Declares Bankruptcy

Received the following via email.

Roco, a large Austrian model railroad-manufacturing firm with products
in HO and N scales, has declared bankruptcy. For many years Roco's main
operations were in Salzburg, Austria, but it recently moved its
operations to a new factory in Hallein (in the Salzburg area, 370
employees). Roco also has facilities in Gloggnitz, Austria (200
employees), and in Slovakia (230 employees).

The European train market has been in a slump since the German economy
weakened, and several of Roco's competitors are now offering lower-cost
items made in China. The German train market has declined from sales of
204 million Euros in 2002 to 181 million in 2004. Germany is Roco's
largest market (approximately 65 percent of Roco's sales are in
Germany). The firm, which according to Austrian sources has debts of
approximately 24 million Euros and losses of approximately 5 million
Euros per year, will remain in operation under receivership. Leopold
Heher will serve as receiver. Employees have not been paid their wages
for June or their vacation pay as of today, July 15. Substantial layoffs are expected as the firm reorganizes.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Walthers buys Life-Like

from a Walthers press release:

"We're pleased to announce that Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. acquired the assets of the Toy and Hobby division of Life-Like Products, LLC. on Thursday, July 14, 2005 with the mission of elevating model railroading to a whole new level.

The synergies this alliance creates will allow for innovations in new model railroading product design that would have otherwise been impossible. If you thought 2005's massive new product offering was incredible, just wait until you see what we'll deliver in 2006!"

What's next? Hoizon Hobby bought Athearn and Roundhouse, and now Walthers buys Life-Like. Will we see more consolidation?

Please note that we carry all major brands of model railroad supplies and equipment, including Walthers and Life-Like, and a lot of minor brands too. Stop in and check us out.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Big Little Railroad Shop Moving Back to Somerville

We are in the process of moving the store back to Main Street in Somerville, NJ. Much of the stock in our current location has been packed in preparation for the move, but don't let that stop you from visiting us here in Hillsborough. If it hasn't been packed, we will be glad to sell it to you. And, as always, we are taking special orders. We expect to be open for business in the new location on Tuesday, August 2, 2005. (Maybe sooner. Check back here for the latest.)
Our new address will be 63 W. Main Street, Somerville, NJ. New phone number will be posted when we are there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

CN Train Collision Claims Four Crew Members

Received via email:

BENTONIA, Mississippi -- Two Canadian National freight trains collided and partially derailed early yesterday, killing four people and forcing residents to evacuate dozens of nearby homes, authorities said. The victims were all believed to be crew members from the trains. Rescue teams searched the wreckage, but no other injuries were reported. The collision happened northeast of Bentonia in west-central Mississippi. CN spokesman Karen Phillips said the cause is still under investigation, and it wasn't immediately clear why the trains were on the same track. One car leaked vegetable oil and caught fire, but the flames were extinguished, said Amy Carruth, a spokesman with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.