Three months into 2004, rail service measures continue to reflect worsening performance. Weighted average speed on the seven leading North American railroads fell by 6.2%, continuing a slide that places year-to-date speed 5.9% behind the prior-year period.
In the last four weeks, average terminal dwell time increased by 7.9%, reflecting the 9.9% increase in the 14th week of 2004. Year-to-date, terminal dwell times have increased 7.4%.
At the top of the speed measure is Kansas City Southern, which showed a 10.4% increase in weighted average speed. Its year-to-date performance has improved 13%.
At the other end of the scale, Union Pacific's (UP) speed slowed by 16.2% in the week or 12.1% year to date. Morgan Stanley reports this is the worst performance since it began tracking the data in 1999. UP also led the increases in terminal dwell time, with a 24.1% increase for the week. Dwell times for UP were up 18.2% year to date.
Canadian National did the best job of improving terminal dwell times, reducing them by 12.6% year-to-date.