Archive for July 2013

You CAN finance new railways or upgrades in emerging nations with private funds — if you do it right

It’s a common misconception among investors that less-developed countries can’t build out railways unless there is an international “donor” for the funding.

However, the attached report suggests that if you engage shippers — like coal and ore companies — as part of the railway project funding effort, you CAN finance the construction project without depending on outside “charity.”

Take a look at this Executive Summary of my West Africa railway feasibility study: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Rail Feasibility Report to UEMOA-Final

There is also a French version of this report available. Email me for that version.

Mid-year review of railway freight in the US

Here is a quick mid-year review of the railway role in the US freight market.

The US economic growth measured in GDP change is for this year still is below 2.5%.

While the USA freight railroads still show world class profitability (see their quarterly reports for those details), they are for the most part doing it with productivity management skills rather than with traffic growth.

Attached are a few images that reflect the 2007 to 2013 mid-year freight business volumes.

Download the PDF here: MID YEAR 2013 US Rail Traffic -1 – J Blaze

Reports identifying similar traffic changes in the rest of the globe for railways are generally NOT published in a regular short timeframe like in the US and Canada.

Poor wording by journalists make project seem more “real” than it actually is

The June 30th rail story is a “bit” too advanced since The Turkey funding is not yet arranged

Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway Project is a new railway line being constructed between the Ethiopian towns Awash and Woldia.

Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), the owner of the project, is investing $1.7bn in the project. The new line will be completed by December 2015.

The new railway line will connect northern Ethiopia with central region. It will also link the northern and eastern transportation network of Ethiopia. Read more

Met Coal by the numbers for 2013 to 2014 — maybe …

MET COAL globally during 2013 MIGHT increase overall by about 3% to 281 million tonnes.

Coal train image by GreatLettuce. Used under Creative Commons license.

Coal train image by GreatLettuce. Used under Creative Commons license.

Details are in June 26_2013 MET COALGLOBAL PROJECTIONS (PDF File).

This forecast – which assumes no further China economic slowdown (or selective market segment bubble collapse) — will slow down BOTH mine and rail projects around the world for the next 18 months or so.