The Union Pacific railroad made 158-Million dollars in the quarter that ended June 30th, more revenue than ever before but not record profits. After downsizing during the recession U-P’s been swamped with more than the railroad can carry and CEO Dick Davidson said today it’s still struggling to beef up crews and get enough cars to take all the work that’s offered. Davidson reports earnings were 60-cents a share, compared to a dollar-five a share from continuing operations a year ago, noting it includes about a nickel per share as the cost of a San Antonio derailment that happened in the final week of the quarter. That derailment was blamed for at least three deaths and a chlorine spill that will mean costly cleanup. Investigation’s still going on into the cause of that derailment. He says the U-P’s been struggling with a crew shortage and rail congestion since last fall, when the economy began picking up. “Service issues” added an estimated 100-Million dollars to the expenses of running the railroad and he says skyrocketing prices for diesel fuel inflated also added 22-cents a share. Quarterly operating revenues topped the three-Billion-dollar mark in what Davidson called unprecedented demand…but unable to take all the business, the CEO said the railroad couldn’t make pure profit out of that alltime high revenue. Davidson says he knows they aren’t living up to the potential of the company but he thinks they’re taking “the right steps to turn things around” and earn prices that will earn higher revenues for shareholders. eRevenues have been up for four quarters in a row, and despite the efficiency headaches, the railroad said Union Pacific had its best quarter ever for total number of carloads and revenue per car. Union Pacific’s network of railways covers 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country.
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