Meanwhile, Wall Street remains adamantly enamored of low operating ratios. To some degree, spending to expand capacity and achieving low operating ratios are incompatible. Not every railroad may need expanding as much as BNSF. But as I’ve tried to explain, there will be consequences for standing still. Long term, pissing off your customers is not a viable business strategyYes, and the Chicago Great Western at one time led the Class Ones in gross-ton-miles-per-train-hour. For all the good that did it.
THE PRODUCTIVITY TRAP.
Fred Frailey nails it. The railroads are running out of capacity. That's the predictable consequence of years of cost-cutting. Lower costs translate into lower rates and the traffic clogs the railroad. But the analysts focused on the next quarter's results are cheerful. For the moment.