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Shortline Railroad Operation - Industry Market Research Report

Shortline Railroad Operation

The Shortline Railroad Operation industry's ties to the general economy were highlighted over the past five years, as the industry's fortunes rose along with major downstream markets. However, this does not mean that the industry has not undergone hardships. With the recent collapse of crude oil prices, and consequently diesel fuel prices, revenue from surcharges has fallen and weak signals from the industrial production index have only compounded these losses. Over the next five years, the industry will benefit from a continued rise in industrial production and international trade volumes. Moreover, the industry is projected to achieve slightly higher profitability, as capital expenditures made over the past five years bear fruit.

Industry operators fall into two categories: local railroads and switching and terminal railroads. Local railroads are line-haul railroads that generate less than $34.7 million in operating revenue. Switching & Terminal railroads are those jointly owned by two parties to facilitate the transferring of cars between railroads. By conventional standards, all Class III railroads are called shortline railroad operators while Class II operators are referred to as regional railroads.

This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.


  • About this Industry
  • Industry at a Glance
    • Table Key Statistics Snapshot
    • Table Revenue vs. employment growth
    • Table Products and services segmentation (2016)
    • Table Industry Structure
  • Industry Performance
    • Table Demand from rail transportation
    • Table Industry revenue
    • Table Life Cycle Stage
  • Products & Markets
    • Table KEY BUYING INDUSTRIES
    • Table KEY SELLING INDUSTRIES
    • Table Products and services segmentation (2016)
    • Table Major market segmentation (2016)
    • Table Business Locations 2016
    • Table Distribution of establishments vs. population
  • Competitive Landscape
    • Table Sector vs. Industry Costs
    • Table Barriers to Entry checklist
  • Major Companies
    • Table Major players
    • Table Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (industry-specific operations) - financial performance*
    • Table Watco Companies LLC (industry-specific operations) - financial performance*
  • Operating Conditions
    • Table Capital intensity
    • Table Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success
    • Table Volatility vs Growth
  • Key Statistics
    • Table Industry Data
    • Table Annual Change
    • Table Key Ratios
  • Jargon & Glossary

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