North American rail freight companies are on track to continue benefiting from more efficient operations and could keep gathering steam from a strengthening economy. After years of being “notorious destroyers of value,” the rail companies around the middle of the last decade began improving their operations and started setting higher prices to support reinvesting in their networks, says Morningstar analyst Keith Schoonmaker. “Operationally we are in the heyday of railroading,” Schoonmaker says, adding that he sees the rail companies continuing to improve operating margins in coming years.
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October 8, 2017