UP ripping off model railroaders.

Nope, I won't leave this one alone. There are a few million model railroaders in USA. Some of those people work in the transportation biz.
Some of those people are responsible for choosing which carrier will get their business. I hope they are strong arming UP for EXTRA DISCOUNTS. They can rationalize their request by saying that UP has to pay a surcharge for the privallege of getting their freight business.
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<LOL> Do you know the difference between fact, fiction and opinion? Where did you get "...a few million model railroaders" from?

Of all the RR shippers in the USA, only a few have a choice of which RR will be their carrier. The rest of them are forced to use the RR nearest their backdoor.
Of the few that have a choice, those that are employees in a decision-making position, are going to use cost/benefit ratio to make their decision on what RR to use as a shipper. A penny-ante licensing issue is not going to enter into their decision making. How many of the remaining shipper/owners who have the luxury of making business decisions based on "I hated UPRR", are going to boycott UP? Maybe KatoUSA and Atlas? Maybe BNSF already has Kato and Atlas' business. Do you think UP gives a *#@* ?

"strong arming UP for EXTRA DISCOUNTS." <LOL again>
How many of UP's customers are big enough to strong arm UP? Where's their bargaining leverage -- you think maybe the Utility companies are going to start transporting coal in trucks on the Interstate Hwy system?
Do you think UPS, JBHunt or Schneider would be moving trailers by rail if it were cheaper to run them down the road?
If the Court rules in favor of UP, and you can't live with the idea of paying extra for models decorated in UP colors, or of their fallen flags, Don't buy them! Take your savings and buy their stock. They're having a very profitable year.
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Some of the things you are saying make some sense but what I can't figure out is why did UP do the recent TV spots. They seem to be concerned about their image for some reason. The Lord only knows how much $$$$ they spent producing and airing them. They must either feel that the $$$$ spent will result in greater return in increased shipping business OR is it at all possible that they simply want to have a nice guy public image regardless of whether it increases their bottom line? ( or actually lower the bottom line considering that the cost of the ads may have no positive effect on profits) How many viewers see the TV spots who have no influence at all on UP's business? The first time I saw the spot I actually wondered why they would show it to people like me. And you can call me cynical but at the time it didn't seem logical that they would spend a lota bucks simply to be nice. But you never know. I am willing to speculate that UP charged ahead with this not fully comprehending the needs of smaller business and the effect on them. I also think that conversely we may not fully understand exactly all that is driving them to pursue this as well. If both UP and the public" truly appreciated the others concerns a resolution would emerge satisfying both - in effect Win Win.
?

surcharge for

companies
Hwy system?

rail if

idea of paying extra

buy them!

profitable year.

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I find this interesting. It's been said that nothing will be influenced by practically anyone so why did they spend money. How much money did they spend? How many people see their commercials? More than the 8.1 million who saw the CBS news broadcast? Did the one news "ah shit" wipe out all the "atta boys" they got from the expensive commercials? Will the income from the model graft be more than the commerials cost?
I think it's already been discounted that protection of the name (it can be done many other ways) was not the point, making money was the point. Based on the above I think they (UP) are way negative in the making of money and will continue to go further negative if the bad publicity keeps up. Any good manager knows when to cut his looses therefore UP must be composed of bad management. Bad management will eventually cost the company millions so therefore I suggest they all be booted out to protect the value of my stock!
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I looked up their most recent 10K and 10Q reports on SEC's EDGAR database. Looks like some cash flow problems. Nothing serious yet, but if it continues, they could get in trouble. A little tip: The Cash Flow Statement is the one accounting statement that won't lie to you. Income Statements and Balance Sheets can be "window dressed" to make management look good and not violate any GAAP. The Cash Flow Statement cannot.
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Did that include the results of the spin-off of their Overnite Transportation Company?
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I belive so, but I don't remember if that was on the most recent 10Q, or on the 10K, which was filed about 2-3 quarters earlier. If I get time, with all the "fun" of getting ready for Christmas <grin>, I will go back to EDGAR and check.
In any event, I doubt that the bucks from the licensing scheme would make much of a difference on their financials. It is just too small, compared to the overall size of the company. On further reflection, I think that the real motivation is just plain, old greed. (The bastards!)
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================ Actually the opposite is true especially for the larger operators in the rail industry. Maintenance costs and capital expenditures are big ticket expenses for UP. Deferring maintenance for one season can affect the cash flow's bottom line by 100's of a percent. Major purchase decisions can affect it even more.
$225 million cash on hand is more than enough when revenues are running $35M/day.
A more revealing barometer is comparing debt load to revenues. The two best things to happen to UP in recent years are the war in Iraq and a signalman finally located the green lenses for their signals (someone had misplaced them after the SP merger)
UP is taking in about 1B dollars/MO; making about 1B dollars/year. Their troubles<?> are that they're 8B dollars in debt and have to pay $500-600 million/year income taxes. If they were 'perfectly' managed, all that income tax money would be retiring debt before the inevitable rise in interest rates.
If the USA successfully commandeers the Iraqi oil fields, and forces the price of fuel oil back down to $.50, UP will prosper. If the Iraqis end up kicking our asses like the 4' tall Vietnamese did, who knows how high OPEC can run the price up? Any combination: Higher fuel costs + inflation, higher fuel costs + traffic decline, or inflation + traffic decline can bust UPRR.
They already ducked the speeding bullet once, with the coal slurry pipeline debacle.
Pseudo patriotism isn't the only reason UP diesels are wearing those waving flags.
The .5% licensing fee might be the only money they have left to fund Davidson's retirement.
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Cash flow statements can be manipulated easily, just like the income statement. Enron and Tyco both heavily manipulated their C/F statements.
With financial structuring, you can make any financial statement look like anything you want. That's why we need better regulatory and shareholder oversight, business ethics, and risk management practices.
Springstube wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Ccutler0) wrote in

Enron and Tyco both engaged in stuff that should have resulted in the outside auditors refusing to sign off on their financials. That is hardly an example of the type of window dressing that I was talking about, since their shenanigans *did violate* GAAP. The failure to blow the whistle on Enron is why Arthur Anderson is no longer in the auditing business-- which would not have been the case if Enron's books had been kept in accordance with GAAP and FASB rules.
I will concede that cash flow statements can be manipulated by the expedient of timing large capital expenditures or other big-ticket items. But, if the books are kept in accordance with GAAP, it is still more difficult to manipulate the cash flow statement than any other financial statement. Note that keeping books in accordance with GAAP means that you cannot fail to properly list cash inflows and outflows. If a firm does not list a cash outflow, for example, that occurred during the statement period, then they are no longer in compliance with GAAP.
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Tim wrote:

Wow! Did Klein & Escher Engineering design your helixes?
--
Steve Caple

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RR
their
Most also have the option to use trucks.
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-----------------
---------------
If the trucking option was cheaper, the shipper would already be using trucks rather than rail. In a small <?> percentage of cases, trucking rates will be comparable to rail rates. These cases would be more commonly found East of the Mississippi where there's greater population density.
In such a case of comparable cost, the decision becomes more heavily weighted as to which choice is more convenient; and which mode of transportation is most reliable.
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decision-making position, are going to use cost/benefit ratio to make their decision on what RR to use as a shipper< Lets see, if I have the power to not use UP and I had strong feeling about this and rerouted the shipping the first thing I would do is run in and tell the boss what is happing is based on my like for toy trains. Or maybe I'd spend some time determining that I was saving money and not tell the boss. Umm
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Ever hear of trucks, barges, ships, pipelines, natural gas (not coal)?
?

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (MrRathburne) wrote in message

I've heard of hot air which you have an abundance of.
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HAHAHA. Man this is so original and funny. How many hours did it take to come up with this one?
Charles snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Charles Bix) wrote in message

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--------------------------------
Pretty soon I'm going to be forced to agree with almost every other participant on this group... You are an unbelievable imbecile at times <shaking my head in amazement at your question>
"Ever hear of trucks,"?
Sit down and try to do a rough computation, calculating how many trucks, trailers, drivers and gallons of fuel it would take to replace UP's coal tonnage. Don't even bother with the peripheral costs -- highway construction and maintenance, plus the added bureaucracy.
Until the numbers were studied (and subsequently laughed out of their respective statehouses) this was seriously proposed twice in the past 2-3 years. SD opposition to DME's expansion into the Powder River Coal Basin, wanted to truck coal across WY/SD rather than expand the RR's right- of-way. A neighboring state wanted to build a coal conveyor across the Missouri River to delay the demise of coal mining on the opposite bank. When the conveyor was shown to be cost-prohibitive, they proposed a fleet of thousands of specially built coal-hauling trucks traversing the Federal Highway system. The adverse statistics/probabilities were staggering. i.e. Highway traffic fatalities 400% of the previous 5-year average (@55mph)
"barges, ships,"?
hmmm....I'd never given it a thought. How many navigable waterways in UP territory? Just how deep is that Platte River anyway?!
"pipelines,"?
If you're not totally brain dead yet, you'll recall that someone had this brainstorm 20 years ago. Remember what happened to the CEO of Burlington Northern after they lost the lawsuit? (IIRC, UP settled).
"natural gas (not coal)"?
What does NG cost now? What would NG cost if every member, of every board of directors, of every Utility company in the country, said "F*** you UP, no more coal hauled by you. We're switching to gas -- Ratburnes Bad Gas " What would it cost to refurbish coal-fired boilers so they could burn NG? What would it cost to build replacement generating facilities for the obsolete plants?
Ratburnes Bad Gas -- All rights reserved. Our motto: "Got Bad Gas? Ratburnes has."
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In other words, you agree with me and retract your original BS.
Thanks.
Now think up something else dumb to claim like shipper have no choice but the railroad. Only someone with zero clue in life would claim that like you did.

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(MrRathburne) writes:

Won't wash. How many trucks will it take to haul what one freight train does? Barges? You do have to be near navigable rivers. Ships? If you want to cross an ocean perhaps. Besides once you get the products to port you usually have to move that product inland. Pipelines work for only some commoditys such as natural gas and oil.
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