So, how are Railpower's Green Goat Sales Doing anyway?

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Postby mxdata » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:14 pm

There is a recent press release on their website that announces the cancellation of a large contract. The press release says this is actually expected to improve their financial situation. See "Railpower News" for December 5, 2006:

http://www.railpower.com
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Postby 2spot » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:17 pm

The customer in question is Canadian Pacific Railway. They havent been named for some reason, but the cancelled order is listed as having been 35 units. See also: http://tinyurl.com/y28feg . Another clue comes here: http://www.mountainrailway.com/CP%201700%20Page.htm . Its interesting to note that Railpower stock prices are hovering around $0.56 Canadian (Toronto Stock Exchange), down from a year high of $6.75 Canadian.
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Postby Sir Ray » Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:19 am

mxdata wrote:There is a recent press release on their website that announces the cancellation of a large contract. The press release says this is actually expected to improve their financial situation. See "Railpower News" for December 5, 2006:

http://www.railpower.com

So, were they losing money with each loco sold in this contract?
What was the plan, lose money on each individual sale but make it up in volume? :P
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Postby mxdata » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:40 am

It certainly does seem strange to be much better off financially by not building your product. Must be a very interesting story there.
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Translation, please...

Postby Komachi » Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:53 pm

Um... yeah.

Anyone care to explain the phenominon to those of us who are not holders of degrees in economics?

I would imagine the opposite would be true, lower sales would lead to lower profit (or lack thereof). (Although, I can see Sir Ray's point of loss per sale/profit in volume...)
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Re: Translation, please...

Postby Sir Ray » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:05 pm

Komachi wrote:Um... yeah.
Anyone care to explain the phenominon to those of us who are not holders of degrees in economics?
I would imagine the opposite would be true, lower sales would lead to lower profit (or lack thereof). (Although, I can see Sir Ray's point of loss per sale/profit in volume...)

Certainly
It makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever...unless the CN-Railpower contract was a loss-leader contract (first 35 sold for cost or below cost, whatever) to help increase future sales both for CN and other companies and act as demostrators. Or, and this is even more a stretch in Railpower's case, if the need to construct these 35 units in parallel with other production which is already maxing out their production capacity, so that Railpower would have had to lease additional resources (facilities and labor) to complete the CN contract on time.
However, as far as I understand, either is NOT the case.

Very sad, as Railpower does have a decent idea and apparently viable idea, and seems like it had decent sales potential too. Lets hope management can get it's act together fast before the railroads give up completely and add Railpower to the scrapheap of failed second-tier locomotive builders...
(The 'make up in volume' quip is a very old joke, which was of course resurrected in 1999 for some of the dumber 'dot-com' business models)
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A random thought from the moderator...

Postby Komachi » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:11 pm

Ray,

Thanks for those possible explanations. I was thinking along similar lines, but doubt I could have written them as concisely.

Now, I hate to throw a tangent thought in here, but would there be any feasiblity for Railpower to team up with Colorado Railcar to produce hybrid propulsion systems for their DMUs similar to the experimental unit that JR (Japan Railways) East is "playing with" (for lack of a better term) at the moment? Or, are they better served concentrating on the goat and the genset switchers? I realize that Railpower is a "niche" player, but I would suspect there might be some demand for such a DMU from commuter agencies, although, of course, reality may dictate otherwise. However, that may be another possible market that Railpower may want to explore.

Just something for you guys to chew on.

BTW, here's a link to an online article/report from the Japan Railway and Transport Review website regarding the JR Hybrid railcar...

http://www.jrtr.net/jrtr36/pdf/photo.pdf
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Re: A random thought from the moderator...

Postby Sir Ray » Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:25 pm

Komachi wrote:Now, I hate to throw a tangent thought in here, but would there be any feasiblity for Railpower to team up with Colorado Railcar to produce hybrid propulsion systems for their DMUs similar to the experimental unit that JR (Japan Railways) East is "playing with" (for lack of a better term) at the moment? Or, are they better served concentrating on the goat and the genset switchers?

From what I understand about their system, probably they are better off going for rail switchers (and stationary systems) - they use lead acid batteries, which are bulky and heavy - this works quite well for locomotives which need heavy ballast for tractive effort anyway and have lots of space under the hood, not so well for E..D..hmm, HMUs? which often have weight and space restrictions - as you see from the JR demo has it's smaller lithium batteris on it's roof. I'm not entirely convinced that Railpower is nimble enough to support two hybrid technology systems (note that Railpower seems to use the same hybrid system as it's locos for it's intermodal crane repowering), and the CRC DMU is already quite heavy due to FRA standards.

BTW, here's a link to an online article/report from the Japan Railway and Transport Review website regarding the JR Hybrid railcar...
http://www.jrtr.net/jrtr36/pdf/photo.pdf

On that freight EMU...31Ft? 9.45m? Are there even 10m containers (32.8ft)? Why such an odd size - guys, at least pick a size in tune with the tems of millions of ISO containers out there...
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Postby mxdata » Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:21 pm

Is anyone working for any of the railroads that have the Railpower switchers able to offer any insight into their operational availability? How many of them are tied up for repairs and/or out of service right now, and if they are out of service, why? That might help to shed some light on the CP situation. Anybody know?
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Postby 2spot » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:31 pm

Theres also a possibility that CP had a contract for technology that either didnt exist yet or was cost prohibitive compared to the quoted price or that they expected different results from it. If you refer to the Mountain Railway link I left earlier, you'll see that the last two completed Green Goats had revised gensets and that the first unit was resold to Amtrak. I theorise that CP wasnt happy with the performance of the 'phase 1' version and wanted better. I've also read somewhere that CP wanted the effective performance and capability of a GP-38, which is less of a switcher and more of a light road locomotive. It is not the description of a Green Goat.
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Postby Sir Ray » Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:13 pm

2spot wrote:I've also read somewhere that CP wanted the effective performance and capability of a GP-38, which is less of a switcher and more of a light road locomotive. It is not the description of a Green Goat.

That is true, but Railpower does offer the RP road switchers (RP20BH & RP20BD - the former has 2 engines, the latter has 3 engines) RP Series
I think they had them last year, or at least were pushing them...

Heh, Railpower is also working on Natural Gas locomotives, and also seems to be working on a Turbine!rDirect
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Postby 2spot » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:58 pm

Nice link on Railpower Green Goats including fairly complete rosters, pictures and more: http://www.trainweb.org/greengoats/index.html , (Jodys Railpower Green Goat site).
This site links to the Yahoo Railpower Green Goat Group. Answers to some common questions are found here.
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Railpower 2006 Financial Results

Postby mxdata » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:25 pm

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Is BNSF 1211 still running?

Postby mxdata » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:08 am

"We Repair No Locomotive Before Its Time"
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Postby arnstg » Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:55 pm

Railpower has another problem with battery fires.

Check out: http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehy ... ews&rpc=44


Probably other sites also have info.
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