Class 1 Carriers Did Well in Lowering Operating Ratios

North American Class 1 railroads posted a collective 61.9 percent operating ratio in 2019, marking the first time the carriers have fallen below the 65 percent mark.

However, the railroads saw their overall revenue fall by 2.3 percent meaning the improvements in the operating ratio were largely due to productivity gains and cost reduction.

CSX had the lowest operating ratio for the year at 58.4 percent, the second consecutive year it led Class 1 in lowest OR.

Over the past five years operating ratios have fallen by three points and declined by 9.7 points over the past decade.

An operating ratio is the percent of revenue devoted to operating expenses.

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