The Alaska Railroad is riding out tough times. The state-owned railroad has seen revenue drop substantially. According to railroad President and CEO Bill O’Leary, the decline has largely been driven by losses in its primary freight hauling business.
”Just on a tonage basis, by about 44% since 2010,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary said the decline reflects loss of a contract for transport of petroleum products after Flint Hills shuttered its North Pole Refinery in 2014. He said the railroad’s freight business has also taken two other major hits.
”The drop in export coal. Where we take coal from the Usibelli mine in Healy and take it down to Seward from export to places like Chile, Korea and Japan,” O’Leary said. “The other area we had experienced growth in that has of course since fallen off was supporting North Slope activity.”