The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) has released its 2019 annual report, which shows a net income of $21.6 million from total revenues of $203 million, an increase of 7.5 percent over 2018. Operating income was $4.7 million compared to $1.5 million in 2018, and the operating ratio was 0.97.
Freight revenues, which generated 42 percent of the railroad's total revenues, were $85.3 million, the best since 2014 and nearly $14 million more than 2018. ARRC’s rail-barge business between Seattle and Whittier contributed the most to freight revenues, with growth driven by oil and gas activity on the North Slope.
Total 2019 passenger revenues were $39.6 million compared to 2018 revenues of $38.99 million. Ridership for the year totaled 522,101 passengers.
In 2019, the company’s investments included building road access in Anchorage, completing rail infrastructure to support of a new Anchorage-Fairbanks fuel distribution system, and pursuing a public-private partnership to replace the passenger dock and terminal in Seward.
"We recognize COVID-19 is weighing heavily on the global economy, and the railroad is responding with the ingenuity and durability that are our hallmarks," said Bill O'Leary, ARRC president and CEO. "Whatever the outcome of COVID-19, one thing is certain. The Alaska Railroad is stronger for the gains, triumphs and investments made during 2019. We remain realistic and optimistic that the railroad can bank on that strength, foster growth where it is most plausible, and help fellow Alaskans weather the challenges ahead."