Chairman, president and chief executive
North America's railroads enter 2008 with momentum in their safety and service performances and well-reasoned plans to continue preparing the nation's rail infrastructure for unprecedented growth in demand over the next several years.
With growing and shifting populations, crushing traffic conditions on the nation's highways, a flood of imports that must move efficiently nationwide, and the overall movement to containerized freight, railroads and their intermodal affiliates are better positioned than ever to provide real solutions and create real value for our customers.
In the near term, the economy is difficult to read, and dynamics in the housing and auto markets will affect volumes. Generally, however, railroads are moving away from cyclical conditions that used to drive decision-making to a more secular environment driven by the value proposition that railroads offer. Our nation needs more fuel-efficient transportation, a better environment and employment opportunities with a future. That's what railroads provide.
Our ability to meet those needs over time requires a disciplined approach to investment in the rail system to further improve safety and service reliability while creating value for our investors. Railroads are making prudent investments in new track and terminal capacity, fuel-efficient locomotives, railcars that carry more freight and technology to be better at everything we do.