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Fun With Railroad Stocks

Fun with railroad stocks

Being a rail fan and investor of the railroads; I have always liked to wonder how much of my shares I own in CSX (NYSE:CSX) or any company for that matter amounts too. But I have managed to find to find a fun way to measure my ownership in a railroad stocks. And that is measuring my ownership in feet of railroad track. I know they have buildings and locomotives as well; but like I said this is a fun way to measure ownership in the railroad.

I have never been good at writing algebraic expressions and I'm not even sure if you can turn this into one so I will explain this step by step. First you need to find how many miles of the given railroad own and divide that by how many shares are outstanding. I will use CSX as an example. CSX owns about 21,000 miles of track with 1.02B shares outstanding so 21000/1020000000= 0.0000205882

In the 2nd step you need to take the answer or .0000205882 in my case and multiply that by how many shares you own, I will use 100 shares as the example. 100 * 0.0000205882 = 0.00205882

After doing that in the 3rd step you will take one mile or 5280 feet and multiply that by you answer you got in the 2nd step. 5280 * .00205882 = 10.871 (rounded to the nearest thousandth) and there you have it; you own 10.871 feet of CSX rails. You can even bust out a pair of verniers and find how many inches and thousandths of tack that is. All you do is multiply 12 by the last three digits if your answer and that will give you inches and thousands. So I will finish this off by doing that 12*.871 = 10.452. So there you have it. You own 10' feet 10.452" inches of track; that's if you own 100 shares of CSX.

You can use this method for all the Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) Canada National (NYSE:CNI) and all other publicly traded railroads.

Being my first article hopefully I will appreciate any helpful comments that will help improve my writing.

Disclosure: I am long CSX.