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WISCONSIN CENTRAL REPORTS RECORD NET INCOME OF $8.3 MILLION

 WISCONSIN CENTRAL REPORTS RECORD NET INCOME OF $8.3 MILLION


Net income rose 9.3 percent based on flat revenues and a $3.8 million
 reduction in interest expense; Fourth quarter down slightly
 CHICAGO, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation (NASDAQ: WCLX) (WCTC) today reported record earnings for 1991 of $8.3 million, or $1.52 per common share, compared with $7.5 million or $1.89 per common share for 1990. WCTC's results include a special charge of $341,000 (net of income taxes) or 6 cents per common share, caused by the write-off of deferred financing costs associated with early debt retirement following an initial public offering completed in May, 1991.
 Edward Burkhardt, WCTC's president, said, "Wisconsin Central's favorable results during these recessionary times continues to reflect the strength of the markets that we serve and the high confidence our customers have in us. Our earnings were also favorably impacted by significantly reduced interest expense as a result of the paydown of debt with the proceeds of our initial public offering completed in May, 1991."
 Total operating revenues rose slightly to a record $113.7 million from $113.3 million in 1990. Revenue units declined slightly to 179,700 in 1991 from 182,000 in 1990. The prior year revenue dollars and units were buoyed by non-recurring ore shipments, which accounted for $2.9 million of revenue and 8,300 revenue units. The company reported that the lack of ore business and a decrease in pulpboard shipments were partially offset by increased paper, intermodal and steel shipments.
 Operating expenses increased 1.8 percent to $91.2 million in 1991 from $89.6 million in 1990. Increases in labor and materials were offset by favorable variances in equipment repair billings and joint facilities expenses. The reduction in joint facilities expense was caused by the reduction in ore shipments as well as the company's acquisition of the Ladysmith-Superior, Wis. line from the Soo Line in December, 1991. WCTC's operating ratio increased to 80.3 percent in 1991 compared with 79.1 percent in 1990.
 Interest expense declined $3.8 million, or 25.8 percent to $10.9 million reflecting the repayment of debt following the company's initial public offering. This debt repayment helped to reduce the company's debt-to-total capitalization ratio to 57.0 percent at Dec. 31, 1991 from 81.6 percent at Dec. 31, 1990.
 Fourth Quarter Results:
 WCTC's fourth quarter net income of $2.4 million was slightly lower than the prior year amount of $2.6 million. Operating revenues of $26.7 million for the fourth quarter of 1991 were $1.9 million, or 6.8 percent lower than the same period a year ago.
 Operating expenses declined $0.9 million, or 4.0 percent to $21.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1991 compared with 1990, primarily due to favorable variances in casualties and joint facilities expenses.
 Interest expense declined $1.5 million, or 40.4 percent to $2.2 million in the fourth quarter of 1991, as compared with the same period in 1990 reflecting the effects of the early retirement of debt following the company's initial public offering.
 Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol WCLX. The company's principal subsidiary, Wisconsin Central Ltd., operates more than 2,000 miles of railroad serving Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Ontario.
 WISCONSIN CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Quarter Ending
 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Operating revenues $26,728 $28,675
 Net income $2,390 $2,587
 Average number of common shares 6,415 4,000
 Earnings per common share $0.37 $0.65
 Year Ending
 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Operating revenues $113,657 $113,289
 Income before extraordinary item $8,592 $7,546
 Extraordinary item (341)(a) --
 Net income $8,251 $7,546
 Average number of common shares 5,436 4,000
 Earnings per common share:
 Income before extraordinary item $1.58 $1.89
 Extraordinary item (0.06)(a) --
 Net income $1.52 $1.89
 (a) Represents an extraordinary charge (net of income taxes) for the write-off of deferred financing costs relating to the early extinguishment of $36,200,000 of debt with the proceeds of the company's initial public offering, completed in May, 1991.
 -0- 3/2/92
 /CONTACT: Ed Burkhardt or Tom Power, both of Wisconsin Central Transportation, 708-318-4602/
 (WCLX) CO: Wisconsin Central Transportation Corp. ST: Illinois IN: TRN SU: ERN


KH -- MN005 -- 3831 03/02/92 10:10 EST
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Date:Mar 2, 1992
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