View Full Version : Railway future

10-04-2003, 08:46 PM
Is the railroad industry growing or shrinking? Is that true for both passenger and freight?

Gregory Wallace
10-05-2003, 04:10 AM
Is the railroad industry growing or shrinking? Is that true for both passenger and freight?

I don't know about freight -- hell, I don't know about either one actually -- but in the USA pax service would appear to be damn near dead, compared to what it used to be. I know there are small areas --such as the USA's northeast-- where commuter rail is still important, but longer distances are owned by the airlines. I don't personally know of anyone who considers taking the train when they can take a plane instead...and I say that with a tinge of regret.

In my job, I drive the Interstates a lot. Truck traffic is increasing every day, and my guess is that's taking away from rail freight, too.

Am I wrong?


10-05-2003, 04:56 AM
The impression I get is that the rails are holding their own, if not increasing their business. It's just that the railroads have had to modify their thinking as to what to haul, how to haul it AND make a profit doing it.

Union Pacific's new Inermodal Facility in Rochelle, IL seems to be a sign of rail growth. http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/004/534tzogv.asp
Or at least a change in the way business is done to survive in the 21st century.

Right here in Memphis CN and CSX plan to build a new intermodal facility. http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2003/09/29/story7.html

It appears that intermodal is the way to go. This benefits both rail and trucking by being more cost effective. And when you get right down to it nobody starts a business to lose money. Well... except maybe the government.

That's my take on it. But what do I know? I just fix planes for a living. :wink:

10-05-2003, 12:35 PM
Ever since the mid 1960's passenger service has declined. Freight, on the other hand, has seen a growth in the past few years, especially in the intermodal and coal business.

10-05-2003, 04:07 PM
wooo hoooo, it's good to hear that trains aren't dying out!

actually there was a new station built a here a couple years ago for VIA Rail, it's called Fallowfield Station

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?location=Fallowfield%20VIA%20Statio n