Wednesday, February 01, 2012

here comes tha train

In the not-too-distant future, railroads in the US will move more freight and passengers than diesel semis and commercial airplanes do now. It's just a matter of time.

Our established one-party politicians, ever resistant to change, are in major denial about this. But the hardiest US investors, people who will make or lose fortunes depending on how effectively they respond to history's unfolding, are more realistic.

Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will invest $3.9 billion in upgrading its Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe Railroad this year. BNSF is the road that services this part of the world.

About half the money will go into upgrading the road itself, and a lot of the rest will buy new rolling stock. The upgrade is strictly for freight service, as Amtrak still has the government monopoly on passenger traffic.

The future is coming down the track whether the politicians like it or not, and when the train pulls into the station, they'd better be ready to ride, if they don't want to be left behind standing in the depot.

How long, how long has that evenin train been gone?

--Leadbelly, "How Long Blues"

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