walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

railroad maintenance

An interesting current example of railroad maintenance costs and tradeoffs. UP decided to put GPS (well, they kinda got leaned on. Hard, after a bad accident) in their locomotives, so they would actually know where they were and wouldn't, say, ram into commuter trains unexpectedly. Very expensive, but would also save them on fuel -- which at the time was expensive. But now is not.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/11/union-pacific-railroad-business-logistics-union-pacific.html

I'm currently trying to get a handle on what has happened to railroads (freight) in the US post-Main Lines. UP eating SP did not digest well (that was clear in the book, altho it wasn't clear just how long it would take for the pain to fully transit). The signalling/train control problem has not been fully addressed yet. And rail continues to pull business from trucks.

My strategy right now is to try to find financial analysts who specialize in rail. They do exist. They are not flashy. And, unfortunately, I'm not having great luck getting access to the for-pay ones through my brokers.
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