If you tell a kindergartener that he or she can have ice cream for breakfast with no ill effect and that it will make the lima beans at lunch taste better, that kid will hug your leg and tell you that you’re the best. They don’t see the tummy ache coming or know that you’re lying about the lima beans.
Author: Mark Burton
Freight railroads don’t prosper because shippers have affection for them. Instead, railroads profit when their services are economically relevant. When freight services net customers fewer benefits than the prices railroads need to charge, the customers disappear and, soon, so do the services. These outcomes are not unique to railroads. They hold for all profit-motivated commerce.
So far, 2018 has left freight railroaders in a funk. Many, if not all, of the Class I’s face real service challenges; potentially disruptive trade policies threaten near-term traffic volumes; and, ever-increasing vehicle automation is pictured on the horizon like a serpent, ready to gobble up the railroads once and for always.