The Future... What will it bring?

Chessie_SD50_8563 Feb 5, 2001

  1. Chessie_SD50_8563

    Chessie_SD50_8563 Permanently dispatched

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    With the latest round of proposed and rumored mergers as well as the upcoming end to the STB block on mergers what will the future bring?

    Do you think BNSF/CN will start again? CP/CN true? Open Access? Or somthing else? Share your opinion!

    "We Shall Live In Interesting Times" (Chinese Proverb and a qoute from one of Conrail's Presidents)
     
  2. Harron

    Harron TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, if the STB doesn't step in, you'll end up with two Major North American railroads, BNSFCNNS and UP. However, I don't think they'll ever let this happen. They may end up splitting them like they did to Microsoft. Wouldn't that be interesting! :eek:

    However, I don't know if we'll see BNSF/CN - that's was Krebs' idea and he's gone now. We may see KCS disappear in the near future, either to UP or BNSF, but who knows. The future is an uncharted place.
     
  3. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    When did Krebs leave? That's the first I've heard about that.
     
  4. Dwightman

    Dwightman TrainBoard Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Harron:
    We may see KCS disappear in the near future, either to UP or BNSF, but who knows. The future is an uncharted place.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I doubt that the STB would let UP have KCS (though UP does seem to get whatever it wants). There are several places where the "two road competition" is between UP and KCS/Tex-Mex. And I don't think that BNSF is particularly interested in it, though I could be wrong about that. Now that I think about it, putting BNSF trains on the KCS/Tex-Mex to Laredo would relieve alot of congestion in Texas (not in Houston, though). An interesting scenario would be CP buying KCS. Both Canadian roads with access to the Gulf of Mexico, and CP connecting directly to Mexico.

    Dwight

    [ 05 February 2001: Message edited by: Dwightman ]
     
  5. Gregg Mahlkov

    Gregg Mahlkov Guest

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    Maxwell, Rob Krebs has given up both the President's and the Chairman of the Board position for The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company. Matt Rose now holds those positions. Krebs remains Chairman of Burlington Northern Santa fe Corp., the parent company, for now, but intends to fully retire this year. Matt Rose is running the show now.

    As far as the future of North American railroading, I wouldn't advise anyone just graduating from college to attempt to make a career of railroading. Unless the investment community and rail management wake up, in 10 years there will be two main line railroads of maybe 20,000 miles each handling only unit coal trains to power plants, which will be a declining industry, and unit trains of double stacks between the biggest ports. Employment will decline to less than 25,000.

    There will also be a passenger railroad or transit "industry" run as government agencies without regard to efficiency or profit.

    On the other hand, if everyone gets smart, the freight railroads will once again "spin off" parts of the major railroads, recognizing that the current megarailroads are too unwieldy to deal with customerts effectively and especially too large to provide the scheduled service once commonplace when there were 110 Class I's and still demanded by the vast majority of the shippers. :mad:
     
  6. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    I think those propounding mergers do it for two reasons: one, it is a fad; two, they feel the larger empire will be economically sound. I think what CN and CP are doing is a look into the future.

    The way I see it, the issue is access to tracks - rather than track ownership - that is really important. CP and CN have finally clued into this after a century of heavy competition. Out west in British Columbia, there is now directional running (one way on CN track, the other way on CP track), which has enhanced performance, and at least in CN's case, brought about the closure of some sidings. There has been news releases that CP and CN will be doing something like this in the East as well.

    I think the railway top dogs have confused empire ownership with track access. Many rail lines could come to some agreement about directional running between the two lines. Each would be responsible for their own track.

    Although glaringly obvious to many, the real competition is with trucking not the other guys railroad. CN has announced it has knocked 24 hours off its east/west schedule, thus making it more competitive with trucking schedules. Since they have revised their schedule, business has picked up considerably, not from CP disinfranchised customers, but from industries relying on trucking as their transportation alternative.

    Getting the other guys railroad will turn out to be one of those negligible increases to long term profit. Stealing from the trucking industry is where the action is at; and for this, speed and track access is more important than being King of the Castle.
     
  7. rhensley_anderson

    rhensley_anderson TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gregg sez...
    >>>>On the other hand, if everyone gets smart, the freight railroads will once again "spin off" parts of the major railroads, recognizing that the current megarailroads are too unwieldy to deal with customerts effectively and especially too large to provide the scheduled service once commonplace when there were 110 Class I's and still demanded by the vast majority of the shippers.
    <<<<

    Well, it would seem that the breakup of NS has begun. They bit off far more than they could chew and they feel that they MUST sell off lines and equipment.

    Don't hold your breath for any more mega mergers anytime soon. UP bordered on diaster with their inability to operate their railroad and deliver on promises to customers and NS has run into the same problem only more so. NS had no idea what they were buying and decimated their Conrail assets (the people). At least UP had some idea what they were getting. They just couldn't handle it. :)


    Roger
     

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