Feasability of buying a short line

A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

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Feasability of buying a short line

Postby SouthernRailway » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:45 am

I'm currently a mid-career lawyer, and as I move towards the second half of my career, I was thinking that it would be neat to buy a short line and operate it once I'm in my 50s and 60s: preferably one with a Class I interchange, a decent freight customer base and perhaps some tourist/excursion opportunities.

Are there any resources or personal experiences that people have and could share, particularly about the profitability of these types of short lines, and typical investment methods? (I know the legal side of buying a business; I'm just unfamiliar with standard practices in this industry).

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Re: Feasability of buying a short line

Postby kevin.brackney » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:48 pm

These are just my thoughts coming from one who has worked for several shortlines in the transportation department: The 50's and 60's of your life might not be the best time to begin getting into shorltine railroading. Personally, at that time in my life, I'm looking forward to LESS stress. "Neat," keen, or swell, would not be any words that would come to my mind; challenging (to say the least), frustrating, overwhelming, and at times infuriating would, however. You have found an excellent way to ruin a perfectly good hobby. Unless of course, you are going to take the ostrich approach: Let others manage the property, bury your head in the sand, and hope everything turns out okay at the end of the day.
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