Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr QB, I remain astounded how Topper thinks he can compete for Boston area Intermodal traffic, and maybe a Shipper's Routing or two into Maine, with his FRA Class 1 track and height restricted Hoosac Tunnel (I'll take Mr. Newpy's word that cave-ins are presently under control).
Mr. Norman, Topper (NS) has despite handicap and will continue to compete for intermodal via trackage rights instead of via a hurdle-too-high-to-clear Hoosac Tunnel, understanding that it's within the realm of a deregulated marketplace where it's now much more about networks and, for intermodal, stack capability than shipper routing; where New England longer length-of-haul and greater traffic imbalance rail advantage offers some cover for disadvantages and possible opportunity while serving a large consuming population but no likely international container play; and, for which New England is but one, albeit relatively important, market within larger negotiated, differentially-priced, and privately-contracted relationships amongst the players on today's deregulated competitive playing field.
It's the reason Topper hasn't bolted but instead is happy with potentially more oats within his paddock.
How railroads derive value in today's deregulated environment also goes to how Chessie (CSX) with PSR-padded paws may get to the ultimate value they're seeking across a portfolio of possibility "B&M, MEC, BAR/CP-M" (PAR, PAS, MNR/EMRY-NBSR); why unit volume or lading value does not necessarily, in and of itself, translate to higher value within a railroad's business and why garbage has to be considered against containerized internationally-traded high-value goods when appraising what might be "lucrative"; how serving a densely populated area stacks up against serving products of the forest and maritime markets; how high or low to the ground in value the lowest-hanging fruits might yield; and, how each relevant Class 1 might have considered the sale and possibly now views their potential competing and/or cooperating strategic prospects in its light.
It'll be interesting to see how things play out across the entire acquisition over the next couple of decades.