• Ownership and operations, various cities, various roads.

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by DutchRailnut
don't forget in other countries , the railroads are mostly owned by government and they can allow access at will.
in USA most railroads are private owned, and no provision exist to allow open access other than for Amtrak.
  by dowlingm
in Europe, access is partly mandated, and the Commission keeps pushing for more of it: Railway Gazette
No chance of that sort of Commie stuff with the current Congress, of course...
  by DutchRailnut
yes but in US railroads are privately owned, you can not have government mandate open access on property not owned by Government.
maybe Russia but we kind of frown on communism.
  by electricron
It's not as exclusive as you suggest it is. Contrail, owned by the Federal government, owned several thousand miles of rail corridors. State governments own hundreds of miles of rail corridors. On rail corridors owned by government, government can dictate what occurs on it.

Oklahoma, within the last decade, sold a railroad corridor between Oklahoma City and Tulsa to a private railroad, contained within the sale contract was allowing passenger rail operations in the future by just about anyone. Oklahoma bought the rail corridor for a song when an existing freight railroad company abandoned it. On rail corridors once owned by government, government can dictate what occurs on it in the future.

North Carolina encourage the building of the NCRR at the very beginning, instead of providing land grants it bought stock. A hundred years later, the private railroad company went bankrupt, and the state took up its option to buy the rest of the shares at a song, and now completely owns it. There are many ways for government to own a railroad corridor.

Illinois stepped in when one private railroad company bought out another, during the sale court processes to prevent monopolies, had the new larger railroad company agree to higher speeds passenger trains on a corridor Amtrak was already using. So, even without corridor ownership, Federal and State governments can open up passenger train access to rail corridors, under the right circumstances.

Local transit agencies have bought railroad corridors form willing railroad companies too. Whereas I don't believe any government bought a railroad corridor from an unwilling railroad company, there are opportunities to do so when previous unwilling companies become willing.

Railroad company mergers and bankruptcies have occurred since the first decade of their existence. Railroads companies have been abandoning rail corridors as well. Opportunities do arise more often than many of us think.
  by matthewsaggie
The NCRR did NOT go bankrupt. The state bought the remaining private shareholders out at a premium over its previous trades on the NASDAQ. Was trading at about $36 prior to the shareholders voting to buy the rest out at $46+ a share. I owned 100 shares and voted against the buyout, but the state holding a majority of the shares already, won out. A number of institutions owned shares and also voted to sell.
  by electricron
Thanks of the correction, but NCDOT eventually bought a private freight railroad company, which was the point I wanted to make.
Not every bit of intercity rail in America is owned privately, there are a few corridors owned by public entities.
Never-the-less, I generally agree with the original poster that the freight railroad companies generally will only allow Amtrak to operate passenger trains on the tracks they own. I just wanted to point out that not all tracks are owned privately.. ;)
  by matthewsaggie
Most folks don't know that the NS "Rathole" is actually owned by the City of Cincinnati and leased for 999 years.