• Staggers Act - A Revisit

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by JohnFromJersey
I'd argue that most of these issues are coming from hedge funds running railroads, not just railroads having a free hand. Plenty of railroads not run by the hedge funds are doing better than those that are. It's just how hedge funds do business, the railroads aren't the only industry they have run into the ground. Regulating railroads specifically, when we should be targeting hedge funds (and Wall Street) as a whole instead, could cause more issues IMO.
  by scratchyX1
Yup, It's the hedge funds, who have a history of running industries into the ground for short term gains, which should should be getting the scrutiny. I've not heard that many complaints about the Class 2 business practices, even from the big boys like GWI, or Watco.
  by JohnFromJersey
I'm sure re-regulating railroads would mean well but I think it would bring on a fiasco in a generation or two - the ICC was well-intentioned and "worked" but quickly choked the life out of railroads as roads and cars started to appear.

Unfortunately no one will go after the Hedge Fund guys since they "donate" to the campaigns of the policitians who do the regulating
  by eolesen
The only way you regulate hedge funds is to not allow railroads to be publicly traded companies... funds are simply another investor.

Good luck changing that...

But that's just a red herring.

BNSF is privately held. No hedge funds. How do you explain their embracing of some PSR principles and policies like HiViz?...

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by scratchyX1
I honestly don't know why BNSF adopted those policies, I'd think they would like to retain decent employees.
It's not like they were hurting for money.
  by Engineer Spike
I agree that BNSF being privately held shouldn't be subject to this. I remember reading about how Uncle Warren said that he wanted his holdings run for the long term, thinking about 100 years from now. Maybe he hast to follow suit to remain competitive?

I'm not a big fan of regulation and for once concur with Mr. Olsen. Having been in the rail industry for the last quarter century, it seems as if they still have the same corporate culture of 170 years ago. The rover barons couldn't control themselves, and the government established the ICC. Then by the 1950s it became too restrictive, and the industry almost went broke by the 1970s. In the last 40 years the railroads have had a free hand in rates and service. Now they have gone back to the robber baron tactics. It's really sad that they could not control themselves, make a decent return, and continue to provide adequate service.

A while back someone made the comment about t he grain producers getting with the union about the problems associated with PSR. There was a comment about how the union must have conned the grain industry to join them. Since then several other industries have jumped onboard.
  by JohnFromJersey
What oversight is needed specigically? Obviously, something needs to be done, but if the government plays too hard of a hand, there will be regulations installed that will become draconian over time as markets and trends change, and we could end up with another 1960's-esque collapse of the industry. Especially if they go into this with no clear objective

IMO the best solution would be to break up the Class I's - the Class II's and Class III's don't seem to be causing many problems, so why do something that could punish them?