MCL1981 wrote:Not every decision about everything in this country revolves around you and your train.
Mr. MCL, possibly I am guilty of stirring up something where nothing was intended, but I like to think we gather at this site to promote the industry to which we all have our "attachments" - be they hobbyist, investor, shipper, traveler, or employee. But I hold that to promote the building of a pipeline to transport petroleum products displacing rail transport is contrary to railroad interests. So have other initiatives proposed by the Administration, such as withdrawing from several trade agreements and the imposition of tariffs on imported goods.
Coming to mind are thoughts on how each of the seven Class I roads will be adversely affect by Administration proposals one week into office. Let's just go "round the room":
BNSF - Warren cast his chips with another candidate, and the incumbent is going to "make him pay". Excepting the short term benefit from handling pipe and construction equipment, running the two pipelines - XL and Dakota Access - through the Bakken region will take direct aim at BNSF's "king of the hill" standing handling petroleum products. BNSF also serves the Powder River coal reserves and handles such both East and West. Withdrawal from existing trade agreements can only hurt traffic at major West Coast and Gulf ports served by BNSF.
CSX - Chessie's fur will be badly ruffled as well. Aside from handling oil and coal in interchange, it is evident already that its on-line coal Appalachian traffic is being "mauled". While, I have been skeptical about the wisdom of the East Coast maritime ports expecting the "bonanza" of Neo-PANAMAX traffic (I'll be in Miami next week; hope to see a few less cranes pointing skyward), the trade initiatives will only make such "doubled in Spades" (bridge players around here; note I avoided "doubled in NT").
GT (CN USA lines) - Much the same as outlined for KCS, except that "neighbor to the North does not appear to be in the X-hair as that to the South.
KCS - Here is the road that is going to be "clobbered" (merger, anyone?); their entire business plan has been built around increased trade between the US and Mexico. Think of all the high-rated goods (autos, appliances) as well as agriculture that stand to be affected under the trade "newthink". There goes any hope of developing Lazaro Cardenas into a world class West Coast port offering lower wage costs to maritime shippers - and to KCS(M) as the only road serving such.
NS - "ditto" CSX
SOO - (CP USA lines) They are just behind BNSF in being "whacked" by XL and Dakota Access pipeline initiatives. Also less agriculture imported from Canada.
UP - While not as vested in the handling of oil as in BNSF and CP, they too made investments in the Mexican rail system. UP is equally, if not more, vested in Powder River coal, and, while not having the "high speed" (as freight goes) Transcon, they do handle much traffic from the West Coast ports. They are more vested in the Gulf ports than BNSF.
I guess I should close with the necessary disclaimer: author holds long position UNP