Re: Why do UP???? Interesting arguments... But there used to be a lot more short distance tofc with regulation and competition than today...
Date: 08-07-2022 - 15:51
Why do NS,CSX,UP,BNSF,CN keep running short haul intermodal if it isn't profitable?
Author: & adding new lanes?
Date: 08-07-2022 - 14:34
Several routes have been running for years. More routes keep getting added. Why are PSR class I's doing that if they aren't profitable?
Profitble in a truly competitive ideal free market Adam Smith "capitalism" where competiton leads to marginal cost pricing? Or profitable based on expected rate of return on an oligopolistic monopolistic rail transport market in today's "capitalism"?
How many of these containers are being routed to "collecting points", for switching to final destinations bound trains? How many of those containers were bound for customers at the terminal or in the final delivery market of that short haul "train" corridor? Many turns operate to intermediate transfer points, and the data continue to show that movement of actual cofc and tofc end to end markets are tiny, because of fixed loading costs and redistribution times.
CSX has NJ-Syracuse, Charleston-Atl, Savannah-Atl, Jax-Atl for years. CSX has since added NJ-Montreal, Savannah-Chatsworth,GA, Charleston-Dillon.
NS same for Atl for decades. Charleston-Greer, Norfolk-Greensboro added, while Savannah-Gainesville,Ga and Mobile-Birmingham will start once construction is finished.
UP has run Houston port to Dallas for years. BNSF now does same for Houston to Fort Worth.
CN runs too many short lanes to mention. Most ramps offer service to most CN ramps, both short and long. Most prolific intermodal lane options of all the class ones.
Yes, there are many trains that haul containers in these corridors, not necessarily to those close in destinations. CN is a different case, particularly in Canada, and in the US, in being in more competitive markets, and under a different regulatory environment, in Canada, and in more cost competitve shorter distance (usually multiple linked on-line hubs), requiring no additonal resources. But once again data on cofc and tofc volumes from ports to final distribution centers, and from average haul lengths, suggests this is a tiny share of the traffic even where those more favorable conditions.
This breakeven distance issue applies especially to western rail tofc/cofc markets, where there is no real market for rail tofc/cofc, due to cost and time, of less than 1500 miles
I'm old enough to remember watching SP loading lots of short distance tofc being loaded out of the SP Shops, to places as close as Phoenix (had a ramp), to the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle, which no longer are considered rail competive markets by UP. Part of that, however, is the ability to extort the market for only the most profitable traffic, because UP has a monoploy on those markets.
Bob2 knows that most of the numbers he's demanding are proprietary and not available to the public.
Bob2, as a published peer reviewed transportation economist, knows that this is false. And there are numerous private research reports, publicly collected data by ports and public agencies, industry publications, and academic resources for this kind of data...
But again, why are PSR RR's keeping and expanding into short haul intermodal if it isn't profitable?
LMAO... Where is UP doing this? Salt Lake? As the Zen master say's... We'll see?
Maybe states or ports are subsidizing the lanes. The argument would be to keep trucks off the highways. Reduce crowding and road maintenance.
So you are apparently are okay with wasting your tax dollars subsidizing a costly solution that doesn't seem very effective or cost effective.
I have this sames problem with some of the do-gooder enviros who tend to support an lot of new urbanist theory with similar problems of not actually working at saving the planet and being very costly, like the six million dollar bikeway my City is wasting my tax dollars on, even though I'm quite pro bike.
But isn't that what Bob2 is arguing for? Government assistance to high speed rail because reduced car traffic LA-LV will reduce delays for trucks?
That is because the "cost-benefit" ratio calculation, I learned taking the harder classes, for a privately financed "profit making" making passenger rail firm to remove those people from cars is much much better, and much more effective, when compared to spending the same dollar to remove trucks by short distance subsidies.
I bet it would be cheaper for the ports of LA & LB or CA to subsidize rail intermodal shuttles from San Berdo and the ports to LV. That doesn't help passenger trains, but would free up lane space on I-15 for people to more easily drive when and where they want.
I would be careful about making bets when you know very little about how to calculate the odds. What is the PCE (paassenger car equivalent) of a truck on a freeway under optimal flow rates? And, is it speed, grade, or geometrically variable? Such a subsidized variation in truck demand would be small, and thus the lane space differential would be negligible.
I'm in favor of Brightline West and some government assistance to build and operate if necessary.
So do I. I first took a look at the project back in the early 2000's, about five years after attending my first CAHSRA planning meeting, and I have always been impressed with the due dligence and professionalism of the Brightline west team, especially compared to the disastrously politically self serving and utterly incompetent transportation planning I was witnessing the CAHSRA from the very beginning.
I also support the use of "public private" partnerships, to work jointly to finance and build mutually beneficial infrastrucure investments, where it improves public benefit in a cost effective way. The higher performing, but higher cost, Orlando to Tampa extension which could then be shared by Brightline and the Commuter agencies is a perfect example of a "win-win" public private partnership with positive cost benefit for the public investment compared to adding equivalent freeway "seat mile" capacity.