Sunday, February 7

Bloglink: Railroads Fight Back

The Journal of Commerce has a really good article about the state of the railroad industry.

Union Pacific Railroad (MBI Railroad Color History)The head of Union Pacific won’t support the Rockefeller competition bill, providing rough track ahead

Top railroad executives are throwing down the gauntlet, serving notice to Congress and freight shippers they will push back hard against efforts to tighten rail regulations.

James R. Young, chairman, president and CEO of the largest rail carrier, Union Pacific Railroad, said flatly his team opposes the version of a rail regulatory bill that cleared the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee just before Christmas.

Young told Wall Street analysts on Jan. 21 that although UP officials worked with the panel ahead of time on legislative language and with its chairman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., “without additional changes, we cannot support the bill.”

Young said UP and other carriers are still negotiating with congressional staff to make changes, but said the bill threatens rail earnings at a time when national policy should provide incentives for railroads to haul more freight. “I hope common sense prevails,” he said