Would you invest or a pension manager invest in a brand new US trans-con railroad in 2017?

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Would you invest or a pension manager invest in a brand new US trans-con railroad in 2017?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 1:25 PM

Could a new transcon railroad be investment grade for  Stocks Investors and make the grade for Moodys bonds. I was thinking that NS and CSX are too comfortible and dont care about getting new buisness to the rails let alone treat there existing customers right. I believe that there is enough existing ROW out there to create a transcon by reusing the Erie-Laccawanna/Lehigh Valley Power Line and Freeway median strips on the east coast and the Milwaukee road and Rock Island to cobble together a railroad. The railroad main line would be Dual Gauge to handle wider bulk traffic and  a 3 track main line. Intermodal stations would be liberaly distributed and automated so a whole train can be loaded in minutes without having to exchange a cut of cars. I dont expect much online traffic but more of a short and long haul intermodal option. Intermodal trains will also be able to take tractors and trailers with drivers. Where possible the railroad will have a parallel express smart toll road for trucks and buses where trucks and buses can drive themselves. The railroad will be electrified and that we we paid for by transmission fees on the railroad right of way from the grid. The railroad will generate its own power from Solar and Wind Farms along the right of way in addition from ethonal and natural gas exchanges for transport credits. What we are proposing is a much narrower version of whats depicted below. And yes I am aware of NIMBYS with guns. Thats why I want to use exsiting rows when possible.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:36 AM

This is much too speculative to consider for long-term investment.  It sounds like an updated version of an interurban railway promotion from over a century ago.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by PNWRMNM on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:54 AM

No. See my review of Great Basin around Chicago on that thread for a bit of economic reasoning.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 9:01 AM

No, but there is a company out there that has $151 to invest. They might go for it if they can swing the financing.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 9:29 AM

A pension manager has a fiduciary duty greater than that of an ordinary investment manager, and I think such an individual would view this investment as a sure way to guarantee he has a future date to see a judge!

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 9:39 AM

Dakguy201

A pension manager has a fiduciary duty greater than that of an ordinary investment manager, and I think such an individual would view this investment as a sure way to guarantee he has a future date to see a judge!

 

Once he got the tar and feathers cleaned off.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 10:58 AM

I would say No as well because of the risk you would need a real good sales job with the business plan and even then folks would take a wait and see approach on financial performance because there is no other new railroad to compare it against.

Also, once upon a time I used to think that building market share is really easy.   It's not and is usually a long slog that takes money and lots of time invested in sales to produce each percentage point increase in market share.   People are finicky where they spend their money and it takes a lot to persuade someone to give up a historical client relationship for a brand new one.

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 12:21 PM

(1) Why? - All the good routes are taken and what's left is in the boondocks with no traffic base to support it. (You could always try to put the MILW Pacific Extension back with predictable results)

(2) The Trans Texas (Arthur Stillwell rolled over in his grave somewhere) and Colorado Front Range bypass (aka "Super Slab" - Wigglesworth & Evans rolled over in their graves) are pie in the sky trial balloons floated by transportation* engineers, not railroaders.

(3) Even the credible, but shorter DM&E private effort collapsed in the end.(and the coal slump would have killed it)

 

(*) Highway engineers, poorly disguised. Wannabe railroaders.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by runnerdude48 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:50 AM

If my investment advisor suggested that I invest in something like what is proposed here, believe me, he would have one less client to deal with.

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Posted by Ulrich on Saturday, September 09, 2017 11:50 PM

Building a transcontinental railway with little more than pick and shovel and some prehistoric steam shovels  was something investors considered seriously and acted on  in the 1850s and 1860s, culminating in the Union Pacific which was completed in 1869. Today.. well.. you know building a railroad across the country would cost billions and billions..think of all the regulations.. the insurance.. the legal hurdles.. OMG,  it just couldn't be done. 

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Posted by beaulieu on Sunday, September 10, 2017 12:59 AM

Besides just building a single Transcontinental line from Newark, NJ to Los Angeles, CA would not be enough, you would also have to build to most of the places that the other Class I railroads go to compete. Look at the opposition that the Tongue River RR has faced 25+ years across Range land in Montana and Wyoming and not a shovelful of earth moved yet.

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Posted by JoeBlow on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:37 PM

No. The competition (aka: The big four railroads) could crush this project by improving their services by eliminating bottle necks and working more closely together. For example, lengthening passing tracks, increasing existing intermodal ramp throughput and coordinating traffic systems more closely could kill any chance of profitability before the first train runs. Look at how much more our existing railroads do today. Imagine what they would do if they saw this coming down the pike. 

Also, look at the Alameda Corridor bonds. The ACTA (Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority) had to borrow money to pay interest on their bonds.

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Posted by Falcon48 on Sunday, September 17, 2017 9:37 PM

Aside from all of the other reasons mentioned in the prior posts, why on earth would anyone in their right minds think this is a viable business prospect?  What would another transcontinental railroad do that the existing railroad network can't do that would justify (and generate a return on) the enormous capital investment required?   It's far easier (and infinitely less expensive) to add capacity to existing routes that to build an entirely new line.  And what good would a single transcon rail line be in this day and age that isn't a part of a larger rail network?  This would be a little like investing in the Titanic after it had struck the iceberg. 

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, September 17, 2017 9:50 PM

JoeBlow
The competition (aka: The big four railroads) could crush this project by improving their services by eliminating bottle necks and working more closely together.

I suppose one could argue that pushing the concept forward would force the big 4 (or big 7, if you wish) to do exactly that, which would likely spell improvement for all...

LarryWhistling
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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:20 PM

Intermodal would eliminate the need for a branch line network. Short Lines like Gennese and Wyoming would be contracted to do local work.

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