Thursday, February 25, 2010

More News About Railroads

Close on the heels of a bold move by billionaire Warren Buffet to acquire the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, comes the report that fellow billionaire Carl Icahn will also take a position in the re-emerging field of rail transportation. Icahn has merged his American Railcar Industries, Inc. with U.S. Railcar LLC with the intent of bringing back an American passenger train manufacturing industry.

The best part of this news is that Icahn is not just thinking about the emphasis on High Speed Rail set by the Obama administration but also the continuing surge in regional and commuter rail by communities around the country. This new joint venture will employ the existing American Railcar plant in Marmaduke, Arkansas to build medium speed, not high speed, passenger cars along with their current product, tank cars. It is also possible that the U.S Railcar Co. arm may build a facility near the Port Columbus International Airport outside Columbus, Ohio., the basic midpoint of the Cleveland to Cincinnati high speed route being pursued by the State of Ohio.

We Kentuckians should not let our chance to join the new rail revolution pass us by. Maybe when R. J. Corman get done refurbishing his railroad we can use his expertise to build our own regional rail connections.

1 comment:

PJWB said...

We need a return of something akin to the Interurban that connected central Kentucky's communities. Imagine if Nicholasville Road were accompanied by a light rail option that had a few stops between Nicholasville and Lexington (around MOW, Fayette Mall, Southland Drive area, UK and downtown).

Nice blog, streetsweeper.