Administration Pushes for Rail Investment as Regulatory Concerns Mount

Oct 18, 2010, 16:18 ET from The Journal of Commerce

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Railroads are taking center stage in the Obama administration's vision for the U.S. transportation network of the future. To get there, however, will require billions of dollars in investment, the centerpiece of which will be high-speed rail networks connecting more cities. With most of the nation's passenger network running over tracks owned by freight railroads, the ambitious vision of complementary, high-performing rail systems for passengers and freight is proving a tough sell — inside Washington, at the state and city level and with freight railroad companies themselves.

(Photo: )

(Photo: )

The debate is just one of several highly visible and controversial issues — from possible re-regulation and stimulus funding to a looming case over shipper charges of railroad pricing collusion — that could mark the biggest change to the rail industry since it was deregulated 30 years ago.

The confluence of events comes amid a business surge that has seen intermodal rail traffic jump 15 percent this year, which points to the strongest peak rail freight season since before the economic collapse — and maybe longer. With the Federal Railroad Administration expecting rail freight volume to increase 2.8 billion tons by 2035 and U.S. population growing by 70 million, Washington is feeling the pressure to invest in the railroads of the future now. But in its push to restructure rail freight shipping, the nation's political engine is still trying to figure out what that structure should be.  

In this week's Cover Story, The Journal of Commerce analyzes all sides of the ambitious rail strategy, the outcome of which could reshape networks and supply chains across the country.

To view daily news visit For all media enquires, including article reprints, please contact Editorial Director Paul Page.

Since 1827, The Journal of Commerce has been the most trusted source of intelligence for international logistics executives to help them plan global supply chains and better manage day-to-day transportation of goods and commodities in the United States and internationally.

To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here ( JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10% discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered.  

About UBM Global Trade - UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS Global Intelligence Solutions and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of United Business Media Limited, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).

SOURCE The Journal of Commerce