Corporate Charters and Railroads:
The "Public-Be-Damned" Attitude of Virginia's Two Class One Freight Railroads
I believe that the rail mode of transportation, in all of its forms, is woefully unrepresented in public policy, at all levels of government, to the detriment of the interests of Americans. We have left entirely too much discretion and responsibility to the privately-owned freight railroads, which have, under those circumstances, focused almost entirely upon shareholder and executive interests. The public interest is not effectively represented. We have been shortchanged in the process.
The 18-Wheeler Pandemic: Examples from Virginia
What could be done, if there were the political will to do it, is to stop subsidizing the truck movement option -- a well-documented fact -- which might tip the economic balance slightly in the direction of conventional rail IM. This might best be accomplished by imposing a "weight-distance" tax on all trucks and autos on 81, and ultimately on all Virginia highways.
Virginia's 21st Century Rail Development Program:
A Winning Strategy or Not?
From the Introduction by Mark Perreault:Beadles worries that current trends in the freight rail industry do not bode well for increasing rail’s role in moving freight or passengers in Virginia. Almost all main line railroads in Virginia are owned and controlled by two investor-owned private companies, CSX and Norfolk Southern, and almost all passenger trains in Virginia operate over these two lines. These two firms are currently under unusually great pressure from Wall Street to maximize short term returns. This pressure discourages, if not precludes, the investments and service quality that would be necessary to move most truck traffic to the rail mode, and provide more frequent, reliable and higher speed passenger service. In fact, public funds set aside by Virginia for some such investments have not proven attractive to the two large freight railroads to the extent it was hoped.