The Resurgence of the Railroad

The Resurgence of the Railroad

There’s something very pleasant— almost comforting— about the sound of a freight train’s horn in the distance. It’s the sound of commerce. It’s the sound of America, which was largely built on the railroad. Today, it’s also the sound of revival— revival of a U.S. mode of freight transportation that fell out of favor after World War II.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]

According to a March 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, “North America’s major freight railroads are in the midst of a building boom … this year pouring $14 billion into rail yards, refueling stations, (and) additional track.” A railroad advertising section in the same newspaper reported this: “Between 2000 and 2009, the average U.S. manufacturer spent roughly 3 percent of revenue on capital expenditures— while freight railroads spent five times more at 17 percent.”

But we don’t need The Wall Street Journal to tell us about the resurgence of rail. We have first-hand knowledge of that. One example is the Winter Haven Integrated Logistics Center (ILC), a major rail-truck intermodal distribution hub that Jacksonville-based CSX Transportation is constructing through one of its affiliates. In its first decade of operation, the terminal very well could create up to 8,500 jobs and spark more than $10 billion in economic development.

Another example is the number of requests that Adams Cold Storage has received from customers and railroad companies, including heavy hitters like CSX and Union Pacific, to make use of rail— and the economies it affords— in our warehousing and distribution operation. We’re in an excellent position to do just that, with tracks on the north side of our property and plans to reactivate the railroad access as part of our major warehouse expansion project (announced in last month’s column).

Next month, we’ll delve more into the benefits of moving freight by rail, the technologies that are helping to drive the rail resurgence, and how we’ll get food products from warehousing to rail cars and vice versa without breaking the cold chain.

CREDITS

column by BEN ADAMS, JR.

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