Are freight railroads starting to take passenger trains more seriously?

PenneyVanderbilt

For most of the last half of the 20th century and into the start of the 21st, the apparent prevailing attitude of the large private, primarily freight-carrying railroads towards passenger trains was to treat them as a necessary nuisance and a hindrance to efficient, fluid freight movement. But there are signs that senior management at the Class I’s are starting to take passenger trains more seriously, and look to passenger train operators and the government agencies that sponsor passenger trains as potential partners rather than adversaries.

DeKalb Junction, NY DeKalb Junction, NY

I have heard ample anecdotal evidence of this attitude shift from industry observers with whom I have spoken, and also got a sense of it from two recent speeches by one  Vice President and one Assistant Vice President of two Class I’s — albeit the two that have long been considered more passenger-friendly than the others: BNSF and Norfolk Southern. In…

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