I don't think anyone wants to go back to the "bad old days", yet, without the yoke of passenger transportation around their necks, certainly, instances such as this can be avoided somehow? Any thoughts as to how this might work?
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/ ... g-monopoly
Tens of thousands of American businesses depend on the freight railroads for reliable and reasonably priced transportation. In 1980, when the freight railroads were struggling, Congress deregulated them where they operate in competitive markets and allowed them to retain exemptions from antitrust laws. Since then the industry has consolidated into a monopoly, with just four major railroads controlling more than 90 percent of freight traffic effectively eliminating competition for all but the most fortunate rail dependent shippers.
The Weaver Popcorn Company in Indiana is one of the world's largest popcorn producers and relies on railroads to transport goods for shipment globally. Lacking local rail access, Weaver exports 360 million pounds less popcorn per year, giving overseas competitors a large advantage. They have sent several requests to their primary railroad, Norfolk Southern, to be allowed to invest over $1 million of their own money to create a critical rail upgrade to access Norfolk Southern to the nation's ports, but have yet to even receive a response.