I guess this is pertinent...
http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey ... rvice.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Moderator: Jeff Smith
Cowford wrote:The question would be more aptly stated as "loose carload" as opposed to unit trains, correct? If so...Yes, sorry, my bad
Cowford wrote:While switching at larger shippers is sometimes farmed out - by the shippers - don't expect what you're suggesting. There are several reasons for that. Among them:If intermodal is so low margin, and loose carload is profitable, why is it that rrs want customers to switch to intermodal?
* It's still profitable business
* Having two different companies share segments of line complicates operations
* The existing T&E employee unions wouldn't allow it
Cowford wrote:Railroads don't want customers to switch to intermodal from carload, per se. Most intermodal growth today is at the expense of truckers, not carload. You can't paint with such a broad brush: Intermodal can be very lucrative, and carload can be a big ol' loser. As an example, think of the small shipper that's served off a busy single-track main. It's inevitable that the job serving the shipper is either going to spend a lot of time waiting for a slot, or they are going to tie up, say, an hour of main track capacity. The latter issue means higher costs for crew, locomotives, car per diem, etc, etc. on affected road trains.OK
ExCon90 wrote:That squares exactly with what Cowford posted; trucks, being mostly faster and cheaper, got a lot of traffic out of boxcars and would have gotten more except for intermodal. In the early days of piggyback a lot of "old heads" complained that piggyback was taking traffic out of boxcars. It wasn't: trucks were taking traffic out of boxcars, and piggyback was holding on to some of it. Those intermodal containers out front are the only way a lot of traffic is going to move by rail.I see