by David Benton
David Benton wrote:Perhaps they missed there chance when Conrail was created , one imagines how that would have worked if those lines were made open access ???Since unless you convert the entire U.S. (North American?) system to open access owned by a neutral third party, basically Conrail did give "open access" to the Northeast and Midwest via their operations. In other words, an "open access" Conrail would not have changed the basic economics of gateways for the southern and western carriers who terminated/received traffic in Conrail territory and crossed the threshold, so to speak, from their system to a seperate entity. The only difference was that Conrail was a for-profit entity (and provided the operations).
Let's also not forget the complexity of operating an open access system....look how NS and CSX dealt with the "open access" in NY/NJ, South Jersey and Detroit at the Conrail split...they established a shared entity which is responsible for operating these shared assets and not operating their own trains/crews (except delivering/originating road trains) in "parallel" over the shared infrastructure. There's a reason the US railroads view open access as a worst-case scenario in any discussion of tightening regulation besides their own narrow self interests. IMHO, it seems to me that open access probably looks a lot better on paper than it would in the real operating and railroad economics world.