One of the biggest issues that shippers have with rail is the transit times which when dealing with perishables that have limited shelf life can literally eat into a company's bottom line. My employer, whom I cannot name is a worldwide conglomerate that does use rail where they can but, on the other hand doesn't use it more due to this shortcoming.
The rail industry has made some inroads to address this problem but, not consistently across the nation's network. I literally just had a meeting with upper management about one of our locations where rail would be beneficial simply because of the location's proximity to available rail power, and local partners but, this is an exception.
What doesn't help this is the larger railroads continually trying to eliminate crew positions while pushing the remaining people to put in even more hours to make their bottom line better for shareholders.
It would be great if the major railroads paused long enough to realize that their employees and customers make the money for them and, not the shareholders. This is why short lines succeed where they no longer can.
RAILROADS: AMERICA'S MOST IMPORTANT TOOL FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION. REMIND YOUR POLITICIANS HOW YOU WANT YOUR TAX DOLLARS SPENT.