• Transcontinental Railroad Within 5 Years? Warren Buffett?

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by s4ny
 
The dream of a US transcontinental railroad has never been realized. Jay Gould was on the board of DL&W and controlled the Wabash, Union Pacific, MOPAC, and his often partner CP Huntington controlled the Southern Pacific. He got sick and died before he could put it all in place.

The Van Sweringen brothers also got close with Nickel Plate, C&O, BR&P, and also large ownership of the MOPAC. That got them from the Atlantic Ocean to El Paso TX and Pueblo CO. The Depression thwarted their plans.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway already owns Burlington Northern. Berkshire has $150,000,000 in cash. That is a bit more than the entire combined market value of CSX and Norfolk Southern. He loves the rail business and certainly sees it has a bright future.

If Berkshire were to strike, which of the two eastern roads would make more sense? Would he have trouble with antitrust or would he sell it as an answer to the transportation snarl? Would Union Pacific quickly make a move of its own?

This is not intended as investment advice. If you had invested hoping for a transcontinental railroad in 1860, you would likely have been wiped out by the panics of 1873, 1893, 1907, gone down with the Vans in the depression, or the Penn Central in 1970.