Falling coal shipments are a significant economic issue for the freight railroads. What's interesting is that at the same time, the freight rail industry cannot seem to see the opportunity that comes from being a considerably more efficient mode for freight shipment.
There are many people even in the freight rail industry who would like to build on the fundamental efficiency of freight rail, but there's a profound lack of management attention to this.
If the industry wants to expand its mode share in a world of ever increasing environmental concern, it needs a game plan other than than shipping more fossil fuels.
Those options are out there but the industry needs to engage outside of traditional avenues and develop a greater role in a world where sustainable solutions are at a premium.