Short-Haul Intermodal Big Untapped Area for the Railroads

Railway Age:  "Steve Ditmeyer, one of the industry’s visionaries and a frequent contributor to Railway Age articles and conferences, offers this analysis: 'In my humble opinion, short-haul intermodal (250 to 700 miles) represents the only opportunity in the near future for railroads to increase their traffic. And they only need to capture just a small fraction of the total short-haul truck traffic to experience a substantial traffic gain.'"

“'Two things are needed to pull this off. The first is new roll-on, roll-off equipment . . . .  The designs for this equipment already exist, and the carbuilders now find themselves with plenty of excess production capacity.'"

“'The second thing the railroads need is a train control system to enable them to run short-haul intermodal trains on precise schedules. Fortunately, their PTC systems will be coming on line in the next year or so. GPS plus digital communications will provide the continuous real-time information to enable them to execute tightly scheduled operations, should they elect to do so.'"

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