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The State of the Rail Industry

On January 8, 1790, George Washington delivered the first annual message as president to a joint session of Congress. Over 233 years later, President Joe Biden declared, “I have come here to fulfill my constitutional duty to report on the state of the union. And here is my report.” The State of the Union is a concern for all Americans, indeed for the entire world. And the State of the Railroad Industry is a concern for all Americans as well.

What is the current State of the Railroads, and why is this important?

Let’s start with a few facts.

• A rail strike threatened to shut down the rail industry in 2022.

• On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern (NS) train with 150 railcars derailed near East

Palestine, OH, with roughly three dozen cars derailed.

• Railcar supply is still constrained.

• The CP/KCS merger closed.

• Railroads continue to be the most environmentally friendly means of transport.

• Railroads are one the most capital-intensive industries and invest significantly back into

their own infrastructure. Overregulation can stymie this reinvestment and must be


A detailed account of the state of the industry is available in my article in the April 2023 issue of Recycling Today. READ>>

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. To share those, to discuss how to address the issues raised, and to discover ways to act both proactively and reactively to the changing industry please contact me at 330-222-8130 or

Follow us on LinkedIn>>.

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