Best business ally of the U S freight railroads? Maybe it is the U.S. Congresd

Once we in the USA had a world class interstate and primary national roadway system. Now we as citizen stakeholders  can’t seem to get even basic financing from the Congress to keep it maintained.

Deferred maintenance of highway bridges and road pavement — once a trait of the northeast US railroads like Penn Central — are now a hallmark of the national gas tax financed road system.

Plenty of funding is politically for the new “Mexico border fence” infrastructure. But zero for expanding the highway system that actually handles close to 80% of the nation’s interstate freight by value, and about 50% of the ton-miles.

// Maybe it is time to send most of Congress back to school for a course in Economics 101.  As stakeholders in the outcome, we need 51% of the House and about 60% of the Senate to take & pass the economics course.

In the meantime, the only significant national capacity addition to the US freight network is from the private rail freight companies and some pipeline companies. And a few new toll road concessions.

Once investing in transport infrastructure was at about a 3% to 4% annual clip. We now have fallen in this past decade to probably about 1% to 1.5% rate. To maintain our overall world class transport freight efficiency, those anemic investment rates “are not going to get the job done.”

And that is the way things look in mid year 2015. Do you disagree?

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