railyard, train yard; trainsUnraveling the knot restricting rail network fluidity cannot be achieved through Surface Transportation Board (STB) intimidation of rail CEOs, or by the agency’s issuance of an emergency service order instructing one railroad to operate over the tracks of another, or by merging the nation’s seven major rail systems into a North American duopoly.

None would cause to appear, in sufficiently short order, the required additional locomotives and track capacity essential to curing the problem.

Read the complete story at Railway Age.

Creative vision in Washington, D.C., is not quite an oxymoron, but seemingly only extraordinary external events cause it to materialize.

Perhaps there was prediction of a month of Sundays when Congress authorized land grants for a transcontinental railroad; expectation of hell freezing over when lawmakers approved construction of the Interstate Highway System; and sightings of flying pigs when the House of Representatives combined aviation, highway, and railroad funding authorization and oversight into a single Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

It may require the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series before the entire Congress ceases to treat passenger transportation project-authorization and funding as if aviation, highways, and trains were mutually exclusive even though travelers frequently combine all three in their travel plans.

Read the complete column at Railway Age.