Left: Southbound CSX train meets northbound Amtrak train outside of Ashland, VA. Photo courtesy of Doug Riddell.
VRPI Director and Founder, Dick Beadles, recently published his "Mid-Year 2015 Perspective on U.S. and Virginia Railroads and Rail Services, Freight and Passenger. As Seen from the Crest of One Man's Hill." In it, the former President and CEO of RF&P Railroad looks at the state of freight and passenger rail from the perspective of his sixty years in railroading, and offers his unique insights into how the railroad business has changed and how it might change in the coming years.
"Rail at Mid-Year 2015, Viewed from the Crest of One Man's Hill"
Sixty years ago I made my first day’s pay “on the railroad”. I had worked for three weeks, “learning the road”, without pay, prior to that July 1st call. Earlier, when I had sought employment, the official to whom I applied, seemed unbelieving that I wanted to work in the tough, uncertain, atmosphere of rail operations? So, not only did I not get recruited, nor receive a “signing bonus”, I was actually discouraged by the company’s representative. Most of you know the rest of the story. I persisted and things worked out well for me, but not without the usual detours and temporary setbacks. The truth is that I loved almost every minute of it, and I still have warm feelings about the rail industry, and its people. But as I look back at the how the railroad business – freight and passenger – has changed, and where it stands today, I have to wonder where it might be sixty years from now? In fact, I wonder if it will still be around in 2075? If it is, it certainly won’t look like it did then, nor as it does today. .....