In a guest column for the Colorado Springs Gazette, Raymond J. Keating, Chief Economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, discusses why the deregulation of railroads has had such a positive effect on Colorado and the U.S.
“After decades in decline, the U.S. railroad industry was revitalized when Congress partially deregulated freight railroads in terms of setting prices for services and setting rail rates,” he said, “making decisions regarding what routes to use, and establishing shipper contracts.”
Not only does America’s freight railroads employ nearly 3,000 Coloradans, the benefit of freight rail infrastructure has been seen in incredible improvements in industry efficiency and productivity, top-of-the-line maintenance and safety, profitability, market share, and lower prices and enhanced services for customers. And it’s not just the large railroads that are making waves.
According to American Short Line and Railroad Association, “Operating 47,500 route miles, or 29% of freight rail in the U.S., … small business railroad entities play a vital role in the hub-and-spoke transportation network, providing the connection between farmers, manufacturers and other industries, and ultimately, the consumer.”