Sunday, November 8, 2009

Setting the Table for a Buffet

Perhaps a knowledgeable and keen businessman such as Warren Buffet is the key to restoring the railroads to prominence in this country. It would be interesting to see if such a large buy in BNSF is going to give others a small push to start thinking about passenger rail as a buy situation as well. One of the things that I think he will benefit from are the billions of dollars that will go into rail lines between cities for high speed rail. Because the government is pushing harder for HSR than anything else, and so far it's a popular program, he knows that if he plays correctly within the confines of the current government parameters, the sky is the limit. Who knows, perhaps he'll be on track to follow in Vanderbilt's footsteps.


Matt Fisher said...

Yes. A man like Warren Buffett would help very much in this.

Scott said...

I really believe he made a great business move. He knows that America is going to have to invest in rail. Resource scarcity will see to this.

This is going to benefit him in a number of ways:

-First, as we push towards more sustainable transit we will be spending money on infrastructure that BNSF owns and will share in the benefit. Straightening, sidings, double, triple and quad tracking many lines.

- As petroleum costs rise, electrification will only become a more attractive option and will probably be a public/private initiative. Either way Buffet wins.

- Thirdly it makes him look good. Environmental decision (pretty sure he has already mentioned this in his press release). It adds extra attention to an issue that has been neglected, but is coming around in public consciousness.

Benefits to the public (transit/HSR):

- Buffet is a big name. He lends credibility to things he is involved in.

- He is pragmatic and can see the benefit of working with the gov. even if the payoff isn't for 10 years down the road.