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Promoting and supporting initiatives that educate, expand,
and enrich the commercial real estate community.
Ted Anspacher, SIOR
David Hurst, SIOR, AACT, FRI,
By Steve Bergsman
Can it Work for You?
George McCutchen, SIOR,
With the economy finally improving after almost
four years of recession, North America’s great
rail companies are planning for the future.
U.S. freight lines will spend a record $12
billion on track repairs, engine purchases, and
other capital investments this year, reports the
Association of American Railroads. That would
be 12 percent more than the $10.7 billion the
industry spent on capital projects in 2010, adds
the Wall Street Journal, which also noted the
railroads would hire 10,000 workers this year,
though many would fill existing positions.
Demand for rail is expected to rise, especially
given the state of the economy, thus rail lines are
bulking up again. With the price of gasoline on
the rise, shipping goods by truck turns expensive
– and rail looks a lot more attractive from a cost
“Companies are interested in rail mostly
because they are afraid of what gas prices are
doing,” observes George McCutchen, SIOR,
CCIM, a real estate services advisor with Grubb
& Ellis/Wilson Kibler in Columbia, South
The price of gas in California is already
over $4 a gallon, says Ted Anspacher, SIOR,
founder and principal in Anspacher Commercial
Real Estate Services in San Rafael, California.
“That obviously is going to have an impact on
logistics, the cost of getting everything the fam-
ily buys from source locations such as China to
stores in your neighborhood. Rail is the obvious
Hagood Morrison, SIOR,
Short Attention for Short Lines
The problem with the big American rail companies, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union
Pacific, Norfolk Southern and CSX, as well
as our neighboring northern rail companies,
Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, is that
they don’t play well with smaller companies. If
you run a paper plant or retail chain and you want
to ship commodities or hundreds of thousands
Michael Piscoran, SIOR