As you may know, our company promotes RAILROADs. We also cover the “supply chain”. Recently I read a story in “Supply Chain Dive” about “How to become the next big logistics hub”.
I thought longingly about the old Lehigh Valley Railroad
Now it is long gone, but all the stories in the article and all pictures of fullfillment centers DID NOT INCLUDE RAILROADS.
Think I found my answer:
A warehouse in Allentown can offer same-day delivery to five cities
City Estimated travel time by Truck
Baltimore 2 hours and 40 minutes
Philadelphia 1 hour and 15 minutes
Pittsburgh 4 hours and 30 minutes
New York City Between 2 and 2.5 hours
Washington 3 hours and 30 minutes
The area served by the companies in the Lehigh Valley is very short transit. But it is ALL SERVED BY HUGE TRUCKS. Guzzeling all kinds of diesel fuel. Making roads IMPOSSIBLE.
Would think that a “short line” capable of running 5 trains a day could cover all this turf without without fouling the environment forever.
Part of the problem is the five receiving rail yards in the five cities mentioned are not geared for TODAY. They cannot even handle what they could 50 years ago! Sidings are gone! Access tracks have been ripped up. The whole infrastructure has been fouled up and handed over to the evil “18-wheelers”.
Most of what is shipped out of the Lehigh Valley comes out of “industrial parks”. Easy to lay new track! Most everything shipped is in CONTAINERS anyway.
How to get these five old and tired cities to handle incoming rail traffic??? Build new terminals! Yes, New York is a problem. Cross-harbor car ferries never were the “idea of the century” anyway.