I have added Oliver Wyman’s rail planning blog to the blogroll.  I am excited about the addition as it brings some business and technical experience to the blogroll lineup.

An example of the the kind of technical but fascinating insight you will find on the blog is David Lehlbach’s recent post on the future and impact of long trains; i.e. trains 10,000 feet long and longer.  The post illuminates the efficiencies of such trains due to their carrying capacity and staff needs but also ponders the challenges such as whether terminals can handle such enormous loads and whether in the end such trains will slow things down.   I am fascinated by the idea of a 10,000 foot train (as long as I’m not in a car at railway crossing watching it) and I appreciate Lehlbach’s comparison to the impact of Airbus A380 super jumbo jets.  I also imagine such trains can be compared to early cargo ships.  Early cargo ships were efficient in and of themselves but could not transfer all of that efficiency because ports could not properly handle their loads.  If the supertrains are truly cost-effective to a large degree compared to peer trains then terminals likely will be adapted to carry the efficiencies all the way through.