dewduckin You are only partially right. What you are referring to that UP sold off many years ago was their realty subsidiary, I believe it was called UPLAND corp. This was their real estate company that managed their vast land holdings. It's job was to sell or lease property next to UP's rail lines to companies that wanted to do rail business with UP. From what I remember UP wanted to concentrate solely on the railroad business. This does not mean they sold off all their properties. Looking at UP's 10Q it says they have over $35 billion in road properties. Most of this is ROW and rail yards but not all of it. You are wrong in saying that "they could never sell and continue to operate as a rr". Some of their yards are in prime locations within cities that could fetch a lot of money. Some cities are more than willing to approve a sale of this prime real estate to a developer and make it easy for the railroad to build a new yard on the outskirts of town. This relieves congestion at rail crossing in the cities and makes it easier for the railroad to have faster access to the new yard.