One benefit is that there is now more time for track maintenance. I saw huge piles of corn lying on the ground covered with tarps because the grain elevators will filled up in Iowa and Illinois. One of these days the farmers are going to need to sell it, even at a loss and there will be long strings of triple-bottomed covered hoppers and corn syrup tank cars.
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal forecasted a 10% increase by 2020. I think the figure is overstated.
A couple of weeks ago I saw how the CSX is taking advantage of the lower traffic levels to do heavy track maintenance in central Georgia.
NS has given over a major West Virginia over to WATCO to run it as a shortline.
I was out in Iowa last week, seeing what is happening on the BNSF and UP - coal is not entirely dead. Still some big piles of grain on the ground, covered with tarps.
There is a 20 mile Iowa Northern branch south of Garner, Iowa that is almost filled (except for grade crossings and driveways.) with covered hoppers that used for fracking sand or portland cement. I would estimate over 2,000 cars, some very new..
Steve's telephone number is 904-940-6784, if anybody wants to start harrassing him by calling up day and night.
He is from West Virginia, so expect a funny accent.
He lives at 1719 East Cobblestone lane, St,. Augustine, FL
You have looked at Wikipedia and found the uses for coal ash, have you? There are uses . for it, but the profit margin is not all that great. Did your father ever buy cinder blocks?
Warren Buffett is wealthy but I can not think of a single product that he has produced or manufacturing job that he has created. Where are Hathaway shirts? Gone.
People were about to starve because the soil was depleted of nitrates. The purpose of the Panama Canal was to bring guano from Peru to the western civilization to replenish the soil. That is why my grandparents came the Netherlands and my wife's grandparents came from Scotland - the countries ran out of food. In God's providence Fritz Haber discovered how to form nitrates to make artificial fertilizer from air. If it was not for wealthy Germans we would not have these fertilizers because the process is very expensive to establish.
Read "The Alchemy of Air".