Railroads were America’s first great industry, as evidenced by the fact that 125 years ago approximately half of all publicly-traded stocks were railroads. The Pennsylvania Railroad had staff and revenues exceeding the US federal government, and the railroads dominated fledgling industries like steel and energy. Today is quite different. But even now, railroad’s special regulatory status—from not participating in social security, to not being regulated by OHSA, to exemption from all local zoning—together with an insular, railroader culture — has contributed to certain disconnect from customers.
Most customers need the big railroads more than those railroads need the customer. This relationship is evidenced by current trends in Precision Scheduled Railroading, one of the most financially successful yet non-customer-centric business strategies in recent memory. Downsized or non-existent customer service and industrial development departments has left shippers wondering: How can I do business with the railroads? It’s harder than ever. And more than ever, shippers that rely upon railroads need help to manage their railroad assets and activities.
In response to this need, SRF founded an affiliate, Strategic Rail Industrial Services, as a joint venture and strategic partnership with distinguished industry professionals, rail service providers, and investors to offer complete, turnkey rail services to shippers. Our goal: to make railroading accessible to non-railroaders.
Our team brings knowledge of multiple transportation modes—rail, trucking, barge, and maritime—to help businesses optimize their supply chains, select ideal project sites and then develop, operate, and maintain those rail facilities. We can assist with planning, procurement, management, and operations. We will even purchase-leaseback-operate-maintain existing rail facilities.