How the US Railroad Industry Became a Monopoly: Chart

A few years ago I wrote a post about how the US railroad industry has become a monopoly with a neat map. The article was well received and continues to receive interest from readers. The following post is an update to that article.

Of the Class I railroads in the US, the following four are majors:

  1. BNSF Railway
  2. CSX Transportation (CSX)
  3. Norfolk Southern Railway (NSC)
  4. Union Pacific Railroad (UNP)

Out of these, BNSF is private owned by Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The other three are available on the market for investors.

These four major railroads became powerful as a result of many mergers and acquisitions over the past 50 years. The following chart shows the evolution of these railroads:

Click to enlarge

The chart below shows the Network Map for the four US Railroads:

Click to enlarge

Via: The Big Picture

The following is another chart showing the merger wave in the American railroad industry:

Source: RailRoad Signals

All US railroads are excellent for long-term investments. The best way to profit from railroads is simply buy a bunch of stocks and forget about them for years. After 10 or 20 years with dividend reinvested an investor will be rewarded well.

Disclosure: Long NSC, CSX, UNP

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