OT: Scrapping steel (was RE: Suggestions for hauling ...)

From: Feldman, Robert <Robert_Feldman_at_jdedwards.com>
Date: Wed Mar 6 08:58:08 2002

In the last 50+ years, some 150,000 miles of railroad track have been
abandoned. At 100 pounds/yard or more for mainline track rail, that's a lot
of steel.

As to who is paying for the scrapping, the railroad, or often a bankruptcy
court, would bid it out to scrappers -- the same people (as a general class)
who will take an old computer and cut the edge connector off a board in
order to recover the gold. Might not seem like an economical thing to do,
but these people can make a living out of it. Also, remember that in the
50's and 60's (and even earlier for most electric interurban lines) steel
was worth more. When the railroads converted to diesel in the late
40's/early 50's, most of the steam locomotives were sold for scrap. Nothing
sinister about it, just made economic sense at the time.

The subsidies that went into highway construction and trucking are another
matter, though, but that is too OT to go into. Still, we can't blame the
interstate system for all railroad failures, as many began their decline in
the 30's and 40's. Most electric streetcar lines and interurbans here in the
midwest were replaced by busses by the mid 50's.


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Chase [mailto:vaxzilla_at_jarai.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2002 5:35 PM
To: classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org
Subject: Re: Suggestions for hauling Computer Garage from Beaverton, OR

On Tue, 5 Mar 2002, Zane H. Healy wrote:

> > Where has rail been ripped up? I've never heard of that happening. Is
> > it a national trend?
> We've had quite a lot ripped out here in Oregon.

This does beg the question... Who exactly is paying for this, and to
what gain? I think someone's point of it not really being cost-
effective (even for the scrap) is worth investigating. Maybe it is.
I can't imagine it's more expensive to produce a ton of steel from
salvaged rails than it is to do the same from iron ore.

Still, it'd be interesting to know who's fronting the labor to do it,
and what money is backing it.

Received on Wed Mar 06 2002 - 08:58:08 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:35:10 BST