Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Warren Buffett just bought a railroad

"This is all happening because my father didn't buy me a train set as a kid."
WARREN BUFFETT, joking about his decision to buy a railroad, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.(NYT)

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM, Steve T wrote:
By the way, literally today Buffet just bought a railroad, the largest  single purchase he has ever made . . . and as you pointed out, the railroads in India use the Jatropha plant as a fuel base.  I'm guessing you can see the possible connection I'm trying to make here - should we focus on Jatropha instead of wind?

One of the most valuable things with Railroads in long tracts of contiguous land.

There is a huge fight over getting right for fiber optics to be run as well as new power transmission lines.  (like the underground 1MV DC systems)

Owning a railroad he could just provide a power & Data transmission system without needing any ones permission.

He could also convert the RR to electric power improving operating costs, although this is unlikely. There are 1000's of old diesel locomotive available cheap because of dead engines and the electrical generator and motors that drive the wheels are still good.
There would be an interesting business converting all those to run from external electrical power like a subway car does.

Also He would be able to put up Wind turbines along all of the routes and because it's a railroad they are not subject to local regulations!  There are many special laws from 100 years ago that give railroads all sorts of magical legal protections and capabilities.

Putting up wind turbines along tracks would make a lot of sense because you could build specialized rail cars that would almost automate the whole installation process.

But who know's what someone like Mr. Buffet  was really thinking. I am sure time will reveal his true plans.


From Shlomo:
He could also put lots of solar panels next to the railroad, especially in desert areas (which will be cheap to maintain). 

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