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UP rail merger made a mess, as predicted

Letter by Dave Mccollough

Transportation – November 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

UP rail merger made a mess, as predicted

Dear Ed:

I’ve followed the fate of the Southern Pacific rail line since Governor Roy Romer made the insincere deal with the people of Colorado and the officials of the Union Pacific Railroad. Well, now that the real truth is known, another ploy of the industrial giants has slid through the cracks and only one railroad will serve the east-west corridor through Colorado.

In the Oct. 4 Denver Post a large article was devoted to the mess of the Union Pacific merger that has rail traffic tied up all over the Western United States. As typical mergers go, chaos can rule for ├Žons, jobs are lost, and many are impacted — usually resulting in a lower quality of life.

If the conversion of the rails to trails through the Arkansas Valley came from a consensus of the neighboring counties, then another fine green belt would be available in Colorado, but this was a result of an autocratic decision beyond the general public’s realm. Obviously a permanent discontinuity in the line was planned all along — leaving the bilious stench of dishonest politicians in its wake.

Another large development looming as we plod along is the deregulation of the utilities industry, which will result in the mergers of the coal-mining and electric-producing giants. This will wipe out the small coal and electric producers in the next few years (note the Pacificorp and Peabody merger). When only a few companies make cars, produce electricity, run trains, and own banks, the consumer involuntarily suffers.

I’ve been following your comments in the Denver Post and Colorado Central. I know that you told us so, you did; many others have been following and will continue to do so.


Dave McCollough Palisade, Colo.