Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How much does that choo choo cost?

I thought you might be interested in just how much a typical train with 100 to 130 cars might cost if you were considering purchasing one.

Let's start with the train's engine, or more correctly engines. It is likely that your train will need four engines, two pulling and two more pushing the cars. And those pusher engines require computers with software that controls and limits how hard those engines push to keep those engines from derailing the train. Your engines will cost roughly $1.65 million to over $2.0 million each depending on the extras in each. So engines will cost you a total of roughly $8 million.

Then there are those 100 or so cars you need. One box car will be $86,000 - $96,000. Coal cars are $72k to $82k a piece. Your typical tanker car is $80k. A standard grain car is $75k. Those piggy-back cars come in sets of three at a cost of $175k - $200k or in sets of five at a cost of $250k - $275K. That means you will have to spend about $9 million for your 130 cars.

That gives you a grand total of $17 million for your very own freight train.

Now if you feel that hauling passengers would be better and cheaper for you, consider this. Engines for commuter trains start at $2.5 million and go over $4 million. Passenger cars cost from $1.8 million to over $3.5 million each. You can see that it doesn't take too many engines and passenger cars to equal or top the price of a good sized freight train.

Maybe we are all better off letting the railroads purchase their own trains and we will simply take advantage of the goods and services these good folks provide.

No comments: