RAIL ABANDONMENTS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON IOWA GRAIN SHIPPERS: ARE ABANDONED SHIPPERS "CAPTIVE SHIPPERS"?

Recent abandonment of many miles of railroad branch lines in Iowa has sparked a considerable amount of discussion. Much of the discussion is centered on the fear that this reduction in rail lines will have detrimental effects on Iowa's agricultural economy. Grain shippers that lose some rail service are fearful of becoming "captive" to the monopolistic practices on the only railroad serving them.. They also have doubts as to whether truck service has the ability to move the large volume of grain, and whether they could remain competitive using this more expensivs truck transportation. This study analyzes the existence of "captive" grain shippers in northwest Iowa that are a result of rail abandonments. In addition, this study identifies a number of changes that have occurred in the grain shipping industry as a result of rail abandonments and regulatory reform. It is concluded that no "captive shippers" exist in northwest Iowa, and that most shippers have adapted well to the loss of all or some of their rail service. The conclusions are based solely on the reults of a survey mailed to 45 northwest Iowa shippers, telephone discussions, personal interviews, and various other information collected with the help of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

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  • Accession Number: 00490237
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-041 044
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1989 12:00AM