Sunday, 25 March 2007

investment strategy

It's hardly contrarian to forecast that rail will become the primary transport mode over the next 50 years. Cars and planes will grind to a halt when the oil runs out, not everyone will be happy to live a totally sedentary life post-oil and hopefully there will still be work, shopping, tourism etc. People will still need to get around at some sort of speed!
So rail will come into its own, the development that stopped once cheap oil was available will start again and new railways will open worldwide. Trams and light rail will take up the slack in cities, towns and even villages. Thousands of miles of new lines will open in the UK alone. This is a superb investment opportunity for those of us sharp enough to look to the future rather than the past. Running lines may not be that profitable (though some will be!) but the actual supply of infrastructure, the construction companies, rail freight companies (successors to dinosaur raod transport firms), signalling and information technology suppliers and fitters, companies manufacturing trains and LRVS etc, all will be good investments if well run.
Many 'heritage' lines currently operating or being built will morph into proper transport links, this is already happening on some lines such as Swanage, West Somerset etc. Even some of the start-up lines that aren't even running trains have big plans to rebuild genuine transport routes. The embryonic Somerset and Dorset Railway down in Midsomer Norton plans to build back to Bath on a superb commuter/shopper/freight route as well as (as the name suggests) getting back down to Dorset and eventually the second honeypot in Bournemouth.

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