We come across railroad tracks all the time and don't think of it at all. Sometimes we might be stopped as a train passes, but not too frequently. It is more the case that we consider it something from our past.
Well, a long term look into the future might provide us with a significantly different view of what is in store. There are many different projects to upgrade rail beds, and most people think of passenger traffic. The reality will be much different.
The Panama Canal is being widened to allow super tankers to pass through. Big deal, right? Right! Those ships carrying cargo from the Far East will then be able to pass West Coast ports, and deliver their goods to the East Coast markets directly into ports like New York, Norfolk, Charleston, and Gulf Coast ports.
Charleston stands to be the biggest receiptient of this activity, and lo and behold, directly upstream from Charleston is Charlotte. We are in the process of moving the multi-modal yards from off Tryon Street to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
We may consider Charlotte to be a banking town, but the reality of it is that we are a distribution center in the southeast, the fastest growing region of the country. So, the next time you cross the tracks, think of our future.