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7262Re: [carferry] Financial information

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  • Les Bagley
    Apr 9, 2014
      I've always been told that "loss" is a relative thing.
      if I give you five dollars and I give your neighbor 10 dollars, while you made five dollars, you can also claim that you lost five, because your neighbror made more.  There was a lot of that sort of rhetoric in the public proclamations the railroad(s) made about abandoning ferry service.
      Les Bagley, Michigan State Ferries historian

      On 4/9/2014 12:14 PM, ru4gzs@... wrote:

      Just out of curiosity, was any of the financial information about the former Chessie ferries operation ever made public?  I know the railroad had claimed that the ferries were unprofitable (and I'm sure they're correct, what with the 60-some person crews, compared to the handful for a complete train) - but the argument could also be made that the railroad has the advantage of nearly-free coal (the biggest expense incurred is the "lost" revenue hauling it for themselves as opposed to a customer), which is an expense the private owners (MWT and LMC) had to bear themselves in its entirety.  (I'm also aware of the agreement made with the City to purchase the coal from them at a bit of a discount, but that still doesn't compare to the railroad).  Also, did they have any sort of surcharge for railcars using the ferry, or was it included in the original haulage rate?  I'd be curious to know how much money they were *really* losing compared to the private owners.

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