New Orleans Public Belt Railroad changes hands

Now that the Port of New Orleans has taken ownership of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, city leaders expect an uptick in business for the port and local industries. At least, that was the aim of the exchange, which was announced in June. The railroad was established in 1908 to serve the port. Since then, it's been owned by the city, although transferring ownership has always been on the table. 

"Really, it was just putting the assets in the hands of the entity that would drive the most business," Port of New Orleans CEO Brandy Christian told freelancer Michael Popke.

Popke got in touch with a few local officials to learn more about the port's plans for the Public Belt. Check out his recent article in our September issue to get a glimpse of the railroad's future. Do you think it was a wise decision to transfer ownership to the port?

There's also been private-sector interest in the railroad. Could a private firm do a better job of running the Public Belt? Or could that have an adverse affect on the railroad's operations? Let me know in the comments section below or on

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