One of the first things I do when I'm investigating something is to collect--and, of course, to read--as many relevant documents as I can. Establishing a paper trail is a useful exercise for any number of reasons, not least because it gives you a sense of the chronology, and understanding of the issues involved, leads on who to ask for more information, and government agencies put out reams of reports and documents on their work.
The "Reoriented Express" -- the effort to move a stretch of railrod track owned by CSX from its current position, somewhere between a quarter and a half mile from the beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to an inland position -- has generated its share of paper. There was a 1995 report prepared for the Gulf Regional Planning Commission, followed by a report and Web site set up by the Gulf Coast Railroad Relocation Project. That latter report was the first to note the prohibitive price tag for moving the railroad inland; it offered rough cost estimates for three different inland routes:
The test alignment within Corridor 1 has a unit cost of $36.0 million per mile, and a total cost of $2,683,695,296.
The test alignment within Corridor 2 has a unit cost of $22.8 million per mile and a total cost of $1,804,661,425.
The test alignment within Corridor 3 has a unit cost of $22.8 million per mile and a total cost of $2,437,212,170.