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For an internationally oriented investor, I'd think that investing in rr's would be a fine way to gain exposure to growth in global trade. Trade and energy efficiency seem to have reinvigorated the US rr industry after decades of stagnation. Also, all of the hard assets that rr's typically own might perhaps be an added attraction for people investing in economies where inflation and currency risks are higher.

As an aside, the father of a high school friends, who also happens to be very wealthy, has had a lifelong passion for rr's ever since his childhood growing up in a small town in WV, and has spent his free time as an adult traveling the world specifically to travel as many of the great railroad lines as he can. He did Africa in the 1980's, and Asia in the 1990's.

(He is a doctor, and made a fortune beginning in the early 1980's when the government decided to reimburse healthcare providers for blood dialysis by starting what has become a national chain of dialysis clinics. He was a military doctor during the Vietnam War years and had the only dialysis clinic in S. Vietnam. He was therefore treated royally by the S. Vietnamese political and military elite, and as a result, is the only person that I've ever met or heard of in my life who enjoyed his time in Vietnam during the war, a fact that I've never quite gotten over. He was one of the first American citizens to revisit Vietnam when travel restrictions were eased in the mid-1980's.)
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