Railroads Struggle to Keep Up With Demands to Move Trucks, SUVs

Railroad companies are struggling to keep up with surging U.S. demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles, frustrating Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. and prompting Warren Buffett to boost investments at his rail unit.

The shortage of rail cars is particularly acute for double-deckers big enough to fit taller trucks and SUVs stacked on top of one another. BNSF Railway Co., owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will buy almost 1,900 this year, more than its combined total purchase of both bi-level and tri-level rail cars during the last two years.