Container cargo is one bright spot for the Class I railroads in the U.S., as is shipments of crude oil by rail. It's probably a good thing, as coal revenue is on a long-term slide and not likely to pick up.
Both Norfolk Southern and CSX have invested money in making certain corridors suitable for shipping containers stacked two high, known in the trade as double stacks. NS has the Heartland Corridor that crosses the Ohio River at Kenova WV and runs along the mainline track from there across to South Point OH and on down to Portsmouth. That corridor is meant to provide access to Midwest markets for cargo that arrives by ocean shipping at Norfolk VA. NS also has the Crescent Corridor which runs from the Southeast up to the Northeast. The idea of that corridor is to take cargo that has been moving by truck.
CSX has the National Gateway corridor, which will soon include a rail-truck facility in the Pittsburgh area.
So, will cargo shipping come to the inland rivers, including the Ohio? That's for the market to decide, of course. And what would a container vessel look like?
This evening I found this video on YouTube. It might give some idea, but as with most things, you never really know.
Except potholes. You know people in the Ohio Valley will be complaining soon about potholes. But that's another post for another time.