Rail-industry Intelligence and funding

What If financial results are just one  measure of

Rail Industry Growth?

Industrial Development?

Transportation Planning?

Corporate Office



Ocean, Barge and Inland Ports

State and Municipal Government

DOTs and EDCs


Class I, II and III Railroads

Suppliers and Contractors

Transload Facilities


Commercial Developers / Investors

Rail-Served Industrial Parks

Shippers and BCOs

what we do

Public Sector Advisory

Port and public sector railroad advisory, industrial land use planning, and public finance.

Business Advisory

Strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, and data analysis for rail-related businesses

Business Finance

Corporate and project finance advisory services for the railroad industry

Industrial Properties

Site selection and real estate services for rail-served industrial sites 

Shipper Advisory

Supply chain optimization and turnkey rail solutions for industrial businesses

Equipment Finance

Lease and debt finance for rolling stock, railroad construction, and track maintenance equipment

Since 1994, Strategic Rail Finance has been a trusted advisor across the North American railroad industry with our work taking us to over 40 US states and Canadian provinces.

Our Principals

 SRF was founded in 1994 by Michael Sussman, Chairman and CEO (left) to expand capital access to railroads and innovatively develop new business models.

John Elliott (right) serves as SRF’s President, joining the firm in 2015 to build SRF’s public advisory and industrial development practices.

Strategy, finance, and business are ultimately all about people. This understanding, together with our team’s technical and analytical skills, enables breakthrough results for our clients.


Our clients receive the intelligence and capital they need to prosper.

John Elliot to Speak at AAPA Leadership Conference

SRF President John Elliott will  co-lead an important roundtable discussion in Seattle on April 16th at the Association of American Port Authorities.

The session will focus on infrastructure issues in general and rail finance in particular.  John, who leads SRF’s Ports and Public Finance practice,  is a frequent AAPA presenter.  John is currently advising Port of Long Beach, Port of Oakland, Little Rock Port Authority, Port Bienville and several others.

In Partnership with

OnTrackNorthAmerica is a non-profit 501C-3 action think-tank for sustainable freight transportation.  

Created by SRF founder Michael Sussman, OTNA is committed to the smartest use of railroadstrucks, and waterways for a better economy, environment, and community. 

OTNA has launched its Intelliconference  methodol for engaging stakeholders in collaborative dialogue with proprietary tools for online and in-person communication.

Visit OTNA Website


SRF leads $877M Port of Long Beach Rail Expansion

The Port of Long Beach, which expedties nearly 30% of US imports and exports, plans to transform its Pier B rail infrastructure, the backbone of the Port's intermodal transportation. Towards that end, POLB has retained  the services of Strategic Rail Finance  as lead...

Strategic Rail Finance Hires Will Maus as Relationship Manager

Philadelphia, PA, October 25, 2019: William Maus returns to Strategic Rail Finance as Relationship Manager after an extended hiatus during which he worked as an independent advocate for the electrification of freight railroads in North America. In partnership with...

Strategic Rail Finance Hires David Steffens as Director of Cargo Strategies

Philadelphia, PA, July 9, 2019: Strategic Rail Finance (SRF) has added David Steffens to the executive team of its rapidly growing business advisory practice.  Dave, who will serve as Director of Cargo Strategies, has extensive experience in supply chain and freight...

Three Mistakes to Avoid on Grant Applications

Recently, SRF founder Michael Sussman wrote about the mistakes most commonly made by rail businesses when presenting their projects to attract capital. His observations on working with banks and investors got me thinking about my experience helping companies and...

Two Mistakes Rail Businesses Make

For 25 years, I have dedicated our advisory firm to helping rail businesses and rail projects attract all the capital and success they deserve. Having spoken with thousands and worked with hundreds of clients, we see a pattern in almost all their presentations and...

“Strategic Rail Finance has provided valuable input into our understanding of industry dynamics and needs, particularly with regard to railroad financing issues.
Kerry Ates, Counsel to Sen. John D. Rockefeller

“When Michael Sussman and his team take on a project, they sink their teeth in like bulldogs, and don’t let go until the job is done.”
Bill Reimer, President, R&R Contracting Inc.

“What SRF has achieved in terms of re-inventing how government and business relate to one another is nothing short of miraculous.”
Lee  Bonner, Nevada DOT

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1700 Sansom Street, Suite 500
Philadelphia, PA  19103