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Article Archive >> Business

Freight Railroads Go the Distance

Freight Railroads Go the Distance

(NewsUSA)- What's more fuel efficient than a hybrid car? A freight train! Since 1980, freight railroads have reduced fuel consumption by 48 billion gallons, and carbon dioxide emissions by 538 million tons. And last year, freight railroads were more fuel-efficient than ever.
In 2007, freight railroads in the U.S. moved a ton of freight an average of 436 miles on each gallon of fuel -; an 85.5 percent improvement since 1980.
Railroads are four or more times more fuel-efficient than trucks. If just 10 percent of the freight currently moving by truck were to go by rail instead, the nation could save one billion gallons of fuel per year. New technology is making rail transportation even more fuel-efficient. Railroads and suppliers alike are developing hybrid and fuel cell locomotives that will further reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Moving freight by rail also reduces highway congestion. One train can take 280 trucks off the highways. Because the average size of a truck is equal to that of almost four automobiles, that's like taking 1,100 automobiles off the roads.
According to the Department of Transportation, demand for freight transportation is expected to rise nearly 92 percent from 2002 to 2035. Freight railroads are growing more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly every day and will play an increasingly important role in helping our country meet increasing demands for freight shipments. For more information, visit www.aar.org.

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