Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why do we not have an extensive and efficient rail cargo system in the USA?

what we have is a limited coverage aging system

we have made massive investments in truck and air infrastructure but almost none in railWhy do we not have an extensive and efficient rail cargo system in the USA?
Good stuff above. I would take exception to the statement that most goods are transported by rail, at some point. ALL of it has been on a train at some point and in one form or another.

';We'; may have invested a lot of money in Interstate and highway infrastructure, including much seismic retrofitting in earthquake prone areas. Railroads must build and maintain their own infrastructure.

Our rail system is extremely efficient, especially the Class 1 carriers. For ton/miles per gallon of fuel, nothing comes even close. Inter-modal transport means cargo can ship by sea, load onto a train, then reach its final destination by truck. This saves a bunch of money for manufacturers, shippers and consignees, in that gone are the associated costs of warehousing and distribution to retailers.

As far as the system being in disrepair, this is only true amongst short lines that are short on cash, and infrequently used branch lines, most of which have been ';short lined'; by the original carrier. This was done primarily to bust the unions, as the employees on short lines are in large part not a party to existing collective bargaining agreements.

Government subsidies have only Amtrak as a recipient, as a rule.

So, wave at the crew the next time a train passes (with all of your fingers), because they are carrying the fuel, raw materials, food and hazmat that are going to be your next car, phone, meal, big screen TV, T-shirt, 6 pack, house, etc. The list is endless.Why do we not have an extensive and efficient rail cargo system in the USA?
We do have an extensive and efficient rail cargo system in the USA. Keep in mind that it is all private companies, that have invested heavily in the upkeep of tracks, engines, and a vast variety of freight cars. Much of the nations goods, imports and exports are carried by rail at some time in their journey.

The highway system helps the truckers, which are also vital to the movement of goods. Air is the most expensive mode of cargo transport and is only suited to small and high-end products or time sensitive shipments. Try shipping 400 tons of coal that way!

Do not confuse cargo transport and passenger transport. People don't like to take trains, vying for speed and convienience of auto and plane.
the money for bullet trains has been diverted into r%26amp;d for teleportation.
Do the dork that said Teleport, WRONG. We are pretty good with our cargo system.....but the Passenger service is what needs the most help.......As a matter of fact all Amtrak Trians within the next 3-5 years will all become High-Speed.
Uh... Actually we DO have a pretty good cargo system. It's the passenger support that's nearly non-existant.
Well, there aren't many rail lines that go across America. Those that do exist are usually being used by Amtrak, etc. We do have some rail cargo lines (e.g. BNSF). However, travel by train is not that fast, and it's not too efficient either. Yes, trucks are not that efficient, but they can go to many places that trains can't (like your house, for example).

That's why many shipping companies don't have trains. They have trucks, and they have airplanes. Airplanes can take cargo from the East coast to the West coast in less than 6 hours; this would take over 2 days by train. People just don't want to wait that long.

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