In the February 13, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), a 'new era' in rail transport is featured. In the article, we learn about how the railroad industry has been upgrading tracks, widening tunnels and otherwise improving their infrastructure – $10 billion since 2000, and another $12 billion in the next few years. There's a cool interactive map that shows the major 'corridors' and photos too.

These infrastructure improvements are in specific 'corridors' and are designed to allow trains stacked with truck containers to compete with long haul trucking. Long haul trucking suffers from rising fuel prices and a shortage of workers willing to drive long distances around the country (meaning their life is in the truck and not in a home), not to mention unpredictable timetables as a result of highway congestion. Enabling trains to support drive-on, drive-off processing fills that gap, reducing costs and carbon footprint too.

A train uses 1/3 of the fuel of a truck driving the same distance. so a doubledecker train (two containers high) is a very efficient long haul option.


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