May 04, 2007

Benefits of using more trains instead of trucks for freight

Consultant Wendell Cox shows shifting 25 percent of the goods moved by truck with trains could save commuters more than 40 hours per year by reducing traffic, save $44 billion in fuel, and could also take 3 million trucks off the road during the rush hours across the country. Depending on the type of train, between 280 to 500 trucks can be eliminated per trip. This would also save on the wear and tear on the rodways and reduce the number of accidents as well.

40% of rail freight is for the movement of 1.17 billion tons of coal each year in the USA. Therefore, by switching from coal power to say nuclear power then would provide the capacity to save about $70 billion in fuel by providing more rail capacity to supplant trucks.

There is also the benefit of $20 billion per year in health cost savings.

Cleaning about half of the coal air pollution would save about $9 billion/year in health costs. Complete elimination reduces the air pollution from coal and reduces the air pollution from the rail and trucks to move the coal and dig it up and the damage from blowing up mountain tops to get at the coal.


there is a global boom in coal usage.

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