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Freight trains boon for commuters: US report

WASHINGTON -- Shifting 25% of US freight from trucks to rail by 2026 would reduce traffic congestion, saving commut...


WASHINGTON — Shifting 25% of US freight from trucks to rail by 2026 would reduce traffic congestion, saving commuters about 350 litres of gasoline and 41 hours of drive time a year, according to the Congestion Relief Index from Demographia, according to a recent story published by the Vancouver Sun.

“With gas prices at an all-time high, Americans can’t afford to waste money and time sitting in traffic,” said Wendell Cox, the study’s author and principal of Demographia, a consulting firm, in a recent statement. “One intermodal train can take nearly 300 trucks off our highways.”

A switch to railroads would also reduce air pollution, the index of 82 urban areas showed. Freight trains can move a tonne of freight 700 kilometres on about 4.5 litres of fuel and emit less pollution, according to Demographia.

“I would hope that the study will help people in the industry, and others recognize the great advantages of freight rail in terms of fuel efficiency,” Cox said in a telephone interview.

The research was financed by the American Association of Railroads, an industry group based in Washington. Demographia is based in Belleville, Ill.

–with files from the Vancouver Sun


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