Odds stacked for rail?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An organization called the "Federal Railroad Administration" (FRA) has just released a study showing that double-stacked freight rail transportation is greener than truck transportation.

(And in related news, the milk-producers of Canada think Canadians aren’t getting enough lactose).

Actually, according to a statement by the FRA, double stack freight rail transportation is up to five times more fuel efficient than truck transportation.

"While all types of transportation are vital to the distribution of goods across the country, this study shows that utilizing America’s freight rail system can lead to significant fuel savings," said Joseph Szabo, FRA administrator.

The study, titled the "Comparative Evaluation of Rail and Truck Fuel Efficiency on Competitive Corridors" report indicated that rail fuel efficiency has improved by about 20 percent, or 1.1 percent per year between 1990 and 2006.

The improvement in the fuel efficiency of rail is attributed to changes in traffic mix, technological improvements, and changes in operating practices that lowered fuel consumption, the report said.

The study fails to mention how the double-stacked freight will get from the depot to its final destination. 

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