OnTrackAmerica conveys a new talking point for railroads
Railroads, in addition to being energy efficient, are also tremendously space efficient. A compelling way to express this is: It takes a 27-mile convoy of tractor-trailers on the highway to move the same goods as a one-mile train.
In the coming decade, land and space will become the focus of conservation efforts. Railroads’ energy efficiency is already effectively communicated by the Association of American Railroads’ statement, “A freight train moves a ton of freight an average of 457 miles on a single gallon of fuel.”
Our 27-mile statement was calculated by adding the length of 280 tractor-trailers plus their total braking distance when traveling at 65 MPH. Try it out on friends, neighbors, and public officials. You can always add that the train is running on its own right-of-way, and pays its own maintenance and taxes.
For the New Year let’s make this a frequent sound-bite within the national conversation about transportation efficiency. For our part, OTA will continue to advance its multifaceted agenda, which includes: Doubling Freight Transportation Efficiency by the year 2020; OnTrackPennsylvania, a model state freight transportation business plan for improving freight transportation efficiency; and a Freight Transportation Land-Use Strategy, a collaborative initiative with transportation experts, policymakers and industry stakeholders that will help craft meaningful legislation for introduction by the second half of the year.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday and all the best in 2010,