Freight that moves by rail instead of highway is estimated to reduce emissions by two-thirds, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If just 10 percent of the long-haul freight currently moving by truck could be switched to rail, it would eliminate more than 12 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Freight railroads are positioning themselves to meet future transportation demands in this country, including those related directly and indirectly to the expansion of the Panama Canal, Edward R. Hamberger, Association of American Railroads (AAR) president and CEO, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Resilience and resourcefulness are two terms that have become closely associated with North American railroads in recent years. The industry has emerged from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression in relatively solid shape, and enters 2013 positioned for growth.
Domestic container volume recorded double-digit growth for the fourth quarter in a row, according to the Intermodal Association of North America's just-released Intermodal Market Trends + Statistics report.
U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Sept. 1 declined 3.4 percent measured against the comparable week of 2011, the Association of American Railroads said. But U.S. intermodal continued its winning streak, up a robust 6.5 percent during the week compared with one year ago.