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Among those who argue against the public funding of improved intercity passenger rail in the United States, the notion that such improvements would reduce the viability of the freight rail system is frequently cited. The American freight rail network, it is argued, is one of the best in the world, able to move more goods over a longer distance than trucking can, partially because in most of the country, rail passenger services are basically nonexistent.
Most significant perhaps is the American reliance on coal as an energy source; it accounts for almost half of overall power production in this country, compared to about 16% in Europe overall (and even less in some countries like France and Spain). More recent data suggests that the emphasis of American freight railroads on coal shipments has only become more pronounced, accounting for 47% of tons moved on the railways in 2007.
Maybe European railroads carry less freight than in the US also because those railroads have been government-run and are more costly and less efficient than US freight railroads, which almost always have been privately-owned? Also… the rail lines used for coal transport are usually not the ones used for passenger transport. What is unique about the evolving face of Freight transportation is the embrace of tax dollars by Norfolk Southern and CSX to support new corridor routes in the East that specifically target containter traffic. I think railroads are starting to see a definite benefit when federal gov invests in rail corridors that not only make them competitive with trucks for short haul container traffic but add capacity. Here is a clue: freight rail shares are decreasing and have been doing so for 40 years in Europe, despite the fact that they have been getting richer and increasing freight volumes for those 40 years. The simple fact that our rail freight shares have been so similar for nearly 100 years, and have only diverged after significant rail policy divergences, shows that our freight systems ARE comparable, regardless of how many straw men you can erect.
If you want to deny that passenger rail is the reason for their terrible freight performance, there needs to be better alternative theories.
Freight modal share refers to the share of all freight transported…not the share of freight relative to passenger service on a rail line. Believe it or not, I actually like that paper quite a bit, because there is a lot of good information in it regarding the policy differences between the two regions.
But I don’t trust the conclusions from their analysis because it is entirely premised on the idea that demand for a specific form of freight transportation is not affected by relative transportation costs, and is entirely determined by the freight that gets shipped. The large developed nations with the highest freight rail mode shares (Canada, US, Russia, China) also have the lowest relative freight rates. I’m sure I would have come to the same conclusion if I had made assumptions that unrealistic, but I refuse to make those assumptions.
Critiquing a static analysis with a tautological one that begs the question at hand is hilarious. Rapid Freight International specializes in Railway Transportation between African Countries. One of the Rapid Freight International’s specialized activity is its full container load “FCL” service from East African Ports to Other Various Inland African Countries like Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. A bridge over the railway in Oxford is being rebuilt as part of a ?71m scheme which will remove up to 50,000 lorry journeys a year from the region’s roads. The upgrade of the bridge carrying Old Abingdon Road over the railway at South Hinksey is required to allow bigger 9’6” or ‘high-cube’ containers to be transported efficiently by rail from Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Southampton across the country, making a valuable contribution to the local economy and helping Britain compete better in the global marketplace. The A34 is one of the most congested roads in the country and much of the traffic is HGVs transporting goods to and from Southampton port. Enjoyed this Post?Subscribe to our RSS Feed, Follow us on Twitter or simply recommend us to friends and colleagues! Every Greek who supports the Greek Companies, ensures his own income and opens the door to the future of our children !
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The traditional view of a freight train is a wheezing Class 47 growling through Brent hauling empty hoppers. Few realise the massive investment by companies like GB Railfreight (GBRf) in new locomotives, Class 66s, new terminals and fleets of wagons such as the Ecofret intermodal transporters. Between 2013-14, rail freight set a post- privatisation record, moving 22.7 billion net tonne kilometres.
The truth is rail freight has an economic and social impact far beyond the narrow confines of its gauge- challenged dynamic. While governments come and go, many content to tinker with the grit- fouled mechanics of social engineering, it is the shippers, traders and dealers of the UK that ensure prosperity.
The Coalition Government’s espousal of high-speed rail, electrification, and urban railways is praiseworthy, however it is no where near enough. Fortunately for the British economy, the rail freight industry achieves a similar overnight miracle of logistical and distributive magic every day of the year.
The impression emerging from Government is that capacity for freight will be enhanced when HS2 is complete but this will not occur for another 20 years or more!
In the Omaha World-Herald earlier this week, reporter Joe Ruff described some of the opposition to these rules. This was a sad reaction from an industry that could potentially benefit handsomely from the infusion of significant federal dollars.

It also means, in more direct response to the issue posed here, that the government has failed to mediate a compromise between the proponents of freight and passenger rail service. As I discussed last month, despite the fact that allowing trains of different speeds (freight trains are slower than high-speed trains) would (and does) cause problems, there is significant ground for compromise that would allow both services to be improved substantially over the next few years. It’s time to develop a dialogue between freight railroad companies and advocates of improved passenger rail. Interestingly, Washington State and the BNSF came to a recent agreement for improvements to the the Cascade route including measurement standards, but the FRA said it did not meet it’s standard for protecting the public investment. What we’re seeing here is the Catch-22 inherent in using the same tracks for both freight rail and passenger rail. Its rather an lack of vision in investing in that infrastructure and trying to do everything on the cheap when what we need right now are big construction projects. In the 1930s, the tracks were superelevated based on the expected speed of premium passenger trains.
While it’s perfectly possible to mix passenger and freight rail on the same tracks, it involves making one of the two prohibitively expensive.
Mixing passenger trains at different speeds is much easier, because timed overtakes are easy and desirable.
Four-track rights-of-way included NY-Albany-Erie-Cleveland-Chicago, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-Ft. There simply are no genuinely constrained areas east of California and west of Vermont — there are only areas where tracks have been ripped out and need to be reinstated.
Several more reasons why BNSF and other freight railroads think 90 mph is the practical limit for passenger and freight trains sharing the same track. Safety rules were different so a worker or gang could quickly return to the tracks to work versus the sometimes arduous procedures today for getting track authority over the radio or laptop.
We can ensure rail station to rail station service and road delivery to consignees not connected.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT USVia Cargo is committed to becoming the preferred transportation partner for small and medium sized companies acting in various industries in the Romanian market. Worldwide TransportationVia Cargo provides transportation and logistics solutions from Romania to worldwide. The argument goes like this: Passenger and freight rail are in competition for the same infrastructure, so encouraging people to ride the trains would make it more difficult to transport their goods. The decreasing use of intercity passenger rail in the second half of the 20th Century appeared to correspond with an increase in freight by train.
Since 1995, the rail share for freight in Europe has declined from 20 to 17% while it has increased from 33 to 38% in the U.S. Related is the fact that Europeans simply consume less energy — less than half as much on a per-capita basis and almost as little even in the wealthiest countries like Germany. Wyoming, of all states, is the leading state for outbound shipments of freight… because of the coal that originates there. The ease of moving goods on the European coast means far more goods there move on the sea than in the U.S. Rather, the evidence suggests that the reasons for Europe’s differences are multifarious in origin, with the effects of access by passenger trains only playing a minor role. However, it s not the handling of the link and hook couplers which is the problem (definitely not when we are looking at block trains).
No idea how much is transported on European waterways, but there’s a good network for heavy goods, mostly from France to the Russian border or the Black Sea, also connecting major sea ports. Passenger and freight receipts in the UK were about even for most of the 19th century, whereas freight receipts in the US during that time typically amounted to 10 times the revenue from passenger service.
That assumption alone is almost egregious enough to throw the entire analysis out the window. A relatively costly rail system will push far more heavy freight (the real mover in ton-miles metrics) to barges and container ships than it will to roads.
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This will provide a cheaper, quicker and more practical way of transporting goods around the country. The route being upgraded stretches from Southampton to the West Coast mainline at Nuneaton via Reading, Didcot, Oxford and Banbury. With the cost of road congestion to the British economy estimated at more than ?10bn a year, the project will provide vital extra capacity to get freight off the roads and onto the railway. The romantic attachment of the public to railways feeds on modern passenger stock, trams swishing through city centres and the heritage railways harnessing rail nostalgia to a laudable business model. Although figures published by the ORR in November showed a slight reduction in freight movements in the second quarter of this year, a decrease attributed in part to the closure of Ferrybridge1 and Ironbridge power stations, freight is continuing to grow – the domestic intermodal market in particular. The Rail Freight Group (RFG) recently released new figures showing that 201 new freight drivers had been trained in the past year, with 100 more posts planned for 2015.
Put bluntly, the future of the rail freight industry is as long and broad and high as a confident trading culture chooses to make it. Look at the temple-high containers piled up in Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, in Liverpool and Glasgow, many awaiting onward shipment by rail to the factories and warehouses that catalyse our wealth.
If Britain is to sustain a unity and purpose that goes beyond the imperatives of our present political confusion it must trade effectively and efficiently.
It is not the trip to shops, not the journey to see grandparents or poor relations, even by train.
High time rail freight was recognised for its true worth and rendered the investment and political support it needs to better answer the aspirations of Europe’s fastest-growing economy. In exchange for a public investment in track, signaling, and the like, freight rail companies would be required to ensure that passenger trains aren’t delayed by oncoming traffic or slowed-down cargo trains.

Notably, were the government to encourage joint use of tracks in city centers by rival freight companies, other inner-city corridors could be devoted to passenger rail without much of a problem. Freight companies may own the tracks, but if they’re getting funding for improvements, they have to compromise to allow passenger trains to operate effectively.
You can have any type of dictatorial government seize assets, regardless of which end of the economic spectrum it espouses.
As passenger rail traffic decreased in the 1950s, the railroads reduced superelevation to be in line with the expected speed of heavy freight trains. European mixed traffic tracks have minimum speeds to prevent freight trains from mucking up passenger schedules. Paul & Chicago or the Water Level line on the New York Central, they had one track solely for passengers and another for freight so as to maintain different speed and weight standards. Please use newer version of your browser or visit Internet Explorer 6 countdown page for more information.
The end result could be a minor improvement in passenger mode share towards the railways and a significant mode shift of freight away from the railways, to the highways.
The European emphasis on passenger rail suggests a negative influence on freight rail, which implies that if the U.S. For historical and logistical reasons, coal can be moved more efficiently by train, which explains a large share of the difference between American and European freight transport patterns.
But that is no success story in itself, since renewable forms of power production require no forms of material movement to and from production facilities. In other words, the lack of a really strong freight rail system cannot be easily attributed to the existence of well-performing passenger trains. Implementing improved passenger rail networks on existing corridors cannot be done easily, nor should it interfere with the ability of existing freight companies to operate (even if they are transporting coal…). The real borders in railways are the different legacy systems (line voltage is only a minor of them; signalling systems and operation rules are much more a hindrance to cross-border operation. New rail freight depots are routinely subject to planning inquires and Kafkaesque debates as to their social and commercial validity. The freight train driver, operator, shunter and route manager, these men and women are the reach stackers of the future. Failure to do so will result in freight continuing to lose out to an ever increasing number of passenger services on what is becoming an overcrowded network. Mitchell of BNSF railways, suggested that the situation was stacked against the freight companies since their existing lines simply are not built for trains running at speeds higher than 90 mph whereas the Obama Administration has been adamant in pushing projects that increase maximum speeds to 110 mph along freight corridors. Yet Washington clearly did not approach this situation with the necessary tact, failing to inform the industry of the proposed rules changes… before they were proposed, which evidently is the way things are supposed to work. But the decision also seems to suggest that the federal government is unwilling to mess with the freight industry no matter the costs.
For the future of American intercity rail, the government has a responsibility to take further steps to coordinate policy so that it benefits both sides of the rail equation, but it has not done so thus far.
Governments own the infrastructure and maintains it, and let free movement along them as long as there is room. It sounds like for low-use freight lines, time-shifting can work; but heavier-use freight lines simply have to be segregated from passenger rail lines or neither can be run properly.
If the line has grades, this limits both axle loads and total train weight, which makes it impossible to use the American cost-cutting technique of running 15,000-ton trains. Even as they got into the far-flung suburbs of Chicago CNW would have triple track with one side dedicated to commuter rail and another to intercity. And European countries need to do more to guarantee the movement of freight on railways, which are more efficient than their truck-based counterparts. On flat lines, you may get up to 2000 metric tons which can be handled, for mountainous lines, you end up with about 1400 metric tons as maximum.
Do you really think that some day Europe is going to hit some breaking point (maybe 6.5MM ton-miles?) where 30% of their freight will just magically shift to rail? Is that an acceptable position for the future of the national transportation system in general? And you could have a Communist government paying to nationalise something, if I’m not mistaken.
In addition, the lines must be maintained to modern standards, which raises costs even more.
In order to consume what we consume, Americans rely on goods that are moved longer distances. Such trains are less efficient (if you look at a simple train) than 4000 to 8000 metric tons monsters. The freight system used in Europe as well as Japan is such that very heavy, low-value goods are carried by sea, leaving rail for higher-value goods, for which those cost increases are more acceptable. The real problem is the FRA has no legal authority to do service requirements, such as OTP requirements. Tumblr GIF Creation Tool is Now Available to All Mobile App Users Why Introvert Leaders Are Amazingly Successful?Most Popular ArticleMarriage Majestic. The brand has a huge and loyal patronage amongst readers for its sharp, unbiased and credible reportage and serious, incisive and insightful corporate profiles.

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