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Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ARP, Feb 15, 2009.
isnt that what trucks do though? Haul bulk and weight long distances?
Trains will come back if the tracks are not removed for housing developements. The cost to operate these newer trucks isn't cost effective anymore you can blame rotten emmissions regulations for that.
Intermodal shipping is the easiest way to go with 40 foot cans stack them on rail cars move them accross the country.
Yes, but the cost per ton when shipping by a truck is much higher than by train. Imagine shipping 200 tractor trailer loads of the same goods from a factory to a distribution center as individual loads. Say each of those trucks is running a 450hp engine, that is 200 x 450hp engines burning fuel to deliver a set amount of goods. Now take a freight train running 2, 6000 hp engines to move the same load and you have a significant savings in cost/ton. I'm sure it's more complicated and dirtmerchant can explain better with a better example, but it's all about efficiencies of scale with trains. Like dirtmerchant, a rail line is something I am interested in.
Trucks are only more economical on the distribution side, where smaller batches of goods are moved from the distribution center to the final point of sale. For example, it wouldn't make sense to run a dedicated rail line and train to a large grocery store for the store to get its several tractor trailer loads of deliveries a day. But it would make sense on the other hand to run a rail line to the regional distribution center for all the grocery stores in the region as the trailer loads going into that center number in the 100's per day.
Let's discuss, I like this topic!
Thats what I was getting at.. Your never going to totally remove a truck from the equation. It just doesnt make sense..
But its a hell of a lot cheaper to run one large train from the factory to the distribution center (or multiple centers) than it is to have 30 or more trucks running back and forth doing the samething costing more money..
The biggest problem in long haul trucking today is the wages and profit is so low a person can't afford to drive a truck for a living. You have these big monster trucking companies like Swift etc they don't want to see trains.
These large companies drive the rate down so owner operators are working for peanuts.
In Canada the gov't has given up most of the rail lines it should have never done that not sure about the USA.
A little dated but still accurate.
The train industry has so many drawbacks simply due to the way America was planned during the post WW2 era, with advent of suburbia. During the 50s and 60s when the highway system was being developed there were many regulations being created in favor of the automotive industry, thus hurting the train industry.
A few figures major figures about trains to consider:
* 85% of the wear on our highways is caused by trucks.
* One 80,000 lb truck does as much damage to the highway as 10,000 cars.
* One train can replace 280 to 500 trucks, since each wagon can carry on average 100 tons vs 56 ton max on a truck.
* A truck requires 3 times more fuel per ton per mile. Though the figures range from 1.4 to 9 depending on equipment and conditions.
Just a few of the benefits that would result from replacing as much of the trucking industry with rail as possible:
* Significant reduction in wear and maintenance costs associated with highways.
* Less maintenance and less trucks on highways means less traffic jams, which cost an estimated 100 billion yearly to the US economy.
* Using less fuel to ship goods would lower dependency on foreign oil and help reduce emissions for the environment.
* Cheaper goods, due to cost reductions in shipping since a large portion is based on fuel consumption. Exactly the reason why truckers are often heard having protests and strikes during high fuel prices. Cheap goods would result in a boost in the economy.
* The rail industry is financially responsible for it's infrastructure. While trucking companies only contribute a small mount to the extremely large budget that is spent on keeping the road infrastructure in America running. Lots of government funds can be freed up and allocated to better uses.
* In 1995 42,000 people died in automobile accidents. A third of all highway accidents that result in death involve trucks. Meanwhile the railroad industry only claims about 500 lives per year (almost all to people who deserved them).
* One rail line can carry as many people in a day as 16 lanes of highway. Plus trains are actually quieter than trucks. Highways produce a lot of noise pollution and require the placement of sound barriers. Meanwhile a train only comes once in a while, and even then does not create too much noise.
Some would say the trucking industry has no future, while trains are constantly evolving, with the advent of the magnetic trains, and even today's diesel locomotives are far superior technologically than their truck counterparts. At the end of the day door to door service will always require trucking to some extent. Trains can't roll through neighborhoods but if you took all the trucks off the highway. Can you imagine?
So if using train would be that beneficial to the US and the govt is looking for ways to save the enviroment and money..
Why havent they looked at this as an option?
But what kind of effect would it have on the number of people employed? sure there would still be the people working the distribution centers and running the trucks from the centers to the stores. But how many OTR drivers would it put out of work?
If trains were used again you would take quite a few trucks off the road but you still would have regional hauling.
Too many companies profiting from trucking except for the truck drivers.
Umm, yeah thats what I said?
Interesting topic, trains and semi's. I personally would love to see less semi and more train useage.