As a company working in the Midwest intermodal transport business, we’re often described as being closely situated at the heart of our nation’s railway system.
There are over 140,000 miles of rail comprising a network that stretches across the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. These railroads carry 43 percent of intercity domestic freight – more than any other mode of transportation.
Through this interconnected rail network, our U.S. freight railroads are a shining emblem as the world’s most efficient, lowest-cost freight rail system. Because of this transportation prowess, the U.S. has led for many years in developing state-of-the-art logistics systems for truckers, rail companies, and other freighters.
The benefits of this massive rail network across North America are many. According to the Association of American Railroads, freight railroads provide shippers like Calhoun Truck Lines an affordable and efficient way to move freight. Through this method, freight railroads provide enormous public benefits, including increased fuel efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less highway congestion.
This is a circuitous way to tell how proud and excited we are at Calhoun Truck Lines to learn that the Association of American Railroads is investing $23 billion to build, maintain and upgrade the nation’s freight rail network throughout 2012. This is news that was recently announced in new ads released by The Association of American Railroads. You can see one of the clips below.
Just for comparison sake, the new ads show that $23 billion invested in the U.S. rail network is equivalent to four sports stadiums, five large bridges and eight convention centers. It’s a huge infrastructure project that most Americans don’t really even think about today. The AAR wants to bring awareness to the investment it makes in freight lines that enable goods and commerce to work well.
According to a recent story at RT&S, freight railroad companies support the country’s nationwide rail network so taxpayers don’t have to. “These investments in turn help keep American businesses competitive in the global marketplace, while supporting not only railroad jobs, but also supporting jobs throughout the economy,” said Edward Hamberger, president and CEO of AAR. “And by investing more than $500 billion since 1980, we have created the best freight rail network in the world.”
The AAR says that railroads invest about 17 percent of annual revenues on capital expenditures annually. That’s huge, a far higher amount per year compared to other U.S. goods manufacturers. These investments take shape in new rail tracks, bridges and tunnels; intermodal terminals for truck-to-train freight transport; modern safety equipment; new locomotive engines and other ways to keep our freight rail network running productively.