Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Railroads are Hot

In addition to domestic growth, booming imports from Asia and from NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico are contributing, and so is foreign demand for U.S. coal and grain.

The ethanol industry has also created a new source of business. "Both the corn used to make ethanol and the finished product are most likely to be shipped by rail," says Kremar.

Railroads are far more energy-efficient than their competition. Locomotives today get 80% more mileage from a gallon of diesel than they did in 1980. As a result, trains consume far less fuel than trucks do to move the same amount of freight.

That not only saves on costs, it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency calculates that for distances of more than 1,000 miles, using trains rather than trucks alone reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 65%.

On a personal note, I was very excited to start working on a railroad client. I love transportation, and this is an area of transportation that is going to be doing better and better. And you get the help the environment to boot (and therein lies a potential major catalyst for growth).


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