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Study: Shifting more freight from road to rail in 20 years will cut commuters' travel time, reduce pollution


If 25 percent of the nation's freight volume is shifted from trucks to railroads by 2025, commuters could cut their travel time an average of 44 hours each year, according to a recent study authored by transportation expert Wendell Cox.

Based on data culled from 49 major cities, the study shows the freight shift also would help commuters cut fuel usage an average of 257 gallons, save households $620 in traffic congestion-related costs and reduce the cities' air pollution an average of 882,000 tons annually.

"With freight volume expected to grow by two-thirds over the next 20 years, freight railroads will become even more critical to easing congestion," said Cox in a prepared statement. "Since railroads are not meeting their cost of capital, government policy makers may want to consider investment incentives to help meet the growing demand for freight rail."

For more information on the study, contact Jon Hawkins at 202-326-1729 or via email at, or visit the Association of American Railroads-sponsored Web site

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/16/2004