The funny thing is that the trucking industry own little right of way. The feds have built the highways that the trucking companies use, while they tax the ROW that the railroads use. And as it turns out it is still more economical to use railroads.Railroad operators are pressing for advantage over their main competitor, long-haul trucking, which has struggled with rising fuel prices, driver shortages and highway congestion. Railroads say a load can be moved by rail using about a third as much fuel as it takes to haul it by truck. And rail transport is becoming more efficient still, they say, as operators speed their lines and logistics companies build huge warehouse areas along routes.
To me, this is just proof that a transportation system built on cheap fuel is a bad idea.
I think this is a good idea by the rail companies. I wish Texas would follow suit. We are building the trans-texas cooridor, primarily for Nafta purposes. We, more than any other state, should build something like this. Immediate reduction in freight traffic on the mixmaster would be huge.States have also started to climb aboard. In a 2002 report, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said transportation capacity could be increased more cheaply in some intercity corridors by adding railways rather than expanding highways.
Norfolk Southern is seeking public funding to accelerate rail-corridor projects, arguing that they provide a public benefit by limiting fuel use, traffic congestion and air pollution. The idea is gaining backers. Virginia created a rail-enhancement fund in 2005 from car-rental fees and is spending $40 million to improve a Norfolk Southern freight line in the state. The railroad industry is urging Congress to pass a railroad investment tax credit to fund rail improvements.