A Bright Outlook For Freight Railroads

While rail is known to be much greener than its competitor long-distance trucking, it is also a key component to globalization and big-box retail. This article spotlights the growth of Burlington Northern Santa Fe RR and the Port of Los Angeles.

The freight rail industry has come a long way since the the 1970s when it lost much ground to trucking and airplanes. They are investing in capital improvements such as double-tracking and huge rail yards to handle the shipping containers off-loaded from cargo ships originating in Asia.

"China's rise has given a new push to U.S. railroads, which have chugged their way back into the nation's transportation future after losing ground for decades to the trucking industry.

The sheer volume of inbound cargo from Asia to North America -- more than 40 million container loads last year -- has made it cost-prohibitive to haul all those goods over congested U.S. highways...Chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. depend on the nation's trains running on time.

There wouldn't be big-box retail and globalization if you had to truck in all those containers -- it wouldn't be worth the cost," said Anthony Hatch, a rail consultant in New York."

Thanks to Gladwy DeSouza

Full Story: Freight trains make big comeback in nation's transportation network

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