“While all types of transportation are vital to the distribution of goods across the country, this study shows that utilizing America’s freight rail system can lead to significant fuel savings,” said FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo (pictured at left). “The environmental benefits of these positive changes over the last two decades are enormous. We look forward to working with the freight rail industry to make sure these gains continue.”
The text of the final report (Comparative Evaluation of Rail and Truck Fuel Efficiency on Competitive Corridors, dated November 19, 2009 ) is even more impressive. Section 1.5 summarizes the main finding:
“For all movements, rail fuel efficiency is higher than truck fuel efficiency in terms of ton-miles per gallon. The ratio between rail and truck fuel efficiency indicates how much more fuel efficient rail is in comparison to trucks. As illustrated in Exhibit 1-1, rail fuel efficiency varies from 156 to 512 ton-miles per gallon, truck fuel efficiency ranges from 68 to 133 ton-miles per gallon, and rail truck fuel efficiency ratios range from 1.9 to 5.5."