crossposted from MyLeftWing
Having lost sight of our goals we redoubled our efforts
– Mark Twain
I have blogged on this topic before (links below the fold), and the concept is both powerful and simple. Electrify main rail corridors and provide the capacity to support 100mph Rapid Freight Rail. The points are direct:
- Electric rail freight needs under 10% the energy of diesel truck freight
- Even with short-haul trucking to origin railhead and from destination railhead, 100mph Rapid Freight Rail is faster door to door freight than long-haul trucking
- In underused Rights of Way, rail capacity is decreasing cost, with additional capacity cheaper than existing capacity
- As a side-effect benefit, any system that supports high reliability scheduled freight delivery automatically support substantially upgrade passenger rail services
With the focus on Long-Haul Freight, this proposed system has been dubbed the “Steel Interstate” (pdf).
Virginia is facing a Dinosaur Economy proposal to expand I-81 to eight lanes to cope with the combination of truck and car traffic. RAIL Solutions has turned to the Steel Interstate that:
- is a lower cost alternative
- is not addicted to oil,
- and takes semi-truck traffic off I-81, rather than imposing more semi-truck traffic on the motorists using I-81.