Study confirms that freight trains’ fuel efficiency improving

ATLANTA – Here’s something to think about the next time you’re stuck at a railroad crossing.

A recent study from the Federal Railroad Administration shows freight rail fuel efficiency improved roughly 22 percent between 1990 and 2006. Officials point to a number of reasons for the increase, including diesel-electric locomotives and more double-stack trains.

“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,” FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo said in a statement. “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.”

Longer trains and track and signal improvements also helped with the fuel efficiency improvement, the FRA said.

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