Trains vs. Trucks

It’s that time of year again, yearly inventory is wrapping up and transportation companies are ramping up. I’ve been out of the trucking loop for about a month now after being laid off at my most recent job due to slow freight. Anyone want to hire a 10 year veteran of the road, no accidents, no tickets and over a million miles? I don’t ask for much, just a livable wage, decent home time and good equipment.

Anyway, it seems as if the train companies are advertising on “green” friendly television stations and are on a push to make the general public that trains are more “Eco-Friendly“. What?! An eco-friendly train? The last train I saw in Washington was a smoky, dirty mess! The local fuel terminal is being threatened to be shut down because the leakage from the fuel tanks and hoses to fill those trains are leaking enough fuel to threaten the local aquifer. The latest advertisement states that a train can move a ton of freight 400 miles on a gallon of fuel. I did the math, the average truck can move a ton of freight over 500 miles on 2.5 gallons of fuel. Sounds like the train does a better job, doesn’t it? Except a train can’t back into a dock, transport that freight across town, nor can a train do it’s job without a truck!

I’d like to see the train company executives stop trying to compete with trucking companies, stop using poor examples of how much freight they can haul on a gallon of fuel, and start getting on board with true “green” or “Eco-Friendly” ideas to make the transportation industry a cleaner place in general. The trucking industry has spent billions on newer, clean burning engines and exhaust systems over the past ten years and we still get the brunt of bad PR as being dirty, pollution causing instruments of the environment.

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