Freight rail transportation reduces roadway congestion, fuel consumption and harmful emissions, improving passenger vehicle safety and the environment. A vibrant national rail system also paves the way for a healthy flow of commerce, while decreasing carbon emissions and dependence on foreign oil. Following are just some of the benefits the Corridors of Commerce provide to our communities:
- Fewer Emissions – Rail is the most environmentally friendly form of surface transportation.
- Over 22 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided in 2009 by shipping on the rail Corridors. Greenhouse gases are reduced by two-thirds or more for every ton of freight that moves one mile by rail instead of by truck.
- In addition, over 135 thousand tons of NOx and 6 thousand tons of particulate matter were avoided in 2009 by utilizing the Corridors. Trains emit nearly two-thirds less particulate matter, and less NOx than trucks on a ton-mile basis.
- Reduced Highway Congestion and Gridlock – Just one BNSF train can take more than 280 trucks off our nation's highways.
- The TransCon, Great Northern and MidCon Corridors carried the equivalent freight of more than 22 million trucks in 2009.
- Over 6.2 million truckloads of freight that could be converted to intermodal moved on highways parallel to the Corridors in 2008. The potential exists for many other types of truck freight to be converted to rail as well. With focused Corridor expansion, more trucks could be diverted to rail.
- Improved Safety – Rail is one of the safest modes to transport goods.
- The planned Kansas City Intermodal Facility on the TransCon will remove one million long‐haul trucks from roadways every year, reducing the risk of accidents on interstate highways. This reduces a potential of 4,000 injuries over a period of 30 years.
- The Tower 55 project in Fort Worth, Texas, on the MidCon Corridor, will improve safety by closing grade crossings, adding pedestrian walkways, improving emergency vehicle access, and reducing the necessity of stopped trains near neighborhoods and schools.