Sunday, August 26, 2007A letter to the editor of The Capital Times:
A career trucker who spoke on public radio during a call-in session said we could cut down on fuel by quitting the senseless practice of hauling nonperishables cross country by truck. He said the government needs to give us an adequate rail system to haul this type of commodity.
Some in Congress also think this is a good idea. A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced the Freight Rail Capacity Expansion Act of 2007. In today's world it makes sense. A freight train can take about 300 big trucks (the equivalent of 1,100 cars) off the highways. It can reduce highway congestion, which costs us $63 billion per year in wasted fuel and travel time, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Expanding the use of rails for freight would slow the need for more highways. It can cost over $10 million to add a lane to a mile of urban highway, compared to $1 million to $3 million to add a mile of rail.
Added incentive to move forward is the aggressive hiring by the industry of returning veterans. Our four largest railroads made the list of "top military-friendly employers" as determined by GI Jobs Magazine. These are jobs that can 't go overseas.
What's not to like?
Nancy Duersten, Racine