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The Power of Shipping by Rail in the United States

Shipping via rail is one of the most efficient and cost-effective forms of transportation available in the United States. From coast to coast, shipping cargo by freight train offers numerous benefits and has helped keep America’s supply chain moving for decades.

When you consider all the advantages that come with using railroads as a means of shipping goods, it's no wonder why they have remained popular since their introduction in the 19th century. For example, compared to trucking, rail transport can often carry heavier loads at lower prices; it requires less fuel than airship or trucking; and it's often more economical than maritime or air travel.

Another great advantage of shipping via railroad is that it’s much safer than other forms of transportation. According to statistics from the Association of American Railroads, between 1978 and 2017, trains were involved in only 2 percent of all reported incidents involving hazardous materials (compared with 74 percent for trucks). This makes railway transport an attractive option for companies transporting hazardous materials.

The railroad industry also plays a key role in keeping our economy strong by providing access to global markets. In 2017 alone, U.S. rail carriers moved over 12 million carloads worth of commodities that provided essential services such as food production and manufacturing. Furthermore, trains carry roughly 3 percent of all domestic freight shipments but account for nearly 50 percent of non-highway surface transportation-related jobs in the U.S., creating thousands of stable employment opportunities throughout the country each year.

Overall, rail freight is an invaluable asset to this nation's economy and infrastructure — not just now but well into the future too! By recognizing its potential and investing in its maintenance, we can ensure that this vital industry continues to keep America running smoothly for many years to come.

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