“Freight rail continues to play a vital role in the United States’ growth, job creation, and economic recovery.”
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The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted yesterday to support a resolution honoring America’s freight railroad industry and its employees.
“Freight rail has played a critical role in the economic development of the United States and has helped to build cities and strengthen infrastructure throughout this great Nation,” states the resolution. “Freight rail continues to play a vital role in the United States’ growth, job creation, and economic recovery.”
The resolution recognizing and honoring the freight railroad industry and its employees, H. Res. 1366, was sponsored by Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) and supported by 28 bipartisan cosponsors. H. Res. 1366 passed the House by a vote of 411-0.
Although it may appear to be just a token gesture, LM agrees with AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger, who greeted the news with this statement:
“Whether it’s by supporting millions of American jobs, keeping the things we buy and use more affordable, or easing traffic congestion and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, freight rail provides tremendous benefits to America.”
Freight railroads generate nearly $265 billion in total annual economic activity, and directly or indirectly support more than 1.2 million U.S. jobs. Since 1980, railroad productivity has increased 144 percent, rail rates are down 49 percent, rail accident rates are down 75 percent, railroad fuel efficiency is up 104 percent, and railroads have reinvested some $460 billion back into their systems.
About the AuthorPatrick Burnson, Executive Editor Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
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Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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