Pollution and Energy Consumption of Railroad Transportation



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Texas Transportation Institute Texas A&M University


In order to make rational decisions with regard to the public assistance that might be necessary to maintain a viable transportation system for Texas, the decisionmakers should have knowledge of the energy consumption and pollution emission characteristics of competing modes of transportation. This is especially true with respect to energy consumption at the time when the nation is being made acutely aware of its dwindling supply of petroleum fuels used by motor vehicles, airplanes, and locomotives. The emphasis is on fuel efficiency and conservation in all modes of transportation. As prices of petroleum fuels continue to increase, the mode of transportation that is the most fuel efficient in transporting people and goods will become more and more attractive to commuters and shippers. Also, other fuels, such as coal (converted to gas or electricity), will be used more and more to furnish the energy needs of competing modes of transportation. As our cities in Texas and the Nation continue to grow, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain clean air to breathe. Therefore, the mode of transportation which pollutes the air the least will become more and more desirable, especially in the major urban areas of the State. All forms of pollution (air, noise, water, etc.) are receiving more and more attention in the quest to maintain a healthy and pleasing environment for everyone.


26 pages; available for download at the link below.


railroad transportation, environmental impact, transportation -- environmental impact, cost effectiveness -- transportation