Infrastructure enhancements such as the National Gateway are critical for rail transportation to help mitigate problems associated with rising fuel costs, crowded highways, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Further, population growth and development in the U.S. have made our nation increasingly reliant on
rail and highway infrastructure to transport people and freight.
Over the next few decades, rail traffic will need to increase significantly to keep up with our nation's growing population, which is expected to grow from about 310 million in 2010 to 400 million in approximately 40 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.1 Current estimates suggest that over the next 40 years, overall freight demand will double, from 15 billion tons today to 30 billion tons. The number of trucks on the road is also expected to double. Already, capacity constraints in West Coast ports force more freight from Asia to be transported through the Panama and Suez canals to East Coast seaports.
Already under strain, the nation’s freight transportation infrastructure and highways will face even
greater challenges as the total volume of freight increases.
1 - “ National Totals: Vintage 2012.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/totals/2012/
1 - “U.S. Census Bureau Projections Show a Slower Growing, Older, More Diverse Nation a Half Century from Now.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-243.html