Fast Facts

The National Gateway will alleviate freight bottlenecks on key rail corridors.

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Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Quick Facts

The National Gateway

  • Will create more than 50,000 jobs, with 10,000 jobs created in the construction phase alone.
  • Will help save nearly 2 billion gallons of fuel and eliminate 20 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Has the support of a broad and diverse group of more than 300 public and private sector organizations and individuals who recognize the significant benefits of this cutting-edge infrastructure initiative, including Big Lots!, UPS and The Limited.
  • Delivers $36 in public benefits for every dollar of public money invested.

Freight Facts

  • Freight rail is expected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next 30 years, from an estimated 18 billion tons in 2010 to nearly 28 billion tons in 20401.
  • One double-stack intermodal train can carry the load of more than 280 trucks, freeing room for approximately 1,100 cars2.
  • Each bulk and merchandise train can carry the load of up to 500 trucks.
  • U.S. container traffic nearly doubled over the last decade, and this trend is expected to continue3.

Rail and the Environment

  • Freight rail is the most environmentally friendly form of surface transportation. A single freight train can move a ton of freight more than 450 miles on a single gallon of fuel4.
  • Every railcar trip removes approximately three truck trips from congested highways5.
  • Railroads can move one ton of freight three times as far as a truck on one gallon of fuel4.
  • On a per ton-mile basis, railroads emit one-tenth the hydrocarbons and diesel particulates as trucks, and one-third the nitrogen and carbon oxides6.
  • If just 10 percent of long-haul freight now moving by truck moved by rail instead, annual greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by more than 12 million tons7.

1 - Freight Analysis Framework, version 3.2.” Freight Facts and Figures 2011. U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. 2011. Accessed at: http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/nat_freight_stats/docs/11factsfigures/pdfs/fff2011_highres.pdf.

2 - “Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads,” National Atlas of the United States, September 17, 2009. Accessed at http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/transportation/a_freightrr.html.

3 - “Trends in Container Throughput,” Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2009. Accessed at http://www.bts.gov/publications/americas_container_ports/2009/html/trends_in_container_throughput.html.

4 - Environment.” Association of American Railroads. 2011. Accessed at: https://www.aar.org/Environment/Pages/default.aspx

5 - “Comparative Evaluation of Rail and Truck Fuel Efficiency on Competitive Corridors,” U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration, November 19, 2009. Accessed at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Downloads/Comparative_Evaluation_Rail_Truck_Fuel_Efficiency.pdf.

6 - “Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Freight Movements”

7 - “Rail Intermodal Keeps America Moving,” Association of American Railroads, May 2010. Accessed at http://www.aar.org/~/media/aar/backgroundpapers/railintermodalkeepsamericamoving.ashx.