Is this an Environmental answer to take trucks off the road?

We all pretty much agree that diesel trucks are something of an environmental problem. They’re everywhere belching out smoke and gasses which pollute the environment, and there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it. However, Union Pacific Railroad recently took part in a test. In an effort to "cut out" the middle man in a way, they created this train:

Topping out at about 3.5 miles long, with 9 GEVO (General Electric locomotives with the lowest emission ratings next to electric trains) this train carried some SIX HUNDRED truck containers between Dallas, Texas and the Port of Long Beach in California.

Would you agree that this program, if it were to be continued, would be an effective way to lower pollution, at the very least in removing tractor trailers from the roads?
Stevie N, the train is a diesel electric locomotive. The point I was making about electric, was a what if situation. IE: what if overhead catenary were used.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to Is this an Environmental answer to take trucks off the road?

  1. Peter J August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Trains are great.

    Oh, except for one nagging little problem. They don’t go everywhere.

    Transportation companies are interested in saving money, fuel costs money, so they’ll ship in the most fuel efficient manner possible.

  2. stl_luna_7 August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Well, that would pretty much wreck the economy. Taking trucks off the road and I certainly hope that notion isn’t being entertained.

  3. paulie2shoes August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    I think it is a good idea. Like the first poster says, trains don’t go everywhere. They used to but the tracks were ripped up and probably sold as scrap to Japan and China.

  4. FUHummer August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Yeah, it might be a "greener" alternative if the engines of the trains which are replacing a percentage of the trucks used in delivering goods did not also run on diesel fuel.

  5. littlerobbergirl August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Is this an Environmental answer to take trucks off the road?
    yes, and it always has been!

    We used to have a brilliant rail freight industry in the u.k., with many depots where the containers were offloaded onto trucks for the local part of the delivery, but it was dismantled under Thatcher who was in the pay of the road haulage industry and also wanted to break the power of the rail unions. This is what’s left of it;

  6. Stevie N August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Have you done the math on the cost of the electricity to power this train versus the cost of transporting the goods via the highways and using diesel? I would like to see that before I make my decision.

  7. David August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    I think we need to take the diesel out of the trucks and replace it with another fuel that is environmentally friendly and just as efficient.

  8. jim z August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Trains are currently used to a great extent. If they can build an even more economical engine, then obviously that is welcomed by everyone. The more we use trains, the more economically we can transport goods. If we keep governments out of the decisions, it may actually work. Amtrack is a good example of what happens to trains when government takes over.

  9. Solstice Boy August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    It’s an environmental AND a safety answer getting ‘Trucks’ (lorries) off the road

    Trucks belong on rails; get it back on the railway.