The importance of rail service to the US economy and to the commerce of any State with an industrial base cannot be understated. As one of the largest steel-producing states, with strong a strong agricultural sector, Indiana relies heavily on the efficiency of its rail system to keep costs down and service levels high.
The announcement on September 12 by the US Department of Transportation of $71 million in funding to reduce rail congestion in Northwest Indiana (near the steel centers in the State) should benefit rail shippers needing to pass through the heavily used Chicago hub.
The announcement, coming two days after the announcement of the Indianapolis Industrial Center’s opening of its siding for rail service, is a reminder of the importance of retaining rail shipping capabilities for our manufacturing base.
Indiana rail service snapshot:
- Number of Freight Railroads: 42
- Freight Railroad Miles: 4,273
- Efficiency: A train can move a ton of freight 4 times as far as a truck for the same cost.
- On average, each ton-mile of freight moved by rail rather than highway reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent. (Source: American Association of Railroads).