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An oil supertanker has, according to wikipedia, about 500,000 dead weight tons of displacement. A single coal train in the US carries about 10,000 tons. We have more than 10 trains a day passing through Colorado Springs, which means the equivalent (by weight) of supertanker load passes through the middle of our little downtown every week.

So from the shipping cost viewpoint perhaps ships are more efficient, but it doesn't take much rail infrastructure to ship lots of freight...

by asdf on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 11:23:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compare this picture to the one at the head of the diary entry to see the difference between what Europe and the US think of as "infrastructure."
by asdf on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 11:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, I used to live in Fort Collins and regularly went down to CS along those coal routes with the mile long trains of coal.  In FC there was a line between my house and work which had about 3 trains a day, with maybe 10 cars, mostly lumber and toxic chemicals.  It chugged along about as fast as I rode my bike, and invariably at the time I wanted to get to work :)
by njh on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 05:31:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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