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Rail freight transport

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A Class 92 hauled container freight train on the West Coast Main Line, United Kingdom
A Class 92 hauled container freight train on the West Coast Main Line, United Kingdom
A long grain train of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing a bridge in Washington state, United States
A long grain train of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing a bridge in Washington state, United States
Freight trains wait for departure in Zhengzhou, China
Freight trains wait for departure in Zhengzhou, China

Rail freight transport is the use of railroads and trains to transport cargo as opposed to human passengers.

A freight train, cargo train, or goods train is a group of freight cars (US) or goods wagons (International Union of Railways) hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, transporting cargo all or some of the way between the shipper and the intended destination as part of the logistics chain. Trains may haul bulk material, intermodal containers, general freight or specialized freight in purpose-designed cars.[1] Rail freight practices and economics vary by country and region.

When considered in terms of ton-miles or tonne-kilometers hauled per unit of energy consumed, rail transport can be more efficient than other means of transportation. Maximum economies are typically realized with bulk commodities (e.g., coal), especially when hauled over long distances. However, shipment by rail is not as flexible as by the highway, which has resulted in much freight being hauled by truck, even over long distances. Moving goods by rail often involves transshipment costs, particularly when the shipper or receiver lack direct rail access. These costs may exceed that of operating the train itself, a factor that practices such as containerization, trailer-on-flatcar or rolling highway aim to minimize.

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Cargo

Cargo

Cargo consists of goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for commercial gain. Cargo was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, including transport by rail, van, truck, or intermodal container. The term cargo is also used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use, even when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facilities. The term freight is commonly used to describe the movements of flows of goods being transported by any mode of transportation.

Human

Human

Humans are the most abundant and widespread species of primate. They are a type of great ape that is characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. As such, social interactions between humans have established a wide variety of values, social norms, languages, and rituals, each of which bolsters human society. The desire to understand and influence phenomena has motivated humanity's development of science, technology, philosophy, mythology, religion, and other conceptual frameworks.

Passenger

Passenger

A passenger is a person who travels in a vehicle, but does not bear any responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or otherwise operate the vehicle, and is not a steward. The vehicles may be bicycles, buses, passenger trains, airliners, ships, ferryboats, and other methods of transportation.

Freight train

Freight train

A freight train, also called a goods train or cargo train, is a railway train that is used to carry cargo, as opposed to passengers. Freight trains are made up of one or more locomotives which provide propulsion, along with one or more railroad cars which carry freight. A wide variety of cargos are carried on trains, but the low friction inherent to rail transport means that freight trains are especially suited to carrying bulk and heavy loads over longer distances.

Goods wagon

Goods wagon

Goods wagons or freight wagons, also known as goods carriages, goods trucks, freight carriages or freight trucks, are unpowered railway vehicles that are used for the transportation of cargo. A variety of wagon types are in use to handle different types of goods, but all goods wagons in a regional network typically have standardized couplers and other fittings, such as hoses for air brakes, allowing different wagon types to be assembled into trains. For tracking and identification purposes, goods wagons are generally assigned a unique identifier, typically a UIC wagon number, or in North America, a company reporting mark plus a company specific serial number.

International Union of Railways

International Union of Railways

The International Union of Railways is an international rail transport industry body.

Locomotive

Locomotive

A locomotive or engine is a rail transport vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. If a locomotive is capable of carrying a payload, it is usually rather referred to as a multiple unit, motor coach, railcar or power car; the use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight.

Logistics

Logistics

Logistics is a part of supply chain management that deals with the efficient forward and reverse flow of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption according to the needs of customers. Logistics management is a component that holds the supply chain together. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items.

Bulk material handling

Bulk material handling

Bulk material handling is an engineering field that is centered on the design of equipment used for the handling of dry materials. Bulk materials are those dry materials which are powdery, granular or lumpy in nature, and are stored in heaps. Examples of bulk materials are minerals, ores, coal, cereals, woodchips, sand, gravel, clay, cement, ash, salt, chemicals, grain, sugar, flour and stone in loose bulk form. It can also relate to the handling of mixed wastes. Bulk material handling is an essential part of all industries that process bulk ingredients, including: food, beverage, confectionery, pet food, animal feed, tobacco, chemical, agricultural, polymer, plastic, rubber, ceramic, electronics, metals, minerals, paint, paper, textiles and more.

Intermodal container

Intermodal container

An intermodal container, often called a shipping container, is a large standardized container designed and built for intermodal freight transport, meaning these containers can be used across different modes of transport – from ship to rail to truck – without unloading and reloading their cargo. Intermodal containers are primarily used to store and transport materials and products efficiently and securely in the global containerized intermodal freight transport system, but smaller numbers are in regional use as well. These containers are known under a number of names. Based on size alone, up to 95% of intermodal containers comply with ISO standards, and can officially be called ISO containers. Many other names are simply: container, cargo or freight container, shipping, sea or ocean container, container van or sea van, sea can or C can, or MILVAN, SEAVAN, or RO/RO. The also used term CONEX (Box) is technically incorrect carry-over usage of the name of an important predecessor of the international ISO containers, namely the much smaller prior steel CONEX boxes used by the U.S. Army.

Coal

Coal

Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is a type of fossil fuel, formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over millions of years. Vast deposits of coal originate in former wetlands called coal forests that covered much of the Earth's tropical land areas during the late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) and Permian times. Many significant coal deposits are younger than this and originate from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.

Containerization

Containerization

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers. Containerization, also referred as container stuffing or container loading, is the process of unitization of cargoes in exports. Containerization is the predominant form of unitization of export cargoes, as opposed to other systems such as the barge system or palletization. The containers have standardized dimensions. They can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail transport flatcars, and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened. The handling system is completely mechanized so that all handling is done with cranes and special forklift trucks. All containers are numbered and tracked using computerized systems.

Overview

Average external costs of freight transport (EU-28, 2016) per transport mode[2]
Mode eurocent per tonne-kilometre
Road (LCV)
35.6
Road (HGV)
4.2
Rail (diesel)
1.8
Rail (electric)
1.1
Inland vessel
1.9

Traditionally, large shippers build factories and warehouses near rail lines and have a section of track on their property called a siding where goods are loaded onto or unloaded from rail cars. Other shippers have their goods hauled (drayed) by wagon or truck to or from a goods station (freight station in US). Smaller locomotives transfer the rail cars from the sidings and goods stations to a classification yard, where each car is coupled to one of several long-distance trains being assembled there, depending on that car's destination. When long enough, or based on a schedule, each long-distance train is then dispatched to another classification yard. At the next classification yard, cars are resorted. Those that are destined for stations served by that yard are assigned to local trains for delivery. Others are reassembled into trains heading to classification yards closer to their final destination. A single car might be reclassified or switched in several yards before reaching its final destination, a process that made rail freight slow and increased costs. Many freight rail operators are trying to reduce these costs by reducing or eliminating switching in classification yards through techniques such as unit trains and containerization.[3] In many countries, railroads have been built to haul one commodity, such as coal or ore, from an inland point to a port.

Rail freight uses many types of goods wagon (UIC) or freight car (US). These include box cars (US) or covered wagons (UIC) for general merchandise, flat cars (US) or flat wagons (UIC) for heavy or bulky loads, well wagons or "low loader" wagons for transporting road vehicles; there are refrigerator vans for transporting food, simple types of open-topped wagons for transporting bulk material, such as minerals and coal, and tankers for transporting liquids and gases. Most coal and aggregates are moved in hopper wagons or gondolas (US) or open wagons (UIC) that can be filled and discharged rapidly, to enable efficient handling of the materials.

A major disadvantage of rail freight is its lack of flexibility. In part for this reason, rail has lost much of the freight business to road transport. On the other hand, rail transport is very energy-efficient, and much more environmentally friendly than road transport.[2][4] Compared to road transport whісh employs the uѕе of trucks (lorries), rail transportation ensures that goods that соuld оtherwіѕе be transported on а number of trucks are transported in а single shipment. Thіѕ saves а lot аѕ fаr аѕ cost connected to the transportation are concerned.[5] Rail freight transport also has very low external costs.[2] Therefore, many governments have been stimulating the switch of freight from trucks onto trains, because of the environmental benefits that it would bring.[2][4] Railway transport and inland navigation (also known as 'inland waterway transport' (IWT) or 'inland shipping') are similarly environmentally friendly modes of transportation, and both form major parts of the 2019 European Green Deal.[2]

In Europe (particularly Britain), many manufacturing towns developed before the railway. Many factories did not have direct rail access. This meant that freight had to be shipped through a goods station, sent by train and unloaded at another goods station for onward delivery to another factory. When lorries (trucks) replaced horses it was often economical and faster to make one movement by road. In the United States, particularly in the West and Midwest, towns developed with railway and factories often had a direct rail connection. Despite the closure of many minor lines carload shipping from one company to another by rail remains common.

Railroads were early users of automatic data processing equipment, starting at the turn of the twentieth century with punched cards and unit record equipment.[6] Many rail systems have turned to computerized scheduling and optimization for trains which has reduced costs and helped add more train traffic to the rails.

Freight railroads' relationship with other modes of transportation varies widely. There is almost no interaction with airfreight, close cooperation with ocean-going freight and a mostly competitive relationship with long distance trucking and barge transport. Many businesses ship their products by rail if they are shipped long distance because it can be cheaper to ship in large quantities by rail than by truck; however barge shipping remains a viable competitor where water transport is available.[7]

Freight trains are sometimes illegally boarded by individuals who do not have the money or the desire to travel legally, a practice referred to as "hopping". Most hoppers sneak into train yards and stow away in boxcars. Bolder hoppers will catch a train "on the fly", that is, as it is moving, leading to occasional fatalities, some of which go unrecorded. The act of leaving a town or area, by hopping a freight train is sometimes referred to as "catching-out", as in catching a train out of town.[8]

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Externality

Externality

In economics, an externality or external cost is an indirect cost or benefit to an uninvolved third party that arises as an effect of another party's activity. Externalities can be considered as unpriced goods involved in either consumer or producer market transactions. Air pollution from motor vehicles is one example. The cost of air pollution to society is not paid by either the producers or users of motorized transport to the rest of society. Water pollution from mills and factories is another example. All consumers are all made worse off by pollution but are not compensated by the market for this damage. A positive externality is when an individual's consumption in a market increases the well-being of others, but the individual does not charge the third party for the benefit. The third party is essentially getting a free product. An example of this might be the apartment above a bakery receiving the benefit of enjoyment from smelling fresh pastries every morning. The people who live in the apartment do not compensate the bakery for this benefit.

European Union

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of nearly 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Light commercial vehicle

Light commercial vehicle

A light commercial vehicle (LCV) in the European Union, Australia and New Zealand is a commercial carrier vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 metric tons (tonnes). The LCV designation is also occasionally used in both Canada and Ireland.

Factory

Factory

A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial facility, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with machinery, where workers manufacture items or operate machines which process each item into another. They are a critical part of modern economic production, with the majority of the world's goods being created or processed within factories.

Siding (rail)

Siding (rail)

A siding, in rail terminology, is a low-speed track section distinct from a running line or through route such as a main line, branch line, or spur. It may connect to through track or to other sidings at either end. Sidings often have lighter rails, meant for lower speed or less heavy traffic, and few, if any, signals. Sidings connected at both ends to a running line are commonly known as loops; those not so connected may be referred to as single-ended or dead-end sidings, or stubs.

Drayage

Drayage

Drayage is the transport of goods over a short distance in the shipping and logistics industries. Drayage is often part of a longer overall move, such as from a ship to a warehouse. Some research defines it specifically as "a truck pickup from or delivery to a seaport, border point, inland port, or intermodal terminal with both the trip origin and destination in the same urban area". Port drayage is the term used when describing short hauls from ports and other areas to nearby locations. It can also refer to the movement of goods within large buildings such as convention centers. Drayage is a key aspect of the transfer of shipments to and from other means of transportation. The term drayage is also used for the fee paid for such services.

Goods station

Goods station

A goods station or freight station is, in the widest sense, a railway station where, either exclusively or predominantly, goods, such as merchandise, parcels, and manufactured items, are loaded onto or unloaded off of ships or road vehicles and/or where goods wagons are transferred to local sidings.

Classification yard

Classification yard

A classification yard, marshalling yard or shunting yard is a railway yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railway cars onto one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars are sent through a series of switches called a ladder onto the classification tracks. Larger yards tend to put the lead on an artificially built hill called a hump to use the force of gravity to propel the cars through the ladder.

Sorting

Sorting

Sorting refers to ordering data in an increasing or decreasing manner according to some linear relationship among the data items.ordering: arranging items in a sequence ordered by some criterion; categorizing: grouping items with similar properties.

Containerization

Containerization

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers. Containerization, also referred as container stuffing or container loading, is the process of unitization of cargoes in exports. Containerization is the predominant form of unitization of export cargoes, as opposed to other systems such as the barge system or palletization. The containers have standardized dimensions. They can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail transport flatcars, and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened. The handling system is completely mechanized so that all handling is done with cranes and special forklift trucks. All containers are numbered and tracked using computerized systems.

Goods wagon

Goods wagon

Goods wagons or freight wagons, also known as goods carriages, goods trucks, freight carriages or freight trucks, are unpowered railway vehicles that are used for the transportation of cargo. A variety of wagon types are in use to handle different types of goods, but all goods wagons in a regional network typically have standardized couplers and other fittings, such as hoses for air brakes, allowing different wagon types to be assembled into trains. For tracking and identification purposes, goods wagons are generally assigned a unique identifier, typically a UIC wagon number, or in North America, a company reporting mark plus a company specific serial number.

Covered goods wagon

Covered goods wagon

A covered goods wagon or van is a railway goods wagon which is designed for the transportation of moisture-susceptible goods and therefore fully enclosed by sides and a fixed roof. They are often referred to simply as covered wagons, and this is the term used by the International Union of Railways (UIC). Since the introduction of the international classification for goods wagons by the UIC in the 1960s a distinction has been drawn between ordinary and special covered wagons. Other types of wagon, such as refrigerated vans and goods wagons with opening roofs, are closely related to covered wagons from a design point of view. Similar freight cars in North America are called boxcars.

Bulk

Freight wagons filled with limestone await unloading, at sidings in Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Freight wagons filled with limestone await unloading, at sidings in Rugby, Warwickshire, England

Bulk cargo constitutes the majority of tonnage carried by most freight railroads. Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. These cargo are usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or solid, into a railroad car. Liquids, such as petroleum and chemicals, and compressed gases are carried by rail in tank cars.[9]

Bulk freight car scales at the MMA Mack Point yard, Searsport, Maine
Bulk freight car scales at the MMA Mack Point yard, Searsport, Maine

Hopper cars are freight cars used to transport dry bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grain, track ballast, and the like. This type of car is distinguished from a gondola car (US) or open wagon (UIC) in that it has opening doors on the underside or on the sides to discharge its cargo. The development of the hopper car went along with the development of automated handling of such commodities, with automated loading and unloading facilities. There are two main types of hopper car: open and covered; Covered hopper cars are used for cargo that must be protected from the elements (chiefly rain) such as grain, sugar, and fertilizer. Open cars are used for commodities such as coal, which can get wet and dry out with less harmful effect. Hopper cars have been used by railways worldwide whenever automated cargo handling has been desired. Rotary car dumpers simply invert the car to unload it, and have become the preferred unloading technology, especially in North America; they permit the use of simpler, tougher, and more compact (because sloping ends are not required) gondola cars instead of hoppers.

Heavy-duty ore traffic

The heaviest trains in the world carry bulk traffic such as iron ore and coal. Loads can be 130 tonnes per wagon and tens of thousands of tonnes per train. Daqin Railway transports more than 1 million tonnes of coal to the east sea shore of China every day and in 2009 is the busiest freight line in the world[10] Such economies of scale drive down operating costs. Some freight trains can be over 7 km long.

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Limestone

Limestone

Limestone is a type of carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of CaCO3. Limestone forms when these minerals precipitate out of water containing dissolved calcium. This can take place through both biological and nonbiological processes, though biological processes, such as the accumulation of corals and shells in the sea, have likely been more important for the last 540 million years. Limestone often contains fossils which provide scientists with information on ancient environments and on the evolution of life.

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities.

Commodity

Commodity

In economics, a commodity is an economic good, usually a resource, that has full or substantial fungibility: that is, the market treats instances of the good as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced them.

Cargo

Cargo

Cargo consists of goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for commercial gain. Cargo was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, including transport by rail, van, truck, or intermodal container. The term cargo is also used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use, even when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facilities. The term freight is commonly used to describe the movements of flows of goods being transported by any mode of transportation.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway

The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway was a Class II freight railroad that operated in the U.S. states of Maine and Vermont and the Canadian province of Quebec between 2002 and 2014. It was headquartered in Hermon, Maine.

Hopper car

Hopper car

A hopper car (US) or hopper wagon (UIC) is a type of railroad freight car used to transport loose bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grain, and track ballast. Two main types of hopper car exist: covered hopper cars, which are equipped with a roof, and open hopper cars, which do not have a roof.

Coal

Coal

Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is a type of fossil fuel, formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over millions of years. Vast deposits of coal originate in former wetlands called coal forests that covered much of the Earth's tropical land areas during the late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) and Permian times. Many significant coal deposits are younger than this and originate from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.

Ore

Ore

Ore is natural rock or sediment that contains one or more valuable minerals concentrated above background levels, typically containing metals, that can be mined, treated and sold at a profit. The grade of ore refers to the concentration of the desired material it contains. The value of the metals or minerals a rock contains must be weighed against the cost of extraction to determine whether it is of sufficiently high grade to be worth mining, and is therefore considered an ore. A complex ore is one containing more than one valuable mineral.

Cereal

Cereal

A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, which is composed of an endosperm, a germ, and a bran. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. They include wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat, quinoa and chia, are referred to as pseudocereals.

Gondola (rail)

Gondola (rail)

In US railroad terminology, a gondola is an open-topped rail vehicle used for transporting loose bulk materials. Because of their low side walls, gondolas are also suitable for the carriage of such high-density cargos as steel plates or coils, or of bulky items such as prefabricated sections of rail track. Gondolas are distinct from hopper cars in that they do not have doors on their floor to empty cargo.

Open wagon

Open wagon

Open wagons form a large group of railway goods wagons designed primarily for the transportation of bulk goods that are not moisture-retentive and can usually be tipped, dumped or shovelled. The International Union of Railways (UIC) distinguishes between ordinary wagons and special wagons (F/6). Open wagons often form a significant part of a railway company's goods wagon fleet; for example, forming just under 40% of the Deutsche Bahn's total goods wagon stock in Germany.

Covered hopper

Covered hopper

A covered hopper is a self-clearing enclosed railroad freight car with fixed roof, sides, and ends with openings for loading through the roof and bottom openings for unloading. Covered hopper cars are designed for carrying dry bulk loads, varying from grain to products such as sand and clay. The cover protects the loads from the weather. Dry cement would be very hard to unload if mixed with water in transit, while grain would be likely to rot if exposed to rain.

Containerization

A container train in Germany
A container train in Germany

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using standard shipping containers (also known as 'ISO containers' or 'isotainers') that can be loaded with cargo, sealed and placed onto container ships, railroad cars, and trucks. Containerization has revolutionized cargo shipping. As of 2009 approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is moved by containers stacked on transport ships;[11] 26% of all container transshipment is carried out in China.[12] As of 2005, some 18 million total containers make over 200 million trips per year.

Use of the same basic sizes of containers across the globe has lessened the problems caused by incompatible rail gauge sizes in different countries by making transshipment between different gauge trains easier.[13]

While typically containers travel for many hundreds or even thousands kilometers on the railway, Swiss experience shows that with properly coordinated logistics, it is possible to operate a viable intermodal (truck + rail) cargo transportation system even within a country as small as Switzerland.[14]

Double-stack containerization

Train in Arizona, with 20-, 40- and-53 foot containers double stacked in well cars
Train in Arizona, with 20-, 40- and-53 foot containers double stacked in well cars

Most flatcars (flat wagons) cannot carry more than one standard 40-foot (12.2 m) container on top of another because of limited vertical clearance, even though they usually can carry the weight of two. Carrying half the possible weight is inefficient. However, if the rail line has been built with sufficient vertical clearance, a double-stack car can accept a container and still leave enough clearance for another container on top. This usually precludes operation of double-stacked wagons on lines with overhead electric wiring. China runs double-stack trains with overhead wiring, but does not allow two maximum height containers to be stacked.[15]

In the United States, Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) with Malcom McLean came up with the idea of the first double-stack intermodal car in 1977.[16][17] SP then designed the first car with ACF Industries that same year.[18][19] At first it was slow to become an industry standard, then in 1984 American President Lines started working with the SP and that same year, the first all "double stack" train left Los Angeles, California for South Kearny, New Jersey, under the name of "Stacktrain" rail service. Along the way the train transferred from the SP to Conrail. It saved shippers money and now accounts for almost 70 percent of intermodal freight transport shipments in the United States, in part due to the generous vertical clearances used by U.S. railroads. These lines are diesel-operated with no overhead wiring.

Double stacking is also used in Australia between Adelaide, Parkes, Perth and Darwin. These are diesel-only lines with no overhead wiring. Saudi Arabian Railways use double-stack in its Riyadh-Dammam corridor. Double stacking is used in India for selected freight-only lines.[15]

Rolling highways and piggyback service

In some countries rolling highway, or rolling road,[20] trains are used; trucks can drive straight onto the train and drive off again when the end destination is reached. A system like this is used on the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, as well as on the Konkan Railway in India. In other countries, the tractor unit of each truck is not carried on the train, only the trailer. Piggyback trains are common in the United States, where they are also known as trailer on flat car or TOFC trains, but they have lost market share to containers (COFC), with longer, 53-foot containers frequently used for domestic shipments. There are also roadrailer vehicles, which have two sets of wheels, for use in a train, or as the trailer of a road vehicle.

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Rail transport in Germany

Rail transport in Germany

As of 2015, Germany had a railway network of 33,331 kilometres (20,711 mi), of which 19,983 kilometres (12,417 mi) were electrified and 18,201 kilometres (11,310 mi) were double track. Germany is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC Country Code for Germany is 80.

Containerization

Containerization

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers. Containerization, also referred as container stuffing or container loading, is the process of unitization of cargoes in exports. Containerization is the predominant form of unitization of export cargoes, as opposed to other systems such as the barge system or palletization. The containers have standardized dimensions. They can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail transport flatcars, and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened. The handling system is completely mechanized so that all handling is done with cranes and special forklift trucks. All containers are numbered and tracked using computerized systems.

Intermodal freight transport

Intermodal freight transport

Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation, without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The method reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damage and loss, and allows freight to be transported faster. Reduced costs over road trucking is the key benefit for inter-continental use. This may be offset by reduced timings for road transport over shorter distances.

Intermodal container

Intermodal container

An intermodal container, often called a shipping container, is a large standardized container designed and built for intermodal freight transport, meaning these containers can be used across different modes of transport – from ship to rail to truck – without unloading and reloading their cargo. Intermodal containers are primarily used to store and transport materials and products efficiently and securely in the global containerized intermodal freight transport system, but smaller numbers are in regional use as well. These containers are known under a number of names. Based on size alone, up to 95% of intermodal containers comply with ISO standards, and can officially be called ISO containers. Many other names are simply: container, cargo or freight container, shipping, sea or ocean container, container van or sea van, sea can or C can, or MILVAN, SEAVAN, or RO/RO. The also used term CONEX (Box) is technically incorrect carry-over usage of the name of an important predecessor of the international ISO containers, namely the much smaller prior steel CONEX boxes used by the U.S. Army.

International Organization for Standardization

International Organization for Standardization

The International Organization for Standardization is an international standard development organization composed of representatives from the national standards organizations of member countries. Membership requirements are given in Article 3 of the ISO Statutes.

Container ship

Container ship

A container ship is a cargo ship that carries all of its load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. Container ships are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo.

Railroad car

Railroad car

A railroad car, railcar, railway wagon, railway carriage, railway truck, railwagon, railcarriage or railtruck, also called a train car, train wagon, train carriage or train truck, is a vehicle used for the carrying of cargo or passengers on a rail transport network. Such cars, when coupled together and hauled by one or more locomotives, form a train. Alternatively, some passenger cars are self-propelled in which case they may be either single railcars or make up multiple units.

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities.

Rail transport in Switzerland

Rail transport in Switzerland

The Swiss rail network is noteworthy for its density, its coordination between services, its integration with other modes of transport, timeliness and a thriving domestic and trans-alp freight system. This is made necessary by strong regulations on truck transport, and is enabled by properly coordinated intermodal logistics.

Double-stack rail transport

Double-stack rail transport

Double-stack rail transport is a form of intermodal freight transport in which railroad cars carry two layers of intermodal containers. Invented in the United States in 1984, it is now being used for nearly seventy percent of United States intermodal shipments. Using double stack technology, a freight train of a given length can carry roughly twice as many containers, sharply reducing transport costs per container. On United States railroads special well cars are used for double-stack shipment to reduce the needed vertical clearance and to lower the center of gravity of a loaded car. In addition, the well car design reduces damage in transit and provides greater cargo security by cradling the lower containers so their doors cannot be opened. A succession of larger container sizes have been introduced to further increase shipping productivity in the United States.

Flatcar

Flatcar

A flatcar (US) is a piece of rolling stock that consists of an open, flat deck mounted on a pair of trucks (US) or bogies (UK), one at each end containing four or six wheels. Occasionally, flat cars designed to carry extra heavy or extra large loads are mounted on a pair of bogies under each end. The deck of the car can be wood or steel, and the sides of the deck can include pockets for stakes or tie-down points to secure loads. Flatcars designed for carrying machinery have sliding chain assemblies recessed in the deck.

Loading gauge

Loading gauge

A loading gauge is a diagram or physical structure that defines the maximum height and width dimensions in railway vehicles and their loads. Their purpose is to ensure that rail vehicles can pass safely through tunnels and under bridges, and keep clear of platforms, trackside buildings and structures. Classification systems vary between different countries, and gauges may vary across a network, even if the track gauge is uniform.

Special cargo

Steel train,
western New South Wales, Australia

Several types of cargo are not suited for containerization or bulk; these are transported in special cars custom designed for the cargo.

  • Automobiles are stacked in open or closed autoracks, the vehicles being driven on or off the carriers.
  • Coils of steel strip are transported in modified gondolas called coil cars.
  • Goods that require certain temperatures during transportation can be transported in refrigerator cars (reefers, US), or refrigerated vans (UIC), but refrigerated containers are becoming more dominant.
  • Center beam flat cars are used to carry lumber and other building supplies.
  • Extra heavy and oversized loads are carried in Schnabel cars

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New South Wales

New South Wales

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Coral and Tasman Seas to the east. The Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory are enclaves within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2021, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.3 million, live in the Greater Sydney area.

Autorack

Autorack

An autorack, also known as an auto carrier, is a specialized piece of railroad rolling stock used to transport automobiles and light trucks. Autoracks are used to transport new vehicles from factories to automotive distributors, and to transport passengers' vehicles in car shuttles and motorail services, such as Amtrak's Auto Train route.

Refrigerator car

Refrigerator car

A refrigerator car is a refrigerated boxcar (U.S.), a piece of railroad rolling stock designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Refrigerator cars differ from simple insulated boxcars and ventilated boxcars, neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Reefers can be ice-cooled, come equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems, or utilize carbon dioxide as a cooling agent. Milk cars may or may not include a cooling system, but are equipped with high-speed trucks and other modifications that allow them to travel with passenger trains.

Schnabel car

Schnabel car

A Schnabel car or Schnabel wagon is a specialized type of railroad freight car. It is designed to carry heavy and oversized loads in such a way that the load makes up part of the car. The load is suspended between the two ends of the cars by lifting arms; the lifting arms are connected to an assembly of span bolsters that distribute the weight of the load and the lifting arm over many wheels.

Less than carload freight

Less-than-carload freight is any load that does not fill a boxcar or box motor or less than a Boxcar load.

Historically in North America, trains might be classified as either way freight or through freight. A way freight generally carried less-than-carload shipments to/from a location, whose origin/destination was a rail terminal yard. This product sometimes arrived at/departed from that yard by means of a through freight.

At a minimum, a way freight comprised a locomotive and caboose, to which cars called pickups and setouts were added or dropped off along the route. For convenience, smaller consignments might be carried in the caboose, which prompted some railroads to define their cabooses as way cars, although the term equally applied to boxcars used for that purpose. Way stops might be industrial sidings, stations/flag stops, settlements, or even individual residences.

With the difficulty of maintaining an exact schedule, way freights yielded to scheduled passenger and through trains.[21] They were often mixed trains that served isolated communities. Like passenger service generally, way freights and their smaller consignments became uneconomical. In North America, the latter ceased,[22] and the public sector took over passenger transportation. Good roads and trucking have replaced way freights in most parts of the world.

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Regional differences

A map of the world showing regions by principal rail track gauge.
A map of the world showing regions by principal rail track gauge.

Railroads are subject to the network effect: the more points they connect to, the greater the value of the system as a whole. Early railroads were built to bring resources, such as coal, ores and agricultural products from inland locations to ports for export. In many parts of the world, particularly the southern hemisphere, that is still the main use of freight railroads. Greater connectivity opens the rail network to other freight uses including non-export traffic. Rail network connectivity is limited by a number of factors, including geographical barriers, such as oceans and mountains, technical incompatibilities, particularly different track gauges and railway couplers, and political conflicts. The largest rail networks are located in North America and Eurasia. Long distance freight trains are generally longer than passenger trains, with greater length improving efficiency. Maximum length varies widely by system. (See longest trains for train lengths in different countries.)

Generally trucking moves the most tonnage of all traffic in most large economies. Many countries are moving to increase speed and volume of rail freight in an attempt to win markets over or to relieve overburdened roads and/or speed up shipping in the age of online shopping. In Japan, trends towards adding rail freight shipping are more due to availability of workers rather than other concerns.

Rail freight tonnage as a percent of total moved by country:

  • Russia: about 12% in 2016[23] up 11%
  • Japan: 5% in 2017[24]
  • USA: 40% in 2009[25]
  • China: 8% in 2016[26]
  • EU28: less than 20% of all "inland traffic" in 2014[27]

Eurasia

Coal awaiting shipment to an electric generating plant in Germany
Coal awaiting shipment to an electric generating plant in Germany
Freight train on the Suihua–Jiamusi Railway in Yichun, Heilongjiang
Freight train on the SuihuaJiamusi Railway in Yichun, Heilongjiang

There are four major interconnecting rail networks on the Eurasian land mass, along with other smaller national networks.

Most countries in the European Union participate in an auto-gauge network. The United Kingdom is linked to this network via the Channel Tunnel. The Marmaray project connects Europe with eastern Turkey, Iran, and the Middle East via a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus. The 57-km Gotthard Base Tunnel improved north–south rail connections when it opened in 2016. Spain and Portugal are mostly broad gauge, though Spain has built some standard gauge lines that connect with the European high-speed passenger network. A variety of electrification and signaling systems is in use, though this is less of an issue for freight; however, overhead electrification prevents double-stack service on most lines. Buffer-and-screw couplings are generally used between freight vehicles, although there are plans to develop an automatic coupler compatible with the Russian SA3. See Railway coupling conversion.

The countries of the former Soviet Union, along with Finland and Mongolia, participate in a Russian gauge-compatible network, using SA3 couplers. Major lines are electrified. Russia's Trans-Siberian Railroad connects Europe with Asia, but does not have the clearances needed to carry double-stack containers. Numerous connections are available between Russian-gauge countries with their standard-gauge neighbors in the west (throughout Europe) and south (to China, North Korea, and Iran via Turkmenistan). While the USSR had important railway connections to Turkey (from Armenia) and to Iran (from Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan enclave), these have been out of service since the early 1990s, since a number of frozen conflicts in the Caucasus region have forced the closing of the rail connections between Russia and Georgia via Abkhazia, between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and between Armenia and Turkey.

China has an extensive standard-gauge network. Its freight trains use Janney couplers. China's railways connect with the standard-gauge network of North Korea in the east, with the Russian-gauge network of Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan in the north, and with the meter-gauge network of Vietnam in the south.

India and Pakistan operate entirely on broad gauge networks. Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts currently restrict rail traffic between the two countries to two passenger lines. There are also links from India to Bangladesh and Nepal, and from Pakistan to Iran, where a new, but little-used, connection to the standard-gauge network is available at Zahedan.

The four major Eurasian networks link to neighboring countries and to each other at several break of gauge points. Containerization has facilitated greater movement between networks, including a Eurasian Land Bridge.

North America

Mixed freight running downhill in Caliente, California
Mixed freight running downhill in Caliente, California

Canada, Mexico and the United States are connected by an extensive, unified standard gauge rail network. The one notable exception is the isolated Alaska Railroad, which is connected to the main network by rail barge.

Rail freight is well standardized in North America, with Janney couplers and compatible air brakes. The main variations are in loading gauge and maximum car weight. Most trackage is owned by private companies that also operate freight trains on those tracks. Since the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, the freight rail industry in the U.S. has been largely deregulated. Freight cars are routinely interchanged between carriers, as needed, and are identified by company reporting marks and serial numbers. Most have computer readable automatic equipment identification transponders. With isolated exceptions, freight trains in North America are hauled by diesel locomotives, even on the electrified Northeast Corridor.

Ongoing freight-oriented development includes upgrading more lines to carry heavier and taller loads, particularly for double-stack service, and building more efficient intermodal terminals and transload facilities for bulk cargo. Many railroads interchange in Chicago, and a number of improvements are underway or proposed to eliminate bottlenecks there.[28] The U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandates eventual conversion to Positive Train Control signaling. In the 2010s, most North American Class I railroads have adopted some form of precision railroading.[29]

Central America

The Guatemala railroad is currently inactive, preventing rail shipment south of Mexico. Panama has freight rail service, recently converted to standard gauge, that parallels the Panama Canal. A few other rail systems in Central America are still in operation, but most have closed. There has never been a rail line through Central America to South America.

South America

Brazil has a large rail network, mostly metre gauge, with some broad gauge. It runs some of the heaviest iron ore trains in the world on its metre gauge network.

Argentina have Indian gauge networks in the south, standard gauge in the east and metre gauge networks in the north. The metre gauge networks are connected at one point, but there has never been a broad gauge connection. (A metre-gauge connection between the two broad gauge networks, the Transandine Railway was constructed but is not currently in service. See also Trans-Andean railways.) Most other countries have few rail systems. The standard gauge in the east, connect with Paraguay and Uruguay.

Africa

Iron ore train in Mauritania
Iron ore train in Mauritania

The railways of Africa were mostly started by colonial powers to bring inland resources to port. There was little regard for eventual interconnection. As a result, there are a variety of gauge and coupler standards in use. A 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge network with Janney couplers serves southern Africa. East Africa uses metre gauge. North Africa uses standard gauge, but potential connection to the European standard gauge network is blocked by the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Australia

Pacific National intermodal service from Perth in Western Australia
Pacific National intermodal service from Perth in Western Australia

Rail developed independently in different parts of Australia and, as a result, three major rail gauges are in use. A standard gauge Trans-Australian Railway spans the continent.

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Network effect

Network effect

In economics, a network effect is the phenomenon by which the value or utility a user derives from a good or service depends on the number of users of compatible products. Network effects are typically positive, resulting in a given user deriving more value from a product as more users join the same network. The adoption of a product by an additional user can be broken into two effects: an increase in the value to all other users and also the enhancement of other non-users' motivation for using the product.

List of countries by rail transport network size

List of countries by rail transport network size

This list of countries by rail transport network size based on International Union of Railways data ranks countries by length of rail lines worked at end of year updated with other reliable sources. These figures also include urban/suburban mass-transport systems, as well as lines which are not used for passenger services.

Longest trains

Longest trains

The length of a train may be measured in number of wagons or in metres for general freight. Train lengths and loads on electrified railways, especially lower voltage 3000 V DC and 1500 V DC, are limited by traction and power considerations. Drawgear and couplings can also be a limiting factor, along with curves, gradients and crossing loop lengths.

Online shopping

Online shopping

Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser or a mobile app. Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine, which displays the same product's availability and pricing at different e-retailers. As of 2020, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.

Jiamusi

Jiamusi

Jiamusi is a prefecture-level city in eastern Heilongjiang province, People's Republic of China. Located along the middle and lower reaches of the Songhua River, it faces Russia's Khabarovsk Krai across the Ussuri River and the Heilongjiang. In 2018, Jiamusi had a GDP of RMB 101.2 billion with a 4.3% growth rate. Its population was 2,156,505 at the 2020 census whom 862,555 lived in the built up area comprising 4 urban districts.

Heilongjiang

Heilongjiang

Heilongjiang formerly romanized as Heilungkiang, is a province in northeast China. The standard one-character abbreviation for the province is 黑. It is the northernmost and easternmost province of the country and contains China's northernmost point and easternmost point.

Rail transport in the United Kingdom

Rail transport in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and previously consisted of Great Britain and the whole of Ireland. Rail transport systems developed independently on the two island masses of Great Britain and Ireland, and most of the railway construction in the Republic of Ireland was undertaken before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Thus, the logical division to discuss the history and present-day state of railways in these areas is by geographical division, rather than the nationalist division of nation states.

Channel Tunnel

Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Chunnel, is a 50.46-kilometre (31.35 mi) underwater railway tunnel that connects Folkestone with Coquelles beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. It is the only fixed link between the island of Great Britain and the European mainland. At its lowest point, it is 75 metres (246 ft) deep below the sea bed and 115 metres (377 ft) below sea level. At 37.9 kilometres (23.5 mi), it has the longest underwater section of any tunnel in the world, and is the third longest railway tunnel in the world. The speed limit for trains through the tunnel is 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph). The tunnel is owned and operated by the company Getlink, formerly "Groupe Eurotunnel".

Marmaray

Marmaray

Marmaray is a 76.6 km-long (47.6 mi) long intercontinental commuter rail line located in Istanbul, Turkey. The line runs from Halkalı, on the European side, to Gebze, on the Asian side, along the north shore of the Sea of Marmara. Mostly using the right-of-way of two existing commuter rail lines, the Marmaray line linked the two lines via a tunnel under the Bosporus strait, becoming the first standard gauge rail connection between Europe and Asia. The two existing sections of the line were rebuilt and expanded from two-tracks to three-tracks, to allow for higher capacity with intercity and freight rail. The name Marmaray is a portmanteau of the words Marmara and Ray, which is Turkish for rail.

Gotthard Base Tunnel

Gotthard Base Tunnel

The Gotthard Base Tunnel is a railway tunnel through the Alps in Switzerland. It opened in June 2016 and full service began the following December. With a route length of 57.09 km (35.5 mi), it is the world's longest railway and deepest traffic tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps. It lies at the heart of the Gotthard axis and constitutes the third tunnel connecting the cantons of Uri and Ticino, after the Gotthard Tunnel and the Gotthard Road Tunnel.

Buffers and chain coupler

Buffers and chain coupler

Buffers and chain couplers are the de facto UIC standard railway stock coupling used in the EU and UK, and on some surviving former colonial railways, such as in South America and India, on older rolling stock. Buffers and chain couplers are an assembly of several devices: buffers, hooks and links, or turnbuckle screws.

Rail transport in the Soviet Union

Rail transport in the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was heavily dependent on rail transport, not least during the Russian Civil War and World War II, but also for industrialization according to the five-year plans.

Statistics

Rail freight by network, billion tonne-km
2019[30]
Network Gt-km Countries
North America 2863 U.S., Canada, Mexico
China 4389 [31]
Russia 2351 CIS, Finland, Mongolia
India 607
European Union 400 27 member countries[32]
Brazil 269 includes Bolivia (1)
South Africa 115 includes Zimbabwe (1.6)
Australia 64
Japan 20
South Korea 10

In 2011, North American railroads operated 1,471,736 freight cars and 31,875 locomotives, with 215,985 employees, They originated 39.53 million carloads (averaging 63 tons each) and generated $81.7 billion in freight revenue. The largest (Class 1) U.S. railroads carried 10.17 million intermodal containers and 1.72 million trailers. Intermodal traffic was 6.2% of tonnage originated and 12.6% of revenue. The largest commodities were coal, chemicals, farm products, nonmetallic minerals and intermodal. Coal alone was 43.3% of tonnage and 24.7% of revenue. The average haul was 917 miles. Within the U.S. railroads carry 39.9% of freight by ton-mile, followed by trucks (33.4%), oil pipelines (14.3%), barges (12%) and air (0.3%).[33]

Railways carried 17.1% of EU freight in terms of tonne-km,[34] compared to road transport (76.4%) and inland waterways (6.5%).[35]

Named freight trains

Unlike passenger trains, freight trains are rarely named.

Gallery

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Classification yard

Classification yard

A classification yard, marshalling yard or shunting yard is a railway yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railway cars onto one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars are sent through a series of switches called a ladder onto the classification tracks. Larger yards tend to put the lead on an artificially built hill called a hump to use the force of gravity to propel the cars through the ladder.

Denver

Denver

Denver is a consolidated city and county, the capital, and most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Its population was 715,522 at the 2020 census, a 19.22% increase since 2010. It is the 19th-most populous city in the United States and the fifth most populous state capital. It is the principal city of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and the first city of the Front Range Urban Corridor.

Colorado

Colorado

Colorado is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is the eighth most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The 2020 United States census enumerated the population of Colorado at 5,773,714, an increase of 14.80% since the 2010 census.

Rostov Oblast

Rostov Oblast

Rostov Oblast is a federal subject of Russia, located in the Southern Federal District. The oblast has an area of 100,800 square kilometers (38,900 sq mi) and a population of 4,200,729, making it the sixth most populous federal subject in Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Rostov-on-Don, which also became the administrative center of the Southern Federal District in 2002.

M250 series

M250 series

The M250 series , branded "Super Rail Cargo", is a freight electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by Japan Freight Railway in Japan. It entered service in 2004 with the objective of reducing emissions and carrying general freight for small package forwarders. The M250 series is JR Freight's first container train with distributed traction. It is manufactured by Nippon Sharyo, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Toshiba.

Multiple unit

Multiple unit

A multiple-unit train or simply multiple unit (MU) is a self-propelled train composed of one or more carriages joined together, which when coupled to another multiple unit can be controlled by a single driver, with multiple-unit train control.

Japan

Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 14,125 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

Source: "Rail freight transport", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 4th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_freight_transport.

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See also
References
  1. ^ "Rail Freight Shipping". Archived from the original on 20 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hofbauer, Florian; Putz, Lisa-Maria (2020). "External Costs in Inland Waterway Transport: An Analysis of External Cost Categories and Calculation Methods". Sustainability. MDPI. 12 (5874): 9 (Table 11). doi:10.3390/su12145874. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ Armstrong, John H. (1978). The Railroad-What It Is, What It Does. Omaha, Neb.: Simmons-Boardman. pp. 7 ff.
  4. ^ a b Greene, Scott. Comparative Evaluation of Rail and Truck Fuel Efficiency on Competitive Corridors Archived 6 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine p4 Federal Railroad Administration, 19 November 2009. Accessed: 4 October 2011.
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  6. ^ Hollerith's Electric Tabulating Machine Archived 30 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Railroad Gazette, 19 April 1885.
  7. ^ "Information Systems and Industry Operating Procedures". Railroad Industry Overview Series. IRS. October 2007. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013.
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  17. ^ Union Pacific Railroad Company. "Chronological History". Archived from the original on 10 August 2006.
  18. ^ Kaminski, Edward S. (1999). - American Car & Foundry Company: A Centennial History, 1899-1999. - Wilton, California: Signature Press. - ISBN 0963379100
  19. ^ "A new fleet shapes up. (High-Tech Railroading)" Archived 17 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. - Railway Age. - (c/o HighBeam Research). - 1 September 1990
  20. ^ Rieper, Michael (29 May 2013). "Rail freight - an ancient method". BB Handel. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  21. ^ Torfason, Ragnar (28 December 2005). "Freight Trains: Way freights". www.theweebsite.com.
  22. ^ Irwin, Al (25 July 1977). "End of an era in rail service". Prince George Citizen. p. 1 – via www.pgpl.ca.
  23. ^ "Russia's RZD speeds up rail service to attract cargo". www.joc.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
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  35. ^ "Error". epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 8 May 2018.

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