This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
I may have mentioned this before, but Phillip Longman’s Washington Monthly article on freight rail infrastructure is fantastic. It includes this quote:
Another notorious set of choke points is in Chicago, Americas rail capital, which is visited by some 1,200 trains a day. Built in the nineteenth century by noncooperating private companies, lines coming from the East still have no or insufficient connections with those coming from the West. Consequently, thousands of containers on their way elsewhere must be unloaded each day, “rubber-wheeled” across the citys crowded streets by truck, and reloaded onto other trains. It takes forty-eight hours for a container to travel five miles across Chicago, longer than it does to get there from New York. This entire problem could be fixed for just $1.5 billion, with benefits including not just faster shipping times and attendant economic development, but drastically reduced road traffic, energy use, and pollution.
PBS’s News Hour had a short piece last week on the Chicago bottleneck that’s worth checking out:
PBS puts the costs at $2.5B, but either way, it’s a steal to fix such an obvious bottleneck in the country’s freight infrastructure