Technologically, rail is capable of economically moving the world's citizens and essential goods without oil, using renewable (or cleaner) energy sources.
Electrified streetcars, light rail, subways; and commuter, intercity and High Speed Rail trains can transport us:
- Around city centers
- Between neighborhoods
- Across metropolitan areas
- From bedroom communities to regional work centers
- From small towns to cities
- Between midsize cities
- Across and between mega-regions
- To long-distance flights
Electrified rail can also transport our goods:
- In bulk shipments on unit trains
- From domestic manufacturers to urban markets via high volume merchandise carload trains
- From seaports to regional distribution centers on double-stack "land barge" intermodal trains
- In long distance domestic-market lanes on double/single-stack intermodal trains
- Between mid-range domestic markets on higher-speed, open-technology – hauling trailers and whole trucks – intermodal trains
- High-value, time-sensitive freight can move on intercity and true high speed passenger trains, in airline cargo containers or other modern equivalents of Railway Express and Railway Post Office
The North American Steel Interstate System is the common thread that weaves these rail services into a holistic, seamless, multi-modal, continent-wide transportation system. It would consist of a core network of high-capacity, electrified, grade separated railroad lines.
The North American Steel Interstate System is not an invention. It is a description of how transportation policies (of governments, carriers and users) can be crafted to take advantage of existing rail technologies—specifically along corridors of national significance. This rail technology is in place and being used elsewhere in the world. It should be in place and used here.
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