(Source: Association of American RRs, February 2019)
Freight Railroads are a Crucial Economic Resource:
• Every year, railroads save consumers billions of dollars while reducing energy consumption and pollution, lowering emissions, cutting Hwy gridlock, and reduces the taxes to build new highways and their maintenance.
• Millions of Americans work for companies that are more competitive in the global economy due to the affordability and productivity of freight railroads.
Freight Railroads Create Jobs and Build a Strong Economy:
• The average freight railroad employee earns nearly $25,000 more than the average industrial employee in 2016.
• 1.5 million U.S. jobs are attributed to the operations and capital investments of our major freight railroads as well as nearly $274 billion in economic output and $88 billion in wages.
• Railroads generated nearly $33 billion in tax revenues: direct, indirect and induced.
Modern Freight Railroads are More Efficient and Earth Friendly:
• Since 1981, freight rail rates are 46% lower as of 2017.
• It’s estimated that if rail shippers shifted to trucks they’d have to pay an additional $69-$100 billion/ year.
• Railroads are 4 times more fuel efficient than trucks, the average distance to move a ton of freight on one gallon of fuel is 479 miles.
• Moving freight by rail reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75%, on average.
• A train can carry the freight of several hundred trucks.
• Through technological innovations and improved operating practices, railroads continue to lower their fuel consumption, by:
o New, efficient locomotives, replacing outdate engines.
o Increasing their freight capacity.
o Highly advanced computer software systems ensure peak efficiencies.
o Employing idle reduction technologies.
o Adapting best practices in employee training.
o Shifting freight from truck to rail to reduce congestion and hwy. wear and tear.
Trends of International Trade, 2014 stats:
• Accounts for 27% of U.S. GDP, up from 17% 30 years ago.
• Provides 42% of all carloads & containers railroads carrying 13.4 units out of 32.2 units.
• Accounts for 27% of rail tonnage; 511 million tons out of 1.88 billion tons, now over 2 B tons.
• Contributes more than 35% of all rail revenues; $26.4 billion out of $75.1 billion.
• Provides 50,000 rail jobs worth more than $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits. Doesn’t include other rail related jobs involved in port/trade movement.
Snapshot of Freight Railroads in California, 2017 stats:
• 12th in the nation for the number of railroads – 25.
• 5th in the nation for rail miles – 4,828.
• 4th in the nation for job and wage creation – 8,153 employee and $700.3 million payroll, with an average of $123,400 in wages and benefits.
• 6th in the nation for carloads carried – 7.2 million. Equally divided for origination and termination and 80-90% of freight is intermodal.
SUMMARY: Freight railroads in the United States are the best in the world and are a crucial national economic resource. Every year, railroads save consumers billions of dollars while reducing energy consumption and pollution, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, cutting highway gridlock, and reducing the high costs to taxpayers of highway construction and maintenance. They also have a tremendous broader economic impact: in 2017 alone, America’s major freight railroads supported 1.1 million jobs, nearly $219 billion in output, and $71 billion in wages across the U.S. economy. In addition, millions of Americans work for firms that are much more competitive in a tough global economy thanks to the affordability and productivity of America’s freight railroads.
Submitted by: Bill Bertain
Humboldt Eastern Railroad LLC and Pacific Northwestern Railroad announce port and rail project Submitted by: Bill Bertain, President, HERR Humboldt Eastern Railroad, LLC. (HERR) is attempting to raise $10 million locally in seed money from local investors to kick start the efforts of Pacific Charter Financial Services Co. (PCFS) for the $10-plus billion privately financed rail and port project of Pacific Northwest Railroad (PNR). PNR intends to construct a 220 mile, dual track, green railroad from the deep water port of Humboldt to the national rail network near Red Bluff in the Central Valley. Doing so will establish a vibrant “land bridge” connecting Asia and the Pacific Rim countries with America’s Midwest, East Coast, and Central Valley.
The route capacity is projected for four 100 car double-stacked trains daily each way. The trains will be pulled by locomotives powered by liquid hydrogen and emit nothing except water and limited amounts of heat.
The Project specifies three modern, green, highly automated marine terminals and docks, with a minimum total of 3,000 ft. of wharfage on the Samoa Peninsula’s five miles of bay frontage. Dock equipment will be powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel. With over 800 under-utilized acres of land zoned Coastal Dependent Industrial in the Samoa Peninsula, including a Foreign Trade Zone, the marine terminals will employ approximately 700 Longshoremen and warehouse workers. The facility will be intermodal and handle primarily containers.
HERR’s purpose is to demonstrate local financial support for PCFS’ and PNR’s project to: the key regulator agency, the US DOT’s Surface Transportation Board (STB); to the bond and equity markets; and to the general public regionally for the project. With the Ports of LA, Long Beach, and Oakland suffering from large and continuing problems with congestion and pollution, PNR’s proposal for a state of the art rail and port facility on Humboldt Bay is timely and can demonstrate “efficiencies and greenness” not available to the larger ports.
The port and rail project will provide significant economic benefits to our region, including a vast industrial base with private sector jobs providing medical benefits that can help recruit and retain sufficient medical doctors. With the expected increase in business activity and economic transactions, both direct and residual, improved air travel services are also likely. Those interested in a better future for our children and grandchildren here in Humboldt County and seeking more information can email humboldteasternrr@ gmail.com or call 443- 5078 and materials will be provided.