According to the report if the public sector invests in the freight rail system it will help improve the freight rail system and also provide good returns on its investment. The investment and its return would be: ‘The total cost to maintain rail’s share of freight movement in the U.S. is estimated at $175 to $195 billion over 20 years, most of which will come from the railroads (up to $142 billion dollars) from revenue and borrowing, but the remainder (up to $53 billion, or $2.65 billion annually) would have to come from other sources.
This level of investment reduces by 450 million tons of freight and 15 billion truck VMT the burden on the nation’s congested highways, saves shippers $162 billion, saves highway users $238 billion, and saves $10 billion in highway costs over the 20-year period. Inclusion of costs for bridges, interchanges, and other necessary improvements., could double this estimate.’ (‘Horsley J. Nicol B.J ‘Rail Investment: Principles and Objectives’)
Another issue which needs to be considered is that with the growing fear of terrorism has raised liability and insurance costs for freight and passenger trains and this needs to be contained to make the system more cost-effective and to give it growth opportunity.
In conclusion it can be said that the railways have always played an important role in America’s economy and continue to benefit it. It is to be noted that investment is required in freight railway system, in commuters and also in high-speed railways if they are to play the important role that they always have.
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