The Steel Interstate System— A Uniquely Sustainable and Synergistic National Transportation Policy Initiative
What is the Steel Interstate?
Analogous to the vision, scope, courage, and function of its highway forerunner, it would do for the nation’s railroads what the Eisenhower Interstate System did for roads. A core national network would be created of high-volume rail corridors, the backbone for movement of both goods and people in the 21st Century. They would be multi-tracked, grade-separated, higher speed, employ state of the art signaling and safety, avoid congested terminals and densely populated urban areas, and move trains quickly and efficiently.
By concentrating heavy flows of through traffic in such designated corridors, electrification of the steel interstate can be justified. By substituting domestically generated electricity for imported foreign oil as the main power for the nation’s transportation sector, we can lower cost, improve security, and keep billions of dollars here at home to fuel jobs, economic growth, and infrastructure.
The steel interstate is the only national infrastructure program that can help pay for itself. Though federal investment is required as a catalyst to begin the commitment, as the network expands and a greater and greater percent of the nation’s freight moves on the electrified steel interstate, the savings likewise grow. And they continue year after year. As will be detailed below, with less than a 1% increase in electric generation, we can displace 7% of total U.S. oil consumption.
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