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December 13, 2005

More rail, fewer cars

Kansas City is the second largest rail hub in the United States after Chicago. The railroad and its history are intertwined with that of Kansas City.

I have been an employee of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway for more than 13 years, and I often hear complaints from people who have to wait at crossings for a freight train to pass — or worse, from people who try to beat the train.

I wonder whether readers know that the train they waited for may have been an intermodal train hauling 280 truck trailers. That’s the equivalent of over 1,200 cars in traffic. Using more rail would mean significantly less pressure on our highways, as well as less time wasted by motorists. It would also mean increased safety and air quality.

Rather than griping about crossings blocked, we need to be pro-active and encourage public support for investment in grade-separation projects. These and other rail-infrastructure improvements would reduce conflicts between vehicles and trains.

Bill Stuhldreher
Kansas City

Comments

Joe Barone

I-70 between Kansas City and Saint Louis is a perfect example of how too many trucks can pulverize a highway. I agree with you when you write, "Using more rail would mean significantly less pressure on our highways..."

 
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