Construction of a four-lane toll highway across Maine to get freight from Calais to Coburn Gore doesn’t make sense.

We are running out of fossil fuel. It is becoming much more costly. The cost and availability of fuel is a major factor when considering how best to move freight between those points. We should plan to use as little energy as possible. Why not use railroads instead?

Trucks carrying freight use three to four times as much diesel fuel as trains do. We already have railroad tracks in place to move goods across Maine.

Goods coming into a deepwater port, Eastport or somewhere in eastern Canada, probably will be in containers that can be loaded on flatcars as easily as onto truck trailers. If the freight is in truck trailers, these trailers can be loaded onto flatcars. This is called “piggyback.”

Whether the freight is in containers or on trailers, it can be unloaded near its final destination and taken the rest of the way by truck on available roads. This will work well for the just-in-time delivery that customers want.

If the rails are in good condition, trains can move just as fast as trucks do. If not, the rails could be upgraded for far less cost than building a new superhighway.

Burning fossil fuels to move goods contributes to the problem of global climate change. We need to change to other sources of energy as soon as we can. Railroads easily could be equipped to use electricity from overhead wires. Electricity could come from wind or solar generating devices instead of from fossil fuel.

Better yet, we should not import goods from overseas. We should make them here, requiring less transport and creating jobs here.

Elery Keene

Winslow


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