Here is the traffic density on the highway system based upon 2002 data. Green represents uncongested conditions. Yellow represents congested. Red represents highly congested. A high volume section of the Interstate system is 10,000 trucks with six or more tires per day. Here is another way of describing the colors. Green means that the truck traffic moves at or above the posted speed. Yellow means that the truck traffic moves near the posted speed. Red means that truck traffic moves below the posted speed.
The Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line, is projected to have a growth in daily freight trains in the range of 30 to 80 by 2035 ( See page 5-3). Without capacity improvements the line will be at a service level of being "near capacity" in yellow. That means heavy train flow with moderate capacity to accommodate maintenance and recover from incidents. In other words, very little would be needed for an operational quagmire. Worse capacity problems will be west of Cleveland.
The cost to create highway capacity far exceeds the cost to increase railroad capacity.
The comparable line haul cost performed per ton mile by railroad is substantially less than that performed by the highway mode.
The opportunity to create a non oil based, non natural gas based transportation system exists by electrifying the railroad system.
Electrifying the railroad system together with physical plant track addition would create the infrastructure capacity the country needs.
Paying to electrify the railroad system through a slight import tariff lasting no more than 7 years in accordance with World Trade Organization rules will slash the trade deficit.