University study outlines rail industry’s significance to California economy

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Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley recently published a study on the importance of freight and passenger rail to California's economy.
University of California, Berkeley
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have published a report on how freight and passenger railroads benefit the California economy.

The report titled “Rail and the California Economy” includes research conducted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the university and was commissioned by the California State Transportation Agency and the California Department of Transportation.

According to the report, California accounted for more than $400 billion of U.S. imports in 2015, about 18 percent of the national total. In 2012, 27 percent of U.S. rail intermodal shipments originated in California, and about 23 percent terminated at a California rail facility. Researchers were also able to determine that 75 percent of intermodal shipments leave the state by rail.

And freight wasn’t the only component to the research. The university also highlighted the importance of Amtrak service and rail transit investment to the state’s economy.

According to the report, a total of 38.5 million passengers used California’s rails in 2015 and nearly 40 percent of all of the venture capital invested in the United States in 2012 was done so in the Silicon Valley along the Caltrain corridor.

Among Amtrak state-supported services, 10 of the 20 busiest rail stations in the United States in 2015 are located in California.

In addition, the report highlighted the importance of transit-oriented development, such as the Anaheim project where commercial and residential properties have been built in close proximity to rail transit systems.

In addition to statistics on rail's economic benefits, the study also included forward-looking strategies to hauling freight through the Los Angeles Basin and other projects based on recent growth trends.

A full copy of the report is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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