1.Efficient transport is a critical component of economic development, globally and nationally. Transport availability affects global development patterns and can be a boost or a barrier to economic growth within individual nations.6 Transportation investments link factors of production together in a web of relationships between producers and consumers to create a more efficient division of production, leverage geographical comparative advantage, and provide the means to expand economies of scale and scope. Transport’s contribution to economic development includes the following:
Network effects—linking more locations exponentially increases the value and effectiveness of transport
Performance improvements—reducing cost and time for existing passenger and freight movements increase transport’s contribution to economic growth
Reliability—improves time performance and reduces loss and damage, thus reducing economic drag
Market size-access to wider markets adds to economies of scale in production, distribution, and consumption, thereby increasing economic growth
Productivity—transport increases productivity gained from access to a larger and more diverse base of inputs such as raw materials, parts, energy, and labor, and broader markets for more diverse outputs
2. Railways are an efficient transport mode—concentrating people and goods and transporting them over a fixed route using one prime mover and multiple carriages and freight wagons.
Rail transport is generally more fuel efficient than road transport; in the US, rail freight is on average 63 percent more fuel efficient than road transport.7Railways use a unique technology that has very low friction — based on steel wheels and steel rails..