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Unformatted text preview: nation’s dependence on
oil and insulate travelers from the impact of fuel price spikes. Intercity passenger rail—even when powered by diesel-electric
locomotives—is more fuel-efficient than car or air travel, particularly for trips in the 100 to 500-mile range. On average, an Amtrak
passenger uses 30 percent less energy per mile than a car passenger, and 34 percent less than a passenger in an SUV or pickup
truck.19 In Europe, high speed trains consume ap- proximately one-third the amount of fuel per passenger as airplanes.20 Fuel use per passenger
for trains and airplanes depends on how full the vehicle is. The figures here are based on historic ridership rates; higher ridership would result in
lower per-pas- senger energy use.These numbers underestimate rail’s oil savings compared with airplanes. Rail is most competitive
against oil-intensive short airplane flights with trip distances of 500 miles or less—a traveler is much more likely to choose
rail over air travel from Chicago to Minneapolis than from Chicago to Miami. (For instance, trains capture 99...
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