A sound transportation system is one of the basic requirements for an efficient utilization of scarce resources, especially in developing countries. The experience of the past few years has shown that energy is relatively scarce and the consumption of oil in the world cannot continue to increase at the present rate unless some new, alternative sources of energy are discovered. The transport sector all over the world accounts for almost one-third of the total consumption of energy. For example, in the United States in 1971, the transportation sector accounted for about 30 percent of the total net consumption of energy. Recently a study for the United States has concluded that, strictly from an energy efficiency point of view, U.S. National Transportation Policy should encourage rechannelling freight traffic from trucks and airplanes to rail. The same study has further indicated that public policy should encourage rechannelling passenger traffic from automobiles and airplanes to buses. In most developing countries, railways play a major role in the movement of traffic. In 1964-65, for example, railways accounted for 77 percent of total goods traffic and 55 percent of total passenger transport in India. A statistical analysis suggests that coal traction is energy efficient on Indian railways--which conflicts with the government's decision to convert coal traction to diesel traction. Though diesel traction may be faster, the price of imported crude oil makes it less efficient in energy terms than coal traction. (TRRL)

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  • Accession Number: 00457210
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 10:01PM