Ethanol: Rail Boom or Bust?

This article presents a study on how the rise in ethanol production in the American Midwest is affecting rail transportation systems. The analysis uses as a case study a new plant being expanded in Iowa and a small short-line railroad’s expansion of freight service to ship both its raw materials and finished product. There is also a detailed analysis of the various components of the ethanol manufacturing process and how they will or will not contribute to increase demand for rail, versus truck or pipeline transmission. A large consideration is the tendency of ethanol plants now to locate near the source of their single largest raw material, corn, and whether that may change so that they are located nearer major refinery centers, which tend to be concentrated on the coasts. Maps showing plant locations and busy freight routes are included.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 30-39
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01054594
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2007 3:26PM