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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) implements federal environmental laws and policies related to the nation's railroads. FRA participates in domestic forums covering a wide range of environmental issues including hazardous materials safety, noise, invasive species, climate change and community livability. FRA strives to provide information and resources for environmentally sound planning and development of the nation’s railroad system, and also conducts environmental impact assessments of pending actions and projects. FRA also maintains working relationships with rail transportation carriers, non-governmental organizations, and other rail related organizations.

Passenger railroads can efficiently move large numbers of people in comfort and safety and at higher speeds than are possible with other ground transportation options. Energy savings and reduced air pollutant emissions may be possible through development of high speed rail systems. Freight railroading efficiently transports approximately 40% of the freight revenue ton-miles in the nation. US railroads averaged 413 revenue ton-miles per gallon of fuel consumed in 2009. [1] 

[1] National Rail Plan Progress Report, September 2010, Federal Railroad Administration.



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