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It has been in service since and acquired additional trackage a few years later. It handles roughly 26, carloads annually that is largely forest products. The new road is currently owned by Fortress Investment. Much of the regional's trackage is located in Maine and southern Quebec, however, it does serve the Vermont towns of Newport and Richford.

Overall, the railroad operates over miles of track and operates a wide variety of freight. The property is primarily former Maine Central and Canadian Pacific trackage. Its traffic consists primarily of aggregates. This small terminal railroad serves the 14 acre marine-rail cargo terminal located in South Portland, Maine. This coastal railroad operates a mile system connecting Pocomoke City, Maryland with Norfolk, Virginia. Canton Railroad reporting mark, CTN: This historic terminal road was first chartered in and provides switching services for industries in East Baltimore as well as the Port of Baltimore.

It is owned by the Maryland Transportation Authority. This short line has been in service since late operating former Western Maryland Railway trackage in the western part of the state. It also owns a north-south corridor between Woodsboro and Taneytown.

It operates an extensive system stretching across northern Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania with trackage rights reaching Cumberland and Hagerstown. It operates about miles of its own lines as well as an additional via trackage rights. The road carries more than , carloads annually with a highly diversified freight base. At its peak it ran from that point to Wardensville, West Virginia but by the s operated no further than Gore, its current western end-of-track.

This small short line serves the area southwest of Boston on former New Haven trackage. It began service in During the early 20th century it even operated, electrified streetcar service but this was abolished by As the years passed the road languished as traffic disappeared sections of the property sat dormant but not abandoned.

In March of the railroad was acquired by Jon Delli Priscoli with the express intent of reviving the system. Since then the company has set its sights on growing freight business while working to reopen the entire line after years of neglect and disuse.

The trackage is owned by the state and leased to the railroad. Massachusetts Coastal Railroad reporting mark, MC: Also known as the Mass Coastal Railroad this short line operates much of the former New Haven Railroad trackage in the state's eastern peninsula. The road took over the duties of the Bay Colony Railroad on the line in providing service to the state's Cape Cod region.

The Pioneer Valley Railroad is owned by the Pinsly Railroad Company operating a short stretch of trackage in southwestern Massachusetts. To the general public the railroad is also well known for its popular Old Road Dinner Train.

The railroad has been in service since Ann Arbor Railroad reporting mark, AA: The history of Ann Arbor traces back to when it was born through the reorganization of predecessor systems operating between Toledo, Ohio and Frankfort, Michigan.

The road long struggled to remain profitable. In it entered bankruptcy and the property was soon purchased by the state to preserve rail service. The present-day Ann Arbor, a corporate entity since , has been a part of Watco since It operates the original "Annie" between Toledo and Ann Arbor, about 50 miles and traffic consists of flour, sugar, grain, plastics, sand, cement, recyclables, paper, lumber, and petroleum. Its traffic consists of agriculture, forest products, chemicals, bulk transfer, and other freight.

Delray Connecting Railroad reporting mark, DC: This historic short line has been in service since serving Michigan's Zug Island.

Steel operates about 15 miles of track and handles more than 35, carloads annually. Its primary customer is the Great Lakes Works steel mill. In time, ore also became an important source of freight and it grew into a mile system. Today, the road operates more than miles of property, including trackage rights, as it has acquired former sections of the Soo Line and Milwaukee Road.

Its freight is highly diversified. The road began service in and was acquired by RA in Today, it handles primarily wheat, sodium carbonate, and lumber. The entire Great Lakes Central totals roughly miles. Its trackage runs from Mt. Morris to Alpena as well as between Pinconning and Gaylord; there is also a short branch to Midland via Saginaw.

In all the railroad operates about miles of trackage. Its traffic is highly diversified including aggregates, agricultural products, building materials, cement, chemicals, cement, fertilizer, machinery, metals, petroleum products, plastics, and transportation equipment.

This historic short line traces its roots back to hauling iron ore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Today, it utilizes just 16 miles running from the Empire-Tilden Mine to Ishpeming. Ore still remains its primary freight traffic. This very small industrial railroad operates just 1. Marquette Rail reporting mark, MQT: It has been in service since with freight consisting of chemicals, paperboard, grain, salt, and petroleum products among other traffic.

Michigan Shore Railroad reporting mark, MS: The short line currently hauls primarily sand and chemicals. This short line is owned by Pioneer Railcorp operating about 17 miles of track between White Pigeon and Sturgis. Its current traffic base includes scrap, scrap paper, pulpboard, frac sand, coal, lumber, and soybean oils. The short line currently operates about 32 miles between Alma and Saginaw handling primarily agricultural products.

The Minnesota Commercial has been in operation since over what was formerly the Minnesota Transfer, a system dating back to Today, the system operates nearly miles of railroad in the Twin Cities with traffic including lumber, steel, paper, potash, consumer goods, and agricultural products. This short line dates back to and currently operates about 4 miles of trackage serving paper mills in International Falls, Minnesota and Fort Frances, Ontario.

It handles more than 10, carloads annually. Today, its freight is largely comprised of agricultural products. This privately-owned, short line railroad is mostly concentrated in North Dakota, leasing nearly miles of track from carriers such as Canadian Pacific and Mohall Central Railroad. Its traffic consists primarily of agricultural products and it handles about 17, carloads annually.

In all, there are about 41 miles in use. Cloud and Cold Spring with a branch to St. The road began service in over former BNSF trackage and currently handles about 10, carloads annually including aggregates, building products, chemicals, coal, food products, lumber, manufactured goods, paper, scrap, and steel. The history of the property dates back to the Great Northern, acquired from then-BN in Its traffic consists of ethanol, corn, soybeans, and inbound coal.

The road began service in over trackage in the Twin Cities and region and currently handles freight ranging from agriculture to chemicals. The road began service in and its traffic base is very diversified. This privately-owned railroad operates about 36 miles of track between Hinkley and North Branch.

The system began service in and was once owned by RailAmerica. It currently operates trackage once owned by the Northern Pacific as part of its larger, "Skally Line. This independently-owned short line began service in acquiring the Soo Line's former Milwaukee Road main line west of the Twin Cities.

Its current traffic base is highly diversified ranging from agriculture to transload services. The road was originally formed in the early s, connecting its namesake cities and was once known for its fleet of Baldwin road-switchers. Today, it operates miles of track with traffic consisting of brick, food products, metal, and scrap.

This railroad operates just 10 miles of track near the city of Columbus via trackage rights and Trinity to the south. It is owned by the Patriot Rail Corporation, primarily serving the Weyerhaeuser fiber mill in Columbus while moving pulpwood, corn starch and chemicals. This short line, owned by the Mississippi Rail Group, Inc. The road is currently inactive outside of car storage. This privately owned short line operates about 55 miles of track between Meridian and Waynesboro where it connects at the former city with Kansas City Southern.

The road's freight includes lumber, food products, roofing products, and other traffic. This railroad is another owned by Pioneer Rail Corporation, operating three disconnected lines; an mile segment near Iuka, Mississippi; 51 miles between Oxford, Mississippi and Grand Junction, Tennessee; and finally 46 miles between Corinth, Mississippi and Red Bay, Alabama.

The trackage is ex-Illinois Central and was acquired in Operating between Swan Lake and Jonestown, this privately-owned short line covers about 60 miles connecting with the Canadian National at Swan Lake.

The history of the property traces back to the IC, which sold the property around This privately-owned short line was first incorporated in , eventually building a system stretching from Pascagoula to Luce Farms, about 44 miles.

Even today the road continues to operate most of its original main line with a highly maintained right-of-way, connecting with Class Is CSX at Pascagoula and Canadian National in Evanston.

The short line handles agricultural and lumber products. This short line, dating back to , is owned by Homan Industries and operated by the Mississippian Railway Cooperative utilizing a 25 mile line from Amory where its shops are located as well as a connection with BNSF to Fulton.

This short line provides switching and terminal service for the Port Bienville area, operating about 8 miles of trackage in all. It interchanges with CSX in Ansley. This short line operates Its traffic includes clay, lumber, and plastics.

It provides transload services and handles primarily agricultural products. The Vicksburg Southern Railroad is another Watco short line operating 21 miles between Redwood and Cedars via Vicksburg, which has been in service since Since then the system has acquired more property through Norfolk Southern handling a wide range of freight. This small terminal railroad operates just 2 miles of track in St.

Louis with a connection to the Union Pacific. The system is owned by the city, which acquired the property from NS on June 17, Louis - Kansas City main line.

The route totals miles between Vigus and Pleasant Hill, Missouri but only 42 miles between Vigus and Union is currently in service. The property, former Wabash trackage, was acquired from the Class I by the city of Columbia during early October of It currently handles more than 1, carloads annually. The first 12 miles between Birmingham and Kearney went into service in while in an additional 15 miles of industrial track for switching nearby Bedford Yard was also added to the system.

The road handles about 15, carloads annually. Manufacturers Railway reporting mark, MRS: This historic railroad was owned by the Anheuser-Busch brewing company and has operated since In the railroad was sold to Foster Townsend Rail Logistics reporting mark, FTRL which continues to provide switching and terminal service to the brewery as well as other industries in South St. It interchanges with the Terminal Railroad Assocoation of St.

It is privately owned by Mike Williams and serves an industrial park near Mexico. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis reporting mark, TRRA: This historic terminal road has served the area around St. Louis since it was created in to provide switching services for the major railroads serving St. The railroad was once electrified, utilizing a 2,volt, DC system until when diesels took over. For years it hauled copper ore mined near Butte, to smelters located at Anaconda.

Today, it continues operating Central Montana Rail, Inc. The rest of the property is former Great Northern. It primarily moves agricultural traffic while also hosting a seasonal dinner train known as "Charlie Russell Chew Choo.

This large, privately-owned system operates more than miles of trackage including trackage rights in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana that was formerly owned by the Soo Line. The road's traffic is largely agriculture and it has been in operation since This short line has been in operation since December of and operates 40 miles of disconnected trackage that was formerly owned by Great Northern.

The property is currently a Watco subsidiary handling nearly 10, carloads annually. Another Watco shortline, this railroad operates more than miles of former Great Northern trackage in northeastern Montana, stretching into North Dakota. It began service in late and handles traffic related to the natural gas industry including natural gas, crude oil, and frac sand. It took over the former South Omaha Terminal Railway in , which traced its history back to Nebkota Railway reporting mark, NRI: Since then, about half of the trackage has been abandoned.

Traffic is largely grain and general agriculture. With its ownership of the Nebkota Railway the property totals nearly 12 miles. Its customers include agriculture companies, cement plants, and lumber companies. Other services include transloading, car repair, car storage, and track repair. This small switching road has slowly grown over the years from its start in to service a car repair and maintenance facility to later handling grain shipments. Today, it operates about 3 miles of remaining trackage in the Concord area providing car repair, bulk transload service, and general freight service.

This privately owned short line operates two unconnected sections of track in western New Hampshire from Littleton to Groveton and also from North Stratford to Colebrook. Along with general freight service the company offers car storage, car repair, transload, and locomotive repair services. This short line began service in when it acquired former Conrail trackage in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania between West Easton, Phillipsburg, and Milford.

This short line was started in , initially as a tourist railroad planned by a father and son. This freight line and tourist railroad operates former Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines trackage acquired from Conrail in totaling about 27 miles in Cape May County. This small terminal road operates about 2 miles of trackage in Bayonne, switching local customers and interchanging with CSX. This terminal road provides service in the Hainesport area shipping steel, aggregates, lumber, wallboard, trash, and other freight while also offering transload services.

This terminal railroad provides switching services for industries located in or near Kearny. Its primary freight includes lumber, aggregates, and manufacturing. It began operations in , taking over the property from Conrail, and currently interchanges with NS in Garfield.

Its services include general freight business and transload operations. It is the last surviving carfloat railroad remaining on the harbor years ago there were dozens. The railroad has been in operation since taking over for what was previously known as the New York Cross Harbor Railroad but further history traces the property back to the classic waterfront lines like the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Company BEDT. This historic regional, also affectionately known as the "Susie-Q", dates back to and today connects New Jersey, New York, and extreme northeastern Pennsylvania the railroad reaches as far north as Utica and Syracuse via trackage rights over Norfolk Southern.

The road handles a wide range of freight from agriculture to intermodal. The road is well-known in the railfan community for its use, and affinity for, Baldwin road-switchers. This road, owned by J. It also operates about 31 miles between Winslow and Pleasantville along with a section of the former Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines between Salem and Swedesboro.

These two systems formed a network running between Whippany, Morristown, and Essex Falls. With trackage rights the road operates between Hackettstown and Waldlick via Newark handling a wide range of freight. It has been in operation since and was expanded in , currently operated 14 miles of track. There is no connection with the national rail network. It has been in operation since Its traffic currently consist of oilfield chemicals and minerals, construction aggregates, industrial waste, and scrap.

In the road embarked in a major upgrading of the property to handle increased freight demands. Rail service finally commenced in Freight currently consists of agricultural products, lumber, dairy feed, and other freight. The railroad also offers excursion service to the general public. Its traffic consists of grain, fertilizer, logs, and wood pulp. The history of the line dates back to the Erie Railroad and was sold by Conrail.

The road's current traffic consists of petroleum products, lumber, concrete, agriculture, animal feed, fertilizer, manufacturing products, and paper. This medium-sized short line operates about miles leased track between Binghamton and Port Jervis owned by NS. The railroad began in operating trackage purchased from EL between Cassville and Richfield Springs. This short line is a Genesee Valley Transportation GVT property that has been in service since , operating two disconnected lines of Lackawanna and Lehigh Valley heritage; one operates between Lancaster and Cheektowaga and the other between Lockport and Brockport.

Today, the system operates a total of miles and moves more than 18, carloads while serving some 54 customers. It handles about 15, carloads annually moving coal, forest products, plastics, and chemicals.

This long-operating short line traces its history back to when it acquired 13 miles of former Erie trackage between Lakeville, Avon, and north of Industry. More trackage was acquired from Conrail in and the road now operates over miles in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. Its history traces back to providing switching services. Today, it serves the Alcoa plant near Massena and moves primarily aluminum and petroleum products.

The road also services a short branch to Greycourt. Its traces its history back to and currently serves several transload facilities. The road also serves the Griffiss Industrial Park in Rome. This short line is an Anacostia Rail Holdings property that began service in to provide freight service over the historic Long Island Rail Road trackage that railroad now provides only commuter service.

This short line has been in operation since when it acquired from Conrail former Erie trackage between Buffalo and Waterboro with a branch to Cattaraugus. The railroad also provides excursion service to the general public. Overall, the short line operates just under 60 miles of track. It serves a handful of customers moving everything from food products to chemicals.

The road first began service in and handles over 4, carloads annually. It interchanges with both Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific. The road first entered service in on former NYC trackage and current handles traffic related to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry such as fracking sand. It also offers transloading and car repair service.

It currently operates some miles in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York, south of Buffalo. The road serves numerous customers and is known within the railfan community for its use of Alco road-switchers.

The road was built to serve the region's timber industry but has since transitioned to serve a wide range of customers on its main line between Fayetteville and Aberdeen via Raeford about 47 miles. Today its freight consists of lumber, forest products, building materials, chemicals, bulk commodities, fertilizer, and other traffic. It also leases additional trackage between Charlotte and Gulf. The road currently serves nearly two-dozen customers while also offering transload service, car storage and repair, locomotive leasing, and other services.

Alexander Railroad reporting mark, ARC: This historic railroad, also known as " The Junebug Line ," dates back to when it was started to take over an abandoned Southern Railway branch, operates about 20 miles of track between Statesville and Taylorsville, North Carolina.

Today, it still operates this line serving 20 customers and handling about 2, carloads annually. The history of the line traces back to and once ran between Sanford and Lillington, 25 miles.

The Caldwell County Railroad began service in , operating 17 miles of track connecting Hickory and Lenoir, acquired from NS that year.

The line's history dates back to the Southern and today about about 12 miles remain in service to Valmead. It serves a handful of customers moving slightly over carloads per year. This short line has been in service since acquiring former NS property through its Thoroughbred Shortline Program. Currently it operates miles between Raleigh and Plymouth as well as a mile line between Belhaven and Pinetown. The road's traffic is primarily agriculture based. The route's history traces back to the Atlantic Coast Line.

It has not seen freight service since while awaiting repairs to bridges along the route. However, a potential buyer for the line has been found and service hopes to resume in following repairs. This privately-owned terminal road began operations in taking over from the Waccamaw Short Line about 3 miles serving the Clinton area, and adopting its current name in It serves local business parks and provides transload services.

Global TransPark in Kinston. It relies largely on switchers as standard road power. It has been leased by Carolina Coastal since handling about 3, carloads annually. It began in acquiring former Seaboard Air Line property in its namesake states. Since then, about 7 miles have been abandoned. It's only current traffic is a small transload facility.

This terminal road switches the Port of Wilmington, which began operations in It first began service in over former Southern trackage, another short line created through the Thoroughbred Program. The road's traffic today totals nearly 13, annual carloads including poultry feed ingredients, wood products, steel, plastics, propane, ethanol, and rail car storage. Dakota Northern Railroad reporting mark, DN: This short line carrier began operation only in that originally operated 72 miles of trackage in northeastern North Dakota that is formerly Great Northern and part of which is leased by BNSF.

Since then, about 18 miles have been abandoned. Today, it operates about 55 miles of track. This short line operates 6 miles between Carson and Jefferson over the former NYC and has been in service since when the property was acquired from Conrail. This terminal railroad, owned by Carload Express, Inc. Louis's main line, which later became part of NYC's route to St. This small short line serves industries near the city of Cleveland and has been in operation since , leasing two lines from NS that run from near downtown to nearby Glenwillow and Solon about 35 miles in all.

Its traffic includes scrap metal, sand, manufactured goods, food products, and chemicals while also offering transload service. This terminal road also operates in along the lakefront serving the Port of Cleveland, utilizing about 1 total mile of track.

The road began operations on August 1, There are also branches reaching Mt. Vernon, Zanesville, Cambridge, Cadiz, and Hebron. Lake Terminal Railroad reporting mark, LT: This historic terminal road dates back to its incorporation on September 13, , projected to serve a mill in the Lorain area. It was intended to reach both Sandusky and Cleveland but never opened service further than Lorain. Today, it still functions as switching line and serves the steel industry. The system primarily moves steel products.

Howev er, today, it operates about 5 miles of track east of the city hauling a wide range of freight such as steel, agriculture, scrap metal, food products, and aggregates. It began service during the summer of and has slowly added trackage since that time. At one time the corridors handled predominantly coal but today moves traffic related to the Utica and Marcellus Shale industries oil an natural gas.

There are currently 18 miles of track in service carrying coal and waste. This short line has been in operation and leases trackage owned by Norfolk Southern near Canton. It is a subsidiary of Republic Steel. RJ Corman operates a variety of rail-related businesses, including short lines. It currently owns to lines in western Ohio that total 94 miles southwest of Lima and in the Greenville area. Operations began in and traffic includes grain, fertilizer, aluminum, rubber, food products, plastic, and steel.

Its property in Ohio include a terminal service in Cleveland as well as trackage operated around Hamilton and Jackson. It first began operations in and the current trackage is ex-Erie property.

The road's traffic includes plastics and steel. The trackage is a former Erie branch and traffic includes food products and steel. Youngstown Belt Railroad reporting mark, YB: There is also a southern extension to Youngstown. Also referred to as the A-OK Railroad via its reporting marks, this privately-held short line operates segments of the Rock Island's former Choctaw Route between Howe and McAlester as well as between Shawnee and Midwest City, slightly over miles in all.

It has been in service since and steadily increased its carloadings since then. The railroad's long term goals include opening more sections of the former Choctaw line. Owned by the Wheeler Brothers Grain Company, this railroad, started in , operates about 50 miles of former Rock Island grain branches running between El Reno where it interchanges with UP , Watonga, and Bridgeport.

Its current traffic base includes grain, fertilizer and agricultural products. Since then it has picked up more trackage with heritage tracing back to the Santa Fe and Frisco. Sand Springs Railway reporting mark, SS: This historic company traces its history back to an interurban chartered on February 6, It was built to transport passengers from the the suburb of Sand Springs to Tulsa, 10 miles. However, over the years its developed a profitable carload freight business, allowing it to survive past the end of the interurban era roughly between and Another Watco property this large short line operates more than miles of track between Tulsa, Duke, Pawnee, and Stillwater.

It has been in service since and its traffic has steadily grown over the years where today it includes transload services, agriculture, petroleum products, minerals, and industrial products.

Another of Oklahoma's historic railroads, the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union connects its namesake cities and dates back to It began service as an interurban but suffered a few bankruptcies during its early years. In it completed its 25 mile main line between Tulsa, Sapulpa, and Mounds although the extension to the latter town was pulled up in Its freight traffic surged thanks largely to the oil boom during the early 20th century. It suffered one additional bankruptcy in and acquired its current name in Electrified operations were discontinued in and it currently operates with EMD switchers.

Today, the road's system runs 10 miles between its namesake towns and a mile branch leased from UP between Tulsa and Jenks. It also operates a short, disconnected segment south of Corvallis. Today, traffic stands at about 17, carloads annually. Dating back to the early 20th century, this short line operates about 18 miles of railroad between Prineville and Redmond. The system primarily subsisted on forest traffic over the years, which it continues to handle today along with other types of freight, including transload service.

It is owned by the Port of Coos Bay and traffic currently consists of forest products, fertilizer, chromite ore and dairy feed. This small short line dates back to and operates just under 11 miles of railroad between Gilchrist Junction and Gilchrist, Oregon the property was originally a private logging line. The road's traffic is based in forest products. Lake Railway reporting mark, LRY: Formerly known as the Lake County Railroad this mile short line is mostly timber-based although handles other traffic, including perlite running between Perez via Alturas, California and Lakeview, Oregon.

It has been in service since on property formerly owned by SP. It operates a fleet of switchers and along with freight operations hosts some excursions for the general public as well. Peninsula Terminal Company reporting mark, PT: This terminal railroad dates back to serving North Portland on just 2 miles of track. It interchanges with both BNSF and UP while offering transload and cross-docking service while also providing general freight service. This short line operates the former SP branch to Tillamook Bay between Hillsboro and Tillamook, a distance of 94 miles.

It began service in handling primarily forest products and became well-known for painting one of its GP9s in the black and white colors of Holstein cattle.

The railroad was severely damaged following heavy flooding in late and has been out of service ever since. The short line still has hopes of restoring the property and commencing freight service one day. It handles more than 60, carloads annually. It dates back to utilizing a former SP branch and has changed hands and names a few times over the years.

This short line is owned by the local counties of Union and Wallowa and operates 63 miles of a former Union Pacific branch.

The railroad also operates excursion trains known as the Eagle Cap Excursion Train for the public in the spring, summer, and early fall. This small short line operates about 30 miles of former Southern Pacific trackage between Geer and East Salem, Oregon.

It has been in operation since and primarily handles forest products. This short line is one of several owned by Carload Express, Inc. This short line is located in Coatesville, operating as far as Modena about 2 miles , and has been in service since Interchange is provided through NS. Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad reporting mark, DL: The railroad is famous among railfans for its use of historic Alco diesel locomotives. The new operation will serve a local industrial park and also provide railcar repair services through another subsidiary known as EBT Railcar, LLC.

The hope is to eventually acquire and restore even more of the old EBT to freight operations and excursions. Everett Railroad reporting mark, EV: This short line operates former PRR trackage south of Altoona. Its current system has been in service since on two separate lines; one between Brookes Mill and Sproul and the other between Martinsburg and Roaring Spring.

Its entire system totals about 23 miles. Traffic consists of grain, agriculture, lumber, pulpwood, paper, manufactured materials, and animal feed.

Holly Springs on trackage that was formerly part of the Reading. It interchanges with NS at Lewistown and features a livery somewhat similar to that of the Pennsy. This short line and tourist railroad began operations in on former PRR trackage near the city of Pittsburgh. While the system is an operating short line carrying coal among its other products the company also hosts excursions during various times throughout the year.

This small terminal railroad owns about 2 miles of track near the town of Landisville with a connection to Norfolk Southern.

The system primarily handles agricultural products. Its traffic has grown steadily over the years and now totals more than 2, carloads annually. It has been in service since August 15, when it acquired former NYC and Reading branches between Avis and Muncy totaling roughly The road's livery is a version of the Reading's popular green and yellow "Bee Line Service" scheme.

It also hosts excursions on the property. This popular excursion railroad operating between its namesake towns has been in service since and is also a freight hauler.

The line first entered service in carrying the same name but was ultimately acquired by the Reading and operated as a branch. Under Conrail the trackage was sold creating today's system. It began service in over The railroad has three steam locomotives on-hand although only one, 40 is currently operational and typically handles excursions while its fleet of diesels pull freight assignments. Overall the railroad operates about 82 miles of track and has multiple connections to Norfolk Southern.

It began in by acquiring the property from Conrail that was once a PRR branch. Its blue and white livery is a nod to Penn State University.

It has been in service since when the line was acquired from Conrail. This system acquired the assets of three former short lines and began service on December 30, It currently provides switching and terminal service to the towns of Bethlehem and Johnstown.

Its total trackage is about 80 miles including all sidings, yards, and spurs. Aside from switching they also offer transload and intermodal service. The road began service in This short line is a Watco Companies property operating 12 miles west of Midland serving local industries with a connection to NS. Since then it has grown prodigiously purchasing former segments of the Reading, Lehigh Valley, and Jersey Central trackage from Conrail that currently provides it an expansive system stretching from Reading to Scranton and several points in between.

Today its property covers This particular RJ Corman operation began service in operating miles of trackage between Cresson and Keating. The property is largely former PRR and NYC secondary branches and it primarily handles coal movements today while other traffic consists of brick, lumber and rock salt.

Another of North Shore's railroads, this short line began service in , operating between Northumberland and Mt. This short line is another subsidiary of Carload Express, Inc. This shortline operates about 24 miles of former Erie trackage between Honesdale and Lackawaxen Township with a connection to Norfolk Southern located there.

This small short line operates just 1. It offers transload and switching services as well as rail car storage. This short line is yet another property owned by North Shore operating between Allenwood and Windfield with a connection to NS at Milto.

Union Railroad reporting mark, URR: The road has long served the region's steel industry and continues to do so with what remains in operation. It is currently a division of Transtar, Inc. York Railway reporting mark, YRC: It currently operates about 42 miles from Hanover to Stonybrook via York.

This short line is a division of the Seaview Transportation Company. It connects with the Northeast Corridor in West Davisville and serves numerous businesses at the Quonset Business Park in Davisville with the line splitting to reach the waterfront at North Davisville and Quonset Airport. Its traffic consists of plastics, gas turbines, wind turbines, chemicals, food products, and forest products.

This short line, which began service in , operates about 17 miles of track and runs between State Junction and Charity Church with a connection to CSX. The property is owned by the South Carolina Public Railways Commission and handles primarily steel and chemicals. This short line is owned by the Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation and operates right around 13 miles between Belton and Pelzer. The railroad handles about 2, carloads annually with traffic including ethanol, scrap metal, limestone, fertilizer, feed products, plastics, and paper.

This historic short line operates about 40 miles of track and dates back to serving the region's timber industry. This historic system dates back to as a three-foot, narrow-gauge converted to standard-gauge in , although it acquired its current name in Its slogan is The Springmaid Line and it connected its namesake towns. In it acquired nearly 31 miles from NS between Catawba and Kershaw providing it a current system of about 60 miles. During the s it added This is currently its remaining system as the original main line was abandoned in Based in the port city of Charleston this terminal railroad operates 10 miles of track serving both the port and nearby industries.

It handles more than 30, carloads annually that includes chemicals, plastics, trash, and other commodities.

This short line began service in when it acquired miles of the former Milwaukee Road between between Marquette, Iowa and Rapid City, South Dakota. It is currently privately owned and hauls primarily agriculture and grain products. Its traffic consists of aggregates and construction materials. It is owned by Ironhorse Resources and traffic consists of lumber, steel, fertilizer, grain, propane, and carbon black. The line is about 49 miles in length and its traffic includes chemicals, metals and plastics.

The railroad is operated by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and usually carries less than carloads annually which includes paper, metals, and chemicals. This small carrier operates nearly 16 miles of track between Crab Orchard and Harriman Junction at Rockwood where it interchanges with NS. The property was acquired from the Class I in and its sole freight is chemical-grade limestone. Heritage Railroad reporting mark, HRC: It has been in operation since and traffic includes radioactive waste and heavy equipment.

It operates between Knoxville and Marbledale but is best known amongst the public as hosting the Three Rivers Rambler train rides. It began service in and operates about 18 miles of track. This short line operates 47 miles between Memphis and Olive Branch, Mississippi. It has been in service since and moves agricultural products while also handling transload services.

The Tennken began service in when local governments in Kentucky rescued the former Illinois Central Gulf main line between Dyersburg, Tennessee and Hickman, Kentucky that was slated for abandonment in The trackage is about 51 miles in length and the road's traffic includes coiled steel, steel pipe, petroleum coke, electro binder, plastics, synthetic resin, carbon black, fertilizer, and grain with carloads totaling more than 4, annually.

This short line is owned by Martin Marietta Materials and operate a line that is just 3. It began operations in over former SP property. It interchanges traffic with BNSF. This historic short line traces its roots back to where it started out in the timber industry. It currently operates 12 miles of main line trackage and 28 miles total radiating away from Lukin; these include the West Lufkin Branch, Clawson Branch, and its main line heading east.

Blacklands Railroad reporting mark, BLR: The company also offers transload services. Today, its mileage totals on three disconnected lines; a short segment west of downtown Dallas, another between Grapevine and Sherman, and finally between Garland and Trenton. It currently handles roughly 36, carloads annually. Georgetown Railroad reporting mark, GRR: The original Georgetown Railroad dates back to , running 10 miles between Georgetown and Round Rock.

Today the operation owns about 30 miles of track serving communities such as Kerr, Granger, Belton, and Smith. Its traffic includes aggregates, ammonium nitrate, lumber, and grain.

Hondo Railway reporting mark, HRR: This small short line operates about 5 miles of track near San Antonio and has been in service since The railroad also offers transload services. Today, it continues to operate this trackage, owned by Georgia Pacific and still handles primarily forest products including outbound plywood, lumber, and other freight. Owned by Lone Star Locomotive Leasing, this terminal railroad operates 1.

Its traffic currently consists of carbon black, liquid petroleum gas, chemicals, petroleum products, scrap metal, fertilizer and grain. This little railroad has been in continuous operation since and today owns about 23 miles of track between Saragosa and Pecos, where it has an interchange with UP. Its primary sources of traffic are aggregates and ore although its future includes the movement of traffic related to the region's booming Permian Shale Oil basin.

Today, it is owned by Watco. Its traffic consists of alumina, aluminum flouride, fluorspar and fertilizers. Another railroad owned by Ironhorse Resources, Inc. Overall, the Rio Valley operates about 66 miles of track.

Its traffic includes oil field services, paper, agricultural products, lumber, bulk plastics, steel, scrap metals, cottonseed, corn sweetener, lime, cement, canned goods, frozen food, and aggregates. The road initiated freight service on the line during June of for the first time since the s. The trackage was built directly by the railroad in the mids to serve a linerboard mill. Today, its traffic still consists of forest products such as paper and lumber.

This small short line operates around the Lubbock area providing mostly switching and terminal services. It has been in operation since and also offers railcar storage and transload services. This terminal railroad is another Ironhorse Resources property operating just over 8 miles of track and serving the Abilene area, where it has a connection with UP.

Its traffic currently consists of grain, animal feed, fertilizers, petroleum products, scrap, corn sweetener, and lumber. It began operations in The road began operations in to serve steel mills and continues to carry steel products today. Its traffic currently consists of agriculture, chemicals, petroleum products, and coal. This railroad, which began service in , operates nearly miles of state-owned track in West Texas running between Presidio at the Mexican border to San Angelo Junction near Ricker.

It began operations in and also serves the nearby Vulcan limestone quarry. Its motive power consists of two CF7's and an SW The Timber Rock is a Watco subsidiary and has been in service since It operates miles of trackage between Silsbee and Tenaha with a branch to Deridder, Louisiana.

Its traffic largely includes aggregates and forest products handling more than 26, carloads annually. This operation first began service in , a division of the Southern Pine Lumber Company, hauling logs and related forest products. It has been a division of R. Corman since September of It is isolated from the national rail network. This historic short line, also known as the "Saltair Route," has been based in the Salt Lake City area since its founding in , originally designed as an interurban, electrified operation to carry resort guests visiting the Great Salt Lake.

The short line's parent company is Savage Industries. This short line is a Patriot Rail property and operates about 34 miles of track west of Ogden reaching Relico, Stratford, and an industrial park north of Ogden. It was built primarily to handle coal where it connected with the Rio Grande at Helper. The historic Claremont Concord dates back to , later opening between Concord and Warner. Today, it runs a short segment between only Claremont and Claremont Junction with traffic consisting of rock salt, aggregates, cement, fertilizer, forest products, lumber, and scrap metal.

Vermont Railway reporting mark, VTR: The Vermont Railway began service in to sustain rail service over remaining portions of the bankrupt and liquidated Rutland Railway between Burlington and Bennington as well as between Whitehall and Bellows Falls.

Today, the system also serves Newport and Palmer, Massachusetts, part of which is via trackage rights. Finally, it operates a short segment between Montpelier and Graniteville. The railroad handles a wide variety of freight and also offers passenger excursions. Today, it operates more than miles of trackage and handles more than 25, carloads annually. Buckingham Branch Railroad reporting mark, BB: Its trackage totals miles over these three divisions.

It handles a variety of freight and also offers transload services. The short line connects with both Class I's. This historic terminal line has been in operation since to serve the Port of Norfolk. It currently operates 63 miles of track, including trackage rights, and is jointly owned by NS and CSX.

The system primarily handles agriculture but also offers transload services. This terminal railroad began service in reaching industries along the waterfront of Seattle. When operations commenced it operate 3 miles near Ballard but has since expanded by acquiring two other branches in the region between Snohomish and Woodinville as well as from East Puyallup to McMillan.

It operates the former Camas Prairie Railroad between Spalding and Cottonwood, about 52 miles, and handles primarily agricultural-related traffic. Its traffic consists of limestone and forest products. This short line operates about 80 miles of unconnected track between Yakima and Gibbon.

The railroad is currently owned by Iron Horse Development, LLC which also owns the Columbia Basin and handles a wide variety of freight including cattle feed, propane, paper products, plastic pellets, cheese, juice concentrate, lumber, apples and other agricultural products.

This historic railroad dates back to and was a longtime division of Weyerhaeuser to handle forest products near Longview. Its traffic currently consists of aggregates, chemicals, dimensional lumber, industrial products, newsprint, plastic resin, plywood chips, pulpboard, specialty packaging products, landfill trash. Another Iron Horse property that has been in service since it currently operates about 73 miles of track between Connell and an interchange with BNSF and Moses Lake with branches serving Othello, Schrag, and Warden.

Much of this trackage is former Milwaukee Road property. The trackage is all former Great Northern property. This short line is owned by the Ballard Terminal Railroad operating about 5 miles of track between East Puyallup to McMillin that was formerly owned by Northern Pacific.

This terminal line operates the former trackage of the Pacific Northwest Traction Company, an interurban serving the town of Mt. Its history dates back to as the Seattle-Everett Traction Company, opening between those two cities 29 miles on May 1, Vernon and Bellingham a year later. The plans to connect the two segments, unfortunately, never happened.

Despite developing a significant carload freight business the operation was slowly cutback over the years; most of the northern segment was abandoned in while the southern section survived until Vernon remains in service. The railroad began operations in taking over the property from BNSF that was originally Northern Pacific trackage. Its traffic ranges from agricultural products to automobiles. This short line is owned by the city of Tacoma and currently operates three different divisions.

It has been in operation since , then known as the Tacoma Municipal Belt Line, to serve the city's waterfront; this section is now known as the Tidelands Division. In the railroad expanded by acquiring former Milwaukee Road trackage south of the city, which totals miles and is known as the Mountain Division. Finally, there was the addition, known as the Capital Division, running southwest of Tacoma and reaching Port Tacoma.

In all, Tacoma Rail operates miles and handles a wide variety of freight. This short line began service in running from a connection with UP at Richland Junction to Hanford. Its traffic consists of food products, metals, containers, and also provides locomotive repair services. This terminal railroad began operations in as Western Rail Switching. There is also a short spur reaching Geiger Field Airway Heights.

The traffic is primarily agricultural related although company also performs other rail-related business such as rebuilds. This tiny short line ebbs and flows from dormancy and active status as it serves a local coal mine near Alexander and Palace Valley. The system's laid down and abandoned trackage over the years, following demand of the region's lumber and coal industries. When another name change came in as the Beech Mountain Railroad it primarily operated about 8 miles running from Alexander to Star Bridge.

Today, it continues to operate this trackage sporadically using a single Alco S2 for power. The railroad also operates excursion trains during much of the year. The property was acquired on September 26, from CSX, which intended to abandon the route, and the trackage totals It remains in service today utilizing a single SW switcher that was built as Illinois Terminal A year later service was extended 4 miles to Pax and an additional interchange, with NS.

Crop productivity continually declines as topsoil is lost and residues are removed. The natural, geological erosion rate is about pounds of soil per acre per year Troeh Some is due to farmers not being paid enough to conserve their land, but most is due to investors who farm for profit.

Erosion control cuts into profits. Farming methods have increased soil erosion to rates much greater than soil is formed — it can take up to 1, years to form 1 centimeter 0. As a result, the land available for food production is shrinking, irreversibly in some cases. Converting cropland to biofuel systems and urban centers is having the same effect. Erosion is happening 10 to 20 times faster than the rate topsoil can be formed by natural processes Pimentel That might make the average person concerned.

T ought to be based on deeper layers — the time for subsoil to develop from parent material or parent material from rock. Erosion is very hard to measure — very little soil might erode for years, and then tons per acre blown or washed away in an extreme storm just after harvest, before a cover crop has had a chance to protect the soil.

We need better ways of measuring and monitoring erosion, since estimates wildly differ Trimble Underground creatures and fungi break down fallen leaves and twigs into microscopic bits that plants can eat, and create tunnels air and water can infiltrate. In nature, there are no elves feeding fertilizing the wild lands.

There is no bio-waste. Soil creatures and fungi act as an immune system for plants against diseases, weeds, and insects — when this living community is harmed by agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, even more chemicals are needed in an increasing vicious cycle Wolfe Just a tiny pinch of earth could have 10, different species Wardle — millions of creatures, most of them unknown.

As you swam along, plant roots would tower above you like trees as you wove through underground skyscrapers. Plants and creatures underground need to drink, eat, and breathe just like we do. An ideal soil is half rock, and a quarter each water and air.

The tracks left by tractors in the soil are the erosion route for half of the soil that washes or blows away Wilhelm Corn and soy are especially harmful because they need a lot of water, fertilizer, agrichemicals, resulting in eutrophication.

They are also among the crops most vulnerable to soil erosion. In summary, Tegtmeier writes that these practices lead to lower crop production and ultimately deserts. Growing plants for fuel will accelerate the already unacceptable levels of topsoil erosion, soil carbon and nutrient depletion, soil compaction, water retention, water depletion, water pollution, air pollution, eutrophication, destruction of fisheries, siltation of dams and waterways, salination, loss of biodiversity, and damage to human health.

Why are soil scientists absent from the biofuels debate? These are just a few of the responses from the ten who replied to my off-the-record poll no one wanted me to quote them, mostly due to fear of losing their jobs:. This is not a new debate. Not considered is the importance of plant residues as a primary source of energy for soil microbial activity.

There came a time, however, after 15 or 20 years, when the crop did not respond to cultivation; the yields fell off and the lands that once produced bushels per acre annually dropped to 25 to 30 bushels. Civilizations in the past could not expand their carrying capacity with just their own agricultural production. Growth depended on conquering other nations and enslaving their people, taking their surplus food, forests, gold, and other wealth.

With these new resources, the army could be expanded and more nations conquered. When an empire could expand no more, it collapsed. This comes about partly because the government ignores the rural communities they depend on, and they resent not being part of the resource redistribution of conquered nations and the over-taxation and confiscation of food by the central authorities, leaving them perpetually on the verge of starvation. So when the barbarians invaded the Roman Empire, many rural areas welcomed them, and joined them in battles, yet another reason Tainter Sam Brody wrote: What Admiral Hyman G.

Farm wastes may be more urgently needed to fertilize the soil than to fuel machines. Wood fuel and farm wastes are dubious as substitutes because of growing food requirements to be anticipated. Land is more likely to be used for food production than for tree crops. Deforestation not only lessens the energy base but has a further disastrous effect: Another cause of declining civilization comes with pressure of population on available land.

A point is reached where the land can no longer support both the people and their domestic animals. There is absolute consensus among energy analysts that fossil fuels made modern civilization possible. According to Giampietro The tremendousadvantage of fossil energy over alternative energy sources is easy to explain: Fossil fuels are a primary energy source, from which secondary energy gasoline and other products are produced.

Biofuels are not a primary source of energy, they need to be produced. Therefore, the only energy carrier that could replace fossil fuels is a primary energy source of similar performance in terms of useful work per unit of primary energy consumed. Anything less than that will cause a significant downturn. Fertilizer uses natural gas both as a feedstock and the source of energy to create the high temperatures and pressures necessary to coax inert nitrogen out of the air nitrogen is often the limiting factor in crop production.

Fertilizers only replace nutrition. Organic matter slows erosion and fixes carbon in the soil. Dead plants and the soil biota that feed on them create channels that let air and water get to plant roots, which breathe and drink just like we do.

The soil retains water, helping plants get through droughts. Organic matter provides food for the soil biota, which provide an immune system for plants. The mycorrhizal fungi in the soil provide plants extra nutrients and water in exchange for sugars.

Fertilizer not only provides no ecosystem services, it harms the ecosystem. Fertilizer disables or kills some of the creatures in the soil web, which increases the need for agrichemicals in an increasingly vicious cycle.

You can grow tomatoes on rocks if you dump enough fertilizer on them. But doing so depletes the soil, we mine it when we do this. So let me get this straight.

How, exactly, does that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels? OK, one good thing, sort of. But natural gas is a finite resource on a finite planet, and is not easily imported, and despite all the hype about fracking in the United States, natural gas production is likely to peak to Powers Discontinuities clearly lie ahead. Our national security is at risk as we deplete our aquifers and become dependent on unstable foreign states to provide us with increasingly expensive fertilizer.

Improve national security and topsoil by returning residues to the land as fertilizer. To understand the concept of EROEI, imagine a magician doing a variation on the rabbit-out-of-a-hat trick.

He strides onstage with a rabbit, puts it into a top hat, and then spends the next five minutes pulling more rabbits out. That is a pretty good return on investment! Oil was like that in the beginning: When the biofuel magician tries to do the same trick decades later, he puts the rabbit into the hat, and pulls out only one pooping rabbit.

The excrement is known as byproduct or coproduct in the ethanol industry. Studies that show a positive energy gain for ethanol would have a negative return if the byproduct were left out Farrell Out would come 18 pounds of ethanol, 18 pounds of CO2 , and 18 pounds of byproduct — the leftover corn solids. Also, byproduct is a subset of what animals eat. Because corn and soy crops have higher erosion rates than most crops, their eroded sediment fills up reservoirs, shortening their life-span and the time dams can store water and generate electricity.

Or the energy needed to clean up the agrichemicals that get into soil and water. Farm runoff of nitrogen fertilizers has contributed to the pollution and hypoxia low oxygen of rivers and lakes across the country and the 8, square mile dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet the cost of the lost shrimp and fisheries and increased cost of water treatment are not subtracted from the EROEI of ethanol.

Rabbits are copraphagous — they eat their feces to get any energy they left in it after digestion. Byproduct can be burned, but it takes a significant amount of energy to dry it out, and requires additional handling and equipment — even more energy. More money can be made selling it wet to the cattle industry, which is hurting from the high price of corn. The boundaries of what is included in EROEI calculations are kept as narrow as possible to reach positive results.

Or they assign overstated values of ethanol yield from corn Patzek Dec Many, many, other inputs are left out. Patzek and Pimentel have compelling evidence showing that about 30 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than you get from it. Their papers are published in peer-reviewed journals where their data and methods are public, unlike many of the positive net energy results.

There are million combustion engines in the world today. Of the four articles that showed a positive net energy for ethanol in Farrells Science article, three were not peer-reviewed. More than half the best farmland in the United States is leased by investors. Notice that these mostly investor-owned corn and soybean growing states, are mainly red in the map below.

Red represents the areas where farms have the highest erosion rates. Owners seeking short-term profits have far less incentive than farmers who work their land to preserve soil and water. The dark green areas of this map represent where the highest crop subsidy payments go and where the highest nitrogen runoff rates are. Commodity payments were meant to be a safety net, but the money ends up being used to buy and apply excess fertilizer, which gets into rivers, lakes, and oceans Redlin Excessive atmospheric nitrogen pollution from industrial farming practices threatens plant diversity.

About a quarter of 15, sites across the United States are likely to lose species as a result of nitrogen pollution Simkin Soil erosion is a serious source of water pollution, since it causes runoff of sediments, nutrients, salts, eutrophication, and chemicals that have had no chance to decompose into streams.

This increases water treatment costs, increases health costs, kills fish with insecticides that work their way up the food chain Troeh Ethanol plants pollute water. They generate 13 liters of wastewater for every liter of ethanol produced, yet more energy and a lowering of the overall EROEI Pimentel March Biofuel factories use a huge amount of water — four gallons for every gallon of ethanol produced.

Despite 30 inches of rain per year in Iowa, there may not be enough water for corn ethanol factories as well as people and industry. Drought years will make matters worse Cruse The facilities that produce ethanol require high-purity water, which is largely taken from confined aquifers, even in the rain-fed Midwest. Given the use of the water from the aquifers, there is clearly a certain amount of unsustainable pumping taking place, according to Jerald Schnoor.

In Iowa, for example, there are a large number of ethanol production plants, and the Cambrian- Ordovician aquifer, known as the Jordan aquifer, has been pumped down by or feet, so eventually future generations will not be able to use that aquifer Institute of Medicine Fifty percent of Americans rely on groundwater Glennon , and in many states, this groundwater is being depleted by agriculture faster than it is being recharged. This is already threatening current food supplies Giampetro Every acre of forest and wetland converted to crop land decreases soil biota, insect, bird, reptile, and mammal biodiversity.

Springtime die-offs of honeybees from corn coated with insecticides was discovered in January Bees are critical for pollinating food crops — these deaths are a part of the mysterious colony collapse disorder Tapparo. The idea we could run our economy on discarded fried food grease is very amusing.

Biodiesel is not ready for prime time. In John Deere allows up to B John Deere engines with exhaust filters should not use biodiesel blends above B Specific risks include, but are not limited to, more frequent regeneration, soot accumulation, and increased intervals for ash removal. To get the country to the point where gasoline was mixed with 5 percent biodiesel would require 64 percent of the soybean crop and 71, square miles of land Borgman , an area the size of the state of Washington.

Soybeans cause even more erosion than corn. But not to worry, a lot is being grown in Brazil, where the Amazon rainforest is being cut down to grow it. Biodiesel shortens engine life. It increases engine NOx emissions ozone and has thermal degradation at high temperatures John Deere Perhaps this is unintentionally wise — biofuels have yet to be proven viable, and mechanization may not be a great strategy in a world of declining energy.

As a result, experts believe that the total production capacity of biodiesel is ultimately limited compared with other alternative fuels USGAO.

Wood is a crop, subject to the same issues as corn, and takes a lot longer to grow. Burning wood in your stove at home delivers far more energy than the logs would if converted to biofuels Pimentel Wood was scarce in America when there were just 75 million people. Electricity from biomass combustion is not economic or sustainable. The only liquid fuels possible are liquified coal, Natural Gas Liquids, or biofuels. Combustion pollution is expensive to control.

Some biomass has absorbed heavy metals and other pollutants from sources like coal power plants, industry, and treated wood. Combustion can release chlorinated dioxins, benzofurans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, lead, nickel, and zinc.

Combustion contributes to global warming by adding nitrogen oxides and the carbon stored in plants back into the atmosphere, as well as removes agriculturally essential nitrogen and phosphate Reijnders Combustion plants need to produce, transport, prepare, dry, burn, and control toxic emissions.

Collection is energy intensive, requiring some combination of bunchers, skidders, whole-tree choppers, or tub grinders, and then hauling it to the biomass plant. There, the feedstock is chopped into similar sizes and placed on a conveyor belt to be fed to the plant. Any alkali or chlorine released in combustion gets deposited on the equipment, reducing overall plant efficiencies, as well as accelerating corrosion and erosion of plant components, requiring high replacement and maintenance energy.

Processing materials with different physical properties is energy intensive , requiring sorting, handling, drying, and chopping. Urban waste requires a lot of sorting, since it often has material that must be removed, such as rocks, concrete and metal. The material that can be burned must also be sorted, since it varies from yard trimmings with high moisture content to chemically treated wood.

Biomass combustion competes with other industries that want this material for construction, mulch, compost, paper, and other profitable ventures, often driving the price of wood higher than a wood-burning biomass plant can afford. Much of the forest wood that could be burned is inaccessible due to a lack of roads. Efficiency is lowered if material with a high water content is burned , like fresh wood.

Different physical and chemical characteristics in fuel can lead to control problems Badger When wet fuel is burned, so much energy goes into vaporizing the water that very little energy emerges as heat, and drying takes time and energy.

Material is limited and expensive. In , the viability of California biomass enterprise was in serious doubt because the energy to produce biomass was so high due to the small facilities and high cost of collecting and transporting material to the plants Bain The largest biomass plants burn wood and rarely reach even 50 MW in size.

Coal plants are often 1, MW. A maximum mile radius for the resource base is typical. And as a consequence of these sizes, biopower plants are typically less efficient than fossil fuel plants are; the cost of implementing high-efficiency technologies is not economically justified at small scales. Many plants want animals to eat their seed and fruit to disperse them. Some seeds only germinate after going through an animal gut and coming out in ready-made fertilizer.

Be thankful plants figured this out, or everything would be mown down to bedrock. Benemann says the EROEI can be easily determined to be about 5 times as much energy required to make cellulosic ethanol than the energy contained in the ethanol. The success of cellulosic ethanol depends on finding or engineering organisms that can tolerate extremely high concentrations of ethanol.

Augenstein argues that this creature would already exist if it were possible. Organisms have had a billion years of optimization through evolution to develop a tolerance to high ethanol levels Benemann Someone making beer, wine, or moonshine would have already discovered this creature if it could exist. The range of chemical and physical properties in biomass, even just corn stover Ruth , Sluiter , is a challenge.

Skepticism about commercial biofuels persists. In , Texas-based KiOR filed for bankruptcy. The plant failed in turning wood chips into a crude oil substitute because of problems that plagued its production process.

Green Fuel Nordic is trying to convert wood to pyrolysis fuels, which has proven difficult so far because wood has tar, which is a gummy residue of long-chain molecules that are hard to refine. Another concern is oxygen, abundant in all biomass which causes problems when oxygen reacts with pyrolysis oil and forms organic acids that can corrode refinery equipment severely Krieger At that rate, all of the cropland will be gone in years , and years from now all remaining rural non-federal acres will be buried by development:.

Estimated average annual sheet and rill erosion on non-Federal rural land, by State and year Tons per acre per year c page Table Estimated average annual wind erosion on non-Federal rural land, by State and year Tons per acre per year. The potential biomass energy is miniscule compared to the fossil fuel energy we consume every year, about exa joules EJ in the USA. Most of this 94 EJ of biomass is already being used for food and feed crops, and wood for paper and homes.

Sparse vegetation and the 30 EJ in root systems are economically unavailable — leaving only a small amount of biomass unspoken for Patzek June The success of biofuels depends on corn residues. That renders it useless — the crop residue is buried in mud and decomposing rapidly.

Only the 20 percent of farmers who farm no-till will have stover to sell. But none of this corn stover should be harvested because corn loses more soil than any other crop grown Pimentel Only half a percent of a plant can be harvested sustainably every year. Plants only fix a tiny part of solar energy into plant matter annually — about one-tenth to one-half of one percent new growth in temperate climates.

To prevent erosion, you could only harvest 51 million tons of corn and wheat residues, not million tons Nelson, Fifty one million tons of residue could make about 3. The amount of soy and cereal straw wheat, oats, etc is insignificant. It would be best to use cereal grain straw, because grains use far less water and cause far less erosion than row crops like corn and soybeans.

Energy crops are grown specifically for their fuel value. Tall perennial grasses such as switchgrass and miscanthus are being proposed as potential energy crops. Although grasses cause less erosion and need less fertilizer, they still suffer from the problems that all plants have:.

Farmers are often paid not to farm this unproductive land. Many acres in switchgrass are being used for wildlife and recreation. Few suitable bio-factory sites. The sites had to be on main roads, near railroad and natural gas lines, out of floodplains, on parcels of at least 40 acres to provide storage for the residues, have electric power, and enough biomass nearby to supply the plant year round.

No energy crop farmers or investors. These fast-growing disease-resistant plants are potentially bioinvasive, another kudzu. Bioinvasion costs our country billions of dollars a year Bright, Another fast-growing grass, Miscanthus, from China, is now being proposed as a biofuel. Brazilian ethanol production in was 3. But according to the FAO, the nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium requirements of sugar cane are roughly similar to maize FAO Wood ethanol is an energy sink.

Wood is a nonrenewable resource. These plantations require energy to plant, fertilize, weed, thin, cut, and deliver. The trees are finally available for use after 20 to 90 years — too long for them to be considered a renewable fuel Odum Nor do secondary forests always come back with the vigor of the preceding forest due to soil erosion, soil nutrition depletion, and mycorrhizae destruction Luoma Over half of North America was deforested by , at a time when there were only 75 million people Williams Most of this was from home use.

In the 18 th century the average Northeastern family used 10 to 20 cords per year. At least one acre of woods is required to sustainably harvest one cord of wood Whitney Energy crops may not be sustainable due to water, fertilizer, and harvesting impacts on the soil DOE Biomass Roadmap That will encourage the development of genetically engineered biomass to minimize variation.

Harvesting economies of scale will mean these crops will be grown in monoculture, just as food crops are. A way around this would be to spend more on researching how cellulose digesting microbes tackle different herbaceous and woody biomass. You are probably aware that a crisis looms ahead as more and more microbes become antibiotic resistant.

They are also getting antibiotics from ethanol production. A byproduct is produced called Dried Distillers Grain DDG , which is often contaminated with Lactobacilli which thrive in the ethanol mash it comes from. So ethanol producers add antibiotics like penicillin and erythromycin to the fermentation tanks. They have to know everything from soil science to commodity futures. Crop production is reduced when residues are removed from the soil.

Why would farmers want to sell their residues? Erosion, water, compression, nutrition. Farmers also care about water quality Lal , Mann et al, And farmers will decide that permanent soil compression is not worth any price Wilhelm As prices of fertilizer inexorably rise due to natural gas depletion, it will be cheaper to return residues to the soil than to buy fertilizer.

Residues are a headache. The further the farmer is from the biorefinery or railroad, the slimmer the profit, and the less likely a farmer will want the extra headache and cost of hiring and scheduling many different harvesting, collection, baling, and transportation contractors for corn stover.

Residues are used by other industries. But even they will sell to the highest bidder, which might be the livestock or dairy industries, furfural factories, hydromulching companies, biocomposite manufacturers, pulp mills, or city dwellers faced with skyrocketing utility bills, since the high heating value of residue has twice the energy of the converted ethanol. Can the biomass be harvested, baled, stored, and transported economically? Plants are closer to cotton candy than rocks.

The oil to harvest, bale, deliver, clean, and store these straw pillows is likely to use more energy than the cellulosic fuels created. Sixteen ton tractors harvest corn and spit out stover. Many of these harvesters are contracted and will continue to collect corn in the limited harvest time, not stover.

This will triple the compaction damage to the soil Troeh , create more erosion-prone tire tracks, increase CO2 emissions, add to labor costs, and put unwanted foreign matter into the bale soil, rocks, baling wire, etc. So biomass roadmaps call for a new type of tractor or attachment to harvest both corn and stover in one pass. But then the tractor would need to be much larger and heavier, which could cause decades-long or even permanent soil compaction.

Farmers worry that mixing corn and stover might harm the quality of the grain. And on the cusp of energy descent, is it a good idea to build an even larger and more complex machine? Rain also compacts the surface of the soil so that less water can enter, forcing more to run off, increasing erosion. Water landing on dense vegetation soaks into the soil, increasing plant growth and recharging underground aquifers. The more stover left on the land, the better.

The current technology to harvest residues is to put them into bales of hay. Somehow the bales have to be kept from combusting during the several months it takes to dry them from 50 to 15 percent moisture. A large, well drained, covered area is needed to vent fumes and dissipate heat. If the bales get wet they will compost Atchison Baling was developed for hay and has been adapted to corn stover with limited success.

Biorefineries need at least half a million tons of biomass on hand to smooth supply bumps, much greater than any bale system has been designed for. Other options need to be found. To get around the problems of exploding hay bales, wet stover could be collected. The moisture content needs to be around 60 percent, which means a lot of water will be transported, adding significantly to the delivery cost.

After catastrophic fires, the pulp industry learned to only use wet feedstock. The amount of water required is unknown. The transit time must be short, or aerobic microbial activity will damage it. At the storage site, the wet biomass must be immediately washed, shredded, and transported to a drainage pad under a roof for storage, instead of baled when drier and left at the farm. The wet residues are heavy, making transportation costlier than for dry residues, perhaps uneconomical.

It can freeze in the winter making it hard to handle. If the moisture is too low, air gets in, making aerobic fermentation possible, resulting in molds and spoilage. Even this smaller refinery would require trucks per hour delivering biomass during harvest season 7 x 24 , or trucks per day if satellite sites for storage are used.

When this biomass is delivered to the biorefinery, it will take up at least acres of land stacked 25 feet high. The average stover haul to the biorefinery would be 43 miles one way if these rosy assumptions all came true Perlack Delivery to Customer also see Biofuel distribution wastes valuable diesel fuel.

It takes an enormous amount of energy to deliver mid western ethanol to the East and West coast by train, barge, and truck.

Although biobutanol could be put into pipelines, it does not provide the same octane enhancement of ethanol.

If you tried to work around all the difficulties of various biofuels by giving each one its own transportation infrastructures, that would become a constraint in and of itself.

The existing transportation system has not changed much in 30 years, yet this congested, inadequate infrastructure somehow has to be used to transport huge amounts of ethanol, biomass, and byproducts Haney As a systems architect and engineer, I looked at projects from start to end, trying to identify the failure points.

The Department of Energy Biomass Roadmaps and the Energy Biosciences Institute Proposal have taken a similar approach and identified the barriers to cellulosic fuels. All of the steps from A to Z must succeed or a project fails. There are major challenges in harvesting, storing, transporting biomass, and delivering cellulosic fuels to customers.

To grow plants sustainably, the soil ecosystem and water supply need to be taken into account. If prices are compared on the basis of energy content, ethanol has been consistently more expensive than gasoline because a gallon of ethanol has less energy than a gallon of petroleum-based gasoline.

Thus, ethanol producers are making little money even though their biofuel is more expensive than gasoline in terms of energy supplied per gallon. BGTL is a fuel produced from biomass by gasifying it into an intermediary product called syngas, and then converted into a diesel-like fuel.

This fuel is not commercially produced, because many technological and economic challenges need to be overcome, such as identifying biomass feedstocks that are suitable for efficient conversion to a syngas and developing effective methods for preparing the biomass for conversion into a syngas. Furthermore, DOE researchers report that significant work remains to successfully gasify biomass feedstocks on a large enough scale to demonstrate commercial viability.

Synthetic biologists are trying to make oil rather than ethanol for many reasons. There are billions of combustion engines that can only burn oil, which is free concentrated sunshine brewed by Mother Nature over hundreds of millions of years.

Only uranium packs more punch per unit weight. The 98 tons of fossil plants per gallon is equal to 40 acres of wheat. Oil is easily poured, stored, and transported, combusts without problems rather than exploding. But with every step required to transform a substance into energy, there is less energy yield. If a microbe can be created which digests cellulose and excretes oil, the number of steps can be reduced. But plants have evolved for millions of years to prevent themselves from being eaten.

It will be hard to pull off. In termites, multiple microbe species are involved in breaking down lignocellulose, each consumes the wastes of others, which are toxic to the creature generating them. Keeping predators out of the vats, getting rid of contaminants, replicating enzymes and too many other issues to list make it unlikely cellulosic fuels can be made in the near future with a positive net energy.

Enzymes that exhibit high thermostability and substantial resistance to sugar end-product inhibition will be essential to fully realize enzyme-based sugar platform technology. The ability to develop such enzymes and consequently very low cost enzymatic hydrolysis technology requires increasing our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the biochemistry of enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis, including the impact of biomass structure on enzymatic cellulose decrystallization.

It may not be possible to reduce the complex cellulose digesting strategies of bacteria and fungi into microorganisms or enzymes that can convert cellulose into fuel in giant steel vats, especially given the huge physical and chemical variations in feedstock. The field of metagenomics is trying to create a chimera from snips of genetic material of cellulose-digesting bacteria and fungi.

That would be the ultimate Swiss Army-knife microbe, able to convert cellulose to sugar and then sugar to ethanol or oil i. Termites depend on fascinating creatures called protists in their guts to digest wood. The protists in turn outsource the work to multiple kinds of bacteria living inside of them. This is done with energy ATP and architecture membranes in a system that evolved over millions of years. If the termite could fire the protists and work directly with the bacteria, that probably would have happened 50 million years ago.

This process involves many kinds of bacteria, waste products, and other complexities that may not be reducible to an enzyme or a bacteria. Or you could use this technology to create a creature that could convert miscanthus and switchgrass to create biofuels that can be put in pipelines and burned in diesel engines Singer But biology is a messy wonderment.

If the obstacles can be overcome, but we lose topsoil, deplete aquifers, poison the land, air, and water, what kind of Pyrrhic victory is that? Nevertheless, this is worthy of research money, but not public funds for commercial refineries until the issues above have been solved.

This is the best hope we have for replacing the half million products made from and with fossil fuels, and for liquid transportation fuels when population falls to pre-coal levels.

The findings cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions Liska Biofuel from coal-burning biomass factories increases global warming Farrell Driving a mile on ethanol from a coal-using biorefinery releases more CO2 than a mile on gasoline Ward Intensive nitrogen fertilizer use generates high amounts of emissions of nitrous oxide, a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, worsening greenhouse gas emissions Howarth.

Climate change is already increasing runoff and erosion SWCS Biofuels are increasing runoff and erosion. A destructive positive feed-back loop. Giampietro and Mayumi write a book about how on earth, given all of the above, did we ever throw so much money at an obviously futile endeavor as the biofuel industry? They call for a scientific framework that better evaluates an energy resource before spending so much money on a boondoggle.

Giampietro and Mayumi are also among the few scientists to discuss the enormous ecological damage: Biofuels from biodiverse, tall grass prairie are far preferable to ethanol from corn and soy, but there are no commercial level cellulosic biorefineries — and we are a long way from being able to deliver cellulosic fuels to customers. How come there are over ethanol plants with 79 under construction and more planned?

Government subsidies and tax breaks. Federal and state ethanol subsidies add up to 79 cents per liter McCain , with most of that going to agribusiness, not farmers. There is also a tax break of 5. An additional 51 cents per gallon goes mainly to the oil industry to get them to blend ethanol with gasoline.

She notes that any shortfall in supply or manipulation could drive prices even higher Feinstein , Washington Post

[] Good site 投稿者:July 投稿日:/05/19(Mon) web* dogging pics. exposition-universelle-paris-1900.com needs to be stored with a moisture content of 15% or less, but it’s typically %, and rain or snow during harvest will raise these levels even higher (DOE Feedstock Roadmap). In general, short lines tend to provide the most fascinating operations of any railroad. As local, centrally based companies they are much more down-home in nature, often friendlier (than large Class Is), and are just more fun to watch than the big roads.