Program 4: Future Rail: Energy Matters

    Looks at rail transport through the lens of energy physics, starting with the fact that the amount of energy available to the planet is finite and thus subject to diminution. Considers the implications of the recent passing of peak production in fossil fuels, discussing the changing ratio of energy input to energy output as coal and oil become less plentiful and the extraction methods required to procure these resources become more costly and less efficient. Arguing for the advantages solar energy because it is more readily converted to electricity, analyzes the superior efficiencies of electrified rail in comparison to other major transportation systems. Rail holds out the promise to move goods and passengers to their destinations far more economically than cars, trucks, or planes.

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