Auto Transport by Rail: A Crash Course
Auto transport by rail was one the preferred method of shipping a vehicle from one part of the country to the other. Until the 1980’s, the railroads were still the primary method of moving freight across the country. Since the early 19th century the railroads were the main method of transportation, and the growth of the U.S. has been directly attributed to the rise of the railroads. Rail’s heyday, however, has come and gone; since the construction of the Interstate Highway System began in the 1950’s, the United States has slowly turned toward the automobile as its preferred method of transportation, and as the 20th century rolled into the 21st fewer and fewer rail lines were in continual use. A good chunk of the freight moving in the U.S. today is moved via overland transport trucks as opposed to via the rail network, and this is definitely including automobiles.
Automobile transportation via rail is not as common as it once was, at least not for individual shippers. The main reason is that so few companies actually have contract with the rail lines nowadays; with the explosion of the auto transport industry following the advent of the Internet in the 1990’s, most auto shippers utilize auto transport trucks – overland carriers that utilize the vast network of roads in the U.S. Auto transportation startup costs are much lower now than they were 20 or 30 years ago, which has also contributed to the decline in auto transport via rail services. Many routes today are simply no longer profitable for companies that one provided auto transportation services by rail.
Rail service, due to its very nature, typically takes at least as long as overland transportation services, but sometimes even longer depending on the route. For instance, cross-country treks can take anywhere from two to three weeks via rail, whereas auto transport by truck generally takes at most 14 days. Cost is generally higher via auto transport by rail as well. With competition via overland truck so fierce, and the rail lines owned by only a handful of major companies, rail transport services for individuals is generally 25-50% more expensive than the cost of transport by truck. For more information regarding auto transport by rail services, we highly recommend calling our toll-free telephone number and speaking to one of our live agents today. For free auto transport quotes from reputable and reliable car transport companies, fill out our free online quote request form and get ten free quotes e-mailed to you within the next hour.