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29 Table 11. Commodities and types of freight cars. Commodity Characteristics Types of Commodities Types of Freight Cars Bulk Dry Cargo, Uncovered Coal, Sand & Gravel Hoppers, Gondolas Bulk Liquid Cargo Chemicals, Ethanol HFCS Tank Car Toxic Hazardous Materials, Pressurized Gas Pressurized Tank Car Propane Grain, Soda Ash, Some Bulk Dry Cargo, Covered Covered Hoppers Fertilization Manufactured Goods, Autos--Setup, Auto Parts, Box Cars, Auto-Rack Protected Some Foods, Newsprint, Paper Manufactured Goods, Pipe, Agricultural Equipment, Flat Cars, Gondolas, Uncovered Some Building Products Center Beam Flats Frozen Food, Fresh Fruits or Refrigerated Refrigerated Box Cars Vegetables Containerized Goods Imported Goods Container Flat Cars Trailers on Flat Cars Domestic Goods Trailer Flat Cars graphic networks or markets. In this sense, railroads are the which handle both passengers and freight, were included in the most complex mode of transport. Major categories of com- list of NHS connectors that were inventoried. These 616 inter- modities captive to rail include coal, chemicals, farm products, modal freight terminals represent 1,222 miles of NHS connec- and transportation equipment. According to the AAR, mixed tors. NHS connectors are short, averaging less than 2 miles shipments, which include intermodal shipments, have recently in length. The most recent version of the NHPN identified become the largest single revenue category (60). Table 11 de- 1,323 connectors on the NHS, which includes both passen- scribes the range of commodity groups and railcar equipment ger and freight intermodal connectors. Traffic volume on types used by railroads for moving freight. these connectors ranges between 100 and 110,000 vehicles Table 12 shows the top five commodities moved by rail in per day. terms of tonnage and value. These are derived from the 2008 NHS Intermodal Freight Connectors (44) noted that nearly updates to the FAF commodity O-D database for domestic one-third of total connector miles were judged to be in need movements. of additional capacity. Approximately 38 percent of connector miles needed pavement work, which includes resurfacing and reconstruction of lanes and shoulders. The most frequently 3.6 Intermodal cited deficiencies of the intermodal connectors were prob- lems with shoulders, inadequate turning radii, and inade- Intermodal shipments inherently rely on two or more quate lane width. Connectors to ports have twice the percent- modes, typically rail and truck, rail and ship, or truck and age of mileage with pavement deficiencies when compared to air, and are generally time-sensitive commodities. Inter- non-Interstate routes. Connectors to rail terminals had 50 per- modal connectors are critical elements of an integrated freight cent more mileage in the deficient category. Connectors to air- transportation system. According to FHWA's NHS Intermodal port and pipeline terminals appeared to be in better condition Freight Connectors (44), there are 517 freight-only terminals on with about the same percentage of mileage with pavement the NHS, which include 253 ports (ocean and river), 203 truck/ deficiencies as those on non-Interstate NHS routes. This may rail terminals, and 61 pipeline/truck terminals. In addition be due to the higher priority given to airport access because to these freight-only terminals, 99 major freight airports, of the high volume of passenger travel on these roads. Intermodal shipments from the coasts into the heartland have been predicted to at least double in the coming decades. Table 12. Top five commodities moved Prior to 2008, the booming trade with China, the growth in by rail (2008) (52). India, and the general global economic trade expansion por- Rank In Terms of Tonnage In Terms of Value tended significant expansion in the rail intermodal shipments. 1 Coal Motorized vehicles Panama is expanding the Panama Canal, which will allow the 2 Cereal grains Coal largest Asian container ships increased access directly to the 3 Metallic ores Plastics/rubber East Coast and Gulf of Mexico ports. Such trends could signif- 4 Fertilizers Basic chemicals icantly increase intermodal traffic on the eastern and southern 5 Basic chemicals Base metals U.S. coasts, as has already occurred on the West Coast. On the