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What role does railroad electrification have in proposal (or various proposals) for an American Green New Deal?

In coverage of the American Green New Deal there has been much attention to electric cars and high speed rail. Both are probably mostly aimed at moving people rather than freight, yet for freight in particular, rail has a relatively high modal share in the U.S.A., with a widely developed freight railroad network. However, in the U.S.A., only around 0.5% of railroads are electrified, so almost all freight trains rely on fossil fuels. In Europe, depending on country, railway electrification varies from 3% to 100% (Switzerland, which also has a high modal share for freight rail). Apparently, railroad electrification is not currently considered economical in the U.S.A. (see also Why is railway electrification in North America far less common than in Europe?).

It would seem that railroad electrification would be an obvious part of any Green New Deal package. With the right government impetus (varying from subtle nudging with pigouvian taxes or subsidies to direct government infrastructure spending) there should be a large potential to reduce the carbon footprint of U.S.A. freight through railroad electrification (of course with the electricity produced from renewable energy). Unlike electric cars, no novel technology would be needed, and it's probably much cheaper than high speed rail. It would also bring employment (at least temporarily) to many rural areas in the U.S.A., some of which have been suffering economically, so the employment potential could be popular with the electorate in those regions. By contrast, jobs involved in the electric car industry might concentrate much more in high-tech urban areas that are doing well economically already.

What proposals for railroad electrification are included with American Green New Deal packages?

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    @RickSmith Thank you for updating the answer to a 7-year old question :)
    – gerrit
    Oct 5 '20 at 16:24
  • note that most/all train engines are already electric, they just generate that electricity on-board with generators. moving them to natural gas would be simpler and cheaper until battery storable energy density gets competitive. Adding a third rail or pantograph system would be cost prohibitive for low-profit materials transport.
    – dandavis
    Oct 5 '20 at 19:16
  • @dandavis I don't understand why it would be cost prohibitive in the US when it's been recently completed on the Trans-Siberian railway, but that's probably more of an economical question. I also wonder if it's still cost prohibitive if there would be a carbon tax at 100-200$/tonne. I have a hard time believing battery-powered locomotives can ever be competitive with overhead lines, considering that in Germany they're even building overhead lines above motorways.
    – gerrit
    Oct 5 '20 at 21:46
  • There's too many jurisdictions and service areas in the US; who provides, feeds, finances, regulates, and maintains such infra is complex. Batteries could be swapped or topped off along the way; they used to pickup water at every town...
    – dandavis
    Oct 5 '20 at 22:01
  • @dandavis Of course there are challenges, and there are causes why railway electrification is currently very rare in the Americas but common in Europe and Asia, see also the linked question on Economics.SE. But I would expect that for a major policy proposal such as a Green New Deal there should at least be a somewhat more in-depth feasibility study comparing estimated costs for the various ways in which freight transportation can be made carbon neutral (electrified lines, battery-powered trains, or other). Has anyone made that calculation, starting from the "carbon neutral" requirement?
    – gerrit
    Oct 5 '20 at 22:07