How Freight Trains Connect the World

  • Published: 05 March 2019
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    Animation by Josh Sherrington
    Sound by Graham Haerther (
    Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

    Special thanks to Patreon supporters Alec M Watson, Andrew J Thom, Arkadiy Kulev, Chris Allen, Chris Barker, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, Harrison Wiener, James Hughes, James McIntosh, John & Becki Johnston, Keith Bopp, Kelly J Knight, Ken Lee, Kyle, KyQuan Phong, Manoj Kasyap Govindaraju, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Sheldon Zhao, Simen Nerleir, and Tim Robinson

    Music by
    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
    Select footage courtesy Bigstock:

    BNSF train clip courtesy Scott Hiddelston


Comments • 2 347

  • Key Lime Mime
    Key Lime Mime  5 hours back


    • Kalvin  Hampton
      Kalvin Hampton  2 days back

      Nice! Very true 👍🏾

      • FlashOfLight
        FlashOfLight  4 days back

        We need a truck freight episode, especially given the recent rash of truck company bankruptcies.

        • BossSpringsteen69
          BossSpringsteen69  6 days back

          Hmmm...pretty accurate but, id have to verify that drayage comment. Id have to check if the Latrops do go to CSX crosstown.

          • Nintendo j
            Nintendo j  6 days back

            You like trains or Planes

            Wendover : yes

            • Tyler Kapteyn
              Tyler Kapteyn  1 weeks back

              4.3 km long trains.... damn Canada

              • Liam McGrath
                Liam McGrath  1 weeks back

                Good video, but your Philly example is incorrect. Philadelphia has a large CSX Intermodal yard.

                • John W
                  John W  1 weeks back

                  Let's not act like the trucking industry doesn't have it's lobbyist. They do 80% of the damage on roadways, but I don't see them paying for it.

                  • ere
                    ere  1 weeks back

                    Why driverless freight train is not a common thing

                    • Bill Kong
                      Bill Kong  1 weeks back

                      Trucks can only go where there are roads. It's only incidental there are more roads than tracks.

                      • Alexandra Lynn Poyser
                        Alexandra Lynn Poyser  1 weeks back

                        Driverless trucks is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard of.

                        • Leca pahcni
                          Leca pahcni  6 days back

                          Alexandra Lynn Poyser exactly, I don’t not want 10 ton missile coming at you with nobody to intervene.

                      • drsupremo88
                        drsupremo88  2 weeks back

                        There is a freight train from London to siberia

                        • jan maroto
                          jan maroto  2 weeks back

                          6:44 that's my country's passenger train you can see the r of "rodalies de Catalunya", so much fun

                          • Christina Gibson
                            Christina Gibson  2 weeks back

                            You said driver it's a engineer

                            • Buster Beagle
                              Buster Beagle  3 weeks back

                              8:37. Misinformation- There is currently not I repeat not a shortage of truck drivers in the US that is a myth

                              • Darren Alexander
                                Darren Alexander  3 weeks back

                                That's a lot of dependence on two metal rods.

                                • Akhilesh Singh
                                  Akhilesh Singh  3 weeks back

                                  More like how frieght trains connect u.s

                                  • Stephen Powdexter
                                    Stephen Powdexter  3 weeks back

                                    Many comments but: what's with all those crew changes in the northwest route Chicago-Seattle? It sounds like we still have some featherbedding like when railroads still had to employ fire-men when they switched from coal to diesel.

                                    • Dennis De la Mara
                                      Dennis De la Mara  4 weeks back

                                      5:27 *are trains

                                      • Joseph Cotter
                                        Joseph Cotter  4 weeks back

                                        Please stop passing on the misinformation of a shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. There isn't a shortage of truck drivers, there is a shortage of truck driver pay. The average truck driver makes between 45k-65k for 60-80 hours of work with most closer to the 45k mark. When taking into account overtime pay one would get if not driving a truck, said driver would make more money working at Walmart. Add to that truck drivers don't get any benefits usually other then self contributing plans where the companies put none of their own money into and the calculus is that it has degraded to barely over a minimum wage job. This is for an often dangerous job where one is in the case of OTR living away from home, eating unhealthy and overpriced junk food from truck stops, etc... The job is just flat out underpaid and the companies would rather churn drivers then pay a reasonable wage.

                                      • Tacit Dionysus
                                        Tacit Dionysus  1 months back

                                        So, where is the rest of the 'world'.

                                        • Duncan08
                                          Duncan08  1 months back

                                          Got really confused when he said Glasgow. Didnt know there was one in Montana.

                                          • Dylan Shramko
                                            Dylan Shramko  1 months back

                                            I think I'm at the wrong Wendover

                                            • Trains of Canada
                                              Trains of Canada  1 months back

                                              More train videos please ;)

                                              • SharkyCartel Railroad
                                                SharkyCartel Railroad  2 months back

                                                actualy 9000 horsepower is the strongest locomotive in america

                                                • The Q
                                                  The Q  2 months back

                                                  !!!!! 2:52 Most locomotives DO NOT have 6,000HP. The ones that do/did were not in service long. For various reasons. Most locomotives average from 4300-4500HP. Not upwards of 6,000. There were only three models of American diesel locomotives built that reached or exceeded 6,000hp none were built in large numbers at the rated horsepower, and only one remains in active service at that horsepower due to its historical significance since it is a twin engine unit built in the 1970s.

                                                  In the 1990s there was a race set up by the large American railroads between the two major diesel-electric locomotive builders, Electromotive Diesel (EMD) and General Electric, to build a diesel locomotive that could meet or exceed 6,000HP using only one engine to reduce maintenance. Both companies had a very hard time meeting this goal due to mostly engine trouble and in the end very few of these were built. Although G.Es locomotives were used to set the worlds longest and heaviest train record.

                                                  Many railroads like union pacific encountered reliability issues and also the problem that since most trains are pulled by more than one locomotive if one broke during transit the others could pick up the slack. But this does not work if you lose 6,000+hp going up a 3% grade.

                                                • Kj_mast_er
                                                  Kj_mast_er  2 months back

                                                  Quality Stuff, you need a prize or something

                                                  • Ed Porter
                                                    Ed Porter  2 months back

                                                    Soon we will see giant batteries being hauled by freight trains.

                                                    • hedgehog3180
                                                      hedgehog3180  2 months back

                                                      I mean it would be pretty simple to fully automate freight trains, automated trains are already common in metros and high speed rail is highly automated. Not that there's really a need since it requires so few people already.

                                                      • Logan Mainord
                                                        Logan Mainord  3 weeks back

                                                        Engineers (" Locomotive Drivers") and Conductors (whose job is to manage the train itself, not just the locomotive) have a lot more to their job than just operating the locomotive.

                                                    • zazugee
                                                      zazugee  2 months back

                                                      "trucks go anywhere" <-- nope, they also go where there are roads
                                                      unless you're talking about a totaly 4x4 offroad capable truck and not a semi-truck

                                                      • Karla Hernández
                                                        Karla Hernández  2 months back

                                                        I'm a logistics teacher, and this video is just awesome. Thanks so much for the illustration.

                                                        • Rex Appleby
                                                          Rex Appleby  2 months back

                                                          It's amazing how cheap and fuel efficient they are.

                                                          • Timmy Failure
                                                            Timmy Failure  2 months back

                                                            I live right by a chicago trainyard!

                                                            • Stranger Happened
                                                              Stranger Happened  2 months back

                                                              *1. The largest economies are only compared by PPP GDP,* not by nominal one, which is useless.
                                                              2. It was strange to hear that the USA is a good example of how railway/freight systems work considering the fact that it is the most atypical among any and all countries of noticeable size.

                                                              • iamthinking2202 _
                                                                iamthinking2202 _  2 months back

                                                                7:15 played that ticket to ride corridor well

                                                                • wantaferrari
                                                                  wantaferrari  2 months back

                                                                  "How freight trains connect the US"

                                                                  • J J
                                                                    J J  2 months back

                                                                    tbh I think focusing on the US in this video is sensible. For example, things are different in Europe. With the exception of things like Amazon (which have the same issues in the US), we have a lot more demand for high speed cargo, and given that our cities are much, much closer together - time lost changing modes is easily overtaken by trucks. There is also a capacity issue as our rails are already at maximum capacity for passenger trains - and given that the cargo has to be loaded onto trucks ANYWAY, there's really not much point in sending cargo by train unless it is - as you say - low value bulk (for example coal). Additionally, cargo such as coal can be loaded directly at the mine, and unloaded directly at the customer (for example power stations), so there's efficiency gains there. Our trucking industry is also a lot more efficient than the US, in both fuel efficiency, time, and labour costs.

                                                                    • Ganesh Mantri
                                                                      Ganesh Mantri  2 months back

                                                                      Video header: world
                                                                      Actual video : USA USA USA

                                                                      • Silentatroman
                                                                        Silentatroman  2 months back

                                                                        It’s not a shortage of drivers, it’s the lack of good jobs for the drivers

                                                                        • N George
                                                                          N George  2 months back

                                                                          I love trains

                                                                          • Nitish Bharadwaj
                                                                            Nitish Bharadwaj  2 months back

                                                                            The title should have been:
                                                                            How freight train connect the US

                                                                          • Graham Crichton
                                                                            Graham Crichton  2 months back

                                                                            Only 4 of the 12 largest economies are in Europe. Hilarious.

                                                                            • Graham Crichton
                                                                              Graham Crichton  4 weeks back

                                                                              @kempo 95 it will certainly be interesting to see!

                                                                            • kempo 95
                                                                              kempo 95  4 weeks back

                                                                              Brexit is only going to bring that number more down. Probably not really, since the Brexit doesn't seem to decrease the economy that much from the respective countries but the UK's economy is relatively slinking.

                                                                            • Graham Crichton
                                                                              Graham Crichton  4 weeks back

                                                                              @kempo 95 trust me, with all this Brexit talk going on, that is amusing.

                                                                            • kempo 95
                                                                              kempo 95  4 weeks back

                                                                              Not really, since Europe has mostly small countries with relatively low population numbers.

                                                                          • Rips
                                                                            Rips  2 months back

                                                                            I wish he talked about Canada more

                                                                            • Cornelius Dr Vanderbilt
                                                                              Cornelius Dr Vanderbilt  2 months back

                                                                              The best is to Walk, then
                                                                              The best is Bicycle, then
                                                                              The best is Motorized Bicycle, then
                                                                              The best is Motor Car ...Plane, Shuttle...
                                                                              For freight: Railways are ... Lorries / Trucks cannot carry large amount of cargo ...
                                                                              Marine Transportation for very large amount cargo appears cheaper but loses out on time to Railways ...
                                                                              Efficient and Economic Transportation of Goods is a combination of all ...

                                                                              • AviaNokke
                                                                                AviaNokke  2 months back

                                                                                European: Starts a passenger railroad compan in USA.
                                                                                USA: ok
                                                                                European: Suggest electric trains.
                                                                                USA: We don't do that here.
                                                                                European: ok.
                                                                                USA: We need diesel for our long trains, they are suuuuuper long
                                                                                Canada: Am I a joke to you?
                                                                                USA: Dead mem-
                                                                                Canada: You are a meme and old.
                                                                                USA: SANCTIONS!
                                                                                Canada: ok, we need to build a wall.
                                                                                USA: Really? We are closed off to Canada and Mexico now.
                                                                                European: Lets start a new company in Canada.

                                                                              • TheAVgeekTeam
                                                                                TheAVgeekTeam  2 months back

                                                                                Gracias Moyano por darle empleo a lxs camionerxs ✌🏻✌🏻🇦🇷

                                                                                • 58metzger
                                                                                  58metzger  2 months back

                                                                                  Thank you for using metric system

                                                                                  • Henry Windsor
                                                                                    Henry Windsor  2 months back

                                                                                    Now do one on trucks!