I'm in the business of shipping materials both by truck and rail and both ways have their advantages. I can tell you, however, that with domestic shipments, the fuel surcharges on the rails are not even 1/4 the amount that truckers are charging. Generally, before the last boost in gas prices this past week, truckers were generally charging about 30% of line haul in fuel surcharges. I got a quote to move a car via rail that was about 1/10 that for four times the material. The problem is that if you want to move something, no one is going to lease you a car (especially a tank car) for that move. Most companies wont even talk to you unless you want to lease 10 cars for a total of at least 1 year. If this was more accessable, rail traffic could be greater as many of my customers do have rail spurs. Sure you can get a transportation company to sub-lease you a car but that generally comes with fees as well. All in all, carload freight shipments still cost quite a bit less to move than trucks but dont try to move any time sensative shipments that way because moving anywhere takes about 8 times as long as trucks.