Railroads: Highballing on New Wheels

To satisfy thirsty Americans, huge quantities of Beefeater gin are shipped across the Atlantic from Britain each year—in railroad cars. The British load their spirits onto a new kind of U.S. freight car called the Flexi-Van, which is hauled to port by truck, loaded onto a ship, fitted with train wheels in the U.S. and sped to its destination over the rails. Thanks to such innovations, U.S. railroads are not only hauling merchandise directly from such countries as Japan, Egypt and Italy, but also carrying a broad range of domestic goods—from candy...

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