Why Are we Still Using Trains?
Are Trains Expensive to Maintain?
Yes and no. The train itself doesn't need to much maintenance besides the engine and a few other parts. Though it can be a labor intensive project to unload and load so many cars.
We have all sat at a railroad crossing, watching a train go by. Some trains are so long it can take minutes before you are able to cross. Imagine having to load and unload every single freight car on the train. That would be awful.
Do we Have a Better Option than Trains?
This depends on who you ask. I personally say no.
Yes, the task of getting everything off and onto the freight cars can take a while and cost a lot of money. However, no other mode of transportation can transport that much stuff across the country with such efficiency.
"But what about cargo planes? Those things are huge!" Yes, they are huge and we do have a large amount of them. However, those are far more expensive to operate rather than a train. The amount of fuel those take compared to trains is not even comparable. Not to mention some trains are already running on solar power.
Why Does This Even Matter?
With all of the issues in today's world, you are probably not worrying about trains too much.
But most could agree the transportation and logistics of goods and people around the world is important. Without trains, none of that would be able to happen. Excuse me, none of that would be able to happen with efficiency. Again, we could use planes but they are far too expensive when compared with trains.
Cargo ships could get the job done as well. But when you are delivering a shipment of goods to Kansas, I don't think a cargo ship will do much good. I would not do much good anywhere else inland either.
It is for these reasons I believe we are still using trains. They can travel across the country in a matter of a few days, bringing tons of products and even people with them.