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unit train

a freight train of uniform consist that remains coupled, carrying a bulk commodity, as coal or wheat, to a specific destination and that after unloading returns to the point of origin ready for another load.
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unit train
  • Another amendment will provide the issuers of barley shipping certificates the opportunity to declare unit train delivery.
  • Enter the unit train receiving charge in cents per hundredweight.
  • The unit train was operated in normal fashion, except for the added instrumentation car.
  • Clean coal is transported by unit train to various customers.
  • Costs are calculated as loaded in a unit train, free-on-board the tipple, at a rate of return prescribed by the evaluator.
  • However, after the track maintenance work was completed, unit train cycle times did not return to their historical averages.
Encyclopedia Article for unit train

freight train composed of cars carrying a single type of commodity that are all bound for the same destination. By hauling only one kind of freight for one destination, a unit train does not need to switch cars at various intermediate junctions and so can make nonstop runs between two terminals. This reduces not only the shipping time but also the cost. The unit train was introduced by American railroad companies in the 1950s so that they could offer lower shipping rates and thereby make their freight service more marketable. Initially, unit trains were used primarily to haul coal from mines to power plants. By the late 20th century about 50 percent of the coal shipped in the United States was carried by these trains. Other forms of bulk cargo, such as grain and cement, were also transported in this fashion.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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