In 2008, the railroad industry launched an ad campaign to make its benefits known. Perhaps you've heard trains can move a ton of freight 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel. Now the barge industry is hopping on the public relations train, saying "we're like railroads but better." Both are transportation sectors that previously worked hard to stay out of the public eye. But the barge industry, in particular, depends on government funding for river infrastructure — some of which is operating on borrowed time. With locks beginning to fail and the prospect of river slowdowns, barge companies are banding together in a push for help from the government.
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