Well, here's an unexpected side-effect of ethanol demand. Railroad companies are reporting a surge in rail use to transport the fuel. Iowa, with 25 ethanol production plants, is the largest producer and subsequently biggest rail user. While ethanol can be shipped via trucks, transportation economics make rail transport the least expensive method especially to out-of-state fueling stations. The state transportation department is providing extra monies to the plants to build rail spurs while rail companies such as Union Pacific are looking into laying down tracks nearby.
[Source: Associated Press via Sioux City Journal]