Rail transport is essential for the shipment and deployment of oversize and overweight equipment. It is also essential for the land deployment of all equipment transported farther than 400 miles. When many items are to be shipped, rail transport is often cheaper than highway transport.
Rail transport of tactical vehicles reduces the time the vehicles must operate during deployment and places them in the front lines in top operational condition. Rail transport reduces wear and tear on vehicles, minimizes en-route support, and reduces maintenance.
Although oversize and overweight equipment is routinely transported by rail, there are maximum limits and restrictions to rail transport. Restrictions are published in rail clearances and rail line clearances. When railcar-mounted equipment exceeds the clearance diagrams or envelopes, it may be possible to transport by rail but special routing and special provisions may be required.