Hideous. Embarrassing. An eyesore.
Graffiti on railway freight cars may be many things, but art isn’t one of them. Just ask the railways. Not only does graffiti often cover up identification numbers and other important information, but it reportedly costs at least US$1,000 just to paint over each side of the lower half of a freight car. In addition, the daubs and pop-art lettering do little to enhance corporate image.
But there’s another problem that troubles freight haulers and that’s the danger in which graffiti “artists” could find themselves. Although box cars and other rolling stock may be standing still when the painters attack, a string of cars can start moving at any time, thereby endangering life and limb.
To date, though, the railways haven’t come up with any method of easily stripping off the graffiti. Or, if they have, they obviously haven’t been using it, as can be seen when any freight train in North America rumbles by.