Freight Rail Connected to the Nation’s Capital

Presidents as far back as Andrew Jackson have traveled and campaigned by rail. President Obama retraced the historical train trip taken by President Lincoln for his inauguration. While passenger service continues to thrive in the District of Columbia, freight tracks running through the city are vital to the East Coast rail network. DC’s Virginia Avenue Tunnel enables trains to move freight between key ports, manufacturing centers and consumer markets.

D.C.’s three freight railroads operate 22 miles of track and employ 18 in the Nation’s Capital.* It would have taken approximately 2.6 million additional truckloads to move the 46.1 million tons of freight that moved by rail in D.C. in 2014.

*2017 data

Wyoming Energy Powers the Nation Via Freight Rail

As the number one source of coal in the United States and the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas producer, Wyoming relies on railroads to bring in the equipment to harvest energy resources and to export this Cowboy State bounty to the nation and the world. Railroads have churned millions of dollars of private capital into new track, equipment and technology to facilitate energy production and keep Wyoming’s rail network strong, productive and safe.

Wyoming’s six freight railroads operate over 1,890 miles of track and employ 2,119 in the Equality State.* It would have taken approximately 23.6 million additional truckloads to move the 424.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Wyoming in 2017. Coal makes up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in the state.

*2017 data

Freight Rail Keeps Wisconsin Economy on Track

If manufacturing and agriculture are the heart of the Badger State’s vibrant economy, then railways are the circulatory system that keeps the economy healthy and growing. Freight rail is the vital link supplying Wisconsin farms, forestry operations and factories with the inputs they need to thrive while connecting them to the global marketplace.

Wisconsin’s nine freight railroads operate over 3,253 miles of track and employ 2,934 in the Badger State.* It would have taken approximately 9.5 million additional truckloads to move the 170.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Wisconsin in 2017. Stone, sand, and gravel make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Wisconsin. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.

*2017 data

Mountaineer State a Vital Link in North American Rail Network

Although domestic coal consumption has waned, the Mountaineer State remains a “railroad state.” As intermodal shipments and traffic in other energy products pick up steam, West Virginia is looking to a more diversified freight mix to revive rail traffic and boost the economy.

West Virginia’s 11 freight railroads operate over 2,214 miles of track and employ 2,137 in the Mountain State.* It would have taken approximately 8.7 million additional truckloads to move the 156.7 million tons of freight that moved by rail in West Virginia in 2017. Coal makes up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in West Virginia.

*2017 data

Freight Rail Helps Keep Washington Evergreen and Ever Growing

More than twice as export-intensive as the average U.S. state, Washington and its manufacturers, farms and communities rely on freight rail to move commodities and products from inland locations to seaports. By one conservative estimate, well over 300,000 jobs — or 10 percent of total Evergreen State employment — exist because of the economic dynamism enabled by freight rail.

Washington’s 30 freight railroads operate over 3,032 miles of track and employ 4,381 in the Evergreen State.* It would have taken approximately 6.5 million additional truckloads to move the 117.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Washington in 2017. Intermodal, mostly originating at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, make up the largest part of freight rail shipments beginning in Washington. Intermodal and farm products are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2017 data

Green Mountain State looks to Freight Rail for Roadway Damage Relief

Vermont’s short line and regional railroads provide vital connections to the larger North American freight rail network, linking the Green Mountain State to markets nationwide. To maximize these connections, track and bridges must be modernized to carry heavier railcars, which the state has said will play an important role in reducing truck traffic and highway wear and tear.

Eight freight railroads operate 578 miles of track and employ 204 in the Green Mountain State.* It would have taken approximately 401,000 additional truckloads to move the 7.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Vermont in 2017. Petroleum and lumber and wood products are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2017 data

Present at the Creation, Beehive State Still Vital Link in Transcontinental Rail Network

Those present in May of 1869 when the “golden spike” was driven at Promontory Summit to commemorate the completion of the first transcontinental railroad could little have imagined what railroads would become in the 21st century. Yesterday’s steam locomotives have been replaced with double-stack intermodal trains, and Utah is now a major mid-continent staging area for goods destined to reach consumers all across America.

Utah’s eight freight railroads operate over 1,386 miles of track and employ 1,463 in the Beehive State.* It would have taken approximately 3.5 million additional truckloads to move the 63.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Utah in 2014. Intermodal and coal comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in Utah.

*2017 data

Lone Star State Leads Nation in Rail Innovation

From energy production and manufacturing, to distribution centers and the Gulf Coast ports, freight rail is an important driver of Texas’s economic future. The Lone Star State is a national leader in freight rail innovation, with one of the nation’s biggest railroads, BNSF Railway, headquartered in Fort Worth, where General Electric also builds new high-tech, fuel-efficient locomotives.

Texas’s 52 freight railroads operate over 10,506 miles of track and employ 17,453 in the Lone Star State.* It would have taken approximately 22.1 million additional truckloads to move the 398.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Texas in 2017. Intermodal and chemicals make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Texas. Intermodal and nonmetallic minerals are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2017 data

Volunteer State Vies for Top Spot as “America’s Distribution Center”

With multiple state-of-the-art intermodal yards and a solid grounding in the “four R’s” of rail, road, river and runway, Memphis is challenging Chicago as the nation’s principal rail hub. Freight rail in Tennessee doesn’t end in Memphis, however. The Volunteer State’s automotive industry, other manufacturers and communities also look to the state’s solid rail network to connect to national and global markets.

Tennessee’s 25 freight railroads operate over 2,552 miles of track and employ 3,618 in the Volunteer State.* It would have taken approximately 11.5 million additional truckloads to move the 207.7 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Tennessee in 2017. Intermodal and transportation equipment make up the largest segments of rail shipments beginning in Tennessee. Intermodal and chemicals are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2017 data

Freight Rail a Gateway to U.S. and Global Markets for Mount Rushmore State

For South Dakota grain, ethanol and other agricultural producers, freight rail provides the primary means of reaching export markets around the nation and across the globe. With demand for rail transportation only expected to increase, record railroad investments in track, equipment and technology are good news for South Dakota agriculture.

South Dakota’s 10 freight railroads operate over 2,029 miles of track and employ 741 in the Mount Rushmore State.* It would have taken approximately 6.6 million additional truckloads to move the 119.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in South Dakota in 2017. Corn and soybeans make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in South Dakota.

*2017 data