Alexandria, VA – You may have seen our tweets, Facebook posts and blog over the summer: in a new study from Towson University, researchers quantified the economic impact of railroads’ private investments for the first time ever, with impressive results.

In 2014, the year that researchers examined, private spending from railroads generated or supported:

  • $274 billion in economic activity across the U.S.
  • $33 billion in tax revenues ($11.9 billion of which were state and local)
  • 1.5 million jobs across the U.S. economy

These are huge numbers, but it’s easy to lose sight of what they mean at the local level. To provide some perspective, GoRail worked with our local rail advocates to describe what this impact means for their communities in 20 op-eds that ran in outlets across the country. Here are a few excerpts.

“Our freight rail infrastructure, including BNSF’s $100 million state-of-the-art intermodal hub at Forth Worth Alliance Airport and Union Pacific’s Davidson Yard, provide huge transportation advantages to companies looking to expand or relocate here and are a big reason the Dallas-Fort Worth economy ranks ahead of most states and many nations.”
– Dennis Shingleton, Fort Worth City Councilman, in the Star-Telegram
“The cascading effect of these investments is hard to overstate. Enhanced rail operations in Florida, not to mention the rest of the country, mean that our ports can move more imports and exports and meet the increased demand of an expanded Panama Canal.”
– Christopher Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy at the
Florida Chamber of Commerce, in the Tampa Bay Times
“The investments that CSX has made in its National Gateway and Norfolk Southern in its Crescent Corridor have opened vast new opportunities for job creation, economic development and sustainable growth in Pennsylvania as two of the nation’s premier public-private rail infrastructure projects.”
– Gene Barr, President of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry,
in the Delaware County Daily Times
“Together, the Bay Area’s railroads move freight at the region’s three biggest ports, including the Port of Oakland, which is the fifth-busiest container port in the U.S. Railroads are essential for moving cargo from these ports to destinations all over the country, extending the industry’s economic contributions throughout the nation.”
– Kirk M. Clark, Vice President of the California Business Roundtable,
in the East Bay Times


Here’s a complete list of the 20 pieces from GoRail advocates touting the economic benefits of freight rail: