Illinois Anchors America’s Freight Rail Network
Illinois is literally at the center of the freight rail network, with 40 freight railroads and North America’s busiest rail hub in Chicago. The commitment of the private sector, the city of Chicago and the state and federal governments to the CREATE program shows how important Illinois is to freight rail operations nationwide.
Illinois’s 46 freight railroads operate over 7,119 miles of track and employ 13,152 in the Prairie State.* It would have taken approximately 29.5 million additional truckloads to move the 531.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Illinois in 2014. Intermodal shipments and farm products make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Illinois. Intermodal shipments and coal are the state’s largest rail imports.
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in rail rates, 1981-2014.
That means the average rail customer today can ship nearly twice as much freight for about the same price it paid more than 30 years ago.
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